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My Body is A Big Fat Temple

My Body Is A Big Fat Temple, a memoir of pregnancy and early motherhood, follows a writer as she debates having children, miscarries, faces morning sickness, uncertainty, physical impairments, labor, breastfeeding, the “baby blues,” the heartache of not loving her son as she thinks she should, parenting through a plague, until finally (basically, mostly) blossoming into her new identity.

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Creating life is a primal phenomenon. It requires grit, resilience, and a lot of bathroom breaks. There are dry heaves and darkened nipples, crotch lightning and brain fuzz, milk stains, sleep regressions, and equal amounts of despair and joy. It's a complicated magic. The undertaking is airbrushed to preserve the ideal of motherhood, and exacerbated by a culture that dictates what women can do and how they should feel. We don’t get the full story, so mothers with unromantic experiences feel like aberrations, and worse, alone. This is why the voices of women matter. The voices of mothers matter. Here’s one to keep you company, and to remind you to do your Kegels. (They’re really important.)

Alena Dillon is the author of Mercy House, a Library Journal Best Book of 2020, which has been optioned as a television series produced by Amy Schumer, The Happiest Girl in the World, a Good Morning America pick, My Body Is A Big Fat Temple, a memoir of pregnancy and early parenting, and Eyes Turned Skyward, a novel forthcoming Fall 2022.

Alena’s work has appeared in publications including The Daily Beast, LitHub, River Teeth, Slice MagazineThe Rumpus, and Bustle.

She teaches creative writing and lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son, black lab, and lots of books.

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