Cover Photo: photo by Quinn Dombrowski/flickr
photo by Quinn Dombrowski/flickr

How to Be a (Sober) Pregnant Woman in America

“Having been alive as a woman for several decades in the United States, I was not shocked by the control being exerted on women’s bodies.”

While I can’t be certain that my child was conceived on a particular evening, I have a pretty good guess. One evening I was out at a Manhattan bar, being treated to double shot after double shot of tequila from a new friend. I remember the night well—though I was swerving down the sidewalk the entire way home from the subway, I never once blacked out. I got home, went upstairs to vomit in the toilet, then demanded that my husband fuck me on the bathroom floor.

. As an adult, I am responsible for the decisions I make. I demanded that my husband fuck me in a drunken state, and I accept and embrace the consequential parenthood that follows that decision. But ultimately, I realize, I have very little say on where this trip is taking me. Labor will bring the beginning of more uncertainties—uncertainties that may last a lifetime, as I get to know this individual who currently resides inside of me, as I watch him become his own adult and make his own choices about what he puts in his body. I’m sure that, sometimes, I’ll be watching with a cocktail in my hand.

Catherine LaSota is the founder of the LIC Reading Series in Long Island City, Queens. Her essays and interviews appear in Vice, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, and The Brooklyn Rail, among other places. Follow her on Twitter @catherinelasota