NaBloPoMo Day 10: Living in Shades of Grey (Both Sides of Personhood Get It Wrong)
This is an excerpt from today's blog post: Living in Shades of Grey
*There is a trigger warning on this post for stillbirth and hospital treatment*
(entire post)...This is a response to Arwyn at Raising My Boychick’s powerful piece entitled, “Reproductive Rights: Personhood Shouldn’t Be The Question.” Please read her post first and come back here, if you choose. But, please read her post either way.
The issues being argued around the personhood bill had been tickling something in me all week that I could not put my finger on-mostly because I was avoiding poking at this particular issue. It wasn’t until I read Arwyn’s post that my swirling feelings froze in place.
I’ve written about my daughter’s horrible but glorious stillbirth here, among a few other places. I have never shared with anyone what happened at the hospital where we took her body. I birthed my little girl at home unassisted after the arbitrarily defined timeline for stillbirth. She had already passed on before labor began in earnest, but it was the length of pregnancy until actual birth that mattered to the hospital. If she had been born earlier, she would have been classified a miscarriage.
I arrived at the hospital gripping the cardboard box containing my daughter’s body in my arms. She and her still attached placenta were nestled inside receiving blankets. I had also placed a note requesting that she remain attached to her placenta if possible. And insisting that she and her placenta be cremated together.
When I arrived, I was asked why I was there and immediately we were whisked in so that a nurse could verify that this was a stillbirth. She examined my daughter and, once the police officers arrived, began asking me routine questions probing into what had happened.
They were making sure I hadn’t killed my baby. Not once did they treat me like a grieving mother. Not once did they refer to my daughter as a baby or even as a body. I was a suspect until proven otherwise. My daughter was referred to as “the tissue,” which I found gruesome in light of the fact that they wanted to make sure I hadn’t murdered “the tissue.”...(read more)
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