Warning: This post is pretty raw. PSMB is usually upbeat. This topic is not all rainbows and bunny rabbits but it is something that I need to process, so here goes!
It seems like everyone has something to say about stretch marks. Most of what I hear goes something like “I just used -Insert name of special cream here- every day while I was pregnant and it worked great! I don’t have any stretch marks!” I read an article while I was pregnant that said the only way you can know that you probably won’t get stretch marks is if your sister, mom, and grandmother don’t have any. I knew at that moment that I was pretty much sunk. My mother and sister each have stretch marks that are more severe than I have seen on anyone else. My mother, sister and now I carry the marks of motherhood on our stomachs. We have saggy, stretch marked skin that is definitely not considered beautiful. I thought I was prepared to never be able to wear a two piece bathing suit again, but recently I have found myself feeling pretty sad about my stretch mark situation.
I grew up knowing what my mother’s stomach looked like. It honestly didn’t phase me that her skin was stretched out and saggy. She was always very thin and I thought she looked great. I never thought about the fact that her stomach didn’t always look that way. Then my sister had kids, and the same thing happened to her stomach. She was pretty bummed about the whole thing, and I didn’t really understand why. She has two beautiful children and a husband that loves her…why would her stomach, a part of her that most people never see, bother her so much? Oy, now I understand.
Forget about wearing a two-piece bathing suit, I am self conscious about my stomach when I am fully clothed! I am reminded about my saggy skin when I zip my pants and have to make sure not to zip my skin. Or when I have to adjust my waist band every time I stand up and sit down to make sure my skin is not hanging over the edge. I have to make sure all my t-shirts are long enough that no one gets a peak. I am self conscious about nursing in public, even in front of other moms, because of the chance of exposing my stomach. I realize that things could be much worse. I have a beautiful son that I would give my right arm for. Until recently I tried to convince myself that the stretch marks didn’t bother me. I felt like if I admitted that they bothered me, somehow that made me ungrateful for what I have. Well, I can’t help how I feel about my stretch marks, and that doesn’t make me any less thankful for my wonderful son and family.
Obviously I have some feelings to work through! I hope that as time goes on I can feel less anger, frustration, and jealousy about my situation.
PS…I am happy about 90% of the time, really I am!