“I got horrible stretch marks with my first pregnancy, and after my son was born I went through several months of self-loathing because of them. Finally one day when he was about 6 months old I decided enough was enough. I wrote a poem, took a picture of my scarred tummy and posted it to Facebook. I would love to share it with you, and all of the people who read your blog.” -Caitlyn
The poem says:
AWE I LOVE THIS! IT made me cry! <3 What an amazing poem. Thank you for posting this, all of us will pull up our shirts and run our hands over our stretch marks… and we should all just smile.
A beautiful tribute… I’m all teary-eyed reading this. It only took me six pregnancies to be OK with mine. Our precious 9th baby is about 3 months old now, and I can honestly say I am proud of my stripes, too!
This should be available as a print. I want this on my bedroom wall. The poem made me all teary eyed.
This is so so SO beautifully written!
Oh my gosh! I am crying! Thanks for your wonderful insight! I have been having a hard time with all the changes my body went through with my pregnancy and the birth of my son. He was born 7 months ago, and I’m still having some complications with the healing process after being stitched up.
This touches me not because I am a mother. Or that I can identify with that in anyway. Its because I have them all over my body. I was grossly over weight my entire life until I made the change to lose 100 pounds . I’ve kept it off for nearly two years now but my scars remain on my stomach , arms and legs. So I can appreciate this poem to a degree.
Caitlyn I love love love this. It’s a truly amazing poem and I can tell u it goes beyond just the ‘stretch mark’, for me anyways. I got quite a few with having 3 of my 4 sons and I’ve never really thought much about them….until I started loosing weight during this past year. They’ve become more and more pronounced not that my skin is looser and they’ve really been bothering me recently…as of this moment, not so much. They are something to be proud of and to care less about, for me and for other people. So thank you for sharing this. 🙂 Serena
Absolutely beautiful, mama!
Thank you so much for this beautiful poem. I’ve got tears streaming down my face from reading it. Would love it as a print too x
Caitlyn, this is AMAZING! Now that I’ve wiped the tears from my cheeks, I would like to thank you for this. It’s sharing experiences like this to put things into perspective…and to remind us that we are not alone. My 3 kids are worth every stretch mark & worry line I have!!! Thanks 🙂
I love this poem i was too having a hard time with my stretch marks because i am so young when i had my son but its seriously all worth it whenever your child looks at you or holds your hands and kisses you i am going to appreciate my stretch marks more thanks to you!
I’m due any day now with my first baby and my marks are even more impressive than the above picture! The marks don’t just run vertically, they run horizontally and diagonally, too, like a web, and in places they are so dense that it’s hard to find unmarked skin at all.
They’re my tiger stripes and I’m proud of them – they tell the tale of how I grew this baby. I’m actually looking forward to seeing and recording how they look afterwards, and hoping that they’ll help someone else feel better in their own skin.
That is beautiful. Think i will make that poem into a poster, I dont have as many but none the less my belly doesnt look as it did before my Kids… Thank you for this… Makes me proud to have Sretch marks.
Couldn’t have said it better myself!
amazing!!!!! U R SOOO BRAVE:)
This is a gorgeous poem. I too have fairly bad stretch marks but they are a constant reminder that we gave up something to get something out body for our gorgeous kids an it’s so worth it. I recently seen a surgeon in Melbourne Australia who does post pregnancy post makeovers & he reconstructs your tummy an the results are amazing. Just a thought if you really wanted to do something about them. I’m waiting till my families complete an I to will be getting my bikini body back!!!! 🙂
I LOVE this! the last part is my favorite. I’d do it all over again a million times to get my sweet boy too. 🙂 <3
I was telling someone the other day who was complaining that they don’t want stretch marks with their pregnancy. I told her I was proud and grateful for every one I had. Most of them came from my 2nd pregnancy which ended at 12 weeks. My stretch marks are my only physical reminder of my baby boy. With each one, I know he is always with me. I am more than grateful for the reminders of my children that have been left on my body.
Meg, that is so sad and so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
mary ellen galvan
Scientists have recently discovered that cells from a baby’s body remain in the mother’s body forever- these baby’s cells are the first to arrive at the site of a cancer or other threat to the mother’s body. They fight the invasive cells to protect the mother, for the rest of her life. never doubt that your little boy is still with you. Isn’t that about the most beautiful and amazing thing?
mary ellen galvan
Wow… Thank you for sharing that, Meg. I can’t help but cry in awe of your Motherly Love and insight. That’s a perspective I will never let go of. Thank you.
