Pregnancy

Anonymous Mom: My Child Is A Product Of Rape

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On a chilly winter night, my labor started. Fifteen hours of textbook work later, I had a healthy beautiful baby boy, and I was instantly in love. I do not regret, knowing what I know now, continuing my pregnancy. My son is a joy in my life. And yet, it absolutely infuriates me to hear people say, “A child of rape is a gift. A blessing. God’s plan.”

I was in an ideal situation, with tons of support. My parents and grandmother, who made it entirely possible for me to work and go to school with no worries over childcare, just for a start. Caring friends that worked hard to maintain relationships. Professors that worked with me to schedule finals around my delivery date. My son is a blessing because I had options.

Of all the good things, there have been trade-offs too. I spent years repressing the emotions surrounding my rape, focusing on my pregnancy and then on motherhood, until they boiled over, leaving me feeling like I couldn’t breathe. My depression cycled, sometimes out of control. I traded my life, as a teenager and college student, for the life of a mother, working and trying to go to school. I sometimes joke that even my body was gone before I’d gotten a chance to use it—I was not even allowed to wear a bikini as a teen, and the inevitable presence of stretch marks deterred me even once I was out on my own.

I paid a price for that night—a price that my son’s biological father never will.

Like many victims, I opted not to go to the police. After all, at the time, I didn’t even consider it rape—I just knew that it felt wrong. Even if I had, what would it have accomplished? I can just imagine it: “Well, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, did you know she lost her virginity at 16? That she wasn’t on the pill because she SMOKED and had been smoking for years? That she lied to her parents about where she was that night? That she brought her own condoms? That she said ‘yes’ and she wanted it? I rest my case!”

Perhaps that’s too much of a caricature, but it’s true. I was far from a perfect victim.

Every child a wanted child: it’s a beautiful idea. An idea for a perfect world. That’s not the world that we live in. The world we live in is messy and chaotic. It’s dangerous, and it’s hard. In the world that we live in, the right to choose is paramount. Reproductive freedom is paramount.  It should be guarded at all costs. The only person who has the right to decide whether to keep or terminate a pregnancy is the person carrying the child. The only person who had the right to make that decision for me, was me.

My story is not a bulletin point on someone’s political agenda.

(photo: Getty Images)

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