When I found out I was pregnant with my second son, having a C-section never crossed my mind.
From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I planned to have a vaginal delivery and an epidural, as I did with my firstborn. For nine months, I tried to mentally prepare myself for the pain and recovery process that no one really warns you about. During my third trimester, I was diagnosed with a condition called ICP, a pregnancy-related illness that affects the liver and can be harmful or even deadly to the baby. Still, a C-section didn't cross my mind.
Earlier this year, Beyonce delivered the Carter twins Sir and Rumi via C-section. Her post-baby body makes a lot of women, including myself, envious. It's hard for new moms to snap back like that after just having one baby, much less twins. Her posts inspired me and I kept thinking to myself, Those are #goals. I can't wait to snapback. Plus, I didn't have issues snapping back after my firstborn, so I figured how hard could it be?
But, nearly two months and emergency C-section later, I'm learning how hard a C-section can be on the body. I've also noticed how much I've been comparing my body to Beyonce's. I see her well-toned body and then reality sets in -- I look down, I see my sagging tummy and the rolls on my back. After some research, I've started to realize that it's very unrealistic to compare my snapback to Queen Bey's.
Here are 4 truths about having a C-section that Beyonce's post-pregnancy photos don't tell you:
Don't Let Anyone Fool You, C-Sections is Major Surgery
Though the flawless Queen might make it look easy, recovery time can be 6-12 weeks post C-sections. Mind you, homegirl looked snatched a month after having Rumi and Sir. Moms are advised to not lift anything other than the baby, which is almost impossible. Though C-sections seem to be the norm, no one talks about the severity of them and the fact your major organs are shifted to get your baby out.
Pain is the Name of the Game During Recovery
The healing process takes time. I had an emergency induction which led to an emergency C-section. I had labored for 7 hours and when it came time to push, the baby's heartrate started dropping, so their main goal was to get him out as fast as possible. Therefore, the technique is a little different than a planned C-section.
While recovering, I realized how much we use our core muscles. I took for granted simple things like getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom, bending, and lifting. It was the most excruciating pain ever and I do not wish that on anyone. While healing, I Googled every pain I had to see if what I was experiencing was normal (because it didn't feel normal at the time). I quickly learned that some women start feeling like themselves right after their C-sections and some needed the entire recovery time to heal.
Snapback Season Doesn't Follow C-Sections (Well, Not For Most of Us)
Some people say that Beyonce had some type of surgery to snap back so quickly. Keep in mind, she was in shape prior to the twins and I'm sure she was exercising while pregnant. Everyone's body is different. On average, it takes 9 months to lose the baby weight and according to my doctor, 6-12 months. In all fairness, it took a full 9 months to put the weight on. My post-pregnancy weight was 140 and right before I had the baby, I was almost 170. I honestly don't know my exact weight because I stopped watching the scale. I probably gained 15 pounds with my first, so seeing the scale at 160 was a bit scary for me.
It takes time to get rid of that C-section pouch. Many women complain of not being able to get rid of it and some have been seen embracing their C-section scars. Beyonce has been seen rocking it all, from booty shorts to fitted dresses. It's okay if your body doesn't look as flattering in those same items. Learn what looks good on your postpartum body and wear what you feel good in. Also, don't hesitate to wear shapewear to help. I find myself staying away from pants completely because they still hurt my incision.
Listen if you recently had a C-section or a baby period, do everything in your power not to compare your body to Beyonce, or any other celebrity for that matter. Focus on healing and remember to be kind to your body and to enjoy your newborn.
Now every time I get an alert that Beyonce posted, I still check it out but try not to compare myself as much. I'm Yondel, not Beyonce and my story is different. She's still my girl though.
Yondel is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who resides in Windsor, CT. When she is not running behind her two young boys, she's empowering women through hair by slaying wigs for her clients or teaching aspiring hair business owners how to get started. Connect with Yondel on Twitter or Instagram @TheWigTeacher.