New Mom's Revealing Photo Embraces the 'Good, the Bad & the Ugly'

baby stretch marks
stellaaamarie/Instagram

"Motherhood changes everything." It's a sentiment we've all heard before, but until you're in the trenches of pregnancy, delivery, and everything that comes after, it's hard to understand the magnitude of those changes. Every mom can name a thing or 20 that she wishes she'd known before she had a baby. Now, one Miami mom is going viral for saying some of those things out loud and encouraging other new moms to do the same.

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Stella Gomez is mom to a 6-month-old and recently shared a moving Instagram photo of her post-baby stretch marks, after being inspired by another Instagrammer who encouraged her to speak her truth about being a new mom. In the photo, Gomez has a bare midriff and is lying beside her smiling baby daughter.

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"Pregnancy and birthing is a wonderful thing, and motherhood is simply the most rewarding," Gomez wrote in the photo's caption. "However, there is the other side of all this beauty that no one really talks about, and I'm not sure why."

I keep going back & forth on whether or not I should post this picture. It isn't the most flattering of photos, heck it isn't flattering at all. But there is more than meets the eye and this is more than just a photo. Pregnancy & Birthing truly is a wonderful thing and Motherhood is simply the most rewarding however there is the other side of all this beauty that no one really talks about and I am not sure why. There are SO many expectations as a (new) mom yet we barely take into consideration everything that a woman goes through from pregnancy to giving birth to becoming a Mother. Physical, mental and emotional. Yes, you'll still look pregnant right after giving birth - No, your old clothes won't fit right away and for some of us - Yes, we get these marks that are here to stay. But see, this is FAR more than just a photo and these marks go deeper than you think. This is about adjusting into a new role, it's about figuring out how to raise a child, how to do all these things you've never done before. This is about how to be a new Mom without crying every second that you can't figure out why your baby is crying. This for those bad days and breaking down. This is for trying, for dedicating, for working hard and for putting myself last just so I could put her first. This is for Motherhood - the good, the bad & the ugly. And I embrace it. All of it. Cause this too shall pass and the only way to go from here is up. When a baby is born, so is a Mother and with it is a lifetime of lessons. So to all the Moms out there going through their own struggles, whatever it may be, kudos to you for doing THE hardest job there is while still able to manage a smile just for your little ones. Here's to us! â�¨ð���ð��¶ð��»ð��¸ #thisissomerealshit #raw #uncensored #motherhood #birthing #pregnancy #postpartum #postpartumdepression #stayingstrong #love #babies #breastfeeding #normalizebreastfeeding #tigerstripes #shareyourstripes #proud (THANK YOU @alexandrabrea_ for the huge inspiration â�¤ï¸ï¿½)

A photo posted by Stella (@stellaaamarie) on

Gomez went on to reflect on the physical, mental, and emotional challenges presented by new motherhood. Becoming a mom changes more than just your body, she revealed, and we should feel comfortable sharing and commiserating over every struggle we face.

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"No, your old clothes won't fit right away, and for some of us, yes, we get these marks that are here to stay," Gomez wrote. "But, this is FAR more than just a photo and these marks go deeper than you think. This is about adjusting into a new role, it's about figuring out how to raise a child, how to do all these things you've never done before."

Continued Gomez, "When a baby is born, so is a mother, and with it is a lifetime of lessons. So, to all the moms out there going through their own struggles, whatever it may be, kudos to you for doing THE hardest job there is ... Here's to us!"

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There's a lot of pressure on moms, not just to get in shape or to be able to fit into their old jeans, but also to feel uniquely joyful and fulfilled every moment of the day. Kids are amazing, and moms are expected to revel in every giggle, gurgle, and hug. But, that's not the reality of new motherhood. Having a baby means losing sleep, not always knowing what to do when he or she is inconsolable, getting peed on, and struggling to figure out where you fit into this new life of thinking about someone else's needs 24 hours a day.

For every blissed-out baby photo and post about how #blessed we are, we should be able to confront and fully embrace the hard parts of being a mom too. Motherhood is full of highs and lows, but it's a hell of a lot easier to navigate the drops when moms like Gomez speak their truth and create space for each of us to do the same.

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