This Is What The First 24-Hours Of Motherhood Is Really Like

A mere 24 hours after giving birth, Erica Andrews posted a photo of herself and her newborn baby to the Facebook page of baby wear company Sakura Bloom. The photo is a bare-bones, black-and-white mirror selfie. Andrews's baby lays in a sling against her chest as she gazes ahead, the epitome of a proud mother. While this image is arresting in its own right — it's already garnered over 129,000 likes — but Andrews's post that accompanied her photo is what really struck us.

"This is what 24 hours postpartum looks like. Baby in sling. Skin to skin. Adult diapers. And a rosy glow," Andrews writes in her inspiring ode to childbirth's physical effects. "Birth opens us like an earthquake opens the earth and I am still in the intimate, fragile throes of that opening. I feel raw."

The new mother beautifully explains the mental and emotional toll of giving birth, acknowledging the experience as a source of strength: "The emptiness in my womb brings a heavy feeling crashing into reality but then this new little life whimpers, searching for the breast with soft rooting, and I feel whole again."

Andrews writes with a refreshing honesty. She's elated with the birth of her child, but she makes the realities of new motherhood perfectly clear. It's not something to be taken lightly or sugarcoated — it's exhausting; it's hard work; it's life-altering. In Andrews's words, "This time is simply unlike any other."

Read her full post below.

"This is what 24 hours postpartum looks like. Baby in sling. Skin to skin. Adult diapers. And a rosy glow. My body feels...

Posted by Sakura Bloom on Tuesday, January 19, 2016
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