I'm not much of one to get political in public or even with my family. I certainly vote but feel that's my business. So I was caught off guard when a political event instantly inspired this quilt. The day Roe v. Wade was overturned, I was hit hard. With a confused and hurting heart, the idea for this quilt filled my head and I couldn't get the pattern into a rough draft fast enough. Row v. Wade debates are usually about whether abortion is morally right or wrong, but that's not what this quilt is about. It's is about the importance of protecting women's reproductive rights and letting individuals make these important life decisions for themselves.
For the last decade I've been supporting women's reproductive rights by having a gazillion conversations about birth control, prescribing it, and placing who knows how many long acting Nexplanons and IUDs. I was thrilled when we got Annovera in the US. It's a slow releasing contraceptive ring that doesn't need refrigeration, lasts 13 cycles, and a woman can place and remove it herself. What is also amazing about it, is that the producer of the ring prioritized it's release in 3rd world countries to increase reproductive freedoms where access to care and refrigeration is limited.
Now don't get me wrong, I am all about people having kids too. I have supported countless women, their partners, and their families by providing prenatal care and delivering their babies. I have had so many beautiful experiences in the delivery room. There's nothing quite like handing a baby to their parents for the first time and seeing the tears run over. I had a habit of wiping the baby's face clean then holding the baby up for everyone to see. In this moment, the momma, drenched in sweat, hair a mess, and completely exhausted, would suddenly become alive and reach up with both arms, wanting nothing more in the world than to have that baby in her arms.
I love being a mom and words cannot encompass how strong that feeling is. I loved my daughter who came first so much that when I was pregnant with my son, I worried that my heart would not be able to hold more love. How could there be room to feel that way again? But when I saw his face and heard him cry, it was instant, like the grinch, my heart expanded and was full.
But I've also seen the heartache and stress that can come with pregnancy - health complications, increased intimate partner violence, discrimination at work, pregnancy loss, body image issues, financial stress, infertility, etc. Then after having a baby, it doesn't get easier. Most women (and often their partners) struggle with the lifestyle change that happens with a newborn resulting in loss of freedom, isolation, loneliness, and postpartum depression. They would say to me, "how can I feel so happy and so depressed at the same time?" and then the guilt over feeling that way...
While pregnancy and birth can be the most exciting, desired, and beautiful life event, it comes with baggage that no one should have to carry if they don't choose to. Everyone should have their reproductive rights protected, especially in a time when we have so much available to make that happen.
With all this in my heart, Broken Moons came to be. When I look at the moon waxing and waning, I see that monthly cycle mirror the menstrual cycle's rise and fall of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones. The moon has long been a symbol of fertility and femininity. My Many Moons quilt pattern came from a sketch I made when my days were filled with talking to women about their health. The damage caused to the women in the US by the overturn of Roe v. Wade made those moons break in two. With time, I came to see in my design that although the moons are broken, they are still connected to each other. Despite changes in law, we can hold hands and support one another, broken but united. I hope for a better today and tomorrow where we can all be a little more patient, a little more loving, and a lot less judgmental. I hope this quilt can bring you a sense of connection, peace, and warmth. Happy Quilting
From my heart to yours,