Stretch It Out
The week I found out I was pregnant, I began researching ways to prevent stretch marks. Some oils reach below the surface of the skin and promise to be more effective. Some celebrities swear by this lotion or that. I spent almost $25 on a small bottle of oil from CVS and began applying it daily. The bottle recommended that I begin applying the oil after the first trimester, but I didn't want to wait. After about a week, I realized that I wasn't growing as rapidly as I expected and should probably postpone slathering it on every day.
Summer came and temperatures began to rise, along with my "bump."However, in this heat, I have absolutely no desire to smear anything thick on my mid-section. I have no desire or energy to to rub some goop all over my stomach in order to avoid stretch marks. I also began thinking about what I was willing to rub on my skin and how much of that would be going to the baby. Skin is your largest organ and it absorbs the stuff that you rub into it. I didn't really know what kind of chemicals were in these products and if they would be okay for the baby.
Then, I saw a quote. I'm paraphrasing, but essentially it said, "For every woman complaining about stretch marks is another woman wishing she had them." Damn. That hit home with me. I am growing a living human being inside of me, right?? I mean, I still have stretch marks from growing a foot in 6th grade. I still have stretch marks from finally hitting puberty and getting boobs. These stretch marks don't bother me at all. They're just part of my body. My journey.
So, why do we have this obsession with growing an entire human inside of ourselves and not getting stretch marks? Why do women constantly post about their stretch mark journey, or lack thereof? How many times have you seen someone post, 8 months in, "I use cocoa butter (oil, salve, whatever) and I haven't had one stretch mark!" Are we really trying to shame women who are going through the same thing, who have also tried to avoid stretch marks but haven't succeeded? Does this feel like winning?
I think that we should end all conversations regarding stretch marks. You don't have a better or worse pregnancy than anyone else, just because of your belly skin. Proudly share your bump, regardless of your "tiger stripes." Let's end the stigma around stretch marks. You are creating a life in less than a year. Who cares if that leaves a mark??