This piece was reprinted with permission from New Wave Feminists’ blog.
I don’t know about you, but “I couldn’t have” is not a phrase fit for feminism. The beliefs we have as women need to be built on, “I can” and “I did,” because therein lies a message of strength and resilience that all women should hear.
They need to know they are capable of facing an unplanned pregnancy and persevering. They need to see that there is a way for them to pursue their dreams without sacrificing such a powerful part of themselves along with the life of their child. They need to know they are not alone.True feminism surrounds those women with support, encouragement, and resources… not a violent “choice” she might live the rest of her life regretting.
With that said, I decided to dust off this short essay from our facebook about my own “I can and I did” moment. Because we as women and we are capable of anything. We’re done sacrificing either our dreams or our children… when we know we’re strong enough to have both.
You have nine months for all that, but then it gets good. Still difficult, don’t get me wrong, but so, so good…
My “crisis pregnancy” turned 15 today. He’s just a year shy of the age I was when I became pregnant with him (a thought that absolutely terrifies me, trust). However, he’s anything but a mistake.
He’s the other half to all my inside jokes. He’s the best person I’ve ever known. He’s the one who binge watches Doctor Who with me and teaches me about robots and video games. He’s the reason I started New Wave Feminists.
He’s the owner of a pure heart, swiper of my favorite CDs, and contributor of copious amounts of laundry. He’s the kid who still has me hanging around skateparks a decade and a half later.
He’s often my (much needed) filter, because he’s a stereotypical naturally mature firstborn, and the last one to ever let me down. He’s the kid that I didn’t really raise at all, but instead grew up alongside. He’s my heart and soul.
I didn’t know it at the time, but choosing life for him would give me a life that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
See, you don’t realize how temporary the “crisis” is when it’s consuming your every waking moment, but as soon as you get beyond that… Such beauty can be born from that which we never planned.
Fear is temporary, but the courage you gain facing it lasts forever. Panic subsides, but the strength you find in the midst of the crisis endures. Perhaps the most amazing thing though is how the love you feel for this new life, whether it was intended or not, suddenly turns a “mistake” into a miracle.
I didn’t save my son by “choosing life.” He saved me.”
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