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The Story of an Expectant Mother

1.Tell us a bit about who you are and why you are proudly anti-abortion.


My name is Mary Anne Devine. Many in the community know me as “May” or through my maiden last name which was “Mackness”.


I wouldn’t use the word “proudly” to describe my feelings towards being against abortion.

When I was very young I was exposed to the graphic images of abortion and no one had to tell me it was wrong to have one. I had the gumption at 7 years old on the playground to bring my journal outside, draw pictures of dead babies and tell my peers not to have abortions. Parents must have complained, because there was a meeting with my parents and the principal. The result of that meeting was that I was allowed to have my views but I wasn’t allowed to bring my journal outside anymore and give anti-abortion presentations. This is both an endearing story, but also very disturbing and sad for many reasons. Endearing because it contrasts my own innocence yet the fire in me that was burning to share that abortion was evil, inhumane and something that shouldn’t happen. It’s disturbing and sad, arguably for the same reasons, that this is the state of our world. The fire was quieted down but never went out and despite my falling away from a relationship with God, the truth of the evil of abortion never left me. As I aged this was the core value that eventually led me back to God in a roundabout way - which is another story. This value was the uncompromising truth that never was relinquished in dormitory debates at university, or keyboard wars on Facebook.


2. When did you start feeling morning sickness? How did you cope?

I was married in April, found out I was pregnant in June. had a miscarriage and then proceeded to find out I was pregnant again come August. The tell-tale sign was breast tenderness. Actual morning sickness didn’t happen until about 2 months in. Everything smelled, a whiff of the garbage would be enough to make me gag. Drinking water in the morning would trigger a throw up. Sometimes if I ate too much or not enough, I’d be sick.


I recall always making sure I knew where a garbage bin or toilet was in case, I needed to hurl. It was truly not the rose-colored glasses image of pregnancy that I had desired for so long. Those initial months I was overwhelmed. Stressed I would miscarry again. I totally felt like there wasn’t anything different other than being exhausted and nauseous (sometimes throwing up, sometimes not). I was very thankful to have my husband. He couldn’t do much to relieve me, but knowing he was there and that he was excited about the pregnancy and was committed to me was so helpful to keep me enduring.


3. It’s weird because the baby is still growing, but can you imagine even more change right now? Why or why not? Right now I am 7 months. I have seen 2 ultrasounds - which were so helpful to solidify that I wasn’t crazy - our baby is real and growing. All these symptoms were actually for a purpose. For those first few months everything that’s happening is invisible. The tummy is still similar size, the emotions and way your body feels is invisible to others, no one can tell you are pregnant unless you tell them or let them see you struggling.

Now at 7 months is much more how I imagine pregnancy would be. My bump is showing. He kicks everyday and now I really feel like it’s happening. He will be with us in a few short months. I have been thinking about how much change is coming - there’s so much to plan and stress about, but so much to enjoy and look forward to. Soon he will be born and that really will be just the beginning!


4. Did any mixed feelings come up while you felt sick about pregnancy? Yes. I had my first true realisation about how hard pregnancy is. Mine has been relatively normal and easy, low-risk. My sickness wasn’t that bad and ended shortly into my second trimester (except for some reason brushing my teeth always makes me gag, even now). I remember being honest with my husband, that for the first time in my life I understood why a girl/ woman might consider an abortion. It shocked me. But for the first time I realized how hard it would be without my husband’s support, without my family support, without a committed life-long partnership, without a desire for children, without any financial means or education, etc.

Those first few months were a huge challenge and if I was in a different situation I honestly feel like it would be SOO HARD. I am glad that in Canada, women can take refuge under pregnancy centres where they can feel supported every step of the way.

Now being 7 months, the morning sickness has mostly stayed away and there are new challenges, yet they are flooded with excitement. Once I saw our baby in the ultrasound and realized what was actually happening - I got to SEE him move. Not too long after that I started to FEEL him move. I think there is a time in those first few months that it’s scary, uncertain and stressful. There’s no public support. No one knows you're pregnant and you feel absolutely terrible but once that time passed, I felt more “used” to the bad days and more excited than anything to meet him!


5. How different do you view “motherhood” now, versus ever knowing what it is like to be pregnant? It’s a gift. Not everyone is able to have children. It’s hard. Women are so strong and durable. When I’ve been stressed or hard on myself, my midwife has reminded me several times “You’re growing a human!” She’s all about giving me that pass, that there’s going to be hard days. That YES! I’m growing a human being and that's a huge achievement. I’ve said often, he is the biggest, best art project to create.


Motherhood is intuitive, it’s a process, it's unique to the mother and child (and the fatherhood of the father). It’s a learning curve of constant adapting and surrender. There were times so far that I feel like I am not in control of my own body. Hormones and all this stuff is kind of happening to me and I can’t stop it. My friend and I have referred to it as a roller coaster I can’t get off - I’m on the ride. Not just the pregnancy but also for life as a mother.

 

Mary Anne Devine lives in Hamilton with her hubby and son. Together they are growing their business of Devine Inspirations (www.devineinspirations.ca). As you can see, their son has been born and they are so overjoyed!

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