She is young, and alone in this great country.
Her native tongue washed away by the essence of what they call freedom.
Seventeen years of age and seven months pregnant.
Afraid of what is to come.
Nine months have passed, and the day has now arrived.
Mixed emotions wash over her body as she walks the hallway of the hospital.
She hears a newborn cry in the room next to hers.
Wishing her mother was beside her.
Her trial has begun.
All those birthing courses that she barely understood.
She starts to wonder if it is in her to succeed.
The pains become intense.
She holds her husband’s hand.
Five hours in, and her anxiety gets worse.
She feels that somethings wrong, but the staff ignore her cries.
What could a young girl like her know?
Ten hours have passed, and the pains have gotten worse.
She sees the doctors gaze.
Their expressions all seem worried.
Her world starts spiraling and they all start yelling.
She’s losing all sensation.
It’s a hemorrhage they say.
Everything goes black.
Five hours later she awakens.
Her body is in shock.
The pain is overwhelming. She hears a cry.
She suddenly remembers why she’s there.
Her daughter has arrived.
This poem was inspired by my mother and all she went through when she gave birth to me in the state of California at the age of seventeen. The readings that inspired this poem was Reproductive Justice by Loretta Ross “The universality of the reproductive justice framework means that everyone has the same human rights. Applying the theory of intersectionality accounts for what every person needs- based on individual and group identities- to have their human rights protected and respected. In other words, intersectionality is the process; human rights are the goal”. The reason this quote inspired me is because my mother said she felt unheard by the medical staff because of her age, and because she knew so little English. The goal of human rights is to protect and respect everyone and their opinions no matter what their background may be. Vulnerable women are often overlooked because of systematic inequality.