7/19/2005

Vain and not so glorious

Thanks to all who proposed the shockingly simple idea that I should perhaps have delayed the Provera until post-paper writing time. Unfortunately you did not take into account that I am both a glutton for punishment and the most impatient person in the world. Luckily it's like I never started taking Provera, that's how little it's affecting me. However, I'm inclined to believe that perhaps I'm always a bitch, so how would I know if it made me bitchier? A question for the ages...

Today I am brought to this little corner of the IF world seeking further validation. Yes, I know, perhaps I should seek a therapist or at the very least a "yes" woman to carry around in my purse so I always have someone to hand that can tell me that I am in fact normal and not within the domain of the criminally insane or emotionally vacant. My next confession is a horrible one.

I have been trying to get pregnant for the past three years. Some of that time was spent without medical assistance, though I knew it was pointless thanks to my PCOS and the fact that I never had periods. In the back of my mind all this time has been this niggling thought that if I did get pregnant, that all my body-related self esteem issues would worsen significantly. The pregnancy purists amongst you would say that it's a sacrifice I should be willing to make, but I don't know if it is.

I don't think I could possibly convey in words how much my body issues have affected my daily life. I am self-conscious in my professional life to the point of not being too vocal because I don't want people to focus on me. There is nothing about my appearance that I like even remotely, and I dread to think how people perceive me physically. A friend of mine sent me a link to an ebay auction for a dress I have been visiting obsessively in a local shop. The size of the dress in the auction is the size she thought me to be and I felt ill just thinking that I must look to other people. Sometimes I almost convince myself that I am thinner than I think I am, but things like this prove otherwise. My mother-in-law wants to get me bras and underwear for my birthday, and all I can think is that if she buys them too big, my birthday will be ruined. It will easily be enough to drive me to my bed, crying while The Dude stands there looking hopeless.

It isn't a matter of "Oh my god! If I get pregnant I might have stretch marks and I'll get really fat!", as it's more a matter of "Oh my god! If I get pregnant my body will have even more stretch marks to the point of having more stretchmarked skin than unblemished skin! I'll get even fatter and have to avoid cameras for another 5 years!" I know it seems like an easy problem to mentally overcome, but that's not happening so far. I also know that this situation could be easily remedied by hauling this mobile home I call an ass down to a gym or something, so no such preposterous suggestions please.

If someone is willing to find me the time to fit in a full-time job, part-time masters degree and gym time, as well banishing the ill effects (physical and emotional) of IF medications that lead me to feeling distinctly un-workoutable, I will give you a kiss. Not on the lips, but I guess I will if you want me to. I'm easy like that.

15 comments:

Em said...

I hear you...I am 5'10" and 14ish stone. That means if I get pregnant I will put on at least two stone, probably more. Even though I desperately want a baby I also think about what it will do to my body. I lose weight, I put it on. I have found it harder to lose weight since I've had hormone imbalances and I go through spurts at the gym. I would love to lose two stone but I can't be arsed doing the work. I need a distraction and I don't have an adequate one like when I did when I was getting sober and just smoked like a chimney.

MM said...

You, too? I've gotten to the point where I can't wait for summer, my absolute favorite season, to be over so that I shroud myself in layer upon layer and never have to glimpse my ripply self in a store window again. And I'm avoiding my skinny friends (that would be all of them) for fear that they may suggest that we go to the beach or go jogging or do anything else that might necessitate comparing my body to theirs. I just can't deal right now. Being as fertile as a desert plane is bad enough on a girl's ego. I already feel awful about myself knowing that I'm having a terribly hard time producing offspring, something that so many other women can do without even trying. So when I consider the fact that I'm also looking more and more like something that should be found in a circus sideshow circa 1894, I feel even more disgusting, unfeminine, etc. Because isn't that what women were put on this earth to do--make babies and look pretty? I can’t even imagine how gross I’ll feel if I actually do get pregnant. I like to think that I won’t mind the bulges and the stretch marks because I’ll be in earth mother mode, so consumed with giving life that all thoughts of my appearance disappear. But I seriously doubt that will be the case. I’ve never had a great relationship with my body and I don’t think pregnancy will change that for the better. So, yeah. I know what you're saying. Sorry for the soliloquy!! Great post, btw.

Internal Spring said...

Oh you are so not alone in those feelings! I've finally convinced myself that living here in suburbia it's okay to be fat, I can get fatter, I can let go. I will probably never be thin again - or until I'm post-menapausal, I'll definitely never be young again. Sometimes it can be so hard, there are so few hip clothes for chunky gals, but I can give that up to, can't give up wanting the child.

Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone.

Manuela said...

