Choosing Life

Is it possible to be pro-choice and pro-life at the same time? I feel everyone should be able to choose when and where to start their family, however, I feel that life is sacred and valuable and should be protected at all costs. None of my children were concieved on purpose but each time I was faced with a decision I made the choice that I felt was right at that time in my life. I didn't always choose life, I will tell you honestly, but I always felt like was sacred and to be respected. Believe it or not, the two pregnancies that I entered into conciously after I was married ended in miscarriage. That is life's bitter irony. And that's really when I learned how tenuous life is. I learned that God is really in control and no matter how advanced our technology has gotten, we still cannot take the place of God Almighty. After my miscarriages I was infertile for a year before shockingly becoming pregnant with my son. So, I've gone through being overly fertile, infertile, miscarriages, abortion, and multiple pregnancy. Talk about life experiences.

The time I chose not to continue my pregnancy, I did so because I really didn't feel that was an option for me. I decided so early in life not to become a mother. Then when it happened I did not want to be with the person I was pregnant by. He insisted that I get an abortion and the institution that I was in (college) basically did not even give me the option of remaining pregnant and continuing in school. I got in counseling because during my pregnancy I had nightmares of abusing and neglecting the child I was carrying. Through months of intensive counseling I discovered that there were issues I was carrying around that kept me from being able to visualize myself as a mother. Once I started sorting through that baggage I found myself pregnant again (this time using birth control.) So even though I had slipped the first time, I'd been really careful the second time and still because pregnant. I decided fate had intervened and decided it was time for me to have a child. Kalia was born nine months later.

Kaissa was concieved using birth control as well (condoms) and because I'd had Kalia and swore to God on the operating table that I would never take life for granted again, she was born. Following her birth, I married her father (see previous blog) and had the two aforementioned miscarriages and period of infertility. After our son was born, my ex got permanent birth control and the issue of whether or not to have more children became a non-issue.

When the twins were concieved I can say I was truly "caught up." There was no thought of using birth control or anything else other than being in the moment. Because this was a person I had dated for much of my childhood and adolescence, there were feelings there that I never could have anticipated. Having gone so long without a concern for birth control and not planning to get physical kept me from being able to do what was necessary to control the conception of these two gifts. So now here I sit. Wanting so badly to empower other young African-American women so that no matter what situation they find themselves in they know that they can still be someone. A man doesn't determine our self-worth. God is the only one that can make us feel that we are worthy on the inside. Until we allow Him to fill us up we are walking around empty looking for anything: food, sex, drugs, shopping, work, etc. to fill us up. I am learning now to be filled by God and to be content with Him no matter what situation I find myself in. This is a lot more difficult that it sounds. My brain knows intuitively that I should depend on God for everything, but my heart is prideful and afraid to look to anyone besides myself for happiness for fear that I may be let down. Being pregnant out-of-wedlock at a time when I felt the closest to God has been humbling and it has shown me that God loves me unconditionally because I'm Tanikka, not because of how I act. He created me and knew what my strengths and weaknesses were before I was formed in my mother's womb (see the Book of Jeremiah). I am confident not in my own ability but in the ability of God to make something out of my nothingness. I feel your vibes, your prayers and your concern. I feel you holding your breath to see if I will fall. Yes, I have fallen. But I will pick up the pieces and sit down for however long it takes to put it all back together.

Piece by Piece, it's coming together. A mirror, once shattered and once showing a distorted reflection of myself is now coming together to create a brautiful picture of the true me.