When Instagram is filled with picture-perfect shots that make motherhood look all too easy, it's refreshing to stumble across the occasional real and raw post. The latest inspirational photo comes from Virginia mom Kari Horn, who decided to share the postpartum scars on her abdomen, symbols of what she calls, "the parts of motherhood they don't talk about much."
Horn, who has endometriosis and a retroverted uterus, was shocked when she found out she was pregnant because she thought it wouldn't be possible. Her birth story and postpartum recovery were undeniably challenging as she faced complication after complication.
A year and a half ago, when her water broke on the night of her due date, Horn, who was Group B strep positive, had an epidural because she went into shock and couldn't stop shaking or vomiting. The next afternoon, the baby had gone into distress and the mom delivered through emergency Cesarean section.
Then, about a year later, Horn noticed an uncomfortable bulge over her belly that made it hard to breathe or hold her son. Her complicated postpartum journey wasn't over yet. Turns out, she had three hernias and had to get them surgically repaired.
"Sometimes, despite what your dream of child birth is, you have to have an emergency C-section. Sometimes, no matter how much coconut and vitamin E oil you put on your pregnant belly, you still get all of the stretch marks. Sometimes, even when your baby is now a toddler, you find out that you have not one, but three umbilical hernias, and you have to get your abs and muscles cut into again. Then sometimes, you're allergic to the bandaging the doctor used and end up with burns and a rash all over your already sore tummy," Horn writes.
Now as she recovers from surgery, she's looking to bring more positivity into her life and to show other moms with pregnancy and birth scars that they're not alone. Horn decided to share the photo and her experience after seeing other women having done the same. "I thought maybe if I did it myself, it would help me through my slump, which it definitely did," she tells the Huffington Post.
Recently, a Missouri mom talked candidly on Instagram about how her postpartum body continues to remind her of the child she lost. More than a year ago, an Australian mom posted a Facebook picture of her in her nursing bra and underwear saying, "I may not be magazine-ready ... But I am strong. My body is healthy. Hell, I am badass as f---! Screw what society wants from me. This is what's on offer." Even celeb mom Chrissy Teigen has been known to share photos on Instagram and Snapchat of stretchmarks on her inner thighs in pure body confidence.
As for Horn, the message she wants to get across is this: "Mothers are the real MVPs. Don't hate on yourselves, ladies. You're beautiful, no matter how many scars you get."