Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Opinion Piece: Abortion

Yeah, this is such a touchy subject that I'm sure that anywhere else I wrote this (ie: facebook) that I'd be inundated with countless angry replies and countless high fives. This is another subject that has people so largely divided that behind the keyboard, and sometimes even face to face, things get ugly. Lately, it also seems that with the end of a crazy presidential campaign, the swearing in of a new president (don't get me started or I'll start swearing), and this new president starting off his term of, what I already feel will be the longest term ever, four years with a resounding bang, everyone I know have starting debating and "sharing" their opinions (that's what they are, people, opinions) with a strength of black and white that I haven't encountered since debating religion in high school.

So, without further adieu, I hope I can convey my thoughts and opinion in a manner that truly conveys my thoughts. I get long winded and wordy, so I think I will, but there is so much running around in my head about so much of what is going on in the world,  I expect that I'll leave a thing or two out or not describe or explain very well. 

I believe that the battle between pro-life and pro-choice is a non-argument. I really and truly think that unless you have a uterus you have absolutely no say in the matter. I also think that at the point any woman who does have a uterus and faces that option should have the freedom to make whatever choice is best for her. There are so many things that women face regarding reproduction and it's sickening that there are so many men worried about our "health".  Every woman should have the option for safe clinics and doctors to perform abortions if that is the choice that she makes about her body. 

I absolutely get the "abortion is murder" argument that is usually the first thing that comes up regarding this topic.  I feel that for those women who feel that way, using their voices and talking about their views and even volunteering at unplanned pregnancy clinics is a great way to share your view and give the options that are out there other than abortion. But, there is this self righteous tone I hear and I also think that there has to be a bit of empathy toward a woman facing this choice that needs to be shared as well. Many women have never been in, nor can they associate with, some of the places that other women are in when they make this choice. Guilting them and telling them that they are going to hell isn't exactly giving actual and good reasons to make the pro-life choice.

Every time I hear the argument about abstinence or use a condom or just use birth control, I cringe. I cringe enough to strain my shoulders because it shows such a severe lack of understand regarding women and what they face and the actuality that birth control isn't 100%. 

I lived my 20's where birth control wasn't free unless you had no insurance and you were in a handful of states. I wasn't making enough money to live by myself, let alone forking over anywhere from $25 if you were lucky to $100 a month for the pill. I also spent a few years of my early twenties with an abusive man who took control of my money and didn't want me to get the pill. If I got pregnant, then in his mind, I was forever tied to him. 

Let me run through my list of birth control options and why they aren't always the best option for every woman. The pill is great other than what I stated in the above paragraph. Then there are women who can't tolerate the extra hormones or those susceptible to breast cancer since some cancers grow due to the hormones. Or there are other women like me who have high blood pressure and taking the pill with high blood pressure or over 35 are at risk of stroke. Or- it just plain doesn't work sometimes. Then there is the IUD. I got the copper one and it irritated my uterus and irritated what I unknowingly had called endometriosis, so I spent 2 years with this nagging, crampy feeling in my lower back and abdomen. There is also one that puts out a little bit of hormones and works great for some women, but still, there are the hormone risks I stated about and the risk of it being a constant irritant or it can even move and pierce body parts. Everything else that aren't a surgical procedure all work using hormone therapy.  I think I've explained how that isn't suited for every woman. Next, we go a little more invasive and a woman can have a uterine ablation. Ablation means “to remove by erosion, melting, evaporation, or vaporization.” Endometrial ablation is done with a hysteroscope, along with a device that heats, freezes, or lasers your endometrial lining. This destroys a layer of your endometrial lining, and usually your monthly menstrual period will stop completely—at least for a while—and usually you will not be able to become pregnant following uterine ablation. With ablation, there is still a .07% chance of pregnancy. There is the tying of tubes or a partial hysterectomy also to consider. The last 3 are all done under general anesthesia and it's a painful surgical procedure. I personally chose that hysterectomy and I spent 2 days in the hospital and then 6 weeks of not being able to lift more than a gallon of milk. Not the best option with tiny kids, but I had such high blood pressure, having more kids was not an option since it's only controlled by medicine which isn't ok to take while pregnant. 

