Jenny Mollen's C-Section Selfie Is A Callout To Any Mom Who Has Experienced "Post-Op Chic"
Actress, author, and all-around hilarious human Jenny Mollen welcomed her second child with husband Jason Biggs on Monday, but she's obviously not up for sugar-coating the decidedly unglamorous reality post-childbirth recovery. Only a few days after delivering her second son, Lazlo Biggs, at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital, Jenny Mollen shared a "post-op chic" C-section selfie on Instagram according to People — and it will look painfully relatable to anyone who knows what a C-section delivery is really like (right down the to massive abdominal bandage and the hospital-issued woven undies).
In the pic, Mollen is standing in front of her bathroom mirror wearing a black bra and white shorts — hospital bracelets still attached to her wrists — and looking about as happy as you'd expect for someone who has just had a child surgically removed from her abdomen. It's a pretty far cry from her last mirror selfie, where she proudly posed almost entirely naked at 39 weeks gestation. But given Mollen's awesome penchant for oversharing, it's also pretty much the best post-birth celeb selfie ever: no inspirational caption about body acceptance or a "childbirth is a beautiful miracle" manifesto, just a straight-up photo depicting the misery of C-section recovery that we all know exists, yet that we rarely actually share with the world.
But Mollen's Instagram also makes another reality totally clear: as brutal as it honestly is to exist in the world after a C-section, it doesn't make adding another little member to your family any less incredible. In a series of posts from the hospital, Mollen shared a photo of the couple posing with the doctor prior to heading off for surgery, and later shared two beautiful photos of them holding their new baby boy shortly after his birth:
The new mom-of-two also shared a sweet family snap of Biggs with their two sons — their first child, Sid, is 3 years old — with both boys wearing matching heart sunglasses:
Honestly, even with Mollen's general IDGAF attitude toward social media, it can't really be all that easy to put it all out there right after giving birth. But as a fellow C-section mama myself, Mollen's selfie makes me love her even more than I already did. Because as much as I knew that I wasn't supposed to look even remotely glamorous or polished after giving birth, I wasn't quite prepared with how much of a hot mess I actually was.
Add in the giant bandage covering my incision — not to mention the are-you-actually-kidding-me-right-now blinding pain — the days following my delivery were way more rough than I ever imagined. And even though Mollen still looks approximately a billion times better than I actually did at that point, it feels super validating to know that what I went through was totally normal.
It's far from being the first time though that Mollen has opened up about some of the lesser-discussed aspects of pregnancy and motherhood. In September, Mollen revealed her struggle with prenatal depression, a form of depression that affects women during pregnancy. In an Instagram story, Mollen spoke about "anticipating [the] major emotional dive" that often occurs after childbirth, according to Refinery29, and called having a baby "the scariest f*cking thing that could happen to a woman."
In a follow-up Instagram Story, Mollen reassured her followers that she was OK, and that the misconception that pregnant women are supposed to be constantly overjoyed is the reason why she opened up about it in the first place. Mollen said, "This is normal — that's what I'm trying to say. It's not weird... I would be more freaked out if I weren't freaking out."
According to American Pregnancy, it's estimated that between 14 to 23 percent of pregnant women experience depressive symptoms, and, of course, feeling sad or afraid or ambivalent during pregnancy isn't necessarily cause for alarm (it is a big life transition, and the fluctuating hormones definitely don't help). But since untreated depression can have a significant effect on the well-being of women and their babies, it's important that any pregnant woman feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety discuss it with her doctor.
Jenny Mollen's Instagram feed might not exactly be the place to go if you're looking for a picture-perfect social media depiction of pregnancy and motherhood – but hey, who do those images really help, anyway? Anyone who has ever struggled with postpartum recovery though (or just generally anyone who's ever been a pregnant person) will likely relate to her honest and often-hilarious photos. And as someone who definitely did not have an Insta-perfect delivery, I, for one, am totally grateful.
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