Bodies

A year ago, I would never have been able to type this post. I hated myself. Not the “inside me”, rather the “physical me”. My actual body. All the bits and pieces that allow me to exist. I don’t actually know when I started hating my body, I don’t remember disliking it when I was younger. I guess it kinda creeped up on me when I wasn’t paying attention.

I suppose I could trace the start of my dislike to when I first discovered social media. The pressure to always be perfect is not easy, but I don’t think that that is where the rot started. It more than just not liking how I look, I don’t like my organs, bones, vessels, skin… my actual body. If I’m truly honest with myself, I stopped trusting my body after my first miscarriage. I started hating my body after the second. It’s not an easy thing to admit. Up until that point, I had taken my body for granted. It just did it’s thing and carried on. And then it didn’t.

I wish that I could say that I had an easy answer, that I suddenly woke up and loved my body. But I don’t. I don’t hate my body anymore. I’ve accepted that the are certain limitations to my body. I can’t regulate my hormones so staying pregnant is hard, I have terrible skin and bruise super easily, I gain weight very quickly and struggle to lose it, I get debilitating migraines at the drop of a hat, I have anxiety and depression, and I’m allergic to cats. All of those thing are just part of my body, they aren’t the whole thing. I don’t have a long list of things that I like about my body, I guess the main one is that it keeps going even though it misbehaves sometimes. Hopefully I will have a super long list of positives someday soon. But today, just existing is enough.

My darkest days

I truly dislike this time of the year.  3 years ago, in 2011 I was 13 weeks pregnant with our second baby.  I woke up one Saturday morning with a “funny feeling”.  I had an appointment to see my Dr that Monday so I wasn’t too concerned.  I went to the loo, as all preggy ladies do first thing and noticed a weird discharge.  Not bloody so no alarms went off but my feeling intensified.  I convinced the Husbeast to take me to the Casualty department, just for a check up.  We dropped the Princess off with my parents and set off to the hospital.  On the way there I started unsubscribing to all the pregnancy and parenting newsletters I was receiving monthly and made a detailed list for the Husbeast of all the baby items that were lying around in the flat, so that he could pack them away in the worst case scenario.

 

I managed to convince the Casualty staff to send me for an Ultrasound.  I was still feeling pretty confident until I saw the scan.  The problem with being a Radiographer is that we receive some exposure to the different disciplines.  And I remembered what the Princess’s scans had looked like at 13 weeks.  This baby was very small and just didn’t look right.  Then the Radiologist said the words that no person should ever hear “there is no heart beat”.  I was inconsolable.  I had a D&C on the same day.

 

I blamed myself for months,I actually still wonder if there is anything I could have done differently.  I still feel that my body betrayed me.  4 months later I had another miscarriage, this time at 7 weeks.  My progesterone levels were dropping for no reason.  After the first miscarriage everyone was so supportive and told me all these wonderful stories about having miscarriages and then falling pregnant less than 6 weeks later, to not give up and “get  back on the horse” and that I will have my baby soon.  After the second miscarriage I was told to take a break, not to rush, my body needs a rest and to emotionally heal.  It was heartbreaking, I felt like I had no support.

 

The Tomboy was born in July 2012.  Throughout my whole pregnancy I was petrified that I was going to lose her.  I really battled to bond with her until she was born. Even up to the day she was born I was secretly worried that I was not actually pregnant.

 

Society places such huge pressure on the grieving mom to “just get over it”.  Talking about it is a double edged sword.  If you tell people how you feel you make them feel uncomfortable and you lose their support.  So you try and deal with these huge emotions and feelings of guilt and then you feel guilty for being a burden to your friends.  If you keep quiet you are either not coping, or you have moved on.  Either way, you end up having to monitor your behavior around your friends and family to make them feel better.

 

I have a void in my heart where my babies are.  I often think about them,  I grieve for them even though they never actually were.  I also grieve for all my hopes and dreams for them, that they would be happy and successful.  That is what makes this so terrible.  I have no proof that they ever existed.  A few ultrasound pictures that will eventually fade away is all  there is.

 

Because of those babies I am the person that I am today.  My marriage went through a very rocky patch but we have come out battered and bruised but still alive.  It has also changed my parenting style, I am still very laid back and relaxed but now I appreciate every moment with my  kids.  Even when they drive me up the walls.  Whenever I feel overwhelmed I simply hug my kids tighter and just keep treading water.