I got pregnant for the first time when I was 21 years old. I was not married, I had no job, and it was
clear from the beginning that I was going to be a single parent. As crazy as that might sound, I knew I wanted
to have the baby. I knew I could raise
this child with love and purpose. I
started working and, by the time Luna was six, I had found love again. The second time I became pregnant I was 28;
this time, I was beside myself with happiness.
We bought a house, got married, and we took our time making a beautiful
nursery for Lia. The third time I got
pregnant I was 41. I had a good job, a stable family, tons of support, except
this time, I was not happy. Everything
about my body felt wrong.
The year before, I had been hospitalized because of a blood clot in my
lung, so now I had to inject daily blood thinners to prevent a reoccurrence
during gestation. Being over 40 meant
going to a high-risk clinic. I was miserable.
I thought about having an abortion, but the weight of my upbringing made
having to decide unbearable to me. How
could I be pro-choice and still feel that wanting an abortion, for myself, was wrong?
I was consumed by guilt.
I told some family and friends about the pregnancy in the hope that saying
it out loud would make me feel acceptance.
But the truth is, sadness had come for me, and it would overtake me at
the most inopportune times—like while I was watching t.v. with my twelve-year-old or while driving to
work. I cried for days.
On May 22, 2018, I started having really bad cramps and soon after I was
bleeding. The emergency room doctor told
me I was having a miscarriage. I was
nine weeks pregnant. The pregnancy ended
as it had begun, unexpectedly. Having a
miscarriage is a very physical and emotional ordeal, and while I still had
feelings of guilt for not wanting to be pregnant, I felt a great sense of peace
with what happened.
The decision to have an abortion can be
excruciatingly painful to make. I have loved being a mom, at 42, I have
spent most of my life raising my children.
Now I want time for myself. Is that selfish? In spite of this, I had convinced myself
that I would carry on, but it really wasn’t what I wanted. The choice was not about loving a child; I
already knew I could do that. It was
about listening to my needs. I had
denied myself the fundamental right to have agency over my body.
What happens when precaution is not enough? Women are often held hostage to
laws and preconceived ideas that dictate how we should react and feel. This experience reminds me that speaking one’s
truth takes courage and that it can be very painful to do. But we must do it anyway.
“Put your mask on first” says the flight attendant
And I think to myself: “You’ve never met my family.”
Duty is our reoccurring mission
I find myself in the middle of this empty kitchen
Pen in hand and a pot full of dreams simmering on the stove
Who wants to eat? I yell
And my girls’ steps shake the house awake
What’s for dinner? They ask
Hope. I reply
That they will never have to mask the way they feel inside.