Saturday, April 7, 2012

Personhood- a perspective

Rather than getting on my soapbox over the issue of personhood (which I will, eventually), I thought I might share an observation about pregnancy and when a human becomes, well, human.

I got pregnant immediately with my older son.  From early on, he was a very real and unique person.  I was aware of him and his distinct, soft, strong energy.  I always knew that he was with me.  When I got pregnant a few years later with his brother, it was very different.  That pregnancy had a strange feeling of disconnect.  I was hesitant to to tell people I was pregnant until they could see it for themselves. I wasn't as attached to the "life" inside me.  In fact, I barely considered it life until well after the second trimester ended.  When he became real to me, it was a blazing, fiery energy that kept me awake at night with it's intensity.

The differences in my pregnancy experiences don't indicate that I love my children any less, and it reflects more on their personalities and the different energies they brought into my life.  I love them both, though they are so different that sometimes I wonder how they manage to share the same genetic components. They both entered the world eagerly, but my older son was quiet and watchful as an infant.  The younger, he grasped early his own ability to shape the world he saw.

My point is this, the moment when a person becomes a person, especially to their mother, varies wildly.  Science cannot adequately define it, religions have tried (and repeatedly revised their teachings on the subject) and everybody has an opinion.  Our elected officials would do well to remember that they are trying to codify something that nature itself has no hard and fast rules for.

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