Fearing the Scar

Fearing the Scar

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reader's Choice 20th Anniversary Edition

Fearing the Scar

Now my belly is as noble as my heart.

~Gabriela Mistral

I was pregnant with twin girls. My first pregnancy had ended in a miscarriage, so I was very apprehensive.

As the pregnancy progressed, my doctor brought up the fact that the practice preferred to deliver twins by C-section due to the possible complications that could arise from giving birth twice in a row. Naturally, I would do what it took to give my daughters the best possible chance at a healthy birth. But I was very worried about the C-section, and especially about the scar.

I was blessed with a wonderful husband who had seen past my insecurities and self-esteem issues surrounding my weight for fourteen years. Michael had always loved me for who I was and thought I was beautiful. However, would he feel the same after I had a large scar?

Someone (unfortunately I don’t remember who) gave me Chicken Soup for the New Mom’s Soul and I devoured it! I loved reading all the stories of women who had faced hardships, uncertainties and even humor during their own crazy pregnancies.

Then I found the story “Because He Loved Me” by Ginger LeBlanc. It spoke to my exact fears and described my exact feelings. I was reading my own story! As she described how her husband reacted to her after a C-section, my body shook as I sobbed. Michael read it. I confessed my fears to him. While he tried to reassure me, I couldn’t shake the fear.

Before dawn on the morning before Mother’s Day, at thirty-six weeks pregnant, my water broke. We knew that one of the girls was sitting in the breach position, so there was no way to avoid a C-section. When the doctor at the hospital confirmed that was the only option, I hesitated and looked helplessly at Michael. The doctor followed my gaze and asked him, “Do you want to take none of your girls home . . . or all three?”

“All three, of course,” he replied.

“Then we need to do a C-section. Now.”

And off we went.

On Monday I was told I could finally shower. This was the moment I had been dreading — the moment of truth. I shuffled to the bathroom while he pulled the girls’ cradles to the bathroom door so we could hear their tiny cries if they woke up. Slowly, Michael helped me bathe while telling me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me. He named specific things he loved about me, both in my physical appearance and in my personality, and thanked me for each little thing he could think of that I did to care for him and our adopted son. Finally, he addressed the real issue: “And your incision is beautiful because you worked so hard to care for our daughters.”

I sobbed. But it gave me a new perspective on my incision and what it represented. It was not a grotesque disfiguration, but a sign of love and life. Ginger LeBlanc’s story had given my husband guidance on how to encourage me in what he knew would be an unbelievably emotional time. She helped us prepare for something the mommy-to-be books don’t address. I am everlastingly grateful.

~Aletheia D. Lee

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