Series: NON PARTUM Reviewed

It Could Still Happen: Plan B-200 by Rachel Masilamani

I’m not a mother, but I might have been. When I was nineteen I had an abortion. It wasn’t the right time, I was depressed, and the pregnancy was working hard to hasten the end of a bad relationship. I don’t need to give you excuses or reasons, but we do it anyway, don’t we? Shaking off the impulse to assure others that we’re good girls, of sound mind and reason, of stout heart and spirit — that’s quite a trick. Rachel Masilamani’s eight page comic, “Plan B-200,” the first chapter in a comic series, is about pregnancy: when...

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[TW] Are You Fearful: The Subject by Rachel Masilamani

Trigger warning: Discussion of chronic and post-partum depression. The second part of Rachel Masilamani’s NON-PARTUM, a series of comics about her journey with fertility, “The Subject,” is about access to care. The first part, “Plan B-2o0,” which I reviewed here, is about choice, fertility, and above all, perspective. This one digs into equally thorny territory: physical and mental health, the priorities and politics of the medical system, and who gets and who deserves care. Where “Plan B-200” juxtaposed teen Masilamani with a Masilamani just starting fertility treatments, “The Subject” focuses on her time in graduate school. Here, Rachel is struggling...

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[TW, NSFW] Spontaneous, Inevitable, Habitual, by Rachel Masilamani

Content Warning for miscarriage. NON PARTUM, a fictionalized memoir of the cartoonist’s journey with fertility is nicely complex–it spans decades of Rachel Masilamani’s life, and complicates narratives of middle class motherhood. In “Plan B-200,” Masilamani looked back at her high school years in order to juxtapose teen pregnancy and adult fertility difficulties. In “The Subject,” Masilamani looked back at her grad school years, a time when she paid the bills by participating in research studies, in order to talk about access to care and the unequal value we place on patients. Throughout NON PARTUM we’ve had hints that contemporary Rachel has been trying,...

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We Conceive: Rachel Masilamani’s NON PARTUM

“We Conceive” is the last update in Rachel Masilamani’s NON PARTUM series, published by Mutha Magazine in June of 2015. While I’d been writing about the series, one by one, as it came out, I fell off by the time this one came out, because certain elements of Masilimani’s comic about health, trauma, and trying to children began to hit home for me too much. Masilimani’s work is intense, confessional but not just memoir. Like Leela Corman, Masilamani contextualizes her experiences with that of others, connecting her struggles with fertility treatment with those of other women seeking care and never...

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