In February 2017, the world took a collective, but understanding sigh when Beyoncé backed out of Coachella on doctor’s orders. The singer had just put on an awe-inspiring performance at the 2017 Grammys, dressed like a goddess in gold cradling her pregnant belly as she sang. A few weeks later, Queen Bey’s fans learned that she would have to postpone her Coachella appearance and would instead be headlining in 2018. Now, thanks to Netflix, the Beyhive has an inside look at her pregnancy and performance struggles behind both her Coachella cancellation and her historic performance headlining at the 2018 music festival. In her new documentary released today, Beyoncé got candid about her pregnancy with the twins taking a toll on her body and how she balanced work with motherhood.
Homecoming, which premiered on Netflix on April 17, gives everyone a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like for the singer to balance her roles as a mother and a groundbreaking hip-hop artist. While she became the first black woman to headline Coachella with her 2018 performance — the festival that year was later rightfully nicknamed “Beychella”— Beyoncé reveals in the documentary that her simultaneous life as a mother to new twins was at odds with her routine as a singer and dancer.
Beyoncé had just given birth to Sir and Rumi Carter, who were born the year prior after what she says in the doc was an "unexpected" pregnancy, so returning to her physically demanding job was anything but easy.
"It's my first time back home on the stage after giving birth," she says in the documentary. "There were days that I thought I'd never be the same — I'd never be the same physically, my strength and endurance would never be the same."
Beyoncé says that successful choreography is not about technical details, but rather the success of a performance depends on the personality of the singer to bring it to life. She says in Homecoming, "And that's hard when you don't feel like yourself... I had to rebuild my body from cut muscles."
Not only that, as she shares in the documentary, but it also felt as if her mental state was disconnected from her body after her return:
In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms and internally my body was not connected. My mind wanted to be with my children.
Beyoncé recalls in Homecoming that after performing on stage she would immediately return to her trailer, where she would breastfeed her newborns, and she would also bring all three of her children along on her job on the days that she could.
It wasn’t just returning to her job that was difficult for the world-renown singer. In fact, Beyoncé even opens up in the documentary about the challenges she faced while giving birth.
"I had an extremely difficult pregnancy," the singer, who shared that she was 218 pounds the day she gave birth to her twins with JAY-Z, recalls in the documentary. "I had high blood pressure. I developed toxemia, preeclampsia, and in the womb one of my baby's heartbeat paused a few times so I had to get an emergency C-section."
Preeclampsia, formerly called toxemia, is a pregnancy complication marked by high blood pressure in women who were never previously diagnosed with the condition, according to the Mayor Clinic, and if not treated properly, the condition can lead to serious complications.
"My body went through more than I knew it could," Beyoncé admits in Homecoming of her pregnancy.
This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has been open about her pregnancy struggles. Last year, the famous pop-star published an essay in Vogue that touched on her life as a mother and the changes she experienced after giving birth.
As she recalled in her essay for Vogue, "I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month... We spent many weeks in the NICU. I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later. I needed time to heal, to recover."
Now, Beyoncé's scores of fans can marvel at the singer’s courage as she relates her own pregnancy story in her documentary, which is also paired with a live-album that she dropped on JAY-Z's streaming service, Tidal. While we already knew there’s nothing Queen B can’t do, her transformative experiences as a mother come to life with the newest inside look.