Sometimes you just need to celebrate your own innate femininity. Especially when you’re coping with an aspect of your female-ness that isn’t working for you- such as your fertility. It’s easy to let yourself be angry at your body’s lack of cooperation. And I have let myself be angry. But anger isn’t going to make things change. And living with semi-constant anger at your situation isn’t healthy.
Before I started this blog, I had already gone through being angry at my body. I was unhealthy. And I punished myself. My thinking was, if my body couldn’t do what it was put on this Earth to accomplish, then what was it good for? In the most basic sense, animals exist in order to procreate and continue their species. I could accomplish other things along the way, but when I looked at humanity through my metaphorical microscope our set purpose in life was to create more life.
I know this is simplifying things to the point of nonsense. But when you’re angry and hurt, fresh off a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, you don’t take all factors into consideration. You only apply your understanding, your background, your history and your current situation to what is around you and blindly assign life roles to humanity as a whole. I promise you that it is not my true opinion that every woman’s assigned duty is to have children. Not at all.
But when I added the newly discovered infertility to my already present rheumatoid arthritis situation, I was a very angry woman, indeed. It wasn’t fair! Why should I take care of this body if it wasn’t going to take care of my wants and desires? I ate poorly. I did not exercise. I pitied myself. This went on for a fairly long time.
It took a while for me to grieve. Eventually I realized that no matter how much food I put in my belly, it wasn’t going to take the place of a child growing in my womb. No matter how much I drank, it would never be able to take away the desire to be a mother. And no matter how long I ignored my body’s needs, I would not suddenly be gifted with a new and better body. I was in this situation for the long haul. And I could choose how I reacted.
So I tried to turn the page. I joined a gym. I ate more healthfully. And I felt better. I danced with more fervor instead of just following the steps. I tried to praise what my body can do instead of what it cannot do. I even participated in a 5K run. And I cried. I still felt sorry for myself on occasion It isn’t a single, straight forward path to self-acceptance and making peace with your body. It still isn’t. I feel good about myself some days. I feel worse about myself other days. But as long as I don’t begin the self-destructive things I used to practice, I call the day a success.
Which brings me back to celebrating my innate femininity. I am a woman. And with that comes certain qualities, abilities, desires and innate character traits. Occasionally, those things about myself, about all women, just need to be embraced. So when a Living Social voucher showed up in my inbox for a photo shoot with five of my girlfriends for a good price, I decided to buy it. And then I contacted five of my favorite ladies. I couldn’t possibly have gotten all of my best girlfriends into a single photograph, but this was a start.
When schedules were arranged, wardrobe was chosen and the day finally came, we had ourselves a big girly day out. We wore our fancy outfits, had our hair and makeup done and posed for pictures like models or movies stars. We celebrated being who we are. Pregnant or barren, long hair or short, tall or not so tall, working in all forms of industry from fashion to entertainment to customer service to non-profit. We are all women. We are all different. And we are all beautiful and worthy of love from others and from and to ourselves.
Infertility is hard. If you struggle with it as I do, I hope you give yourself credit for what you accomplish on a day to day basis. Everyday that you don’t succumb to the negative emotions associated with your situation is a success. Everyday you celebrate who you are regardless of what you have or don’t have, you win. And any time you can score a couple hundred dollar deal for a reduced price and use it to bring your friends together to commemorate who you all are without judgement– do it. Take time to celebrate yourself, no matter where you are on your path. It’s worth it. You are worth it.