As I start typing this, my unborn baby girl is squirming around in my belly. She’s been keeping me up many nights for weeks and weeks. But now, it’s 3:39 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9 and I’m awake because of the election. I’ve been watching coverage since approximately 5:30. The roller coaster of emotions I’ve experienced since then—no doubt amplified by my pregnancy hormones—has left me mentally exhausted but incapable of sleep.
My mind and heart are racing with mixed feelings:
I’m incredibly sad.
I feel guilty because the things my body is feeling, she’s experiencing too. She’s not even here yet and already she’s suffering because of a country that is okay with bigotry of all forms. Because of a country that already doesn’t respect her—a female, a Latina.
I voted early on Friday. I’m blessed to have a job with flex (we call it “play”) time on Fridays. I had an awesome lunch with a group of friends, then I went to cast my vote. It was emotional. I was in the booth for probably 10-15 minutes taking in Hillary Clinton’s name on my ballot. Nope, she ain’t perfect (neither am I). But she is the right candidate for the job. I was so happy to get my sticker, to take a selfie, to post it to instagram and share my experience.
I was even happier to get dressed Tuesday morning in my patriotic maxi dress. To tape my My Vote My Voice sticker to my belly. To take silly pictures with my coworkers, showing our excitement for election day. And finally, for all of this to be over.
Why did I tape my sticker to myself instead of wearing it like a normal person?
I was saving it—for myself, but for her too. I was looking forward to buying a newspaper on Wednesday morning and attaching me and my husband’s stickers to it—to show her one day in the future that she was born in a historic year, in a historic month; the year and month when we elected the first woman president. And that her parents helped make it happen.
I was so confident. Yes, there was fear deep in my heart but my hope and faith in my countrymen was so real. There was no way that this giant, diverse, incredible nation would elect an unstable, racist, sexist man with no relevant experience.
But I was wrong. And now it’s over.
At this point, all I (and you) can do is accept the outcome. Accept it and strive to be better, to be more tolerant, to love harder, to do our part to change the outcome in four years. And most importantly, pray that Donald Trump embraces humility and those of us who are not like him; pray that his campaign has been sensational rhetoric that he will now renege on.
The election is over and it’s time to move forward. I’m just so sorry my girl will be born into these circumstances.