The Twelve-Inch Scar

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48 Responses

  1. Princess Pointful says:

    So damn beautiful and inspiring, Jocelyn.
    Except for the whole 10-pounder and wanting to die part.

  2. geewits says:

    I’m glad your student has come so far. That’s really great. I also had pitocin and ended up with a c-section with a 9lb. 14 oz. baby. I never had an epidural – my choice, no way was I going to let anyone stick something in my spine. I had sodium pentathol just before my c-section. I remember lying in the operating room and saying, “So, since I’m going to have a c-section, why do I still have labor pains?” It seemed like a logical question at the time. And I didn’t have morphine afterwards. I get what you were saying about feeling inadequate about not being able to do the regular birth. I was going to do the whole natural thing with nothing and then I had to have the c-section. I never screamed or had that much pain though through the 12 hours of labor. It was like bad period cramps in my back. I just wanted to take a NAP. And they wouldn’t let me nap. That was very irritating. Anyway, we both got through it. Yours was just 5 years ago. Mine was 23 years ago, but you don’t forget. Ever.

  3. AmyTree says:

    Oh wow – that last line made me all teary – I’m so proud of her and I don’t even know who she is!
    Niblet is pretty damn cute – you did well, lady. 🙂

  4. Glamourpuss says:

    Damn you woman, you’ve made me cry at my desk.

    God, so much of that resonates with me – from being my friend’s birth partner at the birth of my goddaughter (a CS performed after 36 hours of labour when both mother and child were too exhausted to carry on), to the relief at knowing their are children out there who are loved.

    Beautifully written; wise, dextrous, humane.

    You’re stunning, my friend.


  5. lime says:

    land o goshen, joc, you and i are soul sisters. 36 hours on pitocin with my 31 limelette and #10 hours with my #3 limelet only to be gutted like a deer in order to excise them from my body. my boy was 9.5 lbs. so wee niblet was bigger, but still, ya see the cranium on a kid that size and ya say, thank god for c-secs!’ (yeah and i felt like a failure too becasue i had visions of squatting in a field somewhere drug free as well)

    and god bless your student and congratualtions to her. i have no doubt your tutelage and friendship have been utterly invaluable to her. peace to her and happiness to you and the 5 yr old niblet!

    happy birthday wee one.

    oh and if i may….i think i recommended this before but i believe it woudl be such a marvelous fit for you….go obtain a copy of mike rose’s book ‘lives on the boundary’ i truly believe it shall resonate deeply with you.

  6. liv says:

    In further news of coincidences, just over five years ago I had a day like that. Oh, the pitocin! Oh, the forceps! Holy, unbreathing baby! It was awful. And now, somehow as I glance over at the kid clowning around with his little sister, it seems far away.

    This was a fantastic post—I know it’s hard to go back and access these feelings.

    Oh, and happy being 5 to the wee one!

  7. Patience says:

    Marvelous story!

  8. chelle says:

    How amazing she could come out of her history and become a nurse! I so enjoy those success in life stories.

  9. Diesel says:

    Excellent story, J.

  10. Jazz says:

    Damn girl, you have the coolest stories…

  11. furiousBall says:

    Happy birthday to the Niblet. Birth is amazing (in the understatement of the year). I liked that you connected this student to your own pregnancy. These things we do, they move others, if we don’t notice, we miss a little something. Glad you did notice. Glad you did affect her.

  12. Her Grace says:

    Tears. Awe inspiring. And a little scary. Truly, Jocelyn, you are the Internet’s best kept secret.

    I was so afraid you weren’t going to tell us what happened to your student. A nurse, how wonderful.

  13. Theresa says:

    You never cease to amaze me…your stories are marvelous, brilliant, inspiring even (but I wouldn’t want to have to go through something like that to have an inspiring story -you poor thing). So, you not only brought a beautiful boy into the world, you also moved someone to do something great with her life -now that is talent. Happy Birthday to Wee Niblet and congratulations to Student.

