What woman doesn’t have body image issues?
From a very young age we ladies start to get an idea that what we are working with in the bod department is less-than-perfect. Over time and throughout cultural changes, the societal “ideal” for a woman’s perfect body has evolved significantly. The same can be said of every woman’s personal journey with their body – from not being aware of it, to being painfully aware of it – from hating and hiding it to accepting it and hopefully, ultimately, loving it.
I felt like it was a sign of great personal maturity that I had come to really, truly like my body in the years before getting pregnant with Hudson. I’ve never been a Perfect Size 6 (or is it a Perfect Size 2 these days?), but I like how I look. And when I broke my neck and was paralyzed on my right side temporarily, I started to love my body. We’re not talking “Check me out in my string bikini” love. We’re talking, “Look how incredible it is that I can raise my hands up above my shoulders!” love. We’re talking, “My brain can once again tell my body to do something, and my body obeys.”
The human body is an amazing thing, and before I got pregnant, I had developed a very functional relationship with my own body.
And then, there was pregnancy.
Stuff happens to your body when you get pregnant, and not all of it is good, and let’s face it, some of it is frustrating. But I determined early on that I was going to be the best ever at being pregnant, and part of that was staying active. I ran three to four times a week until I was about 37 weeks pregnant. I took care of myself, I ate well (but not perfectly), I avoided the stuff I was supposed to avoid. I kegelled. It was not all sunshine and roses, but I stayed in love with my body through the whole messy business of gaining 37 pounds (my lucky number!), a shoe size, and three bra sizes.
But lately, it has been harder to love my body.
All I want to do is be pregnant again… and so far, I am not. Every month, my uterus “refreshes itself” like a real asshole, and I get more and more frustrated with my body. It was so easy to get pregnant with Hudson – in fact, it was not on purpose – yet now that I want it so desperately, it seems so, so hard.
My body isn’t being all that loveable.
The way I see it, my body owes me, big time. I take great care of my body. I have made it a veritable baby sanctuary in these months following Hudson’s death. I follow all the steps necessary to get pregnant, every month, and yet there’s no guarantee it will happen this month or next month or the next. It just happens when it happens.
That is bullshit.
And in my darkest days, I can’t help but think that my body is to blame for all of this.
Hudson died from complications in labor. Or, as bluntly as I can put it, Hudson died because I could not push her out fast enough. I could run a marathon after being paralyzed, but I could not bring my beautiful 7 lb. 14 oz. redheaded daughter from womb to world safely. My body failed me, and my daughter, my husband, my family. My body didn’t do what millions of women of all shapes and sizes all over the world have been able to do for thousands of years, with limited medical intervention even.
It is safe to say that my relationship with my body has become a little dysfunctional in the last 8 months.
On my brighter days (which I admit is most days lately) I know that my body isn’t to blame for Hudson’s death. But I also am adamant that this wasn’t my doctor’s fault. There is no one person to point a finger at, no one to hold responsible. It’s just this senseless, inexplicable, effed up thing that robbed me and my husband and my family of a lifetime watching our baby grow up.
It fucking sucks.
My relationship with my body is much more complicated now.
Because my body made Hudson.
And I’ve never loved anything or anybody more than I love Hudson.
My incredible, amazing body housed the greatest miracle for 41 perfect weeks. My boundless, strong body provided the materials for the most beautiful person I’ve ever laid eyes on. My made-for-baby-makin’ body produced that red hair, that sweet nose, those chubby cheeks, those big hands and feet. She was made in love, and she was all the best parts of me and of the Hubs, and I have never been more proud of something my body accomplished.
My body was made for this. And I love my body for making Hudson.
Me and Mr. Whiskers make beautiful, beautiful babies. I know I can’t take all the credit. But any woman who has become a mother knows that the majority of the heavy lifting is done by the gentler sex. The male makes a major contribution, but then we pretty much take it from there.
My body is amazing. Even though it is harder than it has ever been to stay in love with my body these days (who thought it could ever be harder than high school?), I choose to love my body for all that it is capable of and for all that is has given me and for all that is has accomplished.
I cannot wait to see what my body does next.