My mum came to see me a few days after I heard that our first month of medically supervised/assisted baby-making didn’t take. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve been pretty freaking miserable since that phone call with the pregnancy results. I called J right after hearing, of course, and couldn’t talk through my crying. I called my mum after I hung up with J, and pretty much repeated the whole thing.

I have the best mum in the world, let me just put that out there early in this post so there are no misunderstandings. She lives an hour and a half away, but is perpetually ready to drop whatever she is doing to be by my side, should I need it. I figured everyone’s mum is like this, but as I get older, I’m realizing that’s not the case.

So she came to see me, and we went out for dinner. I kind of spazzed on her, and I’m sure I freaked her out when I started talking about how my experience being incapable of conceiving is like a continuation of an on-going battle I’ve had with my body and body image that started when I was pretty young.

She chalked up my emotional rant to “all those hormones” the doctor’s had me on. I think this was her way of expressing her incapacity to deal with what I was telling her.

I have always either hated my body to the point that I could hardly look at myself in the mirror, or tolerate it enough to not feel ill if I happened to catch a glimpse of it. Medically, I don’t think I’ve ever been overweight, but I’m always aware of how much thinner everyone else seems.

I hate that I’m like this. I majored in Semiotics and minored in Women’s Studies–I know how media is constructed and how messages are created. I can speak critically about this, but that doesn’t change how I feel about myself. I wish I looked like a model, and I have a hard time accepting that I never will. The fact that I don’t reflects a deep rooted sense of failure and guilt that I don’t measure up and am intrinsically flawed. Not being able to conceive is just another level, another piece of proof that my body is a failure.

I know this isn’t rational. I know it’s not helpful to think like this, or even productive, but there it is.

My body and I just can’t seem to get it together. I thought that at this stage in my life, early 30s, married, I would have come to terms with body image, and I think maybe I was starting to get there. I started gaining weight last year, maybe 10 pounds. I chalked it up to a crazy schedule that had me commuting at lunch time as I was working between two schools. I didn’t eat lunch last year. Like, at all. With my recent thyroid results looking slightly elevated, I’m thinking now that weight gain had more to do with hypothyroidism, but that doesn’t change how I look. I feel like a huge frigging whale, which is only aggravated by the seemingly weekly question by co-workers: “Are you pregnant?”.

No. Apparently, my body can’t get pregnant. So I’m just getting fat. Thanks so much for asking.

For the past year of trying to conceive, I’ve felt trapped inside of a body I hate that doesn’t even work how it’s supposed to. I’m afraid to try to lose weight in case that adds to the problems we’re already having with trying to make a baby. J’s been told repeatedly that he has super sperm: this issue is all me.

That’s a lot of weight to carry around. Pun intended.

-Jumbo-sized Regular Van.

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