The Twelve-Inch Scar

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20 Responses

  1. Meg says:

    Here I sit with tears streaming down my face, in awe of YOU with your 10+ pound-posterior-facing baby boy, having formed such a bond with a student that she felt drawn to the hospital to witness your history, and YOU, in all your agony, sensing and feeling her experience in addition to your own. You’se one amazing mama, Linda Purl notwithstanding. I would never, ever vote you off the island.

  2. It’s sad to admit that I don’t cry very often. But tonight, after reading this , I am crying. Not only out of remembrance of birthing my own too-large-for-me-son (though at just under 8 pounds not anywhere near Paco), but also tears for where your student is today. She has gone from horror to honor.

  3. The funny thing about trying to describe labor pain is that you can remember it hurt, yeah -hurt like Hell, for sure -but you really can’t compare it to any other type of pain so that someone who has never experienced it can understand and compare to it then. I think that’s so that for many of us, we may go on to endure this again and some, more agains too! The joy of seeing a perfect little bundle though does tend to erase all that was endured to get that infant into the world, doesn’t it? Loved this story, Jocelyn and can’t imagine how I missed reading it before now, considering I’ve been following you for several years now! Oh, and before I forget, hope Paco has a very, very Happy Birthday!

  4. Keri O says:

    Happy Birthday my dear Haakon. Your entrance into the world had graced us! I have forever changed for the better since you barreled your way out of my dear teacher and friends body causing pain like no other…..Happy birthday Paco

  5. Joanne says:

    A beautiful story, a beautiful boy, a beautiful friend. And the mother, too, and all the rest of the supporting cast. Happy birthday, young man.
    My first baby was, as they say, easy peasy. Anyone can do this, I thought. My second was anterior and I remember every second, including the successive wash cloths nurses stuffed in my mouth to bite on. But, she was the prettiest baby in the nursery.

  6. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    Oh my goodness. I’m all kinds of choked up after reading this post.
    Happy birthday, Paco.
    You big-hearted, compassionate woman–what a cool thing to mentor that girl.

  7. Bijoux says:

    This post reminds me of my own mother, who never let me forget my own 10 pound birth. We big babies apologize for all your pain!

  8. sweffling says:

    Gosh, I feel in shock at the gamut of emotions and pain that this post covers. Written so eloquently that I feel I was there. I do not have the same facility with words to say what this post evokes in me, but thank you for sharing all aspects of this, and I am so happy that all ended, finally, well for you, Paco and the student.

  9. vagabonde says:

    What a story! That reminded me of my two labor pains – both babies had to be extracted with forceps as the labors went on and on and it did not look like they would come – so much pain it is true. You certainly changed the life of your student – you were the person she needed at the right time.

  10. Katherine says:

    Happy Birthday to Paco! And a happy birthday day to you Jocelyn. So glad you updated us on how the student is turning out so wonderfully. And Paco is looking very good there!

  11. Bone says:

    As the resident male commenter, let me just say… I’m KIND of craving a Dagwood right now.

    Seriously though. What an amazing story, Jocelyn. And so well told.

    I’ve got nothing to compare it to. Even the time I almost met John Stamos pales.

  12. vagabonde says:

    Jocelyn, I just saw your comment on my blog, so I hastened to answer you as my father was not Turkish as you think. This is what I wrote on my blog as a reply
    “Jocelyn, thank you for your comment. I am pleased that you learned a bit from me, but because of your comment I went back and edited my post. You see my father was born in Turkey, but he was Armenian. When he was a child he was sent to his married older sister in Egypt because his parents feared for his safety in Constantinople (former name of Istanbul.) He did not have the Turkish nationality because he was Armenian – none of them did – he was accepted in France as a political refugee or as an “apatride” a man without a country (under a Swiss statute.) But he was born in Turkey anyhow and could not go back. He never saw his father again.”

    You see the Armenians are Christian, Christian Orthodox just like the Russians and Greek, and the Turks are Muslim. During that time, the Turks tried to eradicate the Armenians from their country, so that is why his parents sent him away. Peter Jennings, the well-known newscaster, said that of all the stories he worked on, the Armenian one was the story that he remembered the most. Here is a site that may tell you more on this story: .

  13. vagabonde says:

    Thanks for coming back to reply to me. No, I have not read Birds without Wings because, I heard that from the Armenian view point, he was not totally accurate – he was more espousing some of the Turks’ distortions. However, another book, which I think is more accurate, is The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian. This is where I learnt why my father’s orphan cousin had been brought up in Aleppo, Syria. You may be able to get it at the Library if you have not read it yet and you can read about it on Amazon.

  14. Wow, what an incredible tale. Layered with this young woman’s transformation. Beautiful.

    I also understand the posterior birth. I ended up pushing my first son out posterior. The midwives were busy and I ended up with a doctor. He never caught on that the reason he was taking so long to push out was because he was looking up. Only 7 pounds though so only required 64 stitches to put me back together. I think it was 6 weeks before I could walk with both feet not on tiptoes.

    Didn’t mean to share labor stories, but I felt your pain. Lovely piece, here Jocelyn. Glad you reran it.

  15. Maria says:

    Well, I read every word (as I always do) with awe (which I always do) and like most mothers, I relived it ALL with you. I have never talked much about Liv’s birth because frankly I was a fucking idiot. I have this crazy fear of hospitals (not working in them, but being a patient in one) and so decided to have a home birth. Oh, you do not want to know how I went from peaceful hippie preggers mother to something out of The Exorcist. I thought you handled it much more creatively. And if Liv had weighed ten pounds, I think that I would have ended up in jail for killing my own doula.

  16. pia says:

    Happy Birthday Paco!
    Your mother–I know this is a cliche–makes me laugh, cry, feel, want to vomit, want to scream good scream and did I say feel? all in the same second.

    It’s not that I hate mommies–most of my good women friends are and I’m probably closer to their kids than a lot of mommy’s are to their own kids–but I hate the ever growing smugness (cliche!) of mommies on the internet.

    Yours however–I want to read every word she says about her children and/or her pregnancies!

  17. lime says:

    this is just amazing. the lives you have touched and that paco touched without even knowing it. peace and blessing to him, to you, to your former student.

  18. Jess says:

    I loves this the first time and upon rereading it’s even better.

    It turns out I’m a huge chicken and thought I was going to die when I was only at 4 centimeters. When the doctor told me they were going to knock me out and do a c-section I almost cheered. I am in awe of you.

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