A new mum has revealed it took her 18 months to finally feel beautiful again after giving birth. Alexandra Kilmurray, from Florida, opened up about the "dark sides of motherhood and pregnancy" in a searingly honest Instagram post.
She shared a close-up photo of her stomach, showing her stretch marks, and wrote about the realities of being a mother. The mum-of-two admitted that it had been a "long and hard postpartum ride" but she finally feels comfortable in her own skin.
Posing with one of her babies, Alexandra wrote: "Well, I know a lot of you guys are probably thinking 'why would she post this picture', but, 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!
Alexandra admitted that it had been a "long and hard postpartum ride"
"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...
"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 concluded by sharing words of encouragement for women with postpartum depression. "Cheers to you mamas who are battling postpartum depression and still getting up every day 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," she wrote.
"I can finally see the light and it genuinely feels amazing," she revealed
Alexandra's post has pulled in more than 5,000 likes in a matter of days. She was praised for her courage and honesty, with women rallying around her to empathise.
One follower wrote: "You look beautiful... I admire your stretch marks. All I see is a powerful woman with a beautiful baby." Another commented: "Thank you thank you for this. After my second son, my belly got pretty much like this too. It's been 6 weeks and I still shed a few tears. I needed to read what you wrote and see you photo. Keep up the good work, mama."