Today is October 15. Babybean is 4 months old. It was also pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.
If you don’t know I’ve suffered a stillbirth recently and have also miscarried when I was younger. When I say that Babybean was hard won, I mean it.
The loss of Joel and the way it happened caused me severe anxiety and fear when I was pregnant with Babybean. Every single day I waited for something to go wrong. I was acutely aware of every pain or weird feeling in my body. I stayed awake nights terrified that I was going to roll over on my stomach and pop my water. I couldn’t give myself permission to enjoy the pregnancy and I hid it from others for as long as I could so I wouldn’t have to “inform” them again if I lost this one too. I think the worst though was the guilt. Because underneath it all I was convinced it had been my fault.
It wasn’t my fault. The Dr that was there isn’t even sure what it was. They think an undiagnosed UTI but aren’t sure. It’s that way with most miscarriages or stillbirths. Despite the mother’s best try sometimes it just happens.
Which is why “personhood” bills that go through congress or parliamentary motions like M-312 here in Canada are terrifying to me. Some see just the abortion debate and though important I want to put that aside for another day. What scares me is this: if a fetus is given “personhood” status and has all the rights that would award, sometimes over and above the mother, what happens when there is a stillbirth or even a miscarriage?
Does this involve a criminal investigation into neglect or even…murder?
The last thing I would have wanted after losing Joel was answering questions about my conduct during my pregnancy. I felt guilty enough for something beyond my control.
It would also open up the floor to banishing mothers from working during their last trimester – or possibly the full term of their pregnancy.
I didn’t light a candle today or say any prayers. I didn’t look at photos or talk with my husband about my feelings. I did, however, hold Babybean a little closer and paid a bit more attention to him than usual. The anxiety I feel now is tied to being a mother and it was a hard road to get here. I’m going to appreciate what I’ve got and fight for my rights in the future.