I was pregnant. Yes me, the same girl who has a few sets of Hello Kitty pajama’s.
My friends continue to focus on their careers, and do trendy things that I cannot do while pregnant. There they were frolicking around in smokey places with people who get shit faced and discuss politics and social issues. I was reading baby books and expanding….rapidly.
Unfortunately I was not the basketball mum. You know the type – skinny with a basketball under their top? Maybe I could have been; but I also did not do any preggy bellies and other exercises designed to keep you fit when pregnant.
The thought of exercise made me more tired than I was already was. So as my body and love for chocolate expanded simultaneous, I was naturally become concerned with the most dreaded word in pregnancy.
STRETCHMARKS!!!! (cue scary musical score)
This is why I was canvasing my local pharmacy in search of creams and potions to ward off this evil curse.
Ok maybe it’s not a curse, but let’s face it. Every woman wants to be the smug one saying “I didn’t get any stretchmarks” as she shows off her flawless tummy, and prances around the beach in a bikini.
Society has created the stigma and consumerism had made us believe that we have to buy in to perfection expectation that they have created.
And here I was happily buying into it right now. Oils. Lotions and some herbal potions. I am happily and frantically clocking up a giant bill that will in fact make no difference to my genetic make up. I will only discover this in about 3 months and 5 days. But right now every bottle symbolizes hope and success!
What was really unexpected in my frenzy of magic lotion shopping, is the advice that appears so unexpectedly!
Usually shop assistants have the look of disdain on their faces. Disdain at the store, their job and the human race that frequents this place. Usually you have to approach them with caution and politely request assistance. Whereby they look down at your hopeful face and say something like: aisle 3.
But today my world has opened up!
I may not be “popular” anymore. I was sulking because no one ever invites me out anymore. Just because I am going to say no; doesn’t mean the bitches need to place me in pregnant exile.
But who cares! The mums are talking to me. The pregnant ones. The current mums. Even the ones who have kids with kids! And they are dispensing advise faster than cat videos go viral.
“Use the tissue oil creme AND and the pure tissue oil”
“Swop to a richer body lotion”
“Make sure you soak often”
“Don’t scratch!! What ever you do….never ever ever scratch”
I followed this advise like a religion. Devoted for once to something besides watching TV.
36 weeks in. And not a stretch mark in site. I was so ready to brag.
Then came the waiting for baby to arrive. 40 weeks and the kid was still procrastinating. My stomach was so huge I switched on mentally on went on auto pilot.
My husband however saw the lines appearing. He said nothing of course. He has a good sense of self preservation.
But eventually after 3 days of my labour starting and stopping which landed up in emergency c-section; I met my princess. Life was beautiful.
Until….. I finally saw my body again. There they were – the damn stretchmarks.
After all that time and money!
But somehow it only mattered for a few minutes. And it didn’t matter one bit.
There is life after being sexy and fabulous. There is being sexy and fabulous with some Stretchmarks.
More importantly there is the sisterhood of stretch mark cream. When I see a frantic pregnant woman in the pharmacy, I give her advise and guidance in the store. And I know that even though it may not work, she will be ok with it. Because she is a mum now, and she is part of a sisterhood that can only be understood by someone who has real compassion for the giant change you entering into.