February 2020: Graham Shares Her Postpartum Stretch Marks One Month After Giving Birth To First Child
One month after giving birth to her first child, a son named Isaac, she shared a raw image of her post-baby body with her million of Instagram followers.
"Same me. Few new stories," she captioned the post, showing a very realistic photo of her stomach with stretch marks.
Graham is known to proudly share unedited images of her body, proving that stretch marks are beautiful and tell a story.
March 2020: Graham Shares An Intimate Photo Of Herself During Childbirth
Two months after the birth, the model shared a snap of herself in the throes of labour with her 18 million followers.
“This is the face of my greatest strength,” she captioned the post. “The greatest pain I’ve ever known and the greatest accomplishment I’ve ever achieved.”
"On this International Women's Day understand that despite whatever pain or trial we have all experienced as women, we are also strong, powerful and capable of accomplishing greatness."
Around the same time, Graham also opened up about the realities of motherhood, albiet, pumping breastmilk in the back of an Uber or changing Isaac's dirty nappy mid-shopping trip.
"Sh-t just got real!” she wrote, alongside a photo of herself cleaning up her newborn. “First diaper blow up while running errands with no restroom in sight! Thank God I remembered to put the changing mat in the diaper bag!!!”
August 2020: Graham Calls To Put An End To Mum-Shaming And Opens Up About Her Post-Baby Body
"First of all, I had no idea it was going to hurt that bad," she revealed when referring to her labour. "Let me just go there for a second: Every mother talks about, 'Oh yeah, it's painful'," she said.
"Whether they got an epidural or not, or a C-section, whatever happened, they're like, 'Yeah, it hurt.' And they say it kind of calmly like that. They don't go into the astronomical pain that you go through, especially if you choose to go natural. So there's that."
Always an open book when it comes to body positivity, her experience with pregnancy and her postpartum body has been nothing but inspiring. While she has openly spoken about physical changes with People, she spoke on the topic even more with Bell.
"When I look at my new stretch marks and the changes that my body went through, it reminds me that, as women, we're all superheroes. I'm always reminded that our bodies were built to do this," she told Bell.
"It's such a beautiful thing to be able to give birth, but I didn't realise it until afterwards. [...] Before I was even pregnant, that was always my hope for women in general, that they could learn to continue to love their bodies through the changes and the ups and downs," she said.
"And then, when I got pregnant, I had to reimagine my relationship with my body with this creature inside me taking over. I was gaining weight so rapidly. [...] At first, it felt devastating, and then when I met Isaac, I said, 'No, this is exactly what every woman has talked about for ages. This is not just a battle wound. This is something that has changed my life forever, and I'm going to celebrate my new body.'"
Graham went onto address how her parenting style has been questioned by others, but insisted on the importance of allowing new parents to find their own style with their children.
"Everybody has an opinion [on parenting], right? But I just kind of did what I wanted to do," Graham said. "Isaac is not sleep-trained, but he only wakes up maybe once or twice in the night, max. I feel 100 percent rested, so it's not like I'm living in agony [every day] like, 'He didn't sleep last night.' We're walking into month [seven], and he's screaming at the top of his lungs. He thinks it's so fun to be louder than Mom and Dad."
January 2021: Graham Says She's Learned That "Post-Birth Goal Weights Are BS" One Year After Baby
One year after her son was born, Graham continued to share an honest and open opinion about dealing with the never-ending demands of becoming a mother.
From post-baby body positivity to encouraging discussions to normalise breastfeeding, Graham added to her pregnancy dialogue by sharing a five-minute video to share her learnings.In a YouTube video, she discussed how since her baby was born, she sleeps a whole lot less but she can be happy anywhere in the world, just as long as she's with her baby. She, then, went onto explain her personal learnings, mainly her relationship with her body.
"Make sure you reach out to other mothers because we mommas have to have each other's backs," Graham said, while sharing a photo of herself making a heart shape with her hands over stretch marks on her stomach.
Graham then noted that she learned that her body is capable of "amazing, strong things like create a child", adding that "I don't need to achieve a post-partum goal weight, that's some BS."
February 2021: Graham Says "Snapping Back" After Pregnancy Is An "Unattainable Reality For Most Women"
Graham has no time for any person who pressures new mothers to "snap back" and get their bodies back to how they were pre-pregnancy.
In a February 2021 interview with E!, Graham shared that she's learned to embrace the postpartum process when it comes to her changing body.
"I think the postpartum snapback is really BS," she told the publication. "I think it's an unattainable reality for most women and it's been an unattainable reality for myself."
She also explained that when it comes to embracing herself, she uses repeated affirmations to keep a positive mindset about her body.
"For me, it's all about words and affirmation," she explained, adding, "I know that my words have so much power over my life and my future that I'm very careful with how I use them."
May 2021: Graham Revealed That Her "Whole Hairline Fell Out" Four Months After She Gave Birth
While Graham is incredibly open about her post-baby body, what she didn't realise would be the other postpartum surprises headed her way.
In a 2021 interview with Parents, the then-33-year-old shared that after the birth, she began dealing with a significant amount of hair loss in the months after giving birth to son Isaac in January 2020.
Around four months after giving birth to Isaac, Graham revealed that it was around this time that her "whole hairline fell out".
"And that was more traumatic than even birth because I was like, 'My hair's falling out in clumps—what am I doing?' and then I realised it's actually a thing," she explained, adding, "My skin got a bit irritated as well, and I had a little bit of rosacea that I had to combat," added Graham.
