Clint Edwards vividly remembers the birth of his first child. But “calm” and “beautiful,” aren’t the words he uses to describe watching a Cesarean section. “Terrifying” would probably be more apt.
Many people wax poetic about the experience of watching childbirth. Edwards is descriptive, though not in the way that some would expect:
Reaching from a gaping hole in my beautiful wife’s stomach was the head and right arm of a bloody, powder white, child-like creature. People talk about the miracle of birth, and it always sound beautiful, but the act of a birth, the moment of, was hands down, the most frightening thing I’d ever seen.
Nor was the aftermath more calming. While he stood there, holding their newborn child asleep in his arms, his wife was still in the midst of major surgery:
I recall Mel lying naked in front of a handful of doctors and nurses after they finished the cesarean. Blood dripped from the sides of her hips; her stomach like a deflated balloon.
Most amazing of all — she was cheerful. He wrote, “Mel smiled at me. Although she was naked and cut, she was happy and full of life.”
Nothing prepared me for my wife’s cesarean. Nothing. Reaching from a gaping hole in my beautiful wife’s stomach was the…
Looking at her C-section scar later that day, Edwards remembers feeling “grateful that I’d never have a doctor reach inside my body, and pull someone out.” But there were more surprises to come.
In contrast with his fear and worry, his wife was taking the entire experience in stride. He wrote:
Nothing shocked me as much as the next day when Mel was up walking. It was remarkable, and I can still recall thinking that she was stoic, strong, powerful, dedicated, and over all the most badass person I knew.
Since then, Edwards and his wife have had two more children. All three of their kids were born via C-section. Those three consecutive Cesareans have left his wife with a long scar across her abdomen. Looking at that scar is what inspired Edwards to write about the birth experience.
As he explained, it’s not just a scar to him. It’s a symbol of his wife’s strength:
It’s larger than any scar I have, and even if I do get a scar that equals hers, it will never signify as much importance. Her scar is evidence of dedication and determination to our family. It’s evidence of her willingness to do whatever it takes to bring our children into the world — a boy and two girls that fill my life with more joy than I ever thought possible.
Edwards’ reflections hit a nerve with readers — especially with women who have been through C-sections too. Many chimed in to talk about how difficult it is or how upset they are when C-section moms are belittled.
For Edwards, there’s no question that he admires his wife for what she went through to give birth. He concluded, “Every time I see [her scar], I am filled with a swell of admiration for the mother of my children.”