My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Big day for Middie Biddie

Middie Biddie has been horribly cranky the last few weeks, but I think something finally clicked in the last 24 hours.  Today she was in a much better mood.  Happy to be crawling around playing with toys, not nearly as clingy as she has been, and giggling up a storm when lying across my lap and hanging her head upside down over my leg.  What's up with that?  She's totally into hanging upside down.  Weirdo.  She's so my kid.

She reached two milestones today!  Not only did she manage to stand on her own for a few seconds, but she finally clapped her hands too!

It's funny to watch how differently the girls approach learning new skills.  Teeny Tiny works on them for months, slowly progressing a little bit every day and constantly on the verge of doing it.  On the other hand, Middie Biddie just hangs out where she is developmentally and then suddenly one day she does it!

Teeny Tiny has been threatening to walk for about a month.  But it was only a couple of days ago that she stood on her own for a few seconds.  In fact, Monday to be precise (my parents had just arrived to babysit and I was calling out "Look!  Look!").  Middie Biddie only recently started pulling up and cruising this last week and she's zooming through the stages on her way to walking at light speed.

While today was Middie Biddies big day, Teeny Tiny had to do something to make sure she got a blog mention.  While rocking and singing tonight, I would whisper in her ear "Mama give you kisses" and she would shove her cheek to my mouth, receive her kisses and then giggle.  This repeated itself for a while and *sigh* it was awesome.  She also learned that if you put a ball on the track, it will roll down through all the spirals.

Everybody learned something!

PS - I've got a phone interview for that pottery job I applied to on Monday.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's time for something to change

Lots of posts about stagnation lately.  I'm ready to try to change something.  I've been here before and when I've tried to do things, I've failed miserably (I'm looking at you part time job hunt!) so this is scary.  I'm trudging through the motions without hope that anything will actually happen, but at least I'm making the motions.  Things were pretty damned happy for a while, but we've kind of been sliding downhill and I'd like to stop the trajectory before we fall off Mt. Happiness all together.

Since injuring his back (turns out it's a ruptured disk, not a bulging disk), he's just been checked out.  He speaks the love language of acts of service and not being able to do the basics around the house has really been frustrating him.  On top of that, this is the first time his body has ever broken and it's scaring the crap out of him.  I'm pretty sure this has sparked a mid-life crisis.  He's suddenly seeing a little mortality and not liking it one bit.  Honestly, I think what pushed him over the edge was upper management at work talking about putting him on a forced leave of absence which would cut our income dramatically.  He's dealing with the possibility of having trouble working if his body doesn't heal properly.  I'm not very afraid of this, people have worked with bad backs before and there's plenty of work to be done at his job that doesn't require physical lifting.

I get it.  This sucks, it's scary, it makes a very uncertain future seem really close at hand.  But he's not only pulling out of doing work around the house (which is as it should be), he's also pulling out of our relationship by wrapping himself up inward.  That's not acceptable.  It's not as if our relationship is based on active things he can't do anymore, most of our together time is spent sitting on the couch watching TV, but he's not engaged at all.  I'm having to say things three or four times for him to hear me.  When you're just telling little jokes or randomly commenting on something, repeating yourself doesn't work.  I've even been trying to discuss various parenting questions and he just won't converse or he gives me one word answers and then gets angry when I want a discussion rather than an answer to a question.

I sat him down for a talk about this last night.  I miss him.  He was physically gone for months at rehearsals and now he's been emotionally gone for another month.  We talked about how he's feeling with all this and how I didn't marry him for his body or what services he could provide for me, I married him for him and I need him back.  I don't expect him to snap back into himself right away, but today before work he seemed to be participating a bit more so I'm hoping he'll be back soon.

As for me, well, we've talked about me going back to school.  I've been thinking marketing, but K suggested I do something with my writing so he would like to see me go to school for journalism.  The college campus about 2 miles from home has some good programs.  But realistically, school isn't in the cards right now.  We're having trouble paying bills as it is so tuition just isn't something we can do.  In three years, both of our cars should be paid off and the girls might be in school, so we've shelved that idea and will revisit it then.

