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Last night at midnight California Governor Newsom issued an order that we must all stay home. I am freaked out. We all are. This is, legitimately, freaky. We have never, in all of human history, faces this sort of global lockdown. I believe the professional phrase for this is, “what the actual fuck?”

As I am bringing back Feminist Fridays, it seems apropos to make today’s issue focused on Coronavirus through a feminist lens. And because feminism isn’t feminism if it’s not intersectional, there is information here for other marginalized communities too. Please read it to broaden your mind and pass it along so that those who need them can access resources.

We’re gonna get through this. Humans are incredible creatures with great capacity for flexibility and adaptation. We’ve got this.

Love to you all.

Domestic violence:
“One out of three women in the world experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime” This article from Time lays out a lot of the challenges facing those living with domestic violence right now.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline via text or call at 1-800-799-7233.

(I would like to add acknowledgement to those other, unspoken, abuses like having to live in a hoarder home at this time. I spent my childhood in a hoarder home and wasn’t allowed outside much anyway, but to be fully trapped in one would be even more soul-crushing. And I’m sure there are plenty of other sorts of abuses that people don’t normally think of. I see you. I wish I had more information for you. But I see you and I send you strength and love.)

Women will be harmed more from this crisis, economically and socially, than men.

This is an excellent article from The Atlantic that covers a *lot* of details in a very clear and well-organized way. It explains how the ultimate social responsibilities will fall to the women, as we are traditionally known for our unpaid labor and caregiving. It will also harm us economically more than men. I highly recommend this article.

This New York Times article talks about some of the same things, but focuses on women as healthcare providers, or caregivers, and thus being more at risk of the illness than men, since women are on the front lines more.

Transgender Friends:

Here is a resource with some information and further resources.

Other Marginalized Communities:

NPR has an article from March 11 on how refugees across the world are at particular risk and without protections.

Here is a story from CBS News about the immigrants here in the US that are being held by ICE. Yes, what they are being held in does, in fact, meet the dictionary definition of a concentration camp. And now they are going to be decimated by this disease. This is Nazi Germany, y’alls.

Autistic people, both children and adults, are also particularly at risk during this time. In addition to being a marginalized, disabled community and having all those complications, autistics are also struggling with accessing food they can eat. Often in autism, people have very limited diets and cannot simply switch to a different kind or brand. I do not exaggerate when I say that some autistic people will die of starvation if they cannot access their usual foods. Toilet paper is also sending my house into a tizzy because we cannot with poop. Potentially running out of toilet paper could be a disaster for my family (which is why, if you are *hoarding* toilet paper, I hate you a little bit right now).

I’ve also seen reminder memes going around requesting that autistics be allowed to stim more. Stimming is any sensory stimulation that calms or helps to physically express emotion. The hand flapping that autistics are classically known for (although not all of us do it) is one example.

Why is any of this here at SOAM? How is this related to postpartum body positivity?

Well, lots of reasons. For one thing, we don’t live in a vacuum; everything is interconnected. The Atlantic article I posted above shows a little how this issue – coronavirus – affects so many different aspects of women’s lives. But more than the sheer interconnectedness, it’s important to remember that intersectionality can be particularly heavy for those of us with more than one oppressed identity. All women are at risk from social, medical, and economic problems caused by this virus. But disabled women will be more oppressed. All people with disabilities will be facing more life complications than people who are abled bodied and minded, but women with disabilities will be facing even further limitations. The more oppressed identities you hold, the harder it will be for you during this time. All issues are women’s issues. All issues are feminist issues.

Categories: Feminist Fridays, My Own Ramblings

My First Birth (Anonymous)

~Your Age: 25 now (23 when my son was born)
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 2 years

This is long so please bare with me

August 2016 I was told I had a higher chance of not being able to have kids because I had PCOS. My husband and I were sad when we found out…. We started having sex thinking nothing of it cuz hey I couldn’t get pregnant… well we were wrong. November 2016 we found out I was 8 weeks pregnant.

During pregnancy everything was fine. My son was growing perfectly. I had the usual morning sickness 1st trimester, burst of energy 2nd trimester, and super uncomfortable 3rd trimester. I gained a lot of weight… pre-pregnancy I was 150lbs…. I am 2 years post partum and I now weigh 200 after losing 30lbs the last few months.

