These Are The Scars of Our Lives: Stretch Marks

Whether you are trying to conceive, pregnant or already a mom, we want you to know that you aren’t alone. We all have body insecurities and we have all tried to find ways of dealing with them. Some of us have stretch marks, others have sagging skin, some of us came out without a single stretch mark. We all have different body types and we all have had different pregnancies. We bare our stomachs to show you our scars, our battle wounds and the marks of our children. 

Jessica

My pre-pregnancy body was pretty awesome. I had small breasts, a flat tummy, some squish on my thighs and butt. Post-pregnancy, my breasts are A LOT bigger, my tummy is rounder and seems to want to stay that way, and there is actually less squish on my thighs and butt.

I got stretch marks on my inner and outer thighs and my breasts. I got one teeny one on my belly.

I did nothing to prevent them.

I have done nothing to fade them.

I don’t mind them at all. I’m actually glad I don’t have them on my belly, but I don’t stress about the others. I think stretch marks are a beautiful reminder of how fast pregnancy changes our bodies

Risa

Before I had babies, I was thin. Possibly even too thin. My pre-pregnancy weight with Peyton was MAYBE 100 pounds at 5’5″. Long legs, no booty and small boobs.

I didn’t get stretch marks on my tummy, but I do have a some on my breasts. I did get a TON of spider veins though.

I did nothing to prevent them and have done nothing to fade them.

After Lily was born it took about 4-6 months for them to fade on their own. I am hoping it will happen a similar way with Harper.

The stretch marks don’t really bother me. I actually feel a little indifferent to them. I guess I don’t care, I don’t hate them or love. I do have a c section scar that kind of was a little harder to come to terms with. With my heart surgeries I grew up hating these huge scars all over my body so the very last thing I wanted was another scar. Peyton was born so quickly that my scar is a tad higher than most bikini line scars and goes practically from hip-to-hip. I was lucky though because even though it was so fast my doctor was able to not cut my torso vertically. I would take stretch marks over another scar any day.

Geneva

Pre-pregnancy I was average sized. I had stretch marks already from puberty, and expected I’d get more if I did a good job growing a big baby. I read a lot of the information about being gentle with yourself and adored quotes like, “Your body isn’t ruined, you’re a goddamn tiger who has earned her stripes!”

When I didn’t get any stretch marks until 36 weeks, I was very disheartened. I had grown to want them. And when they first arrived, I felt overjoyed. And a bit, well… hormonal. I cried and took a few weeks to decide if I was really unhappy or just thought I should be unhappy because everyone kept telling me they would fade.

I didn’t use stretch mark cream, but did use cocoa butter during my pregnancy to help with the itching.

I love my stretch marks. Like, I’m obsessed. I have as many body issues as the next woman, but none with my stretchies. I adore them. The first time I really fell in love with them was my first day of class around eight weeks postpartum. I had to be away from my son, and when I went to scratch my belly, my shirt lifted and my heart skipped a beat. I am away from him way more than I’d like to be, and I am endlessly grateful for the constant reminder he has left on my skin.

Alyssa

Pre-babies I was very tiny. Size 5 with small boobs, and a body most people would kill for. After five kids, my boobs are huge and saggy, I have A LOT of overhang on my belly from extra skin, I am covered in stretch marks and lucky if I can squeeze myself into a size 10.

Two months after Zak was born, I was smaller than I have ever been at a size 0 with a completely flat tummy. I did not get any stretch marks with him anywhere on my body except my boobs. After Landenwas born,  I had stretch marks on every part of my body: under my arms, behind my knees, on my tummy, down my thighs, and on my hips, butt, and even my ankles. There is literally not a square inch on my body that doesn’t have stretch marks.

I did not use anything to prevent with Zak. With Landen I used the Palmers Cocoa Butter and Nivia Firming Creme. Obviously it did not work.

I have not done anything to fade them.

Honestly, I hate my body and am looking forward to the day I get a tummy tuck, breast lift, and some serious lipo. The stretch marks don’t bother….it’s just everything else that does.

Xza

My pre-pregnancy body wasn’t one that I was exactly comfortable in; I was thin, but never thin enough. I was curvy when I wanted to be a waif and I had semi-small boobs. My post-pregnancy body is something I am actually fairly comfortable in. I’m relatively thin and I’m still curvy, but I feel like my curves now serve a purpose.

I did not get stretch marks. I did get some more noticeable veins on my thighs and boobs, but nothing in the way of visible stretch marks.

