Friday, May 29, 2009

This Pregnant Feminist Will Eat You Alive

Everything's changing.

The moment was actually split. Plural.

There were two realizations that changed my life. One was the moment I knew I wanted to be a mother. The second when I realized I was pregnant.

Those two moments were distinct and both charged with a transformative power difficult to express.

The moment I knew I wanted to become a mother of some kind was a shock of worry -- what if I couldn't become pregnant? What if my health was not up to par? What kind of mother would I be? How will my life change?

Then the moment arrived when I realized I was pregnant. Everything turned into a statement, not a question. That left me in shock. I am now pregnant. My health is not up to par. I will be a mother. My life will change. All declaratives. All terrifying. No more questions.

I've come to understand my life in terms of my feminism and vice versa. My feminism is subdued or enthralled by the ongoing events and lessons of my everyday life. The more I engage in my life, the clearer my thoughts become, the more complex my issues grow. I wondered how my blogging would be affected -- would I suddenly be thrust into the prego blogosphere? No...I thought to myself, I'm still the same person. I'm not a genre. I'm a womyn of color, pregnant. I am growing fire inside my uterus. You better believe I'm going to be writing about this.

Being a pregnant womyn has pushed me into a new role in this world. It has shifted my thoughts to a future-oriented way of thinking. When I watch the news, it's not longer about me, but how it might affect the future my child will live in. When I see a car accident, I wonder if a child was lost, or if a child just lost a parent. Then I cry.

My eyes are wet with weepiness. As I ran on a treadmill, I stopped to weep into a corner. Then I got up and ran again.

The assault of medical worries and superficial expectations on what makes a "Good Mother" has astounded me. Everything from pre-natal yoga to avoiding bologna...all of the information and "education" has paralyzed me.

The greatest advice came from a friend who simply said, "Listen to your body. It knows what it needs."

There's a new fragility in my life that has gifted me with a strength I do not want to refuse. I want to be a strong mother, a strong womyn. I see the demons of this world who have painted the canvas of motherhood with images of white perfection, middle class luxuries, and the oldest tool of oppression used toward new and old mothers: guilt. I see the expectations heaped upon my life in the short 9 weeks I've been pregnant and am tickled with excitement. The world has no idea who they are messing with. Me. You are messing with pregnant me and my writing is going to fire back at all the mainstream feminisms that have contributed to the locking down, locking up, and criminilization of womyn of color who choose motherhood despite the odds, who choose to have children with or without a partner, who choose to raise their children with less than adequate healthcare coverage, who work and fight and love all in the same day. My blog will be focusing on the issues of pregnancy and feminism, on giving love and attention to all the truthful ways real womyn birth life into the world.

There is no epidural for the kind of birth I want.


  1. Congratulations, Lisa!! This is such completely WONDERFUL news :)

  2. I just wanted to say a big huge CONGRATULATIONS! I'm incredibly happy for you :)

  3. Aaminah7:01 PM

    Aww, CONGRATS!!!

    and way totally looking forward to your future posts, bcuz they are gonna be powerful. :)

  4. Congratulations!
    How did I know???? So funny, I felt like you were embarking on something huge, and I felt it, serioulsy...I knew it. The power of radical motherhood, you can sense it from afar.

    Much love to your and your future child...

  5. Anonymous8:12 PM

    omg, hello little sudy!!!!!!!! How good it is to finally see you!!!! **tears tears tears**

    welcome to the mamihood, mi amor, so happy to have u!!!!


  6. this post made me so happy! I am so glad you are pregnant. Mazel Tov!!! I've been a mostly lurker to your blog for so long and sometimes I think about things to tell my future daughter like your Veronica.
    yay! very happy. congrats!

  7. Lisa,

    You are going to be an absolutely beautiful mother. I am jealous of your unborn child because they get to have you as a mother, and so excited to see what the future holds.

  8. Anonymous11:57 PM

    Wonderful news, kasama. Congratulations and much pagmamahal.

  9. Tlönista12:11 AM


  10. Ahhhhhhhhh!!

    (That's me, screaming with joy!)


  11. i wanted to de-lurk because i am just so happy for you. i have been deeply moved by your series of letters to your unborn child. congratulations and thanks for writing so beautifully about your experiences.

    and i love this: "I'm still the same person. I'm not a genre. I'm a womyn of color, pregnant. I am growing fire inside my uterus." wow.

  12. Congratulations and all the best. :)

  13. MAZAL TOV! So happy for you.

  14. Anonymous7:10 PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! this is such fabulous news - i'm so excited for you!!!!

  15. OMG!!!!!! Congrats! Congrats!

  16. i've been reading an not commenting, but now seems a good time. congratulations on this amazing journey!

  17. Anonymous12:08 PM

    Such great news!!!

  18. Beautiful post. Absolutely beautiful.

    All the best to you.

  19. <3 is all I have to say

  20. Congratulations! Can't wait to read your perspectives!

  21. Awesome news. Having been around this block I had a pretty good feeling this was the case. What a nice healthy looking little bean, and it will be fun to see the ultrasounds as it begins to look recognizable!

  22. Many, many congratulations!

  23. PS, I hear you about all the info about what not to do. It's pretty overwhelming. And I think most of it's overabundantly cautious. I hated giving up sushi and spicy food and always thought about how women in countries where those are staples food seem to do find with their pregnancies.

    All that said, check with your doc about the treadmill just in case. I was told low-impact only and get a heartrate monitor to keep it under 140 -- then again I was a few years older than you and with a history of m/c.

  24. First-time reader. I started with your wonderful abortion post and then went on rading. You're awesome, and will be a great mother. Congratulations!
    The suggestion you were given of listening to your body is great, especially since doctors tell different things in different countries (I was allowed small amounts of wine and sushi, but had to avoid salad and uncooked meat).


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