Stretch marks, the unwanted battle scars of carrying a child. Let me say that yes, after my first pregnancy I came to terms with what I had because anything was worth it to get that sweet little pink baby bundle. Yet, I will admit that once they began to fade, I did do a little happy dance.
From all of the research I did on stretch mark prevention the first time around, I sadly discovered that the gene pool lottery determines your fate and no amount of creams or butters can alter that. My mother got them, so I knew that my fate was sealed. Yet, once I found out that you might be able to soften the blow with good moisturizing, I was rubbing my belly day and night religiously. This all started around eight weeks, long before my belly had grown and way before my skin was doing any mark inducing stretching. I made it through my entire pregnancy without one appearing, which was quite the pleasant surprise, but then the thing happened that nobody prepared me for …
I had given birth, come home, and started settling into my new routine as a mama caring for my daughter around the clock, and for myself if I found the time. Then one day as I headed to the shower, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I had to do a double (and triple) take because what I saw on my lower abdomen were stretch marks. They were barely noticeable, but they were there much to my dismay. Why did nobody tell me that you can get stretch marks from losing your baby weight? Losing the weight after pregnancy was always something that was this big glorious to-do enrobed in positivity, but not once did I hear someone share that you can still get stretch marks. Yet, there they were and the proof was undeniable. I even had my husband come examine them to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. Self-care had gone out the window since bringing home a baby, so I had very abruptly stopped my twice daily belly moisturizing ritual. Maybe if I had kept it up it would have helped, or maybe not.
Fast forward a year post pregnancy, I found out I was pregnant again and started back up the belly rituals. This time I was beginning at a disadvantage, though, because I still had very faint remnants of stretch marks from my first pregnancy. That proved to be enough to set me up for a whole different experience. My belly grew faster, bigger, and the stretch marks appeared with no consideration for my feelings. While I may be walking away from this second pregnancy with more battle scars, I am finding myself teetering between the pride of growing another life and the hope that they fade fast. Until then I’ll be using all of the belly moisturizers that I can find until this next baby can walk in hopes that it does the trick.