It’s C Section Awareness Month, and I talked about my C Section a bit here last year.
Often, mamas are expected to heal emotionally from birth trauma just as fast as they heal physically. The purpose of this post is to bring light to the fact that C sections can be traumatic and emotional. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but there needs to be more empathy and compassion for mothers who have had a C section, or have experienced birth trauma.
Mothers need to be supported both emotionally and physically. A C-section is a major surgery, and is often not what a mama has envisioned her baby’s birth to be like. How a baby is born, and how a mother experiences her birth the way she chooses to or has to (and how she is given grace to process it afterwards) makes a significant impact on her adjustment to life with new baby.
I was expecting a home birth. After my C-section, I felt like I was rolled into the hospital and ordered a baby. I felt like I missed so many important “firsts.” A nurse came into the recovery room as I was coming to, and muttered, “Baby Girl. 7lbs 2oz.” at me and walked away. (Juliette's birth story here)
I felt robbed, powerless, and weak. I wished that I could have had the birth that I envisioned. I felt like I needed to be empowered. I was lucky to have help with the practical things like meals, child care, and laundry for the first week. And though I am thankful for those things, the things that really helped me through the healing process were the people who affirmed me as a person as a mother. Those who stopped to ask how I was doing helped me in more ways than one. Although my incision healed very quickly, the emotional healing was a long process.
I was told to “get over it.” Although well-intended, I was pushed to recover and "toughen up." But this mama was so broken and I needed space and grace. I was sad even though I had my healthy baby, and I felt guilty because I was sad. I felt guilty because I was scared to hold my baby because I didn’t feel like she was mine, since I never saw her come out. I felt guilty because our bond was slow and not instantaneous. I felt guilty because I was scared to look into her eyes. I was scared because every time I looked at her, I was painfully reminded of how close we were to losing her. I feel guilty even saying this, but it was hard for me to gaze into my baby's eyes because I was reminded of the birth trauma that I had just experienced. There was so much guilt and shame from feeling the way I did. There was no doubt about it - I was over the moon for my new baby, and I was so thankful and relieved that both her and I were alive. But it did not take away the sadness or my need to process trauma.
We need to support other mamas so that they do not have to feel guilty about grieving the birth they envisioned. Feelings are valid. We need to hold our fellow mamas’ hands as they heal. We need to trust that mamas will heal, instead of pushing them into healing, as healing cannot be coerced or forced. Mothers are powerful, no matter how they brought their children into the world. Mothers are strong, and they do not need to be "toughed up," or told to "get over it." Although it is well intended, I did not like hearing that one day I'll look back and realize that I'll be just that much stronger after I "get over it."
No, I didn't need to "get over it," to be strong. I was strong then, and I am strong: I was strong as I healed, and not because I healed. My powerful, maternal strength allowed me to find healing within. All I needed was affirmation of that strength within me. I needed to be reminded of that strength.
We just need to give mamas the grace and space to find their own strength. We need to help mamas unlock their own strength through affirmation, instead of pushing them into "getting over" trauma. All mamas have that strength, sometimes they just need a little help to find their strength when it is a little dark. That is how we support those mamas who have experienced birth trauma via C-section: we empower them with their own strength without guilt, shame or coercion. We come along side and show them that they already have what it takes to pick up the pieces, and sometimes we pick the pieces up with them as they regain their bearings. As I thought about C-section awareness month, I was inspired me to write this letter:
Dear C-Section Mama,
You are brave, you are strong, and you demonstrated self-sacrifice so that your baby could have the best chance at life. You have strength.
You put yourself down on a cold, hard table, and said “Cut me open and sacrifice my well being, so that my baby may have the best chance to thrive.”
You are not less. Your birth story may or may not be how you envisioned it to be, but it is not any less valuable or powerful. It does not hold any less strength or power than any other birth story. It does not take away the time that you spent nurturing your baby inside your womb.
You may feel broken, but you are not any less valuable. Kintsukuroi is the art of repairing broken pottery with real gold instead of throwing the pottery out. The break becomes a feature of the piece, and the gold content makes it even more valuable. There have been studies to show that C-Section scars contain fetal cells from when the baby was pulled out. Your story is your gold. Your scar is filled with beautiful gold in the form of fetal cells.
Nothing could ever tame your strength or the love that you have for your baby. There is so much power deep within you, and if you give yourself space and grace, you will find it. Once you find that power and strength, it will ignite and your journey to healing will begin. Just know that that power and strength is already within you. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You are strong now, and you are strong - your display of strength is not contingent on what your road to recovery and healing looks like.
