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C-SectionA Letter to My C-Section Scar

A Letter to My C-Section Scar

Motherly Collective

Sometimes, I hate that you are forever a part of me.

You weren’t wanted, but you were what I was permanently left with after bringing my son into this world. The words of my doctor swirl in my head. “Possible partial molar pregnancy.” “Higher chance of excessive bleeding.” 

I elected to have a C-section. Not because I wanted one but because I felt like I had no other choice. My previous labor was a 39 week elective induction that resulted in a shockingly smooth and quick vaginal delivery. According to my doctor, there was a decent chance that I could have the same outcome this time around. Odds were that it wasn’t a partial molar pregnancy and that my son wasn’t as big as they predicted. Everything could be just fine. Which is what ended up happening. But, still, since so many things could go wrong I decided not to play the odds.  

“A scheduled C-section seems like an easy decision here,” my family members said. I wanted to shout, “Easy? It’s easy to say that when you aren’t the one strapped down to an operating table, wide awake, while a team of doctors cut through multiple layers of your abdomen and reach their hands into your body.” It actually wasn’t an easy decision and the decision left me with you—my C-section scar. 

I am thankful for all that you represent; the beautiful and the ugly.

I hate how you made me feel postpartum. You served as a reminder of the lack of control I had over a situation that was meant to be one of my most treasured and beautiful moments. You reminded me that I wasn’t allowed to hold my newborn son immediately after he entered this world. You reminded me that I felt helpless and useless as I limped through the house in pain. 

I hated that I couldn’t pick up my one and half year old son as he reached for me, tugging at my already guilty heartstrings. The pain that radiated around you every time I tried to nurse my newborn left me feeling weak and defeated. I felt betrayed by my doctors; did I even need a C-section? I was injured and I felt damaged. You were my proof. 

I couldn’t bear to touch you without grimacing. As I stood in the shower, those first raw days postpartum, the water poured onto my face. It was impossible to tell the difference between the stream and my tears. I ran my fingers over the cherry strip stitches and I wondered what you looked like under there. Would this area always be this sensitive? Would I ever feel strong again? I wondered if I would always feel this much resentment towards you.

You eventually showed yourself. Your thick, raised surface felt numb for months. I was advised to do scar massages and wear high waisted undergarments in order to alleviate discomfort and buildup. This advice came not by doctors but by social media pages as I scrolled through Instagram and TikTok content searching for answers and support. I was told by friends that years later, the area around their scar was still numb or uncomfortable. I was told by friends that their scar wasn’t stitched up properly—it looked crooked and bumpy. I was also told by friends that their scar served as a beautiful mark, forever there to represent their child’s entrance to the world. I was told, “it’s not a big deal; a lot of people have C-sections.” I was told to “just be grateful.”

This is a letter to you, my C-section scar.

You weren’t wanted, but you were what I was permanently left with after bringing my son into this world. In those early days, you were a reminder of a birth experience that went nothing as I had hoped. In those early days, I hated you. But, I am thankful for what you now represent to me. 

I am now proud to carry my own battle scar. A scar that reminds me that my body served as a vessel; it created and grew a human life. I catch a glimpse of you in the mirror and I am grateful for my own resilience and strength. I run my fingers across your still raised surface—actual, physical proof that my son was once a part of me. Modern medicine continues to amaze me. 

Despite the acceptance, love and grace I now show myself and my body, I am not ashamed to say that my birth experience, the one that resulted in a C-section, was not what I had envisioned. I will not feel shamed by others for saying that I felt disappointed. My feelings of sadness and disappointment do not make my love for my healthy son any less present. My negative feelings surrounding my birth experience do not make me feel any less grateful for it. 

This is a letter to you, my C-section scar. 

I love you and I hate you. I wish I hadn’t needed you, but I am thankful for you. I am thankful for all that you represent; the beautiful and the ugly. You may change slightly over time, but you have forever changed me. You will always be part of a bigger story. My story. Our story. 

Love, me 

This story is a part of The Motherly Collective contributor network where we showcase the stories, experiences and advice from brands, writers and experts who want to share their perspective with our community. We believe that there is no single story of motherhood, and that every mother’s journey is unique. By amplifying each mother’s experience and offering expert-driven content, we can support, inform and inspire each other on this incredible journey. If you’re interested in contributing to The Motherly Collective please click here.

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