This Is 'What 24 Hours Postpartum Looks Like': Mom's Beautiful, Raw Selfie Goes Viral


Erica Andrews just gave birth to her fifth and last baby. She decided to mark this bittersweet occasion by posting a selfie to her Instagram account with her 13-day-old son, Silas Ambrose.

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How amazingly beautiful is this shot?

This is what 24 hours postpartum looks like. Baby in sling. Skin to skin. Adult diapers. And a rosy glow. My body feels like it ran a marathon and my heart is wide open from yesterday's travels. Birth opens us like an earthquake opens the earth and I am still in the intimate, fragile throes of that opening. I feel raw. Emotional. Different. I feel like I'm on the undulating surface of the rippling ocean being tossed back and forth between happiness, gratitude, melancholy, and grief. 23 hours ago I held life within and 24 hours ago I surged and transformed allowing life to flow through me, into my waiting hands. The emptiness in my womb brings a heavy feeling crashing into reality but then this new little life whimpers, searching for the breast with soft rooting, and I feel whole again. I am still processing the beautiful transition my whole family has traveled through and I am in complete awe of our strength as humans, women, and mothers. This time is simply unlike any other. #fourthtrimester

A photo posted by Erica (@laughing.moon) on

Birth opens us like an earthquake opens the earth and I am still in the intimate, fragile throes of that opening.

I feel weepy just reading that. I'm sure some people would view a photo like this as brave and honest but I think the reason Andrews's photo resonates so powerfully is because every mom sees herself in it. Even if we didn't snap a postpartum selfie. All of it looks so familiar: the mesh underwear, the cluttered bathroom. It's gorgeous and real.

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Speaking about her viral postpartum selfie to Today Parents, Andrews said: 

We need time to process that big changes, to move through the sheer happiness, the unexpected grief, the feeling of your heart being stretched bigger than it ever has been.

And maybe to take a moment and really see what we look like, stretched bigger than we have ever been, heart and all.

 

Image via laughing.moon/Instagram

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