The Whole Story :: An Instagram Exposé

Scrolling through my Instagram feed is something I do almost daily, and I find myself believing that I know so much about a person because of what they post. And usually my perception is that everyone has a perfect life full of delicious food, exotic vacations, daytime strolls down the most picturesque city streets, and sweet little children who are always happy and obedient. But let’s be real; that’s hardly the case.

The truth, that I’m constantly reminding myself of because I’m the worst about “Mom-parison” {comparing your “success” in motherhood to other moms} is that Instagram is just a highlight reel of our best and most beautiful moments.

So, to prove my honesty and integrity in this community of Moms, I felt that I should give you the whole story.

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The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

I posted this, in celebration of my nephew’s first birthday. As happy as I look in the photo, I remember this day being hard for me. What you didn’t know by looking at my Instagram feed was that I had just experienced a miscarriage in November after finding out I was pregnant for the first time. I was muddling through, trying to process so many emotions, and trying to be happy for other women with their babies–even in my family. My sister-in-law {the mother of that little cutie} had found out she was pregnant with their second baby just before my nephew turned one, and I was having a hard time dealing with the news I wanted so badly to be excited for. But, little did I know at the time, I was pregnant with the little girl who made me a mommy the very day I took and posted this picture.

 

The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

My house was clean, it was peony season, and the light was coming in so beautifully when I snapped this picture. I remember thinking how I would pin a picture like this on Pinterest and was so thrilled that it was in my house! When I posted the picture days later, I promise you that those peonies were probably almost dead and there were bills and junk mail covering my table. I was more stressed, more tired, and farther out of my element than I had ever been. We’d just announced that we were pregnant; I was about 13 weeks along and had been throwing up daily for the past 3 months, oftentimes into a Ziplock freezer bag in my car while driving to work on I-10 {let’s hear it for the ability to multi-task, ladies!}… for the most part, my life was not very glamorous at the time. Despite how great the lighting was in my dining room this particular day. Even in perfect natural lighting, you could still see the dark circles forming under my eyes. And possibly the vomit in my hair.

The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

Cute little baby bump, perfect coloring and lighting, my nails were painted and I was wearing one of my favorite maternity outfits. But, there’s a couple of hidden truths behind this photo that you don’t know just from looking at it. First, this bump was long awaited for me. Up until this point in my pregnancy, I just felt pudgy and nothing like those cute little pregnant ladies I compared myself to on a daily basis. I was finally at the “cute pregnant” stage {which is so so very fleeting, isn’t it?}. Secondly, there wasn’t a single day during my pregnancy with my daughter that I didn’t have an underlying fear that I’d lose her because of our previous miscarriage. Underneath the #thankful #blessed was #terrified. It was the most humbling journey I’ve ever been on. And a whole new level of humbling when the waddling began. #humility

The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

{Disclaimer :: Sorry, Houston, you know I love you. But I married a Cowboys fan! We celebrate diversity in this city though, right?! Don’t worry, I love me some J.J. Watt.}

Our daughter, Emmy Faye, was 9 days old in this picture. I was so excited for the obligatory “First Thanksgiving as a family of three!” post, that I used this picture even though I hated it. I filtered the heck out of this sucker and I still hated it. I saw post-baby weight, my puffy face, and baggy eyes, and I just knew that everyone else would see it too. Every time this post got a “like,” I imagined the person double-tapping was thinking, “yikes, she looks like she just had a baby.” Oh, well. You can’t win ’em all, right? But the Cowboys did win this game, by the way.

The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

My husband, J, got to stay home with me and the little bear cub for 2 weeks after E was born. I, however, took about 3 months of maternity leave, and this was the first day I’d be home alone with our newborn. Anxiety levels were high when this was posted. I was sad that the short era of an overlapping maternity & paternity leave had come to an end. And there was also a part of me that was jealous of my husband for getting back to some sort of “normal” routine. I’m a full-time working mama, and this was the beginning of the constant struggle of wanting to work and wanting to stay home all at once.

The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

This was my 27th birthday, and my sweet husband handmade this little banner to greet me in the morning. What isn’t mentioned here is that I went back to work after my maternity leave just the day before. I was so confused about what I wanted and how I felt about everything. I had been so ready to get back to “normal” life, but nothing was going to be the way it was before. I was now a full-time-working, breast-feeding mom and the amount of responsibility that had been put on my plate now was…. well, let’s make it a platter, actually. I was looking at year 27 with the stink-eye.

The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

You know when you have a to-do list that’s, like, the distance from Katy to Baytown and you do one thing off that list and make the check mark a bold red “I DID IT!”…? This post was kind of like that moment. This was probably the one good thing I did for my body in a while. AND, it was not even on purpose. We just didn’t have much “easy” food in the house, and I didn’t want to cook, so this was lunch that Saturday afternoon. Needless to say, I was not full.

The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

I had just gotten home from work and it was such a beautiful day. I got E out of the car and put my nature-loving girl straight down in the grass on our front yard to play with the fallen leaves. Just a week and a half before this, I’d found out that we were pregnant again–due on the 4th of July, and I was thinking about beautiful days like this in the future when there’d be two littles to photograph. I was thinking about what kind of mom of “2 under 2” I’d be, if I’d be able to work or if I’d need to stay home, and whether or not I’d ever, ever, ever have energy again.

The Whole Story:: An Instagram Exposé | Houston Moms Blog

Our “Merry Christmas” post. So cheerful. So colorful. So bright. And behind the lens, I was hurting so deeply. Just a week before this picture was taken, we’d gone in for our 12-week check-up to find that there was no longer a heartbeat in the child we’d hoped would complete our family earthside. I had my second D&C, cried rivers of tears, and was hoping that all the Christmas cheer would keep me from sinking into the deep, dark, pit of grief I felt like I was drowning in. It would be just a few days later that I would publish a heartrendingly honest post about our loss and the slow healing would begin again.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .

And now you know a truer version of my story and, maybe, it gives you a new and different perspective of motherhood from where I’m standing. Sure, I’ll swoon over a great photograph, and, from time to time, my intention is just to share something lovely. But I do try my very best to be an open book, and I find that it is so important in a community of moms. We are all coming from different places, we have been through different things, and some of us have been through the same things {like, did you know that roughly 1 in 4 women will miscarry in their lifetime?}, but we’re all just doing our best to raise the next generation of humans. Let’s journey together.


Tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey through motherhood in the comments!

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2 Responses to The Whole Story :: An Instagram Exposé

  1. Ana April 13, 2018 at 1:25 pm #

    You’r such a good writer. Love you honey.

  2. Katherine April 18, 2018 at 7:38 pm #

    Thank you so much for this honest, refreshing post. I just came back from a “social media cleanse” and it’s so important to remember how imperfect our lives are, and that we have no idea what goes on behind the lens. I am also guilty of just posting my highlight reel. I struggled with infertility for 2 years before having my miracle IVF baby and no one had any idea what we were going through. So glad you completed your family!

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