I’m a twenty-one year old feminist. I start with that as a warning, because I’ve gotten a lot of criticism for what I’m about to tell you. I want to be a mom. More than anything in the world. I want to have a little family to love on and teach and take care of.

So before you start in on me. Yes, I know I’m young. Yes, I understand that kids are work. Yes, I’ll still “want to be a mom” once I have one or two. And yes, I understand that there I should “finish my education first.”

Now that that’s out of the way. I’m twenty-one years old, and I’ve lost two babies. The first one was horrific, mostly because I wasn’t completely sure what was going on in the first place. The doctor said 13-14 weeks. I was fifteen. The second one was less traumatizing, whether it was because I was older, or because I didn’t know I was pregnant, or maybe because it had already happened before. This one was less painful, and easier to talk about.

My kind OB-GYN looked me in the eyes as she told me that it was very unlikely that I could have children. She rubbed my back while I cried. She assured me that she couldn’t be completely certain, and that if it was something I wanted, there were things I could do. Losing weight could counteract the effects of PCOS. Once I was ready to start actively trying, she promised she would work with me through fertility treatments if need be. Near the end of the appointment she said something about adoption, but I had already stopped listening.

There’s something about wanting things you can’t have. Like being on a diet and suddenly craving cheese fries—although, in the interest of transparency, I admit I always want cheese fries, diet or no. Something about being told I probably couldn’t be a mom made me realize how much I had always planned on children. Even in the back of my mind, even when I always told people that education was my main goal, children had just been assumed.

I made a decision shortly after the last miscarriage that I would be a mom one day. My loving boyfriend agreed—he wants children, someday, nearly as much as I do. He understands how much I want to be a mother one day, and he truly believes that I can make the changes we believe will help me reach that goal.

Fighting back against bulimia and binge eating has always been about taking control of my own life and proving all those that laughed at me wrong. I’ve always had this idea in my mind that I would recover, lose weight, and become the skinny, beautiful girl I always wanted to be. It was a lovely fantasy, but it hardly spurred me to recover. It just drove me deeper into the disorder.

Dreaming of Baby Boult gave me reason to truly recover. I had a tangible goal to work toward. Being skinny was pushed to the back of my mind because being a mom seemed like a much worthier prize. Instead of fighting through cravings to binge by picturing flat abs, I began picturing myself a mother. I walked out of the grocery store without binge foods because I knew that, one day, my child would thank me.

That’s where this whole fight comes from. Fighting against this terrible disorder has become my only hope for having a child one day. Not only do I desperately want to lose the weight necessary to make conception a little easier, but I want to be able to raise my children with the best body image possible. I don’t want them to see their mom crying over a pint of ice cream or unable to leave the house because I feel too fat that day.

Everybody needs to find their why. My why just happens to not have been born yet. Biting back for baby Boult, whenever he or she may arrive.

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