There are many kinds of scars. Some are emotional and don’t make themselves known to anyone other than the bearer of the mark. Spiritual scars can be revealed in the shape of a testimony used as a tool to connect our stories to another. The most typical association with the word scar is the blemish on ones skin either by birth or a physical wound.
We all have them.
We all have stories surrounding them.
I have a recent scar. It holds emotional joy and pain. It is 6 inches long and sits right beneath my lower abdomen. It’s a reminder of an encounter with my Heavenly Father. It will never be physically seen by anyone other than my husband, yet roughly 30% of mothers share this exact mark. It was created by bringing a miracle into this world.
This is my birth story.
Leading worship on July 23rd, 2017 was not my original plan. My husband was playing drums at a local church and I was debating on whether or not to drag my 39 weeks pregnant self to the later service. Chris then texted saying they needed a singer and asked if I’d wanna fill in. I jumped (not literally… I would have fallen over) at the idea and saw I had an hour to be ready and drive 10 minutes down the road.
The first three songs went fantastic and smooth. I desperately needed to sit down though as the medicine ball hanging off my front was weighing me down, but I also had to pee. I waddled to the bathroom to find a woman sobbing. We had just finished singing No Longer Slaves and she was clearly experiencing a moment with the Holy Spirit. I asked if I could pray for her. This middle aged woman, with tears staining her face, wrapped her arms around me and let out a sigh. I prayed for her right then and there. After I uttered ‘amen’, she thanked me and rubbed my belly. I never even got her name.
Before I knew it, it was time for the last song, Jesus Paid It All. I slowly went up the three small stairs to the stage to my microphone. As soon as the music began, I felt the strangest sensation. It was as if all my weight above my thighs was crashing down on my back and hips. I made it through the song and then drove home quickly thinking I needed to lay down.
When my husband arrived home, he found me sitting on the toilet. He asked how I was feeling and I said, ‘I feel like I need to push, but I’m not having contractions.’ His eyes lit up a bit. He helped me to the bed a told me to rest for 30 minutes and see if anything changed. After 15 minutes, I pulled myself out of bed, made my way to the living room, and declared that we needed to go to the hospital. He packed up his laptop and the 4 bags I had prepared, grabbed a piece of left over pizza, and loaded me up.
The entire way there I didn’t think I was in labor. I just felt off and wanted to make sure everything was ok since we had just received the news that Ethan was breech 3 weeks prior. When we got to the hospital, they monitored my contractions and checked me. I was 4 cm and having fairly frequent contractions, although I swear I couldn’t feel them as all I felt was the need to push. But they also found that he was still breech and that his feet were coming out.
“C section in 30 minutes.”
I can still hear the nurse saying that and my heart stopping.
This was not the way it was suppose to happen! He was suppose to flip and be born naturally! That’s what we had been praying for 3 weeks. How was this the final outcome?
Getting prepped for surgery is a fog. I was in such shock that I could barely speak or process what they were saying. Walking down a hallway in a gown thinner than a sheet with exposure to my backside was embarrassing. Then having to leave my only source of peace, my husband, outside those swinging doors, was literal hell. I sobbed as I entered a room full of lights and men in masks. There were only 2-3 females in the room and, luckily, one of them was my nurse. She helped me on to the table and I clung to her for dear life. I begged her not to leave me while they gave me a spinal. They laid me down, spread eagle, while they inserted a catheter. I was numb and paralyzed. I couldn’t defend myself or cover up my nakedness. I was in an out of body experience.
In that moment I was scared, no, terrified. I felt alone and vulnerable with people who I had never met. I cried out to the Lord to save me, to make it all go away. He then whispered, so tangibly, a verse that was already so dear to my heart.
“I will fight for you, you need only be still”
Those words from Exodus immediately pierced through the conversation of the doctors and nurses. I stopped crying. I heard nothing but white noise. I saw my husband come through the double doors. I felt his hand grab mine and wipe the tears from my eyes. His mouth was moving, speaking words of encouragement and peace. I then felt a weight lifted off my stomach. I felt my Ethan pass from my womb to this world. I heard his small cry. I saw his head of hair and kissed his perfect lips.
That moment is the most beautiful and most horrific of my life. Experiencing utter fear and unexplainable joy in the same breath doesn’t seem possible.
But it is.
My scar haunts me daily. Some days I re-live the feeling of helplessness and being afraid. Some days it reminds of my son, the beautiful miracle given to me by God. It often makes me ask myself if I’d do it again. The answer is always yes, but with the emotional reluctance. 7 weeks postpartum isn’t nearly enough time to heal from this, but I’m slowly making progress. I have to search for joy when I see my scar in the mirror each morning. But it’s never too hard to find.
I simply turn around and see my treasure sleeping and grinning.