The Powerful Reason This Mom Shared a Post-Baby Photo That 'Horrified' Her

postpartum photo
baybayruth/Instagram

When you're expecting, you have certain hopes about how things will play out leading up to the moment you get to hold your precious baby in your arms. Unfortunately, things don't always go according to your birth plan -- no matter how hard you try -- and that can sometimes leave you feeling inadequate. Ruth Lee is a Utah mom who says she had a "traumatic labor" during the birth of her now 4-month-old daughter Presley -- prompting the mom to write a touching post to let postpartum moms who are struggling to love themselves know they aren't alone.

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Lee hoped to have a wonderful birthing experience, and she notes she did everything in her power -- like staying fit, taking her prenatal vitamins, and attending countless childbirth classes -- to help ensure her labor and delivery would go as smoothly as possible.

But, as the mom reveals, nothing in her labor experience went as planned, which left her feeling broken and trying to deal with the effects of a traumatizing labor, Cesarean scars, and postpartum depression.

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"I took this picture a few days after I gave birth, when my PPD really first reared its head into my life," the mom reveals in her Instagram post. "I took this and actually was horrified. I couldn't believe it was me." 

In an effort to stop censoring motherhood and erase the facade of everything being perfect, Lee shared this photo on Instagram of her C-section scar in honor of fellow mommies who struggle to love their bodies and cope with their own scars -- including the ones that aren't visible to the naked eye.

Mom Ruth Lee postpartum photo
baybayruth/Instagram

"I'm sharing it because I know in my heart that there are people out there that struggle with inadequacy," Ruth writes. "That might think they are not beautiful, that they might be ruined, less worthy, or not good enough."

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Reading Ruth's post makes me hopeful that we, as fellow members of the motherhood community, can love and encourage each other so that no mom ever has to walk alone -- because, as this mom says in her post, "comparison is the thief of joy," and we shouldn't "let social media taint your view of what is beautiful, what is REAL."

It's so easy for a mom to look at someone else -- without seeing the struggles and battles happening behind closed doors -- and feel the pressure to live a picture-perfect life. God knows I've felt it right after the births of my now 3- and 1½-year-old boys, and I still feel it somewhat to this very day.

A woman's body is an amazing source of power. It alters itself to house life and goes through the fire to bring it to fruition. And, rather than try to fit everyone into a single box or make someone else feel inadequate, we need to lift each other up, especially after childbirth when we often feel so vulnerable.

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I'm so thankful for Ruth's post, her honesty, and her call to live an unfiltered life so others who are also struggling to love themselves can realize they aren't alone -- and can reach out for help if and when they need it. 

After all, community is what motherhood is all about.

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