In Belabored, Lyz Lenz will “make you cry in one paragraph and snort-laugh in the next.” (Chloe Angyal, contributing editor at MarieClaire.com)
Written with a blend of wit, snark, and raw intimacy, Belabored is an impassioned and irreverent defense of the autonomy, rights, and dignity of pregnant people. Lenz shows how religious, historical, and cultural myths about pregnancy have warped the way we treat pregnant people: when our representatives enact laws criminalizing abortion and miscarriage, when doctors prioritize the health of the fetus over the life of the pregnant patient in front of them, when baristas refuse to serve visibly pregnant women caffeine. She also reflects on her own experiences of carrying her two children and seeing how the sacrifices demanded during pregnancy carry over seamlessly into the cult of motherhood, where women are expected to play the narrowly defined roles of “wife” and “mother” rather than be themselves.
Belabored is an urgent call for us to trust women and let them choose what happens to their own bodies, from a writer who “is on a roll” (Bitch Magazine).
Lyz Lenz is the author of God Land and a columnist for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and contributing writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Pacific Standard, among other publications. She lives in Iowa.