I'm actually getting some encouragement/pressure to maybe write a couple of books.  Some people think I have a story to tell about the last few years of my life and others think I have an entertaining way of presenting the tips and tricks I'm learning as a twin mom.  So those are two ideas I have kicking around in my head.  The problem is, every time I think "yeah, I could write a book!" I'm immediately met with that voice in my head saying "Who the hell are you to write a book???  Your struggle isn't the hardest ever struggled and it's not like you're an expert on ANYTHING.  Who the hell are you to think your story is dramatic enough for reading or to be giving anybody any advice??  If you had anything interesting to say, your blog would be a whole lot more popular than it is.  If people won't read it for free, they sure as hell ain't gonna buy a copy."

That voice is my biggest hold up.  It's the same voice that convinces me not to bother job hunting because I'll just embarrass myself with how unqualified I am.  Since you are the people who seem to think what I have to say is worth reading, if anyone would like to send me some encouragement to combat that voice, I'd sure be appreciative.  Yes, I'm fishing for compliments.  And followers if you're so inclined to let me know you're out there reading me.

In the mean time, I spent today bookmarking some websites where you get paid for writing.  I'll do some more research into those to see if there might be an audience for things I have to write, or if there are writing assignments that I could complete for other people.  So I'm actively exploring the idea of professional writing in some capacity.

I also ran across a job listing for a pottery store looking for a production assistant, about 10 hours a week.  I'm sure there are more qualified candidates, but I threw my tattered hat into the ring.  At 10 hours a week, we could probably work it out around K's flexible schedule and the occasional babysitter when our schedules overlap, so any income wouldn't be eaten by day care.  It would be really nice to have an identity outside of these walls and a small paycheck coming in.

I highly doubt anything will come of any of this, but at least today I attempted to move some of these stagnate waters.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Air conditioning and other stuff

We've been having some trouble with naps lately.  Mostly Middie Biddie screaming through what would be a second nap.

For the last week, we tried having them take one nap in the middle of the day, but that mostly lead to tired babies during most of their awake time.  Teeny Tiny is still very much on the two nap schedule, just prevented from really taking that second nap by Middie Biddie having none of it.

I think it's a combination of factors.  Middie Biddie has molars coming in and seems to be a tad constipated.  She seems far more affected by teething than Teeny Tiny and it's been rough on her.  She's also having some issue where she is screaming through diaper changes.  She seems ok during removal and cleaning, but when I go to put a diaper back on, she's screaming and writhing around.  My only guess is that the constipation has lead to some evil association with the diaper.  She had a bit of a rash for a couple of days but we got that cleared up and she's still pitching fits.  Not as bad as she was, but it's still a challenge.

We took the girls to their first dentist appointment and the dentist told us that she could tell which one had a pacifier and which one didn't because it's reshaping Middie Biddies mouth.  Since then, we've been running a needle through the pacifier end of MB's wubbas to decrease the suction and generally make them less appealing.  I don't know how long it will take us to wean her off of them, but we're now working on it.

They've also been distracting each other during nap time now that MB can stand up in the crib.

I think the biggest factor has been the heat.  Every year, K and I debate buying a portable air conditioner and this year we finally just went ahead and did it.  It's been on the floor of the nursery for a few days and seemed to do nothing so I was really getting aggravated that we had spent money we couldn't really afford and it didn't seem to be helping.

*Life tip ahead*

Yesterday I realized that hot air rises so with the AC on the floor, well we were getting this nice pool of cold air on the floor where it wasn't doing any good.  I put it up on a table yesterday and the difference is remarkable.  Within minutes, the temp dropped a couple of degrees throughout the room.  By bedtime, walking into the nursery was like walking into a store on a hot day, the change in temp was significant.  So if you have something that's meant to cool the room, place it up high so the cold air will fill the room as it drops.

This hasn't completely solved the problem, but it has helped.  There was some whining and it took a little bit of time to fall asleep for the second nap, but at least a second nap happened and the whining wasn't the horrible screaming it had been throughout the week prior.

I'm still a bit checked out of life right now.  I went to the weekly family breakfast on Sunday (partly to keep the girls awake long enough to do the one nap in the middle of the day thing) and realized just how checked out I was.  The girls were in high chairs at the end of the table and very well-behaved.  Pretty much just munched on toys or eggs, depending on which was in front of them.  No whining or melt-downs.  I was quite surprised at how long the good behavior lasted actually.  But I was just a zombie.  My whole demeanor was just "meh, whatever."  I wanted to engage with the people around me but just couldn't seem to flip that switch to come out of my coma.  Oh well, it beats being a frantic mess I suppose.

