I did the post for “Babs”, with the black and white picture that showed the c-section scar.
I came back and read some of the comments that people had left. I was a little afraid to at first, wondering if they’d all be around the lines of “You’re so lucky” – and I was so grateful to see that they weren’t: everyone’s different. This blog is inspirational and I’m so glad it’s here.
Someone commented in a way that felt very true to me. She said: “Thanks for sharing your photos. My body bounces back fairly well, too. I lost my first child when she was 16 days old, and I actually hated that my body bounced back. It was if all evidence of her had been erased, except for the c/s scar. I wish I had taken a pic of myself like you did. With baby #2 (a boy) I didn’t bounce back quite as well, but I’m nearing 40 and I think I look ok. Anyway, I related to your post in a big way and had to say thanks for having the courage to share.”
I wanted to say that sometimes those stretch marks that everyone hates can be something another yearns for. I don’t get any marks on my stomach, and the only stretch marks I’ve ever gotten were faint ones on my hips. After I had my son, my stomach went flat almost immediately. I felt carved after my c-section, and confused. I had it done under general anesthetic and I was not able to see him until after he’d died. The entire birth, and life, experience was robbed from me.
Going home with no carseat, in pre-pregnancy jeans felt unfair: I wanted something, anything, some evidence that he existed. Something other than a c-section scar that I felt ashamed of because I was forced into it. I am still coming to terms with these feelings as I await the birth of my third child. I’ve considered having a tattoo done of the only partial handprint the hospital offered me, so I could leave his mark on my body in a place no one but me would see unless I chose to show them.
Mamas: cherish your battle wounds, your stretch marks and bellies. They are beautiful; they are the footprints that your children have left behind as were created and nourished, and while you may have days where you want to hide them, others might be looking on at the majesty that is a mother’s body and appreciating them for the art they are.