-- Many women hide the scars of pregnancy, but one mom put hers on display in a very public way instead.
Hayley Garnett recently gave birth to twin girls Ruby and Ramona. She also has a son, Archer. Among the beautiful pictures of her children on her Instagram is a photo that stands out.
In it, she holds her twins next to her bare stomach covered in stretch marks. "Happy one week birthday, ladies," she wrote. "This morning Archer asked me what’s wrong with my belly and I told him that all of my babies leave marks on my belly so that I never forget for a second that I grew them in my body all on my own and that they exist earthside with me now! A forever reminder, whether I’m truly confident having these marks or not, it’s no doubt a testament to the miracles my body has made."
Her photo has been liked almost 12,000 times.
"I decided to share the story because I habitually try to share a lot of personal feelings through my Instagram page because I really believe that showing your vulnerability is not only a healing process but also has the ability to really connect you with an individual or community in a way you may not have thought possible," Garnett told ABC News. "I hoped that being open and honest about the marks that twin pregnancy gave me would give other moms the courage to actually accept themselves and maybe see their own marks in a different, more positive light."
She said the reaction has been almost entirely positive. Her only detractors, she said, are people who think "I was intentionally editing my photo to make my marks look excessive which in itself just seems like a silly accusation."
The Columbia, Missouri, mom said her husband, Cody Garnett, "is so very supportive of everything that I do and is always on my team. He makes me feel beautiful no matter what and would not hesitate to assure other women who bear the marks of pregnancy that they are beautiful as well."