Had a bit of a scare with Teeny Tiny yesterday.  As much as I sweep and try to keep all potential dangers out of the baby proofed areas of the house, she managed to get something in her throat that was choking her.  I looked over and saw her face get red as she coughed and gagged.  Picked her up, and she was doing the work of dealing with whatever it was, so I tried to position her to make it as easy for her as possible but so I could do the Heimlich in a moment if she stopped being able to get air.  Since she was coughing and sputtering, I knew she could breathe somewhat and my understanding is that if someone is able to cough, you don't want to jar them because air CAN get through and if you try to interfere, you might lodge whatever it is into a position where they'll no longer be able to breathe.  As long as they're coughing, it's unpleasant and scary, but not life threatening and you should just let them cough.  Throughout this, Middie Biddie kept trying to climb on me and I had to gently push her off of me several times which did not please her one bit.  Teeny Tiny gurgled up some foam which was really scary, but she eventually must have fully swallowed whatever was causing the problem because she went back to normal.  I suspect I'll never know what it was she managed to find and shove in her mouth unless it manages to come out the other end in one piece.  I feel like a complete parenting failure.

We're considering kicking one of our cats outside, something I thought I'd never even consider.  But now that we've removed most of the carpet from the bedroom (that's the next project, pulling all the old urine out of the wood and putting down a new floor), so my jerk of a cat decided he needed to pee on the bed instead.  It was one thing when we would go in and discover it, but he really crossed the line when he peed on my feet while we were still in the bed!  We took him to the vet and for $150 we confirmed that he's not sick, he's just an asshole.

We've declared Spot and Tyg truly gone as we haven't seen either one of them in weeks now.  We're thinking about completely enclosing the deck so other animals can't get in, and then opening up the dog door that the previous owner installed and moving the litterboxes outside.  We're still working out the logistics of whether or not this is worth the effort.  Part of the issue is that the dog door is big enough for a baby to very easily crawl through.  We might just lock the peeing cat out of the bedroom until we can de-urine it and get the new flooring down and see if we still have a problem when we let him back in.  People have told me to just get rid of him, or make him an outside cat, but I just can't.  He's 8 years old with no idea of how to defend himself from the wild animals in our neighborhood, and I do really like him when he keeps his urine where it belongs.  I'm honestly just waiting for the 14 year old male to reach the end of his life and hoping that the younger cat will stop peeing when the other male is gone.  Of course, the older male shows no signs of being near the end of his life so we may be fighting this battle for a few more years.

I think this whole checking out thing I'm doing is just a reaction to being defeated.  I've lost the weight war (I'm just so fat!), I've lost the cat urine battle, our finances suck, and every day the girls seem to be unhappy and I'm unable to fix it.  I keep thinking I should get a job to help with the financial load, but even before I had to consider things like daycare I couldn't find work.  Now that I would either need something very flexible to take advantage of K's odd schedule plus the occasional family member babysitter, or something that paid high enough to pay for more than the daycare for two I would need just to go to the job, I'm just defeated and hopeless whenever I even explore the possibility of finding work.  I just can't seem to fix anything lately.  Anything I do seems to dig the hole deeper so I'm kind of doing nothing in hopes of at least slowing down the descent.

I'll just be sitting here, pissy babies clawing at me, cats peeing all around me, fat engulfing me, and bills threatening to bury me.  Somebody send Starbucks and chocolate to rescue me!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Much needed temper tantrum

When last I spoke, I was stressed to the point of being shut down.  I knew that I needed a good cry and had kind of been trying to get one started for days, but I just couldn't muster up enough emotion to let it all out.

I finally hit my breaking point, looking in the mirror and realizing how disgustingly fat I've become and cried my friggin eyes out.

I'm feeling trapped in a lot of ways, by not being able to really get away from the house or responsibility for any length of time and especially by my own body.  I feel like I'm trapped inside a Michelin Man costume and can't get out.  All of my clothes are tight, I look like a walking sausage, I can just feel it all the time.  Of course all I want to do to feel better is to eat all the brownies which I don't think will help the overall situation.

