I didn't have the birth I wanted to have. I envisioned something all natural. I imagined the hours of labor, my husband holding my hand, my doula encouraging me on. I wanted to feel every contraction. I wanted to experience a vaginal birth of my twins. But I didn't get that. I ended up with HELLP syndrome, the most life-threatening form of preeclampsia, and I had an emergency cesarean. I was numb. From the epidural. From the fear. From the many drugs I was given to help me.
My end result was two healthy babies and I recovered. I should have been happy. I was and am happy. But a part of me mourned the fact that I didn't get to feel birth. To truly feel my journey to motherhood -- my rite of passage. It has taken me two years, but I think I'm finally proud of my c-section scar.
I'm proud of it because it shows my strength -- my ability to be faced with something out of my control and potentially devastating but I was able to overcome.
I'm proud because it is the very spot where my babies were birthed healthy.
I'm proud of it because I have to be. I can't dwell in the 'what ifs.' The maybes. The 'I wish.'
I'm not pro-cesarean by any means -- I truly wish every woman can experience and not fear birth. I've dedicated a lot of writing to helping women take that fear out of birth so they are empowered and not pained. But I also know that there are times when a c-section is necessary. Maybe this is why I became a birth advocate, and why I love reading about natural birth and the many beautiful stories that women tell about having their baby. I know it's why I am a big supporter of finding the cause of preeclampsia so that more women do not have to go through what I went through.
I only wear my c-section scar proudly because it saved my life. It saved my babies' lives. But there are those moments that I feel cheated out of truly feeling birth. I like to feel -- it makes me feel alive. And what better time to feel truly alive than when you are giving birth? I don't like holding in emotions or numbing myself with anything. But in this case, one of the most important moments in my entire life -- the most important -- I had to be numb. I was denied feeling. It's been so hard to accept.
I'm still numb around my scar, and it will be a part of me that will always feel different, a part of me gone, a moment lost, a denial of my wish of the way I wanted to enter motherhood. But I can't stay in that negative space for long. It's vital for me as a mother to be proud.
Did you have an emergency c-section and have a hard time accepting it? Are you now proud of your c-section scar?
Image via KoKo Krispy/Flickr