I 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.
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?