Stretch marks. Tiger stripes. Road maps. Ant trails. Tattoos. Mommy stripes. The names are really endless and every mom has her own story about hers and how they impacted her life after bringing a baby into the world. For me, I stared at them in the mirror recently and decided that I was done about ever feeling bad about them. I closed the door on any self-loathing and opened my eyes to a new perspective. These stretch marks showed strength and are there because they were a part of my journey to bring my babies into the world.
Knowing that other moms have mixed feeling about these faint streaks running across our bodies, I set out to hear their stories, and why they’re proud of what these stretch marks have accomplished.
“I like my stretch marks - as a dancer, my feet are calloused, I have scars on my feet and they are not pretty... it's my prize for all those years of rehearsals and pain and long nights and dedication. I am proud of it. My stretch marks from baby are similar — it's a sign of life, of the amazing birth process, of a significant part of your life that you have earned!” Marica Colaco, New York mom of two
“I love my stretch marks because without them I wouldn’t have my beautiful children. They are a constant reminder to me of how hard I worked and what I put my body through to have my kids. My body will never be the same, but neither will my life. I am forever changed by this crazy journey called motherhood.” Natalie McCune, Columbus mom of three
“I will admit I'm not fond of mine, but I call them my Tiger Stripes. Makes my daughter laugh, so that's all that matters.” Carla Thrasher, Pittsburgh mom of one.
“To be honest, I only have one stretch mark. Call me lucky, I guess, but the one I do have I am proud of. I’m not ashamed of that blurred line down my stomach. I don’t hide it - I wear that stripe with honor for the nine months of pregnancy.” Elizabeth De Castro, New York City mom of one.
“I am very proud of my stretch marks because my little boy was truly a miracle after years of trying to get pregnant with no luck. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me and when he is all grown and gone, I will always look down and remember all I went through to have him.” Pamela Pinchbeck, New York mom of one.
“I used to be ashamed of my stretch marks until I read an article that said ‘This is where my children lived for nine months.' This made me realize that stretch marks are a right of passage, a symbol of accomplishing bringing life to the world. They should be called strength marks.” Tracy Bush, North Carolina mom of two, blogger at Nutrimom.
“Beauty marks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but I, and many others, have worked hard for the ones from giving birth. These weren't easy to come by and I got two wonderful kids out of the agreement! They bothered me for quite some time until I was able to understand that they represent an incredible part of my life and I wear them with pride as I do the other scars that have helped make me who I am today!” Erin Opera, Mom of two, Celebrity trainer and author.