  14. Tai says:

    Whew! There, before me, are all the reasons I won’t have children…not to mention the vomit.
    (Nonetheless…what an astounding and emotional story. Thank you for sharing that, it must have been difficult).

  15. Claudia says:

    My first babe was 10’1 – I can relate. My nephew who is 12 has experienced as much pain and inferno as your student. (My sister, unfortunately died last July after battling the addiction for 12 years)so I can relate with that as well. Every day with him is a struggle, and a miracle. With love and patience and slow, slow (unconditional) amounts of affection he’s coming around…

    Life is precious. New and old. We need to cherish every moment.

    I am SO glad I found your blog. I may not be the most eloquent of your commentators, but I am a huge fan.

    * kisses * to you and Niblet.

  16. Claire says:

    That is a freaking awesome story. TestCase was birthed the same way and I remember that feeling of failure (more than the agony). Alas, he too was a 10 pounder and FPM was a bit over 11. Finally, WarriorPrincess weighed in at a petite 9lb14oz. After TestCase they just installed a zipper.
    You were one of the reasons your young student became successful. People coming from traumatic backgrounds often have a difficult time and I can say that at critical times certain people can literally be a lifeline.
    And what’s up with that weird cold-on-the-inside but hot on the outside feeling during transition?
    You are a flippin’ fantastic writer, you know that, right?

  17. Karen MEG says:

    wow, a 10 pounder!!! No wonder you remember it in such glorious detail! I think I was holding my breath the whole time reading.
    A great story about your baby and your student. What a long way she’s come…good for her!

  18. August says:

    Dear me, what a cry I’ve had. So much bounty in your words. Joc, I feel blessed to have met you. Thank you for sharing this incredible experience.

    Excuse me now while I wipe my nose on my sleeve.



  19. Soul Level says:

    What a story. My three were nothing like that, even for my wife who knew she had it relatively easy.

    The first was hard on her and easy on me. The third was easy on her and I spent the entire six hours on my butt with my head between my knees. I think I learned something between one and three…My current wife says she never had kids ’cause she knew if she did she’d kill their mother!

  20. Diana says:

    That is one kick-ass story and I am betting she’ll be one kick-ass nurse. She’s seen all the bad. There’s still plenty more bad to see, but she’s now got the good to go with it.

    (Good golly, the size of that kid! Perhaps the moniker “Wee Niblet” is a bit of a misnomer?)

  21. Jamie says:

    That was the best thing I have read in a long, long time. Really, it was amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  22. Jamie says:

    And Happy Birthday, Wee Niblet (Dinko)!

  23. Jill says:

    What a beautiful story. I’m still wincing for you though….I can’t even imagine.

  24. cathy says:

    I wish her the best for her future.
    You brought back some memories that words can’t describe…

    … I will say though that when you choose a gyneacologist you should check out his hands. My chap has hands like bunches of bananas, OUCH!

  25. oreneta says:

    Absolutely profound congratulations to your student/friend for her strength, endurance and bravery. What luck you have both in wee niblet and in the friendship.

  26. Spider Girl says:

    Wow. Just wow. Some of your posts just blow me away with their beautiful descriptive power….

    And you capture the painful yucky things in life too. With panache. somehow.

    Also I think people who have gone through labor like yours deserve medals.


    Getting my appendix out was enough trauma for me. With my teensy little incision and NO giant baby coming out of it.

  27. frannie says:

    that may be the most beautiful tribute I have ever read.

  28. jen says:

    what a terrific story, love.

  29. Mother of Invention says:

    The wonderful full circles in life. I admire you…I could not have children due to risks because of my diabetes and I miss not having kids. Teaching was an excellent way to have a lasting impact, which you have also found is most often mutual.

  30. Oh, The Joys says:

    This is an amazing post and story.

    I was induced both times with the evil pitocin.

