I am the biggest klutz on Earth. I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. It’s pretty bad. Somehow, though, I had managed to make it to the ripe old age of 23 with no visible scars and no broken bones or surgeries. This was either through the grace of some higher power or because I never participate in sports.
And then I got pregnant. I spent 40 weeks deciding that I was going to have a non-medicated hospital birth. My provider was onboard. My then-husband was on board. Everything was good.
I wound up being induced due to some complications, and I walked around, and I used a birth ball, and everything was excellent. Except my body did not cooperate. I never dilated past a 2. My ob told me she advised a c-section, and I cried. Big, huge tears. She sat on the bed next to me and hugged me and then gave me a few minutes to think about it. We went in the operating room, and I was scared. I remember telling my husband I didn’t want to do this anymore. A nurse had to come over and soothe me.
In the recovery, I found my scar to be an ugly, horrible, wretched thing – made worse by all of the people who told me what an idiot I was for letting my terrible OB cut me open, and how I hadn’t had birth like a real woman. If I was more educated, if I was in better shape, if I was more prepared…
Flash forward three years to kiddo number two. I’m in the best physical shape of my life, having lost 170 pounds and developed a 6 day a week gym habit. I’m determined to have a VBAC. I do everything I’m supposed to. At 40 weeks, I start encouraging labor in every possible way. Nothing. 41 weeks. Nothing. I have a brief period of regular contractions, and go to the hospital. They stop. At almost 42 weeks, I have a not-encouraging nonstress test. I agree to c-section number two at 42 weeks, thinking that I am a failure. That I am a joke. That I am not a real woman. The surgery goes easily, with everyone being incredibly nice and the anesthesiologist cracking jokes with me when I got nervous. Recovery is not really a huge deal. I actually start doing some light jogging 4 weeks postpartum. I still feel very conflicted when I think of the birth or look at my scar, though.
But the more I think it over, the more I love my scar. It’s awesome. The 4-5 inch shiny white line is where my children were born. They are alive because someone discovered that you can bypass the vagina and take babies out another way. In the past, we might have died.
My scar also says that I can roll with the punches. I allowed something that I swore I wouldn’t, for the better of my babies and my own health. Isn’t that what we do, as moms? Don’t we look at our unique children and situations and do the absolute best for our own families? How can doing that ever be a bad thing?
My birth experiences weren’t what I imagined, but I was always surrounded by a caring team of individuals who did anything they could to honor my wishes, and I have two gorgeous, healthy, perfect children that light up my life every day. If that’s not what we all hope for as moms-to-be, it damn sure should be.