Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pregnancy and abortion

Once again, my apologies for the lack of updates for the past few days. As I have mentioned a whole crapload of times already, I am using my current pregnant state as an excuse to get away with just about everything. Including ignoring this blog that I promised myself that I'd update at least once daily.

Oops.

It's been a long, strange trip so far. Right now, I'm just starting the 19th week and I swear, I feel like an inside-out pi├▒ata. I'm thinking about naming this little goober Max in honor of Max Weinberg, 'cos I've obviously got a drummer all up in there.

Anyway, the point of this post wasn't (solely) to pat myself on the back for being most excellent at this pregnancy thing. As you may have noticed, I've been reading about and writing on abortion lately, especially when it comes to states trying make abortion/family planning services illegal. The right to choose has always been near and dear to my heart-- I wouldn't feel like a fully functioning member of society if I didn't have access to both birth control and abortion.



Until this past January, all of my commitment to the cause has been based on other women's experiences. Friends and acquaintances who were willing to share their stories of unplanned pregnancies, wanted pregnancies that "went wrong", and experiences at places like Planned Parenthood helped shaped my pro-choice position. I've never had to seek out abortion services and I am eternally grateful to those women who were willing to educate me.

Now I'm pregnant with a wanted pregnancy and holy shit, this experience has really reaffirmed my pro-choiceness. Abortion should be available to any woman for any reason and at any point in her pregnancy. Full stop. No wishy-washy exceptions to make Whole Food Liberals feel better about supporting my right to full autonomy: no waffling about abortion after 20 weeks, no passing judgement about why a woman wants an abortion, and certainly none of this "illegal except in cases of rape and incest" fence-straddling.

If my position sounds extreme, it shouldn't. After looking into my gold-plated, Ouija brand crystal ball, I've determined that Mr Darkheart will be laid off at some point this summer and he will not be able to find a job. You know what that means? It means that instead of two of us scraping to get by on my meager salary, there will be three (one of whom will be completely dependent on us for literally everything from food and clothing to ass wiping). Which means, even after getting rid of our "luxuries" (cable tv and Netflix), we still wouldn't be able to afford to pay for our apartment. Or any apartment that isn't a "studio", for that matter. It means that I will only be able to take advantage of the oh so generous 6 weeks of disability pay that the state of New York provides to new mothers before immediately heading back to work. It means that we will not be able to continue to make monthly payments on our credit card, even though we only owe roughly two grand. It means that my family will be well and truly fucked financially and my newborn will have no choice but to be raised in that hell.

Should I be forced to bring a child into this situation which will be that difficult and unhealthy? Or should I be able to choose to terminate this pregnancy, even that late? That is not how I would want my child to start their life and, quite frankly, the added stress of caring for a newborn would make the financial situation even more difficult for Mr Darkheart and I. Not to mention the fact that an infant would drive us even deeper into poverty.

Or do you feel that it's completely fair because, hey, them's the breaks? If I wasn't prepared for the responsibility of a child, then that's my own fault, since I could have saved more or Mr Darkheart could have had a job with better security or we could just grin and bear it 'cos babies are a blessing? Do you think that the financial considerations are simply a matter of convenience and not a matter well-being?

Really, that's how I see this whole debate right now-- you're either with me 100% or you're against me and my family.

Here's another thing to consider: being pregnant sucks shitty ass. Oh yes, let's all laugh at sitcom grade jokes about morning sickness! Oh ho ho ho, so clever! My pregnancy has, up until this point, progressed normally. My overall health is good and every test has indicated normal fetal development. But that doesn't mean that this has been a walk in the park for me, either. I've had nausea that lasts all day, headaches, constant sciatic nerve pain, abdominal ligament pain, abdominal cramps, swollen ankles, and fatigue. I'm uncomfortable pretty much all of the time and I don't sleep more than a few hours a night. I've gained weight and my center of gravity is off, which throws my balance off, which makes simple tasks like getting out of a fucking chair difficult. Some women experience painful varicose veins, constipation, and hemorrhoids (I can't wait for those to kick in, believe me!). Remember kids, you can expect to experience all of these unpleasantries (and more!) when all is going well with your pregnancy! Neat, huh?

I wouldn't wish those things on my worst enemy, let alone a woman who finds herself facing an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy. I can't imagine dealing with all of this without having a light at the end of the tunnel; I would be completely devastated otherwise.

If you subscribe to the idiotic "don't abort, put the baby up for adoption!" ideology, you really should admit that a woman is putting herself through torture just so you can treat her as a brood mare for another family.

This all boils down to one point: I'm really starting to get fed up with the feeling that I, as a pregnant woman, don't matter. That the reason that I am important is the fetus growing inside of me, not my hopes, dreams, feelings, strengths, weaknesses... you know, my me-ness. I should have full control over my body, even at this point in time, whether the issue is having a glass of wine with dinner (shockhorror!) or terminating my pregnancy because I think it's the right thing to do.

I want to feel like a real person, dammit!

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