There are lots of things women can count on when they get pregnant and have children. Sleepless nights, diaper changes, and stretch marks. Stretch marks represent a life lived, life created, and the beautiful act of being human.
Twenty-three-year-old Doreen Ching from Malaysia had a lot of stretch marks after she gave birth to triplets.
Instead of being celebrated for carrying around four babies for nine months, then successfully bringing those four babies into the world, she was shamed for sharing a photo of her stretched marked body online.
According to Insider, Ching said she wanted to let other mothers with changing bodies to know that they weren’t alone.
And also that stretch marks come with the territory of being a mom.
“I received a lot of mummies’ inquiries asking me how to eliminate the scars as you’re gonna be scared… and that’s the price, even if you have money,” Doreen wrote on Facebook. “There’s no way to get rid of it, and it’s like, every day, every day, every day.”
Ching didn’t just accept her new scarred body overnight. It took her a while to come to grips with her stripped stomach.
She was devastated at first.
“Only 21 at the time, I wondered how I would be able to accept my stomach looking like this for the rest of my life,” Ching explained. “The first thing I did when I got out of the delivery room was to look at my stomach and my tears came out. I was cracked up to a very serious kind of rupture and skin tissue was damaged.”
Her post ended up going viral with more than 23,000 reactions and 12,000 shares. She received lots of comments from moms who sympathized and could relate to her.
But not all the reactions were positive. Some people were downright mean.
Though many would say that Ching fits society’s ideals of a petite, fit, and beautiful woman, some told her that she was “ugly” and “disgusting.” Well, Ching wasn’t having it. She decided to give her trolls a piece of her mind.
“I see a lot of people commenting calling me ‘ugly’ and it makes me very sick so much so I want to throw up,” Ching wrote.
“Some men said it was all the woman’s fault for wanting to have so many kids. Do you have any respect for the women of the world? Your mother? Your wife? And a woman who can afford to have children?”
And many people had Ching’s back.
“Bless you! You are an amazing mother and don’t listen to people that cannot understand the blessing of being a mother,” one Facebook commenter said.
“Sometimes I see my stomach or thighs with a pregnancy tattoo, or some parts of my feet are bursting out and I sometimes see that it will scare myself, but when I see the kid smile, the child is healthy and happy. Everything is worth it,” said another.
It’s good to know we live in a time where mothers can be praised for being mothers instead of shamed for it.