Despite the unwanted postpartum symptoms, Graham shared that she has never been more proud to be a mother to her baby boy.
"The rewards are daily," she told the publication. "Isaac brings us so much joy, just watching him grow and learn. And he's so inquisitive. And he's so curious. And he's a big adventurer."
"So, I have to say it's a daily joy being around him. It just makes me want to have more and more."
January 2022: Graham Announces That She Has Given Birth To Her Twin Sons
On January 7, Graham revealed that she and husband Justin Ervin welcomed their two twin sons, named Roman and Malachi.
“Justin and I are so excited to share that our baby boys are here,” Graham announced on her Instagram Stories, as per E! News.
“They were born early this morning at home and are happy and healthy,” she continued.
“I’m taking some time to heal up and connect with my husband and three boys, but I truly cannot wait to share more with you all. Much love, AG.”
May 2022: Graham Credits A "True Miracle" For Surviving Her Near-Death Birth Experience And Reveals She Suffered A Miscarriage
Recounting the near-death experience in the essay, she explained that after she gave birth to her twin sons, Roman and Malachi, she began to haemorrhage.
“The next thing you know, I looked at my midwife and I said, ‘I don’t feel good. I think I need to lay down,’ and then I blacked out,” she wrote.
“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 in my ear, praying, and someone jabbing me with a needle in my arm,” she recalled, adding, “And I remember seeing darkness and what seemed like stars”.
Once she woke up, Graham had lost a significant amount of blood, but was assured by the hospital staff that she was “fine”.
“They just kept saying to me, ‘You’re fine. You’re fine. You’re fine.’ They didn’t want to tell me, right then, that I’d lost litres of blood,” she said.
She continued, “They didn’t want to tell me that one of the midwives had to flip me over, press her finger down right above my vagina bone to try and stop the bleeding. And they didn’t want to tell me that the vein in my arm kept collapsing and they couldn’t get the needle in for the Pitocin, so they had to put it in my hand.”
“But 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—an emotional release from the chaos I had just experienced.”
After waking from the ordeal, Graham revealed that she was unable to “sit up or even crawl”, explaining that she was confined to her bed for four days straight and could not walk for one week.
“My midwives checked in on me every day. I think they thought I was going to be triggered by how severe the events had been, but I kept telling them, ‘You all saved me. God saved me. This is a true miracle’,” she wrote.
“Like so many women, what I went through with childbirth has reshaped my relationship with my body—and I say this knowing that I am the person who has been shouting from the rooftops to you all, ‘Love the skin you’re in.’ Yet for me, the births of all my three children threw a lot of that out the window.”
However, prior to her pregnancy with her twins, Graham revealed that she and her husband had to face the tragedy of a miscarriage.
“I’ve not shared this until now, but I fell pregnant in January of 2021, on my husband’s birthday. Because it was my second pregnancy, I started to show early, and we were so excited,” she shared. “But at the end of February, I had a miscarriage. It was devastating; it felt like one of the biggest losses I had ever had in my life to date.”
For Graham, the loss made her truly understand the stigma that surrounds miscarriage and how difficult the grief from the trauma is to navigate.
“And I understood, at that point, what so many other mothers have gone through. I had a child already, and looking at him was the only way to ease my pain, and yet the loss was so acute.”
Graham continued, “I cannot even fathom how heartbreaking it must be for women who have not yet had children, and for those who have been through miscarriages multiple times. And yet, the world expects us to move on and handle our grief with grace.”
“I just remember breaking down more than a few times, just at random, and thinking, ‘How do women across the world do this?’ Because my story is no bigger than anyone else’s.”
May 2022: Graham Reveals She Struggled With Embracing Her Physical Changes This Time Around
Aside from the emotional and physical trauma that her pregnancy and birthing experience saw her endure, the model also struggled to adjust to her physical changes.
“I couldn’t walk properly for a long time, let alone exercise,” she explained in the Glamour article, adding, “I would shake, I didn’t feel like myself physically or emotionally”.
“I had planned to be back at work after eight weeks, but I was a wreck, and when I saw myself in the mirror, I still felt like I looked pregnant,” she wrote.
And as a result, the changes to her lifestyle saw her confidence take a hit, and she explained that working in an industry that holds high expectations for mothers to bounce back left her feeling worse.
“I work in an industry that expects me to return to work in a body that has ‘snapped back’—a pressure that no woman, in any industry, deserves to feel,” she said.
“I have always fought against unfair and unrealistic standards, and yet, if I am being completely honest, here I was, expecting myself to snap back. And fast.”
So, to release herself from the pressure that society puts on women, she partnered with lingerie brand, Knix, to launch a campaign called, ‘Reveal Yourself’.
“I look at the stretch marks that still exist and will forever exist on my stomach, and I think, ‘God, why did you have to go up above my belly button? I’m a lingerie model, for God’s sake. This is not what lingerie models look like’,” she said.
“But then I remind myself, ‘Well, I’ve never been the norm of what a typical lingerie model looks like’.”
In the end, Graham wants the world to know that her experiences may have been traumatic and shaken her confidence, but she’s learning how to love herself again.
“I’m proud to share the story behind the images and the campaign that you see. The truth that this wasn’t easy for me. This was messy. This was emotional. And it included me reteaching myself the affirmations that I have taught many—that I am bold, I am brilliant, I am beautiful—and that we all are.”
June 2022: Graham Says She Feels Like Motherhood Is Similar To "Running A Marathon Everyday"
In an interview with The Cut, she opened up about her morning routine now that she's a mother of three children, and how she finds it difficult to find a work-life balance.