We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their post-pregnancy C-section experiences with us. Here are all their beautiful stories!
1. "I was 10 days postpartum in this pic. My scar was all red and itchy from the bandages I’d had on. Both of my children have been delivered safely with C-sections and I don’t hide it. I tell anyone and everyone how I survived not one, but two major surgeries and managed to care for a newborn after. I’m a real life warrior!"
2. "After my mother had me via C-section, a woman in the neighborhood told her because she didn't give birth vaginally her baby would not bond with her the same. Well – 34 years later – my mother is my best friend! We have always been close, she is an amazing mother, she was my matron of honor at my wedding, and I count myself incredibly lucky to know such a gracious and strong woman. Suck it, Karen, you clearly know nothing."
3. "Here I am 13 months post C-section. It is still hard from me to accept that I had one. I had every intention of having a medication-free birth – which I did for over 24 hours after being induced. I was dilated 10 cm and pushed for almost three hours. But, my baby’s heart rate kept dropping and I was rushed in for a C-section. At the time, I was OK with it and I welcomed relief from all the pain. But, after totally bombing breastfeeding and developing a severe case of PPD, I felt like I had failed. It’s taken a lot of work, but now I am proud of this scar, proud of the stretch marks, proud of this permanent mom flap I have come to know and love."
4. "I had an emergency C-section after 23 hours because my daughter was sideways and her vitals were dropping. Thank goodness for the C-section because she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck three times! It hurt so much, but it saved my baby."
"She's a healthy, perfect, and smart 2-year-old now. The doctor did a great job, I had no issues with healing and my scar is barely noticeable. But, even if my scar was more prominent, it would be totally worth it."
5. "Here is my scar after two babies who were 18 month apart!"
6. "My mother was a gymnast, dancer, and lover of her own body. She gave birth to me vaginally and my younger twin siblings through a vertical C-section. She felt like it made her once 'perfect' body flawed. Unfortunately, she died thinking this about herself. She never got to see this whole new world of mothers supporting each other through all births."
"I never saw her scar as a flaw. I saw it as a window where my younger twin siblings came from. I watched my mother carry two babies for 39 weeks in her tiny 5'1" frame and then they came out the best way they could and they both lived. Without that scar, I wouldn't have my siblings with me today. I would be truly alone in this world. But, because of the C-section scar my mother wore for 18 years before her death, I faced her death with a sibling on each side of me and we held each other up together. Please never think of your scar as a flaw or something to be ashamed of or hidden away. Your body made a baby and you got that baby out in the best way possible for your unique situation. That's always a cause for celebration."
7. "Here is my C-section scar at five months postpartum. Also pictured are my scars from the emergency gallbladder removal I had done at six weeks postpartum!"
8. "I have been opened up vertically three times – the first was for a Crohn’s disease-related bowel resection and then I had two children via C-section. I volley between being amazed at what my body has been able to do while dealing with a chronic illness and being disgusted at what I see in the mirror because it’s not how I 'should' look."
9. "I have had two C-sections. The first one was to save my baby – I had blood clots in my placenta – and the second was when I had a hysterectomy due to endometriosis."
10. "My C-section baby girl was born over 16 years ago and the scar is just above my hair line. The scar is barely visible due to its placement, but I remember how tough my recovery was. I had a C-section after 21+ hours of labor because my daughter got stuck."
"They tried to remove the staples five days later and it didn't go well. The skin wasn't even close to being healed and the bleeding was immediate. The doctor panicked and had to numb the area and put in stitches to replace the three staples he'd already removed. Three weeks later, I had the remainder of the staples removed and it went much better. Recovery was tough, but worth it."
11. "I had a C-section at 36 weeks, followed by an exploratory biopsy, followed by a laparoscopic radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer, followed by herniation. But, damn, my baby boy is beautiful. ❤️"
12. "I’m having a C-section in two days, my last one was over 10 years ago. Back then it was shameful and everyone acted like I didn’t go through some rite of passage because he wasn’t born vaginally. But, that’s what happens when your baby is 11 pounds with a head so big it can't fit in the birth canal!"
13. "I had to have an emergency C-section with my son after pushing for three hours and not making any progress. His heart rate started dropping with each contraction. I was so scared and didn't know what was happening. Hearing his strong cry when they finally pulled him out made me cry tears of joy."
14. "The worst part was standing up after my C-section. It was worth it all to have my son!"
15. "I had to have an emergency C-section because my son's head was tilted sideways. I had such a fantastic experience – both during and after – and if I have another child, I'd want an elective C-section, no question."
16. "My son was breech, so I had a planned C-section. Honestly, I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I was able to do skin-to-skin with him minutes after he was born and was breastfeeding him within the hour. I had a wonderful birth experience and wouldn’t change anything about it."
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.