All of the options above, the cheapest one with the shitty insurance I had, was nearly $300. It's been 2 years and I just only finished paying for the hysterectomy. I feel as though not only do the pro-life group not want to allow safe abortion options, not asking for funding- just allowing, but no one wants to do anything to make our options less expensive so that low and medium income women can avoid getting pregnant in the first place. Especially since I'm hearing how those in politics wants to get rid of ACA nor add any options for those who can't get or afford insurance any other way. We desperately need in our country better and more sex education in low income or poor parts of our country. Women are failed at every level around the world. In many African countries, women are raped and then shunned and dehumanized by their families, spouses, and peers. Here is a current list of the countries with the highest percentage of rape crimes and you might be surprised with the countries on the list (I looked at many sites that had percentages and statistics and they were all pretty much the same as the other). But not even on the subject of rape, there are countless cities and parts of cities around the US who have or are going to have no option for insurance, they can't afford birth control, and they aren't educated in ways to best prevent pregnancy or STD's or what they need to do to maintain women's health with pap smears and breast exams. 

What happens when poor and impoverished women aren't given tools to not get pregnant, and saying abstinence is the most obtuse answer- women are still used for sex and forced into it every second of every day around the world. I'm going to throw this in because i'm so blown away that this wasn't a deal breaker, when the leader of our country brags about what he can do to women because he's a "celebrity", what does that say about our society when it's just laughed at. If you think he's the only privileged man who thinks and acts that way then your head is somewhere else. Feeling as though women are there for someone else's needs is still happening in developed countries. Not only that, but women who are raped here in the US and India are blamed and still treated as if it's their fault some guy couldn't keep his hands, and other things, to himself. Why were they out after dark? What were they wearing? Where they drinking? You must have been asking for it. What is supposed to happen to these children that are born because their mom's are either guilted out of it, taught all their lives it's bad, or didn't have any safe facilities or options? Now, this woman who got pregnant for money, for drugs, because she didn't even know about birth control (yes, that's a real thing and I saw it first hand in a high school in Louisiana) who can't afford to even take care of herself is now left with another very expensive mouth to feed and she has no support from the very same people who think that abortion is murder. I hear "adoption" and yet, there are over 100,000 kids waiting for a family and from what I hear, it's not a cheap endeavor. So now, we have added another statistic to fall through the cracks of society.

My next thought is this... I'm married, but even when I wasn't, I have the option to enjoy my self just like any other person. We are living in a society where it's ok for men to have sex but it's still a shameful thing for women to do, to even want to. I would love to see the "abstinence" argument apply to the male gender as well. Cause as we all know, it takes two to tangle. Regardless of all of this, there are times when birth control just doesn't work or there is an unexpected health risk that comes up. I have insanely high blood pressure that is only controlled with medicine and I can't be pregnant like that. I can only imagine if things didn't work out right on the bc (birth control) front and I ended up pregnant and had to have it terminated. For blood pressure. You know the argument that comes next... let go, let God. God will get me through it if I trust in him and if you truly believe, then he'll get you through it safe. It's all God's will. Etcetera. That just doesn't always work and I'm not ready to leave my husband and 3 kids alone because I was trusting in belief instead of science. For those of you who do have a strong faith and who do strongly believe that God will take care, that's awesome. I'm truly happy that you have something like that in your life. But it's just not something to be forcing down another's throat or pushing your personal belief onto someone else struggling with a hard enough issue. There are those who know their babies might kill them or their babies are going to die when they leave the safety of the womb and they still go through with it with all the faith in the world and so much hope that it's incredibly inspiring, but there is a difference between sharing and proselytize.

