I'm Proud of My C-Section Scar


heart on pregnant bellyI 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

time for mom, c-sections


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Colet... Colette923

I hate mine. It was a life or death emergency but I still feel like I failed.

nonmember avatar Allison

I too had HELLP syndrome and required an emergency c-section. I was able to try for induction. Although I was exactly 40 weeks, my little girl was totally not ready to arrive and began having fetal distress very soon after induction began. So I was jolted out of sleep at 1:45am and rushed to the OR. To say that it was traumatic and not what I wanted or planned is an understatement. I hope that those reading your post will try to judge less when they hear a woman has a c-section. Frequently, we don't know the circumstances of the birth (particularly commenters on a blog), and should strive to support women and the difficult choices they must make to have a healthy birth for both mother and child.

Kritika Kritika

I don't have any children yet, so maybe my opinion is void, but I don't care how my baby comes into the world as long as he/she is healthy. That's enough to be thankful for.

douxm... douxmusique

I have not had a Csection, but I am convinced women only feel like failures for having because they read all the bashing between women on forums. I understand the desire to have the experience of a birth, however, in medically.necessary sections and even what birth Nazi's would call unnecessary, it doesn't make anyone a failure, ever, to choose a life saving procedure.

I appreciate the awareness about certain procedures being unnecessary and potentially more dangerous than beneficial (episiotomy, etc) but if all sides of birth debate could take a middle ground then I don't think as many women would feel like failures when they look at their scars. It makes me so sad to see anyone be attacked for the way their child came into the world.

nonmember avatar SuzyHomemaker

I had an emergency c-section for my twins. It literally went from "Your NST is fine" to "Meet your babies" in a little under an hour. Every mom should be proud she brought such beautiful gifts into the world, rather than focusing on how they got there.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I was induced because I was already 3cm dialated without contractions or help. I labored for 12 hours (taking the epi only when they forced me!), pushed for 2 and still ended up with a c-section. I think my birth would have been successful had the hospital been a little more patient. I just felt like my whole birth experience was a "Lets hurry and get this done so we can all go home" ordeal. Dont even get me started on the lactation consultant they sent me....Psh...

PonyC... PonyChaser

To all of those ladies who say they feel like they failed: You. Did. Not. FAIL!!! STOP listening to those who are so insecure that they project that crap onto you.

Consider this: you were pregnant for 9 months (or less in some cases). You ate right. You exercised appropriately. You rested when you needed it.You saw your doc, you learned everything you could. You did everything right. FOR NINE MONTHS.

And then something happened with the birth that required the baby to have help being born. We're talking about what, a couple of hours? One day OUT OF NINE MONTHS that didn't go exactly as planned.

How does that make you a failure? If you drop a glass and break it while you're making Christmas Dinner, does that mean that you've failed as a hostess? No, it means that you dropped a glass. Move on.

Your baby is healthy. YOU are healthy. Presumably, you are back to doing everything as right as you can - feeding, clothing, loving that precious little life. And all the others that came before and after.

How silly is it to feel like a "failure" if you didn't push that child out of your body? Yeah, it's a missed opportunity. But it is in no way a "fail".

I am so tired (obviously) of people saying that if you didn't have a "natural" birth, somehow you are inadequate as a mother, and didn't have the "full experience", yadda. I actually had a woman tell me that I wasn't "really a mother" because I had a c-section. Whatever. She can take my son for a day and then tell me that.

nonmember avatar Melissa

I had an emergency c-section with my 1st. It took me a few weeks, maybe months, to come to terms with that birth and my scar. Yet, when it came time to figure out the birth plan for my 2nd, they had a hard time finding my scar as it had healed so well. #2 ended up being a VBAC and #1 likes to point to the area of my scar as hers! Silly kid but it works that they both came in their own way!

Mrscj... Mrscjones

I had a c-section and I don't feel like I failed. I was 40 weeks and on pitocin for 3 days but my son still wouldn't come down and I never dialated. My birth was successful I have a beautiful son to show for it. There's no failure in that.

lills... lillsmom09

I had a csection and I am not ashamed of it. I am tired of hearing that I am less of a mother because I went to the hospital, was induced, labored forever and was unable to push my baby out. My legs cramped and my hips locked up, I was physically unable to push any harder or any longer. So, until all these anti-csections women went through the pain that I went through, they can buzz off.

1-10 of 127 comments 12345 Last