Recently I had the unfortunate experience of discovering new terms in adoption whereby a woman announces she is “paper” pregnant. What the? How can anyone be ‘paper’ pregnant?
Apparently, it is the term women use to announce the fact they have decided to adopt and are in the process of filling out the paperwork. Yes, you read that right. They are equating pregnancy to filling out paperwork. (Only in the deluded fantasy world of adoption would one see such idiocy).
According to several dictionaries, being pregnant means to be “having young developing inside the womb”. Paper means: “thin flat material which is made from crushed wood or cloth and is used for writing, printing or drawing on”. So I cannot see how these two words can be jammed together to create a logical term.
Adoption is bad enough but now we have to contend with insecure women who feel the need to steal the experience of being pregnant and downplay it to a piece of paper? There is so much more to being pregnant than just making a decision to have a child. There is so much more to being pregnant than just the baby showers and joy as one waits to deliver her baby.
Pregnancy is a complex PHYSICAL process and should never be degraded to another level just to make people feel better about not being able to experience it. I will never understand exactly what it is like to NOT be pregnant. I have seen many people experience this to know it is incredibly painful however, I also know these women who would never dare downplay the experience of someone else just to make themselves feel better.
The process of adoption is NOTHING like pregnancy. Yes, many emotions are involved but it is incredibly insensitive and insulting to equate the two. Being pregnant is giving life, bringing a child into the world. Adoption, especially infant adoption and today’s styles of adoption, is about encouraging family separation, money making, pain, loss and a host of other experiences I would want nothing to do with and would never play any part in.
Being pregnant is also about risk. Physical risk. It is not a matter of becoming pregnant and giving birth 10 months (9 months is a fallacy given pregnancy to term is on average 38-42 weeks long) later. No there are three stages of being pregnant and THEN there is the labour and THEN the birth. All very different stages. And everyone experiences these things differently.
Not all embryos survive and many pregnant women experience a nail-biting first trimester as they battle morning sickness, extreme tiredness, back aches, cramps plus a load more waiting to see if their much wanted and loved babies (official word: foetus) make it to the next trimester. When we make it through, there are the invasive tests; blood tests, scans, sugar level tests, tests than can involve needles through the belly etc to ensure the foetus is developing. I have had many friends who have suffered miscarriages at different stages and I have had one at a very, very early stage and it can be a devastating time.
Then there are women who are told their child may not make it and thus spend their entire pregnancy in hospital being poked and prodded and tested as they wait and see what will happen when their child is born.
During the second trimester, we do get to see our child through ultrasound, we do get to feel them moving inside us and an amazing physical, spiritual and physical experience can occur for many women: bonding.
Making it through to the third trimester is a relief as most mothers understand their unborn baby could make it if they were to give birth now.
It is also a very uncomfortable time and for some mothers it can be risky. Pregnancy induced diabetes, elevated blood pressure which can fast turn into a medical emergency known as pre- and full blown eclampsia where the mother’s life and sometimes the baby’s life is at risk. It is a time of needing to sit on the toilet constantly, nausea can return, size makes it difficult to walk far, breathing can become more difficult due to cramped space within the mother’s body and the list could stretch on. And this is just from the mother’s experience let alone the baby’s.
Next, it is time for baby to make their appearance and sometimes this is spontaneous and natural and at other times it is difficult and needs medical intervention. Labour is not easy and can be excruciating and drugs do not always work. Many complications can occur during labour and indeed I know to well what these can be.
Finally, the birth occurs. Yes, it is a joyous moment where mama and baby finally get to meet each other; a reward for all their hard work. But to get there? It is a harrowing journey for the newborn and painful for the mother. I have heard many horror stories of birth and have had my own and so holding your baby at the end feels like a huge reward for getting through to the other side. And it is all worth it. Except for some mothers, their baby is snatched away from them for no reason AT ALL except to satisfy the desire of strangers to have a baby. The very natural process of being pregnant and giving birth is interrupted by this unnatural, man created law known as adoption.
To then take all these experiences and then to insult them by claiming to be pregnant on paper is incredible. A person wanting to adopt should have worked past the need to take part in the pregnant/birth stage and be looking at the REAL issues of what adoption means. The loss, the pain, the lifetime of being forever linked to another family whether you want to be or not.
Yes, pregnancy is a joyous experience but please do not insult women who have actually gone through with it and claim to be “paper” pregnant because there is NO. SUCH. THING. The reason so many people adopt is because they CAN’T be pregnant and so they should DEAL WITH THAT and not create fantasies for themselves as it is really very unhealthy for them and any child they adopt.
Finally, if people really want to continue with the whole paper pregnant routine; please remember that at the end of it all, you will only be a paper parent.