I have a tattoo and a scar on my pelvis and they both stand for COURAGE.
When I was 17 I joined the soccer team in my school. It was the scariest thing I had done. But through the fear of being part of a large group because I am an introvert, the fear of failing, and the fear of being accepted I found the courage to make it through, to become part of something that became the biggest teaching lesson of my life.
At the end of the season, our coach gave us a book as a gift from her heart. At the front, she painted a symbol of what she thought represented each one of us. Mine was Courage.
When I graduated high school I got a tattoo of this symbol on my pelvis. In the place where our body stores fear- I wrote courage.
Fast forward ten years later. I was lying in a hospital bed ready to give birth to my daughter. After 24 hours of labor, I didn’t have the strength to push anymore. I was exhausted. I was in fear, a fear that was like no other- the fear of failing. I pushed crying not because of pain, but because I wanted to do the job I was there to do and just couldn’t, I felt helpless.
24 hours later and what felt like an eternity to me, there was no more amniotic fluid left and my daughter couldn’t turn to come out. And then I heard what I knew was coming but didn’t want to hear. “We have to do a C-section”.
I was angry with myself, I cried because all I wanted was to bring my child in a natural way. All I wanted was to have skin to skin time. All I wanted was to do what my body was built to do. It was heartbreaking and I felt like I wasn’t good enough. It was defeat, it was giving up.
After I went home, I thought about it over and over again. I cried many times stuck in the feeling of unworthy and not good enough. It was a haunting pain that wouldn’t go away. I thought of how hard I tried, because I know I gave it all and then some, and still, Why couldn’t I give birth as many have been doing it since the beginning of time? What did I do wrong?
Days later as I was taking a shower with tape pieces still working their way out of my skin from the gauze covering the fresh wound. I gently washed the scar that was reminding me of the job I didn’t complete. And then I noticed my tattoo. I’ve had it for so long that I didn’t notice it anymore.
As I stood there crying, I heard a voice saying “It takes courage to go through fear”. And then it hit me, the most courageous thing I did was to make the decision to do a C-section. Although it went against everything I believed and everything I had planned, I saw it clear. It wasn’t defeated; it was the courage to bring my daughter in this world healthy through any means necessary. I wasn’t giving up, I was letting go of the need to control how things should be and embrace with courage the acceptance of what was best for both of us.
My courage was to accept that perfection is being ok with imperfection. That the only thing we can control is us and nothing else. I can choose to look at this scar with pain and defeat or with courage and gratitude.
I am thankful that C-Sections exist because without them I wouldn’t have the greatest being by my side. I am grateful to have gone through the pain because it just allows me to appreciate the gift of life even more. I am thankful to be able to share this story with many mothers who have gone through something similar and give them a perspective of healing and courage to allow themselves to get past those hunting feelings I too had.
I have a healthy and magical daughter, who brightens my life every day. And I’ll know that if I ever have to share with her how she came to this world, I know I can tell her “I brought you to this world through the courage within me”
So forever I will have my ink and scar to remind me that through all fear your courage can help you get through no matter what.
A C-Section does not make me less of a mother. It makes me the best parent my daughter needed to have. And that is all I’ll ever need.
Happy C-Section Awareness month.