The Short of It
Women around the world are sharing post-birth photos of themselves with the hashtag #BirthJustHappened, which is giving others a glimpse of the delivery room that they don't ordinarily see.
It's happened to so many of us. As soon as we announce we're pregnant, we start hearing "horror stories": The 52-hour labor, the C-section complications, and having a baby on a crowded, dirty public bus. No wonder so many expectant moms are a little bit (or a lot!) scared of delivery.
But the overwhelming majority of birth stories are positive; we're just not hearing them as much. In an effort to show that childbirth is nothing to be afraid of, moms have started using #BirthJustHappened to share their post-birth selfies online.
"I think these pictures are so helpful to see because they contradict the idea that women are powerless, sick, drugged or otherwise weak and passive during birth," Luella Shapiro from Wisconsin told The Telegraph. "They show that birth can be something powerful and strong and beautiful, and that can give pregnant women—especially first-timers—confidence going forward into their own births."
I posted photos of myself and my new babies pretty soon after they were born. I remember people telling me, "You don't look like you just had a baby!" and I remember thinking, "What does that mean, exactly?" Sure, every muscle in my body ached, and I could barely sit up without hurting a little "down there," but how would that make me look any different?
I'd hate to lie to expectant moms and make them believe they'll walk out of the hospital feeling terrific. It's just not realistic, and they need to mentally prep themselves for the recovery and self-care they'll need to do. That part was more difficult than I'd expected.
But despite the soreness and the stitches, I ultimately felt accomplished and happy after delivery. And it showed in the photos. Why not share that with others?
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