It’s been a funny little journey through the last few years. Five years ago, when I first set out to have a public blog (versus a journal), I was going through a really rough patch.
See, I had a miscarriage. I hadn’t even been aware that I was pregnant. And so much was going on at once – I was working three jobs, I needed surgery to remove several pilonidal cysts, and an extended family member had come to live with me through the end of her pregnancy. I did not notice that my usually pretty regular period just did not flow.
Until it did.
And flow, it did. I bled for days. For nearly two weeks. With terrible cramping and soaking through pads and tampons on a regular basis. And it was not until about the second to last day of this terrible wave, as I sat down on that porcelain seat for the umpteenth time that shift, that I realized what was happening. I had failed at keeping a pregnancy and I wasn’t even planning on having a child yet.
I was in such shock. I even proceeded to go to my other job the next day. Calls to my GYN group’s office resulted in a series of dropped calls. When I finally spoke to a nurse, she told me not to bother coming in. And I couldn’t believe it. Here I was, a young person, a consumer, their patient. And there were no kind words. No concern to match my own. Not even clinical follow-up by my doctor. I realized that this was exactly how many American women were treated by doctors’ offices.
And in the ensuing weeks, I started to form this half-baked idea that if I ever wanted to be a mom, first I had to learn to be a “good” wife to my husband… and before I knew it, I was hooked on following blogs by Christian fundamentalist homemakers.
It seems so odd and naive now. I latched on these proponents of “femininity” and gracefulness and God. But it always felt a little sour to me. Do not get me wrong. I love my husband. I respect that there is a Creator – God, to me. But the in-your-face “pious”-ness wasn’t who I was inside, or really who I wanted to be.
But something good came out of reading those blogs. I learned that there were alternatives when it came to birth. And as I did more research, I learned more about reproductive justice and how that played into my personal politics. And I learned about doulas.
And I realized that I had to be one.