The mark of LOVE
April is C-section Awareness month! My birth didn’t go as planned or what I had hoped for but then again without my C-section, Remi and I wouldn't be here. I'm thankful for the team of healthcare heroes who took care of us before, during and after. I have a new found strength (both) mentally and physically along with a beautiful battle scar, and of course the most precious gift. My scar reminds me of my journey. Let's be honest, C-sections also give us mamas a really easy explanation of where babies come from without getting into the birds and the bees! We asked some of our friends how they feel about their scars and the opinions varied!
Nicole: My C-section scar is truly not something I think of often. It's something that has become part of my body, part of who I am as a woman and a mother. If I think about it, Its actually something I'm grateful for. Without a C-section there's a good chance my oldest child, my son, and myself may not be here today. It's a strange thought to process. Two and half years later, I endured a second C-section to bring my daughter into this world. My C-section scar is actually a reminder of my bravery as I dove into the journey of motherhood. This should be the same reminder for all women who have a C-section scar. It represents our fearlessness and bravery, two skills that we all know are critical as we tackle the daily adventures with our children!
If you and your friends are at the age of having babies and starting families than chances are you know a birth story or two that has ended in a C-section. Our scars become part of our birth story. Rather than seeing them as a negative symbol, we can view these marks as a lasting reminder of our strength and courage.
Julie: I honestly don't mind my scar at all. I can notice it but it has faded a lot over time. The only other person who sees it is my husband and obviously he appreciates my scar since we wouldn't have our two wonderful children without it. Having C-sections has kept my hoo-ha intact as well so that's great!
When I was pregnant and reading posts from motherhood blogs I was surprised by some of the negativity that surrounded C-sections. "The easy way out" phrase SHOCKED me! I had no experience with labor however the thought of someone going through a major surgery while awake seemed anything but "easy" to me. FYI the surgeon cuts through six layers of muscle, tissue and organ to separate the abs and get the baby out. Most moms would not opt for the procedure and are required to undergo a C-section for multiple reasons including not limited to failure to dilate, fetal distress, baby's position, mothers health history, baby's size, prior C-section.
Ashley: I know I should have something profound to say like it makes me feel powerful and it's a battle wound for the greatest joy of my life, but it's crooked and even when I am at my skinniest, it still isn't flat. It's getting better, but it's a bummer that I have it (mainly because its crooked). The best thing I did postpartum was go to a scar therapist. I would recommend that to everyone who had a c section. They help with scar tissue and helping it feel normal again. Its still tender and numb sometimes, but that has helped a lot.
After hours of labor, hearing the words we are going to prep for a C-section can throw you into a flood of emotions. I was terrified but yet relieved. There was now a light at the end of the tunnel. During labor, my blood pressure was extremely low and the doctor was concerned the baby’s heart rate would show signs of distress. The decision was quick and the team was reassuring while walking us through the steps. I will never forget the freezing temp of the room or how sterile, simple and bright it was. Be sure to always advocate for yourself. I know my body and I do not respond well to medication so I spoke with the anesthesiologist and was able to adjust the meds when I began to feel nauseous.
Dandi: Honestly, its numb and still tingles after 13 years when I touch it. It's a constant reminder of my second delivery experience and how I hated having a C-section. I preferred vaginal delivery (first born) and recovery. I'm not the girl that looks at it and thinks I'm a warrior. I'm thinking WTF! Why did I have to have a C-section.
Heeling after surgery can be frustrating and you need to be patient. Walking was one of my favorite activities. Not only was it good for circulation to increase blood flow throughout your body, walking also relaxes the mind and feeds the soul. In most situations mamas have to wait six weeks to resume normal workouts and exercises so a walk can make a world of difference! I continued to take my pre-natal vitamin to make sure I was getting extra nutrients. Heating pads eased the pain and relaxed the muscles.
Nicole: It makes me feel strong and proud! Its a reminder of the three beautiful babies I was able to grow! Some people I know do everything they can to lighten their scar but I have no want to do that at all. I know it will fade over time, but when I look down it brings me to my most precious memories and for that, I am thankful!
Things I was not prepared for: my legs swelled up from the fluid bags I was given while in labor because my blood pressure was so low, it took a few weeks for them to return to normal <> Pain came from a cough, sneeze or laughter <> Post-birth bleeding still happens, and I was under the impression that it may not be as bad if I had delivered vaginally...WRONG <> Postpartum belts and high waisted leggings can help you feel secure and (put back together) while you are healing.
Stephanie: I love my scar! It's like my lifelong proof that I'm a mom! During delivery, my son's umbilical cord was wrapped around him which kept him from descending into the birth canal. I was four days overdue and was only dilated to 1cm. My scar is also a reminder that modern medicine is AMAZING because my son was born with no complications. I'm very proud of my scar (the doctor did an amazing job, it is barely noticeable).
It's one year later and I still have numbness and tingling in the general area but I am back to normal. I can do everything I could do before having my C-section. My scar has faded and will continue to fade overtime. Like everything in this journey having a C-section was unexpected. It has become part of my story and I will always have this mark of LOVE to look back on and remember the first time I met my girl and how my life changed forever. The positives of watching this human grow certainly outweigh the memories of pain.
Bianca: Depending on the day my C-section scar has made me feel just about every emotion. It is mostly positive, but sometimes negative. However, a phrase that continues to run through my head in regards to my scar is... "We can do hard things." - Glennon Doyle
The truth is, it doesn't matter how you become a mom. Whether you had a C-section, vaginal delivery, fostering, surrogacy or adoption..there is no "easy" way. When I was pregnant with Remi, someone told me that the easiest part was going to be when you bring the baby home, parenthood and raising that tiny human is the hard part. Every situation has it's challenges but we all have the same reward in the end. Advocate for yourself and have birth plan...and then of course a backup plan for when life throws you those curveballs and shit hits the fan!
X0 - Katie