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