|Photo by lavendarfields used with Creative Commons license|
I’m so pissed off at my body right now.
And, no, it’s not about how my body looks. After 10-plus years of practicing yoga, I’ve learned to accept (and even kind of like) my dimpled thighs, jiggly butt, and that soft squish that will forever be my lower belly after having my daughter. That’s powerful stuff, and it’s a big reason why I work so hard to share this practice with others, but I’m not sure yoga can help me with the body issues I have now.
I’m pissed off at my body because I don’t know where else to direct my anger. About a month ago, it was my body that recognized that my pregnancy I wanted so much wasn’t viable. At 9 weeks gestation, this body that I’ve been learning to love and appreciate, began the process of eliminating a baby that I already loved.
The time of arrival would have been around the end of September. I had already visited the birth center, and begun imagining how this birth would be different than my first. I felt strong and empowered, having so much more information and knowledge than the first time around. I knew how I wanted to decorate the room that would become the baby’s room. I made it official with my insurance company. I envisioned trips to the beach this summer, belly big and round as I soaked up every moment I could and played with my almost-3-year-old daughter, just the two of us, both preparing ourselves for how things might change when the baby comes. When I finished reading bedtime stories that mention sibling relationships to my daughter, I would look down at her, smile sweetly, and ask: “Do you think you might like to have a little brother or sister some day?” Of course, she would. And I want that for her so much. Heartbreaking.
I knew that statistically 20-25 percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage—I just never thought I would be a part of that statistic. It doesn’t make any sense at all. I am not of “advanced maternal age.” I exercise. I take my vitamins. I meditate. I put freaking greens in my morning smoothies, for crying out loud! And I’ve already had one completely normal, healthy pregnancy that resulted in the most amazing little girl. Seriously… What. The. Hell!?
The real kicker? There’s nothing I can do to prevent it from happening again.
I feel betrayed… by my own body. I know in my mind that my body did exactly what it should have done. It built the infrastructure to grow a person. My belly, even at just 9 weeks, had already begun to stick out (visible to all observant students in my yoga classes, I’m sure, because there’s no hiding a belly in yoga clothes). I know logically that it’s a good thing that my body made the call to get rid of that infrastructure and flush everything out (a process that’s much more gruesome and physically difficult than I’d ever imagined) because it saved me from having to have a D&C procedure. I know that had the pregnancy continued on for longer, it would have been even more painful, though it’s hard to imagine more pain right now. I know all of this, and yet I’m still pissed off.
At the same time, I’m working toward forgiveness—for myself, my body, that one glass of wine I drank the day before I had a positive pregnancy test. I’m spending more time with my daughter, though every time I hug her I ache for the little one I’ll never be able to hug. I’m coping with the grief, and trying to learn to love my body again the only way I know how—by spending more time on my yoga mat, feeling my breath, being present in my body, and accepting ALL the feelings that come up (SO many feelings). And I’m writing about it, in hopes that sharing my story will be both therapeutic for me and offer support to others who are in the same place I am: Angry, sad, lost, lonely, hurt, shocked, and slowly—but surely—healing.