A mom of four’s honest post about her postpartum body ― “crepe-paper skin” and all ― is encouraging others to embrace the changes their bodies went through after having kids.
On June 7, Janene Crossley, the blogger behind Hello Ivory Rose, posted a photo on Instagram that shows her and her three daughters. She and her now 4-month-old baby girl are wearing cloth that read, “Strong is the new pretty,” while her other daughters grab her visible stomach.
“When your 5-year-old sees your post-partum stomach and gives it a big ol’ tummy twister while laughing hysterically and hollering, ‘IT FEELS LIKE BUBBLE GUM!!!,’ you post that ridiculous, unflattering open-mouth pic instead of the ‘prettier’ one,” she wrote.
Crossley explained her journey to motherhood in the caption and shared how her body has changed after carrying four children, including a set of twins: a boy and a girl.
“This belly of mine will forever share my story,” she wrote. “It’s a novel that pleaded and prayed to house my babies. The fresh, crepe-paper skin means that tiny Avery is nestled in my arm instead of on the inside. My sore chest means that I’m still single-handedly growing this baby. What a straight up miracle this is.”
In a little over a month, the Instagram post has been liked more than 79,000 times. Crossley told HuffPost she shared her postpartum body with the world because she wanted her followers from her blog to see what many magazines and TV shows don’t portray when it comes to pregnant women and mothers.
“I shared so much of my journey through pregnancy, so I also wanted them to see what happened to that same belly after giving birth ― after already birthing multiple children, including full-term twins,” she said. “We don’t see enough of that plastered on the cover of magazines. What we do see is a lot of advertisement to repair the damage from birthing our babies.”
Crossley told HuffPost that after her “rough” full-term pregnancy with her twins, she worried six months postpartum that her body would never get back to “normal.” But now, after three pregnancies, she embraces her “jelly abs and shriveled up skin.”
“This body gave me motherhood,” she told HuffPost. “Now I feel pride, encouragement and gratitude for my changed body.”
When asked whether she had advice for other moms who dislike their postpartum bodies, Crossley encouraged them to “be patient” because their confidence will grow.
“Your body is absolutely perfect and amazing because it created and grew your precious little one,” she said. “Refuse to bully the body that made you a mom.”
Read more about Crossley’s photo with her daughters on her blog.