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Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 years

***Forewarning: this may get a bit graphic for some***

Joe and I hadn't been together long so we definitely weren't expecting to get pregnant. When I started suspecting, I was so worried. For so many reasons. When it was confirmed, it just made me that much more worried. Would I be able to love another baby? Would Joe stay? Did he even want kids? What would my dad think? And so forth. As most moms-to-be do, I started thinking of names, dreaming about what (s)he would look like, seeing my life open up to this new, sweet baby. Joe wasn't altogether thrilled but even he was throwing around name ideas and assuring me that he wasn't going anywhere. We told his parents, who were also less than thrilled, and I started telling family members of my own. My sister, Stormi, was the most receptive of the idea. She was happy for us and started planning things with me.

Fast forward.

10/10/2003

I woke up feeling odd. I contributed it to the onset of morning sickness, finally. Up to this point I hadn't been sick at all. I was always told how different each pregnancy was so I thought maybe I'd gotten lucky this time.

I got up and around, took Mehkaelie to my sisters and went to work. I was checking on tire sizes when I felt the first twinge. Nothing major, in no way excruciating but still..something just didn't feel right. Ligaments stretching, maybe? I kept working until lunch. The twinges were coming more frequently now, to the point it felt like sharp menstrual cramps. I started to understand what was happening. I went home at lunch and laid on the floor with my feet up on the couch and called the doctor. They told me to rest, drink lots of water, and let them know if I developed any more symptoms. I hung up. I had the strongest cramp yet and sat up, holding my belly, praying that I was wrong about what was going on inside my body. I started feeling wet in my panties and started crying before I even made it to the bathroom. I called the doctors office again and tried telling them what was happening. The nurse was trying to calm me down when I felt myself passing clots. The nurse stayed on the phone with me the whole time. Comforting me and explaining what was happening, asking questions and answering mine. When everything seemed to be over but the bleeding she told me to go to the emergency room, that they would be expecting me. When I walked in, they had a room ready and took my info, asked me if they could call anyone, etc. I told them no. They did the exam and ran a few tests and told me what I knew already. I lost my baby.

I still don't know why, maybe it was shock, maybe it was the confirmation, maybe I was putting up barriers to not have to feel it..whatever it was, I just couldn't cry anymore. Everything felt surreal and I didn't like it. They told me I'd need a D&C and helped me understand the procedure and scheduled it for me.

When I was discharged I went to see my sister and Mehkaelie first. I hugged my baby and didn't want to let her go. I went back to work and told them what was going on, why I was so late back to work, and found Joe to tell him. We both took the rest of the day off and just drove around. We didn't talk, we didn't stop anywhere, we just drove.

The crying started up again when we got back home. And didn't stop for a few days.

It's been ten years now and I can still remember that day so clearly. I remember what I was wearing, how my hair was fixed, what Mehkie was wearing and how the air smelled outside. I remember feeling like my heart couldn't be put back together.

I'll never stop hurting over the loss of that pregnancy. I'll never stop wondering what (s)he would have looked like, sounded like, felt in my arms. 

But I learned a lot about myself, about Joe and about us as a couple. I discovered how broken a heart could be and still function. I learned how to breathe properly again. Smile again. Feel again.

Ten years later. Two beautiful kids later. Lots of other changes in life later and I'm still here. Still remembering. Still living and loving. I knew long ago that I would be ok, but today I feel like I've proved it to myself. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

In a Perfect World: Bodies

In a perfect world there would be no need for plus size clothing, because there wouldn't be plus size bodies.
We wouldn't need diet trends, pills, meals or surgeries.
We wouldn't feel shame and embarrassment when going out shopping, dining, or just to the grocery store.
There would ideally be less bullying and less self loathing over body image. (Including those who feel that they are too tall, short, or even too thin.)

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and there are all sizes of bodies. This tends to insinuate to some that those with plus size bodies are unhealthy or just down right disgusting or those that are extremely thin are obviously starving or throwing up. We have little people, some as young as 5 years old, already complaining that they look fat or aren't pretty/cute enough because their tummies are bigger than their friends' or they're shorter than everyone else in class. They look at their mommies and see beauty and grace and wonder if it's only mommies that get to be beautiful. They don't see what we see. They don't see that the curves of their little bodies are perfect to us while we don't see that the curves on us are perfect to them.

Make healthy choices. Not just for you, but for your children. Set an example in healthy eating and exercising. But also in knowing that it's absolutely all right to indulge every once in a while. Learn and teach moderation. Learn and teach to love the body that comes along with your healthier choices.

Mommies come in all shapes and sizes, just like children do. I wouldn't teach my children to be judgmental about someone for any reason, but especially not for their outward appearance so why would I teach them that it's OK for me to be unhappy with my own appearance, judging myself because my stomach isn't flat or my hips are too wide or my thighs touch? I want them to know that they are perfectly shaped and put together. I want them to know that when I make them eat their vegetables and pack fruit instead of chocolate in their lunch boxes that it's because I love them and want their bodies to be healthy and strong for many, many years. I want them to love their bodies; no matter how tall or short, fat or thin. I want them to know that as long as they are taking care of their insides, their outsides will be just as beautiful.

Acceptance. Pride. Joy. Understanding. Humbleness. Encouragement. Love.