Attacking Women

I am simply baffled by what is going on in Washington and across our country. Thirty-eight years after Roe V Wade politicians are attempting to overturn it by trying to limit our access to reproductive health care. Plain and simple, the government is attacking our civil liberties and fundamental rights as human beings to make our own decisions about what happens in our own bodies.

Before I get to far ahead I do want to say this…if your religious belief is that life begins at conception I respect that. I accept your right as a human being and an American to form this opinion and to act accordingly. But riddle me this friends…why should your religious beliefs dictate my medical decisions?

So why all of a sudden am I getting political? Because it seems that more and more politicians are sticking their noses into my decisions in a very hypocritical manor. In one breath, politicians complain that the government is too intrusive in the lives of Americans and we should have a smaller government. In the very next breath they are proposing laws such as this one , requiring woman to provide proof that a miscarriage occurred naturally. WAIT, WHAT? As if having a miscarriage isn’t difficult enough politicians feel that it’s their job and right to “investigate” the reasons for a miscarriage. Are these men so far removed from reality that they don’t understand that anywhere from 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage? Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester without rhyme or reason. (Read all about it here.) All investigating the cause of a miscarriage would achieve is adding more pain to a woman’s situation.This bill is specifically aimed at stopping any attempt to remove a fetus or embryo from a woman’s uterus. And as I’ve said, if it is your belief that live begins at conception by all means do not have an abortion or any procedure that will prevent you from giving birth. However there are medical reasons for abortions. (I’m not even going to discuss the financial and emotional reasons.) Ectopic pregnancy. Cancer. Maternal bleeding. All of these can cause complications to pregnancy that include death to the mother. This bill (and many others that are being considered right now) doesn’t even consider that.

I have had an Ectopic pregnancy. An Ectopic pregnancy, if left untreated, can cause a rupture in your fallopian tube. Do I need to tell you that this is a bad thing? Allow me to say it anyway…any organ that ruptures inside your body is a BAD THING. When my Ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed I was told by my doctor that the best course of treatment was in fact an abortion. I discussed that in my post “Strike One“. Yes, I have had an abortion. My friends have called it a “medically assisted miscarriage.” Call it what you want…it was an abortion. Plain and simple. Any law enforcement official who tried to “investigate” things after the termination of my pregnancy would have been greeted with screaming and tears. It is not the place of our government to be involved in such things. It is NO ONE’S business. This was a medical decision. It was an amazingly difficult and emotional decision…but it was a medical decision nonetheless. (And really what major medical decision isn’t difficult and emotional?) It is not the government’s place to tell me what I can and can not do with my body. Period. End of discussion.

There are a few other bills that are before Congress right now that also, in an ignorant attempt to weaken Roe V Wade, take away women’s reproductive freedom. One of New York’s Congresswomen, Carolyn Maloney, lays these out quite well in her most recent article on the Huffington Post. It is titled “Acts of Outrage, Indifference and Arrogance.” Please go read it.

Ladies and gentlemen these are scary bills. We are on a very slippery slope. Not because of abortion…because of how they limit our rights as human beings to make decisions about our health, our very lives. I fear we are merely moments from some Senator telling us that yearly Mammograms and Pap Smears aren’t necessary. Or from some Congressperson telling us that we can’t remove a tumor from our breasts because our child may some day need that boob for sustenance. With a legislator in Georgia looking to form the “uterus police” anything could be next.

This is not something I want my daughter to have to grow up with…I want her to have the freedom to make the medical decisions she needs to and wants to make without any regard for someone else’s beliefs. And really, isn’t that what we all want? To be able to make our own decisions, right or wrong? Don’t we have the freedom in this country to do so?

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How Do You Feel?

This is by far the question most asked of me right now.

The answer? I feel good. Really. I do. Honest.

No one (except NewsBoy and my mother) seems to believe me though. My brother and my father being the worst offenders. Every time they ask how I’m feeling there is a note of panic in their voices. I supposed that they could just be nervous for me (Dad especially) …but it just makes me anxious to hear the panic in their voices. I understand my brother’s expectations are that I should be miserable because my SIL had a “horrible” pregnancy. Everything about it hurt or ached or was “amazingly” uncomfortable and just pretty much sucked. (Once she started having Braxton-Hicks contractions they barely slept because he had to time every one.) But my SIL’s never had more than a pap smear so…I kinda took everything she said with a grain…or bucket…of salt.

It’s almost like everyone thinks that I should be complaining or be really nervous and anxious. But other than the heat, which I can avoid, I can’t complain. The “morning” sickness I had in the first trimester was difficult to deal with because of how sick I felt. But honestly, the OHSS l I had following my first IVF was way worse then anything this pregnancy has thrown at me. And I can’t imagine giving birth hurts much more than the 2 miscarriages I had (they were kinda brutal)…especially since I plan on being drugged. But other than the “morning” sickness I’ve loved every moment of being pregnant. Yes, I’ve had anxiety about the health of this pregnancy and fears about horrible things happening… but after everything NewsBoy and I have been through to get here, can you blame me for being overly cautious in those early months? Yes, there have been moments of panic…but they come when I follow or listen to someone’s advice that goes against my gut instincts. The majority of my friends who are mothers are much more tightly wound then I am…and well my SIL doesn’t do anything that isn’t on my nephew’s schedule. (They’ve even decided they aren’t traveling further than half an hour from their house because it messes up the baby’s schedule, so I’m pretty convinced that they aren’t going to come visit me in the hospital when the time comes.)

