‘I looked around the room and saw blood everywhere’: Ashley Graham reveals she almost DIED during home birth of her twin sons after suffering a hemorrhage – as she shares heartache over secret miscarriage in 2021
- Graham, 34, welcomed twin boys, named Roman and Malachi, with her husband, Justin Ervin, 35, back in January, but hemorrhaged minutes after giving birth
- She revealed that she thought she had to use the bathroom when she suddenly went into labor on the toilet
- According to the model, after successfully delivering the babies at home, she suddenly began bleeding profusely and lost consciousness
- She said she lost ‘liters of blood’ and almost died in the process. The horrifying incident left her bed ridden for four days and unable to walk for a week
- She added that the aftermath of nearly losing her life was ‘deeply overwhelming,’ and that it changed her relationship with her body
- Graham said she was a ‘wreck’ after recovering from the incident, and that she ‘didn’t feel like herself physically or emotionally’
Ashley Graham has revealed that she almost died from a horrific hemorrhage while giving birth to her twin sons in January – as she opened up about suffering a devastating first-trimester miscarriage just 11 months before their arrival.
Graham, 34, welcomed twin boys, named Roman and Malachi, with her husband, Justin Ervin, 35, at the start of the year – but she has now candidly revealed in an incredibly candid essay for Glamour that their birth was anything but simple or easy.
Recalling the night of their birth, the model explained that she delivered both boys safely at home – having gone into labor while on the toilet at 3:45 a.m. But shortly after the twins arrived, she suddenly began bleeding and quickly lost consciousness, forcing her birthing team to spring to action in a desperate attempt to save her life.
The horrifying incident left her bed ridden for four days and unable to walk for a week.
She added that the aftermath of nearly losing her life was ‘deeply overwhelming,’ and that the whole experience changed her relationship with her body once and for all, stripping her of the confidence and positivity that launched her career as the world’s first plus-size supermodel.
Ashley Graham said she ‘hemorrhaged’ after giving birth to her twin sons in January, revealing that she lost ‘liters of blood’ and almost died in the process. She is pictured with the babies
Bundles of joy: Graham, 34, welcomed twin boys, named Roman and Malachi, with her husband, Justin Ervin, 35, back in January. They are pictured together in November
Terrifying: But according to the model, after successfully delivering the babies at home, she suddenly began bleeding profusely and lost consciousness. She is pictured with her twins
She added that the aftermath of nearly losing her life was ‘deeply overwhelming,’ and that the whole experience changed her relationship with her body. She is pictured after giving birth
‘The night I gave birth to the twins, I hemorrhaged,’ she recalled.
‘It was 2 a.m. when my contractions started. At 3:45 a.m. I went to the toilet thinking I needed the bathroom, and Malachi came out just as my doula was arriving, in time to bring him into the world.’
Roman was born two hours and seven minutes later, and at first, Graham said she and her husband – who also share son Isaac, two – as well as her ‘skilled’ and ‘intelligent’ team of doctors ‘were all celebrating.’
‘We couldn’t believe that my labor lasted just three and a half hours, and I was feeling so incredibly grateful to this team of skilled, intelligent and trained professionals around me, who were there for me when I had Isaac, and were now with me again for the twins,’ she gushed.
However, their excitement soon turned to fear, when Graham suddenly collapsed.
‘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 I blacked out,’ she recalled.
‘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.
‘And I remember seeing darkness and what seemed like stars. When I finally came to, I looked around and I saw everybody.
‘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 liters of blood.
‘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’d 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.’
Graham explained that she couldn’t even sit up – let alone walk – so the doctors carried her over to her bed on a sheet.
She stayed in bed for four days straight, and didn’t leave her house for ‘nearly two months.’
‘The midwives asked me if I could stand up and walk to bed. I couldn’t. I couldn’t sit up, or even crawl,’ she continued.
‘So they got a twin-size bed sheet, rolled me onto it, and slid me down my hall into my guest room, where I had a trundle bed that I could barely roll onto.
‘Thank goodness the twins were fine, while I lay on that bed for four straight days. I couldn’t walk for a week. And I didn’t leave my house for nearly two months.’
However, the mom-of-three called it a period filled with ‘joy, learning and laughter, acceptance, and recovery.’
She said: ‘It was a period of time filled with the joy of being with my husband and my three sons, the rhythm of our new life, learning and laughter, acceptance and recovery.’
Despite feeling thankful that she and her twins were OK, the mom admitted that she soon began to struggle with accepting her body.
She admitted: ‘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.”
Opening up: The TV presenter also revealed that she had a miscarriage in February 2021, one year after the birth of her first son, Isaac, now two. She is pictured with her three sons
‘It was devastating; it felt like one of the biggest losses I had ever had in my life to date,’ she said. ‘And yet the world expects us to move on and handle our grief with grace’
When she got pregnant with the twins, she said it was ‘incredible, overwhelming, and joyous.’ However, she said it was ‘pretty much the end of her body as she knew it’
‘Yet for me, the births of all my three children threw a lot of that out of the window.’