You are entitled to grieve over a vaginal birth if you had wanted one. You are entitled feel all the hot tears that come flowing, and you have every right to feel sad. Let the tears roll down and let your cries roar.
When people point out the painfully obvious, “At least you have a healthy baby,” it’s okay to feel a rush of emotions, or wish that you had a different birth. Do not feel guilty if you wanted or hoped for a different birth scenario. You are not ungrateful if you need to grieve over your birth story. You do not love your baby less if it is taking you time to heal. And it is okay if you feel broken.
Surround yourself with those who are brave enough to see your strong, maternal being emerge as you heal. Build boundaries around those who coerce or pressure you to heal and “get over it.”
Give yourself time to heal because healing in itself is a journey. Know that you’ll get in touch with your inner power because it is there. And once you find that healing, celebrate with all your heart, because your story is worth celebrating.
You got this mama.
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DESCRIPTION AND MEASURMENTS OF FONTS:
Atticus: Handwritten style, whimsical, sweet uppercase only font. Resembles someone's printing on a sticky note, a little sweet love note left for a special sweetheart, just because. Pairs well with the Jaleesa font. Stamps very sharp and crisp. Letters are small, about 2mm. Uppercase only.
Aurora: Calligraphy style font resembling beautiful ribbons of the aurora borealis. This font font is similar to the calligraphy font, but also the wanderlust font. Very small foot on the r. Letters vary about 2.8mm-4mm. Lowercase only.
Constellation: Resembles beautiful hand-lettered journalling, featuring the most beautiful dancing baseline. This looks like something that would be found in a talented hand-letterer's journal book: effortless, carefree yet clear. About 3mm. This is a scripted font and as such will have a dancing baseline. Upper and lowercase. Lowercase r does not have a foot.
Blossom: Round, cursive-like font with a hand written feel. This font is a bit wider, with letters being about 3mm wide. Lowercase only.
Boho Love: Printed letters, resembling child's hand printing. Letters are not perfectly straight & even and resembles whimsical child's hand printing. This font is stylized to not be as smooth, as it resembles printing with a pen or pencil. Letters are about 4mm tall. Uppercase and numbers only.
Calligraphy: Elegant font that resembles calligraphy! Letters vary in size, but is about 2-3 mm in size on average. Letters like the a, o are smaller while letters with the beautiful strokes (like the j, y) are a bit bigger. The r has a very small foot as shown in sample photos. This is a scripted font and as such will have a dancing baseline. Only lowercase.
Cashmere: Smooth, hand scripted letters resembling silk cashmere ribbons. Letters are about 2.5- 3mm. (Vowels, letters without tails are smaller). No foot on the r. Lowercase only.
Cursive: A pretty font that resembles old-fashioned cursive writing. Small foot on the r. Simple, but pretty! Each letter is about 3mm on average. Upper and Lowercase.
Fairytale: A mix between a brush script and hand-scripted. Similar to sunset, but less brushed, and almost like ribbon. Letters are about 2-3mm. There is no foot on the r, features a curvy m and a very swaying baseline. Only Lowercase.
Galaxy: A clean, minimalist stylish font with a modern vibe. Letters are about 2.75mm. Uppercase only.
Heartstrings:Letters resembling string, and words will connect as if strung like string across a bar necklace. Who pulls at your heartstrings? Letters are about 3.5-4.15mm wide. We can fit up to 4 letters on a petite bar. We can fit up to 7 characters on a standard bar, and up to 10 on a luxe bar. Lowercase only.
Jaleesa: Elegant, beautiful, dainty font that makes a statement. Resembles someone's effortlessly talented and beautiful writing. The j's and the i's are dotted with the sweetest hearts. Named after Jaleesa. This is a small font, about 2.5mm. Scripted style, with thin and crisp lines and flowing letters. Vowels are very small. Lowercase, and r does not have foot when stamped individually or with words beginning with the letter r. Lowercase only.
Lace:Delicate, graceful letters with clean and simple lines. Letters are about 2.5-3mm. Letters like the b, f, g are elegantly elongated. No foot on the r when stamped individually or with words that start with the letter r, please see the chart to view this letter. Lowercase only.
Lavender: Lavender is a lowercase font, it is small, about 1.5mm-2mm (depending on the letter- letters such as d, f, p ,t are taller than smaller letters such as vowels). It is an easy to read, clear font that is small but makes a statement.
