Wednesday, February 25

That Scar

I've always been fascinated by scars.  I love that scars have the ability to tell a person's life story - where they've been, what they've done, what risks they've taken.  I love it even more when people proudly wear and display their scars, like a nature-made tattoo.

I have my fair share of scars, memories of past lives and experiences: falling on the dance floor on a high school choir trip to Atlanta, being hit by a cyclist on BYU's campus, falling down stairs in Sevilla at the end of my 18-month mission to Spain, fighting for (and winning!) the bouquet at a friend's wedding.  Most of the marks have faded, but every now and then I enjoy reminiscing over my battle wounds because from each scar and each experience, I have gained or learned something new.

Of course, physical scars are not the only type of scars we carry with us.  Those emotional scars sometimes cut much deeper and leave an even more permanent mark on our hearts and souls.  I am equally fascinated by these unseen scars.  They tell more than just a person's life story; rather, they speak volumes on a person's character and strength.

Lately, though, I've been dwelling on a very particular scar, one I was not ever planning on having.

In the week or so before Baby J's birth, I knew he was in a breeched position.  Intellectually, I knew a C-section was a possibility, but I guess when the moment finally arrived, emotionally I was not prepared for the reality of what a C-section would mean.

Having never experienced contractions or having never actually "given birth," I don't know how the recovery periods compare.  All I know is that the recovery from a C-section is brutal.  It's a good thing my baby is so cute because Oh. My. Heavens.  My whole body is aching just remembering it.

Seven months later, I am doing much better... except for that scar.  C-section incision scars are weird, to say the least.  I've done a little research, and apparently the skin around the scar never fully heals.  Ever.  It will always be numb.  It will always be itchy.  And it will always be there.

I had a moment last week that inspired the thoughts in this post.  For whatever reason, I experienced an overwhelming feeling of pure anger and hate directed towards my incision scar.  That scar was the reason for my constant exhaustion.  That scar was the reason for my not being able to lose weight and feel healthy.  That scar was the reason for my house being a mess.  That scar was the reason for my inability to feel like a normal person.  All of a sudden, that scar had become the source of all my problems (or, rather, what I perceived to be problems).  If I only I didn't have that scar, everything would be better.

Then, after the wave of rage had passed, my baby's face came into my view.  And I remembered why I am fascinated by scars.  I realized that that scar is the reason I am now a mother.  That scar is the reason I finally understand love.  That scar is the reason why I don't mind that I am exhausted.  That scar is the reason for everything I do.  That scar is the source of all my blessings.

Because I have that scar, everything is better.

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