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.
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.