In a new interview with Elle Magazine, Ashley Graham talks about the pain of giving birth and the gift of having a baby right before quarantine
In a new interview for Elle magazine’s Friends and Family issue, model and mom Ashley Graham opened up about all things childbirth, motherhood, quarantine, and of course, body image. The interview was conducted by her friend and fellow famous momma Kristen Bell, and boy did Graham have a lot to say — especially about how much of a shock the pain of childbirth was for her.
Bell asked Graham if giving birth was what she expected and in her usual very upfront fashion, the model replied, “Hell, no.”
“First of all, I had no idea it was going to hurt that bad,” Graham shares. “Let me just go there for a second: Every mother talks about, ‘Oh yeah, it’s painful.’ Whether they got an epidural or not, or a C-section, whatever happened, they’re like, ‘Yeah, it hurt.’ And they say it kind of calmly like that.”
It seems Graham feels that most moms clam up when it comes to how badly it really hurts. “They don’t go into the astronomical pain that you go through, especially if you choose to go natural. So there’s that,” she explains.
As far as giving birth mere weeks before the whole country went on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Graham is looking at things through a positive lens. “The silver lining in all this is that I gave birth just before quarantine, so I’ve been able to watch Isaac grow up before my eyes,” she gushes. “Experiencing every single moment with him has been a dream come true. I feel really bad for the next kid, because I don’t know if they’re going to get this much attention.”
Graham also tells Bell that the changes to her body after having her first child are ones she feels proud of. “When I look at my new stretch marks and the changes that my body went through, it reminds me that, as women, we’re all superheroes,” she shares. “I’m always reminded that our bodies were built to do this. It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to give birth, but I didn’t realize it until afterward.”
Graham explains the process of growing to love and accept the changes brought on by giving birth. “Before I was even pregnant, that was always my hope for women in general, that they could learn to continue to love their bodies through the changes and the ups and downs,” she says. “And then, when I got pregnant, I had to reimagine my relationship with my body with this creature inside me taking over. I was gaining weight so rapidly. Then, to get stretch marks on my stomach, that to me was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I can’t believe this happened.'”
But once she met her little guy, it all made sense. “At first it felt devastating, and then when I met Isaac, I said, ‘No, this is exactly what every woman has talked about for ages. This is not just a battle wound. This is something that has changed my life forever, and I’m going to celebrate my new body.'” she says.
Just last week she happily showed off her post-birth figure in a series of bikini photos this 11-years-postpartum momma is very envious of.
TL;DR — we bow down to Graham’s frank attitude when it comes to all things motherhood and body positivity. Please keep the realness coming.