After 3 C-Sections This Mom Wants You to Know: 'My Body Didn't Fail Me'

c section moms
Natalie McCain Photography

The stigma against moms who have C-sections is real, with some believing that vaginal births are more natural or somehow better. But in a new photo series, photographer Natalie McCain wants to show that having a C-section does not mean weakness. In fact, it means pure and absolute strength.

  • McCain, who created the Honest Body Project, recently photographed a mom just days after her C-section as part of her new "You Did Not Fail" series.

    Her subject is Jacqueline, a mother of three, who sees her C-section scar as a triumph after being diagnosed with endometriosis.

    In an interview on McCain's website, Jacqueline explains, "When I was 24, doctors found that my left ovary was extremely enlarged. This led to months of tests, doctors, oncologists, and surgery. I have a family history of ovarian cancer, and they couldn't tell exactly what it was, or why it was growing so fast."

    It was a scary situation, and Jacqueline was desperate for answers. "My surgery ruled out cancer," she says, "and I was diagnosed with aggressive endometriosis. I have a scar from my belly button to my pelvic bone, one less tube and ovary, and what tissue the doctors couldn't get out."

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  • Jacqueline was told she had to act quickly if she ever wanted to have children, so she and her husband didn't waste any time starting a family.

    "My boyfriend (now husband) and I were told that if we planned kids it might be hard ... and with as advanced as my endometriosis was, I may be faced with losing my other ovary or need a hysterectomy one day," Jacqueline says. "A year later, and just before my wedding, we decided to beat the clock and try for kids. We decided on four kids, as the endometriosis is there like a ticking time bomb, and I don't want to have any regrets."

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  • Jacqueline spent years trying to conceive their three kids -- now 2 years, 1 year, and 1 week old -- so she sees her C-sections as a major success.

    She tells McCain, "I hear a lot of talk from other moms about wishing our bodies didn't fail. How a 'traditional' birth would have been better, and wondering how we wound up here. I can tell you I didn't plan on a C-section. I didn't want a C-section ... but my body didn't fail."

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  • "My baby is alive, I’m alive, and no scar or procedure will take that away from me," Jacqueline adds.

    McCain reveals to CafeMom, "I hope that these images and Jacqueline's story help other moms who have had C-Sections and are struggling with it ... So many women have reached out to me since I began the Honest Body Project, telling me their C-Section stories and how hard it was for them to cope with it."

    In her interview with McCain, Jacqueline ends by telling the real truth about C-sections that we all need to hear: "This body that has seen surgeries, tumors, three C-sections, and incredible loss didn't fail me one bit," she says. "The scar that almost determined my future, dead ends at the scar that gave me my future."

    You can see more of Natalie McCain's work at The Honest Body Project or in her new book

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