The latest insult to my warped, wobbly body? Stretch marks. The nasty purple-red streaks surround my hip area and lower belly like a bad snakeskin belt circa 1987. I swear I woke up the other day, took a shower, and waddled over to my closet to pick the day’s oufit; my typical uniform of tent-sized flowy top and old-man-over-the-belly-button jeans. (I finally gave in to the over-the-belly jeans rather than the much less hideous under-belly jeans, but that’s another story.) But before I made it as far as the granny panties and comfy, practical, totally non-sexy beige bra… I saw them. Out of the blue, they had appeared overnight. The dreaded belly marks of motherhood flaming their way across my previously unmarred abdomen.

Apparently all those body oils, stretch mark creams, soothing lotions and body butter didn’t do crap to prevent these purple ego eaters. My body image is already teetering on the brink of hopelessness, and now? It’s official. I will never, ever look the same again.

At least the stretch marks, though ugly and decidedly offensive, don’t hurt. Unlike the rest of my poor wrecked body. The pubic bone thing is evil. Oh? You haven’t heard about the splitting of the pubic bone? Tsk, tsk. I hadn’t either, until I realized that the burning pain in my nether regions was definitely not related to my urinary tract, or for that matter any of my essential female plumbing parts. It was bone pain. Pubic. Bone. Pain. The tiny space in the front of your pelvis begins to shift due to some hormone that relaxes all your ligaments. Which sounds like it might be a good thing, right? Better flexibility. Easy yoga poses. Less back pain, perhaps? But no, not even close. These newly loosey-goosey joints HURT as they fall apart, and allow your pelvis to wobble, wander, and pull — which leads to excruciating pain. Right there, smack dab front, center & south, in the one spot — unlike say, your lower back — that even pregnant women can’t get away with grabbing, rubbing or otherwise referring to outside the company of doctors, close female friends, and patient, over-informed hubbies.

The result is that heading up a single flight of stairs may as well be climbing Everest, and I can’t get out of bed quickly or stand up from sitting without working my way slowly to a vertical position. Getting out of the car after a long drive is treacherous and painful (it burns, burns, burns) but it does work itself out – mostly – after the first 20 or 30 steps. After the next 200 to 300 steps, the lower back pain kicks in, and then the pubic bone pain returns, causing an all-around ring of fire that is so not Johnny Cash cool.

I think I’ll just start taking my daily dose of Tylenol on schedule with my vitamins. Won’t help those uninvited stretch marks, but it may make going up and down the stairs a bit more doable.