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The Other Side Of Stretch Marks


I wore a bikini this summer for the first time since my two-year-old came into the world. I had to purchase a new one this season, as the pre-mommy bikinis I have didn’t quite sit where they used to. And I wanted something new, something fresh I could feel good in. And I did feel good in it, considering everything my body has been through to become a mommy.

It’s funny, before I had my sweet girl, I was always complaining about something. My stomach wasn’t tight enough, my thighs were kind of jiggly, my arms didn’t have enough “cut.” I hit the gym frequently and always had a spot on my body that I was working on, constantly trying to tweak and improve my physique. Now? My previous body seems like just a dream — a mirage I will never get to. I have stretch marks, and those are forever.

I used the creams, the body butter, the lotions … almost everything the beauty market had to offer. And I was good to go for a long, long time. Right until three weeks before my due date, when my lower abs finally gave into the weight I was carrying and, well, stretched me. And humpty dumpty was never to be put back together again.

Initially, I actually wasn’t that concerned about it. As I was still carrying around an extra 25 pounds for the first eighteen months of my daughter’s life, I had plenty of other areas on my body to focus on. When she was born that summer, I figured I’d be back in shape before the following summer without question. Well, the next summer came and went, and I still had about fifteen pounds that would not budge. Finally, the weight came off that following spring, and my wardrobe was once again embracing me. And now, with all the weight finally off, I was taking stock of my official new figure … and focusing on the most glaring reminder that my body will never be the same again.

I hated the stretch marks at first. I mean, who wants them really? Who looks in the mirror and says, if only I had a few sexy stretch marks? No one! But as this spring turned into summer, I found myself growing fonder of them. I was starting to own them — they were mine. I created them by creating another human being, a true triumph! I began to see them as battle wounds from the trenches of procreation, proof positive that I’ve definitely been there and done that. When I would run into other moms at the playground and the conversation would naturally turn towards our figures, I would offer to show them off as if they were the trendiest accessories of that season. 

I finally decided I was no longer going to be ashamed of my stretch marks … in fact, I want other moms to know that they can embrace theirs as well. Most of us don’t live in Hollywood, where it seems stretch marks don’t exist. We live in the physical reality of motherhood, which can include stretch marks, cellulite, and tribal boobs. Now, I’m aware of the idea that as my family grows, my stretch marks could grow with them. And I’ll probably resume my routine of seeking out every miracle cream and lotion on the market to avoid additional ones, because that is my way. I’ll never have an open door policy for stretch marks, but I can grow to embrace the ones that I get, as they helped create the ones that I love.

Author: Amy

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