Dancing With the Stars pro Witney Carson is thrilled to be mom to 4-month-old son Leo, but she recently admitted that she struggled to be happy for her friends’ birth experiences. The first-time mom had an emergency C-section in January to bring baby Leo into the world because he was “stuck” beneath her pelvis, an she couldn’t help comparing her experience to theirs.
“That sounds so terrible,” Carson told Us Weekly about her birthing envy. “My sister-in-law, she was like, ‘I pushed twice and [my daughter] came out, and I delivered her by myself and put her right on my chest.’ And I just bawled. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Why can’t that be me?’”
However, in April, Carson posted on Instagram in honor of C-section Awareness Month, owning her birth experience.
“My birth didn’t go as I planned or what I hoped for… and I mourned that ‘normal’ delivery loss for so long,” Carson wrote in the caption. “Then I realized that without my C-section, Leo wouldn’t be here, and maybe neither of us would be. I’m so thankful that C-sections are possible!!! My C-section gave me a new-found strength mentally and physically, a beautiful battle scar, and my most precious gift.”
“It took a really long time for me to be like, you know what? A C-section is an incredible way to have a baby,” Carson told Us Weekly of the “traumatic” experience. “It’s full-on surgery. It’s hardcore. You have a serious battle wound.”
Though the dancer and choreographer wrote in an Instagram post in early February that she initially worried her body would “never recover” from the surgery, in mid April Carson shared her physique’s postpartum journey in a series of pics on the social media platform. In the photos, her belly goes from post-pregnancy bump to flat abs in three months — an impressive transformation, for sure, but certainly not the norm. Being a professional dancer who was in top condition before pregnancy likely sped up her transformation, as did a specific diet and postpartum fitness routine.
Though Carson’s son is being called by his middle name Leo, his full name is actually Kevin Leo McAllister, named after dad Carson McAllister’s late father. “Named after his grandpa who sent him down to us,” Carson revealed on Instagram three days after his birth. “My little Leo, I love you more than words can express. You are the most precious gift. My life will forever be changed by your sweet spirit. Welcome to the world, Leo.”
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