Graham said she was a ‘wreck’ after recovering from the incident, and ‘didn’t feel like herself physically or emotionally.’
She added that she had planned to go back to work eight weeks after giving birth, but soon realized that would not be the case.
‘I couldn’t walk properly for a long time, let alone exercise. I would shake, I didn’t feel like myself physically or emotionally,’ she wrote.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.’
Graham, who was working on a new collection of size-inclusive lingerie with Joanna Griffiths – the founder of Knix – at the time, said postponing a shoot for the brand scheduled for eight weeks postpartum made her feel like she was ‘letting the company down.’
‘Throughout our partnership together, Joanna had already shown me that she valued me as a human, as a woman, and as a mom, as much as she valued me as a business partner,’ she said.
‘And yet, I still felt as if me not being ready after the birth of my twins was going to let her and the company down.
‘As a mom of three as well – an older toddler and younger twins, just like I have – Joanna could not have been more supportive of my healing, both physically and mentally.
‘She and the Knix team supported me in a way post-birth that I wish every business could support women within their companies – whether they have just given birth, had a miscarriage, or are dealing with something else entirely.
She recalled: ‘I was like, “You don’t understand. I used to be a sex symbol, and now I am a baby-making machine and I have stretch marks up to my belly button. What the eff is happening?”’
Owning it: But after opening up about her insecurities with the world, it changed everything. She said, ‘One day I just stopped and thought, “Screw it, this is my life”‘
‘They gave me time. We pushed back the shoot to a time where I would be feeling better in my skin – more ready to model in lingerie, stretch marks and all.’
The TV presenter recalled being ‘plunged into the postpartum experience’ after giving birth to her first son in 2020, admitting that although he was her ‘world,’ the ‘physical and emotional aspects’ of being a new mom were ‘messy’ and ‘a lot of hard work.’
She, Justin, and Isaac moved into her mom’s house in Nebraska after the pandemic hit, but she said it felt ‘really isolating and challenging’ to ‘raise a baby knowing nothing.’
She also struggled with her body image, adding, ‘I also obsessed over this 20 pounds that just wouldn’t come off, and it felt like my body wasn’t my own.
‘I tried to brush it off and would say to myself, “Girl, you still fine, who cares.” I got a few stretch marks, and I had a few really good cry sessions over the stretch marks.
‘But looking back, if I would’ve known what I was about to be going through – oh, it’s laughable what I was stressing out over.’
In February 2021, the couple suffered from a miscarriage, which she described as ‘devastating.’
‘It was devastating; it felt like one of the biggest losses I had ever had in my life to date,’ she admitted.
‘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.
‘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.”’
When she got pregnant with the twins, she said it was ‘incredible, overwhelming, and joyous.’
However, she said it was ‘pretty much the end of her body as she knew it’ since she she got ‘huge, and fast.’
She added: ‘At 30 weeks the stretch marks started to creep up. I thought to myself, “OK, Ashley, you can handle this. You already had a few, this is life. You are a champion for all kinds of bodies, who cares? This is going to be a great moment. You can share this with other women, it’s fantastic.”
‘But then they started creeping up even more, and you could see them coming out of my panty line, and then beyond my belly button, and I melted.
‘I talked about it with my midwives. I talked about it with Justin. I was bringing it up constantly to my team.
She recently dropped a new campaign for her lingerie line with Knix, called Reveal Yourself, and hopes that other women who have gone through something similar will feel less alone
‘I am a warrior for carrying and birthing my babies, for surviving the hemorrhage, for being a mother, and yet also still struggling with the transformation of my body,’ she concluded
‘I was like, “You don’t understand. I used to be a sex symbol, and now I am a baby-making machine and I have stretch marks up to my belly button. What the eff is happening?”’
But after opening up about her insecurities with the world, it changed everything.
She recalled, ‘Then one day I just stopped and thought, “Screw it, this is my life,” and I posted a photo of my stretch marks on Instagram, which that day my husband described to me as looking like the tree of life. Bless him.’
Now, she is ready to step back into the world of modeling. She recently posed nude for Spanx, and dropped her campaign for the lingerie line with Knix, called Reveal Yourself.
She is now sharing her story in the hopes that other women who have gone through something similar will feel less alone.
‘I tell you all of this – in pretty unflinching detail – because I believe in the importance of honesty; in revealing things about myself that I hope will help others talk about what they too have been through,’ she wrote.
‘Even now, if I’m completely honest, I go in waves. I am still not entirely comfortable in my body, no matter my own body positivity advocacy.
‘There are days where I look at myself and I say, “There’s nothing you can’t handle. There’s nothing you can’t do.”
‘Then 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.”
‘But then I remind myself, “Well, I’ve never been the norm of what a typical lingerie model looks like.”
‘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.
‘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.
‘I want to continue to create spaces for women to feel fearless and beautiful and vulnerable, all at the same time.’
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