I posted some belly photos on Facebook and a friend of mine, Charlotte of Life’s a Charm (who’s also a mom of two) asked me if I have taken a picture of myself in nude/semi-nude. That bare all belly type of thing.
One of our common friends who just gave birth left a comment – “depends on the stretch marks!”
Oh yeah, those nasty stretch marks, I know those buggers…so did I still take a bare belly photo?
As a matter of fact, yes but while I do not have fresh stretch marks from this pregnancy, I do have the nasty stretch marks from last. Still I am proud of the photo and unashamed to show it to people and excited to show it off to my baby in the future.
Yeah, that photo at the beginning of this post.
My bout with stretch marks
Moisturizing with cocoa butter and other lotions I could think of didn’t stop the dark red/purple stretch marks from appearing on my lower belly on the fifth month of my first pregnancy. I was disgusted to see myself in the mirror.
When it was ugly while my tummy was big and skin was taut, it was uglier when the baby came out. I cried at the sight of my loose jelly belly + dark, ugly streaks. Just when you think it was that bad while you were pregnant, the first few months after delivery was not pleasant at all – it was as if a crazed artist drew random black lines out of fun in my belly. “I am never going to wear a bikini again…”
Not that I did before but along with the lost self-esteem and goal to wear a bikini (or have a body that’s bikini worthy) even for just a day in my life, I lost the will to come back to my pre-pregnancy weight (whatever that is).
Later on I realize though, that was just a lame excuse.
Fast forward 8 years and I am pregnant again – I don’t know if it’s because of age or maturity that I have come to terms with being pregnant, as glorious as it is but with all the havoc that comes with it: weight gain, mood swings, heart burn, stretch marks. I didn’t care whether I’ll have the ugly stretch marks again – I’m at peace with my body and see stretch marks not as ugly scars but stripes of valor, of bravery, of courage. It is proof that you’re a mom, that you’ve carried and nurtured a life inside you for 9 whole months, you’ve gone through labor and delivery or even risked your life for doing so.
I am carrying a life inside me and that experience can’t beat any bikini day at the beach.