On Courage

“Having courage does not mean we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage mean we face our fears. We are able to say, I have fallen, but I will get up.” – Maya Angelou

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Pregnant women are no strangers to courage. No matter what the outcome of a pregnancy is, the woman faced with it is brave and courageous. Deciding to have a child after never wanting one takes courage. Deciding to have an abortion, a scary enough procedure without hateful protesters threatening women outside of clinics, takes courage. Deciding to try to get pregnant in the face of terrible odds because of infertility takes courage. Deciding to give a child up for adoption takes courage. Deciding to get pregnant again after multiple traumatizing miscarriages takes courage. Even just being an average healthy person deciding to carry a pregnancy to term takes courage because anything can happen to anyone. Women still die from childbirth, and babies still die before being born. The partners, family,¬†and friends¬†who stand by these women also carry with them their own kind of bravery and courage–this whole “creating life” endeavor is filled with uncertainty and fear, which means it requires courage to pursue.

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“But You’ll be a Great Mom!”

As I mentioned in a post earlier, it took me a few years to work through some issues I had surrounding motherhood. It started with what I thought was a pregnancy scare (but ultimately wasn’t), but it forced me to really think things through that I’d only thought about abstractly before: Did I actually want to be a parent? If so, did I want to have my own child or adopt? What was I willing to compromise for my partner, who has known he wanted to be a father since high school? Parenthood is not something I would enter into lightly, especially since I’d never wanted kids, and so my epic journey of self-reflection and -discovery began.

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