birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

See? A C-Section

I actually don’t have many scars—not physical ones. I am a very cautious person physically. But, I have lots of emotional scars. Yet, it seems they are mattering less to me each day. I find I am becoming more satisfied with my life, including my past.

So, what scar can I talk about? Which broken relationship? Which disappointment? Which loss? I just can't find it in me to focus on any of THAT, at the moment.

What’s that about?

So, there is one scar that I have—two times over—that I’m proud of, pleased that I have it, even though I felt ashamed, and a little cheated, when I got it.

My C-section scar.

When I was 33 weeks pregnant, I nearly passed out one morning just reaching my arms over my head. When I got to the doctor’s that afternoon, my blood pressure was over the roof high—all of a sudden.

What was the first line of defense? Bed rest.

So I experienced my baby shower two days later from the chaise lounge in my friend's sun room. I didn’t feel like a queen. I felt like a wimp!

The following week I went for a stress test, and never left the hospital. The baby’s heart kept slowing down.

The doctor said so matter-of-factly, “We can do more for it outside than in.”

So they sliced me open and pulled her out. “The placenta’s infracted—and, your blood pressure will probably get worse before it gets better.”

But I was all sewn up, and the baby—a pretty, but tiny, girl—was perfect, and perfectly well.

And the blood pressure did get worse—much worse. I saw the baby just after they took her out, and then not again for three days.

The second time, I labored for 30 hours but just never opened up. Again—thank God for doctors and medical science—they just sliced me open and took her out.

Another perfect, and perfectly beautiful and healthy, baby girl!

Once, 20 years later, I was at a conference where a woman priest went on a rant about women ruining their children by having c-sections instead of natural vaginal births. I was hurt—even though we knew nothing of each other—and shamed for having done it “wrong.”

But wait, my daughters are alive, and well, and fully-grown. They are beautiful, loving human beings, living creative lives. What do I have to feel bad about?

I wasn’t “wrong”. I was well served.
And, I have the scar to prove it.

For The Love of Music

28 Stitches