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  • We didn’t expect the midwife to tell us what the sex of the baby, especially when we asked her not to tell us. We wanted it to be surprised because this pregnancy was unexpected. Not planned like majority of pregnancies on the Pine Ridge Reservation but definitely welcomed! All she had to say was “well it looks like it’s a girl” I lost my breath. I looked at her mother’s eyes and as she teared up, we smiled. All I’d hoped, is she’ll look like her mother. A little girl!, the idea gave me joy I’d never felt.
    In Lakota culture, women are the backbone. They care for the family. Our Northern Cheyenne relatives have a quote “a nation is not yet defeated until the hearts of their women lay dead on the ground, only then it is over. No matter how powerful it’s strongest warrior or weapon”. So when Indian Health Service told her mother that she couldn’t give birth to any children, we knew. Even before her first breath, she was sacred.
    She is born into a community were she is more likely to give birth before she graduates high school. She has a high chance of having her first sexual experience, be a violent one. Her partner she chooses, will more likely be abusive. Not if her daddy has anything to do about it.
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