Nothing prepared me for my wife’s Cesarean. Nothing. Reaching from a gaping hole in my beautiful wife’s stomach was the head and right arm of a bloody, powder white, child-like creature.

People talk about the miracle of birth, and it always sounds beautiful, but the act of a birth, the moment of, was hands down the most frightening thing I’d ever seen.

I recall Mel lying naked in front of a handful of doctors and nurses after they finished the cesarean. Blood dripped from the sides of her hips; her stomach like a deflated balloon. I stood next to her holding our new child, who was sleeping soundly.

Mel smiled at me. Although she was naked and cut, she was happy and full of life. Once it was all said and done, and our family had left, and our first child was sleeping, a nurse examined Mel’s incision. I looked at the bloody line of gauze, and felt 100% grateful that I’d never have a doctor reach inside my body, and pull someone out. But nothing shocked me as much as the next day when Mel was up walking. It was remarkable, and I can still recall thinking that she was stoic, strong, powerful, dedicated, and overall the most badass person I knew.

Each one of our three children has come via C-section. I know there’s a lot of discussion out there about the overuse of cesarean sections, that’s not why I’m writing this essay. I’m writing it because across Mel’s abdomen is a lengthy scar. It’s larger than any scar I have, and even if I do get a scar that equals hers, it will never signify as much importance. Her scar is evidence of dedication and determination to our family. It’s evidence of her willingness to do whatever it takes to bring our children into the world—a boy and two girls who fill my life with more joy than I ever thought possible. And every time I see it, I am filled with a swell of admiration for the mother of my children.

This post is an abridged chapter from the author’s book, “I’m Sorry . . . Love, Your Husband.” You can read more from Clint in his newest book, Silence is a Scary Sound: And Other Stories on Living Through the Terrible Twos and Threes. This recommendation is an affiliate link, so we may earn a small commission should you decide to purchase it. If we’re sharing it, it’s because we think it’s great!

Clint Edwards

Clint Edwards is the author of the hilarious books on parenting Silence Is A Scary Sound; I'm Sorry… Love, Your Husband; and Father-ish. He also manages the popular parenting blog No Idea What I’m Doing. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.