12 Comments

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.

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Thanks so much for this comment (and for reading!) This is exactly what I hope to do with my writing -- to tell my own human experience in a way that resonates with others beyond the sometimes-unusual specifics. I feel seen and affirmed by your comment.

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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. 🙏🏾❤️

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Thank you so much for this! The children you work with are so fortunate to learn about the true life cycle of plants, as well as the many other teachings that help them not only to have a more accurate understanding of biology but also to have a more inquisitive and open way of looking at the world, as you describe.

I believe I may have been an adult before I saw an image of a sunflower bent over in that way. The images are from my friend Mary Porter Kerns, and she has written an illuminating piece about sunflowers in this post: https://theflowersarespeaking.com/2022/12/17/the-sunflowers-journey-2/

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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.

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Yes to all of this!

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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.

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Thank you so much for this expression of love and support!

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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!

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I agree -- it seems to me that there is a reason that an invisibility cloak is a magical, powerful item, and yet, increased visibility is so often seen as the answer to cultural oppression. I think you point at an important piece of this -- the ability to choose who one wants to be seen by and who one would rather slip by. Thanks for this comment!

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Finn Schubert

I came back to re read this today because it’s just brilliant. 💕💕

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Thank you for telling me! That feels like a very high compliment. 💕

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