Now that I got the old stuff out of the way (see last post), I can move on to my current thoughts and reflections which due to my current condition revolve around pregnancy. And I am speaking a topic on which people hold passionate opinions and am sharing how my opinion has been shaped by this new experience so I am a little nervous.
My grandma Margaret was a staunch and die hard Republican. She campaigned for Nixon back in the day. When I was studying at Georgetown, her friends commented that I’d one day be running against the likes of Hillary Clinton not imagining that any granddaughter of Margaret could NOT be a Republican. However, I clearly remember my grandma talking about her discontent with the Republican stance on abortion. My grandma often grumbled about male Republicans making decisions that impact women and that it’s a woman’s body and a woman’s choice.
I’ve been thinking about my grandma’s frustrations about men making policy decisions on issues they have no experience with because I am currently pregnant. And while I don’t think you have to be pregnant to have a stance on abortion, it has been an experience that has given me a new perspective on abortion. I am currently 20 weeks pregnant. Before getting pregnant, I had thought that pregnancy might make me question my pro-choice stance. I thought I would be overwhelmed by the miracle of a life growing within me and the different milestones reached (which I have been). What I hadn’t counted on, though, was all the ways the pregnancy would impact my bodily well being.
I appear to be one of those woman that gets hit hard by morning sickness, otherwise known by anyone who has experienced it as every day pregnancy sickness. In my first trimester, I had nausea all day and I often violently threw up all that I drank or ate in the evenings. I went days where I spent up all my energy at work and found myself lifelessly living on my couch afterward (in between trips to the bathroom).
To fully set the stage for how awful this is, I will unapologetically share in detail. Imagine that you find yourself bowed in front of the toilet peeing yourself (even though you just went) because your body is so violently trying to empty it’s insides while everything you ate and then some (think acidic bile) projects out of you into the hated bowl. Then repeat multiple times a day multiple days in a row. Then imagine your hormones are all over the place and while you feel you ought to be happy at this blessed occasion that you’ve been dreaming of, you’re actually miserable, depressed, and fatigued (probably in part due to dehydration as not even the liquids can stay down). And the things that you know might help your mood (seeing friends, being social, getting out of the house) seem impossible due to the fatigue, nausea, and necessity to remain close to the toilet. All the while you learn through your pregnancy app about all the ways your body is and will continue to change to accommodate this precious life inside you.
For me, it was a physically violent and emotionally draining experience. And I experienced all this with my consent. I want this life to be born and to be its mother. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to go through all this if it weren’t my choice. As a result, it is now staunchly my view that it is simply and plainly violence against a woman to force her to go through pregnancy when it is not her choice.
(I know that was a lot of details and build up to say just that one simple statement but there it is.)