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Goodbye Forever, Bikini (Becky)

Age: 24
Children: 1
Child’s age: 1 month

I have never been skinny. I’ve never wanted to be. I liked my size 8, athletic build with curves in all of the right places. I liked my boobs. I liked my body. Period.
When I got pregnant, my husband and I were so excited. Yes, the thought “oh my God what’s this going to do to my body?!” nagged at me a little bit, but I have always had a very strong mind and figured I could handle it. It couldn’t be that bad, right? I’m healthy, I work out, I eat well. I’ll be fine. Or so I thought.

I expected to have stretch marks. My mom has them, though they are very minimal. My sister- well, her stomach looked like someone took a set of kitchen knives to it (until she had a tummy tuck)! But my sister also had a VERY unhealthy, fast-food and diet-soda pregnancy. I would be fine, I thought. So I did everything “right”. I began a very strict skin care regimen and maintained it throughout my entire pregnancy. I took baths with vitamin-e oil. I used Palmer’s cocoa butter every day, twice a day on my belly, hips, thighs, and breasts. I drank more than a gallon of water per day. I ate a healthy diet. The day I went into labor with my sweet girl, I had gained 35 pounds- exactly what my doctor recommended, not a pound more or less. Despite all of that, I had stretch marks. I had them worse than my mother did. I have them worse than my sister did. They are all over my stomach, some on my hips. Thankfully, my breasts were spared.

I am devastated.

My daughter is beautiful. She graced us with her presence the day after she was due. And she was BIG and healthy and perfect. 8 pounds 7 ounces worth of healthy. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me… still I am feeling so unhappy with my body after birth.

I’ve lost all of my baby weight (and then some!) thanks to breast feeding and can’t wait to get to the gym to start working out. But I have spent countless hours researching only to find that these marks aren’t going anywhere. No creams or lasers or wraps are going to get rid of them, no matter what is promised by the advertisements. So here I am, on our family vacation, loathing all of the women in bikinis and knowing that I have said goodbye to mine forever. There are sexy one pieces that I can wear next year. I know that. But I’ll never quite feel as sexy as I used to. My husband is supportive. He says the stretch marks are just a part of life. That he doesn’t did me any less attractive with the scars if bringing our girl into the world. But I see him glance in the direction of the bikini-clad women who don’t have these damn stretch marks. (Some of them toting their own little ones around- HOW IS THAT FAIR?!) And it hurts. My once high self-esteem is plummeting.

I hope I get over it. But for now, I’m devastated.

Photos:
6 months pre-baby
38 weeks pregnant
1 week postpartum
3 weeks postpartum

in Before Pregnancy, Belly, First Pregnancy, Postpartum, Pregnant, Submissions
14 comments… add one
  • Kat Thomas Friday, August 22, 2014, 6:06 pm

    You have an amazing figure. You will look amazing in a nice one piece or even a bikini if you decide. I know it stings adjusting to the changes and even seeing other women whose bodies seem unchanged by pregnancy. I think your hubby still thinks youre hot. No doubt. Men are so visual. They do notice a pretty woman in a bikini.. the same way we notice a good looking guy. But it doesn’t say anything about the way he feels about you or your body. Also, give it a few more years and I think you will find that the scars will be less noticeable. Its amazing what time will do.

  • CC Friday, August 22, 2014, 8:38 pm

    Oh honey, you are so beautiful. Please, this is not how you’re going to look forever or even for the next 6 months. You will see that time will bring a familiar body back and the redness will so be gone. I hope you soon realize how amazing your body is for creating, gaining, losing, making food and so much more. Love yourself, you deserve it.

  • Sara Saturday, August 23, 2014, 10:21 am

    Oh Sweetie! Give it some time! They will fade. I promise. As much as we love our little ones, it can be difficult to accept the physical changes when all we want is for one aspect of our lives to be the same as it was before. Stretchmarks do fade to a whitish colour and they flatten out and become thinner. It takes about a year. Bio-Oil helps speed the fading process. Exercise does help to tone the skin a bit as well. I guarantee that next summer you will feel so much better about this. Wear the bikini anyway! I know it’s a very personal choice but you have NOTHING to be ashamed of!

  • HopefulAnonymous Saturday, August 23, 2014, 10:01 pm

    Hi Becky,

    I’m so glad that you’ve reached out as soon as you did because I’m here to tell you that there are many things you can do to heal your marks, and when you start while the marks are still new, the better your result. I wish I would have known this nine years ago when I acquired all of my stretchmarks over the course of a single pregnancy. I have recently decided that rather than struggle daily, I will make every effort to remove my marks, and because I know so many women feel the same, I’m blogging about my entire experience with before and after photos. I’ll be using a dermaroller, dermastamp and other natural DIY methods. I am really looking forward to sharing this with the world, giving hope back to everyone out there (men too) who have been emotionally effected by stretchmarks. I, like you, am very health and fitness oriented and I feel that I deserve to celebrate that with feeling comfortable and confident in my own skin; especially when in a bathing suit. So please don’t give up or feel that it’s hopeless. Your marks will naturally fade over time, as did mine, but if you begin treating them now, I truly believe you will be amazed at the result. I wish you the best of luck on your journey! Congratulations new mommy! :)

    Sincerely,
    hopefulanonymous

  • Fie Sunday, August 24, 2014, 10:53 am

    Stretchmarks will fade and skin will tighten i promise! Atleast there isnt any skin fold/hang like me I had twins via csection! You need to know that u look great for only a few weeks postpartum. I wish my belly looked like that 3 weeks postpartum!! You’re beautiful! Love x

