Michelle

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

I didn’t even know this girl.
But I wanted her to live.

Ageless Beauty
by Michelle Callanta-Toledo

Psyche was always supposed to be a C-section. A normal birth was just out of the question. I was going to get cut open, one way or another. After first learning that she was suhi – meaning she was positioned in my uterus to come out “butt first” – and remaining stubbornly that way for the duration of my term, the gynecologist advised that we would need to schedule a C-section, a “bikini cut” a.k.a. a horizontal cut just below the bikini line so that the scar remains concealed (so I can rock those sexy suits confidently during the summer). I didn’t mind that at all. Besides, I wasn’t too keen on getting my vag cut any wider than it probably already was. Of course, this also meant I could choose the date of her birth which was pretty cool – I chose June 23, the exact day of me and her father’s 9th “monthsary.”

I thought that would be funny.

But Psyche had other plans.

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

She obviously wanted to be a Gemini rather than a Cancer. Perhaps she already knew it too because one minute, she was “sitting” comfortably and firmly on the bottom of my uterus. Then on the day of her FINAL checkup, 5 days before my scheduled C-section, she decides to flip over, making it possible to attempt a natural birth. On top of that, I was 3cm dilated and there was no way they would send me home that open.

So there I was in labor for four hours. But she refused to come out. Even when the doctor manually broke my water bag. She didn’t wanna slide out.

I don’t know if she realized with all of her flipping about…

She was dying.

Her heart rate dropped significantly, from a healthy wowwowowow to a frightening wow—–wow—–wow, the sound resonating through the entire “labor room” which I shared with 4 other women in labor. There were about 6 nurses all over me as they tried to resuscitate her – poking at her head with their fingers while I winced and writhed. I could see the panic they tried to conceal in their faces and I could hear the strain in their voices as they apologized and told me to relax, “just a little bit more.”

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

At that moment, I began a mental deal with God. You know that quick-ass, mile-a-minute monologue you have with yourself as you spew forth promises and sorries and regrets and pleas and bargains just as you are on the brink of a breakdown.

I asked Him to let me die if it would save her.

I didn’t even know this girl. But I wanted her to live.

I was done. I was thankful. It was her turn.

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

At that moment, I began a mental deal with God. You know that quick-ass, mile-a-minute monologue you have with yourself as you spew forth promises and sorries and regrets and pleas and bargains just as you are on the brink of a breakdown.

I asked Him to let me die if it would save her.

And I’ve never been that ready and that sure about anything before in my life. Not even at my most splendid and mature and responsible was I ever that confident and unafraid about a decision. For once, I was in control. My mind was calm and clear.

I was at peace during that precise moment of chaos.

I was done. I was thankful. It was her turn.

Obviously, I’m not dead.

And this isn’t a sad story.

It’s actually supposed to be a story about my body and the changes it has gone through these past 30years. The naked truth if you will, and what this body has gone through, despite the years and the archetype, with these racy pictures to boot.

But after 30 years, I realized that that journey isn’t important.

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

This is about getting a second-chance.

This is about knowing what you’re REALLY worth.

This is about acceptance and bigger pictures and knowing that this body is but a shell, but if God willing, and if you allow it, it can also be a shelter. A haven. A home.

And after you’ve had that “talk” with God, do you really think “maintaining a 20-year old body until I’m 80” is a priority?

NO.

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

I gave birth to a healthy albeit slightly ashen 6lb. baby girl on June 18, 2007 via an emergency C-section.  A keloid has formed a dimpled red vertical scar an inch below my navel down to where that bikini-cut should’ve been. The bikini-cut that assured me a confidence and beauty past my twenties.

I still wear bikinis. Proudly.

My confidence and beauty is now six years old. It lives inside a beautiful, precocious, weird little Gemini.

My scar simply reminds me where to find it everyday.

Dianna Capco Photography - Michelle Turns 30

Happy birthday Michelle!!!

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