It’s funny, yesterday I shared a picture of my right foot for day 8 where we had to share a scar. You can see it here. You see my bovine graft scar on my ankle and my splotchy legs and feet from Schamberg’s Disease make me very self-conscious in warm weather months. People always start or ask questions. I think they think it’s contagious or something.
Anyway, today is day 9 of the #LoveMe Challenge and we are supposed to share something beautiful. The reason this is all so funny to me is that the thing I think is beautiful is also scarring that many people hate. I had my first baby at 18. Got pregnant at 17. I have had 5 more babies since then. With almost every one of them there was some medical issue. With my very first one I had preeclampsia and I retained so much water that in a couple of weeks I gained 68 pounds. Now let me tell you, that will do horrible things to your body when you bloat like that. I went from hardly being able to tell I was pregnant to having to wear men’s shoes because my feet would not fit in anything else. I also got almost instant stretch marks.
I hated the stretch marks for a long, long time. I thought this just makes me look awful no matter what size I am. Then one day a few of years ago something clicked and my perspective of them changed. My now nine-year old son saw my stomach when I was reaching for something up high. He said, “What’s that?” Then proceeded to poke me in my stomach. I asked him what he meant? He said, “How did you get those zebra stripes?” I then explained to him that when mommies have babies in their tummies sometimes the skin stretches too much and it leaves those marks. He said, “Cool! We gave you zebra stripes! I wish I had some!” I smiled and giggles at that. I also realized he thought it was cool that all of my babies had left me with a mark and I realized that he was brilliant.
So now I realize that my stretch marks aren’t ugly. They are my zebra stripes that my babies gave me to always remember them by and there is nothing more beautiful than that.