Being betrayed by your body is earth-shattering.
I have heard this sentiment echoed over and over by a multitude of women both in my life and online. We each have expectations for our bodies and, when our bodies don't live up, we are crushed. Be it an inability to breastfeed or an inability to bear life at all, the disappointment can be life-altering.
I write this with a newborn baby seeking sleep on my chest. My second child. She is beautiful. And she is tiny. She is tiny because she was born into this world 7 weeks too early, just like my wonderful 2-year-old son. I am fortunate in that they are both healthy and, thus far, perfect.
My body grew these babies. I nourished them and protected them and prayed over them as they grew, swelling my belly with their life. But, it wasn't enough. They each came into this world too soon because my body would carry them no longer. And, no matter what I willed, the body does what it does.
With my newest gift from God, I had a c-section. As they were stitching me up, my OB asked casually, not really seeking an answer, if I planned to have more children. My response to him was that I was unsure, as I feel that two healthy preemies is more than anyone might hope for. His response? "You may as well be done. You can't carry them to term anyway." As if it was as simple as that. That, at 22, I should just be resigned to the idea that I will never have anymore children.
I have tried not to be consumed by the seeming inevitability of me not carrying anymore of my own children. I have two wonderful, stunning children as it is. How selfish is it of me to want more?
But I cannot help feeling betrayed. I cannot help but have feelings of disappointment in my own body for being unable to deliver the family I had dreamed about.
I fear that my preoccupation with these thoughts and feelings are taking away from the precious 10-week-old I cuddle at this moment. I am afraid that I will spend her entire infancy preoccupied on the infants I may never create.
The best I can do is pray that I may find peace in the perfect family I have now, that my heart will not want for babies that may never be. I must focus on the children I do have and give them all of the love that they deserve.
When I was younger, I always talked about wanted to adopt children. Maybe this has been put in my path for that reason. Like so much in my life, I can only assume that the only one who knows is God. And also like so much in my life, I have to leave it in His hands.