The scars of motherhood can add to a positive body image

Scars are so interesting.  Each one tells a story, a history of who you are as a person.  Scars prove that you did something and in some cases, those scars are bad ass.  They show that you’ve got guts and you fought like a beast.  Everyone has them but for some reason, so many people try to hide them.  Me personally, I love scars.

My scars

I have so many scars.  My oldest is a scar on my left forearm that stretches from my elbow, almost to my wrist.  I was at a friends house and her beagle just had his nails trimmed.  My mom was there to pick me up and we were about to leave when this adorable little puppy jumped up to give me a kiss.  Obviously he scratched me but it didn’t hurt and it barely even bled.  But even now, 15+ years later, I can still see that scar and every time I look at it, I think of my friend Karen and her puppy.

You see…that scar tells a story.  Is it a super awesome and exciting story?  Not really but I wouldn’t be me without that scar.

 

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A truly bad ass scar

My sister-in-law, Tina, has truly one of the greatest scars I’ve ever seen.

She had a mole that she wanted to have removed before she went in to get a tattoo.  Thank goodness she did because after a biopsy, doctors found that it was pre-cancerous.  She had to go in for a number of surgeries to have it removed.  The first surgery was easy but she felt almost everything during the second surgery and developed a staph infection and a blood infection afterwards!  The staph infection is what left her with a large scar.  She has always been an incredibly strong woman but to go through all of that and come out of it, head held high, the way she did…there are just no words.

The scars of motherhood

It’s no secret that pregnancy is hard.  It’s hard in so many different ways for different people.  My first pregnancy was difficult emotionally while my second pregnancy was very difficult physically.  I got stretch marks with both of them.  They are everywhere, on my belly, my hips, my thighs, my calves, and my breasts.

When I was younger, I did everything I could to hide them.  I spent an absurd amount of money on products touting that they erased stretch marks, I would cover as much of my body as I could, and I would shy away from my husband when my stretch marks were exposed.

But do you know what?  Those stretch marks are evidence that I made it through two of the most difficult times in my life.  All of my stretch marks have incredibly, lengthy, detailed, and loving stories behind them.

I have one stretch mark on right side of my belly that hangs out all by it’s lonesome.  It’s the biggest stretch mark I have, it’s bright red, and it’s relatively deep.  That one showed up two weeks before the birth of our second daughter.

My grandmothers, mom, mother-in-laws (I have two), aunts, friends…they all have them.  Their stretch marks are unique to them because their stories are different than anyone else’s, just like your story is different.

 

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Acceptance

The take away from everyone’s pregnancy stretch marks is the same, though…family.  Without those pregnancies, our families would never grow.  And those families bring us happiness and sadness, love and frustration, laughter and tears.  They are what we’re made of.

I know that accepting your stretch marks is hard.  But you are doing yourself a disservice by trying to erase them.  Your pregnancy was a large part of who you are today.  I’m not saying that you have to display your stretch marks like a work of art for all to see but allow yourself to embrace the struggles you endured.  Allow yourself to be proud of the new you.  When you look in the mirror after your shower, remember the days that brought you to where you are now.

Your stretch marks may not fit into the generic mold of beauty but do you really want to be generic?  Break the mold and be confident.  Love yourself.  “Confident” should be the real mold anyway.

 

  • This is beautiful! I was embarrassed of my scar after my c-section and tried to hide it from my husband. I’ve also been embarrassed by my stretch marks as well. They are really long and dark purple and seem to be everywhere on my thighs and belly. But you are right. Those marks are the product of my pregnancy, of me having my beautiful boy. I wouldn’t trade him for anything. I’m going to start believing that I wouldn’t trade my stretch marks for anything, too. Thank you for this!

    • Mrs. Pigeon

      Lisa I’m so glad that you liked this. I know it’s hard but after going on an insane body positivity journey, I have this fantastic sense of confidence because of my scars. I hope that everyone who reads this can one day feel confident and proud of their scars and stretch marks. 🙂

  • This is beautiful and inspiring! Even though I have no children, I want to face the scars of childbirth with this type of attitude.

    • Mrs. Pigeon

      I feel like if you go into your pregnancy and birthing experience with a positive attitude, you will probably have a better overall experience.

  • Mar

    Every scar tells a story. I have a wicked scar on my left elbow. Doctor thought I had a trapped nerve, so they opened up about 4 inches to move it. Turns out I was at a teaching hospital and the students were still working on their stitching skills. Was pretty upset about that. I tried everything to get it to disappear, but because it is on the bend, it wasn’t budging. Almost 8 years later, I’ve learned to accept it. As my husband once told me, scars are badass!

  • Emily Hosea

    Beautifully said, scars and stretch marks do tell a story. I had hoped I would avoid stretch marks from my pregnancies, I didn’t, but they don’t bother me.

  • I have stretch marks all over and they are a beautiful reminder of my love for my boys!

  • Theresa Bailey

    Child bearing is a beautiful thing. The scars are just a wonderful reminder of bringing another human into the world.

  • Kermilia White

    I love this post! Its so hard to be comfortable in your own skin again but there is truly beauty in the scars!