  • Kerry Monday, August 25, 2014, 4:02 am

    Hello beautiful! Step back for a second, you had a baby three weeks ago, THREE WEEKS! Please be patient with your body, it hasn’t even begun to change into the body you will have for years to come. No, the stretchmarks aren’t going anywhere, but your belly will regain shape and the marks will fade dramatically. I have more stretchmarks than most women I’ve come across, when I stretch the skin about my belly button tight the marks go up 4″ above my belly button.. and guess what, I only wear bikinis! Yes people stare and make comments, but believe it or not they are mostly “wow I wish I had your confidence! wow you look awesome!” so maybe, just maybe you will inspire someone else to not feel ashamed of their body :) Many many more women than you think have stretchmarks, the thing is it tends to be the ones with “acceptable” bellies that bear their midriffs. If you feel sexy in a bikini, wear one. If you feel sexy in a one piece, wear that instead. You are beautiful! I know it’s hard, but try to give your body some grace and watch the awesome transformation that will take place :)

  • Amy Monday, August 25, 2014, 9:48 am

    I could have written this. Thanks for sharing. They may fade with time, mine became less red several months after my first. It’s been 8 weeks since my second and 22 months since my first, and it’s still hard to look and know that those bikini-clad Mamas got out with their skin intact (despite the damage, I got more with #2)… Still, take comfort- You are now a part of an elite group of Mammas in the one-piece crowd! When you go out, know that we’re all in the same boat. Wear a one-piece, you’re in for instant camaraderie. We’ve earned the right to an experience of being moms their kids aren’t embarrassed of showing off too much on the beach, that other moms see as classy, and even if we aren’t like 16-year-old bikini models, we have a way richer experience coming our way.

    You look amazing and you’re only 1 month out too, you’ll have guys seeing you next summer with your little one and turning their heads to get a better look, no matter what you wear. You’re a healthy sexy mamma, and don’t forget it.

  • Elizabeth Monday, August 25, 2014, 10:37 am

    Don’t worry, your stretchmarks aren’t bad at all….just be thankful because it could have been alot worse! My stomach is very similar to yours, except my stretchmarks are also on the tops of my armpits, my boobs, my back and all down the length of my legs. And all that from gaining 35 pounds and losing 20 the 1st week. I can’t even wear shorts or short sleeved shirts let alone a bathing suit. I love my child but I get depressed alot often about my body and wonder whats even the point of losing the extra 15 pounds if I can’t even show a little bit of skin. No one in my family has hardly any stretchmarks at all which is why I can’t figure out how mine are so bad. Maybe one day they’ll figure out how to get rid of stretchmarks completely. But until then don’t be so hard on yourself…you look great!

  • Amb Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 3:57 am

    Hi
    I feel exactly the same. However they will get better and less red. I did some dermarolling and this seemed to help them improve a little, its really worth a try I did it myself so not that expensive. You will start to get used to them, eventually…i did.

  • Ann Saturday, August 30, 2014, 9:20 am

    Hi I just wanted to share with you that my tummy looked similar to yours after birth the only diffrence is im darker,I also lost all my weight due to breastfeeding, we are around the same age and I also went through the same process during pregnancy doing all i can to prevent them and eventually i gave up and told myself that it was all apart of motherhood some people get them and some dont.Gradually they faded the color got lighter.today my daughter is one year old and i looked at my tummy keenly for the first time in months because like i said i really didnt care the deep indents that were once there are smoothed out not completely gone but i can rub my tummy and it feels smooth.i think with more time it will get better too they might or might not go completely away but i am elated and please keep in mind i used no special product but my daily moisturizer on my skin.I know everyone’s skin is different but your baby is only one month old give your body time with all the changes that you experienced even my boobs are starting to look like what it was before.

  • danielle Sunday, September 21, 2014, 11:23 am

    Your marks will fade with time. Time and time only are the only way they will. I know your pain. I was am extremly overweight child up until I turned 15 when I finally decided to change. I have had stretch marks on my belly, arms, legs, butt, and my lower back. They have faded over time. I began working out, exercising, eating right and I lost 100 lbs at 15 and with that came loose skin that I can not get rid of. It sucks but it’s life. I’m much heatlier and since having my daughter I started exercising, eating right again and since giving birth I have dropped 60 pounds and have gone from a size 18/20 to a size 9. I am so proud of myself. I will always look at my body differently now, I birthed a human. I am awesome! Love yourself within and be thankful you have that beautiful baby!

  • Katie Monday, September 29, 2014, 1:23 pm

    I’m not even into women and think your figure is AMAZINGLY sexy… so imagine what your husband must think!

    Even if he does occasionally glance in another direction, you’ll be the subject of his most loving, attentive stares. By God, you deserve it.

    Keep on keeping on!

  • Kristin Monday, October 13, 2014, 11:26 pm

    My mom didn’t have stretch marks AT ALL, and I ended up looking like I got into a fight with the Wolverine! HOWEVER, there are good news. Stretch marks will fade to white, eventually. And extra skin on the belly does tighten up a bit, more so likely if you started out athletic (looks like you did). With those two things, it won’t be NEARLY as noticeable by the time you’re 12 months. By the way, you look FABULOUS for only being a month PP. I bet you anything, you’ll look super close to normal by 9 months (which is on average the time most women get back to mostly-normal). :)

  • Brittany Monday, January 12, 2015, 7:15 pm

    Oh love, give yourself some time. The stretch marks will fade. My tummy looked very similar to yours after my second son. Now he is 4 & you can hardly see the stretch marks at all! It didn’t take all 4 years for them to fade, either. You’re beautiful.
    Also, I cannot stress enough how important it is to take it easy on your tummy post baby. Diving straight in to doing crunches is a big no no. Make sure you don’t have abdominal muscle seperation first.
    Best of luck.

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