The more I look at you, the more the imperfections seem to shift. A Love Letter To My Stretch Marks:

To My Body,

For years, I have struggled with loving you completely. I saw flaws where I wish you were different. As you aged, you changed. But you have given me the greatest gift. A child. You made me a mom.

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The more I look at you, the more the imperfections seem to shift. You continue to amaze me. By growing a life, providing nourishment, and continuing to power on through each sleepless night, each long cry, and each change, a part of me that I once dreaded, I now see in a different light. Stretch marks.

Your stretch marks are a symbol for everything we have been through together. A lasting reminder of the life we created, birthed, and embraced.

Instead of stretch marks, I rename them growth marks

Growth marks because we grew not only physically but emotionally. 

In pregnancy, we learned how amazing you are. Moving through daily life as you grow a human within. Feeling excited together, but uncomfortable at the same time. Scared of what will be, and what you will look like after. No matter how much belly butter is applied, marks of your growth still appear. The transformation at times seems like we cannot get any bigger, and yet we do. 

And then the moment comes. The miracle of birth and the first embrace of the love of our lives. But your job is not done. You don’t shrink down immediately. The marks remain as time passes. Yet I look at you and I see how much you can endure, and I am proud. I appreciate everything about you. I show immense gratitude towards you. All those flaws I once saw, disappear. I see a body that is completely beautiful. 

And although at times we felt stretched mentally and physically, it was the growth of becoming a mom that truly transformed us.

I promise to always love you. Through all the changes that may come. And I thank you for your growth marks as they are permanent reminders of how incredible you are.

xoxo

After spending most of her life in the greater New York City area, almost seven years ago, Leigh moved to Austin with the love of her life, Justin, to embark on a new adventure. As a former marketing project manager now turned stay-at-home mom, Leigh enjoys exploring new places with her daughter Hazel (July 2019) and eating her way through the ATX vegan scene. Prior to the pandemic, Leigh ran the food blog @aroundtownvegan, where she promoted how easy it is to eat vegan at restaurants around Austin. After spending most of her days venturing to new playgrounds with her daughter, and spending less time eating out, she shifted gears from the foodie scene by recently launching @austinplaygrounds. When she’s not busy trying to squeeze down the ridiculously tall slides the newer playgrounds have to offer, you can find her hiking with her family and loveable dog, Juno, testing out new vegan + gluten-free dessert recipes, and prepping for baby #2 on the way in September.

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