People | Fertile Ground

How to Be a (Sober) Pregnant Woman in America

“Having been alive as a woman for several decades in the United States, I was not shocked by the control being exerted on women’s bodies.”

While I can’t be certain that my child was conceived on a particular evening, I have a pretty good guess. One evening I was out at a Manhattan bar, being treated to double shot after double shot of tequila from a new friend. I remember the night well—though I was swerving down the sidewalk the entire way home from the subway, I never once blacked out. I got home, went upstairs to vomit in the toilet, then demanded that my husband fuck me on the bathroom floor.

. As an adult, I am responsible for the decisions I make. I demanded that my husband fuck me in a drunken state, and I accept and embrace the consequential parenthood that follows that decision. But ultimately, I realize, I have very little say on where this trip is taking me. Labor will bring the beginning of more uncertainties—uncertainties that may last a lifetime, as I get to know this individual who currently resides inside of me, as I watch him become his own adult and make his own choices about what he puts in his body. I’m sure that, sometimes, I’ll be watching with a cocktail in my hand.