Monday, June 16, 2008

Do your boobs hang low?

Do they wooble too and fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?.... you know the jingle. I contemplated naming this post, "weighty issues", but that sounds soooooo, well, heavy.

Have you ever just been awesomely impressed with your body? Maybe thats an easy feeling for some people, it isn't for me. I have had body issues for most of my adult life and despite what appears to be an outward self confidence about all (or most) things, I hate my weight. Or rather, my abundance of it. I am not a freak about it. I don't dwell on it. I try to lose it, ocassionally. For the most part, I just live with it and don't give my body much credit for anything. Its my personality, my face, my eyes, my laughter that matters.... right?

Then WOW. I got pregnant. It wasn't easy. It took us two years of trying. Erik likes to contest this point, that we weren't REALLY trying. But for me it was two long years wondering whether my weight was the reason why it wasn't happening. I read research, posts, and online articles, even picked up a book, 'Carrying a little bit extra"... all about the plus size pregnancy. Extra fat cells release a substance that is like synthetic estrogen that can really screw with your reproductive system. And thats just the beginning.... there are a whole host of "syndomes" that I became familiar with... Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and others, that are all reasons why overweight women take longer to conceive.

So, when Erik and I went off to the fertility doctor, I was sure it was my body that was failing us. So, despite all good things including tests results showing no problems, I still believed it was my imperfect body that was the problem. Every test, every doctor, every thing was saying my body was normal. I didn't believe it.

My whole pregnancy I was in denial. I never looked classically pregnant. In fact, until I was about 7 months, it wasn't even obvious I was pregnant at all. No one asked me in public, "when are you due?" I was one of those pregnant girls that most people looked at and wondered, "Is she pregnant or just fat?" Some women embrace their baby bump. For me, it was my same old bump but with the ability to kick back.

I got into the habit of being vocal about my pregnancy. Adding pregnancy comments to conversations so that the question was subtly answered. Each doctor visit I went in thinking that this was the visit that I would be diagnosed with gestational diabetes or the baby would be big because I was big, or ______________ (fill in the blank).

But it never happened. Ultimately the diagnosis wasn't at all related to my weight. Preeclampsia is just a condition some girls get. They don't know why. Xanthe was a small to average baby. My body tried its darndest to deliver my little girl, but when it couldn't, and I was getting sick, we did deliver by C-section. I have to add, when you are my size, your chances for a c-section increase. I knew that too.

Part of me didn't think my body would be able to do it. And somewhat normally too. In the recovery room, they brought Xanthe to me. I told them I wanted to try to breastfeed as soon as possible. They laid Xanthe on my chest. I had wires everywhere and she had IVs too. Erik helped move the wires out of the way, and lo and behold, Xanthe latched on to my nipple and began to suckle. It was the first moment of my body really impressing me. Our nursing relationship is exclusive and lasting to this day. So exclusive in fact, that Xanthe cries at the sight of a bottle. She likes my body THAT much.

Its eye opening to me that Erik & I have created this little person, and that this body, imperfect and large, continues to sustain her life. It makes me realize that I should be taking better care of it, and appreciating it more, despite its imperfections.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm addicted to your blog. It's like a window into the life that I'm getting ready to jump into (marraige, kids?, career compromises in the name of other things, real adulthood).

And no, my boobs don't hang low (yet), they're too busy being too small!! But that's a whole other set of body issues...


Amy

Kim said...

After having my 2 babies, all I have to say is oranges in tube socks, baby!

Anonymous said...

Mara - stopped by your blog today as I'm procrastinating heading into work. I thought this post was so adorable and sweet. Xanthe is really beautiful, and I loved the 'audition' video. I guess it's kind of wierd when old roommates are able to 'stalk' on facebook, but I was just smiling seeing how happy you are and how life has settled exactly how it was 'meant to be'. This post was especially sweet to me considering that I relate personally to paragraph 4. I am really glad that your story has had a happy ending. Many congrats to you on your move and sending old roomie hugs....Heidi