This is so beautiful! Literally made me cry. My worst fear of being pregnant has been the thought of getting stretch marks but this has completly changed my views. Thanks for sharing. You are brave and beautiful!!
I love this poem! I have been having a difficult time dealing with mine, but this poem put a whole new view point on them for me!
Soo empowering! Thank you for sharing;)
Oh my gosh, I am bawling!!!!!!! That is sooooooo beautiful!!!!
That moved me to tears, what a beautiful way to look at something that so many women are mortified about. I call mine, my badge of Honor because I think it’s an honor to be able to give life & an honor to be able to be the mother of my two incredible babies. Congratulations Caitlyn on being so proud & such a loving Mummy x
Awesome!! Thanks for sharing this with us Caitlyn!
I call mine my Tiger Stripes 🙂 Where once they were a deep purple, they’ve faded to a champagne colour. They make a lovely, shimmery pattern on my olive skin!
I loathed them for years, and my (now ex) husband wouldn’t even look at them without a look of disgust on his face.
After we’d broken up, I met a man who worshipped my belly. In the words of Shirley Valentine: “He kissed my stretch marks!” 🙂
Thanks for sharing! I have struggled so much with my battle scars. 🙂
THAT IS GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!
Beautiful poem! Rubbing Standard Process wheat germ oil on my belly really helped reduce the appearance of my stretch marks, but I too view the remaining ones as my battle scars! Birth is as trying as any battle, to be sure.
So sweet! *tear* I saw a documentary once about an African tribe in which the members did not consider a woman beautiful unless she had stretchmarks, and the more the better! One young girl was crying because she didn’t have any! How’s that for perspective!! BTW, I would be a knockout in this village… 😉
Thank you for giving me a new life bible to live by.
Huge respect for this picture and poem.
I was so moved I wrote a thank-you and agreement post on my blog. 🙂 http://thoughtfulbirth.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/what-is-beauty/
Its great that everyone is so okay with their stretch marks… and personally accepted them… but I really hope that they have devoted, loving, adoring husbands… because that’s where the problem comes in. So many men cheat during and after pregnancy, and most women don’t know… you can sit around thinking your stretch marks are worth it because of your beautiful baby, while you’re husband is on his “business trip.” Men lose the attraction, its just human nature. If your body gets ruined from pregnancy, thats when most men start becoming attracted to other women (and for many other reasons due to having a baby to now take care of). It is sooo sooo soo wrong but soo soo soo true! I work somewhere where I hear the stories of infidelity and see it with my own eyes. So many men cheat and I know their wives never know it 🙁
You comment makes me so sad. This is not as common as you make it out to be. If your husband only married you for your looks then this would be the case. But I have talked to many many many men who find that their wife is VERY beautiful with the big pregnant belly and more beautiful after birth with the stretch marks because of what they stand for. Men dont just lose the attraction unless that is the only reason they ‘got’ you. A man may also feel that the wife is not interested in her husband and she isnt giving him attention any more, it is more likely that and not because of sterchmarks. yes some men are self-centered creeps, and I am sorry that you mostly only see those men. It is NOT human nature, it is our self-centered, sex-saturated/worshiping culture. It is just not that way with all men. Your body doesnt get “ruined” from having babies. It reaches it full potential with having babies! and works even better (as long as you take care it). We cant ruin our bodies from doing what we are created to do. It is truely a beautiful thing and both men and women see it that way.
I am currently 7 months preganant and have developed some rather big stretch marks around my hips but they are spreading over my bum thighs and tummy, When I am getting ready in the morning and say to my partner “Oh my gosh have you seen them today!!” In shock because I am young and wasn’t really prepared for these massive changes he just taps me on the bum gives me a kiss and my nump a kiss and says he has no idea what I’m talking about..
I really truely do believe this only happens in some occasions and not in most like this is making it sound. And if a man is going to cheat he will do it regardless of stretch marks,, this may be the reason people use but a cheating mentality does not just develop over night.
