I think sometimes when you proclaim that you are strongly pro-choice, biased stereotypes are born. I have heard all varieties of judgement while having children and keeping my strong pro-choice beliefs, I am not surprised about it though.
About a year ago, I posted this on my personal website DanielleElwood.com just to really talk about it. Get the story out there, work on breaking down stereotypes surrounding pro-choice mothers. Because it is something truly needed.
I learned about my pregnancy on a Sunday. My husband was out with the fire department for his weekly early Sunday morning engineers meeting, and I was home with two little boys who were still sleeping. I still wonder why I was awake… but looking back I think each moment of that day was especially planned by some type of higher power.
We were done having children, at least for the time being. We just weren’t in a position to bring another mouth to feed into our home. Through the tanking economy my husband had lost his job, and subsequently had to take a new position which meant a 50% pay cut which hurt us as a whole. While we are in a better place today, we are still recovering from it!
I had an emotional break down. I was extremely torn because I knew this wasn’t something we could “do” on paper but I wanted nothing more than to meet this small Elwood inhabiting my uterus. I was a hot mess when it even came to thinking about birth process on top of it. After a horrid c-section and then a failed VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) attempt that turned into a complete nightmare, and months of postpartum depression, I was just freaked out.
Did the idea of abortion cross my mind? Sure… but was it something I personally wanted? Nope! Being pro-choice does not mean you find the choice of abortion right for you.
I went to the doctor and confirmed my pregnancy but the practice I was seeing would not even consider the option of allowing me to go into labor or have a VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 c-sections) which to me was almost instantly a deal breaker. I went on to find a high risk neo-natology practice at a high ranking hospital who would allow me to have a trial of labor despite my history of 2 cesarean deliveries.
A lot to even take in during the first couple weeks of pregnancy.
It wasn’t until I was a couple weeks into my pregnancy that I started bleeding… something I didn’t do with my other two pregnancies and I went postal. My heart was breaking as they did blood work and ultrasounds and told me it was most likely my body miscarrying.
The situation as a whole almost broke me. The way the OB/GYN at the practice said it… like it was no big deal. The way the ultrasound tech was so rude and cold. The way everyone had treated it just left me feeling so… empty.
This baby who we never thought we wanted — once it became a reality was very wanted. And the thought of a loss almost destroyed me.
But as a mom you have to put on your game face because you still have other children who depend on you to care for them. We don’t get days off when we are going through a hard time.
As the days went on, the bleeding stopped. A week went by and I had blood work and an ultrasound done again — and another week went by and we repeated the process. Finally when I made it to 12 weeks I was able to finally sigh and feel like I could see light at the end of the tunnel. I also ran from that practice screaming, and retreated back to my loving and caring practice from my second pregnancy.
I knew through that experience that my views on something like abortion would not be changed, but it would certainly make me feel so much stronger about stressing the fact that being pro-choice does not mean the option of abortion would ever be a course of action. Through all this — the simple suggestion pisses me off and sends me on a rant.
In the long run — with a very bumpy pregnancy and a scheduled c-section turned labor attempt turned third and final c-section… we had a beautiful baby girl who rounded out our family perfectly. And I thank my lucky stars every day to have her in our lives. Planned or not… I don’t know what I would do without her.