Beyoncé is opening up for the first time about giving birth to her twins, Rumi and Sir, in June 2017 — and the story is powerful.
The music superstar shared details of her motherhood journey and more for her Vogue September cover, starting with the toll pregnancy took on her body.
“I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir,” Beyoncé revealed in the lengthy captions the accompany the images shot by Tyler Mitchell in the issue.
Continued the 36-year-old, “I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month. My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section.”
Toxemia, also known as preeclampsia, is a rare pregnancy condition that causes high blood pressure and can lead to serious complications, according to Mayo Clinic. Kim Kardashian also suffered from it during her pregnancy with her daughter North, 5.
But through it all her husband — rapper and music producer JAY-Z — was “a soldier and such a strong support system for me. I am proud to have been a witness to his strength and evolution as a man, a best friend, and a father. I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later.”
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Ultimately, the experience made her feel more connected to other parents who’ve lived through emergency C-sections, Beyoncé said in the magazine.
“Today I have a connection to any parent who has been through such an experience,” she said. “After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery. Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that.”
Accepting her new body as a mom of three also took time, but she found a way.
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“I needed time to heal, to recover,” Beyoncé shared in Vogue. “During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be … I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves. My kids and husband did, too … To this day my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller.”
And Beyoncé is not itching to get her old figure back — a difference, she said, from her first pregnancy with her daughter, Blue Ivy.
“I have a little mommy pouch, and I’m in no rush to get rid of it,” she said. “I think it’s real. Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my ass off until I have it. But right now, my little FUPA and I feel like we are meant to be.”
Beyoncé’s revelations — “as told to” by Jezebel‘s culture editor Clover Hope — also dive into her heritage, preparing for Coachella, her hopes for her children and more.
The September 2018 issue of Vogue is available for preorder on August 6, 2018 on Amazon, on newsstands in New York City and Los Angeles on Aug. 14, and nationwide Aug. 21.