Postpartum Bodies & Stretch Marks

January 10, 2018

It’s been almost 2 years since I gave birth for the first time. Nearly 24 months of me looking in the mirror, accepting that is just what I have to live with now, and getting on with it.

When I re-read my old post about stretch marks, I felt so disheartened. I am definitely not proud of it when I look back, although I was quite sick of seeing people telling you how much you should love them, and I just did not feel that way. I have considered deleting it, but decided against it. You see, I can’t say it wasn’t an honest post, because it was, but I didn’t realise at the time that being so negative might impact anyone else who may have been feeling self conscious.
I’ll be honest, stretch marks are shit. They’re shit in the way that you know you’re either going to get them, or you won’t, and I knew with my luck that the second I fell pregnant I would end up being covered. I had about 3 other friends who were pregnant at the same time as me posting pictures of their uncovered bumps and I was so jealous because I had bulging, purple stripes climbing past my belly button and I didn’t want people to be repulsed.
I only ever shared covered pictures of my bump and I do regret it now.
I’ll tell you why, because it’s not realistic. Yeah, there are people out there who are so bloody lucky to not get any and they will look amazingly unscathed for the rest of their lives, but in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter?
I had typed up that post when Oscar was 4 months old and it was probably not even a month after that I realised how stupid I was being. I had a huge incision across the lower half of my stomach to signify his safe entry to the world, my stretch marks were beginning to fade and Anthony still loved me the way I was and that had never changed.
I still don’t know why I was so bothered by them. I’m not a body confident person anyway, and I don’t even know whether I would have taken pictures of my bump uncovered even if I didn’t have them. I was worried I wouldn’t ever be able to show off my stomach, but I never have done that in my life. Even when I lost 4 stone back in 2013 and actually got into size 8 jeans, I still wasn’t confident. I feel like no matter what, us women will never be proud of the way we look and I do blame society for that. Oh and people like Beyonce (I mean she is bloody beautiful anyway and I could do with all aspects of her life) showing off their flat, stretch mark free stomachs not even days after they have given birth.
If I hadn’t been bothered by stretch marks, I probably would have still been bothered by my section scar, or my loose skin, or some other change to my body that came with growing a child.

Even when someone gets to looking like she should be proud of herself, instead she’s like “I could be another three pounds less; I could be a little taller and have bigger lips.” Where does it end? You just have to say, “It’s pretty damn good. I am right here at the moment and I’m OK with it. I’ve got other things to think about.”Β – Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy is goals.
What we really need is public figures and celebrities showing what it is really like until it becomes the norm again. I don’t know what it is about celebrities having the desire to get back into their old pants and share it on Instagram 20 seconds after they have given birth. What are they actually gaining from doing it anyway?! What reward do you get for looking like you haven’t been pregnant? Is it something to be ashamed of?
To be frank, I couldn’t be arsed.

I’m hoping this is where bloggers can change this perception, and why I was so disappointed in myself in the first place when I went back over that post. Contrary to what it says, I am now so happy with my body and I wouldn’t think twice about discussing it or showing it to anybody. I’m not here to pretend that it’s wonderful, I’m here to tell you the truth.

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