Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I mean, really.

I have now had three pregnancies, even though the third was short-lived.

But it reminded me, particularly having a miscarriage, of how strongly I believe that women should be in charge of their own bodies, in control of their fertility, and able to make their own choices about whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.

Because even with a loving, supportive husband, I was really quite alone in my pregnancies. Not just this last, brief one. All of them.

It wasn't deliberate and I wasn't neglected. It just wasn't happening to his body, and there was only so far he could be involved.

In fact, with the most recent one, he said, "Tell me what I can do."

And I said, "I think you've done quite enough already."

But what if you were actually alone? Really and truly alone? It is overwhelming enough feeling psychologically alone and knowing you're supported emotionally and financially.

What if you had none of those supports?

As a woman, you are living pregnancy every single minute of every single day. Sometimes you feel terrible. Hormones make you a crazy person. You might be exhausted. Nauseated and vomiting in the bushes on the way to work or in your trash can at work. Any and all of these things at once.

They're totally out of your control.

When I filled my prescription for the little pills that would start the miscarriage process, I started thinking about what women have done and will continue to do if they do not have access to safe abortion.

It conjured up images of home abortions. The wire coat hanger is an enduring and powerful symbol for that. But woman who do not have access to clean and safe abortions have done and will continue to find means to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

I mean, honestly. Can you actually imagine how desperate you must be in order to stick a piece of wire into yourself, hoping to thread it through your cervix, and also hoping not to rip your uterus or damage anything else inside.

Imagine getting your best friend to do this for you, because you are too terrified to tell anyone else.

I'm going to tell you now that I have friends I trust with my life, but hell if I'd trust them to try to find my cervix and poke anything into it.

I mean, really.

I am not a political person. But this is where I get fired up.


  1. I agree. Deciding to have an abortion is a burden and not having that choice is an unfair burden to put on women. Your third pregnancy, Lisa - my heart is broken. I wish it had turned out differently for you and your family.

    One of the biggest challenges I had to overcome in choosing to be a sole parent and be pregnant on my own was judgement from others. In my head I imagined people from work or friends of friends silently or not so silently judging me. In reality, every single person I've shared the news with has been joyful and supportive or kept any negative feelings to themselves. If that changes, I know I'm prepared. Being pregnant on my own hasn't been lonely, surprisingly, in the ways I thought it would be (although I'm not sure how I'm going to get to the hospital). I don't live my life to please others but there are societal norms, having a child on my own is unconventional and I was so aware of that and it was very difficult for me to move forward.

    Choosing to become a parent has been the best decision I've ever made. It's a different choice than an unwanted pregnancy but in either scenario, I cannot imagine a world where it was not my choice.

    1. Thank you, Heather. I wanted it to turn out differently. It is terrible and it is OK.

      I am so glad that you haven't gotten any negativity about your pregnancy. Judgment from others is actually something that hadn't occurred to me. Choosing to have a child on your own is unconventional but something I can only imagine being joyful about. There are people who really want to be parents and haven't met the person with whom they want to parent. And for women, time is something to consider. I'm so very glad it has worked out for you.

      Pregnancy was so interesting, because yes, I felt alone in it...but then you have this extraordinary experience in which you are never alone. It's so cool to have this little human inside you who is always with you. I found that a very satisfying feeling at times.

      You are definitely not who I was thinking about when I wrote this, because you made a deliberate choice. And you have a great job and a terrific support system. I imagine being alone and unable to handle a pregnancy and scared. How terrible that would be.

      It's a very powerful choice to make, and like you, I cannot imagine a world where it is not a choice. Too scary and too anti-woman.

  2. Well written and thank you for writing it.


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