Monday, December 05, 2011

When politics of smugness try to creep into my uterus

I never, ever thought I'd say this, but Rick Santorum has been on my mind recently.

(Yes, I still think he's the Devil. And if you haven't ever googled Santorum, please do so. It's kind of a delight.)

So, during the 20-week sonogram on Friday, one of the things the technician pointed out was that the baby had her hand open flat, and she said that if she had Trisomy 18, she wouldn't be able to do so - her hands would be clenched. Now, we had the amnio, so we knew already, but I found it interesting.

There is all this news about Rick Santorum and should he be campaigning when he has this critically ill daughter with Trisomy 18. She's three, and needs 24/7 care, for which his wife quit her job.

Presumably, they have good health care, the Santori, because the fraction of babies diagnosed with the disorder who live much past birth require astounding amounts of medical intervention and care. So the choice they made - to have the child - is manageable from a health-care perspective. And presumably they make enough, even with eight kids, that his wife was able to make the choice stay home.

But it underlines for me that it needs to be a fucking choice. And this man who lives with a child who suffers, perhaps daily, who knows how much money and work a special needs kid requires, wants to take the choice away.

Oh, and isn't interested in health care for all. Devil ass douchebag fuck.

And I feel like people like this are always so fucking smug about it.

I don't know if you remember back a number of months when I wanted to rear-end that anti-choice minivan and wrote that mind your own uterus post?

Yah, so, now I'm almost 20 weeks pregnant. Last week I spent over an hour looking at my daughter-to-be flipping around on the sonogram monitor. When you watch what's going on in your uterus, it's extraordinary what a little human being it looks like is bopping around in there.

I came into the office after my sonogram appointment on Friday. I showed some of my colleagues the strip of pictures.

We were talking about how extraordinary it is that at 19 weeks of development - which is actually just 17 weeks, because the first two really don't count - you have this little human with all her organs and bones and what-have-yous.

One colleague, who is Catholic, pointed to the strip and said, "And this is why I just don't understand people who believe that life begins at birth."

Comments like that make my hair stand on end. I'm pretty sure I physically backed up. I don't know when I think life begins, but I know for a fact that at this stage, one of us can breathe on her own, and one of us can't.

I said, "Listen, you're talking to someone who is relentlessly pro-choice."

I think it's miraculous, I do. And I want this baby so badly. I worked hard to get her, and I try not to fret about losing her. I'm so thankful that our tests showed she was healthy.

But people need to have the choice.

Our other colleague, who pointed out that she is also Catholic, said she is pro-choice as well.

So the first woman said, "Well, if there were something wrong with your baby, I would still pray for her."

I believe she meant it kindly. I do. I smiled, but I couldn't really respond.

Because like boats against the current, my refrain is always: mind your own fucking uterus.


  1. I'm glad you and your baby girl are healthy and that everyone spoke their opinion politely in the conversation with co-workers. I'm not very political except when it comes to women's rights and I'm pro-choice. Mom was of "advanced maternal age" when pregnant with me and went through the stressful tests of healthy/unhealthy baby so this issue is personal for me. Things worked out fine but I'm glad my parents had a choice if things had been different.

  2. Oh so well said! I have your original pro-choice post bookmarked because it summarized my feelings so perfectly.

    And HAHAAhahaa Spreading Santorum.... I've been a fan of this Dan Savage campaign for years.

  3. Mind your uterus, indeed. I need that bumper sticker. I wonder, if I put that sticker on my actual bumper, how long it would take for my car to get keyed in this semi-rural VA area I live in. I guess we're technically a blue region, but still.

    The thing about the Santori is EXACTLY that they have privilege. They have the necessary resources (and presumably support) to care for their daughter, as well as for their other children. Good for them. NOT GOOD for them to presume that the decision THEY made for their family is THE ONLY decision for all families. How dare anyone presume to be a better decision maker for a woman than a woman for herself.

  4. HK - I'm the same way. I'm really not political except on this one particular issue. I haven't had to make a choice, thankfully, but I want everyone to be able to do so. My choices would not necessarily the same as others, which is fine, as long as nobody is blocking options from me or others.

    frugalveganmom - Thank you! Boy, was I riled up when I wrote that. I love people's reactions when they google it. Love.

    lifeversiontwo - I fear it wouldn't take long. I like VA, but it can be scary as well.

    YES. They've made their choices - as you said, how dare they presume their choices are best for everyone?

  5. Word. To all of it.

    I'm also pro-choice, and this pregnancy has made me think hard about when I believe life begins. By the time I felt my girl kicking - so, 5 or 6 months - I definitely felt like she was "real". Logically, I knew she wasn't viable outside the womb, but the movement made her real. I can tell you that if we would have had to make a decision in the 2nd tri about continuing the pregnancy, it would have absolutely torn me to shreds. So I'm thankful. I guess I don't have the answer on when life begins, but I do know that the billboards with smiling babies and captions about fingerprints and hiccups and all of that piss me off because it's false advertising. That first trimester embryo might have fingerprints, but to advertise it like it's all "ooh, preshus baybee" is a load of hooey. That embryo looks like one of those sea horses advertised in the back of comic books. Quit trying to tug at our emotions, anti-choice groups.

  6. I remember when I was pregnant with H.. It was very difficult emotionally on me and I won't lie, I seriously considered abortion. I did my research but ultimately decided not to have one. I love my little girl and while it has been a struggle and there are even some days that I wish I could go back to a time pre-baby, I am thankful I have her. I am a different and better person because I have learned to sacrifice and find joy in small wonders.

    With that said, I am thankful to have had abortion as a choice. Even though I now know I never had the intention of following through on it, just knowing that the option was available and legal gave me some peace of mind. I don't and never will advocate abortion, but having experienced pregnancy, I can fully understand the need to have the option available. I guess personally, I am pro life but politically, I am pro choice.. No one should decide what a woman does or doesn't do with her body except for the woman.


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