Dear Stretch Marks, 

  •   As I read a recent article about the best ways to fade you, I am reminded of the day you first appeared on my body. I was young and so happily in love. Married to my best friend and missing one small piece. We had prayed for those 2 lines to appear for nearly 5 years. We had lost babies before we ever knew who they would be. We had asked ourselves and God why we weren’t being blessed with the little life we wanted so badly to add to our family. Just when I’d lost all hope, those beautiful bright lines appeared on one of the stack of ‘maybe this month’ tests I kept in our closet, we saw our perfect baby on the sonogram screen, and then a couple of months later-you appeared. I remember noticing you as I admired my growing baby belly getting out of the shower. At first you were just 3 tiny pink lines. Almost invisible then. Stretch marks, I remember whispering as I touched my stomach. Tears rolled down my cheeks and my breath caught. Not for the reasons you may think dear stretch marks- quite the opposite. My tears were from absolute unedited joy. The kind I had never known before and until that moment afraid I was never going to know. You meant our longed for baby was growing. You represented the answer to so many prayers. The end of many tear filled moments of dashed hopes. When you grew during our wait for our second baby I was again full of gratitude for the mark of accomplishment you were leaving on my once blank canvas of a body. Because of you it was obvious I’d given life to these tiny little humans. You are proof of the hard work and miracles that I am capable of.  You are the story those precious girls love to hear. You are the place that my best friend still rests his hand to fall asleep. Through the years your bright pink appearance has faded to a softer tone. Of course my body is not the same as it used to be and in the years since you first appeared, you’ve been joined by scars of surgery and illness and changes of age. Yet, you are still my favorite honor. 

I’m sorry,  dear stretch marks, that you are vilified in our society. I’m sorry that little girls are told that you are ugly or shameful.  I’m sorry that women have been told that there is a need to hide you, fade you, or feel sad at your presence. 

I wish we could all remember what you represent- growth, life, perfect imperfection. I wish all women grew up allowed to love you for the badge of honor that you are. Whether earned in childbearing, weight changes, or growing up- your presence means that life, in all its glory , has been lived. 

I will continue to tell our daughters how proud I am of you. How grateful I am that I get to carry a memory on my skin of the precious time they lived under my heart. 

Thank you for choosing me to leave your marks on. I cherish every one! 

With gratitude, 

A thankful mom