My Tiger Stripes

Still an innie. Good thing my modesty standards mean I don’t wear bikinis or other types of clothing that show off my midriff, otherwise this could be really depressing.

And if you were thinking it might be better in black and white…

You were wrong.

I’m thinking my belly button won’t be popping at all. Good because I think outies are a little freaky.

34 thoughts on “My Tiger Stripes

  1. Oh, my. It looks like they’re hands reaching up around your belly, akin those hand-things that Ursula uses to get Ariel’s voice in The Little Mermaid.

    How do they feel?

    Jenna Reply:

    Haha, The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite movies when I was younger. :) I can’t feel them and I usually forget about them until I look in the mirror. I think they bug TH more than they do me.

  2. Wow! You poor thing! I’m sure you’ve tried everything, but my friend swore by body butter when she was pregnant.

    Jenna Reply:

    I know a lot of women are convinced that cocoa butter made a difference for them, but there is no evidence that creams can prevent stretch marks. There are a few studies out there that suggest that certain ointments can help reduce the number or appearance of stretch marks, including this one:

  3. I had horrible stretch marks above the belly button because I carried high, huge and pointy. They look so incredibly gross now, all brown and streaky. Good thing I don’t wear bikinis!

    My belly button remained in, but at the end it was almost completely flat. I was glad to hear it because my OB mentioned the popped buttons are umbilical hernias? It tends to go back post-baby but the idea of a hernia is creepy.

  4. I’ve never heard the umbilical hernia theory. I just know sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. My belly button popped earlier this time than it did with my first baby, and it’s definitely out there now! Hubby calls it my “turkey timer”. ;)
    As for the stretch marks, if you’ll start dilligently using a special stretch mark cream formula body cream, you have a good chance of those fading away. I know mine did from the first time, and already, this time they aren’t as bad because I’ve been using the stuff like twice a day. The one I use has collagen, vitamin E, and elastin in it.
    Good luck, sugar!

  5. Yep, that’s what my stomach looks like. Still. With Grant I was thinner, so you would think that would make for more stretch marks – with him, just one, tiny, measley line. With Kyle – - looks like I’ve been attacked by a cat. I don’t think the creams do much either – I think some people get them, some don’t, or some severe, some not so much. If anything, I think it depends on the baby (maybe) – that would make sense why my first 5 lb baby gave me no stretch marks and the 10 lb baby did.

    Never have worn a bikini and never planned to, so I guess it doesn’t matter too much. Landon doesn’t care about either, I think I’m the only one that really cares.

  6. Aw those are never any fun. My best friend had stretch marks just like those and her husband called them her flames. We all laugh about her flames now, cause really you cant change what has already happened. I’m glad to see you’re not seeming too distraught over them. Best to look on the bright side of things…flames and all.

  7. I agree about the flames or something reaching around and surrounding/protecting the baby. Maybe God’s way of giving you a “tattoo”? ;-)

  8. My mum had 7 babies and after a couple of years they faded to a lovely silver and I always thought they were beautiful, personally. Of course, I adore my mom so much…
    I only got one, from where my belly button ring was and it was big but it doesn’t bother me:) I still wear a bikini!
    Perhaps if I ever have another child I’ll get more.I don’t anticipate caring:)
    Like I said, I think your belly (and you) are beautiful:)

  9. I think your belly is beautiful. I like the tattoo from god comment. My sisters went away but we both have some on our bums, so does Sean. Eh, what can you do?

  10. I didn’t get stretch marks with my first. I thought I was going to be stretch mark free with my other two…boy was I wrong.

    Really, though, I don’t care. They are a sign that I am a mother. And you are right…no one is going to see them. Who cares?

    You look adorable!

  11. meh, what can you do? I understand their occurrence is largely genetic so I don’t think all the cocoa butter in the world would help much. I call them tiger stripes too.

  12. They look so painful, but I know from experience that they aren’t. I actually have some from gaining and losing weight over the years — in college, I gained a lot in my belly for some reason, so I have marks that look kind of like that.

