I miss playing soccer. I played throughout my youth, and I had natural talent. I was a good player on a good team and I didn't have to try. I went to practice but I never did extra conditioning and only went to soccer camp if our coach required it. I never remember thinking about how to be better at soccer, or having much anxiety about how I should work really hard to succeed at it. My body just worked that way. I wanted it to do something, and it did it.I know a lot of women have never shared my experience in sports or even felt athletic, but many of these women have felt the same careless ease with their bodies in their experiences with pregnancy and childbirth. They get pregnant, and their bodies just work! And 9 months later, a beautiful, moving, crying, warm and living baby who fits just right in their arms arrives, and they are mothers for the first, second, even fifth and sixth time. I rejoice for these women. But I am afraid I am not one of them. My body just failed to carry a third baby to full term. My sweet little Luella was born at 19 weeks 4 days one month ago today. She was so sweet, and so healthy, and nothing was wrong with her, but my body failed to do its part by keeping her inside, nourished, and safe from harm. Instead, I started laboring at 3am, on January 13th for no known reason. My reproductive system just shut down, and betrayed my sweet, perfect baby. This same thing happened on May 29th, 2016, when I was 20 weeks 2 days pregnant with my darling Cora Iris. I also had a 12 weeks loss in October of 2014. Tests results have revealed no answers.
I vacillate between resenting my body and feeling sorry for it and its inability to succeed. In the meantime, the desire that God has planted in my heart to nurture and love these little babies motivates me to eat healthy, exercise, obtain any necessary operation and treatment, and follow every doctor's order, but my body still has not functioned the way so many other women's do without any intervention at all. And while they tell me I still have hope, they cannot yet articulate a path to success.
I was taught that my body is a temple, something to be grateful for, proud of, and protected, even though it was inevitably flawed. I think I still believe that. But I miss the feeling of having my body work without trying. I miss playing soccer.