How does your partner feel about your scar? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am taking a BirthWorks class and part of it includes asking my husband some questions... the one that hit me hard today was when I asked him a "finish the sentence" question:

When I look at her cesarean scar I....

He said:

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It makes me cringe, every time I see it I remember looking over the barrier and watching them pull and tug and seeing your insides... They were so rough, I thought surely it must hurt you but you didn't seem to feel it. It reminded me of those magic acts where they saw the lady in half. Your body was somewhere else... I didn't like seeing you look like a piece of meat on a butcher's block. It was right out of a horror flick.
This is the first time my husband has ever talked about my scar at all. I had no idea he felt this way. For some reason it bothers me intensely. It took a long time for me to have sex with my husband after my cesarean because I didn't want him to see my scar... even when we did start having sex again, I put a blanket over my belly to cover it... It took months of that before I could get in the mood without the blanket there...

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#2 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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That's an interesting response he gave. I never thought to ask my husband but I would be curious what he would say. It's sad though that he has to feel that way.

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#3 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 11:01 AM
 
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I'm sorry.
Be patient with your dh cause he just opened up with you about his feelings: fears and discomforts and he may shut down if he thought it hurt you for him to open up like this.
I hope you can both heal and feel comfortable (and exen sexy) with the scar you have.
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#4 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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Thank you for sharing this. I don't think people realize that a c-section could also be traumatic for the woman's partner.

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#5 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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Hmm, interesting. I never thought to ask, but I would guess it doesn't phase him at all and that he's never even thought about it. Then again, he didn't look past the curtain during surgery, so that could make a difference.

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#6 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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wow, I never asked my husband either what it was like for him to see me like that... I know he doesn't really look at my scar now, at least I don't think so. He took pictures and everything during the section (but only of the actual birth of the babies). I just assume because my husband is a doctor he didn't care one way or the other because he sees things like that all the time - the mechanics of it, but maybe he did. I know if "I" saw my spouse cut open, that image would haunt me. The honesty in your husband's answer is very interesting and definitely gives me pause to think about it.

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#7 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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The csec was very hard on my husband, though obviously it was worse for me. It was longer and rougher than we anticipated because they encountered extensive scar tissue from a previous surgery. We both have issues over it and avoid reminders.

Mom to Kira March 2009
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#8 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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I can see why his staetment might be upsetting to you. No one would want a description of their body to include words like "horror flick" or "butcher's block" but those words aren't describing YOU or even your scar, they are describing what he witnessed and what he remembers about the experience. He's not cringing at you, your body, or your scar, he's cringing at the memory of the event and what others did to you.

I look at his statement and I can see how much concern he has for you, and empathy. It's really quite touching. You can see how helpless he felt, powerless in the situation --someone was cutting into the woman he loved, shoving around internal organs, and he could do nothing to help you.

I had a somewhat related experience earlier this week, one of my co-workers' wives had a baby and sent in pictures. One of the pics had the baby all swaddled in a hospital blanket and tucked into one of those plastic bins they use for holding babies. While everyone else oohed and aahed over the baby sleeping, it made me cringe, feel like puking, and got me a teary-eyed because it reminded me of my son's stay in the NICU where he spent the first 10 days of life tucked away in one of those stupid plastic bins instead of being safely nestled in my arms. The picture of the baby itself, I was fine with; the memory, I was not.

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#9 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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That's a really interesting reaction. I've never even thought to ask my husband what he though about it. My scar is fairly low and rather small, so I rarely even notice it myself.

I agree, it is really touching, his thoughts on it. I'm going to have to find out what mine thinks now, and post again later.
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#10 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxinator View Post
That's a really interesting reaction. I've never even thought to ask my husband what he though about it. My scar is fairly low and rather small, so I rarely even notice it myself.

I agree, it is really touching, his thoughts on it. I'm going to have to find out what mine thinks now, and post again later.
I'm feel the same. I can't really even see my scar unless I pointedly go looking for it. Never thought of what my husband might think. Will ask.
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#11 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jaxinator View Post
I'm going to have to find out what mine thinks now, and post again later.
LOL, I immediately fired off an email to my DP and asked her the same thing. She said that she has only seen it maybe 4 times since my son was born 9 months ago (I do keep it pretty well hidden), but her thought is usually "wow, that's low", which strangely is what every medical professional has said about it to me, so it must be reeeeeeally low. Other than that, she didn't see it as anything other than a skin blemish, much like the chicken pox scar I have on my face.

