Postpartum Bodies & Stretch Marks

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My 25 week bump covered in stretch marks - the horror!

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." - 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. 

Here are some amazing, beautiful and real photos I have been given permission to share from some fantastic bloggers. Be sure to follow them on Instagram too. 

It’s taking some guts to do this, but I’m fed up of so many women putting themselves down. So many mums talking about getting rid of the ‘c section hang’ and in a rush to tone up once baby is here. This is me, right now, this morning. Those stretch marks? I didn’t get them when I was pregnant. I got them when I was 13 and going through chemotherapy. I bloated so much with the steroids that I got stretch marks everywhere! This isn’t all of them. My weight has been the gut cause of my anxiety all of my life and it’s only this past year that I’ve opened my eyes and I’m finally happy with who I am. My body hasn’t massively changed since having Evie, so it definitely wasn’t the best in the world πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆWho gives a damn about the guy who claims he doesn’t like stretch marks? Almost all of us have them so if you’re offended by them you need a reality check! That jelly belly I can’t do anything with!! It won’t tone. It’s done for πŸ˜‚ My body has been through an awful lot, it’s had cancer, it’s been self harmed, it’s been starved, it’s been pumped with chemotherapy, had no end of X-rays, PET/CAT/MRI scans, it’s gone through the menopause because of the chemo (so not even naturally), that scar underneath my boobage, with my freckle? Thats where my Hickman line was. By body has then been pumped with IVF drugs, it’s carried a baby when it shouldn’t have been able to, and now, it’s being given artificial hormones every single day just to keep them balanced. It’s given me grief, but it’s been given grief itself! I may not love it but it’s kept me alive for 25 years so far, 12 of those it’s been put to huge tests. My message is, stop being so hard on yourself! If you can change it and you want to change, then do it. But if you can’t, there is nothing you can do but learn to love it! Love what it’s been put through and what it’s giving you. You may not be happy as can be but I’ll tell you a secret, I don’t know anyone who loves every single part of their body! Show off your good bits and concentrate on those. Those ‘bad’ bits? I can almost guarantee no one has ever even thought about them ❤️❤️ my insta is private so hoping no trolls can get on and say mean things pahahaha πŸ˜‚
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I have decided to take part in the @channelmum body positivity week. I have written a post about how I'm feeling about my body post baby, I have included photos that I never thought I would post on the internet. I have never been confident with my body but I am starting to accept that my saggy tummy, stretchmarks & non existent boobs are actually not that bad.. the link is in my bio if you would like to have a read πŸ’• #mamafigure __________________________________ #bodyconfidence #bodypositivity #mamabody #mumbod #youngmum #stretchmarks #tigerstripes #channelmum #mummy #love #happy #mumsofinstagram #honest #honestmotherhood #instamum #myworld #16monthspostpartum #postpartum #postbaby #learningtolovemybody #toddlersofinstagram #16months #loveyou #babygirl #mumswithcameras #ukpbloggers
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I was nervous to post this and have waited almost 6 weeks to share it πŸ’• this is my bump 2 days post partum. It has since gone smaller, but my body will never be the same again. My hips have changed shape from labour and I’ll always have a pouch from where my bump has been. But my body carried 2 babies; it kept them safe, loved and healthy for 9 months πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ‘ΆπŸ» with the start of my surrogacy journey fast approaching, I honestly cannot wait to house a surro bub for a while ☺️ it’s sad that still, in this day and age, that surrogacy is still frowned upon by some people. It really isn’t like the Handmaids Tale at all, I promise! πŸ˜‚ I get to give the most amazing gift to people and they do to me too - the trust those parents have in their surrogates is damn amazing! πŸ™ŒπŸ» #2dayspostpartum #pregnancybody #postpartumbody #postpartumjourney #postpartum #surrogacy #surrogacyrocks #surrogacyjourney #surrogate #surrobub #ukparentbloggers #welshparentbloggers #mummybloggers #mummybloggersuk
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