Postmodern Parent

The Miracle of Intersectional Pregnancy

Updated April 14, 2016 11:03pm PDT
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Why do I call my children miracles when I'm not remotely religious? Why insist that what happened was impossible even though I don't believe in destiny or fate? Why do I refer to these blessing as curses?

It's the nature of my life. Good and bad are merely two sides of the same coin and nowhere is that truer than the story of my cuil ass existence. Not only am I like the intersectionalist motherfucker you'll ever hear of, but nothing in my life has been normal or typical. I thank the stars for that. If I'd have turned out like most of the others who've dealt with even a fraction of what I've been through...

There do exist experiences that are worse than death. Those who say otherwise have never experienced life or death.

And when you're a liminal being, existing on that curious edge where the light fades away into oppressive darkness, then you tend to get the twisted version of reality. Meaning you can never quite sum up into words just how strange your experiences are. There is a greater gulf between those near the edge and those on it than between those near the edge and those in the rest of the normal curve.

For instance, most of the pregnancy information out there is geared towards those who want kids, those who've been actively trying to have kids, those in female bodies whose gender aligns with their sex, those who can afford to have kids, and those who are otherwise healthy.

And while we've heard more about abortion and miscarriage of late, there is still this huge and invisible section suffering in silence. The trans, the otherwise queer, the poor, and the disabled. More specifically, those whose gender no one's ever heard of and those who have chronic pain conditions.

People like me. Who never wanted children. Who only took fertility drugs to ease the symptoms caused by the debilitating endometriosis, PCOS, and PMDD so that I could actually keep a job for more than a few months. But surprise surprise, I ended up pregnant instead.

Me, the person who was allergic to latex condoms and who never really bothered with them yet had never fallen pregnant before (except for one single time I miscarried). I began willingly having sex at age 15. I kept getting raped up until I was 25. Despite my preference for women, obviously none of them could get me pregnant so only the many men count. I wasn't able to get pregnant until I was 24. It's safe to say everyone considered me infertile and not merely subfertile.

And yet, within three months my body decided it could do this thing. It was the healthiest I've ever felt in my life, and that includes the last month where I was virtually bedridden when my pelvic bones spread way too far apart.

Over a year later I fell pregnant again. But with the concerns surrounding the c-section I'd had to have, plus my deplorable mental and physical state, we decided to save my body. The year after that I underwent my second laparoscopy for my endometriosis.

It's so easy to judge when you haven't lived the actual reality. Everyone is so full of misguided advice. And among poly people there seems to be this assumption that everyone has kids on purpose. Most events aren't parent or kid-friendly and a lot of poly people won't date parents at all.

But in the end, most of you will have no idea how truly awful your body can feel, how much your mind can turn on you, and how the ever-present lack of understanding and support can weigh on you.

One miscarriage. One c-section/live birth. One abortion. And now a new unassisted pregnancy.

This one drains me. Not only can I feel the endometrial adhesions pulling and ripping apart as my body expands and grows, but the sharp shooting pains from the fibromyalgia are no longer suppressed by the medication, on top of the depression that often comes with too much estrogen in my system bringing back some suicidal thoughts, along with the back pain from the way endometriosis (and possibly the epidural) fucked up the nerves in my back, and the aural migraines caused by hormonal changes and dehydration and stress.

I'm already prone to fainting. And none of my disabilities is cured or eased just because I'm pregnant. Matter of fact, there are specific risks with pregnancy that I face just for having endometriosis. My risk of getting gestational diabetes (again) is higher because of my PCOS. My mood swings and hits to my mental health are more severe due to poverty, my PMDD, and my traumatic past. And the two surgeries and 11 incisions I've had for my breast abscess will likely interfere with my ability to use that breast to feed my baby. Some of the cuts have reopened and bled because of my growing bust.

Pregnancy is either seen as this mysterious and wonderful event or fodder for hilarious jokes. And of course, those like me have to come along and make it all serious and potentially dangerous.

To understand what's happening inside my body is an arduous process, specifically because there just isn't much knowledge or resources for the disabled and pregnant. We don't often hear stories from chronic pain sufferers and pregnancy. And it's hard enough for female-bodied people with PCOS and endometriosis to even get pregnant (and not miscarry) in the first place.

Good and bad hold no meaning when describing the life I live and the constant pain and ignorance I have to deal with. There simply is what is and I have to deal with it, as I always have.

My pregnancies are always a surprise, because tracking fertility after irregular periods, anovulatory periods, a host of different birth control, and illness make it impossible. This time I had only been off of birth control for a month. Any woman with endometriosis falling pregnant within a month after being taken off of birth control is rare as fuck, which is why I'm so astonished.

And why I can only laugh when people ask who the father is.

I do not ever use my words lightly. When I say that my children are miracles, they truly are.

And of course, all of the pressure is now on me to have another c-section. I am on that medical industrial complex that would rather push convenience than what's actually safest for me. Figuring out how my illnesses and past affect my pregnancy and possibly the birth are paramount to me making an informed choice. It's easy for them to reference the normal way but normal can actually be life-threatening for people like me.

Of course, other people get to plan their lives better. They don't have to adjust due to so many factors being out of their control. It must be nice to set up something and have it go exactly as you want it to. I spend my days constantly surprised by the twists and turns of life, preparing for change, and taking things as they come.

Long-term isn't a thing for me, not for my life specifically, anyway. I can't afford to live that way. I tried, but as many with chronic illnesses will tell you, it's just not possible.

But if you ask me if I hate it, I don't. I'm grateful for every experience. I'm fascinated by the ways in which life can express itself. And I'm awed that so many things that are against the odds have occurred in my life.

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Michón Neal is a minority of minorities: female assigned at birth, mostly black, disabled, genderqueer, autistic, aromantic, pansexual, single parent, kinky, demisexual, poor, noetisexual, polyamorous, singleish, RA, a survivor, intersex, and left-handed.

Michón Neal writes a mix of scifi, fantasy, erotica, and autobiography called cuil fiction about unique people in unique circumstances, with characters running the gamut of non-monogamous and LGBTQIA+ spectrums. 

That’s right: queer and polyamorous fiction!