Tuesday, 1 November 2011

On being a pro-choice mother

When I was first considering actually deliberately having a child I was nervous about a whole host of things.  One thing that worried me more than it probably ought to have was whether the experience of pregnancy would dent my staunchly pro-choice attitude.

I thought that I might get all misty-eyed about the embryo, and later the fetus, to a point where my view on abortion changed.  I was concerned that if I didn't I'd find it hard to connect to my offspring once they were here.  Neither came to pass.

Did I love the fetuses?  Not really.  I found the whole thing quite surreal, even with my third pregnancy, when I already had an example of what was coming right in front of me on a daily basis.  To me they were wanted, but they were too abstract for it to really be what I would call love.  Fondness?  Yes, certainly - I would sing to my bump, put my hands on it tenderly, that kind of thing.  But the "life" part of the fetus was something in my head, rather than in my womb.  It was all about the potential, not the actual; the future, not the present.

Did I love my babies?  Yes.  I thought I might not, when they first arrived, because the chances of PND were high for me and I hadn't had much to do with babies.  Instead I had a sense of deep wonder when I saw them for the first time, through the drug-induced haze, and within a few hours with both of them I would find myself staring at them through the perspex cot while they slept, grinning inanely.  Maybe that was the drugs too.  I know for many women the attachment doesn't come so quick, and maybe if I have another it won't.

Do I love my children?  Without doubt.  Every day I honestly do marvel that they are in my life.  Sometimes when they are asleep, of course.    I've made sacrifices for them, very real and significant ones, and I will again in the future.  I mostly do that willingly.  I enjoy spending time with them, even if sometimes I am a bit stumped to find something that will suit their needs and mine simultaneously. 

Do I wish I'd had an abortion?  Never.  All three pregnancies to date have been wanted.  When the first ended early in miscarriage I was pretty upset.  Not absolutely devastated, because although I grieved it was more for the lost opportunity, not for a lost person.  Others may feel differently of course.

Would I have an abortion in the future?  Yes; if I became pregnant in a situation which was untenable I would.  And if that time ever comes I want to be able to have the choice, myself.  I want to be able to choose who to talk it over with.  I want it to be my decision and no one else's.  And no one else can determine whether my situation is untenable, only me.  There is no universal test we can apply to whether someone needs an abortion or not.  If a pregnant person wants an abortion then they need one, whether they are already a parent or not.


Slogan:  "Pro-choice moms don't love their children". With angry ranty guy in the middle.

Do pro-choice parents love their children?   Well, I love mine.        

This is part of a week of Pro-Choice Postings hosted here at The Hand Mirror starting on Friday 28th October 2011.  For an index of all the posts, being updated as they go up, please check the Pro-Choice Postings index.  And if you'd like to submit a post for cross-posting, guest posting or linking to please email thehandmirror@gmail.com.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My mom is pro-choice and i know she loves me more than she loves herself!