Gawker headlined its rude treatment of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy announcement this way: “Bristol Palin Makes Great Argument for Abortion in Baby Announcement.” While implying Palin is a skank (which sort of projection leftists insist they adamantly oppose), Gawker also interprets Palin’s obvious frustration at her second pregnancy as a great reason for her to kill the child. Right, because it’s so fair for parents to murder their kids as a solution for having done at an inconvenient time the only thing in the world that makes a kid. Talk about blame the victim.
The writer’s treatment of Palin also makes me suspect the writer has never been pregnant, because if she had, she’d understand that we pregnant ladies all get frustrated at our uncomfortable state of affairs. Pregnancy isn’t a picnic. All that “glowing” and “you’re so beautiful” crap is a lie, at least in my experience. Pretty much every change pregnancy brings, except the baby, sucks. Oh, and that little thing about how motherhood also helps erase our childless selves’ smug, selfish complacency. Creating a new life, making ourselves better, making the world better…that’s all pregnancy gets you in the long run, despite all the very real short-term suck.
And, heck, all mothers get upset with their kids, no matter their size or stage of development. That’s not a great argument for letting us kill our kids at any time we feel they’re more work and pain than we can handle. It’s a great argument for a) helping us realize maybe our emotions shouldn’t rule our decisions and b) supporting and encouraging parents, with more than a sarcastic “Congrats on the baby!” after subjecting Palin to passive-aggressive cat clawing. What a jerky thing to say to a woman who is physically and emotionally struggling, and willing to be honest about it with a world she knows is going to mock her.
Instead of an argument for abortion, Palin’s struggle is certainly a good one for abstinence. If it’s hard to have a baby, it’s even harder to do it without the support of a good man committed to you and his baby for life. I know that because my husband is the greatest happiness in my life, and never more so when he sets aside his comfort to serve my rather astonishing appetite of needs during pregnancy and its aftermath. It would be impossible to do this without him, and my heart goes out to Palin, knowing she doesn’t have that blessed relief.
I know it’s a totally gauche thing to say in today’s enlightened age of sexual gluttony, but maybe more people should consider the plain reality a child is the natural result of sex, can happen even if you’re using birth control perfectly (though most people don’t anyway), and if you’re not prepared for a baby the most loving thing you can do is to walk away from doing what makes a baby. If more parents believed this, they also might do the loving thing and not push their grown children to endure the youthful years of sex-hormone insanity outside the only environment that is actually safe for sex: marriage.
I have four kiddos whom I love more than life, despite hating just about every second of all their pregnancies, including and especially the moment those plus signs appeared (and wouldn’t go away despite multiple retakes followed by several months of pregnancy denial). Number four still hasn’t used his lungs to breathe air yet, but every time I’ve hopped on a plane during this pregnancy or popped into a car for a long trip I’ve made mental contingency plans about how I’m going to get the medics to save the baby first if I end up mangled in some freak crash.
That’s what moms do, despite our sometimes-competing feelings about how we wish that dratted baby would stop kicking us for a solid hour while we’re laying in bed trying to sleep. The negative feelings might be there, but love trumps them. Bearing children has a unique power to teach women (and men) to let love win over annoyance more often. Abortion is just another word for validating hate instead of affirming love’s ability to transcend pain.
It’s ridiculous to suppose that feeling frustration and pain at a pregnancy is a good reason to cut it out of your body. If that were the case, no children would ever be born, because every woman, no matter how pregnancy-positive, occasionally feels upset about her pregnancy and the resulting child. Bearing and mothering a child is very, very hard—yet crucial and praiseworthy—work. It’s even harder if clueless Gawker writers cut you while you’re trying to do it.