Nearly every pregnant woman fears getting stretch marks. I know that I sure did! I was terrified of having those ugly red streaks all over my belly, and never being able to wear a bikini again. Sure enough, I got them. They started sprouting almost as soon as I got the positive pregnancy test. They crawled up my belly towards my chest as my pregnancy progressed Those pesky stretch marks not only conquered my tummy, they invaded my arms, legs, and breasts as well! At first, I was forlorn. I couldn’t believe how unlucky I was, and I thought that maybe I had done something wrong.
I tried all kinds of creams and gels to prevent them and fade the ones that had already sprung up. I got recommendations from people who hadn’t gotten a single stretch mark during their pregnancies. Some women swore by this cream or that supplement, others didn’t have to do anything at all. Other women swore that they didn’t get any stretch marks because they watched their weight gain during pregnancy. Some women that I talked to had tried absolutely everything to prevent stretch marks, but nothing at all worked. Like me, they were embarrassed and ashamed of them. It wasn’t a matter of weight gain, for me. I only gained 18 pounds, and I gained it very slowly over the course of my pregnancy. None of the remedies that were suggested to me had any effect whatsoever. I was at a complete loss.
I asked my husband one night if he thought that my stretch marks were ugly. He said no. I said, “What, do you think they are pretty?” He said no again. I asked him what they were, then, if they were neither ugly nor pretty. “Natural,” he said simply. That really got me thinking about things. I did some research on the internet, and learned that stretch marks are usually genetic. I asked my doctor, and she confirmed it. Like so many women, I am simply genetically predisposed to stretch marks, and no amount of creams or dietary supplements is going to change that. As that idea began to set in, I started to accept the fact that my stomach was going to be covered with those squiggly red lines. With time, I even started to embrace them. They are battle scars. They are proof that I once grew another human being inside of my body. Like my inspired husband said, they are natural. Completely and 100% natural.
And who says that I can never wear a bikini again? There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I am proud to be a mother. I am proud to have shared my body with my precious daughter for nine months. The fact that my stomach will forever have silvery grey lines all over it is inconsequential. I think that my beautiful daughter is a more than fair trade for my once smooth skin. When I see a woman with stretch marks on her belly, I don’t think about how ugly the stretch marks look. I think about the amazing fact that she once produced a life inside that beautiful belly. Sure, I am happy for those lucky women who don’t get a single stretch mark. Their bodies are beautiful, but so are the bodies of us women who are covered in stretch marks. All women are beautiful. We are life-giving, child-bearing goddesses!
Did you get stretch marks during your pregnancy? How did you learn to accept them?
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