My cesarean section

C-section-The-Wonder-Weeks

Yesterday I got to look at my friend’s photos of her delivery. From how she started in the bathtub, to the baby showing her head. Explicit images. Her friend had captured everything, just as real as it is. I saw everything I thought childbirth was supposed to be. I saw the struggle, I saw the pain, I saw the pushing, I saw the sweat, I saw everything. But most of all, I saw a delivery that she had done herself, and finished herself. I saw a delivery in which a beautiful baby girl was laid on her chest. Relieve in the mother. And recovering, together in bed.

I noticed that it touched me but I was able to hold it back. I looked at the pictures with a smile, because wow, it is so beautiful. I was sucked in. I could not stop looking at certain pictures. Especially the pictures where the baby showed her head were breathtaking.

Apparently I didn’t quite process my cesarean section after all. That disappointment. I already knew it, but I didn’t think about it again until now. Apparently I haven’t processed the fact that I couldn’t dilate, that I couldn’t push. No ring of fire. The baby was not taken by my partner and put on my chest and allowed to stay there. I was not allowed to experience all of this. It was a life-saving C-section, but I still feel the loss. Of that the natural way was not granted to me.

My C-section, my scar

My scar has healed miraculously well. Faster than my trauma apparently. My next cesarean section (in Feb ’23) can remain quite wrinkly. Visible. A powerful memory of how my children came into the world. I find it so special how quickly my body is ready to leave this behind. Baby out, wound closed. Two years later and there is actually nothing left to see.

It may sound crazy, but my second cesarean section doesn’t need to fade so much. Maybe because I don’t think that’s appropriate. My mind is not ready to leave it behind, my memories are still fresh. My scar doesn’t need to be hidden. It’s there. As is my disappointment. About what I missed.

Not tucked away, but both healing. With pride in the end. That I may not have done it in the natural way, but was allowed to have just as many struggles. Again, the C-section was life-saving. So I want that pride carved on my body. Because of this scar, I was able to give life to my daughter. Fortunately, I got that C-section.

Missing

The missing will always be there, but also I fought. Just like my friend, as I saw in her pictures. One pushes, the other is cut open by multiple layers. Childbirth is childbirth. Whether it’s naturally or by a C-section. As long as we achieve the main goal: that our baby is born healthy.

For me, no natural childbirth. No pushing. But surgery, a cesarean section. Thankfully. I struggled just the same. And I want you to see that on my belly, forever. #lovelyscar

Mirjam Willemsen