I have 5 scars.
One on my chest from desperately wanting my cat to JUST LOVE ME.
One on my hip from having a mole removed.
One on my hand from an unfortunate run-in with a cookie sheet on a mission trip.
One on my stomach from another unfortunate run-in with a cookie sheet while pregnant.
(Clearly the kitchen is NOT my sanctuary.)
And now I have a scar from Norah.
I'm finding that scars and grief tell similar stories.
A scar is proof, a physical reminder, that my body endured a trauma, that I was wounded.
It seems fitting to have a scar from Norah.
I was sliced open and wounded deeply, my innermost parts being unnaturally pried open to bring her into this world, leaving my body empty and deflated.
Immediately afterwards, I felt nothing. I was numb throughout the surgery and for a short time following. Everything felt normal, minus the fact that I couldn't feel anything below my waist.
That initial numbness soon wore off, my feet tingling as the true effects of having major abdominal surgery started to appear. When I tried to move, the incision quickly made itself known.
There wasn't a moment that the pain wasn't present. This wound made the simplest movements a struggle – just existing was painful and getting out of bed seemed like an impossibility.
But, just hours later, the time came.
My sweet nurse had to get me out of bed.
It was time to walk.
(Excuse me, but just hours ago you sliced me open, removed a human, had CRAFT TIME with my organs, rearranged my insides, stitched me back together and now I'm supposed to WALK? Just HOLD ON for a hot minute.)
That first attempt at getting out of bed was A WHOLE THING.
It was slow. It was painful. I needed help from the nurse and from Lane.
Prayers were silently offered up while much more unholy things came out of my mouth, but I did it.
Walking wasn't easy; each step, each movement was felt throughout my entire body. I had a nurse on one side, and Lane on the other. While they couldn't take the steps for me, they were there to help me through it. They would pause and hold me when it hurt, always having a wheelchair nearby in case it walking was too much and I needed to rest.
I knew that rest would help heal, and I was game for doing as much of that as possible. But what I didn't know was that rest only helps to a point. Walking, movement, is necessary. Walking helps jumpstart bodily functions that aid in healing after a C-section.
So I walked.
It was slow and it was painful, but I did it.
Getting out of bed started getting easier and easier; I went from only being able to walk to the bathroom, to making it down the hallway, to making it halfway to the NICU, to making it all the way to Norah's room without needing to rest.
It would have been so much easier to not get out of bed. To not take a single step. To not feel the pain that came with putting one foot in front of the other.
But if I had stayed in bed, I wouldn't have healed.
I wouldn't have seen Norah.
My body looks different now.
Because of Norah, I am forever changed.
Not a single day passes without me being fully aware of my scar.
Sometimes, when I move just right or my nerves get wiley, I feel a twinge of pain.
The skin around the scar feels different; the scar itself having its own unique sensitivity.
The more that time passes, the stronger my incision gets. My body will heal with time, but my scar will never go away. And, frankly, I'm glad it won't.
I still feel pain, but it's different now; this is the pain of living.
Once again, I find myself in need of rest.
But, even more, I need to walk.
Because at the end of this walk, at the end of this painful journey, is Norah.
I want to be like a scar when I meet her – a beautiful representation of pain survived, stronger than ever, with a great story to tell.
So many of us are wounded.
Just like scars, no two experiences are exactly the same; our wounds and healing processes are each uniquely our own.
Thankfully, He's here to offer us rest when we need it.
But more importantly, He's here to help us walk.
And trust me, getting out of bed is worth it.