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    BODY

    Smelly, Raw, and Out Of My Control

    The Compost Heap of Motherhood

    I am fertile with contradictions, beset by exhaustion, love, worry and joy in a mud pie that can taste terrible. I’m touching deeper grief and sadness than anything I’ve experienced before. Every relationship is changing—with my parents, my career, my body, my husband. Even my relationship with time and space is changing, fundamental understandings of the world around me that gave me a sense of ease.

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    HEALTH

    Worry Was My Insurance Policy

    But it Couldn’t Protect Me from Infertility

    By the time I’d scheduled a consultation with a fertility clinic, I’d been trying to get pregnant for over five years. Normally a generalized aura, my worry had morphed into a hot, sweaty, magnetic force field. It drew in all of my fears so I could study them up close: I worried about the expense and my age; the tests, the results; and the side effects of the hormones I would have to inject into my stomach and thighs. I worried it wouldn’t work and I’d never have a family.

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    BODY

    When “Like Mother, Like Daughter” Doesn’t Apply

    Growing Up With A Mom No One Can Tell Is Mine

    I used to ask my mom if she wished I looked like her. I wondered if there was a certain connection she’d hoped to have—the sensation of seeing her own eyes reflected back at her in a younger version of herself. Was there a different kind of bond formed by teaching your daughter how to become a woman in a body that resembled the one you, yourself, had grown into?

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    HEALTH

    When I Gave Too Much

    I Abandoned My Life To Try And Save My Mother's

    Two weeks later I experienced what I can only describe as a nervous collapse. My body shook uncontrollably; I was trembling and cold and terrified. I had no idea what was happening to me. I recalled waking up alone in an empty apartment as a two year old, crying uncontrollably and searching for my mother in the building’s hallways. Something was terribly wrong with me. I was sure I was dying.

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    HEALTH

    The Dark Side of Postpartum

    This is Going to Be Raw

    He cried. He cried so much. He wasn’t gaining weight as he should have been. He spit up all the time, sometimes in a long projectile. I breastfeed and bottle fed and nothing soothed him for long. Soon his knees were at his chest and he would start crying again.

    I knew something was wrong. I knew in my gut, as a mother knows. Any time I brought up my concerns people told me that babies cry and babies spit up. I was brushed off and ignored. No one knew that I was drowning. That I would daydream about taking him back to the hospital. How I wished I could put him on my doorstep so a neighbor would take care of him just so I could get a break.

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