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A Love Letter To My Future Son on An Anniversary Of Choice

A Love Letter To My Future Son on An Anniversary Of Choice

Dear Love,

From the moment we found out about you, you have been an experience like no other.  Both your sister and your brother were so fought for, so planned, so scheduled and prepared for from the moment we decided we needed them in our lives, to make our family complete.

I must confess, you weren’t just unexpected, I resented your newly announced presence.  I wanted nothing to do with you, and thought long and hard about not going through with it.  It was too soon, too dangerous, I could barely handle the new baby in my arms — how could I go through this again, and so soon?  It was unfair to your big sister, who was still reeling over no longer being an only child.  It would be stealing the babyhood from your big brother, who already was already showing that he needed far more attention than his sister ever did.

But most of all, it was unfair to me.  Between miscarriage and your brother’s birth, I had already been pregnant for most of the last year and a half.  I just couldn’t imagine doing it again.  I was struggling already with postpartum depression, sleep deprivation, how could I add morning sickness, too.

I thought hard.  We thought hard.  But in the end, it was my decision, and in the end, I decided not to decide.  I had a history of infertility, miscarriage.  I would simply ignore you, and hope that you went away.  I continued on, hating you, hating me, and when I went in for an appointment and they couldn’t find your heartbeat, I found myself relieved.

Relieved.

They found you in there anyway, fidgeting, rolling, your heart beating away.  I realized you were here to stay, and I found myself growing more attached, especially once I began treating my depression.  I still kept you at a distance, convinced that we’d find life threatening issues at 20 weeks, especially with the pregnancies so close, so unprepared for.

You had your own way of making it not easy.  I’ve never spent so many months so sick.  I’ve never had so many trips to the hospital.  And I’ve never had such a complex, and complicated pregnancy.

Even this weekend, with another trip to emergency under my belt, and a week of bed rest looming before you finally show your face, I realize that we have fought each other literally from the moment of conception.  I’ve gone from resentful, to ambivalent, to full of love for you, and desperate to finally see you, start this next phase in our family.

And, in all honesty, to never be pregnant again.

Some may find this a strange letter to write to you, especially today.  Who tells their child that they weren’t wanted, or that I considered not having you?  And why now, on a day where we celebrate a woman’s right to choose?

But that’s why.  It took me a very long time, and it wasn’t easy, but in the end, I chose you.  I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision at first, but I also knew that I had things so many other women did not — financial resources, a partner who works himself to the bone for his family, more support than I could ever imagine.

So many women do not.

I spent these last nine months perhaps not eager, and not always willing, but because I chose to do it.  Doing the same because someone else had forced me to, because I had no other option?  I can’t even imagine it.

Often people think that by simply carrying a child in your womb, whether you want that baby or not, you will love it.  That’s simply not true.  Love can’t be forced that way.  I love you so much because although it took me a long time to get there, I got there on my own, by my own choice, and without pressure or lack of options.  Now, you will always be the magical gift that we didn’t expect, that almost didn’t become our baby boy.

I don’t regret the months of resentment anymore than I regret saying publicly that I didn’t want you at first.  It’s part of our journey together, as much as I can’t resent the constant sickness, the hospital trips, or the foot wedged in my ribs for the last two weeks.  It’s our fight, our past, and the beginning of our future together.

A future that will be beautiful, because it was chosen, not forced on us.

I love you,

Your mother.

 

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photo credit: wikimedia commons

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91 comments

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5:06PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

Thank you for posting this!

3:47PM PST on Feb 2, 2012

Cool.

8:38PM PST on Jan 25, 2012

cont. previous comment: as imperfect as that ability might be). Abortion is not a GOOD thing. It is a needed thing, for some women, at some point in their lives. It is the option we choose when we feel that nothing else will allow us to hold our lives and families together, or when our lives are at risk, or when the very thought of being pregnant for nine months by the men who raped or molested us is enough to make us want to cut our own throats. WOMEN get pregnant, give birth, nurse babies, and then have a disproportionate share of the care of those babies for the rest of their childhoods (although this is slowly improving in some cultures, including our own). WOMEN have the right to choose to accept or reject, as each decides, the risks and life-long consequences of pregancy. Take away choice, and you have DISempowerment, with it's familiar fruits of despair, anger, depression, stress, frustration, grief and hopelessness. Thank you for reminding us that the personal is and always will be political, that free will is a fundamental human right, and that love requires freedom to choose. I wish you peace, health and happiness with the choice you have made.

