When I stepped out of the shower this morning and looked into the bathroom mirror, the very first thing I noticed was the HUGE scar that lives just below my stomach. Two years ago when I was bringing Mr. President #2 into the world, I had a cesarian that left me with quite a few marks, one of them very large. I don't typically let this scar bother me too much, but I always make sure it is NEVER visible to anyone other than my husband.
As I was staring into the bathroom mirror, I began to recount some of the conversation I had with my obstetrician during my cesarian as he was "putting me back together:" "Don't worry about a thing," he said to me. "Your scar will remain below your bikini line, so you won't have to worry about it being visible when you're at the beach." I have always had mixed feelings about that conversation. I'm sure those are words most women would have wanted to hear at that moment, but I have always remained a little skeptical about it.
I continued to stare into the mirror, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks..."Why in the world am I ashamed of having this scar?" I pictured Mr. President #1 in my head, then I pictured Mr. President #2, and suddenly I said to myself, "You know what? I am no longer going to refer to this mark as a scar. This beautiful thing right here is going to become my BADGE OF HONOR!" Why did I decide to do this? Well, that's simple...even though it only took me two years!!
A badge of honor is a medal or token awarded to someone as a symbol of value and distinction. My scar may not be in the form of a medal or a token, but this is precisely the reason I decided to call it my Badge of Honor. Right then and there, staring at my reflection in the bathroom mirror, was the moment I had been waiting for for a long time; The moment I was going to decide to accept myself for who I am and be proud of it.
As a mother of two incredible little boys, I am absolutely HONORED to be granted the opportunity to love and care for them, and to be entrusted with the most important job on this earth: being their mother. This Badge of Honor is more than just a scar, it's happiness, new life, incredible joy, and an insurmountable responsibility. But at that moment, standing in front of the mirror, I made a commitment to cherish this mark and responsibility for the rest of my life.
My Badge of Honor is surrounded by stretch marks, or what I would prefer to call, Battle Wounds. When it was time to bring Mr. President #2 into the world, the cesarian I had was not planned, but was done in an emergency as the doctor and medical staff really did not think he was going to survive. Well...he's here, we fought the battle, we made it through the journey, and I have been left with these Battle Wounds as a reminder of the war we fought and won: seven marks for the seven seconds I counted before I heard Mr. President #2's very first cry immediately following his delivery. If you don't know the importance and significance of the number seven, stay tuned! I'll have to reserve that for another post at a later time.
Because I decided to make this life-changing decision, I am sharing this photo of my beautiful Badge of Honor and Battle Wounds with all of you. My hope is that my sharing of this story and photo will serve as an inspiration for other mothers who are having difficulty accepting THEIR scars and who THEY are. It's time to embrace your Badge of Honor, embrace your Battle Wounds, embrace your body, and accept the new you!
None of us are perfect, but these scars we bear are more than just marks on our bodies. These Badges of Honor are symbols of the importance of motherhood and the joy of these little blessings we have running around somewhere. For mothers who have lost their little blessings through the years, remember that you too are special, and all things happen for a reason.
My scar tells an amazing story, and I'm sure yours does too. Here's to all of the beautiful Badges of Honor and Battle Wounds! Let's rock them and embrace them with love!