On conception…

The following post I drafted up in August 2014. Three months later, while I think the same, I think I am finally ready to share it with my readers.

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pregnant bellyI’ve been struggling with whether or not I should publish a post about faith here on Dropsofscarlet. Dropsofscarlet is a blog mostly about periods and women’s health and some would say faith has no part to play in these subject areas.

More and more I am seeing just how closely linked the two are in my personal life. Because of my challenges with reproductive health I have had a very hard time connecting with God. For me this is a big deal because my faith has always been the one thing I can count on.

I know that the way I am feeling is a direct result of me distancing myself from God, which is a direct result of the persistent pain I experience due to endometriosis. It’s hard to stay optimistic, when each day is plagued with cramping and nausea. I have some good days – they are rare, but good. It is equally hard to connect with God, who essentially created and designed the very thing that is destroying my insides: menstruation.

Through my experience growing up in the Christian faith, reading the Bible or listening to pastors speak about gender roles, procreation and marriage, I’ve heard it said, more often than not, that God made women so that they could essential produce babies. Of course most pastors today do acknowledge that women have many other roles outside of child bearing, but the weight of the responsibility on all things reproduction still very much centre on women. Our bodies are designed this way and were made for pregnancy; and that is a beautiful thing.

But, what happens when that “design” is flawed and can’t carry out that function? In my experience the church is pretty silent on issues of infertility and the menstrual cycle. While vocal on matters related to abortion and teen pregnancy, there isn’t much said to those women who are struggling every month to conceive or those struggling with reproductive diseases. Even outside of the church discussion of menstruation, miscarriage, infertility etc. are limited. They are uncomfortable subjects for many, but they are uncomfortable because sometimes there isn’t a solution to the problems we face.

Full disclosure: I am terrified of trying to conceive, because I fear failing to conceive. I know a lot of woman have that fear, but for someone who has been told since they were 19 that they will have a hard time getting pregnant, getting pregnant doesn’t make the top of one’s to do list.

It’s always been easier for me to think of life without kids, without the option of pregnancy. Why would I willingly set myself up for defeat. I know my body, I know it’s limitations and pregnancy (from a medical, logical standpoint) doesn’t make sense to pursue.

But, then again, I have been learning that there IS more than one way to have a family. There is more to being a woman, than being a mother. And if a woman wants to a mother, there are options.

 

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99.3 percent effective

For years, technologies like the home pregnancy test, breast pumps and tampons have been “helping” women through life’s everyday experiences. Some view these technologies as “feminist” in nature, yet, recent research on feminist technologies has questioned whether or not technologies are entirely liberating or empowering for women.

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second and third trimesters

I am halfway through Naomi Wolf’s (2001) Misconceptions and I am incredibly fascinated by all that I am learning. I especially enjoy how on every page there are references that I can’t help but look up, contributing to my slow, but detailed, read of the book. Well researched, and honestly written, Misconceptions is on my top ten list of books women should read.

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first trimester

In my effort to share my reading pursuits with you, I have chosen to start with Naomi Wolf’s (2001) book Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood. 

Within the first few pages of Misconceptions you will find what most books about women’s health lack – honesty.

As a female author (and one who has been pregnant herself), Wolf validates pregnancy as an experience that is more than just a reproductive process. She validates pregnancy by citing it as a transformative event for women that strengthens them, shapes their personality and evidently the path they will walk on for the rest of their lives.

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minimizing loss

It is a subject many do not talk about, yet is something women (and men) may have to face at some time in their lives. Like most words relating to women’s health “miscarriage” sounds so horrible when it is spoken. In addition to what we know it as today (the loss of a baby and in my personal opinion the loss of life) miscarriage was originally used in the early seventeenth century to describe the loss of a shipment or letter. It is incredible that we continue to use this term. To think that losing our latest gadget that we bought on eBay could be described in the same way as a woman losing the life she carried inside of her is maddening.

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