Saturday, April 28, 2012

I am NOT Sick!!

DSC_0074DSC_0081DSC_0076

Let’s just clarify two things for a moment.

1. I am 32 weeks pregnant.
2. I am not sick.

Does that seem like a strange juxtaposition? Sadly, in our culture of death, it isn’t.

It has taken me a long time to write on the Obama administration’s so-called Contraception Mandate. Partly because I have been so disgusted over the whole thing that I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. Partly because I have many friends and family members who are adamantly “for” it, and I didn’t want to stir up a pot if I had nothing truly constructive to say. And partly because, you know, I’ve been busy building a child and mothering two others!

Still, I thought it was high time I finally said something. And here it is: I AM NOT SICK!

Pregnancy is many things. It is life-changing. It is life-giving. It is miraculous. It is amazing!

It is also uncomfortable. It can be unwanted. It is, even when wanted, usually at least somewhat inconvenient. At different points, it can be painful (hello, labor!) or downright unpleasant (morning sickness, anyone?)

The one thing it is not is a disease.

Pregnancy is not an illness.

Yet, this is exactly how our culture responds to pregnancy.

I am not trying to say that medicine has no place in pregnancy. Some women have ectopic pregnancies. Some pregnancies end in pre-eclampsia and require emergency cesareans. Some babies die in utero or are revealed to have life-threatening illnesses that will need to be treated at birth. There are legitimate emergencies where all does not go as planned and a pregnant woman or unborn child is diagnosed with a disease that needs professional medical treatment. But pregnancy itself is not that disease.

And now, we have been told by the government that contraception and sterilization for perfectly healthy women and men is “preventative care.” This even goes so far as to include medications that cause abortions of already conceived children. It is the final straw in the straw man.

But, how do we convince this culture of death that pregnancy is not the enemy? That babies are not the enemy?

I’m not going to deny that prenatal and postnatal care are expensive—astronomically expensive in this country (USA) compared to other developed nations! I also acknowledge that there are diseases that are best treated by the use of contraceptives (something, incidentally, that the Catholic Church permits – see Humane Vitae 15). But to treat pregnancy as something which ought to be prevented—like cancer or heart disease—is a twisted look at something that is inherently good.

Yes, I said it. Pregnancy is, by its very nature, good. Because pregnancy is the beginning of life. And life—all life, from conception until natural death—is sacred and beautiful and inexpressibly good.

So regardless of my thoughts on the constitutionality of the Mandate, regardless of my fears of where this slippery slope of “religious exemptions” may lead, the one thing I want to affirm is that life is good. And no matter how tiring, uncomfortable or painful a pregnancy might be (and I know it can!), I say again: I am not sick. And my child is not a disease.

No child is.

Btw…if you’re confused, those are pictures from Easter morning. They were the most recent “belly shots” I could find. Sorry, kind of a lame, I know.

10 comments:

  1. The naturalness of pregnancy is something Americans need to learn about. We tend to be a culture of paranoia.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well said. I am glad you waited to address the issue, because honestly, so many of us have forgotten about the issue since it is out of the news. We need to not lose our resolution and stand up for the unborn and the blessings of children.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Bethany, I have been away for such a long long time, and now I come to discover you are expecting a baby! *Jumps with joy*. I will be waiting for updates regularly now. Hoping you continue to be in good health!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, those of us who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum might argue about pregnancy not being a disease ;) I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to say, "I'm pregnant and I'm not sick." But sadly, for me, pregnancy always equals deathly ill.

    ReplyDelete
  5. An amazing post--very cogent. I think what Obamacare offers overall is truly an improvement and needed, but I hear a very logical argument.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Becky - from a fellow HG sufferer, I agree... We are ttc right now but gosh I am so petrified of getting a positive. For me, pregnancy does indeed equal sickness... It's so scary. And yet, I still have to agree with Bethany. Pregnancy is fundamentally good... Because it's life, and such... But yes, it's sickness too. =(

    ReplyDelete
  7. Becky and Tiqa - It just breaks my heart that you both have to suffer through hyperemesis gravidarum!! It's such an awful condition. I think Tiqa makes an important point, though, that it's not pregnancy that is the sickness--it's a secondary condition that (most unfortunately!) accompanies pregnancy in your cases. I just pray that they finally pinpoint what it is that causes severe morning sickness so that this condition can be treated for mother like you both!

    God bless,
    Bethany

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is an older post, but I thought I'd comment. I come to this page every few days to check in to see if there's any end-of-pregnancy updates from you. Since I posted earlier, I've actually found out I was pregnant!! And, in true style, I just spent three days in the hospital because of it. Definitely sick. I'm now having home nurses come help me through this pregancy. I had more than one doctor or nurse ask me why on earth I would choose to have another child knowing how ill I get... Well, because... pregnancy is a good thing. :) Anyway, this will have to be my last child as it would be life threatening to get pregnant again. I hope the outcome is good. I'm a little jealous that you're on the other end of the pregnancy spectrum, just about to deliver, but it gives me a goal and something to look forward to - through the many months of sickness to come. =/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tiqa - Congratulations on your newest blessing! You will be in my prayers as you struggle with the painful side effects of your condition. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete

Hello! I'm so glad that you have come here to share your heart and thoughts. One quick word from me before you comment:

I ask all visitors to respect this as a place of peace. Disagreements are welcome, but please refrain from posting any ungracious comments. Thank you, and God bless.