Thursday, December 8, 2011

Miscarriage, Fertility, and my Broken Body

My body is broken. 

I've known that truth for a long time, but the awareness of my physical brokenness had been purely intellectual until this year.

Since the miscarriage, grief has been an unwelcome companion. But this grief is not simple; it is like living near a swarm of bees. Sometimes one bee finds me and brings a quick, sharp pain. Other times, the bees are simply a cloud hanging over the sun. Without a moment's rest, they are always moving, changing shape, dodging in and out from darkness to light. I never know where they're going or what dust they're going to kick up.

This year, I have not simply mourned for our baby or for the difficulty of trying to conceive again, but for the first time I am grieving the brokenness of my body. This formerly-intellectual concept has become real

It has been eight months since the miscarriage. In these eight months I have had six cycles and only ovulated thrice. My body has not gone back to its pre-hormonal-tidal-wave normal. (Before the pregnancy, I had long, anovulatory cycles occasionally, but they were the exception to the rule.)

My persistent hormonal imbalance has caused me a fair amount of guilt. In trying to conceive again, I am the problem. My body is the problem. 

I am doing every reasonable thing I can to fix myself. (I'm in the eat-right-and-exercise-for-health camp in general, so most of what I've been doing can be found at Donielle's fabulous blog, Naturally Knocked Up.) My husband has picked up on my desire to fix my body, and he's called me out on it: "Laura, do you realize that you're expecting your body to act like a machine? It's only frustrating you because that's not what your body is; your body is a flawed system." (Can you tell he's in grad school?)

In trying to fix my hormonal imbalance, I have forgotten that I am dealing with a vessel that always has been and always will be (until That Day) broken.

Yes, I can strive for healing and wholeness. Of course it's wise and responsible to take care of my body as best as I am able, to partner with God in the restoration of creation. But if my goal is to fix myself, to achieve total bodily health, I will fail. 

I admit that I have been grasping for something that is not there. 

So I focus on the Christ-child who took on the form of a human body. If the incarnation was only about God coming down to Earth, it would've simply been called the descension. But the in-carn-ation was also about God taking on human flesh. He entered creation to redeem it, allowing his body to be broken for your body and for mine. 

I breathe deeply, inhaling this truth: My hope does not lie in fixing my own body, but in his resurrected body. My hope does not lie in having a baby of my own, but in Yeshua, the baby of Mary.

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings;
Mild he lays His glory by, born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth;
Hark the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

'Baby Jesus         Church Donation' photo (c) 2009, maxine1313 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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