So this week- it’s totally thrown me for a loop.
To be honest, I don’t know what to make of any of it. When I look back, there’s nothing I’d do differently. And the mystery of it all was why in the world did I get 2 positive pregnancy tests at home?
But I can’t dwell on that or I’ll go off the deep end.
Now I have a mysterious orb and there’s nothing in it. I’ve accepted that. My brain knows. And even though my heart wishes it was otherwise, I need to let my brain be in control so my body can accept the truth too.
I’ve been doing some online research about hysterical pregnancies. Here’s what I think happened: my body started experiencing symptoms it couldn’t explain. But the neural pathways I’ve got translated the unusual changes into something my brain had already experienced and could process- pregnancy. And I’m thinking that’s why my belly swelled. My body simply assumed I was preggers.
In order for me to bring my body back to a state of normal, I’ve got to convince my body it’s time to stop pretending like it’s carrying a bun in the oven. Otherwise, my tummy could stay swelled up like this for months. And let’s face it folks, bikini season is drawing near, and I actually stand a shot at participating in it this year.
Until the swelling goes down, I’ve got to figure out a way to hold my head up high. There is nothing I’ve done that I should be ashamed of.
And yet, old habits die hard.
Shame is a comfortable place for me to hang out. I’ve spent a good part of my life being ashamed of my body. I’ve also been ashamed of situations I’ve ended up in.
None of those situations was harder to deal with than when I had to walk into the Women’s Shelter in my home town. When you look at your babies (who were 3, 2, and 1) so innocent and carefree, and realize the only way they will stay that way is by admitting you need help and must admit what you’ve been enduring- it breaks you in two. As I had to talk to the counselor and describe the home life I’d had for the past 5 years- I was filled to the gills with shame. Because I knew I should have stopped it. But I couldn’t. Until that moment, sitting in that room on the second floor of the YWCA, letting the truth spill from my lips without making excuses to defend and protect the person who had been hurting me- I had never realized how much shame had built up in me.
When I started to diet, several years later, I found myself in the same type of place. Writing down what I ate in a food journal. To see the truth in black and white took courage I never knew I had. But that courage was coupled with a heaping dose of shame. I KNEW that 25 oreos wasn’t a serving. And I ate them anyway. What a shame that was.
When we experience situations like domestic violence, abuse, unhealthy relationships, and the like, we come face to face with shame. We are given the opportunity to deal with it, or continue wallowing in it until shame destroys us. I know there are other women like me, suffering shame in silence. And I’m here to tell you that no matter what you are going through- physical issues, relationship problems, mental illness, infertility, frustrations with body image (hey, even the Terminator/Governator is dealing with those!)- shame is never your best option. Instead, we need to deal with our issues head on. Be brave, and stand firm. We are human, and no one completely understands why some things happen. So we need to come to grips with the fact we aren’t perfect. And there is NO SHAME in that. None whatsoever.
For me, I found the best way of dealing with the inner demons of shame that a little levity goes a long way. Laughter can change your brain chemistry, and bring you back around to a healthy place. So the best thing for me to do is let a laughing brain and good attitude take the lead and put the hysterics of fun back into a hysterical pregnancy.
And FYI- hysterical pregnancies, while somewhat uncommon today, are still an issue for some women. (Especially those who are desperate to conceive again. Yeah, that sounds like me.) It also happens to cats and dogs, and happened to Mary Tudor- so at least even queens of England are susceptible. I consider myself to be the one woman who talks about the things no one else likes to talk about. This topic fits the bill. If you google a hysterical pregnancy, you get lots of medical journals talking about it, but not many firsthand accounts of how a woman is dealing with it. So I will proudly step up and share what I’ve been going through.
I FEEL VERY PREGNANT. I can feel things moving in my tummy, rolling around and thumping- which are probably muscle spasms my body is generating to keep the charade going. My pubic bone aches, and my back is in desperate need of a massage. Waves of nausea come and go, and I go from being not hungry at all to being ravenous. Food still doesn’t taste right to me, but things smell fine. And then of course, the belly- which I was hopefully stroking and rubbing and calling “Mama’s little miracles”- the swollen stomach with no explanation other than an off-kilter body chemistry. The quicker I bring my bring my body and brain into agreement about this subject, the better I will feel and look. My body has got to come to grips with what my brain knows is the truth.
So while I know I am not preggers, I do still LOOK like it. And I have already determined that’s going to be the hardest part of dealing with this whole mess. People asking questions like “How far along are you?” and the like. In usual Charlie fashion, I feel some new t-shirts might be in order to keep the questions (and belly rubbers) at bay. I compiled a list of some potential t-shirt ideas and I’m going to share them with you. A) Because laughter will not make this situation any worse off than it is but could help this move along quicker, and B) I’m a sucker for some smart alec quips slapped on a shirt.
Here’s what I’ve got so far.
My uterus called my belly’s bluff.
My tummy is just faking it for attention.
My belly missed being fat.
This is a REALLY BAD bee sting.
Never get a breast augmentation from a directionally challenged doctor.
I was profoundly affected by the movie ALIENS.
This tapeworm diet was a bad idea.
This is what happens when you eat baking soda and wash it down with a vinegar chaser.
My mom always said if I stuck my tongue out my face would freeze like that. I guess this applies to sticking out your belly too…
All the bubble gum I swallowed as a kid is working its way out.
Never hold in your farts, ladies, cause look what happens…
If this is how bad my bloating is, imagine how nasty my PMS is gonna be. Start running now…
My tummy likes to play family without me.
Maybe now I’ll get my own Lifetime Television made for women Movie.
Space for rent. Inquire within.
Swallowing the worm has serious side effects.
I’m just an out of work maternity supermodel…
I thought I was getting the fun kind of hysterical pregnancy.
See? I feel better already! Laughter helps me put things into proper perspective. And it helps me stave off the nagging desire to be ashamed that my body got so mixed up.
The one major positive I can take away from this whole experience- my body is ready for more babies. It jumped into action faster than the rest of me could. And if nothing else, I’m thankful I’ve got a body that’s ready for whatever comes next.
And with this “almost” pregnancy, at least I didn’t have to deal with hemorrhoids… there's something to celebrate!