Friday, August 7, 2020
Home > My Babies > Calvin Phoenix > B is for Body Dysphoria (My body is not a wonderland)

B is for Body Dysphoria (My body is not a wonderland)

pregnant with CalvinI wrote about this picture before and how much I loved that it captured so much of my pregnancy, how much I missed the discomforts of being pregnant after losing Calvin (see the absence of pain). When I look at that photo, I wonder what it would be like to be back there again, a week before we found out about the amniotic bands, at the end of my first trimester and almost past the “danger zone.”

The first time I took a shower after delivering Calvin, Louie helped me because I was still feel weak and in pain. When I undressed, I saw how much smaller my belly had become and cried so hard; even now, thinking of that moment two years later, tears threaten to spill over. For three months, I didn’t shower alone. I couldn’t stand being alone with my body.

Three days after I went home, my breasts became painfully engorged and milk started leaking out of them. Nobody warned me that this would happen, and I was so conflicted. A part of me felt that I was still connected to Calvin, that my body was crying for him and wanting to nourish him. The rest of me felt betrayed. My mother-in-law both me breast pads, and it felt like a cruel joke to need them. Then, when it finally stopped, I felt like I lost another part of my son.

double uterus ultrasound
Ultrasound of my double uterus (December 2009)

I still have issues with my body. I don’t understand why I can’t keep my babies safe and protected. I don’t understand why I am in the 1% of couples who have lost three in a row; or why I was formed to have a uterus didelyphus, which means only a 54% fetal survival rate; or why my chances of miscarriage are now 30-45%; or why, with those odds being slightly in my favor, none of my babies are alive and in my arms. It’s just hard not to blame myself or my body, and the mere thought of trying again makes me terrified.

How do you feel about your body?

Are you accepting of it? Do you view it as sacred? Have you ever felt betrayed by it? If you’ve had a pregnancy loss or have dealt with infertility, how (if at all) has it affected how you see yourself?

This post is a part of a series called Unpacking Grief, which I began as part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Crystal is a mother-wife-writer whose explorations include parenting, grief, food, and semi-crunchy living. She is currently an MFA in writing student, a content editor for Still Standing Magazine, and the technical editor for Switchback.

0 thoughts on “B is for Body Dysphoria (My body is not a wonderland)

  1. After two years of struggling with infertility, we lost our first baby, Hope, in December 2009; our second baby, Avery, in June 2010; and our third baby, Elijah, in December of 2010. I just found out, finally, only four days ago, that I have a clotting disorder that can cause recurrent miscarriages. It’s an antibody that causes blood clots to form in the placenta so that the baby can’t survive. I feel as though my body has betrayed me – my BODY killed my children. I don’t know how to make sense of it and it feels horrible.

    1. katie, i’m so sorry that you have had to endure losing your babies 3 times. it’s so difficult not having any answers… and just receiving that news must have been so difficult. i’m so sorry that you feel so horrible, and even though it’s not needed, i hope that you can find a way to forgive your body (i know i’m still working on that) and are able to move forward with knowing about the clotting disorder. ((hugs))

  2. After Meredith died, I felt like my body had failed her. The doctor said I had an incompetent cervix, but if I did, I was healed because I carried my son to full term. I finally got over the guilty feelings. With her, I had milk for MONTHS afterward, and didn’t have the milk to nurse my subsequent children.( I thought that was very strange.) The milk reminded me that I had been pregnant & had no living baby and I was finally glad when I stopped leaking.
    My heart goes out to you – I’m so sorry about your losses. (((HUGS)))

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

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