“Is he really mine?”
A phrase normally spoke in wonder and awe as you stare at your brand new baby who is resting on your chest after the birth. But you know he is because he came straight out of your down-there and was placed on your chest while you wept happy tears.
This phrase means something entirely different to me. I said it to myself in my head a lot of times while coming to terms with what had happened. I was only 28 weeks and 6 days gone when Jack was unceremoniously evicted by c-section to save us both from HELLP. There was a ble screen in front of me so I didn’t see him arrive and then he was surrounded by several neonatal people and whisked away within minutes. I had to beg them please to let me see him and only got a glimpse of the tiny profile of his face before they took him away and I was left with nothing.
My pregnancy felt like it took hardly any time at all and now I was empty and didn’t know what was happening to my baby. Lying in recovery, I was left wondering was the whole thing a dream? Will I wake up tomorrow with nothing? Being pregnant had felt too good to be true after all.
When I went to meet him 20 hours later, there was a sense of disbelief. Is this really him? Was he really that small inside what I’d thought was quite a large bump? Will he know who I am? I was being told that he was mine but it didn’t feel like it. I was completely and utterly in love with him and gave my whole heart to him but was that foolish? Would someone say “haha not really” and crush me to pieces?
And then back home once I’d been discharged, and sobbed all the way home and sobbed again at the baby-less house, I looked at my post-pregnancy body in the mirror.
There were my scars. Stretchmarks across my tummy to prove he had lived there and was mine. A c-section scar to prove that I’d given birth to him.
For a while I felt cheated of a normal birth (ie. pushing him out while calling my husband names, that sort of thing) but a few months ago I saw a comment on Facebook, aimed at someone else, but was so helpful that I screen shotted it and saved it.
It basically says that it is amazing and hardcore to go through surgery, be cut open unpacked and done up again. To go through something like that for your baby is selfless powerful love. And then to recover, bond, produce milk, sit up and walk around proves your strength. I keep it in my phone for when I feel like I “didn’t really give birth”.
I love my section scar. I marvel that he was that small to fit through there because its only 6-7 inches long. I marvel that I, having never had a hospital admission at all before not even for anything minor, had actual surgery to save him before anything happened to him.
So I may not like the shape I’ve been left with. My belly is still fat and my boobs are all post-breastmilk-like but I am so damn proud of my scars. They prove he’s mine.
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Hope you all had a fab christmas and new year!