By Claudia Saide | Photography by SUKILYNN
You know what sucks? Always being the thin girl. Before you jump down my throat, give me a chance to explain, I really need to get this out.
Growing up I was always the skinny one. I ate whatever I wanted (although for whatever reason actually preferred salads), and never had to worry. My parents would call me a string bean and tell me that when I turned to the side I disappeared. Yeah, it was like that.
Don’t get me wrong here, I feel very blessed and lucky for my good genes and speedy metabolism. I’d watched most of my friends and even my own sister struggle with weight and food, and I knew I was lucky that I never had to go through any of that. I liked being the thin one, even if at times I felt scrawny and weak. It definitely seemed easier than the alternative.
Those genes stayed more or less intact, although I’ve definitely helped them along the way with a healthy diet and a true love for exercise. But then it all got messed up. All it took was one trauma to fuck me way up.
You see, I’d been trying to get pregnant for over a year, and after a shitload of hormone pills, monthly injections, and an IUI, it finally happened. I was sicker than ever, and could barely stare at a computer screen to get my work done, let alone bend down to give my son a proper bath. Honestly though, I tried my hardest not to complain. I was just so happy that I was finally getting a sibling for Henri.
I gained weight so quickly. Everything made me nauseous, yet the vomit just would not leave my body ever, and all I could tolerate was plain bread and dry cereal. Normally I don’t eat much of that sort of stuff. Normally I choose to eat clean and healthy, so I guess since my body wasn’t exactly used to refined carbs, I blew up really, really fast.
I couldn’t hide it. By 14 weeks I had to announce, even though all I wanted to do was hide. Naturally, my close friends and family were really happy for me. They knew I was struggling to get here, which is exactly why I really wanted to stay in hiding. It was so difficult to even get pregnant in the first place that I didn’t want to talk about it. In some weird way I felt like I’d be jinxed once I admitted it. Obviously, I told myself that I was being crazy, and that people knowing wouldn’t change anything, but I was just nervous.
I was a little over 19 weeks when I was having a routine sonogram. At first everything seemed fine. I’m not gonna get deep into how I was told the sex of the baby literally five minutes before I was taken into this scary little room where a doctor sat waiting for me anxiously. She didn’t even have to speak. I already knew what she was going to say. It was over. My nightmare came to life.
Coming back from that has obviously not been a cake-walk. Forget about the loss, and the sadness, and the anger, and the blame. It was the shame that got me the most. And that shame still comes with me everywhere. Even if I had wanted to hide it, it was impossible, because there I was, not pregnant anymore, with milk busting through my chest and hips getting ready for birthing. I was fifteen pounds larger, and for what? Nothing. I didn’t get a baby in the end. I just got fat. For no reason. And my body still reminds me of that every day. Every single day.
And trust me, I’ve been working harder than I ever did in my life to get my old body back. My friends kill me for being addicted to exercise and never eating anything fun anymore. But I just want to feel like myself again. When I had Henri, I could care less about the weight I’d gained. Obviously I wanted to lose it, but I’d had an actual baby and I was okay with it taking time.
But right now all I want is to fit into my clothes again, and to look like the person I’ve been all my life. And although I definitely lost the bulk of the weight I put on for basically no reason, I see three pounds lingering. It annoys me. Even if most people don’t see it, I still do.
So I don’t want to hear that I’m being ridiculous and that I’m so skinny, and I don’t wanna hear that I look great and I need to stop worrying so much. I know I look thin to the rest of the world, but when I take my clothes off I’m reminded of that tragic little hiccup. I mean, in two weeks I was supposed to be having a baby. It’s not very easy to forget that.
I know that in no time I’ll look and feel like me again. Right now though, I’m just not there. And until that last pound is gone, I don’t think I can fully recover. I just can’t get past it.
So please just let me have the space I need to feel the way I’m feeling. I know that people struggle with much worse, but this is my struggle, and for me it isn’t easy. So just give me the minute I need, right now I honestly think that I deserve it.