As soon as you share the news that you are preggo, or your belly starts to pop, it seems like your fetus becomes public property. Everyone and their mom’s aunt give you unsolicited advice and it seems like 1 in 5 people with kids has some horror story they want to make sure you know every detail about.
I know it might not seem like I’m one to talk – I publicly blog about pregnancy, documenting mine, and sharing guest birth stories. I encouraged belly rubs and molest any belly that comes within arm’s reach – of people I know, and who know me. I over share when it comes to cloth diapers and baby wearing, and am an advocate for natural births and breastfeeding when and where that baby needs it. All of that aside – I do my best not to judge the inevitable different choices other moms make. I share all birth stories, even though they played out differently than mine. I could never assume that my choices would or could be appropriate for everyone.
Example – I didn’t eat meat in some fashion for 15 years. I constantly had people ask me why, and I did my best to explain my POV without indicating that they, as a meat-eater, were wrong. I made this choice based on moral reasons: I didn’t feel like animals were put on earth for my consumption and could be housed in deplorable living conditions until they made it on my plate. That was my choice, to focus on that aspect of life, and I made a stand for myself and asked for people to not give me a hard time about it when we ate together. I did not say everyone had to make this same choice, even though we all can agree that the meat industry is not appetizing if you really look closely at it. I have now eaten meat for 3 years when I started breastfeeding EB.
The reason I bring that up is that there is an argument there – a moral argument that could indicate how everyone should behave. But it’s not fair to impose that on everyone, and it’s up to each person to make their own choice.
Which brings me to my point – why I’ve been making all of the pro-choice posts on FB (on both my personal and ISWTG blog’s), and sharing a friend’s late term abortion story as a guest post (link here to part 1), as well as blogs like 1 in 10 (women sharing their heartbreaking stories about late-term abortions *DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PREGNANT – TRUST ME*). I know it’s a sensitive topic. I know many friends and family members that do their own part sharing pro-life/anti-choice memes are probably getting their feathers ruffled by my recent outspokenness. But I do it because I can’t be silent knowing how this recently passed legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks and closing all but 5 clinics will effect Texas women.
I’ve been lucky that I have only gotten one comment (although I don’t think it was about abortion, per se, and more about religion. I’m pro-choice about that, too). Everyone has been extremely respectful to me, either by not reading my posts that offended them or by making their own points about why they wouldn’t have an abortion. And that’s fine. It really is, to not be able to go through with an abortion, no matter what the circumstances. But that is a choice, and it’s valid. So are the very hard choices that families have to make, be it to wait until they can make a better life and be ready as parents, or to terminate wanted pregnancies because of rare (*RARE, PREGGOS. RARE. DON’T STRESS ABOUT THIS AND ENJOY YOUR PREGNANCY*) deformations that indicate incompatibilities with life. Some diagnoses, that aren’t visible until screenings at 20 weeks or later, would result in endless hours in hospitals, paralysis, or a lifetime of care that would diminish the quality of life that the existing children already experience, and would be responsible for when the parents are gone. Regardless, It’s nobody’s business why anyone decides to abort. The reasons are varied, personal, and not on the table to be judged by anyone.
They are not to be judged just like you don’t want to be told what you should and shouldn’t eat, or how to parent, or the best way to be the ultimate crunchy be-all-end-all supermom/dad. We’re all doing the best we can, and are making the choices to lead the kind of life we feel is right for us. There’s not one type of carless woman that’s out there getting abortions as birth control. It’s not a fair argument, and everyone’s heard of “her.” By stopping this one circumstance, every other type of woman – no, not even just women – couples, and families, too, are adversely affected. It’s up to me to make the hard choices about my babies. I’m going to take a stand and give women the benefit of the doubt that our reproductive rights can be and should be decided by us.
Not everyone is equipped to be a parent, possibly ever. I know you’ve met someone like that, or a couple that just doesn’t want children. I used to think that these friends or acquaintances just hadn’t gotten the baby fever yet. After having kids, I know it’s not something you decide to do lightly. It’s hard. Your life changes, irrevocably. The amount of friends and the frequency with which you see them changes. Your time to yourself is relegated to stolen hours when you used to sleep. It’s just that much harder (if not impossible for some) to finish or even afford college, work, and pay for all for the things a child needs. It’s rewarding if you have the mindset for it; one’s patience is not unlimited. You can’t make someone want to be a parent if they’re not ready or if they might never be ready. I’m not trying to convince you to get an abortion if your birth control failed and you a surprise pregnancy. Many a parent welcomed that happy accident. This is a blog about my own kids, so it’s obvious that my babies are my life. My fear is that there will be an increase in unwanted babies that are born to parents that don’t love them, or thrust into an already overwhelmed system via adoption simply to never find forever-parents, or end up in dumpsters and bathroom stalls. I am endlessly worried about that child’s life. So are the parents that make these overwhelmingly difficult decision to end a pregnancy. Don’t ever assume otherwise, or think they don’t carry that burden.
So thank you for your support, your positivity, and your ears (eyes?). I appreciate you taking the time to listen to one voice saying while it’s nobody’s business, here are some examples of women sharing their stories to help others understand the complexities of hard choices. I realize this is a polarizing topic. Not everyone wants to read about it, and some of you may feel like there is no argument that could convince you, no exception to the rule. And if you are still maintain that if you were in their situation, that you would make a different choice, then do. It’s none of my business, either.