Friday, June 15, 2018
As I mentioned in my last post, I'm slowing beginning to devote some energy towards myself and my own health after three years of keeping three other people alive. After they were born, even though it was so early, I felt intense relief that their survival was no longer dependent on my untrustworthy body. It was exhausting to pass each action, food, activity, and medicine through the filter of "will this possibly kill my babies?" I remember standing in the shower the day after they were born, barely conscious after my c-section, uterine infection, and pumping sessions and thinking "Ah, I can turn the shower as hot as I want and not worry about overheating them!"
Of course after that I was pumping milk for them, which the doctors told me is the best thing I could do to help their survival in the NICU (no pressure, ladies!!!). Producing milk became the new filter (tight bra? no! sleeping more than 4 hours? no! getting away overnight? not worth it!). After I finished pumping for them at a year, I immediately began preparing for the frozen embryo transfer, including taking 5 different medications multiples times a day. When that pregnancy ended, I was so over using my body to sustain other people that it was a relief to be able to ignore it for a while. I declared a one year sabbatical from medications and doctors visits and doing more than the bare minimum to keep myself alive, and it was great. It was mentally necessary at that point.
It's not that I don't think sacrificing my body for my kids isn't worth it, but it is freakin' terrifying believing that my kids might die if I do something wrong. And maybe it's not that unfounded if, you know, they almost did. I've always thought of myself, the "real" me, as a brain, who uses a body to walk around, and it was strange to temporarily experience life as primarily a baby support system who incidentally had a brain.
I don't trust my body to be in charge as much as I do my brain, especially since my body had lately been so uncooperative and basically trying to ruin my life. Still, it wasn't kind of me to totally ignore it for that year. I'm realizing I need to do a better job integrating my body and mind. I want to thank my body for (eventually) providing me with my children and nourishing them, and forgive it for the ways it failed. I wouldn't be mad if I could transcend to another plane where I exist as pure energy, but I can't, and my body is the way I primarily interact and move through the world. I need it. And things that are good for it are good for me -- the "real" me -- too.