Nonfiction

Being Pregnant Doesn’t Make You Public Property

Stop touching people’s bellies and getting in their personal space!

Dr. Casey Lawrence
Bitchy
Published in
6 min readOct 24, 2023

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Photo by Kateryna Hliznitsova on Unsplash

A few months ago, a man put his hands on me because he thought I was pregnant.

I’m at the bus stop outside my GP’s office, awkwardly balancing on crutches and trying to juggle the armful of paperwork the doctor gave me. My knee surgery a couple of months before is healing well and I’ll be off the crutches soon, but I have a new problem; my menstrual cycle has stopped.

I’m here to confirm what the home pregnancy tests tell me: I’m not pregnant, despite having had no period for over four months. I’ve gained a little weight since my surgery, which is to be expected, but recently I’ve developed a firm, bloated abdomen that concerns both my GP and me.

She’s just done a pregnancy test, pap smear, and some blood tests. The tests confirmed I’m not pregnant and my blood has been sent away to check for ovarian cancer, one of the possible causes for my symptoms.

I’m 28, newly engaged, and terrified, but armed with pamphlets about fertility preservation and menstrual health. I’m just barely holding it together.

Being — or even just appearing— pregnant in public makes you a target for a new kind

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Dr. Casey Lawrence
Bitchy

Canadian author of three LGBT YA novels. PhD from Trinity College Dublin. Check out my lists for stories by genre/type.