Love Letters:Similar to calligraphy, but more slanted as if written with a quill on parchment paper with a love note for a loved one. No foot on the r when stamped individually or with words that start with r. Please see chart. Letters range in size but will be about 3mm. Lowercase only.
Madeline: Free writing font with flowing letters. About 2-3mm tall letters. Letters are a bit wider than other fonts, therefore character limit is a bit lower for bar necklaces as this is a wider font. This is a brush-like handwriting font, and so depth will appear to vary, and as such each letter will vary and may appear to have a dancing baseline (bottoms of letters are not on the same plane). This is a brush-style font, so some parts of the letters may appear different in terms of depth and stroke, just as if done with a brush and liquid ink. This is because handstamping is done hitting a hammer and applying manual ( by hand) force into the metal at a variable amount of force, angle and pressure. This stamp set stamps very variabley, because of the brush style. Small foot on the r. Available in upper and lowercase. It may not fit 3 names across a bar as it is a bit of a wider bar.
Meadow: Artisanal writing. Letters are wider, and this features a very artistic, dancing baseline. Please note, there is no foot on the letter r. No foot on the r when stamped individually or with words that start with r.Lowercase only. Letters are about 3 - 3.5 mm.
Moonlight: Moonlight is a lowercase font. about 3.25mm tall. It features loopy letters that are beautifully curved. Very small foot on the r. Scripted style font.
MINIMALIST: A small, uppercase font that is classic and simple. It is a smaller font, about 1.5 mm in height. Available in uppercase and is the default font for numbers as well as roman numerals.
Newspaper: Resembles a type that you’d see out of a vintage newspaper. Will vary on baseline, as if typed on a vintage typewriter. Letters are about 2-3mm tall. Skinnier font than Print. Upper and Lowercase, plus numbers to match.
Ocean: Curvy, wavy like the ocean waves. This font has unique letters, with each letter having its own personality. Letters vary greatly in size, with some being 1.5mm and others being 2-3mm. Letters such as d and g may be larger, up to 4mm. Letters such as c, u,n,m v, as well as vowels are smaller in this particular font. No foot on the r. This is a very small font, and words will be very small if you have a customization with many vowels or any of the smaller letters in your customization word/name as shown in the chart. Lowercase only.
Sapphire: Fun, handwritten style font that has a brush feel. 2-3mm. There is no foot on the r. No foot on the r when stamped individually or with words that start with r. Lowercase only.
Storybook: Simple, playful but elegant cursive font. Letters are about 2-3mm. This is a smaller font. No foot on the r when stamped individually or on a word that starts with r. This font and features beautiful loops. Lowercase only.
Sunset:Brush style font with a boho feel. Scripted freely and beautifully like brushed strokes. Letters will vary widely between 1.5 mm to 5mm. Letters such as the t, y, z, g are larger, with most vowels and other letters such as c, v, x being smaller. No foot on the r stamped individually or with words that start with the r. Please note that this font style may not suit every single word or name, as it is a brush style with letters varying a lot in sizes, particularly ones with smaller letters. Not every word will stamp the same way with this font. The words that are best suited for this font (in general) are medium sized words. Please make sure you take a look at the font chart so that you are aware of what each letter looks like and so you can gauge what your preferences will be for this font. Please contact us if you might want this font but are unsure if it may suit your customization. This font is offered for those who like very freely brushed/scripted fonts. We do ensure that our stamp placements are as accurate as they can be, and this is a beautiful font, but can be tricky in that it will not suit every word due to the varying sizes of these letters. Please contact us PRIOR to ordering to ask a question specifically about your word with this font fit if you are interested in this font but have any questions about this font in your customization. It is also suggested that you contact us if you are looking for a customization for a word or name that is short or has several smaller characters. Lowercase only.
Tiny Sayings: This is a super small, dainty font. Each letter varies in size between 1-1.5mm! This is great if you would like a longer saying that you need to fit on a bar, or more names to fit on a bar. This is a very tiny miniature font, our smallest font. This font is small enough to be meant to fit a lot of characters into a small space. It is meant for those who need longer customizations in a smaller space or for something very discreet. The font style resembles something tiny printed out of a vintage newspaper. Lowercase, Uppercase AND numbers.
