Last week I found a stretch mark on the underside of my stomach and I cried for about 10 minutes. Then I cried again an hour later because I was mad at myself for crying over stretch marks. Then I texted my younger sister and then one of my best friends who although they both live miles away, they were able to cyber-snap me out of it. Because the truth is, all I’ve ever wanted was this baby. And everything that comes with it: excessive weight gain, stretch marks, swollen feet, all of it! But for some reason I felt so pressured to have things go perfect. People constantly tell me how horrible their pregnancies were and then ask me how I’m feeling and expect to hear the worse. Or they ask me how much weight I’ve gained or how sick do I feel. It’s like people expect you to be miserable or expect you to hate being pregnant. So when I suddenly saw that stretch mark I felt like I’d failed. Like “they” were all right. And I was wrong. That it’s not all baby showers, new monogrammed blankets, and pregnancy glow. They said I’d hate being pregnant and here I was crying over how pregnancy changed my body. I hadn’t been true to myself and I’d let vanity get me down. And that was what upset me the most.
But you know what? I think they were wrong. Yes I do have a stretch mark. But I like to think of it as my new beauty mark. And I don’t need to compare my pregnancy (or my body for that matter) to anyone else’s. Everyone’s story is different. And every story is as wonderful as you choose it to be. And as women we need to stop being so hard on ourselves, and stop being so negative to ourselves and to others about such a wonderful part of life that I’m so grateful I was given the chance to experience.
So I decided to share this photo on Instagram today, even though this is probably a little TMI (hello bra). And I’ve decided there will be no more crying, no more #FML or #FOMO, and I will smile at what this wonderful baby has given me. The most grateful, hard earned, desired beauty marks I’ve ever had.