I was so disappointed and still get teary when I think about how late they arrived.
I thought I was in the clear, I was bragging about how they hadn't arrived and then I turned around one morning. There in the mirror, starring right back at me, at 39 weeks, they were here.
I thought it was just something on the mirror, so I went to the bathroom and they were still there.
All over my belly.
I had just been talking to my mom about how people think it's wild that I don't have any and how she didn't have any so maybe it's genetic. I was saying how I use Palmer's lotion and how it "must be doing the job."
I started reading on the internet about how some people didn't get stretch marks until after their labor. Some had stretch marks beforehand but they worsened after labor. Some didn't get any at all. Then I started to fear that I could potentially get them after labor...
I was so determined to let my body go into labor on its own. I didn't want to force what is natural. I wanted to wait. So, we did. I was 40 weeks and 6 days, the day I delivered. And there they were... they didn't want to wait 13 days, they wanted to invade and they did.
I was so mad. I couldn't believe that they had shown up so late and that they were just everywhere. I think about what my next pregnancy will be like and I wonder if they will get worse. I think about looking at myself in the mirror and just hating the way I look. I get this lump in my throat thinking about what my body used to look like and what it does now. And then I think about my husband. If I feel this way about the way I look, does he feel the same way? It just makes me so upset.
It's just awful.
When I was really down about it, I found this picture and poem and I thought... oh, I'm such a brat.
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’s ugly.
It was your home.
It held you until my arms could
and for that,
I will always find something beautiful in it.
Now, I think about our journey to finally hold this little one in our arms and love him. I think about the doctors that tried to walk with us down this struggle. I think about the drugs, needles, dr. appointments, fights, tears, phone calls, pregnancy tests, vitamins, IUIs, ultrasounds, surgeries, procedures, tests, nurses, exam tables, and heartache. I think about the blog entries I would write, the pain we felt and the emptiness. I think about "Spud", our first pregnancy and how in love we were with everything surrounding that pregnancy. I think about losing that pregnancy and how much we hurt. I think about all of the miles, the gas, the money, the plans and the hope that we had with every day that would pass.
I think about all the planning we did, only to have everything fall into place when we really weren't looking. I think about the happiness we shared when we found out about both pregnancies and the joy that filled our hearts, both times. I think about the months that we watched my belly grow, the dr. appointments, the hospital visits, the hours we spent in the nursery, the things we bought, and the love that we had for this little one... long before he arrived.
I think about the 11 hours I labored with Coen. I think about every breath I took without an epidural. Everything that lead up to my c-section and finally holding my little baby boy.
|Yes, that's me.|
Just look at the sweetness...
I'm learning to be more and more proud of these marks. It's not easy. I read this poem above to remind myself why they are here and why they arrived.
I realize, now, that they may never go away. They may never fade or disappear. And I'm learning to be okay with this. So what if I can never wear a bikini again... they make some great mommy bathing suits these days. I'll make do.
These lines, they mean something. They tell our story of how we brought this little one into the world. They mean more to me than I ever thought they would. So what if they are ugly. It's just another piece of our journey and I'm happy to have them.