I guess her reaction is not quite what I expected since there is so much meaning and negative emotion surrounding to that d#mn scar for me.

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#12 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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I feel privileged that my scar is low enough to be naturally hidden in pubic hair unless I specifically shave that area. I've never felt self-conscious about it concerning my husband, but then again I've never asked. And he's not one to volunteer info like that. Now I'd like to ask!

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#13 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 08:15 PM
 
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I think you and your husband have an awesome relationship with each other, to be selflessly sharing tough thoughts and ideas with each other.
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#14 of 27 Old 01-07-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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I just went and asked DH. He said he doesn't notice it. He said he only notices it when I show it to him or right after I've had a c/s and I have the steri strips on it.

He was bothered by the image in his head of our twins being pulled from my abdomen for a few months after their births. But that was due to the stress we were both feeling due to my being in the hosp on rest, then an emergency c/s, etc.

Otherwise, he says he has no feelings one way or another regarding it, other than he feels bad for me having to go through surgeries.

I think it's good that your DP was honest like that, but like you, I would be bothered by that response. I'd be the type wanting to talk to him about it, helping HIM process his emotions just like I already did.
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#15 of 27 Old 01-08-2010, 08:29 PM
 
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As I read it, his response is an expression of love for you. He didn't like seeing you dehumanized because he LOVES you and sees you as a whole person, unlike the doctors who only see you as an abdomen. Horror movies are generally about people being dehumanized by some psychopath, so his analogy is actually quite apt. It was really hard for him to see you objectified when he could never objectify you himself. It's a hard reality and one that many of us women try to avoid in childbirth to the point of giving birth away from medical people.

Be really glad that he LOVES you so much, in time the trauma of seeing you like that will fade. Don't hide the scar from him though (if, in fact, you ever do), he needs to heal just as much as you. Incorporating the scar into your daily life will help that along.

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#16 of 27 Old 01-08-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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This is something I've asked my DP many times. I've felt very self-conscious about my scar at times, moreso at first than I do now. I used to love wearing my bikini in the summer and took pride in keeping myself in shape, but I feel very different now with a vertical cesarean scar that begins just below my belly button and goes all the way down... Not to mention that it has also turned into a keloid scar (very thick, rubbery, raised and still bright red.) But I've dealt with so much over the past nine months that it has really put everything in perspective, and receiving his reassurance again and again that he still finds me attactrive - now even more than ever, after seeing everything that I went through to give our daughter life. We gained the most precious and treasured 15 days of our lives when our daughter came into this world, and we probably would not have had the chance to get to know her for that time if it weren't for the c-section. So to me, the scar on my abdomen is minor. After losing her, it's the scar on my heart that has been much more painful to accept and live with.

Mom to three girls and a BOY: (2003) (2007) (3/25/2009 - 4/10/2009) (5/2010)
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#17 of 27 Old 01-09-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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I really don't know how my husband feels about my scar. He's reminded of it anytime I'm naked, as I am. It's hypertrophic, so it's red and raised so it's very, very noticeable.

I see it every day, I feel it every day when I'm washing and it reminds me everyday of what I've been through. I've thought of trying to see what I can do about it, but in other ways it's a 'war wound' for lack of a better term. I can never forget that that's how my children were birthed, whether I liked it or not. It's almost like it's a part of my children, and although I do sometimes get sad about it I don't think I could see it go now.

I'm guessing that he's so used to seeing it now that it's just a 'part of me' and he doesn't even notice it anymore (even though you can't miss it).
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#18 of 27 Old 01-09-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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I just asked DH and he said he doesn't really think about it or notice it...and when he does we're um, engaged in other activities and he's a little more focused on the activity at hand. Also, his story is that DD sort of sprung out of me as soon rather than being pulled out: apparently the drs were like "oh, here she comes, grab her!" I guess she was popping out as soon as they made the incision into my uterus. DH couldn't see the actual incision spot, but he did see her pop out quick.

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#19 of 27 Old 01-09-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moaningminny View Post
I've thought of trying to see what I can do about it, but in other ways it's a 'war wound' for lack of a better term. I can never forget that that's how my children were birthed, whether I liked it or not.
That's how I see my scars...as war wounds or battle scars. It was a battle to try and not have my last 2 c-sections (breech baby and transverse baby).

