Trigger warning! I have a story to tell.
A story about how some unforeseen events shaped my life’s fundamentals.
I was a sheltered child. I was constantly told to fear God and my parents in various ways. I was reminded all the time that sex before marriage was a sin. I was like every other teenager: I broke the rules and tested the boundaries.
I am pushing the wonderful age of 50, and I have three beautiful children. If nature took its course, I would have seven children today. Or would I?
Some of my closest friends do not even know this about me. What I am about to divulge about myself, I cannot even medically confirm all of it.
Before I had my firstborn, I had two miscarriages with my ex-husband. One of them was a confirmed positive pregnancy that the doctor said just passed like a normal, light menstrual period.
The second was physically painful. I bled out suddenly, and I had to endure a D&C (dilation and curettage procedure). I was eight weeks pregnant. I do not think I fully grieved that loss. I remember the nurse asking me if I wanted to see it as it sat in a plastic container the size of a small cereal bowl. I declined as I held back tears, but I did glance to see just bits and pieces of bloody flesh.
It was a time that was emotionally painful for me, and I did not have a lot of support. I was excited about being pregnant and looking forward to motherhood. After that experience, I thought I could not have children. I was only 21 years of age. If that were to happen to me post Roe v. Wade turnover, what would happen to me? Would I get the care I needed or would I be pressed with charges?
That accounted for two miscarriages before I had my first full-term pregnancy. I have to back up a bit. The other two miscarriages, I cannot confirm, but they were the most physically painful. When I started becoming sexually active, I was not the smartest or the safest teenager. I internalized a lot of this. And because of the Texas six-week abortion law, I am looking back.
I will make the assumption that I had a miscarriage at age 15. I was never one to have severe menstrual cramps or cramps at all. This one was different. This was the heaviest flow and with agonizing cramps—and there was a lot of blood clotting. I did not think anything of it then. It was just the longest (two weeks) and most painful menstrual period I ever had.
The other one was when I was 17. It was quite similar—the pain, the heavy flow, and the blood clotting. And I remember crying a lot. I was scared. A lot of crazy thoughts came to mind, like I was dying and gravely sick. I would rather have died than to let anyone tell me what to do or find out. I confided in a friend, and she called the advice nurse to get answers. They told her that it sounded like a miscarriage, and if it was, there was nothing to do about it anymore.
The fear I endured from how society instilled the idea of sex being bad and how abortion was bad gave me stress and anxiety at a young age. I lived with these secrets and feared the judgment—the same judgment that is spewing across the country now.
When I was married and trying to have children, I blamed that time and my body for not being able to carry a pregnancy to full term. My dreams of being a mother were crushed. But when I had my first child, he was a true blessing. Then low and behold, a second full-term pregnancy. I felt truly blessed that my prayers were finally answered. I was able to give birth three times.
This brings me to the purpose of this story. I believe everything happens for a reason. And for me, if I had not had a miscarriage at 15 or 17 and been confirmed pregnant, I believe my family would have forced me to have an abortion. Or, basically, let’s just say a choice would have been made for me.
This experience has brought me to the fundamental beliefs I have. For me, because of my trouble conceiving and wanting a child and knowing the blessing in it, my personal choice would be to keep it. I truly cannot say if I would have wanted to keep, abort, or give my child up for adoption at that age. But now, the woman that I am believes that it is every woman’s choice to choose.
My life’s circumstances brought me to my choices. I live and breathe, and it is my God-given right to choose what I do with my body and my life. I am responsible for my choices. No one else. Not the man or woman on Capitol Hill. It would not matter if it was a one-night encounter with a man; it is my belief that it happened for a reason.
Let the “sex before marriage,” “sex out of wedlock,” or the “acting like a slut” police come after me. I do not care about anyone else’s morals. I worry about my morals. If a pregnancy was a result of an act of violence, molestation, or any other horrific trauma, a woman has every right to have a choice with her body and her life. No one else.
Who am I and who are you to push your beliefs on a stranger? There are mental health issues to think of with these choices. Life is not easy. Are you going to step in and help after you pushed a woman into having a baby against her will? Are you going to vote yes on programs that help women and children?
The morality and humility of this country is a joke. We each have a life to live. My life is my own. When I lie down at night, I answer to myself and God. The misogyny of the government and lawmakers is sickening. I call it abuse of power. Our government is a system that controls the population like a business. No one cares about life. It is a play about control and power.
The more they control, the more power they have. If a girl was forced to keep her pregnancy, should marriage also be enforced? Where is the male who helped make this baby? I understand the conservative government officials want to save a growing fetus that has no voice, but most of these conservatives do not care about their neighbors. Yes, I am generalizing. But it is only fair.
Conservatives do not care about what happens to most of these women and children after the fact. Many women are forced to have babies they cannot afford. Many women are forced to raise children they are not mentally prepared for. Conservatives would rather make it their life’s goal to defund programs that help women and children who are abandoned by society.
They say f*ck the woman and her circumstances. F*ck if something horrible happened to her. F*ck if she has health issues. F*ck if she has no means to care for a child. F*ck if the man who helped her make this fetus abandoned her; she is the only one accountable. F*ck all those circumstances. Their main objective is to save the fetus.
Okay, once the fetus is saved, now what? Who is paying for the doctor’s visits? What about mental health? Is the government going to provide mental health care? The conservatives have now forced their will on a woman who is now alone. She is grief-stricken. All these pro-life circumstances have now plagued her mental health. Especially if she was raped. All this puts a strain on a healthy pregnancy.
Where are all the conservatives now? If you truly care about life, you need to learn to care about all lives—not just your own or your own agenda. They say life starts at conception, but the breath of life starts at birth. What are you going to do now to help women live by your agenda and not theirs? It does not sound pro-life to me.