Someday, I may become Cristina Yang.
This country that denies women sovereignty over their own reproductive systems denied me the means to prevent it. I could have fought, but there was that pesky medication issue that turned into, well, August. So I’m behind by a good two months. I could even call around tomorrow, but what’s the guarantee that the next receptionist will actually know whether her practice performs tubal ligations or Essure? And no, let’s not pour hormones into my body long-term, irreversibly (or difficult-to-reversibly) and say we did. I have enough chemical soup going on.
But I don’t want an abortion. But I won’t have a choice. I can’t have a baby. Nothing about having a baby is healthy for me: not the pregnancy, not the giving it to a stranger after nine months, not the parenting if I can’t bear to give it up. Not the possibility of postpartum depression or–worse. God, I don’t want to contemplate what “worse” looks like for me. And pity that baby! There’s no way I could quit my meds fast enough, without spending a decent chunk of time in a hospital, to prevent… well, the worst things happen in the first trimester, when the embryo is sorting itself into a fetus. Chances are the damage would be done by the time I figured out what was wrong.
The mere fact that I typed “what was wrong” by default pretty much tells the story.
Tonight’s portrayal of Cristina Yang mourning the impending abortion of a child she could have loved had she wanted respected the reality that there are women who have only bad choices. You didn’t see her jumping for joy; I don’t know anyone who would shrug it off that easily, truth be told. A lot of us are interested in never even having to be pregnant. Why would any doctor let me have a baby if I conceived tomorrow, with my messy body and my messier mind, but forbid me to permanently prevent the possibility? It isn’t, after all, as if my chemical imbalances will ever clear themselves up. I have only to look at my father. His never did. I understand permanence. Being twenty-five doesn’t mean I think everything’s fixable. People I love have died. People I love are going to be somehow broken forever. I will be somehow broken forever. I know what forever means, and I don’t even have illusions about any second coming that’ll reunite me with everyone who’s gone before. Forever is forever. The end is the end. If I am made sterile and come to regret it, there are children in this world who will want me for a mother. (Desperate child, to want me, though.) I do not anticipate regretting it.
I would get attached to that thing growing inside me the second I found out about it, and I would mourn it. This is a situation I want desperately to avoid, so I take my pill, and we use condoms, and still it’s not enough to satisfy me. And what if I want to have sex without having to worry about that? What if I don’t want to care whether or not I have a period each month; what if I want to be able to take the kind of pill that makes them go away, instead of needing to reassure myself by bleeding like a stuck pig?
What if I just want to be free, like this country says I should be?