Honesty hour. Bachelor in Paradise alum Carly Waddell and her husband, Evan Bass, just welcomed their newborn son, Charlie, into the world on November 12, and the starlet got very candid about her “beautiful and painful” breast-feeding experience. The reality stars also share their 20-month-old daughter, Bella. In addition, Evan has three older sons from a previous marriage — Ensley, Liam and Nathan. Although Carly isn’t exactly a new mom, baby No. 2 has brought a slew of surprises.

“It’s been a week since Charlie was born, he is the greatest blessing and one of the greatest lessons for me as a mom,” she began a lengthy Instagram caption on November 20. The photo showed the 34-year-old wearing only a pair of white underwear while she held two large cabbage leaves against her breasts. “I had all these hopes and dreams that postpartum would be easier this time. But I still ache. I’m healing. I’m tried [sic].”

Carly Waddell Opens Up About Breastfeeding Son Charlie
Courtesy of Carly Waddell Instagram

The newly minted mom-of-two then shared details about her first born’s difficult transition from breast-feeding and how she felt optimistic about what her son’s experience would be like. “Bella was such a colicky newborn. She cried and cried for months. Threw up. Had gas pains. I breast-fed for months because that’s what I was told was ‘best.’ When I changed Bella to formula, she was a new, happy little baby. This time, I had hopes that Charlie would be different, but it just isn’t the case,” she explained.

It turned out, her bouncing baby boy had a similar experience. The reality babe continued, “I decided to stop breast-feeding and try him on the same formula Bella was on, and within a bottle or two he was so happy. He stopped crying. He could relax. He could sleep. He smiled.”

Unfortunately, new moms are judged quite harshly — especially on social media. “There is such a stigma about breast-feeding. If you don’t do it, you don’t care about your children’s health. You don’t love [your] kids enough. You’re being selfish. You just aren’t being a good enough mom,” Carly noted. “Honestly, I know my comments will prob be full of people telling me all sorts of things I could have/should have done to make it work for us. But, the one huge thing I found this time is that I made a really hard decision within myself as a mom to listen to my gut about what was best for my child. And you know what … it worked.”

The former Bachelor contestant knew she would receive backlash from mommy-shamers, but in the end, it didn’t matter. “He is soooo happy and that is all that matters,” she assured about Charlie. “I wanted to be real and thank you guys for checking in with me on how I have been doing this week. It’s been beautiful and painful at times. Thank you for all y’alls love and congratulations. It means SO much to me.”

We think you’re doing amazing, Carly!