Lately it seems all the craze; posting pictures on social media of your mommy-stomach, now streaked with jagged lines bearing the signs of a body scarred from pregnancy.
I'll admit that I cross some personal lines when I write stories sometimes (my kids might kill me when they get old enough to go online and do a search history for their names), but don't worry, your eyes will be spared. I will not be posting pictures of my mommy-stomach online.
If you have done this already, or want to, more power to you. I am not judging you at all. If posting a picture of your torn tummy is a form of catharsis for you or a way for you to reclaim your body, then by all means, upload as many pictures as you want. In fact, I truly wish I could feel like you do.
I, however, will not jumping on the belly bandwagon. Unlike many mommies online that are proud of their pregnancy battle scars, I am not. I really, truly am not and often wonder what unfair thing I said or did to someone in my past that brought the wrath of stretch-mark karma to my midsection.
One of the bad things that have come out of the internet being bombarded with scarred stomach snapshots is that now I have a comparison level. I used to be naive. Hey maybe this is what most bellies look like after having babies; scarred, stretched, sagging skin covering our post pregnancy bellies (and hips, and thighs, and backs, and sides, and booties...). We are all in this together, I thought.
Nope. Not all stretchmarks are created equal.
When I see many other peoples pictures of their "stretch marks" (imagine me saying those two words slowly while using air quotations around them), I only feel more awful about my own. It's not a competition or anything, but so many times mine are worse. If mine looked like many of the ones I've seen online, I'd post them too, saying, Look how great my stomach looks after havjng three babies in four years!
I know, I know, it's not a race (the runner in me now comes out) but I totally win. Sometimes I have to zoom in and squint to see what the heck the mom in question is considering a stretch mark. I am glad that mommies out there are reclaiming their bodies, redefining what they believe is beautiful, and are showing the world that they are confident with their bodies after birthing babies.
I just, am not.
I do not like how my stomach looks now. I do not like how I feel about my stomach. I know that without those scars I wouldn't have my three amazing kids, but I still don't appreciate these ugly scars. I hate that I can't wear the swim suits I want to wear, that many pants and shorts don't fit comfortably, that my filter-less kids touch my stomach and call it fat and ask why it looks so weird, and I more than anything, miss the beautiful stomach that I so took for granted before having kids.
I am definitely not proud of my scars. I don't hate many things in this world, but my stomach is one of them.
The only way you are going to see a picture of my scarred stomach online is if you visit a plastic surgery website some day and see it as a "before" picture, uploaded strategically beside an "after" picture of a brand new beautiful tummy-tucked belly.
You can click on this link to donate to my Go Fund Me page. JUST KIDDING! For now...