This is one of many blessings in my life.
In my life, I have had 2 pregnancies, 2 live births and so 2 beautiful children.
Do the Maths. Many are less fortunate. And women bear the loss, trauma, pain and sense of responsibility greatly. Miscarriages, abortion, stillbirths… no matter the circumstances, whatever the religious, moral or valued judgments – they are all losses to be mourned. They carry a toll on a woman’s body, her psyche.
How do I know? Well, I don’t exactly know. I can only imagine – having been pregnant and having my children, the loss of them at any stage is unfathomable. We lose people in our lives – friends who no longer are, spouses or partners, lovers, siblings… for myriad of reasons, but none, none came from the nurturing of a woman’s body, none which could possibly shatter her innocence so simply.
Yet, the language of loss in this space tends to hurt those who are already hurting, women. “She lost her baby” as if she has been reckless, as if she was less than capable, as if she was irresponsible. There are many reasons why miscarriages happen and many contributing factors. Comments like, ‘she was working too much’, ‘she should have rested more’, ‘she used to smoke’… may be factually correct, maybe not. Nevertheless, where is the compassion and empathy? Women learn the lessons of their lives through their bodies – sex, pregnancy, childbirth…something that is uniquely ours.
And what about abortion? ‘Selfish’, ‘she shouldn’t have in the first place’… Suffice to say, women’s bodies ought not be the playing field upon which politics and power wrestling occur. Women suffer enough without blame and condemnation being heaped on them.
Women’s bodies are sacred. We still need to learn that, it seems. Mistakes we make and we pay the price. Sometimes, life happens to us through our bodies. Whatever the cause, the effect is one of loss and grief.
I have no wish to disenfranchise any woman who is unable to or choosing not to be a mother. My personal view has always been as Margaret Sanger said,
Approach a woman and the stories of her body with kindness, empathy and compassion.
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