Hi Is This Normal,

Is it normal still not to be over my C-section? Is it normal to still feel that I failed, that I did less well? Is it normal to feel ashamed to tell my family I did not have the natural birth, that is so important to them (seemingly everyone)? Is it normal that I still feel resentment for my scar and cannot accept that I will always have it?

C-section Shame

 

Dear C-section Shame,

I’ve always hated the term “natural birth”. It seems designed to insinuate that non-vaginal childbirth is somehow unnatural. But there is no right or wrong way to become a mom. Whether you got pregnant the old fashioned way, needed a little help from amazing modern medicine, had a vaginal birth or a c-section, or adopted your children, guess what? You are a mother. A strong, amazing mother who has taken on the enormous task of nurturing and raising a human being. The rest is secondary, in my humble opinion.

But I get it. You had an idea of how this would all go. You assumed (because we all do) that things would just happen the way they’re supposed to happen. You believed your body would just do what it’s “supposed” to do. Here’s the thing: nothing about pregnancy and childbirth is predictable. Not one single aspect of it. You can do all the right things and make all the good choices, and things can and will go sideways. It sounds like you planned on a vaginal birth, and ended up having a c-section for reasons beyond your control. And that is a hard thing to reconcile when you didn’t plan on it happening. But you are here, sending me this question. Your baby is, presumably, healthy and happy. The end result is as good of an end result as you could possibly hope for, all things considered. Mom and baby, alive and well. You did it! YOU DID IT.

Motherhood is full of constant change. Pregnancies get complicated and delivery plans change. Babies don’t latch or your boobs don’t produce milk. Nothing is set in stone, and everything is up in the air. As moms, we just have to learn to roll with the punches, and adapt to all the changes and surprises and twists and turns. Your scar will always be there, yes. It will fade with time, and it will become a part of your body landscape, like freckles and stretch marks and other things we might not love seeing, but learn to accept. It’s normal to resent it right now, and I know you feel like you’ll never accept it. But you will. One day, you will look at that scar and not see a sign of failure. That scar helped make you a mama. Your journey is just beginning, and in the grand scheme of things, your c-section and that scar are such a small part of this story.

The prologue, if you will. It’s important, sure. But it’s not the whole story, not even close.

Do your best in these next few months to be kind to yourself. Be proud of what you did. Because you did the most powerful, amazing thing in the entire world. No failure, no shame. Change the narrative, and screw what everyone else says! They don’t get to dictate how you feel about YOUR birth story. Give yourself time to heal – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t do or have, focus on what you DID. You’re a warrior, and all warriors have scars, mama.

It’s ALL Natural,

Is This Normal

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