It Took A While To Hit Publish

(First, let me say this may be a trigger for some, if you can’t make it through it, I understand, because there are days where I wonder if I will, too. I have no choice, but you do. If you do get through it, God bless. Also, I really do hope to have more joy in this blog soon, I swear.)

August 14, 2013

As my last post talked about, last spring/late winter (I mean, in Texas, who can really delineate), we had a miscarriage that resulted in a D&C. We (I thought) handled it as well as can be expected – maybe better, I don’t know. Maybe our grief was tempered with the hope and belief that surely it couldn’t happen again, that our fairly (looking back) glib OB told us there was nothing to do differently the next time – this was a complete anomaly.

My gut was murmuring differently, but he was the one with the medical degree and the job of being an expert on lady business. So I began my regimen of taking herbal supplements and certain vitamins again. I continued to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and anything else that might inhibit something or screw with egg growth.

And then it happened. June rolled around and my period was absent. I took a test. It was positive. I took another, and it was, too. And then I cried in the bathroom a minute because – get this – I was afraid to tell my husband. Not because he wouldn’t be thrilled, but because I was terrified to acknowledge it. It became in that instant a conflict inside me. A large part of me wanted to treat it like a newborn that suddenly sleeps through the night. Don’t talk about it, because you’ll jinx it. My pregnancy became Voldemort. That big part fought with a smaller part of me – my heart – which wanted to be giddy and mentally compose the pictures of John meeting his baby sister or brother for the first time and start pulling out the baby clothes we carefully saved. Both parts were pretty angry at each other.

Continue reading

How I Became Pro-Choice

It’s Friday, and I’m watching Glenn Hegar shoot down every amendment – both reasonable and unreasonable – to a bill that will reduce Texas to five abortion clinics and consign many women to the substandard care it’s author claims it will avoid.

I’ve been watching for weeks now as the Senate and House do their dead-level darnedest to drown out the cacophony of actual citizenry demanding better for the women of Texas. And I realized that even if I organized the most hilarious nationwide protest ever (which I nearly did), I wasn’t truly lending my voice to this because I had never truly explained what lead me to be pro-choice – or why I oppose the systemic and pervasive punishment of the female sex by men – specifically men in one party.

I am pro-choice because I am blessed. I have a loving husband, a beautiful child, a wonderful home, and a loving and inclusive church family. It is because of all those things that I realize I simply do not have a frame of reference for the scared teenage girl who just realized she’s missed her period, the woman with the abusive husband who knows that keeping her pregnant and vulnerable is a good way to get her to stay put, the raped woman who has to endure further violation of a transvaginal ultrasound, or even the couple who realizes that one night together does not parents make. While I personally can’t imagine deciding to have an abortion, I also realize that since I’m not any of those women, I can’t in good conscience make my decision her decision. And I can’t abide the thought of women dying – and they will – because they seek a closer and unsafe alternative because the closest clinic closed. Or dying because that same clinic was the one that would’ve caught their cervical cancer when it was treatable and survivable.

But really, this bill is a shortsighted attempt to end abortion. Why shortsighted? Because what would really reduce abortion is comprehensive sex ed that taught science-based, realistic methods of preventing pregnancy. What would really reduce abortion is better access to less expensive birth control. What would really reduce abortion is better prenatal and post natal care for women most vulnerable to have an unintended pregnancy.

And most of those things were offered as amendments to this bill. All were rejected. And what is worse, many who voted and will vote for this bill have a history of voting down legislation that should by all accounts be considered quite pro-life – like covering longer prenatal care for the “preborn” or funding education or expanding Medicaid. They are no more pro-life than I am a blueberry muffin.

But all of that is what is within the orbit of why I am against this bill so adamantly. The real reason is this much more personal, and only a handful of people knew until now. The fact that I need to share this makes me sad, but I’ve come to realize that the only way for people to know that this bill affects their health, too, is for me to share.

So, here it goes. A few months ago, I was pregnant. I excitedly made an appointment with my OB, went in, and had a sono.

There was nothing there. No matter, my blood tests revealed the pregnancy was progressing so far, so I was to come back in for another sono. The next week, there was a sac, so we began operating under the assumption that I ovulated later than I thought. Next week’s sono came around, and there it was – a little flickering heartbeat.

But something was very, very wrong. The fetal pole (the beginnings of the nervous system) was very small. The heartbeat was very, very slow. The yolk sac was larger than normal. It was clear that this embryo would likely die. I walked around with this knowledge for a week until my next sono – there was no heartbeat.