So I finally had a good cry, a sobbing temper tantrum, and I feel better now.  I'm still completely disgusted with myself and nothing has really changed about any of my stressful situations, but I finally tipped the stress bucket over, let some of it spill all over the floor, and now there's room to hold some more.

K was diagnosed today with a bulging disk.  He's at the specialist now to devise a treatment plan but it looks like surgery won't be a part of that.  Physical therapy, injections to reduce the swelling and ease the pain, and some time to heal I think.  If nothing else, a lot of his fear has been calmed down which will put him in a better mood, which in turn will reduce a lot of my stress.  K doesn't get in a bad mood very often so it's very stressful to me when he does.

From what my cousin has said about her own bulging disk treatment, the exercises sound very yoga-esque.  Once we understand what movements are beneficial to him, maybe we should start doing yoga together in the evenings.  We'll probably look and feel like idiots at first but maybe it's something we can figure out together.  Maybe I should make one of those videos where you document how much you suck at first so you can show how much better you are a year later.

Anyway, I was at the breaking point with life, I broke, I'm on the mend.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Polka dot photobomb

A lot of rants from me lately.  Yeah, I'm a real joy to be around.  For a break, I sometimes dress the girls in similar outfits and just snap pictures all day.  So here it is, your polka dot photobomb.


Never take their word for it

K was scheduled for an MRI tomorrow to find out what's going on with his back so we can begin whatever it will take to get him on the mend.

He got a phone call from the MRI place saying they're going to have to reschedule his appointment because they haven't gotten pre-approval from the insurance company.  Well we all know how quickly bureaucracy moves so we were looking at another week or two before we could even diagnose the problem.

Oh Heeeeeyyy-alllll NAWWWW!

It was 4:30pm.  I get on the phone right quick to the insurance company knowing I have 30 minutes to kick their asses, get back to the MRI place and make sure he gets to keep that appointment.

15 minutes on hold before reaching a representative.  Get through preliminaries of getting K's permission to speak on his behalf, date of birth, blah blah blah.  Ok Insurance Person, this is what's happening, get put on hold, the request for that procedure was cancelled.  Why?  I dunno.  Well can I get it pre-authorized?  It doesn't need pre-authorization.  Will you hold on a minute?

Conference in the MRI person.  Hi MRI person, I've got Insurance Person on the phone, they're saying we don't need authorization for this.  They talk to each other about how the request was cancelled, doesn't need pre-authorization, there's absolutely no reason not to do this tomorrow.  Oh nobody will take responsibility for manufacturing some bullshit reason and cancelling the whole shebang, but now that I'm forcing them to talk to each other with me there, since no one will claim they are the reason it's cancelled, well gee, suddenly it's not cancelled anymore and they'll see K bright and early in the morning.  Damn right you will.

Health insurance billing people, this is a general question for you - why is it that every single thing you say, if I question you on it, suddenly that's not the case anymore?  You send me a bill, I wait a week and then call you to confirm my balance.  My balance is always different from what's on the bill, usually it's wiped out completely.  You tell me the insurance company is throwing up a bunch of bullshit to delay procedures so I call the insurance company and usually they declare bullshit on what the billing person told me.  So what's the deal?  Is it all a scam that your bosses force you to participate in to try to get as much money out of people as possible or to rearrange procedures so your doctors can go play golf that afternoon?  Is it just an industry staffed solely by incompetent idiots?  99% of the problems I have with the health industry stem from the billing departments.

I realize it's just numbers and dollars to you guys, but you're inflicting unnecessary physical pain and financial loss on people when you do this.  My husband would have endured additional weeks of pain if he had taken your word for it and possibly been forced onto medical leave from his job cutting our household income by half.  That's food out of my babies mouths because of some sort of paperwork snafu that never should have happened!  There was NO reason to cancel his appointment!

So which is it - incompetence or willful malicious manipulation?  Because your industry is plagued with either one or the other.  I'd just really like to know which I'm dealing with.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Checking out

I'm tired.  I don't know if I have some depression creeping up on me, if I'm just too stressed, or if I'm just the same as every other mom in need of a break.  I'm just out of steam.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't like the newborn stage where I was just insane with stress, I'm just at a place where I've kind of given up on everything and I've switched over to autopilot.  I have no emotion left to invest at the moment.

