Having a baby has a way of turning your life upside down. And yet, after 40 weeks of gestating and giving birth to a tiny human, society expects moms to be in a constant state of bliss. It's kind of messed up, if you think about it. Unfortunately, the majority of new mothers don't talk frankly about those rough first months. Well, Bekah Martinez got real about her postpartum struggles as baby Ruth turned 6 weeks old. And it's so relatable.
As People reported, Martinez and her boyfriend Grayston Leonard welcomed their first child in January. They decided to name their baby girl Ruth Ray De La Luz Leonard — or "Ruthie Ray" for short — according to Us Weekly. The former Bachelor star has kept her Instagram followers updated about her journey on a fairly regular basis since then. And she's made it a point to keep things refreshingly real. But recently, the new mom took got even more honest about how trying this time has been for her.
On Saturday, March 16, Martinez shared a photo of her daughter, along with a powerful message. "In many cultures, 6 weeks or 40 days marks the end of the sacred postpartum window," she wrote. "Most of what you’ve seen from me post-birth has been makeup’d and fairly curated content despite my weak efforts to show the 'real' me."
Martinez went on to acknowledge that the first few weeks caring for her newborn daughter were "hard and scary." The new mom also confessed that she cried to her partner, saying, "I'd do the birth all over again if I could skip past this part." (Which is definitely something not a lot of moms would admit, even if they do feel that way.)
"The sleep deprivation is brutal; the hormonal swings make you feel like you’re losing your mind, Martinez wrote. "I felt ugly and dirty most of the time. The most difficult part was not feeling like 'me.' I am naturally social and outgoing. The first night we attempted to go out to dinner for my birthday, I nearly cried in the restaurant because I was overwhelmed by the strangers and leaving the house."
So this is my message to you, dear mamas— protect yourself and be gentle to yourself in that sacred window. Do NOT look to instagram moms (or anyone else for that matter) as a model for you “should” feel.
Martinez shared that she didn't permit any visitors in her home for the first two weeks postpartum, aside from close family members — and that it's normal to have a desire for seclusion with your newborn. She ended her thoughts on what many refer to as the "fourth trimester" with some upbeat words of advice for her followers.
Go at YOUR own pace. Do what feels good. It’s all about you and baby. Nourish yourself and stay in bed all day if you can. You’re healing. Ask for all the help you need. The chores and visitors and emails can wait till later. ❤️ You are not alone in this experience!
My fourth child is 9 weeks old — so the first couple of months postpartum are still incredibly fresh in my mind. And I can confirm that Bekah's advice is spot-on. Except, it took me four kids to figure out that it's normal to feel not like yourself immediately after having a baby. That it's okay to give yourself permission to take it easy, hang out at home more than usual, and to say "no" to a ton of visitors. Eventually, you will feel like yourself again. It just take time — and everyone's journey is different.