I’ve got this love-hate relationship with my body. I’ve been overweight since puberty – that time when I was ashamed of my body for not being picture perfect. Now that I’m in my mid to late 30s, I’m no longer ashamed, but I do still hate to try on clothes, and sometimes find myself wishing that I had a little more willpower when it came to food! And I find that I don’t really care what other people think of my body (except maybe my husband) because I’m not on the prowl for a date, and I’m confident in my marriage and friendships. But in the last 2 months, I’ve felt a different kind of emotion about my body: hatred.
Being pregnant is the most vulnerable time in a woman’s life – especially for a control freak like myself. Because once you’ve conceived that baby, there is nothing else you can really do except eat well, get prenatal care, and trust your body to do its job. You can’t pick the baby’s gender. You can’t pick the baby’s birth date. You can’t reach in there during conception and do a chemistry jobbie with the available DNA to get the exact traits you’re hoping for. “Oh, let’s just get rid of that family history of mental illness gene over there… grab that athletic giftedness gene over here… blond hair, brown eyes, oh! Don’t forget the good singing voice and dancing with rhythm genes!” So really, what it comes down to is trust. Trust in your medical professionals and trust in your body.
I guess I don’t have to tell you that I don’t really trust my body so much anymore. In fact, after I had gone through some of those stages of grief and finally felt some acceptance, I started to feel betrayed. Betrayed by the one thing I trusted most – my body. My amazing body that had conceived, carried, birthed and breastfed 2 beautiful babies, the body I trusted completely, had betrayed me. The working theory behind my second trimester miscarriage is that my body wasn’t producing enough progesterone (the hormone that keeps your placenta strong) and my placenta weakened and separated from my uterus which kicked my body into survival mode and immediately put me into labor. So my body thought it was doing the right thing. And I know that if I had been much farther along, it would have worked out. But your body is just like a machine that has been programmed to do one job, it doesn’t think, and it doesn’t understand that, sometimes, timing is everything. And then, to rub my face in it even more, my body responded just like it did twice before when I had given birth. I healed quickly with almost no pain and my milk came in.
The new hatred for my body is because of this normal response. Stupid body, there is no baby here to feed, and you didn’t have a normal birth. I feel like my body should have suffered a little more for making me lose my baby. My body wasn’t working perfectly and Bing, Bang, Boom, it is all over and done with and my body is a-okay again like nothing ever happened. While my brain, and my heart and soul are still trying to cope. My body is pain free, but my heart is not. And so I am angry at my body, not myself, my body because it didn’t do its damn job. It let me down. And I wish there was some physical pain to deal with. Because that would be easier, I think.