body image and pregnancy, prenatal nutrition, prenatal blog, maternity blog, healthy pregnancy, narcissism and infertility

Narcissism and Infertility

body image and pregnancy, prenatal nutrition, prenatal blog, maternity blog, healthy pregnancy, narcissism and infertilityDisclaimer: I've never been diagnosed with either Narcissistic Personality  Disorder nor infertility. This post is about my experience with some aspects of both conditions and how I overcame them.

There is a particularly entertaining study on the psychological profile of women with infertility you can read here but with only 60 individuals isolated in one country, it isn't very exhaustive.

Up until age 35 I swore by the plan that I wouldn’t be having biological children in this lifetime.

In my early 20s I had the black hole of med school and a plastic and reconstructive surgery residency on my mind. I figured I would be in my mid-thirties before I could, or would, even focus any attention on matters of that nature. By 25, after working for a successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and gaining a behind the scenes view of what my life could turn out like, I opted for another path that led me first into the fashion world then onto the competitive fitness stage.

Over the course of about 6 years, specific life choices resulted in the recurrent loss of my period often up to 6 or 7 months at a time. Frankly, in the mind state I was in at the time, I rejoiced in that loss, as I was obsessed with body image and appearance.  I didn't look into correcting the issue, and rejected doctors' suggestions for hormonal therapy or a decrease in exercise intensity.

As I learned how to manipulate my diet and training to bring body fat to less than 10%, a feeling of empowerment came over me. I reveled in this ability to control external outcomes, and I withdrew myself from all things that didn’t serve my goal. With every win on the fitness stage came more validation and I think it was around that time that I subconsciously began making excuses as to why I’d never birth my own child.

The irony of it all is that I think pregnancy and fetal development is so fascinating. I can’t recall the year but I have a distinct memory, from my childhood, of stumbling upon a collector’s copy of Life magazine showcasing the images of human embryonic growth photographed by Lennart Nilsson. I was awestruck. Years later, I would get an A in my chick embyrology lab where I’d incubate and study a fertilized chicken egg…just saying.

So, in hindsight, it’s not surprising that my excuses for not wanting a biological child were deflected to notions about the state of the world and never about vanity. In conversation, I always capped off my defense with a statement about supporting motherhood and my openness to adopt.

I was so deluded by success, control and perfection that I wasn’t even aware of my own act!

Health problems from 30-31 became a turning point for me and I had to make a difficult decision. I left the world of competitive bodybuilding and took a break from the traditional gym. I felt a huge void after having dedicated so many years to aesthetics and winning, and so came a healing of mind, body, and spirit that ultimately opened the space for this pregnancy to happen!

I had to first correct a pretty severe hormonal imbalance and that synchronistically led to balancing my dual energies – both masculine and feminine. I turned to more nurturing outlets to fill the void in my days like blogging, self-reflection, attending weekly Marianne Williamson seminars and spiritually centered Agape Sundays, meditation classes, and outdoor training sessions with friends I gained from setting up a meetup group. I went on an emotional healing journey to Bali where I did daily yoga, ate a vegan diet, and participated in ecstatic dance. I opened myself to, for me, new forms of expression that helped define my voice and also work through issues that were stifling me.

When the relationship with my now-husband began, we agreed on having a faith-based relationship and that came with a great deal of surrender. As a companion, I’ve had to look more critically at things I’m reactive to and the decision to have kids a kid(let me not go too far here) is honestly a huge breakthrough for me. I can’t say I’m free from all racket and that body image issues doesn’t plague me. I can however happily proclaim that they don’t control me!

Here's to the first of many posts about this wild time of life (that doesn't respond well to control)!