Hunter McGrady gets candid about 45-hour labor, learning ‘to love this new body’: ‘Leaky breasts, bloody diapers, new stretch marks, gummy tummy and all’

·4 min read

Hunter McGrady is getting candid about her birth and postpartum experience just 12 days after having her baby boy, sharing that she's learning to love her "new body."

The model, designer and activist first opened up about her 45 hours in labor on an episode of her podcast Model Citizen, where she discussed, with her sister and co-host Mikayla, the many moments she hadn't anticipated. 

"I was to be induced at 37 weeks. So basically what I had thought going into induction was this …so naive. I was like, ok cool I’m getting induced June 24th, my husband and I are gonna go in, they’re gonna do a little thing, the next morning they’re gonna do another little thing and then the baby’s gonna come out in a couple of hours. Bada bing bada boom, we’ll be home this weekend," McGrady recalled. "Not at all. And I want to talk about this because people don’t talk about this ever and then they’re like, 'Why is this taking so long?'"

Hunter McGrady gets candid about her postpartum body. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
Hunter McGrady is getting candid about her postpartum body. (Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

McGrady later clarified that she was in the hospital from June 24th until the evening of the 27th — two whole days of which were spent in labor. One of the worst parts of her experience was the insertion of the foley bulbs (tools used to induce labor) that were used for her induction.

"I did not have my epidural yet and I wish I had. My husband has scarring on his hands because I was literally clawing his hand so hard," she said, adding that "thousands" of women messaged her on Instagram to say that the balloons placed inside and outside of the cervix were "worse than the labor" itself. 

Still, the epidural caused further issues for McGrady, who discovered that she was allergic to fentanyl — an ingredient of the epidural — which caused her to experience unbearable back pains. When she was finally able to begin pushing, it all seemed worth it.

"I know some moms don’t have that moment of, 'Oh I love this baby' right away, and I think that’s totally fine. But I felt so protective," she said. "Right away, I was like oh my god I would give my life for him. Then they took him away and I was watching him like a hawk."

McGrady made the announcement of her birth on Instagram, sharing a photo of her baby, named Hudson Tynan Keys — after the Hudson River, where she and husband Brian Keys shared their second date, and her late brother Tynan, who passed away in May. "The healing we desperately needed," she wrote in the caption. "I can’t wait to tell him how special his middle name is."

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McGrady has since shared candid moments of her life as a new mom on her Instagram, most recently posting a photo of her body 12 days postpartum.

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"I'm just a girl, standing in front of a mirror, 12 days postpartum, with breast milk stains, and depends diapers, pure exhaustion, asking herself to learn to love this new body," she wrote. "To give herself grace, to feel the gummy-ness of her new tummy, and the loose skin and remembering that this body not only created life, but house it for 9 months, went 45 hours into labor, and is now feeding it daily all with one vessel. I feel so grateful for this body today. Leaky breasts, bloody diapers (on my end) new stretch marks, gummy tummy and all."

Followers and friends immediately shared an outpouring of support and thanks for McGrady and her empowering message.

"Wow new mom looks great on you," one wrote. "Everything about this is beautiful!" said another.

Super model Paulina Porizkova added, "It’s a miraculous body." 

And while McGrady is still learning to accept herself and her new role, she shared a piece of advice for other moms out there: "If you have any qualms about wearing a diaper, don’t. Because get them, stock up, wear that shit because down there is just a downstairs mix up," she said in her podcast, adding, "I can't wait to have another one too."

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