Ode to a stretch mark

I was surprised you came alone, because I always assumed your sort traveled in packs.

But no, you had the strength of character to forge your way all by yourself.

In fact, I didn’t even know about you until the baby had been born for two weeks.

You were stealthy, stowing away on the underside of my belly where I couldn’t see you until I was the only one living inside my body again.

Did I scare away all of your friends with the slightly obsessive cocoa butter applications? The ones I would get out of bed to perform if I had forgotten, ignoring the protests of my husband that, “it will be fine if you skip it this one time”?

If so, this behavior of mine would definitely fall into the “sorry, not sorry” category, although I do feel bad for dooming you to a life of solitude.

Not too bad, but still.

I have to say though, at the end of the day I’m glad you decided to appear.

Of course, I liked the idea of making it through an entire pregnancy without any of your kind popping up, but that’s all just vanity–a point of pride that would only be meaningful to me.

But seeing you causes me to pause a moment and remember the flutters, hiccups and kicks. The rolling waves of my belly when the baby wanted a different pose. The way everything about my body changed to accommodate this new life. The way I longed to meet the stubborn little person who was simply convinced he could kick his way out into the world through my liver.

You are a tangible reminder of just how lucky I am to have carried and delivered a healthy baby.

You’re not the prettiest thing I ever saw, little stretch mark, but you remind me that I got to take part in a miracle.

And for that, I am grateful.

For you, I am grateful.

Just don’t invite any of your cousins over if we have another baby, okay?

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