As Gorgeous As A Lab Rat
Poked, prodded, bloated, cranky, heartbroken, and engaged in a terrifying level of intimacy with a sonogram probe, knee deep in my fertility journey, I felt about as gorgeous as a lab rat. My skin broke out, my pants were tight, and I had a couple small bald patches on my scalp from my vengeful thyroid hurling a big “f*%$ you” at me as a result of all the fertility drugs (this was the worst, since my hair is my thing.) Buried under the stress of treatment, the ravages it bestowed on my body, the repeated disappointments, and having to “hold it together” at work as a sex crimes prosecutor, I had never, ever felt worse about myself. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a disgusting failure.
Then, one morning as I was about to get into the shower, instead of cursing what I saw staring back at me in the mirror, I paused and took a good long look. Feet planted on the cool marble floor, I let my eyes drift over my entire body. I saw my spotty skin, poochy belly, remnants of needle pricks from my Lupron shots, and the bruises on my lower back/butt (which felt like hard boiled eggs trapped under my skin) from the progesterone injections. As I stood there, I thought to myself, “This is me. For better or worse, this is me!” For the first time on my journey, I began to authentically accept myself and my body. It felt fantastic.
Taking a moment to be grateful for my body quickly became a ritual. Ritualistic conceit? Not even close. Just a practice of being grateful for what I have, what I have become, and most importantly remembering that I am so much more than my infertility.
With practice, here’s what I finally had the courage to see:
- A woman who is loved by the most fantastic man in the world
- A woman who has the unwavering support of her family
- A woman who is a loyal friend and trusted confidant
- A woman whose heart is big enough for every stray animal she sees
- A woman who dances with the reckless abandon of someone who is seriously unhinged
- A woman who has endured test after test, procedure after painful procedure with a heart filled with hope
- A woman with the strength to lift herself from the darkness of a miscarriage
- A woman who knows she is just fine exactly as she is, baby or no baby!
Get Naked, Turn A Corner
Next time you are getting ready to jump in the shower, take a second to look in the mirror. Instead of criticizing your thighs, shouting abuse at your poor uterus, or swearing at your ovaries for not getting with the program, look at your body with the loving eye it deserves. This is the only body you’ve got baby, learn to love it! If you are feeling so down that you can’t think of anything to love, here’s some places to start:
- Do you have lustrous shiny hair?
- Is your skin as smooth as a silk?
- Got to die for eyes?
- Loving your luscious lips?
- Legs for miles?
- Pretty perfect feet?
- Bodacious booty?
- Is there something your body did particularly well during your last cycle? Thick cushy uterine lining? Nice number of eggs?
Have fun with this! GO CRAZY. Start with a freckle if you have to. Invest a few seconds here and there–make time, not excuses. Give your body the credit she deserves! Like you, she’s doing the best that she can. Your body is the gift God, the Universe, chance, or whatever you believe in has given you. Mean Girls suck. Don’t be one. Make your own list of what you have the courage to see. Do this!
Practiced faithfully, with your whole heart, this ritual of gratitude will become second nature.
You will love the infertile skin you are in!
Tell me one thing you love about your body in the comments below!! Think this ritual might help someone you know or love? SHARE IT LIKE CRAZY!
With Love and Respect,
© 2014 From Maybe To Baby