Monday, May 23, 2011

body image

I remember being a teenager and hating my body.  I thought I was fat.  All 130 lbs of me.  Actually I had curves, but when skinny is in, it's preferable to have the body of a twelve year old boy.  I developed early.  I was a C cup in sixth grade.  Girls used to say I stuffed my bra, and boys would grab my chest to "make sure" I didn't.  A friend of mine told me once her adult brother, driving through town with their Dad, spotted me and said "Man, to be 18 again!"  I was 13.

Now I hate my body for different reasons.  It betrayed me.

When I had Meadow, I remember thinking that labor and childbirth were not so bad.  Sure, there were some painful moments, but it was not what they make it out to be on movies and TV.  My mother-in-law at that time told me I'd need to be heavily drugged.  It was the most horrible thing a woman would ever experience and so painful!  I wouldn't be able to handle it.  I did end up getting a small dose of some sort of pain relief and later regretting it.  

Meadow nursed easily.  So easily, in fact, that again, I was taken by surprise.  So many women complain of the engorgement, difficulty getting the baby to latch on, nipple soreness.  I didn't experience a single one of those things.  Meadow was a dream nurser!  Plus I had the added bonus of no period for 10 months after!

Then, when Meadow was about a year old, I was surprised to learn, she'd soon be joined by a brother or sister.  It turned out to be a sister, because we now have Lennon.  I decided this time around to skip the drugs, and go au naturale.  I'm glad I did.  Giving birth is tiring enough, let alone at 3:15 AM, but with drugs on top?  I got to bond with my new baby without the added grogginess.  She didn't nurse as well as Meadow, but she was still a healthy, happy baby and I had minimal soreness and engorgement.

I had such a feeling of accomplishment after I gave birth to both of my girls.  I felt like, Hey I was meant to do this.  My body was made to do this.  My body is a phenomenal baby-maker.  It was too easy.  Get knocked-up, carry the baby around for nine months, complain my way through, and spit out a healthy, squirmy, perfect little version of me.  To have and to hold for the rest of my life.  But Holden....

My pregnancy was... normal.  So normal you couldn't call it anything but.  I had morning sickness all day everyday for the first 4 months.  I caught a couple stomach bugs throughout flu season.  When I started getting big, I had all the typical aches and pains.  I had a glucose test that came back a little high but after another 3 hour glucose, the doc said it was all good.  At 36 weeks I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced, Holden's heart rate in the 140s.  At 37 weeks I was 2cm dilated and 50% effaced, Holden's heart rate in the 150s.  I wasn't scared.  I wasn't worried.  I wasn't prepared.  At 38 weeks I was 2.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  Holden's heart rate...

Holden's birth was physically easy.  And postpartum, I was physically perfect.  Bleeding was minimal and was over within two weeks. I was up and moving around within an hour. I walked out of the hospital instead of being wheeled out.  My milk came in bountiful enough to feed five babies.  I am already back into my prepregnancy pants 6 weeks later.  So why is my body doing everything perfectly if it couldn't keep my baby alive?


  1. I felt very much the same. I had a perfect pregnancy and all the stars were aligning for me. Then she died, four days past her due date, just like that. I had what can only be described as a pretty straight forward birth after that then recovered quickly and easily. Like you, I was up and about an hour later and walked out of that hospital, unassisted, the next morning. I came home and made people cups of fucking tea. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within weeks and without a little one to nurse, my cycles returned at six weeks. All too easy, really? Yet she died. She still died. Inside my body. As she was trying to be born.
    I'll never, ever make sense of it.
    I'm so sorry you're now living this hell as well.

  2. This year, my only goal was to come to a place of peace with my body. I feel so betrayed too. I believed in my body. I thought I was strong and fit and able. Then she died. It is just terrible to be at war with the shell that holds you. Just sayin' I hear ya, sister.