Thursday, May 27, 2010


I seem to have reached that stage in my pregnancy in which I would like to change my mind. It happened with Dante, and I blogged about it then, but in that case four years ago, my mind was being changed due to the fact that I was terrified of giving birth.

This time around, I would like to change my mind for completely different reasons. First and foremost, Dante and I have a good thing going here. We have our own routine, our own "thing"; we're a great team. Now, I'm going to bring a new baby into the mix and it's going to screw everything up! Secondly, I enjoy sleeping. The amount of sleep I currently get, scratch that, the amount of sleep I used to get before getting pregnant was really not bad. I got a good 6 hours at least. Nowadays, with the pregnancy keeping me up at night "preparing" me for the new arrival, I'm lucky to get 3 or 4 hours. I can only imagine what is yet to come. Thirdly, I'm terrified of this C-section. So terrified that I would like to detract all of my statements from my blog linked above about Dante's birth and say that I would much rather birth this kid the "normal" way instead of being sliced open like a Tauntaun on Hoth and have my innards spill out everywhere.

And last, but certainly not least, I'd like to change my mind because I don't think I can do this again. What the hell do I remember about babies? I hardly have any memories of life when Dante was an infant due to sleep deprivation (See, reason #2 above) and plain old exhaustion. Now I'm going to start all over again?!?!?! The diapers, the round-the-clock feedings, the spit-ups, the gross poops, the crawling, the not crawling, the hours spent working on new words, walking, new foods, strollers, car seats, carriers, tummy time, and on and on and on and on and on.

I seriously have got to be crazy.

So I am officially changing my mind here. I have no idea how I am going to be able to accomplish this, but I currently have Stephen Hawking on speed dial working on some sort of time machine for me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Defending My Life

I'm getting a little sick and tired of having to defend my choices both in parenting and life lately. As I reach my 30th week of pregnancy, I am bombarded daily with random strangers asking some very personal questions and then turning around and questioning my answers, as though I have offended them somehow by NOT choosing the answer they had concocted in their brains.

For example, a random woman, never seen her before in my life, commented on "how big" I was and proceeded to rub my belly. I'm kind of used to the invasion of my personal space by strangers since it seems that having tattoos gives people the notion that coming up to grab my arms and say "Does that mean something?" is ok. The belly rub isn't what irked me, though. The fact that this woman proceeded to ask me if I was going to breast feed did. Ok, um, what business is it of yours "Strange Woman at Publix"? Are you really concerned with my boobs that much? When I answered "yes" she said, "Oh good! It's better that you don't give them formula. It's pretty much poison." Ooookkkk thank you, random stranger for your idiotic "fact".

Look, if you don't want to feed your kids formula, go for it. If you want to nurse your kid until they are 40 years old and in law school, fine with me. But let me tell you something. Dante had both breast milk and formula and he's not dead. As a matter of fact he's sitting here annoying the #$%$@ out of me asking me to play "knights" with him and then to look at his butt. He's very much alive, healthy, and now singing a song about saying "Hello in the telephone" that I am assuming he just made up 3 seconds ago.

I kind of looked at this lady funny and said, "well have a good day" and sauntered on. I kind of wish I had walked into the formula aisle and grabbed a whole mess and filled my cart up as I walked past her, but the "mature" person in me said, "Forget it, there's a jar of Nutella in aisle two that has your name on it".

But that was really not the straw that broke the camel's back.

I visited my endocrinologist today whom I haven't seen in quite a while. Normally when I go to the endo I see the practitioner and the nurses who just take my blood and then "discuss" the results with me. But today I got to see the head honcho, the doctor whose name is on the door, and whose been following my thyroid ups and downs (mostly downs) since March of 2009. So, if course, my pregnancy is a big topic of conversation, since my thyroid seems to have gone out of business since I've gotten pregnant, and of course I get the question, "When are you due?". And I say, innocently, "I go in on July 20th at 5:30am".

I say, "innocently" because I don't expect anything other than, "Oh that's great!" or "Wow! That's coming up soon!". Instead I get a clicking of the teeth, a sigh, a disappointed look of scorn and the phrase, "A C-Section then? Why would you do that?"

So, of course I go into massive detail about the horrible problems I had delivering Dante. Between the 30 plus hours of labor, the fact that I was 41 weeks and had to be induced, and the fact that after pushing to exhaustion and immense pain, it was determined that Mrs. Lady Parts down below was on strike and wasn't going to open her doors to let anyone or anything out. Consequently, between me pushing, Dante straining to get out, things got hairy (not like that) and Dante's heart rate started going down and I started "giving up" and the doctors decided to C-Section me. It was not "forced" upon me, nor it was done hastily or because the doctors "didn't feel like helping me push" as that stupid Ricky Lake movie, The Business of Being Born would like you to think EVERY C-Section is like, but rather an INFORMED decision after I, the mother in labor, had struggled for quite some time and my unborn child was stuck and in distress.

