Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: birth

I Didn’t Love My Newborn

I didn’t love my newborn. I had loved him before he was born. Through the pregnancy complications, the month of bed rest, I had loved him. Feeling him kick, seeing my huge stomach sway with his movements whenever my husband spoke. Knowing he was there brought me comfort when I was afraid. I even loved him when he had a foot wedged in my rib, as he often did. But here he was, my baby, finally in my arms, and I didn’t love him. “This is not how I’m supposed to feel.” Nothing about my son’s entrance to the world happened the way I’d hoped. I’d planned for an unmedicated labor, complete with yoga balls and a jacuzzi tub. What I got, thanks to a terrible case of pre-eclampsia, was… Read more »

“Man Pregnancy” and Other Harmful Notions that Prevent Inclusivity

Remember Thomas Beatie – the pregnant man on Oprah, claiming to be the first? Well he wasn’t.  He was the first post-transition, transgender man to “go public” about keeping and using his female reproductive organs but by no means the first pregnant man.  In going public and naming himself an anomaly, he attracted audiences much like a circus freak would. More recently, author Benjamin Percy was interviewed on The TODAY Show about his experience of being “man pregnant,” as he actually called it. Percy’s definition of man pregnant: “[wearing] a pregnancy suit for nine weeks in an effort to be a better father by gaining an understanding of what women go through when they’re pregnant.”  There are so many things wrong with this. First off, Percy’s reasoning assumes that the… Read more »

Postpartum Cancer and The Breast & Cervical Cancer Prevention & Treatment Act, or, Two Reproductive Justice Things I Learned About By Simply Having A Conversation With My Sister

My medical history is something I’ve always been vague on. Aside from a smattering of recessive traits and bad teeth, I don’t really know what disorders or diseases to which I may be genetically predisposed. As a woman, this has always concerned me, particularly as the gap between my 20s and 30s begins to close. Not only am I becoming more interested in having a family of my own, but it’s no secret that women become more susceptible to reproductive cancer and hormone fluctuations as we age. My half-sister Christie is one of few relatives who offer clues to my medical history. A breast cancer survivor who underwent chemo, radiation, and a double mastectomy this summer, Christie has made a fairly speedy recovery – much to my relief. Naturally, I… Read more »

Cruise Vs. Shields: Overcoming Postpartum Depression

After watching the Golden Globes last night, I felt inspired to dissect a Hollywood debate that relates to reproductive justice. Everyone remember when Tom Cruise attacked Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants to treat her postpartum depression? No matter how attractive you may think he is in his tighty-whiteys (Risky Business), it’s no secret that Tom Cruise is a little nutty – when I say a little, I’m being kind. For this reason, I usually just ignore his ranting and raving. Unfortunately, I really let his opinions on psychiatrics and postpartum depression get under my skin. Medical News Today defines postpartum depression (PPD), also referred to as postnatal depression as “a type of depression that affects some women after having a baby.” The article goes on to say that “typically, [PPD]… Read more »

Reproductive Justice Violation: Shackling

I cannot imagine a place where one might stand and have a clearer view of concentrated disadvantage based on racial, gender and class inequality in the country then from inside the walls of a women’s prison. – Beth E. Richie (“Feminist Ethnographies of Women in Prison” Beth E. Richie) Prisons and jails were constructed by and for men. They then became a way of perpetuating the oppression of disadvantaged groups – like people of color, who happen to be disproportionately incarcerated. While the conception of our prison system may not seem pertinent, acknowledging this fact helps to illuminate the disadvantage that exists in these institutions today. Over the past thirty years, the number of women in jails and prisons has grown rapidly. Despite the rise in the incarcerated women population,… Read more »

Film Review: The Business of Being Born

I learn more from watching Netflix documentaries than I do at college. Recently my mind has been completely blown by the film The Business of Being Born . If you have a uterus, penis, or anything in between- I strongly recommend you view this film. This film leads the viewer through the process of contemporary childbirth — something society seemingly has under control. Through this film’s exploration of the hospitalized state of childbirth, an incredible number of injustices were unveiled. Until today I never questioned childbirth taking place in a hospital — it’s a social norm. This film opened my eyes to the organic, natural, spiritual, psychedelic, and extraordinary experience birth was designed to be — and how “Western Medicine” has successfully taken this right of passage away from the modern woman. This… Read more »