Why I Don't Mind My Stretch Marks

The other day I was scrolling through one of my social network feeds, and I came across a photo of a postpartum belly with stretch marks.  

The caption on the photo is what caught my attention - it said "For every woman who is unhappy with her postpartum marks is another who wishes she had them."

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that it wasn't easy for me to get pregnant with either of my children - and I loved this quote because it is so true, and it's something I have thought often about similar pregnancy and postpartum "complaints". 

I read through some of the comments on the photo, because I felt it made such a good point - and many of the comments were from people analyzing this poor girl's stretch marks - how far postpartum was she, her habits during pregnancy, and those "thank goodness I didn't get stretch marks like that" type comments.

I was a bit taken aback.  First of all because her belly really didn't look bad - my stretch marks are worse, at least at the moment.  But secondly because it seemed as if these people were completely missing the point.

Yes, pregnancy can be uncomfortable, even painful.  And yes, your body will never be the same afterward.  But to have a child, to carry them in your womb?   It's a privilege to be able to experience any of it at all, even the unpleasant sides of child-bearing.  There are women out there who wish more than anything that they could have a few stretch marks on their bellies.

I feel so blessed to have the stretch marks, even as bad as they are.  They are a reminder of what I once thought I might never have - my greatest earthly gifts, my children.  

There is no way I would change any of it. 


I wanted to share this poem I found as well, because it is beautiful, and it fits in nicely with my feelings on the subject of stretch marks . . .

"When I put on my bikini,
I get all kinds of stares.
They don't know how I can act
like they're not even there.
They once were red as fire,
and although they'll slowly fade
They'll always remind me of
the life that we once made.

I've got a mark for every worry,
and trust there were not few.
One for each and every time
you kicked me while you grew.
A stripe for each chubby cheek,
10 fingers and 10 toes.
Another for the times I've held you tight
and kissed your nose.

I watched my body swell so large
while you grew big inside
and I couldn't care much less about them, 
blinded by my pride.
Now they remind me of your smiles
and the hairs atop your head,
And someday they'll remind me 
of the funny things you said.

They're my zebra stripes, my stretch marks,
my war and battle scars,
And I'll never be too bothered
because I know that you are ours.
They may not be too flattering
to my midsection, it's true,
But I'd get them again all over
if it meant that I'd get you."

-Poem by Caitlyn Blake, shared with permission.

Originally posted here and also shared on Birth Without Fear
(and I think this is Caitlyn's  blog)


Also, linking up this post here.
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Allison said...

beautiful! love this-)

Heather @ Simple Wives said...


Natalie said...

I really needed to.read this! I'm getting to the very uncomfortable part of pregnancy and this is such.a great reminder that there is someone praying today that she could be uncomfortable. thank you.

Mrs. G said...

So true! The, ahem, "revised" body I have now is worth it because it came from having my daughter, the child I prayed and longed for. It hurts my heart to see women complaining about stretch marks or other "negative" side effects of pregnancy when so many would give anything to have them.

Jessica said...

I love this. I was just admiring my fading marks of motherhood yesterday and was feeling a bit sad about them, but they are such an incredible reminder of the life we created and how amazing our bodies are! What a good reminder :)

Melissa said...

So so true. :) Thanks for posting about this!

Vanessa Miller said...

Aww...what a nice post. I know all about this! I swelled up so badly with my daughter that my belly was HUGE! No amount of moisturizer or cream could keep those zebra stripes away! I'm sure they will get worse with the second one but who cares! They signify something extraordinary.

Jessica said...

What a great post! And it's so true. Every time I want to complain about being sick or nauseous or other "annoying" symptoms,I have to remind myself how many months I've waited and prayed for these things! I'd do it all over again (including the waiting) for the end result!

Caitlynne and Jared said...

This is amazing. And it couldn't have come at a better time. I am at that stage of this second pregnancy where stretch marks start happening and I wasn't having a good attitude about it. This completely changed my perspective and made me focus on the tiny kicks and the hiccups. Stretch marks will always be a reminder of these moments where I'm the one who knows him best and I'm the only thing he needs. Thank you!

Michelle said...

Thanks for posting! I know I don't have kids yet, but this is a great post.

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing with us.

Melanie said...

So true! I have ALOT of them after I had Makayla..I love being able to look at them in a different 'light' after reading your post and that poem!!!

Shae said...

That poem! How sweet!

Breanna said...

This post made me cry...wow. I can totally relate, as I have been there, too. My husband and I struggled with Infertility for two years before becoming pregnant with our son (who was just born in December!) and I cherish my stretch marks for all the reasons you listed above. <3

Kathryn said...

I love this. Thank you. Our children truly are the Lords good gift... such a blessing that is worth every spot and mark and stretch and blemish to our earthly bodies! Praise God for these babes!

Brittney said...

This made me cry - what a beautiful post! Having been on both sides I wouldn't trade my stretch marks for the world (and I have more than a few;)) They are so worth it for our precious babies.

JLynn said...

During my last pregnancy I could not have lived without the Stretch Mark Cream from Apothederm http://apothederm.com/shop-products/body/stretch-mark-cream/
It was very effective for my past stretch marks and the new marks I got. I would recommend it!

Elisabeth Allen said...

This is beautiful, Callie, thanks so much for sharing your heart! *Hug!*

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