Sisterhood of the Scar Revisited
Many years ago I wrote this piece after attending my very first ICAN conference in San Diego in 2005. I read this and part of me weeps for her, for the me I was and for the women who are becoming part of this sisterhood willingly, wittingly or not. My pain has been transformed into outstretched hands and heart. It has given me a sensitivity and awareness of the birth world I would probably have never achieved on my own had my births been perfect, idyllic and without this trauma.
I love you dear sisters and my life would be far less without each of you.
Seems a long distance the ivory tower to the ground. The surprise in finding the thorny bushes with burrs that dig deep and puncture again at will? Well meaning onlookers say “Well a hundred years ago you both would have died?” And the farce begins. Stuff it down because it is crazy not to be grateful for the surgeon’s hand. Smile and pretend all the twisted darkness inside doesn’t really exist. The oft daily chore mixed with joy of caring for a baby whom we are unsure is truly our own. The continuing assault during lovemaking when a cringe comes from the depths when a loving and hungry hand brushes the incision site. “How can he think I am beautiful? How can he possibly want this?” Another thing of beauty and perfection quashed underneath the burden of the surgeon’s handprint. Oh no say it hasn’t already been a year. The birthday. THE birthday sounds so exciting but terror strikes. Preparation to be happy, preparation to feel joy. Preparation not to shortchange our amazing gift of a child under the pain of the surgeon’s knife print.
The anticipated day meant to birth us into motherhood and my child into my waiting hands to my craving breasts, I was birthed into the Sisterhood of the Scar forever.