Stretch marks are flaws and I refuse to flaunt them.
You’ve probably heard a mother say, "I was a good mom before I had kids." It’s a nice way of apologizing for being a parenting know-it-all before you ever dipped your toe in the water. After four months as a mother, I can definitely relate.
But I can do you one better. You see, before I got pregnant, I was a pregnancy know-it-all. Along with maintaining a pregnancy-chic look, I vowed my hair would be perfectly coifed and I wouldn't put on more than 25 pounds. With this minimal weight gain, I figured I had a good chance of bypassing pregnancy scars ... otherwise known as stretch marks.
In reality, there were days when I didn’t get out of my pajamas and my hair remained a knotted mess on the top of my head. My work-from-home schedule wasn’t exactly motivation for that pregnancy-chic nonsense.
Oh, and those 25 pounds? I hit that mark at around 28 weeks. Needless to say, I didn’t stop gaining there. When all was said and done (I brought my daughter into this world just before I was 39 weeks), I gained closer to 40. Not major poundage, but certainly more than I intended to pack on.
So, how did this extra weight affect my midsection? I avoided stretch marks until somewhere around week 30. That was when I started noticing purple veins along the left side of my growing belly. The know-it-all in me was sure these weren’t real stretch marks — we all have veins! — and that they would fade just as soon as my belly did.
Well, four months have come and gone and they appear to be worse. Yes, worse. And apparently I must have been ignoring my right side, because a few tiny marks showed up over there, too. Love handles covered in thin, purple stretch marks. Sexy.
At home, they don’t bother me. I look at them each day, and while I hope they fade, I don’t let them bring me down. And my husband isn’t at all turned off ... or so he says.
Leaky breasts aside, I don't think he considers anything about my post-baby body unappealing. And I certainly won’t be posting photos of my marks on Facebook any time soon.
While I understand and respect that many women proudly wear their stretch marks as badges of honor or battle scars, I don’t feel the same way about mine. I am not ashamed of them, but if they don’t fade by next summer they won’t be seeing the light of day.
It's not that I pass judgment on a bikini clad mom who is covered in stretch marks. Rock on with your battle scars! It's just that, in my opinion, in terms of my body, they are flaws. And flaunting my flaws is something I choose not to do.
I think of it this way: If I have a blemish, I conceal it. If I pack on a few pounds over the holidays, I conceal those too. For me, stretch marks aren’t any different, even if they are a result of my beautiful journey to motherhood.
Do you even have any? Did they fade over time? Do you let them show? Wear them proudly? Or cover them up like I plan to?