My last thought is this... have any of you thought about the mental health aspect of all of this? How many of you have ever had to try to get mental health support? There are some women who get pregnant or after their pregnancies who get severely depressed. There are women who have kids who end up with mental illness and can't get help. There are women who know this and what are they supposed to do if something happens and they get pregnant, again birth control isn't 100% effective all the time. Have you ever tried to get help when you have a newborn and come down unexpectedly with severe postpartum psychosis? Even with a supportive spouse it's a nightmare. You try to call to get help and after 3 people tell you no, it puts you in an even worse place. No one is taking new patients. No one takes your insurance. You can't go get therapy because there isn't anywhere to take your kids for a couple hours once a week or you work full time and have kids the rest of the time, how do you find time to go to therapy once a week? Then, in the midst of dealing with this major depression, you get your first bill and realize that there is no way you can afford this. You can't afford the medicine. You can't afford to deal with the side effects. You can't afford any alternative therapy because it's no covered. You can't see this doctor due to rules in your insurance. This doctor has left. That doctor left. But it's a good thing that there are people out there fighting for unborn babies' lives. Just don't ask for any help once they get here. They aren't worth a moment's notice now. Unless you fail in your battle with depression, then you get a moment in the news and everyone says "If only I'd know." "Get help, it's out there." But no. No it's not. 

To me, your stance on abortion is very much like your stance on religion. It's really great to share and compare and discuss it, but there is no place for anyone to say it's absolutely wrong or right for any one person. It's very personal and there are many factors that are taken into consideration and I, for one, found that it probably saved my life being able to have the option available. It's not an easy choice and it's not a choice that can or even should be made by anyone else. I would never assume to tell you who to worship. I would never assume to tell you that you can't worship this way or another because "I don't believe in it and it's your immortal soul in peril". Let's make mental health options, reproduction health options, and education more of a priority and make it available before we pretentiously try to make such a decision for someone else. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time to change the channel

I've got a mental block here and don't think that I will ever get done what I want here, so, to change things up a bit, I am moving to a different bat time, different bat channel. To tune in next time, come see me here.

I will slowly be adding new stuff, posting the old stuff and this will slowly, but surely, disappear. Much like the aforementioned channels.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Um....

So, not only did my son give me my very first covered wagon. ( That's what they are called right? When you fart and then cover someones head with the covers?)

But, my 2 year old, who has just started talking just called me "Big Mommy".

Are you kidding me?!

And how can I not smile at this cute little face?

Random bouts of dancing lately. I love love love it!!

I just think he's beautiful. I can't stay mad for long at him. Even though the two's have started him trying to gouge my eyes out in his tempers. :/
And Little B... you give her food and she shoves as much of it in her hands as she can and then shoves it in her face as fast as she can. Laughing the whole time. I had to keep taking pictures of this because it was so funny that she thought she was so funny (notice the 3 pieces of cheese she's got in her hands. LOL)





Quick question for moms out there... what have you done regarding pajamas where they aren't quite tall enough for one size but too chunky in the legs or belly for the right size? Does that make sense? She's in 18 month jammies but her thighs are too fat and her feet are too long. In 24 months, she has dangling legs trailing behind her and she trips and trips and trips and then gets mad. Any suggestions out there?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our first Christmas Tree

I know that all of my posts these days are all out of whack. I am just writing as I'm inspired.

This is the first year that Matt and I got a Christmas tree. We either didn't have the room or we didn't have a place or we had dogs that we figured would ruin it.

This year, Matt went to Home Depot and just grabbed one of the trees that was still tied up with string...Oh, it smelled so good.

We got the sucker into the tree stand/waterer and I started to clip the string fully expecting it to pop open at me.

That wasn't the case at all.

And while I was going to show you the cool photos I took of the beginning to end... I'm a technotard and completely deleted the first couple of tree photos. Blah! So, here are some the ending ones and I just wanted to describe how awesome it was to watch the tree unfold itself. If you have never had a real tree and you've never had one unfold...it is an experience you really should have at least once.

And because I am technologically hampered, I ended up not deleting what I thought I did or it ended up in a completely different file... I have no idea... just that I have my pictures. WOO!

Slowly, slowly unfurling

Almost done...


