I’ve heard fellow loss moms talk about the body issues associated with losing a child before they are born. I’ve never had issues with body dysmorphia; it’s just never been something that I’ve struggled with, but I do have issues with my postpartum body.
Not that I hate my appearance, because I love every stretch mark and curve, every sign of the nine long months I nurtured my son. These are my mommy badges, and I often think that I have trouble letting go of the weight because it’s one more link to him.
What I do have struggle with are the conversations. It simply isn’t possible to say the words, “when I was pregnant,” and not have someone ask about my child. And as much as I love talking about my son, there are days that I just need to get through the grocery store and the rest of my errands and not have to explain to strangers that no–I’m not currently pregnant; I’m just grieving, and I didn’t even realize I was stroking my stomach in a public place.
And sometimes I worry that this makes me a bad mother…and sometimes I want to throw things and just walk away. Why are people so damn nosy in our culture anyway?
About three months ago, I started trying to lose weight. It’s been hard; I was overweight prior to pregnancy, and I gained far more during pregnancy than the doctors liked. But for a few reasons, it was also necessary; I also know that psychologically, I needed something I could control.
Today, I put on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. They are tight, and my body fills them differently, but they do fit. And this, surprisingly, is also hard for me–as hard as I worked to get here, as much as I thought wearing “normal” clothing would be a cure for at least part of what ails me, I also miss it. I miss being pregnant. I miss my beautiful giant belly. I miss being proud of my mommy body.
I miss my son.
Adrian James Hernandez died six months ago this morning. My body; my whole world will never be the same.