Stretch Marks, Twin Skin and Bikinis?
Stretch marks! Wah!
With my first child I had none. I'm an only child and my mom has no stretch marks. She told me it's genetic, I felt like one of the lucky ones. I thought I had good genes...til I got pregnant with twins.
I must say, the whole "I have good genes" thing really did do a number on me. I didn't even know what a new stretch mark looked like and throughout my pregnancy with my twin sons I failed to recognize those lines and marks on my stomach as stretch marks.
Hindsight is 20/20
Because I just knew I had "good genes," I never bothered rubbing cocoa butter or any other stretch mark preventative on my stomach, I didn't think I needed to.
At 28 weeks pregnant with my sons my OB told me I was measuring the equivalent of 38 weeks if it were a single pregnancy. Wake up call? Nope, not me. Stretch marks just aren't in my DNA. lol
I delivered via c-section at 38 weeks and my twins were 6 lbs 4oz. and 6lbs 14oz. Lord only knows how big they would have been if I went 40+ weeks.
I recall the first time in the hospital that I looked at my newly deflated stomach in the mirror. It was weird looking and I was in disbelief. I knew then that what I was seeing was not going to go away. I knew then that I did have stretch marks and more.
Learning to live with them
My husband, although I hate to admit he's right on this, claims that a woman who exudes confidence can hide her stretch marks without having to cover them up. For three years I didn't believe him.
We live in Florida, it's bikini season all year long. Monokini season....that's what it became for me. I told myself I would never wear a bikini or show my stomach in public again. It made me sad and insecure and it showed.
It wasn't until my sons were about 3 yrs old that I decided to go ahead and try to act confident, to wear the bikini I secretly wanted from Victoria Secret, and to let the world (or at least everyone at the beach and all our family) see my stretched out tummy.
Where am I now?
Well now I am obviously sharing a photo of my tummy with you all on a public blog, that has to say something.
I can't say I like my stretch marks, but I am not ashamed of them and I don't try to hide them anymore. I am definitely always conscious of them when my stomach is showing. Certain positions make them look worse and I hate to say it but I do try to avoid them. Many times while having sex with my husband I have gotten a glance at my stomach and felt horrified. How could he see this and still want to be with me? For real, they've done a number on my head, but I've finally beat them.
Don't let me freak you out. I may not have your average stretchmarks. The skin is paper thin and old feeling. It sags, hangs and even has some bizarre indentations. Carrying multiples results in stretch marks that are...special. Mom's of Multiples refer to it as "twin skin" or so I learned.
My advice is...
First of all, don't assume it won't happen to you. I'll forever wonder if I had been diligent about applying creams and oils would they have been as bad?
Second, don't tell yourself that you can never feel or look sexy again. They're there, but they don't define you. Act confident and you'll be confident.
Third and lastly, don't be ashamed or feel that your stretchmarks are unsightly or ugly or that you have to hide them. They're normal, they're yours and you have to accept them. It's easy to think everyone sees them but the truth is, they don't.
Take this tip from me, don't let stretchmarks control you or rule your life. Continue being you!
Thanks for reading!
Julie, Cloth Diaper Geek
Harmoni S. Date 1/14/2013
Thank you for this. I have a lot of stretch marks, I call them my baby marks. It helps me not to think of them as just stretch marks. I was only 17 when I had my oldest and he weighed 9lbs 5oz, and I gained about 50lbs. I didn't use creams or anything, my grandmother told me too. I have had mine for almost 15 years and they do still bother me but not as much as they did when I was younger. My husband says he doesn't understand why they bother me, he thinks I am sexier now. I have embraced mine,
Jill S Date 1/14/2013
Trust me, cocoa butter doesn't do anything for you. I applied it every single day and still had stretch marks. It probably has a lot more to do with genetics and skin elasticity than anything.
Amber Hill Date 1/14/2013
I used "Curel Life's Stages Pregnancy and Motherhood" lotion while I was pregnant with my first child. I put it on every day (sometimes twice). I didn't get any stretch marks on my belly. I got a few tiny ones on my hips because I skipped my hips some days, thinking as long as I got my belly I'd be ok. I also got a lot on my breasts because I skipped them some days too, but those have lightened and I'm getting used to them now. I actually let my husband see me without a bra on from time to time
Heather Date 1/14/2013
I applied cocoa butter and some really expensive oil twice a day religiously with my first, starting long before I was showing. I gloriously gloated to all that it was working. I had a gorgeously round tummy. Until 37 weeks when my stomach blossomed like a full-color roadmap. Oy. Now on my 3rd pregnancy, I skip the creams and oils and just embrace my "gulleys and craters". No one but my husband sees them anyway and he doesn't seem to mind. He just shrugs and reminds me that it's hard work
Samantha F. Date 1/14/2013
Awesome blog! Thanks for sharing your story :o) I don't have kiddos yet but I have some stretch marks from weigh gain and weight loss. I plan on smothering my skin with cocoa butter, etc when I am pregnant to try to soften the blow, to so speak!
I do think that confidence is SEXY, regardless of what it is you are self conscious about on your body.
Amelia Date 1/14/2013
There is nothing you can do to prevent stretch marks. Those suckers just happen. I don't mind the lines so much, but the saggy skin is what bums me out. Its my little kangaroo pouch! I hate having to tuck it in to my jeans, but I am growing to accept it. I never appreciated my body until I had my daughter, even though I have never been in worse shape (bed rest really shot my muscle tone). i am working on getting back into shape, but i don't stress about it like i would have pre baby... the
Kaia Marie Date 1/14/2013
Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. My first kids (twins) are now about 11 months old and I have been seriously struggling with my twin skin as I start getting back in shape. At times I think "I am lucky, this could look a lot worse." As soon as I feel that confidence tho, something happens, like I see my stomach at the wrong angle and it deflates me. It's really nice to know I'm not the only one affected by this...and even better to hear that, even though it's a struggle, it can
kate s Date 1/14/2013
Yes, smooth, taut skin is beautiful, but post parting bodies are beautiful, too. Just a different kind of beautiful. I've had 4 children and hubby says my body is hotter now than ever!
Jeniffer Smith Date 1/14/2013
I love the quote that says you're a tiger who earned her stripes. At first, I hated mine. I really did. But I've carried two children (two full term pregnancies). I've also birthed those children. I had "bad genes" so I would have had them anyway. But I'm proud of them. They are one of the few physical reminders I have from pregnancy. :)
Amanda Dunlow Date 1/15/2013
I used expensive lotions and butters everyday and still ended up with stretch marks....and not just on my belly. I struggled with how I looked postpartum because my daughter was stillborn and I felt like if I couldn't have her, I wanted my pre-pregnancy body back. My husband was the one who reminded me that my stretch marks are physical proof that Hannah was here. He loves them, and now, so do I!