Feeling unprepared is not a problem to be solved.
I always love your essays, Finn. As a cis woman who has never tried to get pregnant, I hoped to learn a new perspective from you, but didn’t expect to relate to much within your writings. On the contrary, what you have to say usually resonates deeply, reminding me that even though all humans experience things differently based on a thousand different factors, we are all human, after all. Thanks for writing and sharing.
This remarkable essay spurred me to examine your other published essay. Along with the prose, the images in " I’m Not Going to Pop! In Search of Better Pregnancy Metaphors" are particularly revealing. As a life science educator for children, I constantly demystify romanticized depictions of plants to youth. The reality of sunflowers unglamorously shedding pollen, petals, leaves, and even entire heads is a powerful reckoning. I tell youth that sunflowers are neither male or female. They're monoecious and inside of their spherical "heads" they have both male and female reproductive processes, and their reproductive processes defy common notions of gendered human sexualities. Your writing prompts me towards these reckonings so that I dispel excluded (and sometimes deluded) thinking. Trans and GNC affirmation breathes with inclusive thinking, protecting us, especially as denizens conceive and enact ever more twisted laws to violently deny us bodily autonomy, basic healthcare, and existence. 🙏🏾❤️
Finn--I love your writing about this experience (and more). I did not have a written birth plan, the way the mothers' magazines said I should. My only "plan" was to not have any unnecessary surgery. And, fortunately, that happened both times. My daughter's birth was induced because I had high blood pressure and my son decided to come 3 weeks early. I don't think a plan would have helped with either of those things.
And that's not even getting into how mothers are "supposed" to feel/act/be once the baby is here. Or even to adulthood.
Another beautiful piece of writing; I'm so loving being on your pregnancy journey with you. AND I so look forward to a time when you and any pregnant person does not have to hide their pregnancy to avoid questions or discrimination, and when there are many diverse models and visions of what pregnancy looks like and the varied experiences and wildness of it all. Blessings on your birthing, dearest Finn.
I've also thought about invisibility being a kind of power, as complicated as that is. I suppose it's a question of who you want to be seen by, and who you would rather slip by unseen to escape having to conform to their view of what you should be. P.S. Welcome back!
I came back to re read this today because it’s just brilliant. 💕💕