First Pregnancy Series: Stretch Marks. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Stretch Marks. They were never something I worried about much before becoming pregnant. I guess I always just felt like they’re a natural part of the process and the trade-off for a beautiful baby nullifies any concerns. I never minded the concept of possibly getting ‘fat’ for my baby. If it wasn’t out of control I never thought I’d mind and as a slimmer person, a larger body size and stretching skin equals stretch marks, right?

Still, once I learned I was pregnant, I bought two pounds (32 oz) of unrefined shea butter to use on my skin. If I were going to get them, it wouldn’t be for a lack of trying not to. Since my skin dried out horribly in early pregnancy, my whipped concoction of butter and oils were for more than one purpose. Only the summer heat hit like a ton of bricks and I continued to oil up as much as I could bear it.  The hotter it got, the more showers I took and the less I was able to tolerate the mixture after every shower. So I eventually didn’t oil up more than I did. And then the itching started. As much as I tried not to scratch, the tell-tale wails and marks all over my body (even arms and legs) told me I wasn’t very successful. Today, I noticed my first stretch mark on my breast. Just one. I can see the broken skin and several others under the skin. Then the feelings took hold. Shock, hurt, disappointment. This soon, twenty-three weeks and five days. I needed my Boobles (husband) to hold me. My mind tells me it’s logical. I was a member of the ‘itty bitty titty committee’ and have grown two cup sizes since being pregnant. And they are still growing. I thought I was mentally prepared for this being part of the process. So why am I sad? Why are there flowing tears for the body I was used to seeing for almost twenty-seven years? Why am I sad that suddenly I may never look the same stripped in front of a mirror?

Yes, yes, my baby is worth it. I ought to be proud of them however many I get. I already know all that. But that doesn’t explain the tumultuous feelings over something so…. dare I say insignificant in the grand scheme of things? Dare I say I need time to adjust, to become as comfortable in my new skin as I was in the old? And is there really time while it all changes so fast? My only consolation is my prize at the end of this forty week journey. My baby. I already know I would give my life for hers. She’s not even here yet and already I cannot imagine life without her in the picture. Isn’t it ironic? Stretch marks make me cry. But I want them if it means I get my baby.

How emotionally contradictory and confusing. Maybe I’m more superficial than I thought. Hormones? Yea, I’ll blame hormones for this one.

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