I don’t know if my lack of stretch marks is genetic or not, but I used the same treatment my mother used and her tummy is stretch-mark free. She used Clarins Tonic Oil and I used the stuff too. I used two bottles throughout my pregnancy and at $60 a pop, it’s not cheap, but I believe in its benefits. It’s not a conventional stretch mark preventative and it is pricey, but for me it was worth it.

I don’t know what to think about stretch marks, I think they are a beautiful reminder of your children, but I can also understand why women dislike them. I don’t think anyone should feel ashamed of them though.

Kelli

Before I had the twins, I weighed about 105 pounds and had a flat stomach. I didn’t have any stretch marks after the twins were born. I had a few stretch marks on my hips after I had CeCe, but after each pregnancy I returned to about the same size as beforehand. After having Adele, however, I have gained a few more stretch marks on my hips and plenty on my stomach. My stomach seems happy being a little poochy, but I haven’t done much to change that either.

I used Cocoa Butter from The Body Shop to prevent stretch marks with my first pregnancy but did nothing during the other two. I’ve never used anything to fade them.

I honestly don’t mind my stretch marks. Like others, I feel like they’re a sign of the four beautiful little lives that my body has nurtured, and there’s just something kinda special about that!

Misty

Pre-pregnancy I was average sized. I wouldn’t say I was little, but I was happy with my weight. My first pregnancy I gained 70 lbs. (SEVENTY POUNDS, PEOPLE!). My second pregnancy I gained 20 lbs. I am still in the process of getting back to my first pre-pregnancy weight. I have lost 35 lbs. since January of this year!

I have stretch marks on my hips and a few on my breasts. Most of them have since faded.

I used coconut oil during my first pregnancy. No stretchmarks on my stomach. I didn’t use anything during my second. No stretchmarks on my stomach. I thank genetics.

I haven’t used anything to fade the ones that I have. Time has done a good job with that.

I don’t notice my stretch marks much. I use sunless tanner and it hides them for the most part. I am proud of the ones I have. I have have birthed two babies. I am not ashamed of my body in the least.

 

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About the author

Xza
Xza Louise Higgins is the founder of MommyCon, creator of The Mommy Dialogues, and punk rock mom to two year old Atticus in the great city of Chicago, IL. She is incredibly passionate about birth options, human rights, and promoting gentle parenting practices.

No Comments

  1. Gabriella -  July 29, 2012 - 10:18 pm

    I’m 37 weeks pregnant and EVERY inch of my abdomen and sides are covered with stretch marks. I’m so depressed about it and I hate the way I look. I’ve read this post twice today and I’m starting to feel a little better. Great post!

    • Geneva -  July 29, 2012 - 10:50 pm

      Oh, Mama! It is such a strange thing to say that I am tremendously jealous. I have quite a few stretch marks, but I can’t wait to get even more next time.
      There isn’t much that I can say to change your outlook on your well-earned stripes, but I assure you: they will fade. You are not alone. You are amongst an army of women who are dissatisfied with their stretch marks and all fighting the same fight. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to mourn the loss of your pre-mommy body. As long as you aren’t turning it into self hatred or an obsession. Your body won’t be like this forever. And neither will the baby wiggling in your belly. The good and bad will both pass; I pray you will be able to focus more on these last few kicks and wiggles and less on the marks that are secretly SOOO beautiful. <3.

  2. Amanda M S -  August 3, 2012 - 5:37 pm

    You all are beautiful women. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Allison -  August 4, 2012 - 10:09 pm

    I found a tiny stretch mark on my outer hip just before going into labor and was ok with it because my huge tattoo did a good job concealing it. After giving birth, when the skin is unstretched, I noticed more right under my belly button. It was upsetting at first but then I realized I grew a baby inside me! My body has gone mostly back to normal and it’s been 12 weeks. I went up a size and notice some extra jiggle on my thighs, by oh well. I used to be a gym fanatic but have only worked out once since giving birth. It’s no longer a priority of mine. I love to do it, but spending time with the baby is something I won’t get back. I sometimes have mixed feelings about my post pregnancy body, but when I look in the mirror I just see a woman who gave birth and whose son’s life depends on her. Makes me forget all about the stretch marks, extra jiggle, and lack of gym time.

  4. Alicia -  August 10, 2012 - 10:18 pm

    This has been my favorite post! I love how it shows women that their bodies are beautiful!

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