Short Version: conversations with the fertile world: how I feel about "getting my body back".

I have an email sitting in my inbox and I don't know how to reply. It's from someone who's due just after me, and she chats merrily about how, like her, I must be looking forward to "getting my body back". I feel like I only just did. I'm more afraid of losing it again.

I don't have to explain it to you. I don't have to explain the tyranny of non-functioning organs and hormones. I don't have to explain the helpless pleading to follicles, eggs and embryos. I don't have to explain the gradual, humiliating submission of my self to my LH or P4 levels, despite expensive and painful efforts to whip them into line pharmaceutically. I don't have to explain the unbidden and unwanted anger, jealousy, frustration, anxiety.

To some of you, unfortunately, I have to explain what I wish you all knew yourselves: the triumph of winning the battle against one's own body. For some, this means refusing to be controlled, any longer, by a menstrual cycle, or defined, so completely, by infertility, childlessness, or loss. For me, it has meant lucking out in the treatment lottery. This pregnancy has been a leash on my errant body, a tattooed symbol of power and ownership. For the first time in a long time, my body has been doing what I want. I have it back. Now, this moment, I have it back. Who knows what happens from here?

I realise that even amongst those who have been pregnant, not all of you have experienced pregnancy in this way. At least since Twin A, I've had things go normally (touch wood) and that makes a difference. Still, I think all of you - however different your path so far - can draw on enough common ground to appreciate my point of view, and can see why I'm not feeling impatient to "get my body back". So I don't have to explain it to you.

I wish, though, I knew how to explain it to her.


18 Comments

Ellen K. said...

I think I understand, now. I don't suppose a high-handed, "I have other concerns right now" would be an appropriate reply.

Checking in often and wishing you much luck.

serenity said...

You know, once you have your baby, your body still isn't really yours - if you're breastfeeding anyway. No one really told me that. :)

But yes, I get what you're saying. And I am thrilled to hear that you're still feeling this way late into the third trimester. By the end of mine I was just so freaking uncomfortable that I thought a little the same way your fertile friend did.

Not too long now, Bea! I'm so excited.

Betty M said...

I'm not sure your correspondent will ever really understand what it is like. If it was me I would just be - yes I'm looking forward to getting rid of my puffy ankles too - and leave it at that. best wishes.

beagle said...

I don't think there are words to explain it.

When I try to explain or even just share my situation I more often than not end up frustrated. I just had a woman say to me about adoption: at least you won't have to worry about that post partum depression every one is talking about these days.

No, I'm too busy battling the regular kind, brought on by the very thing that is "saving me" from the PPD kind.

I like to think most of these people mean well, but they just don't see things from the same vantage.

Bea said...

Yes, Betty, I think that's a wise approach. Although it would be *nice* to get people to understand, I think you have to choose your opportunities carefully.

Bea

SarahSews said...

I get it Bea. Even though this pg hasn't been a cakewalk, it's still been better than all the years we could get my body to get pg. I may be on bedrest for high bp, but at least my body has managed to keep us both going well into the 3rd trimester.

M said...

I totally understand. I had my little ones 3 weeks ago...and am over the moon....but I still sometimes mourn that final bit of control of beating IF. Hugs to you.

The Town Criers said...

It is such a different perspective. Frankly, while I wanted to see them, I also wanted the option to pop them back in my body and feel them under my heart too. I don't know how you answer that one.

Barb said...

Well said, and I don't know that you ever can.

No Minimom said...

I don't know what your future plans for for having more kids, but this was the last for me. I'm looking forward to being able to treat the symptoms of my PCOS without worrying about harming a fetus/nursing baby. So in that vein I will have my body back. Pregnancy didn't stop the acne or hirsutism, and I don't ovulate (unmedicated) either way. The nice thing is that now I won't care if I don't ovulate. I could never have another visit from AF ever and I won't care one whit. That, for me, is having my body back.

My Reality said...

Maybe you could explain it just as you have in this post. It seems to say it all.

Heather said...

I get it...but I'm not sure there is a better way to say it than how you just did.

Karen said...

That was beautifully put. And maybe that's why I'm so desp- er, um, eager? to have a normal singleton pregnancy. A horrific triplet pregnancy (not that I wasn't incredibly grateful for it!) does not equal ANY control over one's body. I was just as out of control as ever. It wasn't until after I delivered and my body actually cooperated and did something it was supposed to for once... produced MILK... that I felt like I wasn't being betrayed.

But never in my pregnancy was I eager to be done with pregnancy. I had worked so hard to get there, I wanted to savor every second of it, even as miserable as it was.

triLcat said...

It's great that you feel that way even at this point. By 36 weeks, I just wanted my lungs back. I didn't much care about the rest of my body, but my LUNGS! (I had madly out of control asthma which got steadily worse from about 14 weeks on.)

I hope that bf'ing will go well for you, and you will feel like your body is "behaving" for you.

And when you cuddle that baby to your heart the first time... there is nothing more incredible.

Geohde said...

I get what you mean- after much effort I have a body which is doing (albeit somewhat wonkily) what so many take for granted.

J

Stephanie said...

i totally agree with you. I actually miss my preggo body. I never felt more like me than when I was pregnant. I will admit that I had a great pregnancy and if it had been filled with issues I might not have felt this way.

Piccinigirl said...

well I had a horrible pregnancy, but like everyone said, I often wish for those two to be back inside, safe warm and causing me heartburn.
in many ways, getting your body back doesn't cover it anyway. Since I've delivered, I've had migraines, numbness, a pinched nerve that is causing the migraines and headaches and haven't fully flet "Good" in about one full year. Just because you deliver doesn't necessarily mean that your body will ever be the same. I know mine isn't...and probably never will be. *sigh*

as always , thinking of you!

Jackie said...

It's a fascinating topic. I've heard both my mother and my aunt say to me that one's body is never her own again after having a child and lamenting this. It's difficult for me to say that I don't care about that, that I love sharing my body with my child, from the moment of conception through breastfeeding, snuggling and all the rest. Perhaps because I did not have kids in my late teens like they did or because I don't plan to allow myself to become overweight or obese as they did, I'm not really sure what makes them resent having to share their body or lose their body...it's tricky to explain these feelings to someone who doesn't quite get it.

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