2 Vacuum bags full of pine needles later
The beginning process of decorating. (Lights only due to the toddler factor)

The unfurling of the tree was just amazing. I can't wait (if I can bear to do the pine needle thing again) to do this with the kids and see if they find it as mesmerizing as I did. 

You could hear it. 

It was almost like you could hear the tree stretching and letting loose of pine needles that didn't need to be there. It was amazingly subtle yet noisy and busy at the same time. 

After the smell of the real thing, this was my favorite part. 

And now... for the final ta-da!



And for any of you that would love to see this, I videoed Linus's first Christmas program at school. It was a very small production, just a few songs they "performed" (they are 18 months to 2 years, Miss Bertha did pretty great with what she has to work with. LOL) Anyway, here is my favorite video cause Linus dances in it. The little boy next to him only says "poo", another girl there just plays with her belly button, and my favorite little friend of his always wears dresses and always twirls. Unfortunately, she's taught Linus to twirl but I think it's cute. It's totally out of focus because I didn't realize that my camera was focusing on the arm directly in front of me. But you get the gist of it. You can see the snowflakes on the floor from the other songs they did. 


And here is Linus and I making a cookie and decorating it at school....soooooo good. They are awesome there, I totally forget about his egg allergy sometimes and they made sure I knew which cookies were specially made without eggs just for my little curmudgeon. I sure like his school. 



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gone fishing

My kids are killing me these days.

Linus is coming up with funnier and funnier things that are coming out of his mouth. This is my favorite part of toddler-hood. Them learning to say things.

And Bea, well, Bea is just Bea. She is just funny.

She's the little girl while at the doctor's office that wants to play with the doctor's skirt and runs around and finally runs into the full length windows they have, bounces off, and sits and giggles with her Buddha belly jiggling.

We had two different doctor visits in two different cities and the second one has a little tiny playground inside for the kids.

Linus at this age, walked in, was a little uncomfortable and wouldn't really climb on stuff and didn't want to play with the other kids.

Bea heads right in, climbs up the stairs, heads for the slide and goes down head first, eyes closed, squealing the whole time. She is fearless.

She hugged every parent there, she hugged every kid there, she wanted to play with and touch and hug and kiss and steal all of the food from every kid there and they all looked at her like this. o.O She even managed to plant an open mouth, tongue out kiss on a parent there who was bent down reassuring their own kid. I couldn't get there fast enough to stop the slobber-fest.

The both were pretty great considering we got to the first doctor at 1pm and didn't leave the second doctor until 5. I wasn't very prepared to be gone that long, so we stopped at Wendy's and I got Linus a kid's meal. He usually just east a cheeseburger from McDonald's and I had no idea that Wendy's made their kid's burgers a little different.

He ate a little bit, he asked for his toy (which was a picnic basket fishing pole from the movie Yogi Bear), and then I heard "I got it! I got it!"

I turned around to see this...

Yup, that's his hamburger attached to the fishing hook.

And that's him swinging it back and forth.

I managed not to kill myself snorting my soda out my nose when I saw that.

So then, the final story of the day...

We finally got Linus a booster seat, Bea is finally sitting in a forward facing kid chair. I am finally not carrying her 25 pound body around in a baby car carrier. Yeah, you should see my shoulders. I look in the mirror and think that I really should cut out the shoulder pads from my shirt and realize it is, in fact, my enormous shoulder muscles. LOL

So, Bea loves looking at everything, she laughs and laughs, but won't sleep. She gets cranky and because she is so tall, the pediatrician recommended we keep her rear facing till she's two.

Linus, on the other hand... well, I know for a fact that my friend Hollie knows all too well about this kind of kid. :) He was talking, talking, talking and then he sounded different. I looked back and he had unbuckled himself and was sitting in the middle of the two carseats facing back trying to get the lint cleaner out of the back window. As we were driving down I-15. I wanted to kill him before the traffic did.

I had to pull over and rebuckle him and keep reminding him that he IS NOT. UNDER ANY UNCERTAIN TERMS ALLOWED TO UNBUCKLE HIMSELF. I did manage to keep the shrieking to a minimum, but from the pouting that ensued, I am sure the point got across. Thank heavens for child lock doors.

