I didn't smoke, didn't drink, took my vitamins, ate as healthy as I could, counted kicks, counted hiccups, fantasized about how beautiful and loved my LO is, counted down the days til my c/s date, got excited for every heartbeat, cried at every level two ultra sound (in a good way), read all the books, and just because i had a c/s I'm supposed to be considered a failure as a mom? Definitely not. No one loves their babies more than I do and I refuse to believe that just because my cervix wouldn't dilate after 2 days of labor that I am a failure. Had c/s's not been around I would have died, and my first born would have died, and my other three never conceived....to me a c/s birth is a wonderful thing.
So when I look at my scar I am forever reminded of the happiest days of my entire life.
My scar shows almost 7yrs of trying and close to giving up to have a baby. It shows the joy the day I found out I was pregnant, the joy I found it was a boy, and the Joy of him coming into this world. My scar shows my preggo belly was so big people could not believe i was carrying one baby and i still was a long way off from having him. It also says my water broke on its own, I labored with love for 25 hours with only to making it to 3cm. My scars says I tried hard to have in naturally but between having a flat pelvis and a baby with a very big head there was no way he was coming out with out help. It says when he final arrived he showed up with a grumpy look on his face. My scar shows I did a great job carrying for him while he was inside my warm and safe body and now it was time to show him the world. I hate that I still look like I am pregnant even a year later, but I would not trade my scar to redo having my son. I wear the scar with pride just like a great battle wound. It has been almost yr since my son was born and my scar has healed nicely and you can hardly tell it was there. But I know and I have pride in it.
|My scar says, "Your birth experience was rape and those responsible got paid a lot of money for doing it! I'll hurt you forever." I did not consent to surgery.
The thought of my scar being touched makes me ... defensive.
I had to go to the doctor today because it is getting infected on the right side... which you can see in the last two pics. They want me to take antibiotics for it. Hopefully that is all that is needed and they don't have to open it back up to see what is wrong with the stitching underneath. I told them in the days following the surgery that there was something wrong with the right side and that the stretching and pulling I was feeling "just wasn't right" and they just keep telling me " oh no.. that's normal", but apparently it wasn't (and it hurt really bad). I have been showering daily, lightly putting antibacterial soap over the wound and patting dry with a clean towel and keeping covered. I kept the tape on it after the staples were taken out for 5 days just like instructed. The infection is from the previous layers inside not from the outside. Also they nurse left a staple in my stomach and I had to go back 2 days after going home to get it removed. I had a 102 fever the day I can home as well... not sure if it was a result from the surgery or not. I have little to no sensation on the right side of my stomach. It is very similar of a feeling as when you go to the dentist and get a shot of novacain, you can't feel your cheek and when you touch it it feels like rubber or plastic. I called a few days ago to let the nurse know, and was told that is normal and since that is dead tissue now that it is very likely that it will remain numb and never have feeling there again because of nerve damage.
My scar says I failed. That my body failed to nurture my first baby long enough. It says they had to take her from me early because my placenta had stopped nourishing her. Says I didn't give birth, that my first daughter's birth was something that happened to me, not something I did. It says that since I didn't do anything but lay on a OR table I have nothing to brag about when my friends tell stories of pushing, and their tolerance for pain. Like they went through a rite of passage I'll never get to experience. It also says I failed my second daughter by not having a VBAC. I was in labor 3 times, and had it stopped by medication twice because my OB wanted me to wait until my scheduled date for my repeat c-section. The 3rd time it didn't work and I was admitted to the hospital. I spent the night in a half-sleep contracting every 5 minutes until finally at 5:30 am my OB showed up to do my cesarean as planned. It's a daily reminder of my body's failures.
I don't touch my scar. If I did I wouldn't feel it anyway. After my first cesarean I was numb for a year in some places. I'd like to think that it makes me look strong. I wish when I saw or touched it I felt that it shows what I went through to get my babies here. But I don't see it as a mark of my strength, I see as a reminder of my weakness. Maybe someday I'll be able to join in those conversations other women have about their birth experiences and I feel proud of mine. I think it'll be a long time for me to get to that point though.
I know what I want to say but the words are a little stuck. It's multifaceted. It's inspiring, and beautiful. It's sad and grieving. My scar is numb and hurts sometimes. My heart has been open since I was pregnant, through the birth, and after, to feel what I need to feel and do what I need to do.
