On November 2, photographer Hayley Garnett welcomed her beautiful twin girls – Ramona Bronx and Ruby Lee – into the world.
A week later, her toddler son, Archer, had a question about her post-baby body.
Noticing the marks across her stomach, where his sisters had once been, he asked, “what’s wrong with your belly?”
Unashamed of the lines that meant she had grown and delivered two healthy babies, Hayley had the perfect response.
“I told him that all of my babies leave marks on my belly so I never forget that I grew them in my body all on my own and that they exist earth-side with me now!” she shared on Instagram.
"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."
Hayley shared her story on the Love What Matters Facebook page, adding that her experience carrying twins was "so much different" than when she was pregnant with her son.
"I was on meds for nausea the entire time, I grew so quickly that it felt like my belly was literally ripping apart and for the last month it was just hard to move myself around," she said.
LISTEN: Tiffiny Hall speaks to Mia Freedman about sharing a very different kind of post-birth photo. Post continues after audio.
"Mentally, I was also struggling because I wasn't sure how my son would take to having two babies needing our attention, when it was always just the three of us.
"Most of all, we felt really excited and lucky to be given such an amazing gift of two lives at once."
Many mums were quick to share their own stories of how they explained their 'post baby marks' to their curious kids.
"Every mark is earned and there are some beautiful women who wish they could have them. I count myself lucky," one mum wrote.
"Until so many wonderful ladies started posting pictures of their post baby bellies, I thought there was something wrong with my body," another shared.
"My belly was loose and each pregnancy left me with more stretch marks. Now I know it's normal!"
It was really hard to choose which photo I wanted to post first of Archer with his “baby stisters” . I was disappointed that I used such a wide aperture for this one, as Archer isn’t in focus , but I really love how both Ruby and Ramona are reaching for their big bro. It’s like they are already the perfect team! Adding to our family has been hard for so many reasons, one of them being the loss of that one on one time with my son. I put archer to bed after his sisters the other night and he told me he wanted to skip songs and I could just feel my heart breaking . The tears started pouring without even really thinking about it. I want my first born to still need me but I know that in order to really step into his role as big brother , he may need a bit more independence. It’s such a hard balance. What’s your experience with adding more kiddos to your family after being a family of three for so long ?? . . #twiniversity #twinsandmultiples #doubleisthenewbubble #igw_portraits #kidsmood #portraitmood #childportraits #rsa_portraits #jj_portraiture #jj_allportraits #portrait_vision #main_vision #dearest_viewfinder #portraitstream #thesincerestoryteller #portraitpage #cpcfeature #girlscreating #kdpeoplegallery #tsj_family
Others praised Hayley for her honest approach to her body.
"You are already setting such a strong example for your baby girls - and teaching your son about respecting a woman's body and it's changes," one woman shared on Facebook.
"You are doing it right!"
See more of Hayley Garnett's photographs here.