The evil little creature inside me has turned 12 weeks old and is the size of a plum. I’m sure it won’t be a life-sucking demon forever, but for now that’s how it’s going for me.
Before we went to Mexico this weekend I had plans of talking about early pregnancy fashion (hint: stretchy pants!!). I had a few great outfits planned and was going to take photos of how awesome I rock the accessories (yellow skinny belt, for the win) and how a solid empire waste and some flouncy skirts make all the difference. But then while on trying to look presentable I ended up just hating hating hating how my body was changing. My hips have grown lumps, and my bump is now bigger but I mostly just look like a duck… butt and tummy sticking out in opposite directions. I don’t look cute and pregnant, I just look awkward and confusing.
And I guess that’s also how I feel. Pregnancy always seemed like this really awesome lady experience. Men will never understand what it’s like to be pregnant and wow isn’t that rough for them? Doesn’t that suck, not being able to experience first hand one of life’s greatest miracles? No. No it does not suck for them. They get the best end of the stick, the end where you get to have a baby that’s half made out of you, and your body doesn’t warp into mom-jean wearing, industrial bra toting, giant nipple flashing mother goddess of the maternity waste variety.
I feel lied to about what pregnancy is, and so does Kamel. He repeatedly says “Where was the part about [Insert my latest gross body discovery here] in Knocked Up?! They leave a lot of shit out when they talk about what pregnancy is REALLY like!” And then I remind him that no one would see the movie about the girl who never pooped because she was so constipated, or chest acne, or gaining 7 lbs from carbo loading so you don’t barf at work. No one wants to hear that stuff.
And in light of all of the lovely rape talk thanks to the ever-thoughtful and women-centered Republican party, I can’t turn on a computer, radio, or TV without someone talking – yet again – about where life comes from and when it should be ok to get an abortion (read: NEVER).
This pregnancy has made me even MORE pro-choice than I was before, because before I didn’t really understand the massive sacrifice that carrying around another bundle of cells and synapses is on the body (my body, my mind, my soul, my everything). And let me make it super duperly clear: if this pregnancy hadn’t been a choice Kamel and I made together and a decision we both made after months and months and months of discussion, I would have terminated the pregnancy without any moral trepidation. Knowing what I know now, as someone who is sacrificing every single day for her child, sacrificing so that it has a healthy and happy arrival into the world, giving women the right to say “Nope! I can’t do this!” is overwhelmingly important. And if I didn’t have a support system, if I was alone and facing all that I’ve faced with this pregnancy by myself, and there was a law that said I had no say in the matter – that would be beyond devastating. The feeling of hopelessness that that creates, even imagining the powerlessness of that situation, makes me feel desperate.
And for those trying desperately to get pregnant, please don’t think I’m thumbing my nose at you. I want you to have all of the babies you want, I want to have all of the babies I want. But we should want the babies we have. We should be willing to make the sacrifices, the physical and the mental, for those babies. No one should be told, “You have no choice in the matter. If you get pregnant you will be forced to see it through.” The sacrifice is too much.
And as sucky as this pregnancy is, as much discomfort and as many tears as I have shed over how much I hate it, I still take my vitamins that make me gag, I still check every time I pee to make sure the baby is still in there and there isn’t any blood on the toilet paper, I research daycares, I touch my stomach and think, “It’s me and you kiddo, the two of us getting through this together, you little shithead.” And when there was turbulence on the plane ride this weekend I kept thinking, “I am the vessel who absorbs all of the bad things in order to make sure you don’t feel any of them.”
And this is the choice I’m making. Every single day I choose this. And every single day I could change my mind.