September 2006, 92 pages / rev. October 2007, 72 pages, half letter size. US$4ppd. (OOP).
more than a year had passed since my last zine, and in that year much had changed. specifically, my then-partner zan & i gave birth to a baby girl and subsequently gave her up for adoption. this zine is a chronicle of that year, written from the perspectives of both zan and myself. aside from describing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption, we also touch on many other topics in this account, including: feminism, the medical (mis)management of birth, poverty, the history of adoption, radical parenting, birth control, making reproductive choices readily available to women, and cultivating supportive and strong communities. the revised second edition (October 2007) includes a Frequently Asked Questions section which clarifies & explains many important issues raised in the original writing, & contains a 1-Year-Later epilogue describing the post-adoption grieving/healing/growing process. also it's been retyped and laid out on a computer for easier readability.
excerpt: "One night, in December, we felt the baby move. It was small and strange, a nervous butterfly deep in my gut. Alex & I laid on the couch, our hands on my belly. I cried a little, quietly, because it was beautiful & terrifying. 'I have a baby in here,' I thought. 'This is real.'"
reviews: "This zine is co-written by the two birth parents of a child, recounting how they got together, got pregnant, gave their daughter up for adoption, and how they felt about it afterwards. Stacey Marie Piotrowski and Alexander (no surname given) switch off in serif and sans-serif text, alternating perspectives on the experience. It's a cool way to tell a story, and an interesting tale.
"The two write from their background as traveling punks, and from an anti-authoritarian perspective on childbirth, parenting, and how to make a good life. In addition to talking about pregnancy and childbirth, there's really good writing on traveling, being down & out, feeling vulnerable, imposing on others, and doubting your values and choices. I found those parts really hit home for me, despite my lack of experience with baby creation. Pietrowski [sic] writes thoughtfully about how the experiences affected her:
"'i still have travelling plans, but I've put down roots and stabilized myself, mentally and physically. instead of uprooting my life every time i want to go somewhere else, ive realized i can just branch out, stretch fingers like vines all over this world even as i'm staying still. so i guess this is growing up'.
"This zine was originally published in 2006, and was re-printed in 2007 with an epilogue addressing feedback they've since received and explaining how some of their views have since evolved. I liked this, because the writing in this zine occasionally comes off pretty judgmental about things like veganism and what kinds of childbirth and lifestyle in general are and aren't empowering.
"That said, while I sometimes found this zine a little bit moralistic, the authors stress that they are trying above all to document their experiences, and the- often strong- feelings they had about them. The detailed, candid account of the birth of their daughter was really interesting for me, as someone who struggles to imagine what it'd be like to give birth or support a partner who was giving birth."
– Lily Pepper at Zine Reviews
"I could NOT put this zine down. I stayed up two hours past my bedtime to finish this real life story. Stacey and Zan detail how they managed to deal with an unwanted pregnancy and how it changed them and their relationship forever. It is gut-wrenchingly honest, poignant, and a study in courage. Phases frankly discusses their struggles with family, punk friends, the medical establishment, and poverty. It was great to get both female and male perspectives. I couldn't wait to find out how it all turned out. This zine isn't just for people who are pregnant or have kids. It's for anyone who understands how scary and confusing it can be to listen to one's own voice and try to live authentically. Stacey added a frequently asked questions section in the back and a suggested reading list. Amazing. Highly recommended."
– Anu at Zine World #25.5
Chosen as one of 2006's Best Zines Ever!
"Of all the zines I read this year, this one touched me the most. Perhaps because I have never read anyone write a zine about open adoption before, or to go so in depth about the time during pregnancy, as well as birth, with a couple's perspective. I think this zine raises many questions, as well as sharing experiences for growth; and might be of particular interest to young twenty-year-olds in the anarcho-punk scene: as that is the scene they travel in, as well as anyone who is interested in Pro-choice issues. (For one, because adoption is a less explored choice in radical parenting literature. But also because Stacey Marie examines factors, such as poverty and lack of community support, which impact a woman's right to choice.) In a way, I think 'Resistance is Fertile' is also a coming of age story (there are many coming of age stories along our life, don't you think?). Groundbreaking, sometimes heartbreaking, brave, honest, beautiful, radical and well written."
– China Martens of The Future Generation, in Best Zine Ever! #5
Chosen as Zine of the Week, Nov 26 - Dec 3, 2006 at The Unofficial SUNY New Paltz Traveling Zine Library!
