Who doesn’t love a baby shower, sitting with a bunch of ladies playing guess the flavor of baby food and wondering who came up with the idea of naming their son Carbon first? But these days, when our bodily sovereignty is dwindling faster than a flat pitcher of mimosas in a room full of women whose faces hurt from smiling, sniffing diapers coated in melted chocolate bars doesn’t ring a bell. always right. Let’s face it, some of us will have pregnancies we don’t want, can’t afford, and may not survive. It’s time to move on to Forced Birth Showers® for our siblings, best friends, kids, and co-workers because not much is happening outside of the office!
Summons: Balloons and storks make sense when someone chooses the lifelong commitment to raising a child (or twins – Jesus, twins!), but when the guest of honor simply avoids being a guest. state, go for something low-key. If you’re splashing out, you can try serving manila wraps convocation style. Or, if you’re on a budget, send a concise email that says, “Casey’s pregnant and the only thing we can do is buy presents and eat a charcuterie platter at my house.” Bring alcohol. Oh, and thank you for voting Republican. , Candace.” (Avoid mentioning if this pregnancy was the result of consensual sex – it’s tacky and will spoil the quiz at the party.)
Decorations: Again, avoid pastels and glitter here. Consider camo decorations because you don’t want to attract the attention of neighbors who might sell your boyfriend off if the pregnancy doesn’t come to term. Also, if you need to flee under cover of darkness, you can reuse the tablecloth. If you have to make balloons, adorn them with the faces of all the state officials and the Supreme Court of the United States who enacted this theocratic bullshit so we can remember them and never forget them. This later joins a game of darts. Don’t forget a balloon for Candace.
The cake: Even if reproductive rights for everyone in the country were fully restored tomorrow, no one wants a weird belly cake or the melting sculpture of a sleeping baby we cut out of. However, one of those horrible cakes with a baby emerging from its mother’s body could be a teaching opportunity provided it’s anatomically correct. What a great way to really make less friendly guests understand what a torn perineum is (scream at the rectovaginal septum – stay strong!), hemorrhage, and even a garden variety episiotomy – cutting off a wider outlet into the opening of the vagina to avoid an exit more like Kool-Aid Man – looks like. The birth is rarely shown in the media because nothing more than dramatic screams and shaking hands, and the fallout of having a baby the size of a Costco chicken pushed, pulled and/or cut from your body is almost never mentioned, despite the number of parents who struggle, for example, to return to normal walking, sitting and bowel movements. And that’s when everything was fine for the previous 39 weeks, not to mention diabetes or life-threatening blood pressure issues. Whatever kind of cake you provide, practice making a lime in it, because in some states even a miscarriage or stillbirth can result in a murder charge.
Games: Here’s a fun one: Pin the egg to the uterine lining. The contestant is blindfolded and spins, then dizzily tries to get a small pom pom to stick to the right side of a felt womb on the wall. Have you, like about 1 in 50 pregnancies, ended up outside the fallopian tube where a fertilized egg cannot survive and can actually kill you from sepsis or hemorrhage? Depending on where you live, this may not be enough to provide you with standard pregnancy termination treatment. There’s also nothing to move the pompom, no matter what this guy from Ohio says. Good luck!
OK, everyone get your phones out and see who can delete all the apps that might be tracking your period and taunting you man first. Because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that the tech bros don’t care about our privacy. For those who date men, take another round of deleting dating apps and another round of ordering sex toys, because given the risk factors present and your limited options in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, honey, the price of the cock is too high.
Gift ideas: Is the guest of honor black? Jewelry makes a great gift, especially a medical bracelet that says, “Pretend I’m a white woman and treat me accordingly.” It’s a stark message, but so is the recent American Journal of Public Health study that being black makes you more than three times more likely to die during pregnancy or postpartum. childbirth. And while there’s not much you can do to correct systemic health care disparities at your party, perhaps an attention-grabbing prop will remind hospital staff not to minimize or ignore the pain. and symptoms of blacks for a hot second. Look, they almost let Serena Williams die of a blood clot in this maternity ward. Not a bad gift idea for brown and native friends either!
Give money. A lot of money. Unplanned pregnancies are a huge contributor to poverty among singles and married couples, and maternity leave and childcare are hilarious in this country. Not to mention the medical bills (double and breath in the knees for a minute). Forced childbirth can also derail educational goals that lead to higher income, such as a high school diploma. Or you can pass on your friend’s Venmo and wait for those anti-abortion activists who harassed you on the way to your pap smear to get you a couple grand apiece. Lol, just kidding.
Clients can participate in a flight to a location where a person’s bodily autonomy is enshrined in law and where safe and legal abortions are widely available. Just for a holiday completely independent of any health problem. Unless you’re poor, in which case it’s a bus ticket to New York or California, because obviously the coastal elites don’t have to force their citizens to give birth or even barely teenage children to release babies through still developing bodies.
Gift bags: Send those of childbearing age all the drugs you can hoard as people are being denied lifesaving prescriptions for pain, depression, cancer, autoimmune diseases, ulcers and more because they could potentially cause miscarriage. Come on, mom needs arthritis pills!
Hand out cute boxes of personalized bandages that read “Snitches Got Stitches” as a reminder to those who might taunt someone for bounty money. Say something, Candice. See what happens.
Above all, focus on making it fun. What’s most important is rallying and supporting your friend – they’re the ones that really matter. Well, not as much as a six-week-old embryo about the size of a Viagra pill that will never be taken from any man. But you know, after that. Well done, ladies!
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill (her) is the Journal’s Arts and Features Editor. Contact her at 442-1400, ext. 320, or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @JFumikoCahill.