Writing this story I'm 7 weeks PP. I gave birth by c-section to twin boys at 34 weeks. For about a month we knew we would have to deliver early, it was just a matter of when. I was pregnant with fraternal twins and twin A not only had a vericose umbilical cord, but the cord was also barely attached to the placenta. At 13 weeks there was already a 30% difference in growth. At 31 weeks the growth gap had increaded to 40. His cord would no longer sustain him. We waited 3 more weeks, having ultrasounds twice a week. My 2 perinatologists decided that he wouldn't make it any longer and we had surgery March 10th. The surgery was great. Everything was perfect. My only regret is not asking them before hand to lower the curtain. I didn't get to see my little men for over 12 hours. They were born at 3lbs and 4lbs 9 oz. Only 2 weeks of NICU time. Recover was rough for the first few days, but after a week PP, it got much easier.
It's hard to even see my scar. I have to fight folds and folds of "twin skin". But when I look at it, and my entire torso in general, I just think of what an amazing job my body did at housing not one but two amazing little survivors. I look at my scar and I do not have any negative thoughts. I'm happy for what my body did, and I never cared how they got here. I do some days mourn the loss of the shapeliness of my torso, but these feeling never last long. I look at my boys and I know it was all worth it. The flabby skin, the huge stretchmarks that seem to never end, and the scar are all beautiful reminders of what my body accomplished. I would do it a hundred times over again for them.
This is my many scars. I have had 5 c-sections. 3 cuts from the navel down, and 2 cuts bikini style. When I look at them it screams failure to me. I feel betrayed by my own body, the very thing I live in has let me down. When I touch it, it feels flawed and imperfect. I am embarassed by my scar, I am embarassed to be called a women or mother. It makes me feel down because my body could not birth a child normally. I feel so incomplete as a mother.....
First off, let me just say that I had an amazing pregnancy. I loved every moment that I was pregnant. This was my very first pregnancy and everything was perfect! Nothing like what most of the books I'd read said it would be like. I had no morning sickness, no heartburn, no water retention and if it wasn't for the ever growing belly I would have questioned being pregnant at all!
My husband and I planned for a natural birth, we attended over 12 weeks of Bradley Birthing Method classes in preparation for our son's arrival. I had previously worked in Labor & Delivery at a local hospital for over 4 years. Seeing over 200 births, I knew the benefits of going natural and the serious recovery involved with c-sections. This was something I wanted to avoid at all costs.
When my due date came and went we decided NOT to be induced. We had done our research about the increased c-section rate with inductions and we didn't consider this an option for us. Most women FEEL ready for there babies to come out and when my due date rolled around, I didn't. He never dropped into my pelvis so I had 0% effacement and was only dilated 2 centimeters. Our doctor agreed with our decision to not be induced but asked we come in to be monitored to make sure our son was still doing ok.
I was 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant when we went in for my first NST (Non-stress test). From the moment I got up that Monday morning, I felt different. Something wasn't right. Riley (our son) was always a mover and a shaker in my belly, but not that morning. Even after I ate a full breakfast (when he usually moved the most) I could hardly feel him.
I will never forget the look on the nurses face when she hooked me up to the monitor. I could hear Riley's heartbeat so I wasn't concerned until it started making a sound that was like a galloping noise. Something I had never heard it do in all our previous prenatal visits. She immediately said she was going to get the doctor to come and look at my strip. She returned with the doctor, who was much more calm then she was. He said, "Let's have a look see shall we?" and I nodded. He simply stated that we should head over to the Labor and Delivery unit for extended monitoring because my strip wasn't reassuring and I was what they refer to as "post-dates" meaning over due.
My husband and I walked over to Labor and Delivery and were set up in a bed almost immediately. I was then placed on the monitor and the nurse said she would be back momentarily to see how I was doing. We could hear Riley's heartbeat so this comforted us. Suddenly, an alarm sounded from the monitor. The nurse came back and said that she needed to give me some oxygen and that the baby's heartrate was dropping. She asked me to roll to my side as she lowered the head of the bed and placed oxygen on me. Within a few seconds, Riley's heartrate went back up. It had dropped to nearly 60 bpm when the normal should be between 125-165 approximately. This happened 3 times in the course of maybe 10 minutes. Not okay.
