In 2021, Victoria Monét had a test of strength so intense, she tells SELF, that “I felt like Rocky.” The 30-year-old dancer-turned-singer isn’t talking about logging intense hours in the studio, though she’s very familiar with that: She’s co-written hits for Chloe x Halle and a little song called “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande, and on August 25, Monét released her second album, Jaguar II.
Sitting down with her over Zoom, I’m excited to discuss the album, but in this moment, we’re talking about how she became a mom—when a short walk to see her baby was one of the most taxing physical feats of her life. It was February 2021, and Monét and her partner, John Gaines, had just welcomed their daughter, Hazel. After an unexpected C-section, Hazel emerged, but had breathing complications. “They took her to the NICU after I breastfed her for a little bit,” Monét recalls.
The medical staff told her that she would have to be physically able to get out of bed and walk in order to see her newborn again—a common precautionary measure after a C-section. “Literally, I was screaming to turn sideways in the bed and getting up and down, and they were like, ‘You know, you can’t be in the NICU and fall,’” Monét says. The moment her strength came back to her, she made her way right to Hazel.
Monét’s birthing experience paralleled my own. I also had an unexpected C-section. Mine was seven months before she and I spoke in April, so I understand the mix of emotions that rush through your body when you’ve just given birth to a child who needs comfort—and you need comfort, too. Research indicates that unscheduled cesarean deliveries are far higher for Black women than for white women. My delivery was terrifying, and all the more so because Black women have the highest rate of maternal deaths in the US—nearly three times as many as white women.
Monét remembers how extreme her experience was, too. After leaving the NICU and heading back to her own hospital room, she had to face the intensity of everything that had just happened. “I had episodes of screaming, crying,” she explains. “[My] hormones were out of control. I just didn’t understand why I was feeling this way,” she says. Thankfully, Hazel’s breathing steadied, and Monét recovered, too. Once she was feeling up to it, she went back to work. “I went home with her after four or five days in the NICU. Six weeks later, I was taking her into the studio,” Monét says.
In this way, Jaguar II is quite literally a labor of love. The project captures Monét’s cross-genre singing abilities and the writing skills she’s fine-tuned over her decade-long career. In its songs, Monét delves into the thoughts whirring through her mind about self-image and parenthood in the direct aftermath of giving birth. “After I had Hazel, I went into a full depression. I was very hard on myself, and just judging so much and worrying about what I used to look like and what I used to have. It’s just all living in the past, which is the setup [for feeling like a failure],” she says. “[But] you have to think forward. It’s been a battle to be okay with whatever size I am at the time. So if I go to Disneyland with Hazel, I’m not going to be worrying about the churro, because we’re only at Disney one day.”
‘Great British Baking Show’ Goes Wild With NSFW Beaver Challenge
6 memorable moments from Dianne Feinstein’s career
Kelsea Ballerini Shuts Down Lip-Synching Rumors After PPCA Performance
George Clooney's 6-Year-Old Twins Listen to Heavy Metal: 'Headbangers'
Boxer Colon shares update with inspiring message after life-changing brain bleed
Some N.H. residents are balking at an ordinance requiring them to cut their lawns
28 Prime Day Kitchen Deals You Can Shop Ahead of Big Deal Days
Why Selena Gomez Avoids Her Bedroom During a Bad Mental Health Day
Dry Brushing Your Skin Has Legit Benefits, According to Experts
Travis Kelce Officially Addresses Taylor Swift Romance Rumors
New York City Is Drowning
Council Post: 20 Vital Strategies For Accurate And Reliable Company Financial Statements
Man tied to suspected shooter in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 killing arrested in Las Vegas, AP sources say
Priscilla Presley and the Memphis Mafia Found Elvis’ New Barber ‘Suspicious’ and Threatening
An Investor’s Guide To Government Shutdowns
Lifestyle22 hours ago
Kylee Russell: 5 Things To Know About the ‘BiP’ Contestant
Finance22 hours ago
The Goldilocks Strategy To Safely Spend Your Retirement Savings
Finance23 hours ago
On-chain Expert Probes the Ethereum Foundation’s Link to the Filecoin ICO
Sport23 hours ago
Newcastle owners consider takeover of top club with Zidane lined up as manager
News22 hours ago
EEOC sues Tesla alleging widespread racist harassment of Black workers, retaliation against those who spoke out
Travel22 hours ago
8 Essential Tips for Choosing the Right Ski Accommodation
Sport23 hours ago
Reece James targeting first-team return NEXT MONTH in time for London derby
Finance17 hours ago
China Using Digital Yuan to Recycle Gold