  • I'm frustrated with what's going on politically and legally around the country.
  • The girls are cutting another molar and are understandably cranky.
  • I'm worried that Teeny Tiny is allergic to peanuts.  I find out in a couple of days.
  • I'm stressed that developmentally, I think the girls should be further along than they are.
  • Middie Biddie has learned to pull herself to standing in the crib but still hasn't mastered the skill of getting back down.  So even nap time is frustrating right now with her pulling up and then screaming bloody murder until I come and rescue her.
  • K is still in pain and not very mobile.  That alone is stressful but it also leads to:
    • I can't get a moment off from the girls because even when he's here to help, I have to put a child in his lap if he's going to do evening bottles or help soothe at bedtime.  When I have to be elsewhere, just to be safe I'm calling in a second grown-up to hang out with K while I'm gone so he doesn't have to lift them at all.
    • My housework load has increased because no one else is helping out.
    • He's in a bad mood because he knows this is adding stress to me and that frustrates him.
    • He's using up PTO time to try to heal rather than to actually take a vacation or to get all the projects done that we wanted to get done.
    • Upper management is making noises about not allowing him to use more PTO, but rather to go on medical leave which will cut his income to 60% for however long that may last.
  • Tyg has been missing for a few weeks, and now Spot has been missing for about a week.  I'm hereby declaring them gone for good, partly because every time I do, they magically reappear.
  • My bedroom is a patchwork of ripped out carpet and the cat continues to pee on it.  Because we want to put the new floor in, lately when the cat has peed, I've just ripped out that portion of carpet and thrown it out.  Easier than cleaning it and gives us a head start on eventually redoing the whole thing.  The room fucking stinks no matter how much cleaning and carpet disposal I do.
  • I hate hot weather.
  • I'm at my record non-pregnant fat weight.  We started tracking calories again to try to reverse this fact, but fuck it, I want chocolate and I'm going to fucking have it.
  • I'm unshowered more days than I'm showered lately.
  • My back and shoulders are still burning and hurt all the time.
  • I think the girls are going through a growth spurt.  They are plowing through the food I prepare for them making me head back into the kitchen to try to scrounge something more because they aren't done eating.
  • Finances are tight and may be getting tighter.
  • My teeth are disintegrating out of my head.  I can feel cavities with my tongue and I have no idea how much I'm going to be able to afford (both in time and money) to get fixed.  Seeing a new dentist on Tuesday which is just embarrassing.
*sigh*  I need a recharge.  I have no idea how to get one.  Until I figure it out, I'm just coasting on autopilot without much personal investment.

Fine, do it your way

I'm one of those "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" kinda gals.

I try to prep everything in such a way that as little clean up is needed after the fact as possible.  I take this attitude both in terms of safety (make the room so baby proofed that I don't really have to constantly be chasing them to prevent them from getting hurt) and in terms of messiness.

Today, I gave up.  Middie Biddie is pretty easy to feed.  If you put something in front of her, she'll eat it, even if it means giving you a look like you had betrayed her if she doesn't like it.  Teeny Tiny has become more of a fighter.  If you're trying to feed her something, either with a spoon or with your fingers, she doesn't trust you.  She'll pull her head back and then kind of kiss the food you're trying to give her before actually opening her mouth and allowing anything in.  Then once you get it in there, she often spits it back out.

For this reason, I've been favoring finger foods lately.  Let her do it.  She's more likely to eat it if she has control over it.  But at the moment, we accidentally got too much plain greek yogurt and I went to the farmers market yesterday and got some fresh fruits.  In an effort to eat more food than we end up throwing away, I was kind of determined to give the girls some yogurt and fruit while it's in abundance.

Middie Biddie was thrilled to pieces with me spoon feeding her some yogurt with crushed raspberries and blueberries.  Teeny Tiny not so much.  Once I got a bite in, it was spit right back out.  Ok, so I mushed a banana and put that in hoping it would sweeten things up and become acceptable.  I got a few more bites of that in before she just started fighting me.  She didn't want to be spoon fed, she wanted to grab the mush off the spoon.

Ya know what kid?  I'm sick of fighting with you on this.  Here's the bowl, have a good time.

With no choking hazards around, I decided to go do dishes (within earshot) and prep the sink for the inevitable baths that would soon be happening.  And here it is, the carnage done with a bowl of yogurt.

