2.09.2009

Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb

One of the strangest things about pregnancy was becoming unpregnant. That's true for many reasons, but the one I want to talk about now is the way the focus suddenly changed from me to my baby. When I was pregnant, I was the center of attention and the focus of much solicitude. When the baby became physically separated from me, the attention shifted to him and I realized a fairly obvious thing: all the attention I got when I was pregnant was not really for me, it was for him.

This might make sense, but it feels very wrong. It makes me feel that all those months I was being treated as a glorified incubator, a vessel that once empty loses its significance. I suddenly "get" in a meaningful way a large swath of feminist thought that was previously merely theoretical. The upshot is that pregnancy and birth have made me shift a little more toward the pro-choice side of the abortion question. That seems pretty ironic.

(I was essentially on the fence before--I find some arguments on both sides to be very compelling, and mostly I just find it outrageous that people can be so strident about something so full of deep emotional conflicts. Which actually put me more on the pro-choice side, but just barely.)

I don't know why I decided to post about this after midnight when I have to go to work in the morning, but there it is. Now I have to go to bed.

1 comment:

athenathoughts said...

"The upshot is that pregnancy and birth have made me shift a little more toward the pro-choice side of the abortion question."

Yes, I felt the same way once I had children . . . I am now also terrified at the thought of bungee jumping and eating at street vendors and driving without my seat belt on--all customary practices in the days of yore. Now all that goes through my mind is "gotta stay alive, gotta stay alive, gotta stay alive!!!" Funny that, eh?