It is foolish to pretend that one is fully recovered from a disappointed passion. Such wounds always leave a scar.”
I’ve had quite a few surgeries – a benign tumor, the size of a tennis ball, removed from my neck and a cesarean section to deliver my daughter just to name a few among the many. It is because of these surgeries that I now have scars on my body. Some are more prominent and others not as much; some you can see and some are hidden beneath my clothing. But they’re still there.
The scars always serve as a reminder of something that’s happened in my life. They are a permanent souvenir of a brief moment in time. In fact, I will always remember one morning of my eighth grade year because of a scar on my knee. I was wearing my cheerleading uniform to school that day and had some time to kill before the bus arrived to pick us up. I strapped on my roller blades and decided to do a few laps around the driveway. My mom told me it wasn’t wise to be skating with my legs bare like that but, I did it anyway. It was partially dark outside and I thought I saw something moving in the ditch coming after me. I freaked out and tripped and came away with a very bloody knee, and later, the scar.
I think most people detest their scars. Society teaches us that beautiful people have unmarred skin. But I say, to heck with that! The scars are a part of who I am. They are reminders of where I have been, some good and some bad. But they all make up me.
There are experiences in life that can scar us as well. We’ve all heard the term “emotionally scarred”. I think we’ve all experienced it. I think some have more emotional scars than others, just as some have more physical scars than others. Some of these scars are evident by the way people act; some are more private, just as if they were physical scars covered by clothing. But they’re still there.
My C-section scar represents an event that is both physical and emotional. After having so much medical intervention to conceive my daughter I wanted very much to deliver her naturally. However, it appeared that it just wasn’t meant to be. I pushed and pushed, and as the hours passed I could read the look in the doctor’s eyes. He saw that I now had a fever, he saw that the baby’s heart rate was increasing, and he saw how tired I was from laboring all day and pushing for hours. So, when he quietly suggested that he thought a C-section would be best for both me and the baby, I silently nodded.
My tears soon betrayed me. I began to weep, slowly at first and then harder. The epidural had worn off by now and I was blowing hard through the frequent contractions and the tears while my efforts seemed unnoticed by the medical staff who chatted away around me as I was wheeled into the OR and prepped for surgery. The anesthesiologist gave me more medication and the pain of the contractions gradually decreased. Chills shook my body and my teeth chattered as the tears continued. My husband appeared beside me in white scrubs and I pleaded with him to pray for our daughter’s safe arrival. I was so scared for her…and for me.
The doctor poked me with the scalpel and asked if I could feel it. I said that I could, so they waited a few more minutes. He asked again and I could still feel it, though not as much. Again they waited for the medication to take effect, then finally were able to proceed.
Then I felt the pulling and the pressure and I panicked again. “Ow, ow, ow!” I cried.
The anesthesiologist asked, “Pressure or pain?”
“Pressure!” I said through clenched teeth as I blew hard breaths trying to manage the pain.
“You’re going to feel a little funny,” he said.
“Okay!” I replied quickly, and before I knew it things got foggy. I couldn’t see anything and then, off in the distance, I heard a tiny cry followed by the time of birth announced. “Twenty forty three!”
The healing of that incision took several weeks. Any of you who’ve had a c-section can attest to the pain of coughing, laughing, standing up off the couch, or getting out of bed. I think I healed more quickly than most because I pushed myself to get up and move.
It’s been seven months since that day and I still wish I could have had a natural birth. I don’t know if I’ll be able to have one for our next child, God willing that we have another. I’m still working through the grief of the loss of the natural birth experience, but each day it gets a little easier. It’s because I can remember that no matter how she was delivered, I still have my baby. She’s a true miracle. I’ve also thought that I am lucky because I have not only stretch marks to prove I gave birth but I also have the scar to prove it. That may sound a little funny but, I’m actually strangely proud of my scars. They’re proof that I’ve experienced things and lived life.
Perhaps like the healing from the actual scar, my emotional scar will heal if I continue to push myself in good ways. If I continue to find positive things about this I think I can heal. The memories won’t go away, but I will heal.
I found a quote from Henry Rollins, who said, “Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.”
Thanks, I think I’ll do that, Henry.
QUESTION: What “scars” do you have? How have they made you stronger?
CHALLENGE: Think of one “scar” you carry and come up with something you’re really grateful for about that scar.
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Said this on 1-27-2010 At 09:27 pm