Stretchmarks aren’t usually seen as something beautiful, there are a lot of products that aim to reduce stretchmarks and mainstream media generally edit and photoshop images to banish them. When I fell pregnant with Bear, I was given loads of advice on how to keep them at bay, so every night I rubbed ointment after ointment into my skin. The thing is I’m under five foot and both Bear and Monkey were reasonably big babies. Bear was born weighing 7lb 15oz and Monkey was born weighing 8lb 7oz, so stretchmarks were always going to be inevitable.
After Bear was born a lot of people reassured me that stretchmarks fade after a while and I would barely notice them. But my youngest is now 19 months old and although they are no longer bright purple, they are still as distinctive as ever. I convinced myself that if I lost weight they would be less noticeable, but actually the skinnier I am the more noticeable they are. In fact, now when I sit down the skin gathers around them, making them even more noticeable.
I’ve tried some really great products that either help prevent stretchmarks or reduce the appearance of them. The Secret Saviours set is really great for preventing stretchmarks and one I’d really recommend trying if you really don’t want to develop stretchmarks in pregnancy. If you already have stretchmarks and would like to reduce the appearance of them, I’d recommend looking at Love Boo’s body butter and the Simply Argan body scrub. I was recently given the scrub at an event and it really is an amazing product. I used it once and my stretchmarks started to look a lot less dominant straight away. The thing is over time my stretchmarks have become very important to me, so as I watched the argan oil scrub start to reduce them, I felt immensely sad and washed it off as best I could.
Seeing my stretchmarks fade made me realise that they aren’t something I see as ugly anymore. In fact I think they are very beautiful and a part of my body I’ve come to love deeply. Because my stretchmarks aren’t just a mark on my body, they are a memory, a story. They are a wonderful story of the babies I grew, protected and brought into the world. See, life is made up of stories. Some are good stories, some are bad, most leave a mark of some kind. My life has been quite a story so far, with so many of them etched over my body, but my favourite story is the one of my children and for each stretchmark is a memory of just how wonderful my life is, now that they are in it.
Not everyone will see stretchmarks as I do and not everyone will be comfortable with the ones that have been etched across their bodies from pregnancy. But for me, they are my special marks, left by an extraordinary event in my life and I won’t hide them. I will wear a bikini and feel happy with my body, proud of what is has accomplished and most importantly thankful for the marks left on it by the greatest story I will ever tell.
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