Ode to a body that done good / Imaginings

“You done good,” my Appalachian relatives would say when I was a kid and I’d done a good deed. I feel like saying that to my body right now: “You done good, good body.” Because it did. And it does.

It amazes me how it just keeps on going and going. My period was right on time. My abdomen is starting to look more like itself and less like a water balloon. My eyes have deeper and darker circles under them, but I still feel comfortable going out in public without makeup, and my hair, while rapidly graying, covers fine with color and is growing long and actually looks healthy lately. There’s no question that the past almost-three years have aged me, but maybe not any more than if I’d had a “normal” life. I get back and neck aches more often than I used to, but my bones and muscles respond quickly to yoga. I’ve been to the gym only three times, but already my body is taking on more challenging workouts. My uterus has now had two D & Cs and experienced six early losses, but it looks like a normal, healthy uterus, without scars or buildups or growths. How does my body just keep trucking along?

Although I’ve had times of not thinking so charitably about my body, in general, I’ve had a pretty good relationship with it since I was a teen. My mom had (has) some body issues that she dealt with through constant diet and exercise. She had an unhealthy relationship with the way she looks, and I think at an early age I developed a rebellious stance toward what I saw her putting herself through. The more uncomfortable she was with her body, the more comfortable I wanted to feel in mine.

My mostly healthy relationship with my body has helped me a lot in this journey through infertility. But it has also confused the hell out of me. I’ve always felt very fertile and very able to carry a pregnancy. Even though I’ve had all of these losses, I’ve thought of myself as a welcoming, nourishing space for a baby to grow. It was the egg that was the problem. Now that we had the loss of a normal karyotype fetus, I still can’t shake the feeling that I am a good space for a baby to grow. It just feels that way. Whether or not it’s true is another story, but my intuition tells me that this body has what it takes to carry a successful pregnancy. Is it wishful thinking? Is it knowing my body well? Is it just that I mostly like my body and appreciate it? I don’t know. All I know that is that although I’ve had my fair share of thoughts and feelings that my body is defective, the positive seems to triumph over the negative in this particular arena.

But the confidence will wane specifically when I need it the most—when I get up on that ultrasound table.

I can’t tell you how often I think about getting up on that table. I’m working on letting it go. But the image will come to me without warning. Feet in stirrups, monitor above me. I’ll imagine the tech’s quietness, the unmistakable sign that all is not well. Or I’ll imagine the opposite, fuzzy white baby-shapes up there on the screen, heartbeats, and numbers that invite me over to the other side. Joy for DH and me. High-fives in the car on the way home.

And then I’ll imagine us flying to Korea to meet our two-year-old son. Or standing by our birthmother’s hospital delivery bed. Or a family photo of us that looks like a veritable Benetton ad—Korean dad, white mama, African-American child.

But for now: Let’s see if I can finish the breakfast dishes and get our laundry done…

Leave a comment


  1. I love your positive attitude! God see’s you as perfect, healthy, made whole, and fertile, so we should too :) Proverbs also says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So keep thinking that you are fertile, able to carry a child, healthy, and all other good things! Merry Christmas!!

    • Thank you Elisha! Yes, I’m trying to focus on the positive as much as possible these days—all I have control over at this point is inviting peace and health in. Happy holidays back to you. xo

  2. The body is really resilient and you are awesome for seeing that and maintaining a healthy relationship with your body through all of this! I think it is OK to have space in our brain for thoughts about carrying a pregnancy and day dreams about other ways we would feel comfortable building a family. Its part of this experience to think about Plans B, C and D

    • Thank you Kimberly, yeah, it’s easy to get caught up in all the “shoulds” and should nots” when it is ultimately an individual trip, and there really is space for the imaginings. XO

  3. You are Amazeballs. First of all, for your optimism and embracing of multiple happy endings. Second, because I got your package today and it gave me a HUGE smile :) Much Love Tut! XO

  4. I love love love this post. And I love the last two paragraphs. Regardless of how you become a mother, it’s great that you embrace your body. And also…. getting the chores done. :D


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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