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…

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8 Comments

  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!!

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  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

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  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

    Reply
  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

    Reply

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