A wonderful female doctor (not the same one who had been following my pregnancy) came to see us. From the moment I met her, I loved her. Looking into her eyes gave me a sense that everything was going to be okay. She explained to my husband and I that I wasn't in labor yet (no contractions seen on the strip or felt by me) and after checking me, I wasn't anywhere near being ready to go into Labor or a canidate for induction. She told us that labor in general causes a stress on the baby and will cause the heartrate to drop a bit with each contraction. Since I wasn't in labor yet and the baby already was showing signs of distress she thought it best for me to have a c-section. I couldn't believe it! We asked for a moment to ourselves to discuss it. We both wanted what was best for Riley and getting him into the world safely was our number one priority.
We decided to go ahead with the c-section.
The doctor returned to the room and sat next to me on the bed. She grabbed my hand and with tear filled eyes apoligized that I couldn't have the natural birth I had planned and hoped for. She told me that if I wanted to have another child she would double stitch my uterus so that I could attempt a VBAC next time around and she would gladly be my doctor. This warmed my heart. I knew her intentions were nothing but true.
That being said, I was prepped for surgery. They were calling it an "Urgent" c-section, not an Emergency c-section but within minutes it seemed I was on the operating table. I was shaking like a leaf so the nurse held me with a warm blanket while they did the spinal anesthesia. All the while I was still hooked to the heart monitor so I could hear Riley. My husband joined me in the OR and held my hand as we waited. They told me I would feel pressure when they were taking him out and boy was THAT an understatement! It felt like someone was standing on my stomach when it came time for them to pull him out. Having seen c-sections and deliveries in my past I knew what was going on and what WASN'T going on.
I heard them say, "Call the team!" meaning Respiratory team. Then I heard the doctor say, "No, they won't make it in time...there's meconium in here...nucal cord times two...he's not breathing...". My heart sank. I kept telling my husband, "He's not crying! He's not crying! Why isn't he crying?!". The cord was wrapped around his neck twice. The next thing I saw was my son's limp little body being carried to the warmer. Not crying. Not moving. There were at least four nurses and the doctor working on him. I couldn't breath and my husband didn't say a word.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I heard my son cry! He then peed all over the warmer. Hahhaha! He was okay! He didn't swallow or inhale any of the meconium (there first stool). The wonderful nurse brought him to me almost immediately and I got to touch him and kiss his sweet face. They let my husband cut his cord too.
Once I was all stitched up they brought me to recovery where we got to be skin to skin and he latched immediately. I was so worried about the "Golden Hour" following birth and how important it all is for breastfeeding and bonding. The nurses cared about it too which made all the difference in the world. Riley never had to go to NICU and was with me from that moment on.
It didn't happen the way we had planned it but I'm glad we had a c-section. Had we not, Riley may not be with us today. The doctor later told us that the cord was wrapped so tightly (twice) around his neck that the pushing from labor would have caused the situation to end up being an emergent one instead of the urgent one we opted for.
Now, 13 months later when I look at my scar I'm reminded that it was all a reality. That the sweet little boy running around, eating everything, came from my body and thankfully was brought into this world safely. Next time around we will try a VBAC. I put it in the Lord's hands though, he knows what is best and as long as it gets my babies here safely then I'm okay with it.
Mrs. Reyna Brown
my scar says, "yes, i am here, now get over it and move on, you're expecting again. this time we will do it right." i don't want to take a picture of it. i had a doc who after 22 hours of labor, 15 hours of labor in the hospital, decided, "i'd like to have dinner with my family, so let's wrap this up". He had even declared me 10 cm and had me pushing, only to turn me away from that path. He gave up, and so did my family support system due to fear and exhaustion, and therefore so did i. baby and i were just fine. when he was ripped from me, all i wanted was to hold him. but they wouldn't let me. when they put him near me, he stopped screaming. they wheeled me out. i looked and felt like death. i still feel let down by my body, my ability to concentrate and relax, my doctor, my support system in my family and the list goes on. when my son was just past 2 weeks old, i had to go back into the hospital for 5 days to be on 3 types of IV anti-biotics. i had raging fevers and an infant. i sat alone there, mad, scared and confused, everyday as my family had to all go back to work. they never really figured out why i had extreme fevers and an elevated white blood cell count, hence the 3 types of antibiotics. it was a living hell. i hate IV's now. i am pregnant again and will NOT go down that road. I will fight tooth and nail not to return to the hospital, or to the operating table. i will only invite those who know how strong and powerful i am into my birthing room. i know i could have had a healthy son either way, i just needed the support to remind me that i could do it. THIS TIME I SHALL.
