Further to the thoughts about "feeling my feelings" from my last post, I've had a bit of an up and down day today.
I called my youngest sister in Australia this morning, and we had a good long chat, the kind we don't have often enough. She told me about her kids and how she's dealing with the middle one acting out in what we think is an effort to assert some kind of individual identity and the weekend away she and her husband had for their anniversary. I told her how I didn't get the job I interviewed for last week, which I was disappointed about, and how my husband works too much.
And I'm not sure how we got onto the subject of babies. Specifically, my babies, and the things that fill me with fear and dread when I think about having them.
The thing is, for years I've been saying I'm not sure about having kids, and that's partly true. I'm ambivalent because we live a pretty relaxed sort of life, and that would all change with kids. But it's only partly true, which I only realised today when my sister asked "taking away all the intellectual stuff, how do you FEEL?", and I burst into tears, because, yes, I do. One, anyway. No more than two, but at least one.
But here's the thing: I am very, very scared about it. I'm scared because I would probably get a lot of shit from doctors about being so fat and trying to have a baby. I'm scared because my period has been all fucked up for some years, and it might be related to my weight (I never had a problem till I got this fat, and that apparently can affect your hormones). I'm scared because I don't know how to model a healthy relationship with food or exercise, because I don't have one. I'm scared - and I'm ashamed that I'm scared - because I'm fat and my husband is fat, and that makes me think that our baby would be fat (although I suppose it's not necessarily a given - three quarters of our parents and all of our siblings are thin, and neither of us was actually that fat until well into adulthood), and I've been a fat person and it's pretty shit and part of me isn't sure I want to give that to another person. (Please note: this is not a judgement on any fat parents out there, I've never thought of this in conjunction with anyone else, it's just part of my package of fear.)
I'm scared because my weight has consumed so much of my life, and I am terrified that I'll be overinvolved or underinvolved, that I'll end up creating the same thing in my child that my mother, all unknowing, created in me.
So I decided to go with what I've been working on - I went and lay down and really went with it, and cried a lot, and breathed, and cried some more, and breathed some more, and... it wasn't as big when I got right into it.
It's still there, don't get me wrong. I do feel that before we should even try to start getting pregnant we have some work, physical and financial, to do. But it wasn't quite as big or quite as painful as I thought it might be.
But I'd be a good mother, fat, eating disordered, financially challenged or not. I would love my child and listen to them and support them. There are millions of shitty, neglectful, abusive parents in the world, and I'd beat all of them hollow, even if I was twice as fat.
And more, even if we had a fat baby who was a fat child and a fat adult, that doesn't mean their life wouldn't be worth living, that they wouldn't be deeply loved. And even if we had a thin baby, that wouldn't guarantee that their life was easy.
I think this is a fear I'll need to keep going back to for awhile, inviting it in and just letting it be what it is, if only so that I don't keep putting things off while I'm crushing it down and telling myself I don't mind.
And I have to take some action, not for the purpose of any changes in my body (though it'd be great if it would stop my feet hurting), but just so I'm getting in touch with how my body is feeling and what it wants, and so maybe some of the hormonal patterns get sorted out, and so I'm up for actual pregnancy and birth and parenting and all the rest of it.