Some people call them tiger stripes, a name that comes with honor. Other people call them ugly names and despise the fact that they have them, they do all in their power to make them disappear. The way I recently came to see them is as a joyous memory of the time I grew, nurtured, dreamed about, and took the best care of myself for our Little Nugget.
Last night, I had something like an epiphany on those dreaded marks that I used to see as ugly permanent scratch-looking scars on my belly. I can’t explain what it was that made me change my thoughts on them, but I know that I saw something that took me back to those comforting memories from my pregnancy.
I won’t lie, I didn’t always feel this at peace with having these marks on my belly. When I was about 8 months pregnant, Josh was rubbing my belly and he noticed something that I couldn’t see myself…STRETCH MARKS! Now that I think about it, I don’t think it would have mattered how he pointed them out to me. As soon as those two words left his mouth, I remember quickly waddling to the bathroom to check them out in disbelief. After figuring out how to contort my body to see my collection of stretch marks, I proceeded with the crying, moping, and sulking. I thought I was in the clear. I was eight months in for goodness sake! How could I come this far, taken this good care of myself, and still have stretch marks?! For the record, Josh was genuinely sweet when he pointed them out to me. When he noticed them, he described them as beautiful and was proud that I was carrying his child. I still cried and felt sorry for my body. How selfish of me.
I guess it was just my time to embrace them. I see every line as a memory of Little Nugget being nurtured by my body. He is the reason those marks are there, and no, I am not blaming him. I am extremely grateful that I was blessed in bearing my own child, and if it wasn’t for one of the biggest blessings in my life thus far, I would not have such beautiful marks to call my own. I don’t know how I feel about calling them “tiger stripes”, but what that name stands for is how I feel about them now.
I am honored to have my own.
I am still embarrassed about my post-pregnancy body (some days more than others). However, I now ask myself, “Why not feel proud of it?” Yesterday was the day I stood up for myself and the capabilities my body has. I was able to grow a child darn it! And for those that think stretch marks on a momma are ugly, this I say to them, “You grow a baby and try not to stretch that fine body of yours without changing its physical appearance in even the smallest way.” And I’d end that statement with a smile.
Our physical bodies are temporary just as the life we share and the memories we make with our children.
Why not see the beauty in those memories stretched across your temple?
My better half loving on my belly. I miss being pregnant!
Photo by Ken Scarboro.
“Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree
Photo by Ken Scarboro.
Cheers to the beauty and memories that our bodies carry!