My husband and i were planning a homebirth (his mom had 13 kids and all were homebirths). I’ll be honest I wasn’t very fond of the idea because I didn’t know people still did homebirths. But I did A LOT of researching and I came to the conclusion it would be good, less stressful, easier cuz you’re doing it in the comfort of your home. A lot of friends and family on My side told me there is no way I could do a home birth. But I wanted to give it a try.

My husband and I went grocery shopping on my due date and that night I started labor-i didn’t realize it was true labor so I just went to bed. Around 5 the next morning I woke up with horrible contractions. My husband decided to stay home from work… 12 hours later I only progressed to 4cm. I was throwing up cuz of the pain. I was already tired but I was determined to have a home birth and prove the people who told me I couldn’t that I could (cuz I am very hard headed). Another 12 hours passed and I got to 7cm. I was to the point I kept feeling like pushing but I couldn’t. I was beyond exhausted. My husband kept telling me something wasn’t right (as he is the 2nd oldest out of the 13 kids)… But I kept telling him I wanted to continue. I didn’t want to go to the hospital. Well another 15 hours passed (now I’ve been in labor for 39 hours) I was still at 7cm. I wasn’t progressing. I was in a tremendous amount of pain. I was exhausted (as I hadn’t slept for the past 39 hours). I was dehydrated as I couldn’t keep anything down (I kept throwing up). I couldn’t walk. But I was still determined. I continued to labor at home for another 10 hours and by then I still hadn’t progressed I was even more tired and exhausted. And that’s when my husband said we are taking you to the hospital whether you want to or not. We drove 40 mins to the nearest hospital (my midwife had called ahead and they had a room all ready for me). We got there about 5pm (2 days after I had started labor). They decided to give me an epidural. But because my spine wasn’t aligned they had to poke me 3 times to get it in correctly. All the while I’m having contractions.

Once they got the epidural in it made the back pain even WORSE! The doctors decided to break my water (as it still hadn’t broke) and they found my son had pooped in the amniotic fluid. As soon as they saw that they pulled my husband aside and told him I was going to need a c section (during pregnancy I told my husband I did not want a c section. I wanted to do it naturally). My husband said he told the doctor that was the one thing I didn’t want and the doctor told him if they didn’t do it I might die and our baby most certainly will die. She told my husband our sons heartbeat was dropping because he has been in the birth canal way too long and he was getting stressed. They told my husband I had been in labor so long they didn’t know how much longer I would make it. So my husband came back and told me what they said and we decided to do a c section (and I only decided to do it because I wasn’t going to lose my son because I wanted to do it my way).

They got me down to the surgery room and my hsuabnd said they started asking the normal questions before a surgery ie my name, age all that. Then they asked “what are we performing on you?” And my husband said I screamed “YOU’RE GETTING THIS BABY OUT OF ME!!!!” and everyone started laughing.

After they got the spinal in me and numbed me from the chest down I remember laying down and just letting out a humongous sigh of relief because there was no more pain. When my husband was finally allowed in the surgery room he came around the curtain and looked at me and said “you’re smiling. It feels like I haven’t seen your smile in so long.” ??

And after a total of 54 hours my son Gabriel was born at 11:04pm on July 14 2017. He weighed 8lbs7oz, was 21in long and he was PERFECT. He came out holding his head up. Wasn’t even crying just looking around at everyone. The first thing I said after he was born was “is he really a boy?” And my husband said “yes babe he is definitely a boy.”

My son is 2 years old now and is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am still overweight but I am working to lose it. I have my c section scar and when I see it it reminds me of what a supermom I was. It reminds me of the pain I went through. The tears I cried. How scared I was. And then how happy, joyful and peaceful I was when I held my son finally. I have horrible stretchmarks on my stomach, thighs, butt, hips and boobs. But those are the marks of a woman who loves her child so much that was was willing to let her body change in order to bring her child into this world. My stretchmarks and c section scar are not ugly to me. They are beautiful and a huge reminder of all the stuff I went through to bring my perfectly wonderful son to this world.

~Your Age: 25 now (23 when my son was born)
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 2 years
~Any key words (second pregnancy, plus sized mom, cesarean, etc): plus size, cesarean

Categories: Cesarean, PCOS, Plus-Sized Mom, Submissions

Body After Six Babies (Anonymous)

These are 10 to 12 days pp after number 6. Mothers come in all shapes and sizes!

After six babies:

Categories: Belly, Belly, Breast or Body Art, Four or More Pregnancies, Postpartum, Submissions