Motherhood/Life / Skincare

Stretch Marks; Our Love Story

Streeeeech marks. Or according to Mr. Wiki, striae, as they are called in dermatology. These are form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue, ranging from purple, or red and to lighter shades at a later stage.

I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about, if you’re pregnant or had a baby. These are often the result of rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid loss of weight. Well, in my case a year ago, rapid growth. And I mean a BIG one.

As you all know if you’ve read my earlier post about Beauty and The Snails, I am still hoping to find for that right cream if one ever exists. I have tried many of those over the counter creams, lotions, and oils, which claim to help reduce the appearance of your stretch marks. Don’t get me wrong, when I found out I was having a baby, stretch marks were not my first concern. In fact, I wasn’t paying too much attention about it as staying healthy and the giving birth part worried me more. But then I pondered that perhaps I might as well start slapping on creams diligently on my belly at the earlier stage of my pregnancy. Actually, AJ’s Dad came home one day and bought me my first Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion.

I had a day and night routine for a good 9 months. So can you imagine how many bottles were bought and emptied? Let me be honest, I knew about Cocoa Butter Lotion before and how it can really moisturize your skin while smelling like cho-co-late! 

Since it’s made from pure Cocoa Butter and enriched with Vitamin E, Collagen, Elastin and Shea Butter. It helps hydrates the skin; helping the epidermis to maintain its natural elasticity. 

Who wouldn’t want all of this goodness on their skin? Plus, I love chocolate (to eat that is)  however, I wasn’t really keen on how the smell lingers on my skin when I first tried it but hey, when I was pregnant, somehow I was loving the smell! Ah, the wonders of pregnancy and what it does to you. I had faith in these bottles until 6-7 months later when my belly started to really show. Tiny little streaks (one or two I think the very first time) started to creep their way around my waistline. Eeep!

And as stupid as this might sound to you,  but I grabbed the bottle of Palmer’s and rubbed the cream where the stretch marks were, like it was going to make the marks disappear, miraculously. But who was I fooling, but myself. Stretch marks were inevitable not only for me but for anyone who’s pregnant,  or am I wrong? Apparently, this information I stumbled upon at NHS UK says that 9 out 10 women are affected by stretch marks during pregnancy?! Realllly? There’s one out of the ten who hasn’t? Are you the luckiest one?

Days and then months had passed and I had this burgeoning belly that everyone I knew would gasp when they saw me. Why? Well, I am 5 ft tall and my waistline used to be just around 24 inches at one point but had now increased to around 45 inches! I kept hearing, ‘oh, you look like you’re about to pop.’ I would just give them a grin and a nod since at this point even talking was exhausting. And I still had at least 8 weeks to go before my due date!

By around 9 months, my stretch marks had completely invaded my belly. There was no way that any cream or lotion would be able to stop them, or my useless chants. And when my little boy finally arrived in this world 4 days after my due date, I just completely forgot about them. Instead, they just felt like they’re a part of me now and they’re supposed to be there. Yes, I look at them from time to time and would sigh, but feeling resent or embarrass having these many little reddish and purple-ish streaks all over my stomach? No way. Like AJ’s Dad once told me, ‘these are one of the beautiful [as he would put it] signs that you were once carrying the most beautiful creature in the world, and now you have him in your arms’. Aw.

Although it doesn’t make my stretch marks disappear when he says this, but it certainly makes my heart brighter.

Now here’s what I have in our little corner. I have the remnants of what I tried and used in my attempt to prevent my stretch marks from going out of control, but failed. For first time Mommies like me, let me tell you this, resistance is definitely futile. So let’s embrace these little wonders of pregnancy and welcome Motherhood instead.

Do you still use any stretch marks cream? Has it worked for you? I would love to know.

Sources: Wikipedia, on definition of stretch marks
NHS UK website, on stretch marks introduction
UK Palmer’s, on Cocoa Butter ingredients

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