A BlogHer editor has asked for our participation in a project started at BlogHer. You don’t have to be a member. Here’s the assignment: Write a letter to your body and add your URL to the end of Mel’s BlogHer post. Let’s overwhelm them. As she points out, few women know their bodies better than infertile women.
I’m also asking for your help here for another reason. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’m tired of playing second fiddle to the ‘Mommy Bloggers.’ I find it, well, insulting that the Infertility bloggers at BlogHer are hidden under the Health and Wellness tab. While there are many other topics covered by fine writers on the site, the “Mommy” bloggers dominate. It’s hard to miss them. (As an aside: I am dumbfounded at how blissfully unaware they are about how their photo/avatars — the vast majority of which contain their babies’ faces front and center — can make other women feel. They’re clearly not worried that those images can be heartbreaking at worst and off-putting at best for those who have fertility issues.)
As I try to come to terms with my inability to conceive and the identity and self-esteem issues that infertility raises, I have to make sure I’m in the right frame of mind to visit the BlogHer site. While I’m an Infertility blogger I don’t use a photo of my endometriosis riddled uterus to represent myself. I had suggested before joining the ad network that the site separate out the “Mommies” and their concerns as one section and allow ‘Family’ as its own section. Single women have families. Infertile women are part of families. Family issues involve older relatives as well as children, so why is it only Mommies can have families? Yes, I’ve had some difficulty fitting into BlogHer. My letter, I hope, helps explain why:
When I was 14 I fell in love with you. I was in awe of you. Your new-found curves made me see myself in a whole new light. Your powerful rhythm every 28 days reminded me, continuously, that I was built to conceive and nurture life. You instilled in me a sense of power and sensuality in a way that made me feel special, feminine, a part of a long line of women who had withstood pain to bring forth a new generation.
When I turned 29 I longed to put you to work. To feel the sensation of life fluttering inside my womb, to watch my ample breasts fill with milk, to see my tiny waistline disappear. Every 28 days I waited for a sign. And waited and waited. It didn’t come.
By my early 30s I was angry with you. Throughout that decade you systematically robbed me of my innocence. Poked, prodded and then treated by hormones prescribed by an army of specialists, you refused to comply. I pleaded with you, humbled by the complexity required to allow a little a tiny mass of cells to implant and grow. Surgery upon surgery. Prayer upon prayer. Month upon month upon month, upon years and you remained unwilling to cooperate.
Now in my 40s I am trying to make peace with you. You are a riddle wrapped in an enigma. You have the toned and lean silhouette of a 20-something. With your impossibly long legs and hour glass figure you can still dazzle in an evening gown. Strangers would have no idea that you harbor a barren, inhospitable womb. You are my body and soon will lose the last shred of hope that has sustained me through the hardest months: the promise of ever conceiving life. You’ve kept from me the baby I hoped to create with my husband and raise with all of the wonder that comes with seeing the world again through the eyes of a new generation.
I believe in time we can become friends again. Yours, Pamela Jeanne