8:14PM PST on Jan 25, 2012

Thank you for speaking for so many of us. Women need to tell their stories of choice, and the power choice gives them -- to take care of themselves and their families as their individual circumstances may demand. When you have the power choose to accept an unexpected and perhaps very unwanted pregnancy, you then have all of your strength and heart to call on to deal with it and it's lifelong consequences, whatever they may be. You can begin to establish the acceptance needed to love the child that will one day be born. Likewise, if you have the power to choose to end that pregnancy, you can use that same strength and heart to deal with that difficult process and move on, to care for yourself and your family. The alternative -- NO choice -- is DISempowerment, with all the resentment, fear, anger, loss of control over your life and body, stress, grief, and hopelessness that implies. Free will is the right of every human being. Pregnancy, birth, and nursing a baby are uniquely female experiences, and women face disproportionate responsibility for children of all ages in every culture (although we have seen much progress in that area in some countries, including the U.S). No one should be able to decide for you whether you will take on the very serious, life-altering risks and responsibilities of carrying through with a pregnancy. (That said, of course we all [women and men] have a responsibility to avoid unwanted pregnancies to the very best of our ability, imperfect as

8:25PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

I so understand this. With my first child, it was choice, but if I had been told she wouldn't be healthy, I would have aborted without a doubt. With my second child, it was choice, but if I had been told she wouldn't be healthy, I would still have had her because my first child took away from me the option of abortion. I only wanted two children; that's all. I was on birth control, but I took an antibotic because of an illness. My family was complete. Neither my husband nor I wanted another child. Then, I skipped my period. I waited six weeks to tell my husband. He was surprised but happy so I started to plan the birth of my third baby, a baby I really didn't want. Then at three months, I had a miscarriage and discovered that I was unhappy because I had lost the chance to welcome a third baby in our family. But with that unhappiness, I was still glad that the choice to stay pregnant had been mine. What happened happened, but it was my body and my choice even though circumstances caused my miscarriage.

4:47PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

ty

1:36PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

interesting

1:10PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

To those of you saying "if you don't want a baby get sterilized". I decided when I was 16 that I didn't want children. At 18 I asked my OB/Gyn about having my tubes tied, he said he wouldn't because I might change my mind (by the way, I was still a virgin). Four (4!) different drs. said the same thing, like I was an idiot and didn't have the ability to think long term and make my own decision. I asked again at 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and finally gave up at 25. I used the pill, a spermicide and condoms (and if he didn't want to wear a condom he had to deal with a very convincing NO) ALL AT THE SAME TIME, because I really didn't want to get pregnant. I finally found a female OB/GYN when I was 27 who suggested to me a ligation because she knew that I didn't want a baby! Why were all the male doctors so convinced that I would change my mind?

11:13AM PST on Jan 23, 2012

I think you make a very good point I chose to stick out a hard pregnancy too, but I wouldn't expect someone else to make that choice, it is about having the control over your own life... and if the right to choose it taken away there will be plenty desperate enough to try anyway and it will go back to a world of unsafe abortions and their horrible complications including death of young girls...

11:08AM PST on Jan 23, 2012

First.let us get one thing strait. Having sex in the ONLY NATURAL way to have a baby. There is no other. The first choise is to be truthful. Do you want a baby? No? DON"T have sex. Might you want a baby? Use contrseptives. Just want sex? Have your self fixed. Killing someone else shouldn't be YOUR choice. How is this different than big corps coming in leveling whole city,forests,etc just for their own gain? They have money and it is their choise to do what is best for THEM.

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