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Week 24: Roadmap reality

Fact: In Normal People World, small = cute. It’s one of those unwritten laws of the universe. Case in point: children, kittens, cupcakes, etc. Unfortunately (and unfairly), in Pregnant People World, the “small = cute” law doesn’t always apply. Case in point: stretch marks. You know, the tiny but insidious purply things that stretch across...

Fact: In Normal People World, small = cute. It’s one of those unwritten laws of the universe. Case in point: children, kittens, cupcakes, etc.
Unfortunately (and unfairly), in Pregnant People World, the “small = cute” law doesn’t always apply. Case in point: stretch marks.
You know, the tiny but insidious purply things that stretch across your abdomen and turn you into a living, breathing road map? In the summer, they dash all hopes of you wearing a two-piece out in public ever again. In the winter, they threaten to crawl out the top of your turtleneck sweater. In short, they suck. (Excuse my French, but that’s some mama-to-mama real talk, right there.)
And, when you get them for the first time, you cry. I’ll never forget the moment I discovered my first mark when I was pregnant with Jacob. Tom and I were enjoying a perfectly pleasant afternoon by the pool until I happened to glance down. Despite months of dousing myself in Bio-oil, there it was: a little line creeping up the side of my hip. Instantly, the water works were on.
Within weeks, my single mark had multiplied quicker than a cage full of rabbits. I was covered. So, like any normal first-time pregnant mom, I cried some more.
This time around, I’ve been able to face stretch marks with much more dignity (or is it disinterest?). When I realized last week that my stretch marks suddenly had stretch marks, I did what any normal second-time mom would do: I threw on a T-shirt so I wouldn’t have to look at the ugly little suckers and went about my day.
Though I’m not thrilled that, in addition to our baby girl, I’ll be growing more stretch marks for the next 16 weeks, I am at peace with it. With my first pregnancy, I knew that despite my best efforts, my pretty, unmarred skin was gone forever. It was like watching a beautiful, brand-new car get crumpled into a million pieces.
This time, getting new stretch marks has been like watching Grandpa’s clunky old rust-bucket get another scratch. The general sentiment being, “Meh. No one will ever notice.” And, if they do notice and actually care? I’ll just tell them where they can go … and show them on my roadmap belly how to get there.

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