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Thursday
May032012

Cesarean Scar: Mandy's Story

Reading these stories has helped me. And so I share mine, in hopes that good will come from something that has hurt me deeply.
 
I always wanted to be a mother. I pictured myself loving every minute of pregnancy, and the joy and memories that bringing my children into the world would create. I didn't expect infertility. But I am glad God allowed it, because it taught me patience, and it taught me the priceless blessing of a life. I didn't expect pregnancy to be so hard on me. My body is not the same as it was 4 babies ago. But I am glad God allowed it, because I have learned to appreciate the value of working hard to take care of myself and eat right, and to do what's right for my body whether it responds or not.
 
I didn't expect for each one of my birth experiences to be so troublesome and uncertain. Preeclampsia with my two girls, two boys that were bigger than my body seems to tolerate, a uterus that somehow ensured each one of them would be posterior and cock-eyed, and a body that can't seem to get itself in labor for anything. I managed to push the first three out after an entire day of laboring. My third and fourth epidurals worked only for a short time, then they gave out. I am still glad God allowed it, because I learned that even when the worst happens to me, He is there to get me through.
 
I didn't expect to have to have my fourth baby cut from me. But he was over 10 pounds, and his head was turned wrong, and without the epidural my strength eventually gave out and his heartrate became erratic. I cried all the way to the operating room. I had a doctor I didn't trust who was abrasive and pushy, and now his mark is on my abdomen for life.
 
From such a big baby, I have a huge fold of skin that drapes over my scar. Some here have said that they are glad it hides the scar. To me, it draws attention to it. And it peeks out from every piece of clothing I have tried. My scar taunts me. It says I failed to bring my son into the world correctly. It says that he is healthy and beautiful and precious. The trade off was this horrible, ugly, sagging skin covered in stretch marks. This off centered, numb scar that hurts or itches from time to time even now when it has been almost a year. The knowledge that inside I have a cervical tear that I'm told means I can never even try to give birth naturally again.
 
This is the hardest one to be thankful for. But I'm glad God allowed it. If for no other reason than for the reminder that His love is sure even when I become less than I was.
 
When I look at my scar it says "I will always be with you, so you might as well accept me and learn from me, and comfort others who have me too."
 
When I touch my scar it says "Don't touch, I'm too unnatural and sensitive. Don't bother to shave here, it's going to be ugly either way. And don't let anyone see me. Not even your loving husband. Be ashamed of me."
 
But it can never make me be ashamed of the four beautiful children that have become my world. No regrets.
 

front view of c section scar, over 11 months postpartum

 side view of the large flap of skin covering the scar 
 

other side of the flap

the actual scar itself when the skin is lifted

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