Tuesday, March 16, 2010
My body and I haven't always had the best relationship. As long as I can remember, I have criticized it for being too lumpy, too wide, just not good enough. I ate too much, I ate too little, I could honestly say I didn't like it.
Then I became pregnant with twins. From the get-go, the doctors warned me that my little 5'2 body may have trouble carrying two babies to term. Somehow, someway I believed my body could do it, but of course I had my doubts. As each week passed my body proved itself up for the challenge and I believed more and more. And then this short little body, which had grown quite large, delivered 2 healthy babies into my arms at 37 weeks and 4 days, no scalpels required. It was then I realized that my body was capable of so much more than I had given it credit for. My body was good, better than good - it was awesome! Over the next year it nourished those twins without a drop of formula and helped them grow from teeny babies into walking, talking healthy people. I was amazed. I was stunned. My body was a miracle.
Before we caught our breath, I was pregnant again. And once again my body amazed me. This time chasing 2 toddlers while growing a new life. Did I mention we lived in a walk-up apartment?! Through the next year of nursing, I would pause and look at my 3 children and thank my body for the best gifts of my life. I didn't just appreciate my body in a new way, I loved it. I loved it despite the stretch marks and the parts that never quite returned to where they were supposed to be.
Now pregnant again, the doctors discovered that I have a new antibody that may begin to attack the baby's blood supply. This could result in pre-term delivery and or blood transfusions for the baby. Or it could result in a completely normal pregnancy and a completely healthy baby, only time and lots of blood tests will tell. My first reaction to this news was to be angry at my body. It is supposed to grow, protect and nourish this baby - not attack it! Then I was confused, how could my body have created 3 awesome kids and now let me down? Yes, I was disappointed in my body. I felt betrayed.
But then one day I looked at the 3 faces my body already gave me. I was reminded of how awesome my body could be. I know now that I need to trust my body and more than anything - believe in it. So each night as I lay down and my mind turns to worry and despair, I stop. Instead, I say "thank you" for the miracles my body has given me and I ask for just one more. I remind myself that this body - that I am strong. I focus on the hope and the possibilities and I allow myself to picture my new healthy baby tucked snugly in my arms.
ps. no need for worry, my blood tests so far, every 2 weeks, have shown really low numbers - too low to be harmful and I have consulted with a perinatologist who is following my pregnancy