Sharing a photo of your stretch marks on social media? Definitely not something many of us would willingly volunteer to do.
That’s not the case for mum blogger Alexandra Kilmurray who not only posted a snap of her belly after two babies, but bravely decided to bare all about her battle with postnatal depression, too.
In an Instagram post that’s since gone viral, Alexandra frankly admits she is only now finally learning to accept who she is – and what she looks like – after becoming a mum.
“It took me 18 months to get here, 18 months to not cry when I look in the mirror, 18 months to finally feel beautiful in my own skin again!” wrote Alexandra.
“No one warns you about the dark sides of motherhood and pregnancy. No one gives you a heads up on how much you change physically and mentally after you become a mother. It's been a long and hard postpartum ride for me.”
Alexandra, who also shares her story on her Mother By Nature blog, suffered from postnatal depression following the birth of her son Bryan in 2015.
She was still struggling with motherhood when she fell pregnant with her second son Anthony, suffering guilt at the thought of neglecting Bryan.
Things worsened when Anthony was born septic.
“This is when my guilt got almost unbearable. I was having to stay at the hospital to nurse Ant, while my husband Bryan and baby Bry were at home going about their normal lives,” Alexandra wrote on her blog.
“I felt so terrible, so guilty that I could barely bare to see Baby Bry. I wanted so bad to just go home with him and to go about our normal daily routine… and that’s when my postpartum depression started for the second time.”
“I cannot describe the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when we brought Ant home, and I realised that these babies were my responsibility. I was honestly lost, lost in my own home, lost in my own brain, lost in my own body.”
As the months passed, Alexandra became more comfortable and confident and she realised she could handle being a mother – and a good one at that.
“18 months after my first son and 5 months after my second son I feel like I can finally see the light and it genuinely feels amazing,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Cheers to you mamas who are battling postpartum depression and still getting up everyday for your children! Cheers to you mamas who still cry about the marks on your skin from birthing your perfect babies! Cheer to motherhood, cheers to knowing that this too shall pass! And things will get better.”