Postpartum

A Letter to My C-Section Scar

Dear slightly off-center horizontal c-section scar,

I hate you.

I hated you in 2011. I didn’t ask for you. I never thought I’d end up with you during the hours of painful labor. I was left feeling like a failure.

I hated you again in 2012. I didn’t know I had a choice in the matter. Thanks to your unwelcome presence, the fear was instilled in me into getting a brand new you. 

I hated you once again in 2017. I desperately wanted to avoid a fresh “you”. Desperately. Tearfully. But once again, your presence took control of that. 

woman writing letter

I see you every time I look at my body in the mirror before a shower. I’m reminded of those feelings of failing so many years ago. I think back, even just for a second, if my other 2 births would’ve gone differently if that first one went according to my plan. I wonder if I’d still be staring at you or if my lower abdomen would be scarless and the skin there would still have feeling. I wonder if my experience would’ve been different with my second baby…if I still would’ve gone through postpartum depression. I wonder if I would’ve bonded better with my first two babies if I had gotten to have first contact, instead of my loving husband while I was strapped to a table shaking from the meds.

You took things away from me. You took away my control, especially that first time. With each surgery, I was forced to trust these doctors with not only my life but my babies’ lives. That’s not an easy thing. You took away my desires. I never wanted you. I wanted to have these beautiful natural births where I felt like a damn hero afterwards. I didn’t have the chance to dig down deep and find my primal strength where I trust my body and its innate wisdom that it knows how to birth a baby. I missed out on that rite of passage to motherhood. 

For as much as you took away from me, you also gave me things. You gave me horrible pain after each birth. You gave me a constant reminder and an everlasting feeling of failure. You gave me jealousy of anyone who’s had a natural birth. You also gave me all 3 of my life’s greatest accomplishments and I am beyond thankful for that. You are the exact place through which each one of them entered this world and when I touch you, I also remember those first glimpses of my babies. 

Even though I never wanted you, I’m changed because of you. I’ve learned that sometimes things are beyond my control and I have to hand my trust over to others. You taught me that I’ll never have all the answers and all my what if’s will likely remain questions. I understand that not everything goes according to my plan, even if I plan and hope and pray. I also learned that it’s totally possible to equally hate something as much as I am proud of it.

Dear slightly off-center horizontal c-section scar, I hate you.

And I love you. 

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