I have a confession to make: I never knew pregnancy stretch marks existed until I saw them on the tummy of my friend who had recently had a baby. Her stomach sagged. It was dark and scarred with criss-cross markings; I was terrified that carrying a baby could do that to someone.
Her boobs also sagged and had the tell-tale zebra stripes from breastfeeding. I know motherhood is a sacrifice but I found this scenario seriously disturbing. I knew EBF is the right thing to do for my baby but I wondered if my husband would ever look at me the same after breastfeeding had taken its toll.
You see, I had my share of stretchmarks growing up but nothing serious. Adolescence had left me with a few dark stripes on my thighs, behind my knees and on my derriere. I didn’t even realize they were forming until it was too late to do anything about them. As my precious firstborn grew in my belly, I wondered if there was something I could do to avoid my skin getting mutilated and scarred. As my belly grew, whenever I felt that familiar itch on my tummy, my heart sank in despair. That’s my skin tearing, I thought. Why wasn’t all the moisturising working and the way I soaked myself in a tub of body cream after every bath?
I would dash to the nearest washroom and splash a generous amount of whatever body cream or jelly I could find in my bag.
A certain brand of milking jelly had received a lot of applause on Facebook groups so I bought the biggest tub on the supermarket and slathered my breasts like I was headed for milking. Bio oil too received its worthy mentions but every time I thought about the price I told myself, it is never that serious.
It is that serious. Because despite all my best attempts, I still stretched and tore on my sides and hips. I remember one day calling my husband crying because I had noticed another mark on the side of my tummy. He made light of the situation reminding me that my skin was doing the best it could under a lot of pressure. “They aren’t that bad,” he told me. “And they will disappear.” But every time I felt my skin itch, I would know the inevitable was happening.
Thank God for a growing tummy that hid most of the scars on my lower abdomen far out of my sight.
Stretchmarks were a big deal then. I pretended to shrug it off, but they took a toll on my self-esteem. Two children later, my marks still bothered me – especially the ones on my breasts after nursing. Stretchmarks and saggy skin are a fact of life unless you come from a super amazing gene pool whose skin stretches and rebounds like rubber. You will grow during puberty, you will add or lose weight faster than your skin can keep up, you will get pregnant, you will grow old. In fact some researchers say between 50-90 per cent of pregnant women will get stretch marks as well as 40 per cent of all teenagers.
Related: Every Scar Has a Story- What’s Yours?
Recently I was admiring my friend Liz’s jeans trousers and she retreated quickly asking: “Are you laughing at my stretchmarks?”
“Of course I would not laugh at your stretchmarks,” I told her. “I am also a mother. I was just admiring your high-waisted jeans.” I wondered if she was as paranoid as I once was but thanks to increased technological advancements and research we now know there are ways of rejuvenating the skin almost entirely. With modern innovations we can now reduce the severity of the stretch marks, control their appearance and halt the progression of those already present.
I no longer worry about my marks on my breasts, stomach and thighs. Even when I wear my bikini and look in the mirror from all angles, they are hardly there. I can flaunt my beach body with the confidence I had before I ever had kids. No, they did not disappear miraculously. I found a remedy that actually worked to fade my marks. If you can relate to the way I felt when you first experienced stretch marks, you do not need to suffer in silence. The beauty remedy I used has been found effective for aging, saggy skin and stretchmarks. Not surprisingly It is rated as the Number 1 best-selling scar and stretch mark production 23 countries.