Once Broken Temple
Do you ever feel disappointed in your body? Or feel like it’s let you down? I complain about mine a lot. I feel bad for saying this but it’s true. Skin issues, weight issues, too much hair there, not nearly enough there… Don’t think I take my health for granted. I’m grateful for a relatively uneventful tenancy in this body. I would be insensitive not to acknowledge that. But I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit my sometimes petty displeasure.
Perhaps other women feel like me on their journey to motherhood. I felt a special kind of betrayal when trying to conceive, it couldn’t even get that right. After two successful rounds of IVF and two children later, I’m ready to give my body some credit. It has paid the price for progeny through much poking, prodding and dignity-stripping procedures. Internal and external exposure of its flaws – Swiss cheese ovaries, unwelcomed cysts, ovarian hyperstimulation. It was reduced to a laboratory. But finally, clinical and the cosmic collided within it, holding onto life, skillfully rearranging organs to make room and expanding into a whole house to cater and accommodate its guests. This body took charge and bossed me around, saying what to eat, how to sleep and always know the path of least resistance to the bathroom at all times. I took orders from it. This once broken body became a temple. It created its own tattoos commemorating and mapping its growth. A temple that I feared would be a tomb.
This once broken body became a temple. It created its own tattoos commemorating and mapping its growth.
My body and I became a team. I’m not saying we were always friendly with each other – 4th-degree tear? Still not over that! But we got the job done. Smooth Cesarean and easy recovery? Thanks, girlfriend! (What? You don’t personify your body and pick fights or congratulate it?) Pregnancy taught me the true extent of my body’s abilities. I knew it could grow a chin hair like a champ but a baby? I had my doubts. But it pulled it off!
I’m so thankful I had the chance to house, sustain and birth my babies. It’s not lost on me that not every woman gets that experience. Sometimes I feel guilty about my good fortune but I want to use my experience to encourage others still on the journey to motherhood. To the mamas like me whose bodies have not always been good to them, I hear you. If you’re in the midst of wrangling your body to give you the desires of your heart, I understand that struggle. It’s a fight. The deck seems stacked against us. But when it finally works and you are in tandem, the feeling is oh so sweet. Not all of it feels lovely but the scars are worth it. Sometimes I felt like Moana’s Te Fiti – earth goddess, life bearer! Other days I was Te Ka – full of fiery fury. But those crazy mood swings were so worth it. That belly blocking your vagina and toes? Worth it. Those stretch marks that make you look like a tiger or like you were mauled by one? Just me? Absolutely worth it. If your path to pregnancy was less than smooth you understand this. Pregnancy feels extra special. If this is the furthest your body has been able to hang on to your baby, you know all too well the beauty and marvel of your pregnant self. All curves along a redemptive, rainbow road, your whole being bearing evidence of your perseverance through struggle. You did it. You made it. You and your fabulous body have got this!
Author | Blogger | Mama x2
Nia is the product of a Jamaican mother and an American father and takes great pride in her Caribbean roots. This is often reflected in her global perspective on many topics and outbursts of patois (Jamaican dialect) when excited, startled or upset. Nia is always analyzing her life from her deathbed, a habit that stemmed from her six years as a hospice social worker. With that in mind, she started a blog, Perfect for the Pocket where she shares her thoughts on various subjects, including her journey through infertility and IVF, in an effort to banish the stigma, shame, and loneliness that can shroud this health condition. Nia has been married to the love of her life for seven years, loves her faith, family, good food and single malt Scotch, neat. She considers herself a constant work in progress and hopes to be remembered for trying to help others by being vulnerable with her own experiences.