Dear C-Section Scar: I Am Strong


“Here’s To Strong Women: May We Know Them, May We Be Them, May We Raise Them.”

Every birth story is a testament to strength, beauty, and resilience. Every birth story is your story and your strength to be told.

April was the month of Cesarean awareness. I am a c-section mama. My cesarean was not planned: it was sedated and an emergency. And this is my recovery story . . .

Dear C-Section Scar: I Am Strong

Because of having cancer while pregnant, I had a lot of complications pop up during my pregnancy. I knew we would go early because my little girl developed SGA and IUGR. We just didn’t realize how early she would be.

For the duration of my pregnancy, I would have fetal monitoring to watch her growth. My husband and I took a babymoon weekend to Savannah at 33 weeks along — one of the best weekend trips. And just one week later I went for a routine scheduled fetal monitoring check. Little did we know that day, as we laugh now, we were having our baby!

I had developed preeclampsia within hours of my fetal monitoring check. Thankfully my team let me go home to get my hospital bag, meet up with my husband who had just gotten off of work, and check into labor and delivery.

I had planned a vaginal birth during my pregnancy up until that moment. And in that very moment, a cesarean delivery was the only safe option for the birth of our daughter. Every emotion hit from then on. All the chaos in the room nearly caused me to pass out. My stomach was in knots. I was anxious. I was a wreck.

After I had settled my nerves and stomach the best I could, I was wheeled into the room to start delivery. They told my husband they would come to get him in about 10 minutes when they were ready for the delivery. After two attempts at getting the spinal block, my daughter’s heart rate dropped again, and I was put to sleep for her arrival in a matter of seconds. It all was a whirlwind looking back now.

At that very moment, as the sedation mask was placed, I remember having warm tears roll down my face as they were administering the anesthesia. I prayed God would take care of my husband and baby girl. I truly thought I would not be alive to tell our story, and my husband would be the one to raise a baby girl on his own.

Those 10 minutes had quickly passed, my sedation completely unbeknownst to him. When they brought him in the room they had already delivered our daughter. They walked him in on the surgical side where he saw it all! It’s comical now to look back on, in a way. The doctor was finishing “reorganizing” me with one hand and waving at him with his other hand trying to reassure him: I was okay. All my husband could do was try not to let his knees buckle beneath him as both of his girls were getting medically worked on.

a mother holds her baby in the hospital
Meeting my daughter for the first time after her birth.

After our daughter’s delivery, I had to get a blood transfusion immediately because of the cancer. Due to even more medical complications from her birth, I got to finally meet my daughter for the first time 32 hours after her arrival. After recovering for a few days in the hospital, I was then released for home recovery. They had also placed a wound vac and like most healing words of wisdom: to take it easy.

But that last part was hard for me. I had cancer to face head-on, I had a baby girl in the NICU, and I was mentally exhausted from the delivery. I did not prepare for a c-section, and I’m a planning type of person. I had to force my body to rest, so it could do what it needed to for the wound vac to work. Constantly pumping toward healing, and trying to rest in all the ways a new mom needs to was tough. Really tough.

I attempted to get my milk supply to come in for my baby girl to get nutrients while visiting her in the NICU. She was fighting her own strength journey and was too small to latch. For the next few weeks as that wound vac pumped, I pumped milk until my body shut down and couldn’t. I gave her what supply I produced for four beautiful weeks. Then I ended up back in the hospital for uncontrolled vaginal bleeding — there was a tear in the placenta site at four weeks post-delivery. It was a lot to embrace. And my supply instantly dried up. But we did the best we could: her and me.

Besides the physical recovery from the c-section, I also had a lot to recover from mentally. Thankfully I had a husband who was there when I needed moments to myself. And at times it was a lot of moments to think and cry and beNo one plans for hard births of their little ones, but it’s amazing at the resilience of a woman’s strength when it happens.

Having had a cesarean delivery doesn’t make me any less of a woman or mom — something I’ve worked on and continue to work through. It was traumatizing and I’d never want to go through that exact kind of hard again. But today, my little one asks to see the scar of how she got here. I show her every time. And she gleams with joy as I remind her that women are strong, courageous, and beautiful.

She came through that very scar for me to love.

So to my c-section scar, I applaud you for the woman I am through you.

c-section scar: a swaddled baby is held up to her mother's face in front of the blue curtain used during a c-section.We are stronger from our stories, and I’d love to hear yours too!

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Misty Barrett
Misty is a Cincinnati, Ohio native along with her husband. They moved to the area in early 2018 after getting married in the late summer of 2017. Having not been to the area before, they dove right in and now call it home. They also have a spunky three-year-old daughter. Misty is a blood cancer survivor, after getting diagnosed while pregnant, and undergoing a stem cell transplant. She enjoys being a stay-at-home mom and a small business owner. You can find her crafting, baking, and creating any fun DIY she can try. She enjoys discovering all things local from food, sites, and beaches with her husband and daughter. A family beach day is always a good day to her! Keep connected with Misty on Instagram @mistbarrett