Tiger Stripes…My Enemy.


For the next two weeks I am in the lovely Spain. In the sunshine and attempting to sunbathe and swim while my baby sleeps (well grandparents are here, so lets be honest I am attempting to do the above when he is awake also).

My mum bod is fully on show. My Mum tum in particular. But I embrace it all. I am happy with my body and I am happy with the copious amounts of Mars bar ice creams I eat..and I am in no rush to snap back to my pre-pregnancy body.

Saying this, I kept hearing this term “Tiger stripes” and how you are a powerful tiger that has earned her stripes….If you believe in this term then that is wonderful, but for me? My thoughts? F*CK TIGER STRIPES.

I knew my body would change, but was I excited about graduating into a tiger with marks on my body? Um no. I was absolutely dreading it and I was damn sure I would do anything possible to avoid getting them.

I recommend Bio Oil. I think everyone recommends this, so no news here. But what I can share is a couple of “what not to do’s” with Bio Oil and how to use it appropriately.

Number 1:

Use it calmly. Don’t rush around trying to spread this oil everywhere. Don’t walk around the flat trying to apply copious amounts of oil. All this does is turn our flat into a slip’n’slide. Absolutely lethal. Take your time, keep it to one room. And for the love of god, wash your hands afterwards. Such a simple little trick and avoids everything you touch for the next day turning into bar of wet soap.

Number 2:

Now…Listen carefully. This is highly advised on the list of what not to do. I am actually shocked it isn’t on the bottle as a warning. DON’T put that stuff into a bath. Holy sh*t I really cannot emphasise this enough. While lying in the bath one day, I saw the bio oil. In my hazed but very predictable “Lou” way of tackling life, I reached over for it and unloaded the entire contents into my bubble bath. (You can surely see where this is going). 

It was like an octopus trying to learn of to skate. I just couldn’t get a grip. I was quite literally stuck. I was f*cked.

“SAAAAAAM! I need your help!” (Quite normal for him as he was used to crane lifting me in and out of the bath due to my “gigantron” baby growing inside me). “Shit Lou what the hell have you put in here?!” Sam is saying struggling to get a good grip on me….me flailing around like said Octopus – and in full blown panic I respond, mildly aggressively “I put in Bio Oil didn’t I?” – I advise being a little nicer to the person trying to get you out of this death trap. After sliding around, stopping for a rest (both of us exhausted on trying to haul out the whale that was Lou) we finally got me out.

So don’t do that.

After the mess and battle I had with this Bio Oil, I still did get a couple of stretch marks. I cried when I got them. And I felt guilty for crying as I thought maybe I wasn’t embracing my motherly body like I should be. Was I less of an earth mother for not wanting to accept my stretch marks? yes, maybe so – but who cares!? I still loved my bump, I just had a side project of googling the shit out of laser treatments!

I write this post as I get a lot of questions on whether I got stretch marks…whether I have learned to love them…and the answer is yes, I did, and no I haven’t. I anxiously look and wait for them to get less red, but this is my body now, and I am OK with that and in no rush to snap back. But it’s ok not to love every change. We may not all be tigers, but we are bada*s mothers.

The Milk Spot



1 Comment

  1. September 21, 2017 / 5:46 am

    “It’s ok not to love every change” – this is so true! The below change is one I definitely didn’t love 🙂

    I have been following your honest blog since the beginning and wanted to say ‘great job with this’. Especially the body subject is a difficult one. After Paula’s birth this subject was a very dominant one with me but not mainly because I wanted to be thin again (I put on 12kg of fat during pregnancy because I exercised so much less and yeah, looking thin would have been nice but it was not my main concern tbh) but mainly because I wanted to do sports again the way I used to. I simply wanted to feel good doing sports again. I unfortunately had to have a c-section and when after the 6 weeks obligatory rest the doctor gave me his ok to exercise again, I felt like a junkie about to have a fix. I raced home from the doctor, told my husband he needed to look after Paula for a bit because I had something important to do, took my touring skis with skins, forced my still swollen feet into my touring ski boots and my fat behind into my touring ski trousers (I actually needed to put on the braces that come with these which I usually take off straight away. But I needed them because otherwise the trousers wouldn’t have stayed up as I couldn’t close them due to my mum tum) and ran, well more like tried to run up, waddled up the local ski slope. Usually I run the 800m in altitudine difference in just under 1 hour. After 1h20 I had only reached half way at the middle station. I was so tired and felt so bad like I had never felt before while doing sports ever. I sat down and cried and no thoughts like “oh your body is different now but now you have Paula” helped. I skied down crying. When I got back to my car and attempted to take off my ski boots, they didn’t come off my swollen feet. Out of sheer coincidence a friend of mine appeared – she had been skiing and probably seen my struggle trying to get off my boots – and helped me out of the boots so that I could drive home. How embarrassing though!
    So what I did then I wouldn’t recommended repeating. After this experience which took place on the 1st December 2016, I literally for 3 months ate almost nothing – just enough in order not to faint and to be fit enough for Paula – and went out for sports every day either thankfully having my husband look after Paula for 1-2 hours a day (and no, this is no selfish amount of time per day for a mother! I got a lot of stick from lots of people for taking a little time out every day for myself) or taking Paula with me (cross-country skiing with baby sling, running with pram etc.). I think I was the only person in the valley cross-country skiing with a headlamp going round and round on a 600m long slope circle because there was too little snow for a longer slope. As the kilos came off and more importantly as I started to feel better when exercising, I got a lot more relaxed – also around Paula, which was a positive for all of us! This may sound weird or even selfish but sports – mountaineering – is my life. It’s how I earn my living and it’s a big part of my person. I am happiest when I can live the life I chose and when I am happy all around me are happy!
    Anyway, at the end of February I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight and far more importantly felt good again while doing my sports. I kept on training and now I am in the best shape of my life. It’s true what they say, „a woman’s body gets tougher after birth. Mothers are the best athletes“. All the best to you and keep up the blog.

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