Friday, July 12, 2013

War on Women

I can not believe that politicians in government today, who were most likely either of my parents generation, or of my own generation, have become so hateful towards women.  It's also incredible how some women are buying into the misogyny and doing their best to further it.

Steubenville rape culture, abortion restrictions hidden in bills about motorcycles or Sharia law, prescribed medicines being denied by health insurance because it's linked to the desire to have the naughty sex.  I don't wanna be all feminazi or anything, but things are seriously getting ridiculous.

Just a quick history lesson before I continue for those of you who don't understand what life is like when women's rights aren't fiercely protected.

  • During the depression, prior to the legalization of abortion, my grandmothers best friend got pregnant.  A married woman, with children already, she and her husband made the decision that they simply could not feed another baby and in desperation, she went to a back alley abortionist.  She died.  Regardless of your opinion on the matter, that's the reality of what happens when people are desperate, they die.  Personally, I don't think alcohol brings anything positive to our culture, but when we tried to outlaw it, all that happened was it went underground and became the foundation of organized crime.  If people want something, or are desperate enough to believe they need it, they will risk their lives for it.
  • When my parents got married in the mid 1960's, my mother attempted to go on the pill.  She was not legally allowed to be prescribed birth control without the written consent of her husband.  Think about that.  She could not legally prevent a pregnancy without her husband's (owner's is more like it) approval.  What if she were single and needed the pill to treat something other than prevent a pregnancy?  What if she were diabetic and a pregnancy might kill her, but her husband was an asshole who wanted her knocked up?
  • When my parents tried to buy a house, my father was in law school and my mother was working as a teacher supporting the household.  But no bank would allow her to take out a mortgage, her husband had to do it.  She was prevented from owning property because she lacked a penis.

Obviously a lot of this is about the abortion debate and the closing of womens health clinics all across this nation, but what spurred me to finally get pissed off enough to write this post was this article about how the Iowa Supreme Court decided that it was perfectly legal for a dentist to fire a good employee because he found her attractive.  That's right ladies, you can now legally be fired because some man finds you attractive.

This is so insulting to both men and women and is the foundation of rape culture.  Rape culture is founded on the assumption that men are unable to control their lust so women must do what they can to ensure that they don't arouse men lest they get raped.  Remember Brandon from Survivor?  He was the very essence of the mindset of rape culture.  He hated one of his tribemates because she wore a bikini in the blaring heat and he found her attractive.  That was his reaction, he was aroused by her simply for existing and therefore she was evil.  It's the reason why women in other cultures are forced to wear burkas - show skin and some man won't be able to control themselves and will simply have to rape you, but it will be your fault for arousing them!  This kind of thinking is now becoming legislated.  A woman lost her job, her livelihood, simply because a man found her attractive and considered her a threat to his marriage even though she showed no interest in him whatsoever.

I'm also so sick of rape victims being scolded for drinking.  Apparently women are not allowed to drink in this country because it gives a man consent to penetrate her body.  A drink or two, oh she was tipsy and flirty so he had sex with her.  She gets drunk, well she was drunk!  Of course a man gets to have sex with her!  She's fucking passed out, and the rapist defense acts as if she somehow forced his penis inside of her by being passed out!  Why are we constantly blaming a woman for being vulnerable instead of blaming a man for attacking the vulnerable?

I'm married to a man.  He's perfectly capable of controlling his penis.  Is he really extraordinary in that regard?  As an actor, he's had to kiss canoodle some very attractive women, I assume he's seen them scantily clad during costume changes backstage, he has been to plenty of cast parties where these same very attractive women have had plenty to drink and were very flirty and touchy feely, and yet somehow, some way, he has managed not to rape any of them.  These women are far more attractive than the one he shares his bed with every night, and yet he's still been capable of choosing to bring his penis home to the one person who issues him an invitation to use it.

When it comes to the abortion debate, yeah, I'm a flaming liberal.  I believe that every person has a right control their own body, even if exercising that right means death for another person.  In this country, the law agrees with me on that.  Oh I'm not talking about laws about abortion, but there are other laws that define bodily autonomy as one of our countries utmost privileges.  Huh?  Ok, give me a moment to explain.

