Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. Her work is incredibly powerful. Her art, to me, was born out of tragedy, pain and heartache. An eternal ache from love, both for her husband (Diego Rivera) and the babies she loved and wanted, but was unable to have.
This particular piece is of her, lying naked and vulnerable in a hospital bed after having a miscarriage. It’s a boy and she holds in her hand all the connections to the various parts of her experience. From this site, it goes on to explain what each of the items in the image represent. The tear in her eye is obvious, the visible boy in the image is the manifestation of love for her husband, a piece of him that she could never have, Dieguito. The snail representing the slow process that a miscarriage can be, the female torso, the “cruel” looking machine to represent the mechanical part of the whole process, and lastly, the image of her broken pelvis.
This broken pelvis in her world represented an incredible amount of physical pain and I would imagine an incredible amount of emotional pain. For this “broken” part of her took away so much, including her ability to carry a child to term.
With Frida, I identify. In many ways, I always have, on so many different levels. In this specific case, I identify because of my broken body. Outwardly, perhaps no one can tell just how broken it is. My blood holds all my secrets. All my illness. My blood is what contains the clues of how sick I am. How sick I have been.
This is the cause for my Infertility. This is the cause for my miscarriages. This will more than likely be the cause of an earlier-than-hoped-for demise. This is the cause of my feeling so old, even though I am still so young.
Today, I went to a new doctor, an OB/GYN, to follow-up on my D&E procedure that I had almost two weeks ago. I was not able to return to Dr. J. Well, that’s not true, I was more than able, I am unwilling to return to his care, and I use that term quite loosely. I felt from the start that he was not very comfortable with the nature of my high risk pregnancy. He didn’t have to say it outright, I could sense it. I could sense it in his body language. I could sense it in the way he promised to do certain things and never followed through. Why? Well, because this baby would surely die anyway, why bother? That’s the way he made me feel. And many times I wished to leave his practice, but, I felt like I had not choice as we were already so intertwined with his practice and other doctors were already involved in managing my care, that he was mainly only there to check the heartbeat from time to time or just refer me out to someone else.
So, I went out to find a new OB/GYN that would be comfortable with me. That would show me the compassion I so deserve and to also make me feel that they are an integral part on my medical team. Someone, that should I get pregnant again, would be by my side and help guide me and be able to ease me through the anxiety I’d feel should I ever get pregnant again. That won’t think I’m crazy because I want my blood tested every other day in the first few weeks of pregnancy to ensure my pregnancy hormones are going up as they should. Someone that will actually call me and check in after they learn of a loss and not just avoid me or send me away.
After my experience over the past few months, I made a promise to myself. That any professional I would seek out to have on my team, I would speak up and ask direct questions. I did that today. I needed to know if I was within her comfort zone. It’s okay if I wasn’t, I just needed to know now instead of when I needed the care and then felt treated as if I were a dirty dish rag that no one wanted to touch.
As delicately as she could put it; I am beyond her comfort zone. I was lead to believe that I’d be more than likely beyond any OB’s comfort zone. Perhaps I’d be better suited having all prenatal care in the hands of a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) doctor only. I already have one of those, but he, like many MFM doctors, only co-manages care.
And although she didn’t bring it up first, I mentioned surrogacy. And was told that if finances were of no concern, it’s perhaps a more viable option to consider, considering my complications and medical history. This is the second doctor that has had recent contact with me that has said that perhaps surrogacy is an option I should consider. Pregnancy is already hard on one’s body, my body is already working hard enough. Pregnancy will only complicate it more. And afterall, she said, I still have to Mother my child after pregnancy. I got the distinct feeling that what she was saying is that my conditions could risk my life during pregnancy.
Talk about feeling broken.
Broken heart. Broken spirit. Broken body.