I was inspired to write after a long gap by a nomenclature I discovered on a site, in a very reassuring post. It was titled “Marriage and The body being a Birthing vessel.” and the author demanded that her body not be viewed as a birthing vessel.
Birthing Vessel . This term intrigued me, amused me and triggered a plethora of emotions. My work directly relates with childbirth. I conform completely with the little note under the above mentioned heading. I have not pictured my body as a ticking time bomb though I am well aware of the biological implications of delaying childbirth.
The funny thing , is and it’s also a sad truth , a woman’s body is considered a birthing vessel . Not only by those who think they’ own’ her body but also by women themselves.
I still remember the worried face of that young husband whose wife had a tubal pregnancy. Though it was diagnosed in time but due to certain circumstances they chose a peripheral health care facility where she was misdiagnosed and wrongly treated. The worry however wasn’t really related to a lot of those things but to the fact when he was informed that a surgery is necessary and if not salvagable the affected (fallopian) tube will have to be removed. The only thing he said was ” We have recently been married and have no children. If you remove the tube will she have children?”. Surprisingly “the birthing vessel’s ” own well being and prognosis was not inquired about.
The other more shocking case is of an elderly woman with no children . Well into her menopause she suddenly awakened to the miracles of in vitro fertilization. So this “barren birthing vessel” was rejuvenated with the advance science of artificial reproduction and she becomes pregnant after one and a half years of menopause !! I would have been happy for her and for the miracle had she not come to the hospital with a complicated pregnancy in an extremely breathless state. Apparently her old body cannot really take the stress of pregnancy. Presumably this woman had refused to adopt and by choice she had decided to get pregnant. I cannot and should not comment on a woman’s desire to have children . However, this is a case where the prognosis of the fetus is getting worse and the woman’s health is at risk , I don’t really agree with such medical facilitation of child bearing desires.
So apparently a woman’s self actualization lies in her ability to produce children. In being a “birthing vessel”. But are all women doomed to think that way ? Maternal instincts are natural to women but the inability to reproduce shouldn’t make them any less. As I have already written in a previous article. There is more to a woman’s existence and life. I am hopeful that more women will consider themselves as human beings whose self actualization lies in discovering their special talents and achieving their highest potential and not in being efficient and prolific ‘Birthing vessels’.