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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Show and Tell: The Marks We Bear

**Pregnancy mentioned**

We all carry them. Marks. Some are visible, etched into our skin, indelible creations of imperfection showing us as the unique beings we all are.
Some are hidden. Carved into our souls, shown only when we grant ourselves or others access.

As I progress week by week, these marks amaze me. All of them. And it doesn't hurt that dh doesn't mind them and always tells me I'm beautiful. And one might think he was just saying it to score husband points but the look in his eyes when he says it tells me differently. I love this man more than I can describe!

The marks each tell a story. I have ones I was born with, like my famous abstract birthmark and received by accident like the "tattoo" I have- a graphite mark from a sharp pencil that went deep and permanently marked my hand.

And then there are the ones I've gained, earned even.

My marks are varied. I have scars form old acne, and current acne, which drive me crazy but that I've come to realize, I'll likely never get rid of. Pregnancy, has added it's own set of marks. I have what I lovingly call my "Harry Potter" marks. Almost lightning strike shaped stretch marks that cover my lower abdomen. I also have the "mask of pregnancy" which results in a brown patch on my forehead which is easily covered up by makeup.

On a whim on the two days off I had last week (I'm currently on vacation), I went out in public without makeup! Gasp! I rarely do this. It was freeing.

I think pregnancy has taught me to be less conscious of the marks I carry. Including the ones deeply hidden. Losing two pregnancies has left their own undefinable marks. But they are there with me always.

No matter what you go through in life, there are marks. IF, pregnancy loss, loss in general, all have their unique marks. But so do the happier things- love, friendship, joy. The marks are different but no less important.

As my Mom mentioned about my stretch marks, they are "badges of honour". I'm learning to wear them, all of them, with pride.

And to prove I'm serious, I'm doing something I never would have considered before. Here is a sample "badge of honour". No hiding here.

What marks do you have, either hidden or visible, that you have learned to accept, even embrace? Let me know and then stop by Mel's to see what the rest of the class is showing off...


Lollipop Goldstein said...

And they are beautiful because they contain a very important story. Good for you for putting them out there. And I love that you call them Harry Potter marks.

areyoukiddingme said...

Awesome post! Very thought-provoking...

I was fortunate to escape without stretch marks - probably because I never had very tight skin to begin with. I also got the pregnancy mask - except I developed it when I first started taking birth control pills, and it has never gone away. I do have a birthmark on my shoulder. I have some scars, lots of freckles and moles, and let's not even get into the wrinkles. Yep, I am definitely marked - inside and out!

MamaMiaMelissa said...

You go girl. Seriously. that is just awesome that you put yourself out there and showed your "marks"... we all bear them in some way, as you said, but not many are as courageous to show them. :) THANK YOU.


Kristin said...

They are beautiful. What a fantastic and thoughtful post. I wear my roadmap worth of stretch marks and my c-section scar with pride. And, I've learned to live with and accept the hidden marks the loss of 8 pregnancies left me with.

Lavender Luz said...

What a great question!

I have a couple of scars from a couple of biopsies.

None of them turned up anything.

You have really made me think!

Anonymous said...

I love this photo.

I have my own stretch marks, from weight gain due to emotional eating.

I also have an uncountable number of freckles anywhere that has seen sun. Ahem.

As for the internal marks...well, that's why I started blogging. :)

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Harry Potter marks! I love it! And I love that you are a brave soul!

Thank you for your comment on my blog today... Knowing that I'm not the first to experience this frustration (and certainly won't be the last) is a comfort.

wifey said...

Beautiful marks! If I ever get to such a point in pregnancy I'll be wearing cut off shirts and shwoing them proudly!

Melissa said...

i love this post. if i weren't so lazy i'd post my own stretch marks from the amazing experience of my daughter :)

WiseGuy said...

Harry Potter? Really?

I would not (do not want to) delve into my emotional scars...but yes, I understand what you mean when you see what the scars represent....

I have a scar on my right elbow...the remnant of a road accident, but also a time when I was coming out of a real self-created mess... I am over it, and the scar reminds me (in a positive way) of that time, and I am so glad to be so far away from that.

Also, I have a small scar on one side of my left wrist, and I think it looks like a bullet mark.

I gained another scar from an allergy to instant henna...that scar adorns the inside of my left hand...

a scar under my eye, and come to think of it, a graphite mark from a sharp pencil that was sent into my forehead by a hormonal classmate....don't even ask what kind of kid I was...

Cara said...

You always make me think, and often -- cry. This post made me do both.

You are beautiful, each and every part.


JamieD said...

That ~is~ a badge to be very proud of. Lollipop is right - they tell a very important story.

Beautiful post!

IF Optimist, then... said...

I am so proud of you to show off your Harry Potter marks. How completely awesome. I also loved that you mentioned the pregnancy mask. I really liked Darwin's Radio. I have many tomboy scars, cooking badges of honor, and a little ones from my uterine surgery

MoDLin said...

I know what you mean about marks. I used to be embarrased about my stretch marks - my belly looked like a roadmap of Cleveland! Years later I was able to see them as my badge of motherhood and I'm proud of them now.

Thanks for the insightful post. I like your perspective.