Updated: Apr 7

The changes our pregnant and post partum bodies go through are both scary and miraculous. I have struggled with the changes in my body, especially after my youngest child was born. During my pregnancy, my body swelled so much that I had more stretch marks than both my previous pregnancies. I felt incredibly self-conscious about them, and hid them with long skirts and pants. They were painful and itchy all the time, even when I applied lotion to them. My body was stretching and stressing, which is why I was induced a couple weeks early. I had a C-section and I now sport the red scar. I honestly don't mind the surgical scar because that is how my baby was born safely. I wear that scar with pride and gratitude. But why do I feel so differently about my stretchmark scars? What is so different about them?

I sometimes bully myself about the way parts of my body look. Why is it so easy to judge our bodies on something like a stretchmark after they have done something so selfless and amazing? I endured heavy shifts in hormones, extreme pain and nausea, and an organ squish to make space for my growing babe- and yet I push myself around for having some tiger stripes on my thighs. Writing it down and seeing the words makes me realize not only how ridiculous it is- but also how real it is. The way we feel about our bodies after pregnancy is very real and it is so important that we talk about it because we can support those who are struggling and get help if needed.

Shortly after giving birth to my youngest baby, I began feeling a mix of big emotions. I went through a big change in hormones and on one emotional day, I decided to start writing again. I used to write poetry a lot as a teen because I enjoyed expressing myself through fancy words that rhymed. This is a poem that I wrote while I was nursing my baby;


I look at my body

The marks up and down my thighs

Stretching upward on my belly

Like they are reaching to the sky

I look at my body

My swollen, leaking breasts

Milk flows from me to my babe

During these quiet moments of rest

I look at my body

My tender, squishy belly

Still swollen from surgery

And jiggles like jelly

I look at my body

My tired, sleep deprived eyes

My messy hair bun

It’s the “new mom” disguise

I look at my body

From my toes to my face

And though a lot has changed

I accept these changes with grace

Because I look at my body

And now I see

The amazing things it has done

As I hold my tiny, new baby.

As I navigate through these changes in my body, I will remember to face them with grace, love, and kindness- just as I would do for a friend if they were to reach out to me. It's so easy to disregard our own feelings. I want to make it not so easy anymore. I want it to be easy to love myself as I continue my healthy lifestyle and strive to do better for myself. My children are watching me- and I want them to treat themselves with love and kindness just as they do to others.

I am grateful for my tiger stripes.

With love,


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