So I was at an event this weekend – one where I knew just a handful of people, but tried my very best to be sociable and meet new folks and make small talk. Generally speaking, I find it easy to talk with other mommies, as there is obvious common ground, experiences to compare, and advice to be shared.
At this event, my daughter quickly made friends with a three year old girl, so it seemed appropriate that I talk with the little girl’s mom. The mommy was very warm, and sweet, and even went so far as to share her daughter’s snacks with Emmy.
After a bit of talking, the mommy and I started to share birth stories. She shared that her daughter had been born prematurely, but she was able to avoid a c-section and birth her baby naturally. I then shared with her that although I had hoped to birth my children naturally, I ended up having a c-section both times.
The mommy said she thought I was lucky for avoiding natural birth, and for some reason said that having a c-section probably helped my stomach look better than someone who had given birth naturally. I laughed and told her my stomach was hardly a thing of beauty, especially given the c-section scar that lives right below my beloved “pooch”.
“Oh, yeah,” she said, “but you can just get that fixed. I think that’s what everyone is doing these days, you know? Having a few babies and then just getting the surgery to get it all fixed so you look even better than your friends who don’t have kids.”
I think I responded by saying, “oh, ” and kind of laughing.
Is that what EVERYONE is doing these days? Popping out a few babies and then getting cosmetic surgery to erase any evidence that their body gave birth?
Granted, the crowd at this event was definitely a different and much wealthier crowd than the one I generally hang with, and this mommy's idea of "everyone," is probably very different from mine. It was a crowd of beautiful mamas with designer clothes and super-expensive bags and even pricier shoes. It was a crowd of families that have gigantic homes or beautiful New York City apartments and nannies and lots of all the best things in life. And maybe it was also a crowd of folks who REALLY don’t want to look like they’ve ever given birth.
I am not here to cast stones, or to judge the affluent crowd. Everyone I met seemed very kind and very smart, and I think they work really hard to support their lifestyles. I am totally envious of their beautiful wardrobes, their homes, and their cars. But I tell you, I am NOT envious of the pressure that comes with the sense of needing to keep up with what “everyone is doing.”
When I got home from the event, and took a shower that evening, I looked in the mirror, and saw the smiley face scar situated below my belly. I won’t lie and tell you I think my belly is beautiful. It’s NOT beautiful. But it is a daily reminder of the two most important moments in my life. I am so proud of what this body has been through, and I can certainly live with my “battle wounds.”
Emmy points to my “boo boo” all the time and asks if it is getting better. I always tell her it’s ok, my “mommy smile” doesn’t hurt me, but it will probably really never go away completely.
And honestly, I really hope it won’t.