My story’s a little different because I carry my scars not on the outside, but on the inside, where nobody can see them. I’ve always been a petite person and, because of my mom, was pretty much expecting the pregnancy I got. My mom is a very small woman who gave birth to 3 daughters and to this day has NO stretch marks. She’s still got the body of a woman in her 20’s, and she turns 50 this year. So I wasn’t at all surprised when I wore my pre-preg jeans home from the hospital and weighed 105 lbs. again at our two-week checkup. My breasts are now smaller than ever, but besides the underside of my breasts (because my poor little A cups inflated to a DDD in the days following birth), I don’t have a single stretch mark anywhere on my body. However, during pregnancy, I started developing REALLY bad IBS symptoms. I’ve always had mild intestinal problems and couldn’t eat spicy foods without getting a tummy ache, but during pregnancy, I started having absolutely horrible bouts of painful diarrhea any time I’d eat anything spicier than a cracker. It’s gotten so bad that now, 2 1/2 years later, EVERYTHING effects my bowels. I have to very carefully watch what I eat, and if I get chilly in the least, I’ll be on the toilet for an entire morning. I can’t even enjoy a cool spring breeze on my face without being sent to the porcelain throne. On top of the bowel problems, my joints ache all the time, I have a hip that constantly pops out of place, and the sciatica I fought with all through pregnancy still rears its sharp little head a few times a week. I didn’t even have an epidural or any drugs, but my lower back insists on aching any time I pick up anything over about 15 lbs…including my daughter. I feel like a whiner all the time, but with the combination of all these nasty little ailments, it sometimes feels like a burden to wake up in the morning. So yes, while it appears that pregnancy treated me quite well and I do have the body I did before I had my daughter, it’s quite a different story on the inside, and it’s very real pain that I live with every day.