My Body, My Right

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I was blessed to have been pregnant twice in my life and to have had both of my pregnancies result in healthy boys I am now raising.  Some women were far luckier than me being able to carry full term, to enjoy their pregnancy and feel good throughout it.  My children were both born before their due date, my second even stayed in NICU for 2 weeks before coming home (it’s a story for another day).

Some women, on another hand,  are not so lucky. They miscarried many times, couldn’t get pregnant at all,  had to deal with IVFs or adopt to fulfill on their desire to be moms.  Others were clear they didn’t want the responsibility of raising humans,  or the timing or whatever it would take for them to remain pregnant.  They should have their desires fulfilled just the same.

As someone who was pregnant twice, here is whatI can tell you:  no matter how much we intend,  how healthy we eat and exercise, and how much we want to be on our best behavior,  we really don’t have control over how our pregnancy will go.  It’s a very humbling process and it helps to do our best, but it is, otherwise, completely out of our control.  Pregnancy and motherhood are the ultimate exercise in surrender.  To dictate what another woman does with her body, to tell her and punish her for what she should or shouldn’t do absolutely violates her human rights.

My first pregnancy was far harder than the second and in large, it was because how I related to the whole process, everything being new and me being unprepared.  I had to get naked and open my legs to be looked at so many times, it was a lot to handle.  In fact, the first time I had my ultrasound done, and heard the heart beat, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, my life was beginning to be more about this new life I was carrying and for which I now had to sacrifice.  I felt so much shame for having to be looked it so closely that. when the doctor left the room, I just leaned on my husband and cried.

My second pregnancy was far easier, I have done this transformational program for women which allowed me to appreciate women’s body so much more.   Over the course of weeks and months in #sisterhood, I was able to shake off my old relationship to myself and my body and build a new one, the one of adoration and respect.  It was million times easier to have exams as I no longer cared who could see me naked.  However, this way of seeing it took a lot of work on my part.

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I think the whole culture of mothering, as being a sacrifice, comes from taking women’s voice from them, judging us for the essence of who we are and wanting to control us.  A turned on woman is a whore; an independent woman is too much, and a shy one doesn’t get what she wants, to mention just a few labels.

While every pregnancy, whether it results in child birth, miscarriage or abortion, completely impacts our lives and the system at large, especially when unacknowledged, women are not factories and should not be treated as such.  No women should be forced to carry pregnancy she doesn’t want, whatever her reasons.  In meantime, for those inspired to save childrens’ lives, do something to end shootings in American schools and about men who harrass and rape women with little or no punishment.

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Being A Mom

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I only vaguely sensed that being a mom must be magical and expansive but I never knew how much it would impact my life, how deeply I would feel my love, how strongly I could stand, how much I could endure and how unwilling I would be to hide and pretend I am anything other than a human being trying to do her best.  I learned to surrender, to take it easy, to put myself first, as in put oxygen mask on my mouth before I offer it to others.  I slowed down and became more effective.  I added a level of compassion I didn’t have.  I started thinking for more people not just myself, consequently, I have expanded the way I see things and the ways in which I manage my life.

I often complain that people don’t share the truth about motherhood.  I don’t think we are fully honest about the effort that this role requires (and I don’t mean complain, but be real about it) as well as not fully bragging on the world that this role also makes possible, the love that is there, the joy we could feel and how small things in life often become the essence of our days.

It took me a while to approve of different ways of parenting but I definitely appreciate that people have their view and do their best.  The thing is, when you know what it takes, you don’t judge as easily or as harshly.  Again, I make comments and sometimes have a passing thought but I don’t hang on to it or relate to like: “this is the truth”. I also lightly roll my eyes at people who give me advice but really have no clue about the world I am in. I do appreciate the effort though, I’ve been there myself.

At the same time, I have been screwing up way more often, feeling cornered against things in life that are seemingly unresolvable, needed on too many sides, torn in too many places, longing for some time to myself to just hear myself think without trying to please everyone around me who has a loud expectation.

All this said, the journey of mothering my first born and then almost 3 years laters his brother has been the biggest role I played.  I used to cringe when people said that in the past because I always made it mean they had nothing else important to do (as if raising future generations of humans isn’t important at all).  I try to beat that value with other things  I do but the kiddos are still small and they still need me in a way that I don’t want to say NO to.  At the end, it is always a choice not to leave them for long periods of time, not to have them raised by babysitters and friends but putting them to bed at night on my own or having my husband do it instead.

My sons are an absolute joy most of the time.  They remind me how carefree childhood is for those of us who had our basic needs met and then some.  They wake up my creative side, they soften me to love, they let me be more accepting and kinder with myself and others while holding healthy boundaries. I am moved and beyond grateful I was given the opportunity to be a mother in this life time.  They will also never know all that it takes to be their mom and what these past 5 years were like and they don’t have to know until they live their life and learned their lessons.  My efforts are not theirs to carry because if I can do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Happy 5ht birthday to my beautiful Adrian and anniversary of birth to me!!!