body image

Thank you to everyone who has commented here and elsewhere following my miscarriage. These acts of kindness and solidarity have helped me stay buoyant and I am truly grateful. I have also been amazed by how many people have a story of loss of their own, or that of a loved one, to share. We don’t hear too much about miscarriage but it is happening all around us.

Although our sprout only measured 8.5 weeks, I think he or she was still growing, slowly, up past 11 weeks, because my belly continued to push out at least until then. It wasn’t until I noticed spotting less than a week ago (!) that it seemed like my belly was smaller, the perception of which I was at first able to attribute to a combination of paranoia and optical illusion.

Since I miscarried on Saturday, I have been watching my belly flatten back down as my uterus shrinks. I took a picture today – four days afterward – to compare to my 12 week photo, which had been taken four days prior to miscarrying.

12 weeks - Saturday minus four

I wore the same shirt for comparison:

zero weeks - Saturday plus four

I know it has only been a few days, but I love the way my body has changed, and if I never see the flat stomach of my youth again I won’t care for a second. This soft curve reminds me that, no, I’m not back where I started from; I’m in a new place altogether. My uterus has stretched with life and I have seen with my own eyes that my body is capable of performing one of the most miraculous processes that occurs on this planet.

I have always found women’s bodies incredibly beautiful, the gentle rises and falls, the soft padded flesh. Pregnancy accentuates these physical attributes. But I have experienced an accompanying mental shift, too. As my body has softened so have my very thoughts, slowing, mellowing, brightening until my womanly body has an interior to match.

We’re not back to the beginning, but we are starting again.

***

I took a pregnancy test about an hour ago to see what’s happening with my hormones. The line came up only very faint, which I think is good news because it means my HCG is already very low. I could ovulate again in a mere few weeks, and as there is no medical reason to wait, we won’t. (I do have a follow-up appointment with my doctor next week, though.)

Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy the other wonderful aspects of my life, for which I am grateful:

  • My husband. Even if nothing good were to happen to me for the rest of my life, I could still die a happy woman because he is my partner.
  • The first of the spring weather. It is 16 degrees today and sunny. The windows are open allowing a fresh breeze in, the birds are busily catching up, and the (indoor) cats are delighted with both.
  • Humour. Ah, it feels good to smile and laugh. Thank goddess for The Office.

Mostly I am grateful that my biggest personal concern is wondering when I will be able to fulfill my intense desire to have a child. If I were in another part of the world, or if I were another species, my problems could be much graver. Of course our own problems always loom large, but when I can remember to keep perspective, I know that I am one of the lucky ones.

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