I can tell, there are some good times ahead with these two. :D

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Freud/Glasser/Jung of things

I started going to therapy a little while ago. Just wanted to throw that out there. I assume that eventually I or someone else will talk about it and I didn't want anyone to think it was something I was embarrassed about.

I WILL say, however, that finding a therapist is a daunting, ridiculous task in the fact that you have to try to find someone who is on your insurance plan and who is taking new patients.

And to answer your question, I decided to go to therapy to help me deal with ordinary, everyday issues in dealing with my children and my life and my husband. Not that any of them are bad, things are great, I just never learned to deal with the stressors of life and just needed an objective opinion on what I was dealing with, how I was dealing, and better hints and tips to deal better.

I have melt downs every time my kids melt down. I can't deal with the screaming and the crying. I don't think it's an emotional response, I just don't like loud noises. I was given the idea of lightly listening to my ipod or putting ear plugs in because you can still hear what is going on, it just turns the decibels down a bit. The most brilliant idea I've ever been given. Ever. I don't have such a negative emotional response to their meltdowns now. I can sit back, figure out what they need and address them rationally. And even smile while doing it.

Can I just say that my therapist looks a lot like Sarah Brightman. It's weird talking to her.

But she is also helping me learn a lot of lessons in communication with my husband which is a big, fat deal. For way too many years, I've felt that my needs and desires were not important and she is teaching me that it's ok to share my needs and desires. That I am important and that even if they are irrational things, my life partner gets to share in those thoughts. They may happen and they may not, but it's ok to let him in on my inner me.

I initially had a reason for writing this post and I am pretty sure it had something to do with Linus, but in the holidays and a few other things, I lost my story.

But, yeah, I'm in therapy. It really was amazing for me when I was pregnant with Linus and dealing with WAY too much stuff to wrap my head around and I figured it would really help my overwhelmed self now. I actually recommend it to most moms. It's nice to be able to express my feelings, concerns, fears, guilt, and realize that most of it is normal and unnecessary.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The glue that binds

I know of a family where the husband got a vasectomy and five years later, his wife got pregnant. I'm not really sure what that conversation was like, but from the story I heard, he basically said, "well, I guess I better go into the doctor to see if this thing reversed itself" Because he never did go back in after the procedure. I'm not sure if there was any finger pointing or fighting or whatever, but I do know they were in a bad place in their marriage at the time of the incident... maybe not the best time to be having a baby. Nor am I sure why it took 5 years for her to get pregnant.

What I am sure of, is that it's because sometimes, God or whatever higher being you believe in, sends down a little body to be the glue.

Their little girl ended up being the glue that had bound their family. She was exactly what they needed in their family and she completed them. That was 7-ish years ago and they are still doing great. She is just a little joy to be around and is the glue.

In my family right now, Bea is the glue. At least for me. She manages, on an hourly basis, to make me laugh. She brings me joy and more importantly makes Linus laugh.

Now that they aren't two babies anymore, I am starting to enjoy them more and more.

There is nothing funnier that watching her chimpanzee walk while she begs for a banana and then runs off with it and shoving it in her mouth. Or watching her nom-nom-nom her way through everything she eats. She never stops smiling and laughing and it's almost impossible to get mad at her.

She lays down for her naps, just curls up with her blankie, beenkie in her mouth, and sighs a big, happy sigh. Sometimes she gets cold and I'll wrap her up and rub her legs and back to warm her up. She'll sit and giggle a little bit, look up at me with the biggest, cheesiest grin and lay her head back down.

Her new thing is to walk up to Matt or I and just hug our legs. From mom to dad and back again. Over and over. She is such a cuddle bug and just wants Daddy to hold her.

She makes it easy to see the fun in Linus and the innocence he has and his brilliance in things that a two year old should not be so skilled at. She makes it easy to laugh at his quirks and his little things that usually rub me the wrong way.

I have a feeling I will forever apologize for naming her Grace as she's the most ungraceful person I've ever met so far, but she really is the glue that binds us together these days.