My son was conceived via IVF, our 2nd attempt (the first resulted in miscarriage). I had a relatively normal pregnancy in the early days. No morning sickness and only a few minor issues. By the end however I began to slowly fall to pieces (as my Obstetrician put it). I was scheduled for a caesarian in week 38 due to pre-eclampsia & an oversize, breech baby. I was hospitalised week 33-34 for pre-eclampsia. By week 36 I began feeling very unwell and had a blood test and my levels were all over the place. My blood pressure was sky-high, my platelets had dropped dramatically and my liver and kidneys weren't coping. I was phoned by my obstetrician and told to pack a bag and come in immediately and I would be taken to theatre 8am the next day. My husband was working away and my parents live 2hrs away so it was a mad dash to get everyone here. Further blood tests revealled that it would be too risky for an epidural so I was placed under general anaesthetic (GA). My beautiful son "exited via the sunroof" at 8:08am Thurs 18th March 2010 at exactly 37 weeks gestation 49.5cm & 3.55kg. He wasn't breathing at first and was a lovely shade of purple. His 1min Apgar was 3. However he picked up and has gained a healthy 1.4kg since and is the light of my life.
On the morning of December 15th I went into labor on my own, at my house. By the time I got to the hospital, I was 4cm dilated. About half an hour after I was admitted and in my room, they checked me and I was 5cm- so they broke my water. Within 45 minutes after they broke my water, I was fully dilated. All of a sudden, my son's heart rate plummeted to the 40's. They had me lie on one side, then the other, then get on all fours. His heart rate was still low, so before I could even process what was happening they were running me down the hall and into surgery. I had an emergency c-section because my baby's cord was wrapped around his neck three times. I was awake long enough to hear him cry for the first time, and my husband say "He's perfect!"... that's all I remember. I was later told I had a postpartum hemorrhage on the table, and ruined some poor nurse's shoes with my blood. My son had a short stay in the NICU after he was born- he became lethargic and as a result wouldn't nurse, and his blood sugar levels became low and they feared meningitis. Thankfully, he is fine.
When I woke up from surgery and remembered what had happened, I was terrified to look under my gown. I was afraid to see the incision, and afraid that since my c-section was an emergency, that I would be cut vertically. I can't lie, I was relieved to see that it wasn't. I had a low transverse incision.
In the weeks following his birth, I was concerned about the dreaded c-section "shelf"- afraid of how my scar would heal... all that stuff.
It's been four months and my feelings towards my scar have radically changed. I'm damned proud of that scar. I wear it like a badge of honor. It wasn't my birth plan to have a Cesarean birth- but coming home with a baby was my ultimate birth plan, and the c-section allowed me to do this. When I feel my scar, it's still pretty numb, and hard as it is still healing. But what I see and feel when I look at or touch my scar is simply gratitude. I am beyond thankful to live in an age when this operation is a possibility- what if I had been born 100 years ago? Would my son and I have lived? I don't think so.
When I look at my scar, I thank God for blessing me with a beautiful, healthy son.
When I look at my scar, I'm reminded that my little boy is a fighter- and so am I.
My little boy was breech. We tried everything to turn him, chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga sequences, positive thinking, visualizing, you name it. We attempted an external version at 37 weeks which instantly put my baby into distress. The midwife and doctor stopped the procedure and the baby and I were monitored for two hours to make sure that he and I were both okay.
When the midwife told me "it is time to choose a birthday," my heart sank. I was devastated that I wasn't going to have my beautiful natural birth I had been preparing for and terrified of the prospect of abdominal surgery. I cried daily for over a week but slowly came to embrace the certainty of it all. I was able to find a cat sitter, let my work know when my last day was, and do a deep clean of the house to welcome the little one, etc.
My scar is nearly 7 weeks old, has healed, but still feels so very raw emotionally.
When I look at my scar it says to me "You didn't plan for me, you didn't want me and still don't, but I am with you now. You will find a way to peacefully accept me, learn to understand me and maybe one day come to love me for the great battle scar that I am...you earned me as a warrior mama."
When I touch my scar it says to me "I am here, you can't forget it and won't. I am the way you birthed your baby and it is OK. One day you will peacefully accept me, learn to understand me and come to love me for that."