Over the past five months, the squiggly black line (known as linea negra) that stretched as my belly grew and then shrank post-partum has now nearly completely disappeared.
It’s weird, in a way, how affected I’ve been by this slow dissolution of the mark — a mark which I found freakish and ugly in the beginning when it appeared and, later, came to view as badge of honor of sorts: it was yet another way for me to see Maya growing in the womb (as it got bigger as she got bigger). It was another way for me to connect with her, at least physically.
As the line has faded in time, my belly has resumed its more normal shape — albeit more rounded than before — and now all that’s left of the physical birth is the C-section scar, which I’ll always have, long after the squiggly black line is gone.
I see my scar — which is also fading — every day. Sometimes we just look at it, with its rough surface and run our hands over the four-or-so-inch scar, marveling that that’s where our daughter came from. And she’s here. And she’s healthy. And she’s ours.
While I’m sure a natural birth is an exhilarating and amazing beyond words, there’s also something very beautiful about my own birth experience and I don’t want to diminish it.
[I say this because so often during my pregnancy I found myself defending my scheduled (un-elective) C-section to people who didn’t know our history but would ask why I –someone young, fit and healthy — was having one. Still, in the end, I have to say, it was a great experience and one I know I will choose (electively) the next time around — no VBAC for this mama! Maybe I found it to be a beautiful experience because it wasn’t an emergency C-section and I had time to prepare (because I’d known for about six weeks that it was going to be the safest — and recommended — method of delivery)? I don’t know. All I do know is, I’d do it all over again the same way].
The squiggly line is almost gone now and my C-section scar will get lighter as the years go on. But when I look into those little blue eyes every day, I don’t care that I’ve been forever marked. What mother isn’t, physically or emotionally?!
Looking at her, I can’t help but choke up just a little bit. (Yea, I’m a sap. I’m crying as I type this). I’ve always thought I knew love — and I don’t doubt that I do!! — but I’ve never known love like this, the love a mother has for her child.
And, unlike that squiggly black line and C-section scar … it is a permanent part of me.