I'll have to ask DH how he feels about them.
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#20 of 27 Old 01-09-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Mine isn't really noticeable so dh doesn't really think anything of it.

Before the birth we discussed the possibility of emergency c-section and he said that he did not want to be in surgery with me. He would if I needed him to be but he really did not want to go in.

He is not squeamish. He would love to see anyone else get cut open (even himself), he finds it really interesting. But he could not handle seeing me that way. It would be way too traumatic for him. I had no problem with that and got my support from the pediatrician that was on hand (who later went out and consoled dh).

If he had watched the surgery I would not be surprised if he would have said the same thing about the scar as your dh did (early on when it was still visible).
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#21 of 27 Old 01-09-2010, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Like alternamama82 my scar on the outside is vertical from my belly button to my pubic hair. Because of the way they chose to close it and because of my weight, the staples at the top were not able to hold the wound together and I have a 1 1/2 inch raised, red, puffy, Keloid scar at the top, near my belly button that just stands out on my very pale skin. The rest is invisible. I think that if the entire thing was invisible, it wouldn't draw attention... and we wouldn't think about it every time we see it.

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#22 of 27 Old 01-10-2010, 02:38 AM
 
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We have talked about this and he says very similar things to what your DH said. He couldn't believe how rough they were, tugging it open and they couldn't get the baby out, so they made the inicision bigger. He was watching from over the dr's shoulder (for some strange reason!) and at the first inicision, went up to the head of the table to see if there was any pain for me.

My scar is pretty much hidden though. I asked him to look at it through this pregnancy to see if it was doing anything weird and it wasn't. He's just as annoyed at the c/s as I am now. It took a bit of work, as in the beginning, he felt it totally necessary and the dr's were all 'right'. It's nice to have him 'on my side' so to speak.

Mama of 2 sweet boys, Miles (Jan 3/07) and Avery (Nov 28/09) My fast and furious HBAC
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#23 of 27 Old 01-10-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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wow....this has brought tears to my eyes.....I have never asked my hubby, and after 4 you would think that would be something I would have thought of. We have talked about so many other aspects of the sections , but .....
wow..
I was so engaged on how I felt about THE scar"s" , that I didnt really think....
wow...
Thank you for this.

Sarah

Unschooling Crunchy Mama of 5 babies. Welcome Emily-Rose born September 7th 2010!
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#24 of 27 Old 01-11-2010, 07:07 AM
 
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I have never asked DH specifically.. I am going to now though! I'm almost certain he has no real feelings towards it. He is very much hoping we can do a VBAC this time but he isn't emotionally hurt by my c-section the way I am. It also helps that the scar is nearly invisible plus it's conveniently hidden under my lovely stretched out belly flab. :P

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#25 of 27 Old 01-16-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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It also brought tears to my eyes reading that... But it's fairly similar to how my dh talks about the experience... Not so much the scar. Once in a while we will look at it and comment on it, but it really hasn't been an issue for either of us... The c-section however was very difficult for my DH because as a pp said, he felt COMPLETELY helpless and never has seen me in any position like that before. He specifically was very unsettled by how rough they are and when the set the placenta (I'm assuming, I don't really know what it was) on my stomach and such. However, this may seem weird, but we are really avid hunters and are very familiar with the anatomy of the animals we harvest. So, we have had numerous discussions about it utilizing our knowledge as a basis for "comparison".
I would say that you are lucky your dh shared his feelings, and hopefully the two of you can work through it together.
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#26 of 27 Old 01-16-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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Oh wow, that response would upset me too. I've never asked my DH what he thought of it until just now and his response was "I don't even notice it."

My scar is small and very straight. I even got a bikini wax and the lady didn't notice it until I pointed it out. Plus, DH wasn't allowed to look over the curtain, so I'm sure that helps.

Cat (30) DH (30) Carissa Grace born 11/3/07 via c/s after fetal distress. Sophia Claire born 10/9/09 VBAC!
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#27 of 27 Old 01-16-2010, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When he left the OR to take our son to the Nursery, he wouldn't allow the nurses to carry Alex... I always thought that was because he was concerned with bonding since I wouldn't be allowed to for an hour... but he told me today that it was because he was not going to allow them to "manhandle" Alex the way he saw them treating me. He was PROTECTING our son from abuse he thought would happen because the OR team's methods of doing the cesarean.

This has been a very emotional time for us as a couple. We have been working through memories and issues that I didn't even realize existed for him!

Alexander 2-15-07
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