This is totally going to be a flat out whiney-ass post about how much I HATE stretch marks...feel free not to read any further if my "I'm pregnant and feel that is my ticket to whine about how much this state of being has come to suck, even though I clearly asked for it and knew what was coming" will just annoy you :)
I'm well aware that at least 50% of pregnant women get stretch marks somewhere on their bodies during their pregnancy...I know many women will swear they love theirs because they are a "badge of motherhood" and a reminder of what they went through to have their beautiful children. I know they tend to fade with time (I've had other stretch marks from growth spurts earlier in life, and yes, they've faded to nearly invisible in most places). But none of that makes me want to love what I see when I look at my belly these past 2 weeks...right about 35 weeks a few small, light purplish marks started to show up under my belly button. I was hopeful that would be all and I would escape the last trudge of the pregnancy without any more. That went right out the window the next day when a few more showed up, and the next day, and the next day...I couldn't even count how many there are now, or even accurately describe the intensity of the reddish-purple hue they have taken on. They are all still below the belly button and above the underwear line, mostly just in the middle third of the belly, but there are so many and frankly, the second most obnoxious thing is how uncomfortable they are! No one tells you that the process of your skin stretching to the point of literally tearing from the inside is terribly unpleasant, and you will go between scratching the living shit out of the epidermis and wanting to cry because it feels like fire ants are gnawing their way out from under your skin. And then, you look in the mirror at the hot mess you've just made of your already fire-engine red belly, and realize there is no way this is ever going back to how it was, no matter what creams, oils, rubs, or laser treatment you decide is appropriate (for the record, I think laser is probably out of our price range, so I'll inevitably spend at least half of what that would end up costing trying every other cream, oil, rub etc that claims to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and still end up mostly dissatisfied. At least my behavior is predictable!). I'm normally a person with pretty solid self esteem, and I've gotten to the point of not utterly hating parts of my body as I did in high school...but this is challenging my reserves, friends. It's not even like I plan on wearing a full out bikini, probably ever, anyway, but it doesn't change what it looks like when I saunter past the mirror getting dressed every day. I honestly have loved my pregnant body and have felt good in my skin (so to speak) until the end here, and now I'm just uncomfortable and my skin is buckling under the pressure to the point that the marks are almost raised they are so deep. If this child is not born by her due date and continues to grow, I'm afraid my belly is going to burst like an over-ripe heirloom tomato and start to go bad...and we just don't want that.
So, basically what that was all about is reminding my sweet darling daughter that it's ok for her to make her entrance any time now that I am full term. And I'll do my best not to flash her my scarred abdomen in an effort to show her how much I love her and what I went through for her when she is 16 and informs me that she hates me ;)