Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

I hate my body, but not for reasons you might think.

Posted: July 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Autism, Body image, Breastfeeding Blog Hop, Breatfeeding | 17 Comments »

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop hosted by Life with Levi and co-hosted by Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and myself. Every Thursday and Friday the hop is open to link up your posts. Come join in the conversation!

I was all set to talk about breastfeeding and working out and not wanting to mess with my supply any further because I am almost to my 1 year goal and I kept thinking about how amazing this body is- no matter what it looks like. Once I meet my goal I’m going to try (you might have to hold me to it) to get back into working out. I have my 30-Day Shred DVD ready to go and I am not afraid to use it. Actually I am scared out of my mind. I like walking and walking hurts after that thing!

Thinking about body image after babies and breastfeeding always gets me thinking about how I had two pretty horrible pregnancies and I have always come out the other side and said I was proud of my body, no matter what it looks like. My body was amazing, it did it’s job! It may have taken a beating, but my babies are all perfect and healthy! And it didn’t stop at birth! It helped make them my chunky monkeys (or my little tank) even if it needed lots of cajoling. It worked! How could I not be proud?

Well, I feel like maybe my body has betrayed me more than we may ever know.

(I’m going off on a tangent here, just so you know.)

The latest autism study looked at Identical and Fraternal twins. The gist of the study is that unlike past studies, where the incidence of Fraternal twins with autism was much much lower than that found in identical Twins, they found that it’s NOT actually *that* much lower. So now instead of blaming autism on mostly genetics, we’re going to be looking at environmental factors. Particularly, the womb.

So, that horrific pregnancy? That single placenta that I was so proud of for keeping TTTS at bay and sustaining my boys to 36 weeks? Yeah…possibly to blame for AUTISM! That hyperemesis that had me popping zofran 3 times a day and hugging every toilet I came across during a 30 week period? Yeah….maybe something more going on there….Autism? That polyhydramnios that seemed so innocent? Just extra fluid you say, maybe it’s going to cause Autism! And PUPPPS…how can I forget you? Was there more to that itch that I should know about?

Obviously this is all speculation (it’s all my fault!), but I’m not feeling so proud of this body and all that it accomplished right now. I’m feeling pissed off and betrayed and it has nothing to do with what it looks like.

(Sigh)

Other than that, I would totally get a boob job. Seriously, this lopsided business has got to go.

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17 Comments on “I hate my body, but not for reasons you might think.”

  1. 1 motherwifeteacher said at 6:46 am on July 7th, 2011:

    You can't let yourself think that way. You just CAN'T. It'll make you crazy. Maybe there were environmental factors at play, maybe genetic, maybe both. The fact is, they don't know yet.

    We were told, after Kenneth died, that his HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome) was most likely just a random fluke. They didn't know exactly what caused it, but they were pretty confident in saying that it wasn't likely that it would happen again. Except…. I kept "meeting" mothers, mostly online, who had given birth to more than one HLHS baby. A while later, Cincinnati Children's released a study that pointed to a possible genetic link.

    Before the genetic study was released, I was convinced that it had to have been caused by something I did. Maybe I was exposed to some chemical inadvertently? I'd helped my parents gut an old house in my first trimester, after all. Maybe my body was defective? Maybe, maybe, maybe. The genetic study actually made me feel better, because hey, it was out of my hands from the beginning.

    This was out of your hands. Plenty of women have polyhydramnios and don't go on to have children with autism (me, with both of my boys). Same for the other complications you listed. You can't blame yourself. Sometimes, there isn't anyone to blame, it just sucks.

    By the way, totally with you on the boob job thing. I love my boobs when I'm pregnant/nursing, but once I stop nursing? Socks with rocks. Eek.

  2. 2 erinclot said at 2:18 pm on July 9th, 2011:

    Thank you. It's like the biggest roller coaster of them all, not knowing the cause and being bombarded with speculation all the time. I actually don't care what causes it. It doesn't change it, it doesn't cure it. It just divides this whole autism community because no one agrees.

    And yes. I do not have boobs that get bigger with pregnancy or breastfeeding, I just get more and more uneven. It's unsightly 😉

  3. 3 judy4education said at 10:27 am on July 7th, 2011:

    If I hear one more of these new theories about what causes kids to be born with disabilities I'm going to go insane. I liken it to what they do with food. Remember when they decided that butter was bad so everyone used margarine and then years later changed their mind? I'm pretty sure eggs were bad for at least a decade or two, but not anymore.

    Obviously what they do with these theories and studies for birth defects, etc. are much more damaging. I realize that they have to report findings and they learn things from this stuff they do, but so much of it is preliminary studies or theories and it's just too much. I just don't think they know(or care) what they do to us moms who have kids who were born with disabilities. We are hard enough on ourselves without their crazy findings all the time, which never really get proven one way or the other. People are still hashing out the whole Autism link to vaccinations and who knows if there will ever be conclusive evidence one way or the other.

