First of all, thank you to Melissa DiMartino-Yuen for her entry. She gave me the courage to face up to myself and try to work past the pain I feel towards my body.
I’ve always been overweight. It’s just been a fact of my life. When I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 16, it made sense. And the doctor told me that unless I was on medication and under the care of a doctor, I’d probably never conceive and even then, there was no guarantee.
However, 3 years later, without being on the medications that made me feel less than human, and without trying at all, my husband, then boyfriend, conceived a baby. What a surprise it was. But I welcomed it.
But even though I’d never had body issues before, they began to slowly crop up during my pregnancy. Because of my weight, I never showed in the true sense of the word. I never had anyone ask when the baby was due. No one could tell I was pregnant. Even when I went to the doctor at eight months pregnant, she guessed I was just a few weeks along as I wasn’t showing.
But the feeling of that baby moving in my womb eclipsed it all. Besides the baby belly thing, I felt amazing. I felt normal, health wise, something that had never happened to me before. And it was amazing. And because I’d kept on my diet and stuff, I knew my pregnancy was normal. And I strived for a normal labour and delivery, a birth center birth. However, 30 hours into labour, I wasn’t progressing enough, my water had broken, and I was exhausted. I ended up in the hospital, with a pitocin drip and an epidural.
But I never lost my resolve to give my daughter the best entrance. So despite what the doctors wanted, I didn’t relent to a c-section. And I gave birth VAGINALLY to my beautiful 7 pound 3 ounce baby girl. It felt amazing to know I’d done it. The nurses even told me they thought I’d be a c-section for sure, due to my size. What a feeling.
But then the fun began. I’d set my heart on nursing, giving my daughter the best start. Helping her possibly avoid the obesity that plagued my life. And I did nurse her. She was a champion nurser. And the pride I felt in giving her that was amazing…the first few days.
And then she began to scream. She quit wetting diapers. Her fontanel sunk in. My baby was sick, and I knew why. My milk never came in. And an IBCLC confirmed my worst fears: I couldn’t breastfeed. During puberty, my breasts never developed. And during pregnancy, they still didn’t develop. The PCOS that hadn’t hurt my ability to conceive apparently did make it impossible for me to feed my daughter. I’d never felt any breast tenderness. And no one asked. When I should have been preparing myself in pregnancy, I was dealing with so much else. So, all of a sudden, I had a bottle-fed baby. And I hated my body for it.
I feel betrayed. I feel like less of a woman. I know I am a woman, I gave birth. But I feel like LESS because I couldn’t give my daughter the very best. I feel ugly and deformed. And it hurts me everytime I make her a bottle because I’m missing out on a glorious part of motherhood. She’s missing out on so much health and bond promoting goodness.
Thank you for this site. It’s really cathartic to write this. I’m crying, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere. I did my best to give my daughter the best. I struggled with fenugreek, SNSs, pumps, etc for 7 weeks before she weaned. I know I did everything I could. But it’s still something that hurts. And it will for a long time.
Here are my pictures: