Up until I got pregnant, I never once had to consider that my body would one day undergo amazing changes. Ever since high school I’ve been pretty much the same size. A couple of years ago, the hubby and I joined the gym so we both tightened up quite a bit. The first pic is of me in December of 2005. Exactly six months later I would find out we were expecting our sweet little Kai. I made it to almost 8 months without a single stretch mark. I wasn’t taking prenatal vitamins, so I was on a super healthy diet (not including, of course, the Starbuck’s that I was notorious for always having). I was going to the gym three times a week up until I couldn’t see my feet anymore, at around month 6. Sometime in early January I noticed the tiniest pink lines appearing on my belly. They were a bit sensitive to the touch since at those areas my skin was literally stretched to its limits. At a later prenatal appointment I pointed them out to my midwife and confirmed what I already knew but could not admit to myself. I had pregnancy-induced stretch marks. In my pre-mom frame of thinking, this actually upset me. My wonderful hubby went and got me natural salves which I meticulously put on each and every morning and night. But as the pregnancy progressed, the stretch marks grew deeper and longer. Up until a few months ago I was still bothered by my stretch marks. It got to the point where I just wouldn’t look at them. Just throw a t-shirt on and its quite easy to pretend they’re not there. Then I found a pic of my mom from way back in the day. We were at the beach and she was wearing a bikini. Her stomach was soft-looking and she had her fair share of stretch marks. Yet she was showing them off like a badge of honor. That’s when it hit me. Hey, I look just like my mom! Well helllooooooo… that’s ’cause I AM a mom. My stretch marks are all I have to remind me that I once shared my body with Kai. That we once ate and breathed together and that somehow my body was able to protect, grow and accommodate a whole other person. That’s quite the feat and I’m sure glad that I have something left over to show for it other than my precious Kai. I would honestly be sad if I didn’t have my mommy body. In retrospect I think its funny that I ever worried oh so much about flabby this, and flabby that. It just doesn’t matter anymore. I’m a mom, and that’s what I look like.