A few weeks ago, the excellent Suzanne Reisman kicked off the Letter to My Body project at BlogHer and now I get to carry the torch forward and invite you to write a letter to your body.
The way this project works is that you will be invited today to write a letter to your body and add a link to it in the Mr. Linky (at first I wanted to ask why it was Mr. Linky and not Ms. Linky? But then I logged onto the site and realized the name of the program is really Mr. Linky) feature over on this BlogHer post (you do not need to have a BlogHer account to add your link). I will then choose several letters and pass them on to the next torch carrying BlogHer CE who will present them in a post, invite more people to write a letter to their body, and provide their own letter. Two weeks from now, the next set of letters and invitation will appear.There is more over on this BlogHer post reflecting on the last batch of letters, but I'd really like to take a moment to focus on us. Because, damn it, it should be about us. Who the hell is more in-tune with their body than people who have a medical crisis? People barely pay attention to their body until it isn't working properly and I went from vaguely remembering from my old Women's Studies classes that cervical mucous existed to knowing my daily E2 levels. I went from wondering whether the boys at the 7-11 were checking out my ass to wondering what others were thinking about my body when I couldn't conceive.
Infertility affects how you feel as a woman.
The first call for letters received 89 submissions at last check. I'd like to double that or triple that--make the world see how women experiencing infertility (functional or biological) feel about their bodies. The love or hate they have for their uteruses, ovaries, and cervixes. BlogHer is a national forum and this campaign is gaining media attention and I would really like the greater world to hear our voices.
It is very easy to participate. Go back to your blog and write your own letter. Make it as long or as short as you need. Copy the permalink and go to this post at BlogHer. Enter your blogging name and the permanent url of your post in the special linking feature at the bottom of the post. Some of these letters will be chosen to be discussed in the next editor's post on this campaign as I did for the letters that were chosen from Suzanne's post (you'll have to go over to BlogHer to see what I mean in the middle of the post I wrote over there). You don't have to write it today, but please try to make it a post within the next week. There is no right or wrong way to do this. People have used pictures, poems, music, and words to describe how they feel about their body.
I'll start. This is my letter to my body.
I think we know each other pretty well by this point; best friends more than general acquaintances. So I think I can be frank with you and not have it ruin our relationship. Since best friends let each other know when they have food stuck between their teeth or when they're acting like a raving bitch. Body, I think you know in your heart what I'm going to say. You've really let me down.
First there was the whole getting pregnant thing and then hanging on to a pregnancy beyond a few weeks thing. Then there was the premature ovarian failure and the extra short luteal phase. The clotting factors--not just the more common MTHFR which I can actually find information about but the more bizarre PA1 4G/4G allele that doesn't seem to included in any books I've found containing information on reproductive hematology. And you know I like to Google, so why would you do that to me? Then there was the whole premature delivery of the twins and the IUGR and their NICU experience. And then after all of that, you have the nerve to not produce any prolactin so I can't breastfeed. Seriously.
I think I've been a pretty good friend to you. I don't complain aloud too much about my ass or stomach--both of which bother me, but I'm picking my battles with you. I give you good food and until a few years ago, I ran every single morning. If you have a problem with me, I'd want you to tell me.
You know how some people will listen to your litany of reasons why your friend is an ass (an annoying yet lovable ass; not one of those detrimental-to-your-mental-health type women) and they give you the advice to dump them? Well, I never tell people that because I know that it takes a long time to make a good friend and that those who tell you to get rid of someone have never had a friend dig her way into their heart and settle down somewhere between ventricles and atriums. Perhaps their friendships simply aren't that deep, therefore they can see more merit in letting someone go than weathering a storm.
I don't give that advice because of my relationship with you. If I focus only on the ways you've let me down, I'm not being true to the big picture. You give my husband two boobs to fondle, you give me legs strong enough to run 5Ks, you give me thick hair and long lashes. You provided a space for my assisted-conception children to grow and let me experience--at least once--that feeling of a baby kicking inside. And you also gently reminded me later on after the kids were out that the kicks feel exactly the same if they're squirming inside of you or outside of you against your belly. And that lesson maybe wasn't one I wanted to hear yet but thank you for telling me the truth so I know when to stop pushing you to let me experience pregnancy again. And most of all, I really do love you. Even when I'm being a bitch myself and complaining non-stop about you. I don't really mean it so please never dump me. No matter what type of ass I become.