Ashley Graham is getting real about life as a new mom.
On Monday, Graham, who welcomed her first child — son Isaac Menelik Giovanni Ervin with husband Justin Ervin on Jan. 18 — shared an empowering photo of her postpartum body, explaining: “It’s been tough.”
“Raise your hand if you didn’t know you’d be changing your own diapers too,” Graham, 32, wrote alongside the shot, which shows her posing in a bathroom mirror, wearing a black top and grey disposable underwear.
“After all these years in fashion, I never could’ve guessed that disposable underwear would be my favorite piece of clothing but here we are!” Graham continued.
Graham went on to explain that her reason for sharing the candid photo was to show new moms that “it’s not all rainbows and butterflies!”
“No one talks about the recovery and healing (yes even the messy parts) new moms go through,” Graham wrote. “It’s been tough.”
“My friend Chelsea @cmrh and CEO at @fridamom is making waves and starting honest conversations. It’s unbelievable the obstacles we still face talking about what women really go through. All their stuff she sent me has been a life saver,” Graham added.
Graham’s candid post comes a few days after she revealed her son’s name for the first time during an episode of her Pretty Big Deal podcast alongside her husband.
The model said that she and her husband were inspired to choose Menelik — which means “son of the wise” — after taking a trip to Ethiopia last Christmas and learning that the country’s first emperor was named Menelik I.
“So everything in his name is pointing to legacy,” Ervin added, citing Isaac’s significance in the Bible. He also explained that Giovanni was suggested by a friend, and is a nod to both his and Graham’s grandfathers as well as the founder of a church where Ervin’s parents were “saved and baptized” — all named the English equivalent, John.
At one point, Graham teared up remembering the strength it took to deliver her son sans medication during his water birth at home.
“Seeing you with tears in your eyes and saying, ‘I can see his head’ gave me so much strength to just push him out, and I really needed that,” she told Ervin.
“Nothing prepares you for just how magical and intense giving birth is,” the new mom captioned a clip from the interview on Tuesday. “I’m so grateful that I was able to deliver naturally in my home with my husband by my side for all 6 hours of labor.”
“Holding my baby for the first time is a moment I’ll never forget,” she added. “Such a special moment in my life deserved a BIG announcement!”
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After the episode aired, Graham shared a serene snapshot to her Instagram feed of herself and Ervin gazing down at their baby boy.
Graham opened up in her caption about how much joy their baby boy’s birth has brought to her life, recalling, “I remember holding Isaac for the first time and telling Justin, ‘Now we’re family forever.’ “
“I have so many reasons to be grateful; all of the love and support from this amazing community, an incredible husband, and a beautiful baby who has opened my eyes to just how amazing this world really is,” she added.