So I go through all of this story and retelling with my endocrinologist and she starts LECTURING me about how I should not have another C-Section, "just because your doctor told you to", and that she had 600 VBACs after her first child was born and that she was fine and that I was "selling yourself short of a miraculous experience" and that just because I had trouble with the first run, I may not have trouble with this one. I felt like I was being cross examined and I didn't like it. I tried to explain to her that my choice and my feelings were that the risks of a VBAC outweighed this "miraculous" experience and that I wasn't going to risk my health or Mr. Bean's just to "try it out". You "try out" shoes or cars or new foods. Not giving birth in the safest possible RECOMMENDED way by your doctor. Yet, my endo kept insisting to the point where I just had to tell her that it was my choice and that was that. I got a little snippy, I think and rightfully so.

Where do people think it is ok to, in essence, DEMAND that you do things their way? Whether I breast feed or formula feed, C-section or vaginal birth, cloth diaper or disposable, circumcise or not, indoctrinate into religion or not is really nobody's business by mine and my husband's. And it certainly doesn't give anyone the right to interrogate me like I'm some sort of murderer on Law and Order. (Although maybe if Vincent D'Onofrio was the one grilling me about this stuff, I wouldn't mind as much).

I see it all the time. People ask such personal questions of pregnant mothers that it's really as though as our belly grows our self-respect somehow fades and people think you can say or do anything to us and it's ok. Do I walk up to random men on the street and say, "Hey, when you masturbate are you a lefty or a righty?" or to random women, "Do you wipe front to back or back to front"? Yet people see a pregnant woman and think they can ask pretty much the same questions and then attack you when you don't give the "right" answer.

Hang on...wait....I think I hear that jar of Nutella calling to me from the kitchen. Let me go take my non-working vagina, forced C-section, breast feeding but also formula poisoning ass over there and see what it wants.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer: So What?

Today is the National Day of Prayer. It was originally passed into law by Harry Truman in 1952 and stipulated that the President set aside one day a year as a day of prayer. It been going on for 53 years and is an "American tradition".

As an Atheist, I don't really care that today is National Day of Prayer, so I was just planning on going about my business like I normally do and just treat it like any other day, but it seems like some more "hardcore" atheist people and groups are taking their "anger" at today and taking it one step further. The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a group which I belong to and generally support its causes, scored a "major victory" on April 15, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the National Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment to the Constitution. The White House quickly appealed the decision and President Obama declared that a National Day of Prayer would indeed continue and issued a very stern proclamation.

See, this is where many Atheists and I start to disagree. While a National Day of Prayer may be unconstitutional, it would be more unconstitutional if it were called a National Day of Christianity and Praying to Jesus. By reading Obama's proclamation, it is clear that the NDP leaves the spectrum of the term "prayer" wide open. While many Christian folk will use today to give an extra shout-out to the "man upstairs", Pagans may take moment to walk with the trees or nature spirits for an extra minute or two, Hindus may spend some free time conversing with Ganesh or Kali, Buddhists may chant for an extra 5 minutes. And Atheists and Secular Humanists may watch an extra episode of Nova or Cosmos and discuss the wonders of the Hubble telescope.

The bottom line is that the term "prayer" can be loosely defined to fit whatever need suits you best. The NDP does not specifically determine WHAT or WHO people should pray to, but rather suggest everyone take a minute to "take it all in". Whether that be as a moment of prayer to whatever higher power suits you, or just maybe taking a deep breath and saying, "Gee Universe, I'm so lucky that the crap shoot that is life and evolution accidentally made me."

So maybe I'm a bad Atheist because I'm not screaming in a picket line that the NDP should be abolished, It doesn't affect me. A National Day of Prayer is not going to suddenly make me believe in a god, start knocking on people's doors at 9am, and going to church (well, only if I'm going into a church to admire the art and architecture). So why bother getting all upset about it? There are more pressing church/state issues that need attention, most importantly the Texas Board of Education's "revamping" of its history curriculum to fit the Evangelical Right's needs.

Sure, many fanatics will use today as a way of pushing their "America is a Christian Nation" ideology, but any intelligent, educated person knows that isn't true. While very religious men, our Founding Fathers first of all were NOT Christians, they were Deists, and they understood the importance of not putting one religion over another. They clearly set out rules and doctrines that outlined this concept. But, with the very strong Evangelical Christian presence in this country, that line between church and state has thinned and I understand why many Atheists may get a little "trigger happy" to start marching and protesting about everything.

But is this really necessary? Who cares if it is National Day of Prayer? It has no effect on my day. Why should it affect yours? It's like the abortion issue or the gun issue. If you are against abortion, don't have one. If you don't want a gun, don't buy one. No one is forcing anyone to go out and pray today, no one os forcing us into churches or temples or mosques, no one is forcing us to change our beliefs.

It's National Day of Prayer today. Do with it what you will. Personally, I hope many people are so hell bent on praying that they stay home and reduce some of the traffic around here!