  13. I find stretch marks so odd! Why do some women get them and some not? Why are they reddy-purple and not white like the stretch marks I have on my thighs and hips? I really know nothing! But how are you supposed to do pretty bare belly maternity shots if you have them?

  14. Have you checked out The Shape of a Mother website? It’s awesome, filled with bellies of all different sizes, stretch marks, c-section scars, etc.

    I’d second the notion of genetics-the only thing a cream can do for you is to possibly fade the redness. I have silver spiderwebs on the outside and inside of my thighs from puberty, but when I first got them they were BRIGHT RED. My mom actually asked me if the cat scratched me, they looked bloody. Now that they’re silver I kind of like the way they shimmer :)

    Jenna Reply:

    A friend who had twins introduced it to me when I was feeling rather down about pregnancy weight gain. Definitely an inspiring read!

  15. Jenna, I don’t mean to be nosy, and you may have covered this before and I missed it. Your mention of modesty standards got me wondering…is it okay for you to show your belly because it’s maternal/non-sexual/artsy in nature? Not trying to be mean, just curious ;o) I think you should be proud of what your stretch marks represent.

    Hannah Reply:

    Jenna’s said before that she’s okay with revealing her body in this way because the intent is not sexual.

    Jenna Reply:

    See this comment:

    And I really should write a post on it as bare belly pictures prompt this question a lot.

  16. I think your belly is beautiful. It’s a gift and a blessing, and I’d wear those stretch marks proudly! Coincidentally, Sophia, my local paper ran an article about the shape of a mother website today! I just read it in the lunchroom…

    Sophia Reply:

    How cool that they’re getting press! I like the story of how the mom started it.

  17. I wish you weren’t so hard on yourself, Jenna! You’re beautiful. God made your body this way. It’s one thing to worry about weight gain, but these are badges of honor. You got these by growing a human life. Unless TH has a problem with them, don’t let it bother you. (I know that’s easier said than done.)

    I think you look beautiful. I know it’s hard not to get down on yourself when your body changes in ways you aren’t comfortable with, but isn’t it so worth it? It’s like you’ve said before about the way we choose to live our life based on God’s standards; it might feel like a sacrifice, but the rewards are oh so worth it.

    Sending you light and love.

  18. Long-time reader, first-time commenter :)

    Stretch marks are definitely genetic. I have them all over my thighs and stomach from weight gain as a teen, and I don’t like them. Hasn’t stopped my from wearing a bikini though.

    I wish I had your positive attitude toward them!

  19. I got stretch marks just like that with my 2 pregnancys. They still look pretty bad 4 years later :( The funny thing is my 2 sons love seeing them! BTW I used cocoa butter every single day, didn’t do a thing.

  20. I haven’t gotten any stretch marks yet, but I have tons of them on my hips and around my knees from a growth spurt as a team. It looks like I was attacked by a hoarde of ninja cats! :) I do, however, have a deep innie that was now a definite outie. It’s rather freaky, seeing parts of you that you have never seen for 26 years! :)

    I think you look lovely, and as far as your stripes go – maybe think of them as your “badge of motherhood.”

  21. I think you look beautiful! I have stretch marks on my stomach from weight gain since my health declined 6 years ago, shortly after we were married. If my hubs and I are ever able to get pregnant, I’m sure the marks will get even worse. But who cares? Badge of honor!

  22. I got a ton right at the end of my pregnancy, and I found I didn’t care as much as I thought I would. No body but my family is going to see them, so it really didn’t bother me. Actually, I have some on my legs that people do see, and I still don’t care. After I had Claire, I got new ones on my thighs that would pop up so fast it looked like it was bleeding (I think tiny blood vessels popped) and they itched like crazy. I think it was because I was so swollen from the crap they pumped into me at the hospital. It was so weird though, that I didn’t get what they were for a few days!

  23. Have you heard anything about plain Vitamine E? I know it helped my husband’s scar, but I’m not sure if research shows anything regarding stretch marks.

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