First, the stats:
Cycle Day 34, Day 8 of provera, with 4 more to go. Looking at the next cycle starting somewhere between the 24th and the 28th of September (CD41-45) So we are waiting to wait to wait. This distance from the process while still actively contributing to it is surprisingly nice. This must be one of the outer layers of limbo where things are just kind of hard, instead of full scale shitty.
This weekend, La and I took baby Liam overnight so his mom and dad could celebrate their anniversary (with take out chinese and sleeping in.) Cletus the bulldog was, of course, in love. At 7 weeks old, Liam is pushing 13lbs. He is also so so long, although I don’t have stats. Our people are big people. Of note, I find this a truly endearing quality in Liam but not so much in myself (see below.) Hmm, I suspect gender stereotypes are at play, even when I’d prefer they not.
Finally got my test results back from last weeks blood draw [side note: why is it that something you didn’t know before a blood draw was no big deal but as soon as you have to wait for results it feels like themostimportantthing?]
Mostly, they are good. I don’t have the run down in front of me, but it basically works out like this:
Metabolic labs (insulin, glucose, something else like this that measures insulin over the last month): all normal. I do not appear to be insulin resistant which is a score on a lot of levels. There was some confusion about whether I was fasting for the draw or not (I wasn’t) but I believe that was a question primarily because HAD I been, my insulin would have been very high.
Hormone labs (testosterone, adrostene, etc.): high, although mostly only slightly high.
Because Dr. G just left a message on my VM, I didn’t have a chance to ask what all of this means. He mentioned that the metformin would probably only be prescribed if I had been fasting. So I’m thinking I’m going to get to dodge that particular bullet. He also mentioned another medication to block the male hormones, although the name he rattled off (which of course I can only, at best, guess how to spell) I haven’t been able to find.
I’m having a lot of feels about this. I mean, from the most pure medical-baby-making perspective, I’m glad to have some answers and the potential to get some support with balancing hormones to help me get knocked up.
But there is never, ever just that. Not when it comes to bodies.
I haven’t written a whole lot about how my feelings, past and present, about my body have contributed to how this process plays out for me. I have harbored a fear from nearly the start of this process that my body will not be able to get pregnant. I have felt this despite hearing – from doctors, nurses, clinicians, friends and my badass partner – that there is no reason to think this would be the case. I have assumed that my fatness would preclude me from being pregnant, because I have heard all of my life that my fatness stands in the way of my happiness (even though I do not believe this to be true, nor does it bear out in reality.) The messages I have received about my worthiness as a fat woman all of my life are not so easy to just discard.
My fatness is, for me, deeply tied up with my gender identity and presentation. I identify as femme, and that is an important part of my understanding of myself and the way I move in the world. It has been a rough road getting to a place where I embrace and perform my femmeness in unapologetic ways that feed me. For a very long time, I shied away from me desire to present and identify as femme because our culture divorces fatness from femininity. I feared being perceived as a joke, a caricature, of femininity and so I dressed and acted in ways that I didn’t feel good for me. Couple this with the fact that I am tall – just shy of 6ft with no shoes. I am, in all ways, BIG. I have giant hands, ski size feet, a big head. There is nothing petite or dainty about me. I have been mistaken for a man even when I was presenting in a culturally feminine way.
So these test results pull on my understanding of myself. On the one hand, I am irrationally proud of my metabolic panels. While I know that my choices about food and activity have likely contributed to having good labs here, I also know that insulin resistance is not the result of ‘poor lifestyle choice.’ (a term I don’t particularly like for a lot of reasons) and, particularly in PCOS, is a symptom, not a cause. The great obesity spectre tells us that fat people are doomed to poor health, and while I don’t really think someone else’s health is any of my damned business, I am also really like that I am not reifying that bullshit. I like having this confirmation that my fatness is not actually indicative of my health, even though I know full well that is the case, labs be damned. I don’t like that these feelings adhere to the cultural trope around fatness and health, that I maybe feel good about this because I am a ‘good fatty.’ I work hard to live out an ideal that ALL bodies are good bodies. So this is hard in a messy way.
But hearing that my levels of male hormones are elevated pulls on a whole other part of me. Despite how deeply I feel that femme describes and fits me as a gender identity, I have long felt like a fraud. This seems to make that so. This isn’t rational, it doesn’t make sense, not even to me. I know that bodies do not dictate genders, I work to live in a world where any constellation of bodies and identities can coexist. So why is it so hard for me to not feel like these lab results say something about me? As judgement free as my doctor (and probably every one else) is about what these results MEAN, there is a button that got pushed hearing those words.
Of course, it doesn’t help that all of this is coming up about pregnancy. After all, what better marker of femininity exists than being a MOTHER? Yet another thing I don’t believe but feel on a deep, deep level. All of this is getting messed up, crossed wires, in my head and my heart and it feels so, so messy.
Its amazing how things we can hold and sustain for other people come tumbling down in the face of our own struggles, the long buried narratives that still can have power over us.
To cheer myself up today I put on the most babely outfit I could come up with. And then I took a picture and posted it. Because sometimes we fake it until we can make it, and we let our social networks help out.
My guess is that these feelings, although coming up due in part to my unique circumstance, aren’t exactly unique. Other queer femme mamas or mama-wannabes out there who have struggled with this? Fat mamas? Folks who in general have had to feel all the feelings about the intersection pf parenthood (gestational and otherwise) and bodies (so, everyone?!)?