I have not slept well since I was pregnant with Elizabeth. I remember looking forward to giving birth so that I could sleep again. I wasn’t naive, as a second-time mom, but I figured sleeping with a nursling beside me was better than what I was getting then. And it was…but in those short two-or-three hour snatches. Even now, more than four years later, I don’t sleep well. I hear the cats scratch in their litter box. I hear little feet patter to the bathroom and then to over to my bed. Then I feel the same little feet that pounded my bladder from within five years ago pound my bladder from the outside and I have to get up and go to the bathroom, too. But lately, her bathroom trips come late enough that I seem to be able to enter a sleep stage of dreams that I remember. Two night ago, I dreamed that spooky women kept appearing in my room and taunting Elizabeth, trying to take her from me. I fought them off with a wire coat hanger. Last night, I dreamt that, as we were leaving to go out to dinner, we saw our neighbor’s house on fire. We though, “what a pity. hope it doesn’t spread to ours.” and left for our outing. When we returned, surprise, surprise, our house was engulfed, too. That didn’t concern us, though, in my dream. I wasn’t distressed until Caroline took off running down the street and a bunch of cattle, released from their fence due to the fire, stampeded her!
Now, I did take some psych courses in college. And I read a lot of fiction. And the Bible. So I can try to interpret my dreams. I’m open to help, of course. Really, the wire coat hanger is obvious. I’ve been tuned in to the Texas Legislature’s live stream via Texas Tribune all week. In the back of my mind, I know that with too many restrictions on fertility and abortion services, my Elizabeth would not be here. The current bill would not have altered my personal experience, I know, but if I were poor…or if the slippery slope continued…who knows. I found out at my 20-week-ultrasound that the baby I was expecting was dead. I was under a doctor’s care, was admitted to the hospital, was induced, and delivered. Lucky for me. Then, within a few months , I was pregnant with Elizabeth. I remember very vividly, once I knew the baby inside of me was dead I could not wait to get it out of me and get pregnant again. And I am not a woman who loves being pregnant. Believe me, I was not meant to be a Duggar. Without access to the medical care I had, I would not have been able to rid my body of the doomed pregnancy and get pregnant again with Elizabeth. She might not be here with the regulations the legislature is proposing. I was 20 weeks 5 days pregnant when I was induced. If I lived in an area without a doctor with hospital admitting privileges, who knows what would have happened?
I have been debating how much of this to write about in my blog. My blog is a place that my daughters can read about my thoughts about life and motherhood if and when I am no longer here to discuss it with them. I started this blog with my pregnancy journals because I wanted such a thing from my mom when I was pregnant. Thankfully, I know where my mom stood on what matters. So I’m writing it here for my girls just in case they don’t *get* it from me. BIRTH CONTROL is the answer. My goal is that nobody ever need an abortion because she has access to birth control. It works. Really, girls, if you use it properly, it should work. If you really, really don’t want a baby, double up. (Heck, there was a period that we tripled up!)
So, what saddens me about this legislation before Texas today is that so many women will not have access to birth control. And then they may want an abortion. And who can blame them?
I pray for my daughters that they understand how their bodies work, how reproduction works and how scientific technology allows them to control that. And whether or not they choose that technology, they know it exists (which, though I do not choose for myself, I hope I could be supportive of them if they chose a life without birth control) and find no shame in using it!