I sat in a fog in a waiting room until my doctor’s scheduler could find an opening for my D&C. I watched happy pregnant women come and go, and tried not to look tragic – I failed miserably. My procedure was scheduled a week away, and I left. Every day I prayed I’d just start bleeding and have to avoid it. But the morning arrived, I arrived at the center, was sedated and woke up no longer pregnant. Just like that.

I was given – as a matter of course designed to cut down on trips to the ER post procedure – a prescription for a drug that is also used for abortions. In fact, the very procedure I had is also used in abortions. The fact that this bill could also make an already horrible time even more difficult saddens and worries me.

It also saddens me that this bill is a trend. North Dakota’s new law prohibits abortions after 6 weeks – and many people don’t find out their pregnant until then. And then there is the fact that in Mississippi, a woman is being accused of a felony because she miscarried, and a Virginia politician would like to make it a crime to miscarry and not report it.

Yes, we have come so far that we would punish a woman for something that is sadly a natural phenomenon. The fact that there are people out there that would’ve liked to place me in handcuffs right after I came out of sedation makes me know for a certainty that there is evil in the world – and it doesn’t wear a burnt orange shirt.

The only way we can change this tide is to go to the voting booth. If they won’t listen to our voices at the Capitol, they will for certain hear us when they are packing up their offices and leaving office. You may think that this bill is not about you, and doesn’t need your attention or voice. But you either have a vagina or came from one. This bill will most certainly harm someone you know in some way. And this tidal wave of misogyny that is trying to invade our country will only harm this country in ways unimaginable.

If the thought of the government telling you that you were not allowed to have children upsets you, well, you are pro-choice.

So What DO You Do All Day?

I promise that this isn’t going to be another manifesto about stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms and work-away-from-home moms. Because really, what I’m about to talk about isn’t about inter-mommy fighting. It’s about the perception of stay-at-home and work-at-home moms in general, by everyone. Because even after almost a year and a half, I still have people who think I am available at a moment’s notice, that I have a surplus of time on my hands, or that I won’t mind if my time is wasted.

And many of those same people also roll their eyes at my insistence on a semblance of a schedule for the day. But you see, I work and raise a baby. To get housework, meal planning, interaction with a baby and my various jobs all done, I need to know I have chunks of time carved out to meet goals. What I do all day is completely doable – and don’t think I’m about to brag or whine. Nor should you think I’m saying I do more than you. I’m saying I do as much as you, and just as you need a schedule to get through the day, so do I. And just like your time is valuable, mine is as well.

So with that in mind, I decided today to keep a sort of running diary of what I was doing. Thanks to my iPhone, I just kept a dialogue on my notes app, and then uploaded it.  It was another thing to do today, but I think it is a pretty good representation of a typical Wednesday for us. Continue reading

On Rape, Rape Jokes and Why People Like Kidd Kraddick and Daniel Tosh Make Them

Sorry to leave you again and then suddenly swoop in with something important to say. Got a little busy with something (I’ll explain later), and neglected this baby, even though I hit 100 posts recently. I’ll try to pop in more frequently – in fact, I’ve promised a few people a couple of recipes, so expect that soon, as well as some cross pollinating on a couple of other sites.

But what dragged me away from an horrible All-Star Game (really, AL? Behind by 8?) tonight was something I’ve been ruminating on all day, in between cutting up grilled cheese and pouring sippies of milk: Why people think rape is funny, or at least OK to joke about. Continue reading

Tuned Up Tuesday

Mute Monday

When You Burst Into Tears at Chik-Fil-A …

I know I’ve been absent and in my stead I left you a bunch of enjoyable music that was totally not the same thing as blogging. It’s been a crazy few weeks here, but I promise I’m getting off my butt this week and really actually writing again.

Some of the crazy is just the normal stuff you see happen in any household with a toddler. Other parts were some random blips that just added to the craziness. One of the things I pride myself on is the fact that the three of us are pretty laid back, roll with it individuals, so when crazy comes up, we assess, and move some stuff around to accommodate it. Hi, nutty week. Come sit next to “toddler knows how to take diapers off now.”

But one of the things that has been going on came to a head today. I’m fairly certain I’m going to cry while I write this. I’m also fairly certain that I will laugh, which means that you should be so happy there’s no webcam footage, because ugly cry plus laughter equals snot.

Let me start by telling you about our dog, Bandit. Bandit and Mr. Not Martha were a package deal when we met. He had been T’s first roommate after purchasing the home we now live in. His approval or disapproval certainly wouldn’t have put the brakes on our romance, but let’s just say – Bandit’s opinion mattered.

And when I first met Bandit, he was spry. He demanded walks. He could leap up on our bed – much to my dismay after purchasing a new duvet and finding a Bandit-sized dirt stain on it the next day after work.  Continue reading

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