“I looked around the room, saw blood literally everywhere, and let out a deep, visceral scream.”
In a new essay for Glamour, Ashley Graham opened up about the complications she faced after giving birth to her twins.
For context, Ashley welcomed twins, Roman and Malachi, with husband Justin Ervin in January. The two also share two-year-old Isaac.
“The night I gave birth to the twins, I had a hemorrhage,” she began. “It was 2 a.m. when my contractions started. At 3:45 a.m. I went to the bathroom thinking I needed to go to the bathroom, and Malachi came out just as my doula arrived, in time to deliver him.”
Roman was born just over two hours later in his apartment bathtub, as there was no time to blow up the birthing tub. “At first we were all celebrating. We couldn’t believe that my labor lasted only three and a half hours, and I was incredibly grateful for this team of skilled, smart and knowledgeable professionals around me,” she continued.
“The next thing I knew, I looked at my midwife and said, ‘I don’t feel good. I think I need to lie down,’ and I passed out. All I can remember is feeling a light touch on my cheek, which I later discovered which was actually someone slapping my cheek, someone holding my hand, my husband Justin in my ear, praying, and someone poking me with a needle in my arm. And I remember seeing darkness and what looked like stars.”
When Ashley regained consciousness, she said everyone told her she was “fine.” However, she continued, “They didn’t want to tell me at the time that she had lost gallons of blood. just above the bone of my vagina to try to stop the bleeding. And they didn’t want to tell me that the vein in my arm kept collapsing and they couldn’t get the needle in for the oxytocin, so they had to put it in my hand.”
“But even though they didn’t want to go into detail at the time, I looked around the room, saw blood literally everywhere, and let out a deep, visceral scream: an emotional release from the chaos I had just experienced.”
After the birth, Ashley said she couldn’t sit up or crawl, so she had to roll up on a sheet and scoot down the hall to a trundle bed. “Thank God the twins were okay, as I lay in that bed for four days straight. I couldn’t walk for a week. And I didn’t leave my house for almost two months,” she recalled.
Ashley’s resulting postpartum experience led to a complicated relationship with her body. “The birth of Malachi and Roman was incredible, but the consequences were deeply overwhelming. I couldn’t walk properly for a long time, let alone exercise. I was shaking, I didn’t feel like myself physically or emotionally. I had planned to be back at work. after eight weeks, but I was devastated, and when I looked in the mirror, I still felt like I looked pregnant,” she said, noting her ability to take longer maternity leave than many in the US.
“Even now, if I’m being completely honest, I go in waves. I’m still not entirely comfortable with my body, regardless of my own advocacy of body positivity. There are days when I look at myself and say, ‘There’s nothing you can do. make”. you can’t drive. There is nothing you can’t do. Then I look at the stretch marks that still exist and will exist forever on my stomach, and I think, God, why did you have to climb above my belly button?
She concluded: “The truth is, this wasn’t easy for me. It was complicated. It was emotional. And it included me re-teaching myself the affirmations that I’ve taught so many, that I’m bold, I’m brilliant, I’m beautiful, and that we all are.” “.
You can read Ashley’s full essay here.