Wanderlust: This is a beautiful font that has a dancing baseline. It is flowy, fun yet elegant. Letters range in size from about 1.5-3.75mm. Please note this is a free/flowy/whimsical font with letters varying widely in size due to the hand scripted nature of this font. Because of the design and style of the font, letters without tails or swings such as vowels, or letters like c, n, v, etc are much smaller than letters such as h. Vowels are closer to 1.5mm and are quite small. Please remember this if your customization is short or has mostly vowels, and see the font chart for comparisons between letter sizing. This font features smaller vowels and letters with letters don't have tails or swings and is a smaller font so if you're customizing a bar with more words, this would be an option to fit more words. Please note that a few of the letters in this Wanderlust is quite small compared to other letters in this font, particularly the vowels. The letter r does not have a foot. See chart for reference. Lowercase only.
NUMBERS Number requests will be stamped minimalist by default unless otherwise noted.
IMPORTANT FONT CHOICE SELECTION INFORMATION:
If you would like hearts or dots, you can leave a note in the customization box with (heart) or (dot) to indicate that you'd like a heart or a dot.
For special symbols and punctuation, please contact us directly.
If any of the fonts do not show a matching & (ampersand) sign, it will be the plain & sign shown with minimalist.
Numbers only come in minimalist, tiny sayings, or newspaper. Please note that if you would like a necklace with dates and would like more than 2 dates, we can only fit it with minimalist or tiny sayings.
Please note that some fonts have been enlarged so you can see each letter easily. Also, please note that some letters only come in lowercase and will be stamped as such. All the font descriptions and dimensions can be found under the photo. Please note that letters with tails such as j, t, y, etc are much smaller than vowels or other smaller letters such as a, c, i, u, v, n etc. If you need exact dimensions of each letter, please contact us here.
Letters are to scale within font sets. All script fonts will appear to be connected for the most part as if someone did calligraphy on your necklace but please be aware that spacing and placement will vary to ensure fit on bar or triangle and also because each one is hand stamped! These are also stamped by hand, so please keep that in mind as you order. If you are looking for something with 100% precision, an engraved necklace would better suit your needs!
About our speciality calligraphy and scripted fonts: Most of our calligraphy and brush or handwritten style fonts have a dancing baselines, meaning that not all the bottoms of the letters will not touch the same plane at the exact same location. If you combine letters with upswings and downswings, there definitely will be a dancing baseline, and it may dance more than if there was not. For example if there is a p and a d in the name, you may notice that the baseline varies more. Please contact us if you have any questions. In the chart, the letters have been drawn out without a dancing baseline so that we can fit every sample on this chart. STAMPED, there is a slight dancing baseline. This is the style of these fonts. If you prefer something simple, minimalist would be a great choice.
Please contact us if you have any questions. Also, please note that stamping is done by hand and not by a machine so placement, depth may vary ever so slightly.
Please note that by default, if numbers are requested, they will be plain as shown on the minimalist font. If numbers are requested in a font not available, minimalist is the default font for numbers.
Our products are not digitally produced, but are hand stamped, so it is not possible to create a proof.
Please note that some fonts come in uppercase/lowercase while others come with only lowercase. If you type in "Mary," and the font is only available in lowercase, we will stamp "mary" on your bar. If it comes in both cases, it will be stamped as "Mary" on your bar. Please note that by default, if numbers are requested, they will be plain as shown on the minimalist font unless otherwise requested.
Scripted fonts such as the storybook, wanderlust and calligraphy are a designer font, and are not a block font so please understand that it resembles free hand writing or brushed writing with a dancing baseline.
Because they are designer fonts, they are handcrafted fonts. Please keep that in mind if you select any of our scripted or designer fonts in that every designer font has a style that is unique. Most of them have a dancing baseline. Because of this, some letters in scripted fonts are different than others. For example the letter "r" may include a foot in some fonts but not other fonts. Some fonts may include letters that vary greatly in size. For example, in the wanderlust font, the some letters such as the a, e, r are much smaller than letters like l, h, j. Please contact us prior to purchasing if you need any help with picking a scripted font.
Each necklace is handmade and handstamped, please allow for variations in position, depth and spacing of letters. This is not a printed necklace, so some variations will occur as a result of being handmade and handstamped, and to ensure that every letter fits on the bar. Furthermore, every single name will vary as each name has different combinations of words. Please contact us directly here if you have any questions regarding font choices and we would love to assist you! The photo below is a guide to help visualize the differences in chain lengths. It is a guide to help. Like clothing size, each length will fit differently on each person. 18 inches is our standard size but depending on your frame, and preference for where you want your necklace to sit, you may need a shorter or longer chain.
WORD FIT ON BARS:
*For bars with 4 + names, we can fit them! Pleasecontact us to design a piece!