I’ve earned my Tiger Stripes!

Stretch Marks. Every pregnant woman dreads them. As soon as you  see a bulging tummy, your first reaction is to lather on all the stretch mark creams you can find. Women will read hundreds of reviews and spend far too much money on creams that claim to erase  or avoid the appearance of stretchmarks. But let’s face it: Those buggers aren’t going anywhere!

I was lucky enough to escape unscathed up until I reached my 8th month of pregnancy. Up until that point, I swore by my ritual of applying Olive Oil over my pregnant belly every single night. My tummy was smooth and mark free, until one day I turned to my side and saw three lines slashed across my hip as if Wolverine had clawed me in the night. (Not SUCH a bad thought is it?!) I scrambled closer to the mirror and then looked at my bottle of Olive Oil, dissapointed.

Soon after, Wolverine had made his mark on the other hip as well as the front of my stomach, close to the linea nigra (which was also dark and precise as if drawn by an MUA using a dark brown eye pencil). I still carried on with my Olive Oil rituals, in hopes it would fade. By the end of pregnancy, they most definitely had not!

At first, I would watch my husband very closely as he studied my stretch marks and asked him how he felt about them. I was apprehensive but he was not phased. He still adored me and loved me, with or without stretch marks, and that really helped my confidence grow. I came across Stretch Marks being hailed as Tiger Stripes and read many motivational paragraphs from other pregnant women who loved their belly, just the way it was, and I was soon converted into their way of thinking.

I took pride in the marks that were evidence of what my body had been through to give birth to another human being. Why is it that woman are expected to stay the same after undergoing such a miracle? We should all be proud of what our bodies are capable of. After all, we earned those tiger stripes!

9 months post partum, and they have faded plenty. However, remnants of my stripes can still be seen with a squinted eye, and Yes my stomach is a little stretchy because I am not one to work out in the gym. But you know what, I’m not phased. I do not over study my stomach in the mirror, trying to find faults or fill my head with more worries. I truly am happy in my self and in my skin, even if it is a tad stretchy and blotched as if it were a wall covered by the doodles of a toddler.

I hope this post enables you to also let go of any insecurities that you may have about your body that were brought on by pregnancy. We would sacrifice everything for our little babies, and indeed we have already sacrificed so much already. Those stretch marks are a sacrifice and they are beautiful just the way they are. Embrace them.

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