The universe unfolds as it should, and it brings blessings and responsibilities at pivotal times.
The Mann Family will welcome Baby Boy #2 early next year. We expect him to arrive February 4th. I’m tremendously excited to meet him. Little RC will make an awesome big brother, and I can’t wait to see all of the mischief these two will get into. I am so thankful for the love and happiness that our kids bring into our lives. Meeting my husband made all of my dreams come true. I am grateful for these gifts, and our blessings.
I found out that I was pregnant the night before the Dobb’s decision that immediately triggered Missouri’s extreme anti-abortion laws, several months after a heartbreaking and traumatic miscarriage. I almost needed a medical abortion or a D&C to stop the bleeding and save my life.
Now, if something goes sideways in my pregnancy, I might face criminal charges just to come home safely to my family, including my infant son. It might cost me my freedom to save my life and protect my family. It’s not a choice. It’s my reality. Thanks to weak elected officials and their big corporate donors, I live in fear and uncertainty without many options. It doesn’t have to be like this, and we can act right now to change things.
Maternal death rates are alarmingly high in Missouri, and as I approach my 40s at the beginning of an expected COVID spike in the community, I am frightened by the lack of access to medical care here, particularly in rural parts of the state, where rural hospitals have closed due to the failure of elected officials to lead. Their weakness sold out communities for cash to restrict healthcare, education, and information about chronic illness, when access to reproductive rights and healthcare is a daily life or death issue for many of us. There’s no break from the fight for equality and freedom, especially since the stakes are so high right now. We won’t get our rights back by asking permission or waiting around politely for someone to have mercy. We must demand change, and embody action.
I share our story of heartbreak and hope, because I believe that it makes a difference and can bring about positive action. Sharing our stories reclaims our power and creates incredibly opportunities to change things for the better. I hope that you will continue to push past adversity and heartbreak also, so that we can all build a society that nurtures and heals together.