My nose has been bleeding since 2 am. I've been trying to sleep sitting upright on the couch. My back hurts, but I can't lean back because I choke on the blood, and I can't lean forward because of my pregnant belly. I can't breathe through my nose, as it is stuffed with cotton. I drool when I breathe through my mouth. And the baby is pummeling me from the inside.

I am suffering.

I'm on my second healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. None of the following is considered a complication:

Leg cramps that leave me limping for days.
An intensely itchy full-body rash.
Vivid nightmares.
Pain as though my hips were being severed down the middle (because in fact they are).

These are just symptoms and side-effects, what you can reasonably expect when you're pregnant. My experience is middle of the road. I'm not one of the fortunate women who enjoy every minute of their pregnancies. I am not one of the unfortunate women who lose their health or their lives.

I chose to be pregnant. I want to be pregnant. Everything is fine with my pregnancy. And I am suffering.

I can only imagine what it feels like to be pregnant against your will. I cannot even imagine being forced to continue a pregnancy with complications. Some pregnant women cannot keep anything down, even water. Some are confined to bed for months. Some have medical emergencies, anything from pre-eclampsia to hemorrhage. Some women die.

I don't believe I could have an abortion. But when I hear about efforts to restrict abortion, one word comes to mind: barbaric. It is a barbaric society that would force this kind of suffering on its own people.

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