    I can never find the right words for it either. The closest I have ever come has something to do with a wild eyed cow come to slaughter. The sheer terror and pain combo… I KNOW what you mean when you say that “I wanted to die.” doesn’t quiete cover it.

  31. Soon says:

    That was beautiful! and unless you have been in labor, you can never understand wanting to die like that. Fact is, you know that the pain won’t stop until the little spawn is extricated. That is the worst part. Knowing it will go on…

  32. actonbell says:

    That’s a beautiful story, Jocelyn. You are both amazing women:)

  33. Wayfarer Scientista says:

    Wow. Wonderful story, wonderfully written – and a damn good ending 🙂

  34. Dorky Dad says:

    Once again, Jocelyn, you’ve produced a beautiful post.

    Oh, and I’m glad you’re not dead.

  35. rak says:

    incredible story… written perfectly!

    thank you.

  36. Shari says:

    Labor of love and new beginnings for a life and a career of a young woman.

    BTW, all that hard labor you did…wee Niblet should give YOU a birth-day present. 😉

  37. kimber the wolfgrrrl says:

    Your student’s brutal journey is so amazing/beautiful/inspiring, it’s filled me with tears.

    And your own brutal journey has taken me back to the pain, agony and screaming of my own 34 labour. So there’s a few tears for that godawful memory, too.

  38. kimber the wolfgrrrl says:

    I meant, “34 hour labor”.

    Oh, wait, I actually meant, “34 Hour Torture Session In Which I Begged For A Trained Professional To Rip Me Open Before The Baby Did It First”

    Ah, those typos….

  39. heartinsanfrancisco says:

    Oh, Jocelyn, this is wonderful.

    I had an emergency C-Section the third time after producing two huge babies on my own with no support from anyone, even their father.

    My children are all grown now, but I vividly recall the pain that I would have gladly traded for death as you’ve described. And like you, I am so very grateful that I didn’t have to die and was able to raise them to be the marvelous people they are.

    I’m sure that the pivotal point in your student’s life was witnessing Niblet’s birth and realizing that her own past didn’t have to control her future. In a way, you gave birth to her, too, and I’ll bet she’s a great nurse.

  40. ana says:

    Oh wow, a terrific story told so beautifully. It brought me a tear.

  41. CS says:

    Yeesh. I had left a long comment here some time ago, but apparently it didn’t “take.” Maybe I messed up the word verification because it is something like it is now (jjffwwxkw). At any rate.

    I can’t remember what I said, only that I had been struck by the phrase “Women in labor dive so deeply, internally” It’s truw- you go somewhere that you can not be followed. Alone, in spite of being surrounded by so many people. This was a gripping story, both for the birth and the wonderful relationship with that student.

    But don’t think I didn’t notice the jab about the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. Ack.

  42. Dory says:



  43. Tammie Jean says:

    What a wonderful story, wonderfully told… brought tears to my eyes!

  44. Donna says:

    I can certainly see why this was nominated as a “perfect post”.

    Amazing. And what a way to start my day.

  45. Oh, The Joys says:

    So… I was suppposed to e-mail you and tell you I nominated you and send you the button code.

    I didn’t get all that right.

    I have the button code for you though! (But no e-mail address.)

    Hook me up?


  46. flutter says:

    a nurse!! how perfect…oh this was the most beautiful story, Jocelyn

  47. kfk says:

    Damn. That was a perfect story.

  48. fooped says:

    Thank you for that amazing story.

    I had a very similar delivery experience: the pain, the marathon, the drugs, the violent shakes, the disbelief. When they finally brought my baby to me, the angels didn’t sing. I just rolled my eyes his way, noted him and went back to my envelope of exhaustion.

    I tortured myself for months, maybe even years afteward, wondering if I could have done something different so he could have had the natural birth I wanted so badly and had worked so hard to prepare for (oh the Kegels!)

    The simple answer is in your story. There was no other way. We are all lucky, lucky, lucky.

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