The doctor asked me if I ever miscarried before. I hadn’t. A virgin can’t miscarry, but he doesn’t get to know that. I’ve known for some time that my clotting disorder would cause inherent dangers with pregnancy. Getting on the pill nearly killed me. No doctor wanted to take the right to have kids from me, but it seems like God already did that for me, to grow the child in my womb, for their blood, to be my blood, to be tethered, bonded, I could stroke, or the baby, and vice versa.
“You have to be careful!”
“You have to plan!”
The male doctor scolded. I quietly nodded my head in agreement, I’m a no kiss virgin! A pro-life advocate who is terrified she will die if she ever gets pregnant. Terrified one day that I will have to make a choice, and I wonder if it will be the right one.
I could gamble with my life, with my baby’s under doctor supervision, be on bed rest, carefully medicated, carefully monitored, risk death for life, trade my life, and maybe gamble for a baby, be the sacrificial vessel my foremothers were. For them, there were no guarantees just blood and death and maybe if they were lucky life. Mothers were expendable, children were reproducible, men were indispensable!
I will never know what it’s like to feel a flutter, a kick, a heartbeat, to feel my baby in utero.
I will never know what it’s like to tell my future husband that we created a life, that his DNA lies inside me that his name will be carried on. I won’t share that special bond of womanhood that shared sense of trauma and pride and celebration. Every baby shower, every child’s one year old birthday party a painful reminder of my hostile womb, my defect, my inadequacy,
I thought about surrogacy. I still wanted to see my smile and my eyes and my curls in another being intermixed with my future husband’s features, but how can I ask another woman to take on the risk I would not ask of my body? How can I have her experience the joy I will never know myself? I’m not sure my body could handle the surge of hormones, or if like the pill that too would kill me. Besides there are no guarantees the same malady that plagues my body would not be encoded in the transferred genes. Should I gamble on such an illness that has nearly killed me 3 times on an innocent child? Maybe they get it, maybe it would be less severe, maybe there would be medical advancements. Do I have a right to play God and upset the natural order of things? I don’t know, and I don’t judge.
And then there is adoption and foster children, and stepchildren, and no children that too is an option. Will I even be healthy enough to raise children? Will I love my chosen children? Will they love me? Will I still feel a twinge of phantom pain in my hostile womb of ghosts of unborn babies dreams I was born to have, and dreams that were miscarried. I know I will love my children if I have them however they come, but that love will come with pain. It is my prayer that they never see it, my prayer that they will be loved unconditionally far beyond blood ties, my prayer when they seek their own womb mothers and seed fathers that I will embrace their journey with grace and openness and not the hostility that so many adoptive children are torn between their family and their biology. It is my prayer that my love for my children is not sabotaged by my hostile womb or my pride both are deadly to an innocent babe.