I noticed my very first stretch mark during the eighth month of my first pregnancy. Initially I thought, “It’s just one.” Two weeks later, just one had become several. Stretch marks covered my stomach. It seemed like no part was left unscathed.
The more I noticed, the more insecurity smothered me, the more my confidence shattered. I was devastated.
My body would never be beautiful again.
Accepting my body after birth was grueling, to say the least. Even with a great support system my self esteem took a toll. I was fixated. I wanted nothing more than to conceal their existence.
When my doctor informed me that I was pregnant again, I was thrilled. But once the initial excitement wore off I immediately found myself dreading the inevitable…more stretch marks. I could feel the devastation developing again. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a small, simple poem that I started to accept my stretch marks, even slowly learned to love them.
“A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn’t very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That’s OK. It was your home. It’s where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it.”
Pregnancy is a divine yet demanding experience.
An experience that causes our bodies to change.
Sometimes that change creates a mark.
A mark that indicates one of the most beautiful journeys.
A mark that indicates one of the most miraculous moments.
For me, those miraculous moments are called Elijah and Ethan.
My stretch marks are permanent reminders of a precious time; a time I will never be able to share with my sons again.