Wow dana, thanks for blaming cheating husbands on women with stretch marks…
There’s nothing worse than blaming the victim. *ONLY* men are to blame for their actions.
That is terribly sad you think like that, Dana. Yes, I am sure there are plenty of men who cheat while their wife is pregnant or afterwards. But most of them would do so regardless of pregnancy/babies! Stretch marks have nothing to do with it.
THanks for this!! I tell myself this all the time when i look at my pp belly 7.5mnths later, with strech marks. But, you have written it so beautifully and i am so glad that i can look at my belly and be proud of those marks — it took a long time to conceive my daugther and i wouldn’t give those marks up for the world, cuz it meant that not only did i get pregnant, but that i have a beautiful child as well. 🙂
This is just beautiful… I absolutely HATE what our culture has done to our thinking about postpartum bodies. I’m a first time mom and did not get too many marks this go around, but the ones I got I am exceedingly proud of!! And I hope that as I have more children (Lord willing) and my body carries more scars, I will keep loving them! My husband thinks they are wonderful, too. We got this amazing child – AMAZING – and I got to be the one to carry her!
And I think the reason so many men think that stretch marks are unattractive is because we women think so! If we confidently carried ourselves with dignity, our men would admire our bodies rather than see them as merely sexual objects. If we would just stop striving to be the stereotype of beauty, I think men in general would appreciate femininity in it’s TRUEST forms, rather than the ones our culture has put on a pedestal. I say this with the authority of a wife whose husband does appreciate true womanhood and he tells me that he is not alone. 🙂
You’re husband is right; he is not alone in that thinking, but unfortunately, it will take years to turn around what has been done in society. Marilyn Monroe was a sex symbol in her day and she was a size 14. Nowadays, it seems if you are an 8 or bigger, you are “fat.” Also unfortunately, while you’re husband is definitely not the only man who thinks that way, it has been my experience (from personal experience and from talking to other women I know) that probably only about 25% of men will openly agree with him. They may think differently, but they keep silent about it. But I do think you are right that if more women would have more confidence in the bodies that God gave them, then men would probably start more openly accepting them. Very good thoughts.
i am pregnant and i am prone to stretch marks . i have worried so much about what sorts of stretch marks i am going to get…but, this put tears in my eyes. What a great poem. I am excited to experience that. Who cares about stretch marks!
Beautiful! I absolutely love the imagery your words created, a beautiful picture.
Peace to you and yours.
definitely cried…..i have dealt with postpartum depression pretty bad since my daughter, who is my 3rd child….i used to write poetry to deal with when i was upset, but just dont have the inspiration for it anymore. that was a beautiful poem and a beautiful attitude behind it. brava…..
Thus is soooo beautiful! It made me cry. I haven’t thought about then in this way and I thank you for helping me realize the true meaning being our dreaded scars 🙂
Amazing story. I show mine to my 7 year old daughter with pride as well and tell her that’s from when she grew in my belly. Now with baby girl #2 on the way I haven’t gotten any yet but I’m sure she will leave her mark.
this is the best poem i read. my daughter who is having a baby sent me the llink and it was so good i posted to facebook and title the album stretchMarks are the tattoo of motherhood
Beautiful, the tears they are a-flowin! Thanks for sharing this.:)
I absolutely loved this. i always refer to the stretch marks i have a my battle scars. my husband laughs because i was in the military and i would take that over childbirth any day!i plan to have another baby one day(god willing) i was pregnant right before i got pregnant with my daughter and i miscarried. but i have some stretch marks on my thighs from the first pregnancy which continued onto the second pregnancy because they were literally back to back. for granted i dont have any on my belly really just one or two little ones. but i have them on my thigh and on my tatas. i breastfeed which i think made it a little worst for the tatas. but i wear them with pride. i used to get upset by them and by my body but i got lucky and have one of the good ones for a husband. he tells me who cares you are beautiful and you got those for our little miracle. i dont wear shorts because i was not comfortable with my stretch marks. and my husband is encouraging it because he loves my body the way it is and could care less. thank you for you BEAUTIFUL poem. it really lighted my day and made me feel a lot better!
