THIS has been on my mind too. Thank you for covering this — definitely should be a series!

I'm done having babies, now 48. Had my first at 25 and my last at 41. The early parenting years go by so fast, so I feel like I'm just starting to process some of it now. I've recently talked with my mom about what her pregnancies were like in the 70s. She worked 3rd shift as a key punch operator during most of her pregnancies. It took a physical toll then, and she's still paying for it now. 

I've been on the other side and had "four privileged, able bodied, planned experiences" with good support (just like the Insta post you shared). I didn't need to prove that I had a "pregnancy-related condition" to be able to afford to take time off work (or risk losing time off after the baby is born). Isn't pregnancy proof enough? The disparities are there right from the start. It's totally unfair. What's more, we know that stressful, unsupported pregnancies have consequences for moms, babies, and sometimes generations.

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Somehow I’ve never thought about this... the possibility that a 50/50 financial split family should take a woman’s loss of wages into account. It makes some sense, even if there’s initial discomfort at how “novel” it is. I know that particular Reddit post wasn’t the main point of the article, but I am curious what happened to that couple.

But this also makes me think about other caregiving. Elder care or caring for a partner who falls chronically ill. Those people wouldn’t be able to adequately pay their caregiver for loss of income (most likely). There is a tension here between where are we valuing labor and equity and where are we simply being a supportive human community. I guess one response to that is, why do we have to choose one?

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All of this, on the money and the split and the costs! And--an anecdote related to the video on things said in the delivery room: when I was in a long induced labor with my first baby, without pain medication (bc I was scared of the epidural, not because it didn't hurt like a bitch) and had been up all night while my husband napped on and off and my doula helped me, there came a really tough point when I wanted to use one particular form of labor breathing. It was called candle breath and it required the birth partner to hold up their finger so the birthing person could breathe like blowing out a candle, and we learned it in childbirth class. When I asked my husband to hold up his finger (note that I thought of doing the breathing, it's not like he was labor coaching me!) he held it at a limp 45-degree angle because he was "tired," and asked if it really mattered. It mattered to me! And I was the one doing all the work! I was a lot more tired! That baby is about to graduate from high school and I'm getting a divorce and I know I shouldn't still hold that grudge. BUT I DO.

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