So I am full term pregnant today. For the second or is it third time my midwife has joked,"So are you shutting up shop now?" Needless to say, she thinks she is being funny, after all this is my sixth child, including one with high special needs, obviously I want to stop,right?
This habit of asking pregnant and newly delivered women what contraception they are going to use is no accident. What mother of a newborn is anxious to go through all that again? Pregnancy,childbirth,post natal exhaustion/craziness the whole shebang?
But here's the thing. I believe that if something is wrong, it is wrong. Upending grandma's wheelchair into the river is wrong (with Grandma in it) even if she is the smelliest,nastiest old crone that ever lived. It might be understandable,but we don't do it, because a person's value is not dependant on how annoying they are-otherwise, I would have been swimming with the fishes long ago.
My little boy with Down's syndrome is quite frankly a pain in the butt most of the time-exhausting,destructive,violent-he can be happy-but we are far away from the, "Aren't they lovely?" you always get.I guess you are "allowed" to live if you are lovely-but not if you are cranky,impolite,ugly or a miscevious little sod. Well I'm stuffed then.
If I contracepted for "good reasons"-like I'm too tired,too overwhelmed,too poor,unmarried, avoiding grave abnormality, etc, then none of my children would exist. That would be a great loss.
If an artist who painted magnificent artworks was told,"Gee, you've painted enough there son,why don't we cut off your hands?" We'd think that person was crazy. Or tell a leading heart surgeon, "Gosh you've done so many procedures, and you're so good at it, and you look tired, why don't we give you these pills to shrivel up your fingers, so you don't have to do this anymore"
Imagine if your GP came to your house, and you said, "Dr,my right arm works really well, I keep doing wonderful things with it, can you cut it off please?" Wouldn't they think you were mad?
And yet when it comes to contraception and sterilisation, it is like our brains fall out. Whatever happened to if it aint broke,don't fix it?