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My mother looked down at her hands and said…"I’m pregnant."

I would say my life has been defined in a large part by the lack of agency my mother had in her choice to have children. She was married in the early 1950's continued to have children only because birth control methods were not effective enough to counteract her fertility. She was in an unhappy marriage and had three girls who she raised while simultaneously managing a husband with mental health issues. Around the time her youngest daughter turned 14 and her two older daughters were gone to college and heading out to college, she was having coffee with a friend who like her, had children on their way out to college. They heard a baby crying close by and the friend said, “Oh my gosh, aren’t you so glad those days are over and soon our kids will be out of our hair?” My mother looked down at her hands and said…”I’m pregnant.” This is where I come in. I don’t know if I was naturally a doting daughter, or whether I quickly picked up on the fact that my mom was tired. I supplied her with an endless number of kisses and hugs, and I did my best to please her. I engaged her in a lot of physical affection, but I believe she was somewhere else in her mind. I wished I had more with my mom. Her lack of choice to be a mother had a lasting effect on my sisters and I.

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