So You’re Pregnant – and High-Risk. How do you feel about the Stigma?

As if it wasn’t hard enough to be pregnant during normal times, I’ve decided to get pregnant during the apocalypse! Understandably, this pregnancy has not always been looked at positively, even by my close friends. I think one of the times I felt slighted was when one of my friends asked me, “How do you feel about the stigma associated with your high-risk pregnancy?”

Because to be quite honest, up until that question was popped to me, I did not consider any stigma associated with my pregnancy at all. However, as soon as that suggestion was planted, I started wondering exactly how many people I knew, who were aware of my trauma, aware of my past addiction and current sobriety, multiple hospitalizations, multiple suicide attempts, multiple mental health diagnoses – where actually suppressing their own toxic judgement when they voiced their congratulations and expressed complete, and utter shock that out of all people – ME – have decided to become a mother.

I also wonder if some people ever thought, Hey, it’s Ellise wer’e talking about here – this baby is just another one of her spontaneous decisions.

I know these are my own insecurities that I am projecting to the outside world, but I can’t help but feel slight paranoia cloud my own judgement.

So how do I feel about the stigma?

Fuck it.

I can’t control other people’s thoughts and emotions, but I can control my own.

The one thing I WILL NOT DO – is to allow my baby to be affected by my own past, by my own diseases. They will only see the best of me, the healthy side of me, the sane part of me – or at least, I will try my best to portray that stable personality for them, and in moments when I am not able to, I will communicate steadfastly and make sure that they do not feel alone or abandoned by me.

What people don’t see are my weekly check-in appointments with a team of amazing doctors who are focusing on my different diagnoses, one specializing in pregnancy, one specializing in my health, one specializing in my bipolar, another for my trauma, etc. It is a lot of work (and time, and money) that is required of me to do this on a weekly basis, and it’s a lot of FUCKING hard work to be this stable. Nobody can tell me that this was a spontaneous decision on my part when it literally took years to get to this point.

So for anyone who is feeling hesitant about announcing to the world that they’ve decided to parent a child because they’re afraid of being judged, tell all of them to FUCK IT.

Nobody knows your battles. You do YOU.

It always flatters me when a doctor I am talking to tells me, “You have a sense of calmness around you. I can’t believe you’ve been through all of this.”

GIRL – if you only KNEW what it fucking took to get here.


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