Ashley Graham remembers the day she gave birth to twin boys like it was yesterday.
On Jan. 7 at 2 a.m., the supermodel started to feel contractions. Three and a half hours later, Graham became the mom to Malachi Ervin and Roman Ervin. For some mothers, the speedy delivery may sound like a dream. But now, in a personal essay for Glamour, she recalled just how scary the process was.
Moments of celebration quickly turned into fear when Graham started not to fell well and blacked out. She later learned that she had a severe hemorrhage.
"All I can remember is feeling a light touch on my cheek, which I found out later was actually somebody smacking the crap out of my cheek, someone holding my hand, my husband Justin [Ervin] in my ear, praying and someone jabbing me with a needle in my arm," she wrote on May 20. "And I remember seeing darkness and what seemed like stars."
When Graham woke up, her midwife and team of professionals tried to keep her calm by saying she was fine. However, Graham knew something was wrong.
"Even though they didn't want to go into the details at that moment, I looked around the room, saw blood literally everywhere, and let out this deep, visceral cry," she said. "An emotional release from the chaos I had just experienced."
By sharing her story, Ashley hopes to remind other parents that they are not alone and you can't prepare for everything. And while many may look to the 34-year-old for positivity, Graham is the first to say not every day is a perfect day.
"I am still not entirely comfortable in my body, no matter my own body positivity advocacy," she said. "Day by day it goes back and forth. I tell myself that I am a warrior for carrying and birthing my babies, for surviving the hemorrhage, for being a mother to my three boys and yet also still struggling with the transformation of my body."
But after launching an intimates collection with Knix on May 19, Graham is proud to be part of something made for real women who are willing to feel their true selves.
"I want to continue to create spaces for women to feel fearless and beautiful and vulnerable," she said, "all at the same time."