Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Badges of Honor

Pregnancy can definitely wreck havoc on a woman's body.  Some of them involve skin changes -- everything from acne to stretch marks to linea negra to a host of other changes are commonplace in pregnancy. Some are more pronounced than others.  And not every woman will experience the same set of them.

But what they all have in common is that they are all what I consider badges of honor.  Rather than lament about these changes (many of which are temporary), I suggest that we embrace them.  After all, there's really not much we can do about them.

Take stretch marks for example.  There are many products on the market that claim to prevent stretch marks or make them fade if you already have them.  But really, aside from not gaining weight too quickly, there's not a whole lot you can do.  My first pregnancy I religiously slathered my belly with topical Vitamin E oil and I did not end up with any stretch marks.  My second I still did it albeit less often and still no stretch marks.  This time around?  I'm happy if I remember to put lotion on my hands much less my belly.  But still no stretch marks.  A different woman could do the same thing I did in my first pregnancy and end up with a road map of marks.

I treat my c-section scar the same way.  Instead of fighting it, I embrace it and wear it proudly as a badge of honor (even though it's only visible to myself, my husband, and my doctor).  Same with the giant blue veins that have suddenly appeared on my body.  I see them as my body doing it's job, nourishing the life within.  And even though my IVF shots left no visible evidence, I wear those as badges of honor too.  They are marks of what I experienced to create my family.

So ladies, instead of fighting these changes, embrace them. We work hard for our children, and these skin changes are proof of that.

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