Warning: This post contains talk of tears and periods — or lack thereof, birth control and babies. And hope. It also talks about hope. If you don’t want the details, mouse on by.
Sometimes the scary reality of not taking care of myself for the majority of my life creeps up and smacks me in the face. Like, when Mr. B and I talk about one day starting a family.
For the most part, I just act like everything will work out and be normal and — voìla! — “and then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”
And, for the most part, I believe it will happen that way — when the time is right.
But, in truth, deep down in those secret places no one dares go, I’m scared. And a few recent tearful conversations with Mr. B (and with myself) have revealed that. To both of us, I think. I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. But upon further reflection, this is what I think it is:
I’m scared that 27 years of neglect and abuse have scarred my body in irreversible ways.
And I don’t think this is another one of my irrational worries (trust me, I have many — just ask my husband*).
I mean, for years and years, I had irregular periods that my doctor was certain were due to my obesity. It was so bad that it required me to take birth control to regulate my cycle. Because, one year I’d have one period. The next? I’d have one that lasted for a whole month. It was miserable. And awkward. And uncomfortable. And, thank goodness!, birth control helped me lead a normal life where I didn’t have to worry about spontaneous bleeding and embarrassing situations.
But it never felt 100 percent right. My body, my mind never felt right about relying on some kind of chemical to take the place of a healthy, active life. (Though I am so, so thankful that I had that option, that all women have that option.)
I’ve been on birth control for many, many years. So, much like a “normal weight,” I don’t know what a “normal period” is for me. Ask me how long my cycle is, and all I can tell you is where I’m at in the pill pack. I still am grossly uninformed on the “natural” things my body is supposed to do. As women, we’re told to “know our bodies” and understand our cycles. But, for me, at this point, I just … don’t.
My doctor was certain the irregular — or missing — periods were a symptom of my obesity. But, what if it was more than that? What if the birth control was simply putting a bandage on a symptom of a (much?) bigger issue? What if being obese for so long ruined my chances at a normal, healthy pregnancy? What if my uterus is “broken?” What if I’m … broken?
Of course, these are all just thoughts and fears that fill my mind while we’re playing the waiting game. I have no medical advice or expertise to back up any of my fears (irrational or not). But, I have a doctor’s appointment in January: my “open house.” Where normal talks of annual exams will be replaced by questions about future plans and “have I?” and “can I?” and “should we?” and “when do I?” and “what if?” These visits aren’t ever fun. But, these new questions I have to have answered (for my peace of mind) add another level of anxiety for me.
Mr. B and I have so much love in our lives — so much overflowing-growing-light-up-our-lives love — and we’re so looking forward to sharing that with a kiddo(s) — when the time comes. Until then, we wait. And look forward with hope for the day we’re blessed with a kid or two to love.
The good news is, though, part of the fun in having kids is in that whole “trying to make them” bit. And, as long as we’re waiting … might as well
take a roll in the make hay while the sun shines.
On a lighter note, there is one other thing that “worries” me about trying to start a family: I come from a family of breeders. I mean, really, my whole family is very good at breeding.
“I have 27 first cousins. Just 27 first cousins alone! And my whole family is big and loud. And everybody is in each other’s lives and business. All the time! Like, you never just have a minute alone, just to think, ‘Cause we’re always together, just eating, eating, eating! The only other people we know are Greeks, ’cause Greeks marry Greeks to breed more Greeks, to be loud breeding Greek eaters.” ~”My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (While we’re not Greek, this is my family — in a nutshell.)
While I say this with a light heart, in all seriousness, it’s true. I come from a big family. There are always (adorable) kiddos running around, and at most family functions we have to eat in shifts — or standing or walking around. So, maybe our family’s luck has run out — maybe we’ve been blessed with as many kids as we’re allowed to have. Maybe, like in so many other familial areas, I’ll be the black sheep. (OK, this one might be a little irrational. I need another hobby.)
*It’s still ohmigosh-I-can’t-believe-it weird to call him that!