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The roads that led to motherhood – A stretch mark love story! (Rachael)

April 19, 2010

Age now: 22
18 months pp.

I became a mother at age 21. My son was born at 7lbs 11 ounces and I absolutely do not regret anything I went through in order to bring him into the world safely. Before pregnancy, I loved my body. I loved my complexion, my height, my weight… everything. I was not conceited in any way though, I was just accepting of the person I grew up to be. I got married to my high school sweetheart when I was 20. A couple months later, we found out we were expecting our first baby. We were ecstatic! We did not plan to have a child so soon after marriage, but we knew that God’s timing is always perfect and happily welcomed the news with excitement! Throughout my pregnancy I worked 30-40 hour weeks. I also realized that I started putting on about a pound a week from the moment I found out I was pregnant. My appetite increased and though I did not eat much during the first few months, I still gained a pound EVERY week. At around the 4th month in pregnancy, I stared retaining a lot of water and noticed stretch marks on my inner thighs. Soon, I noticed them on my outer thighs and behind my knees. I never knew a woman could get stretch marks in those areas until I saw them! From before I knew I was pregnant I used Palmers Stretch Mark Coco Butter creme as a moisturizer so I was convinced that it would help to prevent them – WRONG! I think I have the most stretch marks I had ever seen on anyone who has delivered a single baby. During my pregnancy, I would pray that my stretch marks would miraculously stop… that somehow my skin would not stretch to the point of no return, and I would escape having to deal with the yucky looking ones I saw on other people. Before I became pregnant though, I thought that women who had stretch marks did not moisturize their skin and didn’t do something right, however, I tried EVERYTHING and still ended up covered in them! I have come to love my stretch marks… they tell a beautiful story. During week 28 of pregnancy, I started having symptoms of Gestational Diabetes… constantly thirsty, extremely tired… and I sort of knew I had it because both my Mom and Aunt had it while they were pregnant. It was confirmed by my OB that I did indeed have elevated glucose levels and that’s when pregnancy got a whole lot harder! I had to check my glucose 3-4 times a day. I had to watch my diet and stay away from sugary, carb filled foods and I had to exercise after meals to bring my glucose levels down. It was the most difficult time in my life! During this time, due to elevated blood sugar levels that was sometimes still high even after medication, I knew that my son was growing larger and larger because of it. I saw new stretch marks appear every day and the ones that were already present extended up towards my chest. I also suffered from excruciating pain in my pelvis… it felt like my legs were going to break from beneath me when I would stand up and I could hardly lift my leg an inch… I am convinced now that I suffered from Symphysis pubic dysfunction. The pain was so unbearable at times. Around 34 weeks my doctors decided to test me for pre-eclampsia due to my excessive water retention and pain in my ribs, but thankfully, it was just my son’s foot stuck there. :) I had an extremely tough pregnancy. I worked up until 37 weeks and gained 37 pounds throughout my whole pregnancy and labored 37 hours before having a c-section. I was induced at 39 weeks because of the Gestational Diabetes. Apparently, I had a “failed” induction because I was not dilating, but contracting off the charts. Having went through all I did during my pregnancy and recovering from it, I have to say that those pesky stretch marks that I was so upset about now serves as a reminder of the moments in my life where I depended on God the most. I was not “in control” during my pregnancy – the things that happened to my body was not things I wanted to happen, but it was necessary for me to become the mother I am today. I no longer bother about my stretch marks. They are lovely. I am beautiful and it is a wonderful reminder of the long way I have traveled to be the woman I am today. Those stretch marks taught me so many lessons in life: I cannot always be in control, I should never judge anyone unless I have walked in their shoes & most importantly, stretch marks are a true representation of the transformation a woman goes through in order to become a mother. I am lucky enough to have the evidence of motherhood on my body. It is the most enjoyably experience of my life thus far and I will never regret what I went through physically to be where I am today! I love my son with all my heart and I am thankful to have a husband who loves my body and appreciates it for the story it tells.

I am now 18 months pp and my body is looking pretty good… stretch marks and all! :)

I was 106 when I got married, 113 pre-pregnancy, and 150 the day I delivered my son. Right now I am 118, but working out to get back down to 106. I am 4’10. :)

My first pic is 10 weeks pregnant.
2nd pic is 37 weeks pregnant
3rd pic is all my beautiful stretch marks! :) at 37 weeks pregnant
4th pic is 5 months pp
4th pic is 5 months pp – side
5th pic is 10 months pp.

I have since stopped taking pics to see how my stretch marks are fading because I love them… they are so much a part of me that I can flaunt them any time of the day; I am not ashamed of them. Go through what I have went through and I doubt that anyone will say that they are not ADMIRABLE!

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12 Responses to “The roads that led to motherhood – A stretch mark love story! (Rachael)”

  1. Brittany Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I love your story and I completely relate. I got stretch marks on all the places you mentioned. I cannot get over how amazing your belly has looked since 5 months pp! You look incredible. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. ren Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    This story made me cry – I think it’s incredible how u view your stretchmarks and rightly so!! I however, cannot bring myself to feel the same! My tummy looks pretty much exactly the same as urs and whilst I look at u n think u look great, I cannot feel the same way about me – odd I know! I just hope in time, I can get some of that self-confidence that u av!

  3. kimber Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    you go girl!! i’m trying to be this confident!

  4. Sarah Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I love how you call this a stretchmark love story! :) You look ridiculously amazing by the way! Really good! Thank you for your story and your strength and beauty! Keep it up! :D

  5. Kerry Says:
    April 20th, 2010 at 4:03 am

    I loved reading your story! You have come a long way! I (now) feel the same way about my stretchmarks as well. You look amazing too! You are so slender! (You look smaller now than pre pregnancy) I really loved your pregnant belly picture too! It awes me how big we can get and morph to house that little person.

  6. Khanna Says:
    April 21st, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I am 4 weeks PP from having twins and now have hope that my black stretch marks can lighten up as well as yours did; especially since i don’t see too many mothers who have the black stretch marks like I do (all he way up o my boobs).. You’re a true inspiration!

  7. Nici Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I am so glad to see that you love your body!

  8. Patti Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Great title, great story, GREAT attitude!!

    I am 22 years postpartum, still sporting my stretch marks, sometimes more self conscious than others. I really admire how you comfortable you are in your body, you are truly an inspiration.

    Reading your story I’m reminded of when my son was not quite 2 years old ~ I was getting him dressed one morning and he asked me, “what is that map on your belly?” I told him it was our map to each other and have felt better about my stretch marks ever since. :)

  9. Anon Says:
    April 25th, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Your body looks great. Can you one day put up picks of the stretchmarks behind your knees? I have them as well and I just want to see how your look. Thanks

  10. Jenna Says:
    May 6th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Love your attitude! You look wonderful. I feel the same way about my stretch marks, or as I call them, my tiger stripes =)

  11. Risha Says:
    May 8th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you for posting your story and pictures. It makes me feel better about myself. I am going to think everyday about what you wrote, motherhood is transforming and I seem to be having trouble accepting the transformation in my body. Thank you very much.

  12. rosie Says:
    March 20th, 2011 at 6:16 am

    I feel blessed to read your story. I always find t hard when women with no stretch marks say things like, “you just need to love yourself”. But it really means something when you say t because you have lots of deliciously beautiful stretch marks like I do and I think you look totally gorgeous! You are an inspiration. I don’t understand why sexy and stretchmarks don’t ever seem to be found in the same sentence and why every woman who has a decent amount of them covers up. I wear a bikini now but still have days when i feel challenged by seeing the smooth bellies of my friends who have kids. Thanks for the inspiring post.

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