How many of you have been tested and put into the database for kidney donation?  Probably not many of you.  There are people in this country desperately hoping that a match will turn up, and their lives are depending on it.  But even though every single person in this country is a potential match, owns perhaps the only kidney in the world that will keep someone alive, we are under no obligation to have one taken from our bodies in order for that other person to live.  Some are very generous and volunteer to be matched and to donate, and good for them!  But we are under no obligation to do so.  Many of us have signed our drivers licenses to be organ donors upon our deaths.  Why did we have to put down a signature to give that permission?  Because even our dead bodies can not be harvested to save countless lives without our consent.

Give that a moment to sink in.  Dead bodies have more permission to decide what is done with their internal organs than a living, breathing female who gets pregnant.

Given my history of infertility and my failed attempts to adopt, my life would have been a lot different if there were millions of unwanted babies looking for families in this country.  But that doesn't mean that a woman is obligated to have her body used by a fetus for 9 months if she doesn't want it to.  When people use the excuse that there are plenty of people who would want the baby, that's like saying I'm obligated to go skiing every winter because I live near snowy mountains and others who desperately want to ski can't because they live in the desert.

Let's also look at the situation I was in a couple of years ago.  There are laws being proposed that abortion be made illegal even if the pregnancy harms the health of the mother (but her life may be spared).  Ok, so when I was in that hospital, debating with the doctors on whether or not there was any way to save the babies, I was not convinced to abort to save my own life.  Dying meant nothing to me.  But then my doctor told me that there was a chance I would survive until the babies died naturally, but by the time that happened, my entire reproductive system would have been ravaged by infection and at that point it would have had to be removed in order to save my life.  I had hours to make that decision.  Now what if I would have needed a lawyer to fight for my right to an abortion and there was a debate on just how dire my situation was?  First, I would have had to get in touch with a lawyer, very difficult to do at 3am on a Saturday morning.  Then I would have had to get that lawyer in front of a judge which takes who knows how long.  And then the actual debate of medical experts debating on whether or not my life was in danger, or just my overall health.  I would have been dead for weeks by the time someone with a law degree rather than a medical degree decided that my situation was indeed dire enough to legally allow me to abort.

I don't think abortion is a wonderful thing.  Personally, I think adoption is a much better option.  But my opinion on the matter means exactly jack shit to every other woman in the world.  Only 3 opinions have any value - the pregnant woman, her partner, and her doctor.  And while 2 of those opinions have value, the opinion on the pregnant woman trumps every other opinion in the world.  Her reasons are not relevant.  If she does not want her body used by another person, be it a rapist or a fetus, she has the right to not have her body used against her consent!

For those who believe that a baby is a baby from the moment the sperm meets the egg and should be allowed to live, I respect that opinion.  I really do.  You believe that the rights of the fetus trump the rights of the mother, and I understand and respect that opinion, even though I disagree.  I still believe that until science can allow a fetus to survive outside of the womb, or until that fetus can be transferred to a womb whose owner would be happy to have it there, a woman has the right to impose a death sentence on that fetus for any reason, just as she has the right to retain use of her own kidney even though doing so is a death sentence for someone else.  I hope someday science will advance to be able to transfer a fetus to a willing host.  Society will be a much better place when that's possible.  But until then, every woman has the right to make decisions about her own body.

But then many people say that abortion is ok in cases of rape or incest.  Yeah, that's where you lose my respect.  If you really believe that the fetus is innocent and has a right to live, you simply can not be ok with those caveats because in those cases, the fetus is just as innocent, it's the father that's the criminal.  If you're ok with that, but not ok with abortion as birth control, you are a hypocrite.  You don't give a shit about the innocent little babies, you just want to punish the naughty naughty sexy girls by forcing them to carry a baby they don't want.

Even the GOP doesn't believe the rhetoric it's spewing regarding abortion.  One of the writers of the Texas abortion bill argued earlier that health care should not extend to a fetus because they aren't born yet and therefore don't have any rights.  It goes to prove that it's all about control.  For some, it's men who want control over women, and for the politicians, it's about employers being able to control employees and keep as much money for themselves as possible.  The whole debate about religious employers being able to deny healthcare that goes against their personal beliefs - I think a lot of employers will suddenly become Christian Scientists so they can say that all healthcare is against their religion and save a shit ton of money.  Rick Perry is also about the money, his sister and largest campaign contributor will profit by forcing any doctor who would perform abortions to have admitting privileges at an ambulatory surgical center even though abortion is a safer procedure than surgeries performed at a dentist office.

