Blog: Stretch Marks and Pregnancy

This blog originally is from my old mom-blog A Mommy Memoir. It was written shortly after my first was born, and although I now have two children - this post is still as true today as it was 2+ years ago. If you just had a baby and you're fretting about the way you look, please please be easy on yourself - and read this blog!!
All the love, Nat Marie

I don’t recognize my own body anymore. What was once tight and firm is now soft and cushioned. My jeans barely fit, my belly button sags (it really does), and my skin has been stretched beyond what was even imaginable. There’s no doubt about it, I have stretch marks.

That’s not something I am necessarily proud of. In fact, I don’t think you’ll find me ever showing them off in public… but I have them. And, I’m pretty sure there are a lot of other moms out there that also bear the beloved “mommy marks”… so I know I’m in good company.

But, let’s be honest: there is no amount of cocoa butter or coconut oil that can “fix” the lines that have been forever etched onto my body. The lines that came just weeks before my baby’s due date.

I must admit that my body as a new mom is one that I’m still getting used to. My poor, patient husband probably cannot keep count of how many tears I’ve cried when trying on my old clothes, nor can he keep count the times I unassumingly ask him, “does it look like I just had a baby?”

Well, the answer is yes. I did just have a baby, and right now, it’s time to embrace it.

This body has been marked by love; there are hundreds of lines on my belly to remind me of the little girl and little boy that grew inside of me. Those same lines prove that my body was bursting with life inside of it. These are the marks that will forever remind me of my babies. I shared my body with both of them; they literally grew within me. They are a part of me. Forever.

I can bet that my heart has stretch marks, too. For before Felicity was born, my heart was content just loving my God and my husband… and the occasional great glass of red wine. But then, one glorious day, two pink lines appeared on a small, urine soaked stick — telling us that she was here. There was a life growing within me.

My heart couldn’t imagine how much love could grow for such a small person. My heart was tight and firm, but God slowly began to stretch it out. And it’s being stretched out every single day. Every smile she cracks, my heart is stretched. Every coo and cry, it’s being stretched even more. I didn’t think I could love her any more than I did yesterday, but then, today came.

The stretch marks on my heart must be beautiful, because my babies put them there. Just as the stretch marks on my belly are beautiful as well.

I know that eventually my body will start to change and tighten again (God willing and endurance lasting), and those stretch marks will not seem so drastic anymore… and that’s okay. But the marks on my heart that were etched in from my love for Felicity will never lighten; they will never fade. And that’s more than okay.

So bring on the stretch marks… no need for cocoa butter on this heart.