WOW you are so brave! I will never embrace mine even though they arent huge. I really do think some woman think pregnancy is a time to eat as you like and not care about the weight gain and this is where massive stretch marks come from, not by eating a healthy balanced diet while pregnant. Some stretch marks are inevitable for most but some pictures i see are excessive and not just from the baby!! Good on you for being so comfortable to share x
Actually stretch marks like this are not just from diet. Presuming that most stretch marks on most women are from eating what you like and not caring about weight gain is judgmental and just inaccurate mama.
I actually only gained 20lbs with my first pregnancy, so I can assure you that these were not from weight gain. Just the genetic lottery and a beautiful 9.9lb baby boy 🙂
Caitlyn, be careful about attitude. I am a very conscious eater and have gained upwards of 70lbs with each of my pregnancies. My midwives have never chided me about my weight gain and I am always back to my 120-125 lb range a year PP. The only explanation we have is that that is what my body does.
Sorry Caitlyn, that was for Carlene
It has more to do with skin type than weight gain, although avoiding stretch marks on the arms, hips, thighs is helped with lower weight gain. I’ve had three children, gained 25-34 pounds with each and not one stretch mark, but my mom had seven children with only one tiny mark to show, so I guess I have her skin type. They do fade with time, and there are things women can do to fade them even more if they are not comfortable with them.
Wow, what an ignorant comment, so completely false and what a horrible thing to say to mothers, no wonder society is failing, small minded people like you.
Beautiful! With my 1st I barely got any stretch marks, but with my second I got quite a few. I wasn’t feeling very comfortable with them, but now I’m rather proud of them 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!
What a beautiful poem. So many women are embarrassed by their stretch marks, and that’s a shame. I have stretch marks from the birth of our baby, and I treasure every single one of them! We didn’t think we’d ever be able to have a baby, so every stretch mark I have is another lasting gift from growing our gorgeous 6lb 13oz baby girl! My husband feels the same way, his daughter grew in there and she stretched the skin so she could grow and develop 🙂
I wish there wasn’t such a taboo about them. Well done Mama for sharing and putting into words what we are feeling!
With my first baby, my stomach looked nearly as bad as that. I felt so depressed and HATED my body. Not just the stretchmarks but also my formerly perfect breasts were ruined. I occasionly would stand naked in front of the mirror, hold my boobs up to where they used to be, or stretch my stomach skin back to make it smooth again; I sometimes wished I was dead, thinking how could I ever be attractive again? But my husbands was so sweet. When we would lay in bed he would always rub my tummy, commenting how soft it was, and that he loved it. My husband’s attraction to me never waned, and even after having our second baby, he still loves me and find finds me perfect. If it wasn’t for my husband, I would never have come to accept my body and be comfortable again. I am not ready yet for the bikini, but I certainly don’t have trouble getting naked in the bedroom- with the light on 🙂
This is sooooo beautiful and I would love to have it as a framed piece…you should do that;)$$ I have 3 boys my youngest is 8 so it’s been a while since I’ve been pregnant but no matter what I do it doesn’t get any better the scars and the skin haunts you …but I am so proud of my boys and what they are growing to be I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING! And when my husband and I were fighting one day and he mentioned my discusting stomach with extra skin that hangs out of everything and the horrible scars everywhere I knew he wasn’t the one! That explained y he kept my shirt on durning sex but had my breast out(their perfect n fake)This wasn’t the first time a man had made me feel insecure my ex (actual father of my son) would lay on my chest and sex and make jokes about it looking like a road map “how do I get to…) so your poem truly enlightened me I mean of course I live my children more than anything but it felt like a curse when truly its a true blessing! I real man will appreciate all that you and your body have been thru to bring in a new, wonderful life in this world! Keep your head up:)
This is lovely. I would like to copy it and put it in every Midwives clinic worldwide
i see mainly women are commenting but as a man id like to tell all the women out there that yes they should be proud and that they should listen to theyre husbands kind remarks. i tell my wife all the time im proud of her and i love her stretch marks. i havent seen or touched her belly for three years because she is so embarrased and worst still she wont come swimming with us. id give anything to kiss each mark but i dont think she will ever let me see all of her body again.its as if she is only 90% mine now.so if your hubby says he loves them please except it otherwise as you torture yourself you are torturing him too
I always thought I would NEVER wear a 2 piece again. But this just inspired me to buy a bikini!