It really is getting the point where if you tell me you're a Republican, I assume you're either an asshole, or an idiot.  You either believe I should have died a couple of years ago, or you've been duped to believe that these laws are about peoples well-being.  Our bodies do not have ways of "shutting that stuff down" when we're raped.  Our bodies are not "cleaned out" by rape kits at hospitals.  And a person who consents to let one person enter her body (a sexual partner) is not obligated to allow another person (a fetus) to occupy her body as well.

I don't want to raise my daughters in the country that the GOP is trying to create.  I don't want to teach them to make sure they are attractive enough to be hired, but not too attractive or they might get fired.  I don't want to teach them to view every man as a rapist just waiting for them to take a sip of alcohol to justify their attack.  I don't want them to choose their outfits based on how a rapist might use it against them in a court of law.  I don't want to teach them that if you get pregnant, you should calculate your travel time to a hospital across the border in Canada because the hospital 10 minutes away might not be legally permitted to save your life if something goes wrong.  I don't want information about their bodies to be so misinformed by the government that we have to fight to learn what's medically true.

I want to teach my daughters that they are the authors of their own destiny.  I want to encourage them to make choices that will reduce their risk of being hurt.  I want to teach them that they have the right to enjoy life and to protect their bodies from some of the physical harm that could come their way when they take those risks.  I want them to marry the person they want as their lifelong partner.  I want them to raise as many or as few children as they choose to raise.  I want them to have the power to support themselves so they are never financially trapped in a situation that hurts them.

I want to raise my daughters in the country that my parents fought to give to me.  I don't want to raise them in the country my parents fought so hard to escape that the GOP is trying to impose upon us again.  It was a swell world for rich white guys, but it really sucked for women, minorities, and the less than rich.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Waste not, want not

I'm in this habit of packing as much nutrition as possible into the girls, the mindset of every bite they take should add something beneficial to their bodies.  K is more in the mindset of just get something into their stomachs so they aren't hungry.  He made up some mac and cheese for them and all I can think is "ugh, you're feeding them nothing".  I have some cooked cheesy broccoli and cauliflower in the freezer and feel the need to mix some of that in so they get a bite or two of vegetable.  Pasta dinners for the girls are easy, they like it, but it's just such a nothing food that I feel the need to infuse it with SOMETHING that adds some nutritional value.  Yeah, I need to loosen up a bit.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a series of meals that all kind of feed off each other and in the end provides a big container full of healthy dinners for babies who are eating finger foods.

Day 1 - Have one of those roasted chickens from the grocery store for dinner.

Day 2 - Pick off all the meat and keep the bones.  Use bulk of the meat to throw into a bag of ceaser salad for your own quick dinner.  Hell, have KFC for lunch and keep those bones too.  Why not?  But pick off the fried bits.

Day 3 - Make a stock from the chicken carcass.  Basically toss the carcass with onions, leaks, carrots, celery, a little tomato paste, and water into a big pot and let it gently boil all day.  At the end of the day, you should end up with a huge pot of stock, a good portion of the carcass will have disintegrated and all the nutrition from the bones and vegetables will now be liquid.  Be sure to strain it really well.  Store some in the fridge, freeze the rest in ice cube trays.

End of day 3 or on day 4 - Grab a handful of frozen veggies, you know, those pre-cut bags of mixed veggies.  In the bag I have, I have to cut down the carrots and green beans a little more to be proper baby finger food.  Take your leftover chicken and cut that down to baby sized finger foods.  Get a handful of veggie infused pasta.  Put a cup or so of chicken stock on the stove to boil and toss in your pasta, veggies, and chicken bits.  Cook until the stock is completely soaked up by the pasta.  A little salt, maybe a pat of butter for flavor, sometimes I sprinkle in some shredded cheese.

And there you have it.  Probably about 3 dinners worth of nutrition packed finger food for the kiddos.  Even the pasta has some nutrition in it!  In addition, the parents got 2 really easy dinners for themselves, and you now have homemade chicken stock to cook with for the next month.