    You have to let go of the guilt. You did the best you could with the information you and your Dr's had at the time. That should be enough.

    Hang in there. You're awesome just the way you are 🙂

    – Judy Moe
    http://jexploreseducationinmn.wordpress.com/

  4. 4 erinclot said at 2:20 pm on July 9th, 2011:

    Thank you! I think the thing with the studies is they are put out there and they really amount to nothing, but there they are. Just sitting there, speculating. I want to see the study that comes *after* this one. The one that dives deeper, not just numbers.

  5. 5 Candi said at 11:48 am on July 7th, 2011:

    I have a daughter with disabilities, and I've been down that road so many times- what if it was me? What did I do to make her this way? You can drive yourself crazy. What it comes down to is- you'll never know. All you can do now is love your kid the best that you can.

    And I wish boob jobs were covered by insurance! lol

  6. 6 erinclot said at 2:21 pm on July 9th, 2011:

    Yes, and YES! Thank you Candi!

  7. 7 Nicole H said at 2:51 pm on July 7th, 2011:

    You, my love, are being WAY too hard on yourself recently. (((hugs))) Just keep on being you and doing the best you can for your boys and stop blaming yourself for things that are out of your control. So what if your body IS responsible for their autism? Would you rather have not had any kids? Your body gave you the awesomeness that is L, W and J… and for that you should love it.

  8. 8 erinclot said at 2:22 pm on July 9th, 2011:

    I do love it for that. They are pretty much the sweetest little scamps I've ever seen. I know I'll snap out of this funk, maybe I need to start yoga with my husband, there might be something to that…

  9. 9 Yogidad said at 2:57 pm on July 7th, 2011:

    I love you honey.

  10. 10 erinclot said at 2:22 pm on July 9th, 2011:

    Yellow Blue Vase.

  11. 11 sooobig said at 5:10 pm on July 7th, 2011:

    I just read the actual research article behind the NYT article. It's at http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/arc…. For "strict autism", they are estimating the environmental factors at account for 55%, but genetics still account for 37%. For ASD (broad autism, including Asperger's), environmental factors account for 58%, and genetics accounts for 38% of variance. That being said – This study sums up the findings by saying: "Increasingly, evidence is accumulating that overt symptoms of autism emerge around the end of the first year of life. Because the prenatal environment and early postnatal environment are shared between twin individuals, we hypothesize that at least some of the environmental factors impacting susceptibility to autism exert their effect during this critical period of life." Basically, the environmental factors during the first year of life may be more important than was previously thought. So, future research will take into account both genetics and early environmental factors. It's not saying that you could have "caused" your child's autism, anymore than a parent of a child with cancer "caused" that. Don't be so hard on yourself! Hugs!

    Crystal http://www.SoooBigBlog.WordPress.com

  12. 12 erinclot said at 2:27 pm on July 9th, 2011:

    I'm trying to keep up the blinders and let these studies just pass me by. It certainly doesn't change anything. And even if it were true, I highly doubt they would have done anything differently, you know?

  13. 13 Janine said at 7:57 pm on July 7th, 2011:

    I adore you, and wholly agree with judy4education's comment.

    Even parents without disabled children have guilt. I am passing on genes for depression, anxiety and poor vision. Sometimes when I hit a low point I feel like an asshole for knowingly reproducing and passing that on. Whatever caused their autism was without your knowledge or permission and beyond your control.

    It is your bravery and LOVE for your boys that counts.

  14. 14 erinclot said at 2:28 pm on July 9th, 2011:

    The Mom guilt, it is STRONG!

  15. 15 Milk & Whimsy said at 2:57 pm on July 8th, 2011:

    I applaud you for having and caring for twins. We have twins in my family, and I know they are A LOT of work. You're the second person I've met who had PUPPS. The other person is, guess who?, the mother of the twins in my family. I also had PUPPS, but I had a singleton–a even rarer PUPPS case. Talk about a terrible terrible itch and when they strapped the monitors on me during labor I wanted to scream. That made it worse!

  16. 16 erinclot said at 2:30 pm on July 9th, 2011:

    A fellow PUPPPs survivor! I about itched myself raw leading up to their birth. It's like the worst thing they can throw at you when all you want is a break from being pregnant. Let me guess, all the PUPPPs babies in your family were boys?

  17. 17 Alisha said at 1:36 am on September 16th, 2013:

    It’s hard when we don’t know what causes autism but there are so many speculations. I’m pretty sure sneezing causes autism. I’m pregnant again after my autistic child. I’m sure none of those reasons are the cause. My first does not have autism but I had borderline HG and polyhydramnios. My 2nd, who had autism, had none of those problems. Just a textbook pregnancy, BUT she wanted to stay in the womb so we ended up inducing despite my opposition. With this one, I have HG and I’m miserable. I tried to do everything right as much as possible but now I struggle to live day to day.


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