"Stacey Marie begins this zine with 'This is our story about the year we got pregnant & made the decision to give our baby up for adoption.' And what a interesting, thought provocing, emotional, amazing year it was. Stacey Marie and her partner Alexander write about this year from their prospectives and how they both precieved these life altering events. What was especially interesting to me was when Stacey would write about her feelings toward the medical industry and it's relationship with women. At times this zine is heart wrenching and humbling. I recommend this zine full heartedly!"
"Stacey Marie and Alexander take turns writing their 'story about the year we got pregnant & made the decision to give our baby up for adoption.' This is a highly engaging, interesting read about a very personal and shared experience. The intentions in writing this zine — to reach out to other young parents, to explain adoption, and to express and explain the thoughts and feelings of the entire process — are so well-executed that this zine is very difficult to come away from untouched. Recommended."
– Taylor at Parcell Press
"Where do I begin when describing this zine? There's sort of a lot going on. Phases of the Moon is essentially a journaled-out recollection of the pregnancy and birthing process. The zine alternates its entries, allowing both Stacie [sic] and Alexander to give their own versions, of each event. Having two perspectives on such an important experience gives a full range of thoughts and feelings, as Stacie [sic] and Alexander, a pair of homeless vegan punk rock kids, try to learn about life and make some of the most difficult choices they've ever had to make. Excitement, fear, anticipation, depression, joy, and every other emotion seem to make an appearance at some point as they work their way through the pregnancy, the birthing, and the ultimate decision to give their child up for adoption. All these things make this zine very personal. But at the same time there is a lot of information packed in here which gives the zine a very political slant as well. Information and discussion about the medical industry, the ways in which pregnant women are treated within a patriarchy, and other such topics pop up every few pages, forcing you to not only understand the specific situation of these two people, but also question the entire medical system in our country. This is one of the more unique zines I've read in awhile, and while some may not agree with all the decisions and opinions that take place within it, I think everyone can appreciate the chance to hear someone's story and think about some pretty important topics."
– Billy at Loop Distro
"Partners Stacey and Alexander document their emotions during Stacey's unintended pregnancy and the subsequent adoption of their daughter, in this text-heavy journal style zine. Really honest and insightful, the most open portrayal of reproductive options I have read in a while. This is a really powerful zine that even warmed my baby-hating heart. Not only does this zine open the door into Stacey and Alexander's relationship, it educates us on the adoption process, midwives, homebirthing and non-invasive fertility awareness methods. It criticizes our culture that restricts mothers' bodies and choices for home-delivery. It doesn't hold back for a second on the process of carrying the baby to term, even unabashedly sharing embarrassing details about doubts of strength and fecal matter. Expectant mothers, curious bystanders and general haters should get this zine!"
– LB at Stranger Danger Distro
"stacey-marie & alexander are a young anarchist punk couple who made this zine together as a document of their unexpected pregnancy & choice to give the baby up in an open adoption. in a very text-heavy typewritten account, they take turns explaining the whole process from the beginning: how they met, how they got pregnant, the options they ran through when they found out, how their relationship struggled during the pregnancy, settling on a birth plan, finding the couple that wound up taking the baby, the birth, the adoptive parents taking the baby home, & their eventual move to chicago. i decided to carry this zine because i have found that adoption as an option for coping with an unexpected pregnancy is not really discussed that much, but it can be just as wrenching or empowering as any other choice. essentially, i found the story unique & wanted to provide a forum for it. this is not an anti-abortion zine, although i do feel compelled to warn readers that there are a few passages that veer dangerously into anti-abortion sentiment while stacey-marie describes the decision-making process that inspired her to opt for adoption. although she takes great pains to assure the reader that she is not anti-abortion in the least, i still found my skin crawling a little bit. but if you take that part with a grain of salt & enjoy the story for what it is, it's really worth reading, especially for those folks with a particular interest in reproductive health, childbirth, alternative parenting, & the like. as a former midwifery student, there were definitely a few times when i had to put the zine down & take a few deep breaths. it's hard to listen to stories of seven-month pregnant ladies realizing they have absolutely no birth plan whatsoever & newborn infants being fed soy formula. but hey, shit happens. consider it part-yarn, part-cautionary tale, if you wish. all the writing is quite engaging; stacey-marie's & alexander's personalities really shine through on to the page."
– Ciara at Learning to Leave a Paper Trail Distro