But there was one person who noticed my eating disorder. My babysitter took me to the doctor one time. I was there to get shots but she took the time to talk to the doctor. The doctor was concerned about my weight. She showed me pictures of girls who suffered from anorexia and bulimia. It was gross seeing how skinny they looked. She explained that this can cause stomach cancer and even lead to death. Because of throwing up, there’ll come a point when the body will not want any food. The body does not get all the nutrients it needs and slows down; eventually, it stops working. Some of the pictures showed girls in bed with a tube stuck to them. The girls in the photos were so thin; you could see all their rib bones and backbones. She said you soon get thin hair and are always cold.
Last year I went through infertility treatment. This included one egg retrieval, during which doctors took 21 eggs out of my ovaries, 19 of which fertilized, 12 of which made it to the fifth day, and four of which were determined to be chromosomally viable through preimplantation genetic screening. The first egg doctors implanted in me made it to 6 weeks gestational age, and then I started bleeding. When I went into the doctor to figure out what was going on, I saw the heartbeat. Two days later, the heartbeat was gone. A few months later I was implanted with another egg, and I’m now nearing the end of my third trimester. Throughout all this, my husband and I struggled to boil down the mix of emotions and science to something our toddler son could digest, a formulation that wouldn’t hide our desire for another child while still acknowledging the precariousness and liminality of the whole undertaking.