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Entries in Numbness (2)

Tuesday
May012012

Cesarean Scar: Lori

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.

Tuesday
May012012

Cesarean Scar: Kristina K.

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. 

When I look at my scar what I see is my triumph. I don't think I was ever more terrified in my life than I was that day, when during a routine NST (I was high risk) my daughter's heart rate plummeted to the 70s for about 90 seconds. I was never more irrational and primitive as I scratched at my own belly, thinking I could claw her out, because I was listening to her literally die and there was nothing I could do about it. I knew as soon as her heart rate rebounded that I was heading for surgery. Over and over her heart rate dipped for minutes at a time sometimes, but each time she came back out. For how long? What the hell are you people waiting for, let's go, let's GO! She's DYING! 
I walked to the OR. I cried hard. I laid on the table thinking I was going to die, and I was absolutely right. I did die. While my heart never stopped beating, I absolutely died, and was reborn right in that cold operating room. I shed something integral behind and stepped forward into a new way of being, so that I could see my daughter live.
My scar tells me that I am a warrior and that I would do absolutely anything to save my children. If they'd had to take my leg, my arm, my head, or my heart, they could have taken it. 
I touch my scar very rarely. I'm sad she's there, and grateful, too. It feels weird, the numbing has reduced quite a bit but it's still emotional. When I envision my scar I often see it as it was after the surgery, smiling and stapled as if someone just my body told a really scary joke. Just writing this I can feel the sting of the staples when they were ready to come out. I'm glad my scar is pretty small and sometimes I wonder if anyone would notice it if I didn't tell them it was there. Sometimes I think it would be nice to pretend it's not there at all.