Before giving birth to her baby girl, Ruth Lee thought she pretty much knew what to expect.
However, four months after Presley's delivery, this Utah mom is dealing with not only the physical, but also the emotional scars that are still healing from her baby's traumatic birth. "I took the best prenatals, went to the gym, used every kind of stretch mark prevention you could think of. I took hours of birthing classes, read every book under the sun, and studied natural childbirth my whole pregnancy," Ruth shared on Instagram. "I STILL ended up with a traumatic labor, Cesarean section, scars, stretch marks, and unfortunately the inability to breastfeed long term."
Like many new moms, Ruth was comparing herself to others on social media before her baby was even born which only added to the pressure she felt for how her body should recover after giving birth. "I followed SO many pregnant models during my pregnancy," she wrote. "And when they photographed themselves pool-side five minutes postpartum, I thought, 'Wow! I hope that happens to me!'"
Not only did Ruth's body not heal as quickly as she had hoped, but it left her feeling disgusted. She was also struggling with postpartum depression. "I took this picture a few days after I gave birth, when my PPD really first reared its head into my life," she wrote. "I took this and actually was horrified. I couldn't believe it was me."
But instead of feeling ashamed and deleting this raw photo, Ruth made the brave move to post it on social media for all to see and hopefully learn from:
I'm sharing it because I know in my heart that there are people out there that struggle with inadequacy.
That might think they are not beautiful, that they might be ruined, less worthy, or not good enough. Yours might not actually be physical scars, but maybe, a failed relationship, a difficulty in your career, a mental struggle, money issues, or just feeling lost in life.
Be kind to yourself. And know that you are not alone. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don't let social media taint your view of what is beautiful, what is REAL. And above all, know that if you are struggling, I am here.