Monday, December 28, 2015
#Microblog Mondays: Self-Acceptance
I was thinking on how Mel at Stirrup Queens said that resolutions are part of our self-help national culture. That everything needs to be focused on being better, somehow, not just feeling okay with how things are, as they are right now.
I am learning how to accept things for right now. Don't get me wrong, goals are great and I intend to set a few for 2016. However...it's arguably equally valuable to learn how to accept what is at this moment, who you are, what you look like, what your life looks like at this present moment.
It's not always an easy thing to do.
I have finally let go of any hope that I will one day be pregnant, that I will wear cute maternity clothes, that I will have a clever maternity shoot, that I will birth my child and have a story of labor and delivery (although that part always sounded a little scary).
When we decided to donate/place our embryos, a process that has a ton of paperwork that we are still wading through, it made me realize that the dream of pregnancy was over. I had to accept it. And it was hard.
But I did it, and I am feeling quite peaceful about the whole thing. I can be a mother without rearranging my internal organs. I can be a mother and have it have absolutely nothing to do with my body. Given all our experiences, that's probably the best thing ever.
I am letting go of the guilt I feel for not pursuing induced lactation. I really wanted to do it, to have some level of the experience I felt robbed of. Except I am accepting that I can't be pregnant, and so I am accepting that my body has limitations, and one of those limitations is that it would likely be a horrorshow for me to attempt lactation. My diagnosis of PCOS can create breastfeeding issues for women who actually sustained a pregnancy and gave birth, and so faking that and tricking my body into lactating probably wouldn't result in nearly the meager supply I might have had before, and it likely would result in a whole lot more guilt and frustration.
Plus, I'd be doing more of what I've already forsworn: trying to coax my body into doing things it just does not want to do. I already have quite a bit of data that says that my body has no clue how to do anything remotely normal in the reproductive area, and I know exactly how that makes me feel. So I am letting go of that as even a possibility. I am going to formula feed, and I am okay with that. I will have a well-fed baby who gets skin-to-skin contact and fed whenever it's needed, it just won't come from my body. I won't hate my body for it because I didn't force it into doing something it in all likelihood wouldn't have anyway. I won't waste precious bonding time with my baby frustrated with pumping and low supply and all the emotional stuff that goes with that. And Bryce can feed the baby just as easily as I can, so we can both have equal bonding footing.
I accept that I am not going to pregnant, and I am not going to breastfeed, either.
I am trying really hard to accept my body. It's hard not to feel massively betrayed by its inability to conceive or sustain a pregnancy, and then again by its inability to be in any way regular after I stopped all the meds. It's also hard to realize that the wonderful, magical pound-shedding I was expecting after stopping all the injectibles and hormones that I was pumping my body full of...just didn't happen. It's been almost a year since I had any of that in me, and I did not lose hardly anything. My body just...is. Bryce wisely (or unwisely?) said once, "Well, you were in your early thirties when we started this, and now you're nearly 40. I mean, that's got to have something to do with it, too, right?" Ugh. But yes.
Now I am working on accepting my body for what it is, not what I want to wrangle it to be. I can hike and walk and do yoga and pilates, but I will never be skinny and I will always have my thick flubby midsection. I have to make peace with my jawline and my "at-risk chin" to quote Amy Sch.umer, and with the fact that I will never look at my stomach in the mirror and think, "that's amazing." What I can do is get clothes that fit me now, and do things like S.titch F.ix where I can try clothes on at home, with what I already have, and get some really nice-quality things that fit my body as is, quite nicely actually. I can aim to be strong and fit but not slender, unless my body wants to do that (it doesn't). I accept that our hobby of cooking delicious food is not going to help me lose weight. I accept that I don't want our future child to hear me saying, "God I look fat in this" or any other such ilk, because that poisons the body image of children. Bodies should be strong, and healthy, and it's okay for them to be in different shapes and sizes. (Now that I've set that up, I need to honestly apply it and believe it, for myself. I can apply it to a zillion other people but struggle mightily with my own body.)
Self-acceptance is healthy. Self-acceptance meets you where you are right now, and helps you to not always be striving forward towards a day that might never come, but here in the now. That's all we've got, right? The beautiful now.
Want to read some #Microblog Mondays that are, in actuality, micro? Go here and enjoy!