Oh, darlin'... how familiar are these sentiments I've just read in your post... only too...


First though... I just have to state again... your prose is wonderful... truly I have such admiration for your ability to compose such complex emotions with a voice that comes through with such tender vulnerability that is so clerverly tempered with that sharp wit of yours. To me I get the feeling that you're holding back... just a bit. It's beautiful... and tempting... and so unlike the emotional spewage I commit to print over at my page.

Anyway... enough of my filling your head...

So... your post... I do identify with what you're saying... I've experienced those types of feelings many a time... I'm currently avoiding seeing people I haven't seen in the last six months... because I have BALLOOONED. Sometimes I think that getting pregnant will make it easier... because then I'll have camouflage...

Pamplemousse said...

Yes, yes and more yes.

luminista said...

Oh, girl.

I truly started to get very emotional when I read your post just now. It's like you reached inside my own head and wrote what I myself had been feeling and thinking but so afraid to put into words for the past 2 years.

I desperatly wish I could reach across the Atlantic and wrap you up in a hug. Please know that you are not alone in how you feel - not by a long shot.

love,
Lumi

Dooneybug said...

If you find said person, let me know who. I could use some self planning to get my ass in gear. Of course, I'm sure it'd help if I quite drinking lattes and eating crossaints every morning. I would love to just hire people that tell me where I go next and make my meals for me. My own will just isn't strong enough but I could deal with other people doing the difficult things for me.

Lumi's right, you are not alone.

PJ said...

I wish I could get my magic wand out of the shop and fix it all for you ladies. I'm a big girl too, and I'm not exaggerating. I come from a family of larger women as well. It always made me so sad to see them struggle. My sister stuggled so much that she resorted to bulemia. It was a hard time for our family.

I know this is not something you want to hear or believe will work, but you just have to fake it. That's what worked for me. I've always been a big girl and been much larger than my friends. In the 7-8th grades is when I started faking it. By faking it, I mean not even thinking about my weight or how I might appear to others and pretending that I am gorgeous no matter what number is on the tag of the clothes that I'm wearing. I have a nice personality and can talk to people easily because I learned that those were very good assets. I'm very pleased with the clothing that's offered for the larger woman now adays compared to what was offered just about 15 years ago. Lane Bryant is the best store in the world.

I know this is not the advice you were looking for, but if you start out by faking it you'd be amazed at the reality that can follow.

Erin said...

The problem is geographic. People in England are far, far too thin. Move here, amongst the puffy white people. I promise it will do wonders for you self esteem.

Kisses all 'round, then!

Suz said...

The thought has crossed my mind (early and often as well). I try to stave it off by promising myself that as soon as I have a child, that I'll pay the money for a weight loss program (there are some good ones around here, but expensive) and loose the weight.

Molly said...

Sorry you're feeling like crap, friend. I still think you're hot shit.

tania said...

I can definitely understand where you're coming from. I say focus on you until you're done with the baby days and grad school and then get yourself a personal trainer.

I've been thinking about the whole concept of beauty and how it shapes who we are because of (get ready to laugh hysterically) Average Joe. Maybe it's one of the cheesiest shows on TV, but I just find it so damn fascinating! I really think there could be a college course on it!

OK. That did you no good whatsoever - my apologies. But I've been thinking about it. I've actually been looking forward to the pregnancy weight - it stretches out some of the bulges and firms things up, and then I have a reason to carry extra weight.

And like my mother always says "Pretty is as pretty does."

You do pretty and that's what matters.

Millie said...

How did you get inside my head? Seriously. You're so much more eloquent and thoughtful than the other voices in there.

I'm right there with you. Nice to know neither of us is alone.

Orodemniades said...

Yes, and yes.

Emma B. said...

Sorry to hear you're down, Pru. Weight issues and body dissatisfaction really suck, I know, and the pregnancy thing just compounds the issue. I'm at a normal weight now, but a couple of years ago I was over 200 lbs (at 5'5"), and I'm terrified that I'll get pregnant and gain it all back. So you're a long way from being the only woman in the world who regards pregnancy as a sacrifice on that front, and I don't think it's a horrible confession at all.

Don't beat yourself up about not working out right now, though. What I am finding is that I really only have enough emotional energy to care about one major self-improvement at a time. I used to be very focused on weight loss and exercise and all -- I even run a forum about it -- but these days I'm so much more focused on the pregnancy thing that I just can't get too excited about it. I maintain the status quo ante, which for me does include a fair amount of exercise, but I can't be bothered to step it up and work toward any major goals. IF is enough for anyone to handle, I think.

Glad to hear the Provera isn't being too hard on you!