Ashley Graham has never avoided talking about the tough stuff like post-pregnancy body image and self-confidence. But her latest essay might be her most vulnerable yet, detailing both the birth of her twins and the pregnancy loss she experienced before having them.
In the essay for Glamour, titled After Giving Birth, I Had to Relearn How to Love My Body, Graham opened up about how she nearly lost her life after giving birth to twins Malachi and Roman back in January.
Graham’s labor was much shorter than she anticipated, noting that both boys were born in less than three and a half hours. Shortly after having Roman, who came two hours and seven minutes after Malachi, Graham turned to her midwife and said, “I don’t feel good. I think I need to lay down,” and blacked out.
“All I can remember is feeling a light touch on my cheek, which I found out later was actually somebody smacking the crap out of my cheek, someone holding my hand, my husband Justin in my ear, praying, and someone jabbing me with a needle in my arm. And I remember seeing darkness and what seemed like stars,” she wrote.
After some time she came to and saw what she would later learn was liters of blood lost all over the floor.
“I looked around and I saw everybody. They just kept saying to me, ‘You’re fine. You’re fine. You’re fine,’” she explained, noting that they didn’t want to alarm her when her body had already gone through a massive amount of stress.
“But even though they didn’t want to go into the details at that moment, I looked around the room, saw blood literally everywhere, and let out this deep, visceral cry—an emotional release from the chaos I had just experienced.”
The model was unable to leave her house for two months after she gave birth.
Graham also revealed that she experienced a miscarriage in February 2021.
“I’ve not shared this until now, but I fell pregnant in January of 2021, on my husband’s birthday. Because it was my second pregnancy, I started to show early, and we were so excited. But at the end of February, I had a miscarriage.”
Graham was devastated and became frustrated with how the world expects you to just move on. “I just remember breaking down more than a few times, just at random, and thinking, “How do women across the world do this? Because my story is no bigger than anyone else’s.”
And, like with everything she shares about body image and motherhood and marriage, Graham hopes that by penning this essay, she will be able to help others share their stories as well.
"I tell you all of this — in pretty unflinching detail — because I believe in the importance of honesty; in revealing things about myself that I hope will help others talk about what they too have been through," she said.