Her choice by Nikola Italo
short story

My name is Nikola Italo. Well, that’s not my real name, but in many ways, that’s me. I am Nikola when I write, when I tell stories. I was Nikola when I discovered what being a feminist means. Now I am one.

This story is about my mom’s friend. She’s not her closest friend, but she shared what happened to her with my mom as a product of the pain. Some months ago, she was trying for a second child. She’s in her late 30s. It seems like her enthusiasm wasn’t shared by her husband. In fact, he didn’t like the idea AT ALL. Now, as we all know, we don’t need anybody to tell us what to do with our bodies or with our lives. In this case, the doctor was really clear: there was a big risk of things going wrong if she carried on with her pregnancy because of her age. But she was more than ready to start a treatment that would make things easier and eventually have a healthy baby.

The real problem started when the appointment with the doctor came. Her husband was angry, negative about the whole situation, and the doctor noticed this. Still, he carried on explaining the procedure to get pregnant. At a certain point, things couldn’t go any further: her husband told her, in front of the doctor, that he didn’t want another baby and he wouldn’t be the father of that child. That she was too old and the time had passed for them.

But what happened next will destroy any doubt about the misogynist world in which we live.

We can say that it’s okay because his opinion matters, or that she needed to prioritize the fact that the potential “baby” was at risk. Okay. But what happened next will destroy any doubt about the misogynist world in which we live.

When the doctor heard this, he instantly looked at my mom’s friend and said to her, “Didn’t you listen to that? He doesn’t want a baby! Don’t insist!” She was devastated. First, her husband didn’t support or listen to her, and second, her doctor seemed to care only for her husband’s opinion, forgetting all the things she had to go through in order to have any possibility of getting pregnant.

Finally, even though we were trying to make her change her mind and follow her ideals, she decided that she was going to stop trying to get pregnant and convinced herself that one child was enough for her. She was telling this story to my mother with tears in her eyes.

As feminists, we don’t believe that an obligation to be a mother exists, that it has to become our main role or the meaning of our existence. But being a feminist is being aware of our right of FREEDOM. If a person wants to become a mother again, she should not only BE FREE but also FEEL FREE of all the social constructions around us.

Finally, I would like to say that she is doing okay, in her own way with our help. She’s not going to that doctor anymore and is doing fine with her husband trying to conceive another solution together. I wanted to share this in order to claim our power of decision: we need it, and deserve it, but in this world the majority of us don’t seem to be enjoying freedom about their own body. Let’s speak and fight for those who can’t.

Collage by Megan Potoma

My name is Nikola Italo, I am from the end of the world (South Argentina), it is a pleasure to share my thoughts and experiences about two of my passions: feminism and minorities in general, I love learning about them and that’s why I always keep an open mind with a respectful point of view. I will always be able to talk if you want.

Megan Potoma is a Philadelphia native and a aspiring art therapist. Potoma works in a variety of mediums with a strong focus on process. As a queer artist, Potoma explores significant themes relevant to her life through concept art. Many of Potoma’s works are focused around topics dealing with LGBTQ issues, intersectional feminism, gender, societal pressure, sex, and views of self. Megan is also part of #TheGalleryProject.