I got an email from a friend yesterday. She said “I know the anticipation the last couple of weeks takes on a whole new meaning. Please let me know if you have ANY questions or want to talk about anything!” This is one of those friends who got pregnant without issue. (I have A LOT of those.) She told her husband that it was time to have a baby and was pregnant almost immediately. She did this twice. Honestly I’m not sure what to make of her “whole new meaning” statement. I’ve been anticipating this child’s arrival for two and a half years, probably longer. I’m not sure why these last few weeks give that anticipation new meaning. Am I excited? Absolutely. I can not wait to meet my little Humphrey and hold s/he in my arms. But it is no more intense then it was over two years ago when I started this journey. It is no more intense now then it was last July when I had my second miscarriage (In fact it was more intense then.) So I’m not sure what new meaning my anticipation should be taking on just because I’m closer to the finish line.

I recently saw my “Uncle” (he’s in quotes cause he’s my parents best friend and not technically my Uncle). This man is one of my favorite people on the planet. We were talking and he stopped mid sentence to say “You know what? You just look content and happy, like you are at peace with everything. That’s something I haven’t seen on you in years.” And he’s right. 100%. Over all I feel calmer then I ever have in my life. And maybe that is why I’m not anxious (unless I’m lead there) or dying from the anticipation. I’ve been wanting, waiting and mentally preparing for this very thing for years. At this point I have waited years…what’s another couple of weeks?

At a Verbal Loss

So there is quite a bit going on…I’m back at work. YAY!

We had our anatomy scan two weeks ago. That was amazing. I’ve started to write about it several times now, but because of some post scan drama I can’t seem to convey what I want to say. (Before you get too excited…or nervous…I’m okay as is baby. I’ve taken to calling the baby “Monkey”. Don’t ask why…I don’t know.) Newsboy and I…okay I…decided maybe a little to late that we wanted to keep the information to ourselves for a bit. My parents and brother were none too happy about this. And so there was big drama. This drama…that I’m still trying to figure out how to write about without rambling…has really colored the way I look at the entire thing. This scan should have been an amazing and wonderful thing. For a while it was. In the weeks leading up to the scan I had finally somewhat relaxed and begun to enjoy this pregnancy. We learned that all of our genetic testing came back perfectly. So the baby was (is) healthy. But because of the way my family reacted to the scan it is tainted…and I’m leaning towards anxious again.

Since I’m not sure how to tell you all about it…I’m moving on…

My brother and SIL’s baby will be born any day now. (She was due on April 2nd and there’s no baby yet! She’ll be induced on Friday.) I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’m excited for them, and looking forward to having another niece or nephew. My parents are beside themselves they are so excited to greet their first grandchild. But in the back of my head there is this tiny little voice that keeps reminding me that their first grandchild should be seven weeks old today. That just won’t go away. I’m worried I won’t react properly when I’m at the hospital with them because of this.

It’s no longer a constant thought, as it once was, but it is still very much there. And a part of me feels like I’m cheating the child inside me because I can’t let go of the brother or sister my Monkey would have, should have, had.

Then again everything seems like too much to handle lately. I feel scattered. I’m easily irritated. I don’t like being ruled by my emotions. It takes me too long to get past the overwhelming emotional initial reaction that I have to get to the rational thoughts that help me deal with whatever is going on. I’m blaming the lack of Prozac. I suppose the lack of sleep doesn’t help much either. (Thanks to a cold that seems to have transitioned into allergies breathing is difficult.)

Maybe it’s like this for all pregnant women? I don’t know. But because of all of this that is going on in my head and in my life…I’m at a bit of a verbal loss. And as a writer, that is one of the most frustrating things in the world. And for this writer…even more so…because I work things out best when I can write them out and step away from them. And I can’t do that right now.

Updates and Realizations

This post started as simply an update. I intended to tell you about my recent appointment and my beginning to share the news with my RL inner circle. It took me somewhere else…I’ve always found I’m more honest with myself when I’m writing…and I think this is something I’ve been hiding from myself or just ignoring for a while now.

I went to the OB on Tuesday. It was an uneventful appointment. (I’m told this is a good thing.) Personally I find it a bit unsettling. I’ve spent the better part of the last two years knowing exactly what my hormone levels are and exactly what is (or what wasn’t) going on in my uterus. So for me to spend more time in a waiting room then with a doctor…it makes me nervous. And you know what? I’m nervous enough about this.

But everyone…from my best friend (who goes to the same group of doctors I do) to my brother (my SIL is in her 3rd Trimester) has assured me that this is great. They only monitor you closely if something is wrong. They keep up with your hormones with your urine samples. And check on the fetus (I just can’t bring myself to use the B word yet…more on that later) by listening to the heartbeat. So I should relax. Everything is fine.

I can’t help but flash back to when we were “trying” and all anyone would tell us was we had to relax and it would happen. I didn’t like being told to relax then…not so thrilled with it now. Because you know what? Telling someone to relax tends to cause the exact OPPOSITE effect on said person. Me? It pisses me off too.

But I digress…things are progressing along nicely. I have been so nauseous and sick that I’ve lost 5 pounds. Because of a change in health insurance I was able to get a full ultrasound at this visit. That was amazing. I measured exactly 10 weeks. The heart rate was 160. I can’t decide if it looks more like a peanut or a gummi bear at this point but you know what? You want me to relax? Show me that everything really is fine on an ultrasound. Give me one of those every day! THAT is relaxing.

The OB doesn’t want to see me for a month. A MONTH! Seriously are they aware for the past year I’ve been seeing a doctor about my uterus practically daily? A MONTH?! Do you know what can go wrong in a month?! The doctor told me to go for a Nuchal Translucency. (That’s done in another office.) So I made that appointment for January 29th. (Hence the strategic scheduling of the Nuchal 2 weeks after my last appointment and 2 weeks before my next.)

I should relax and just enjoy being pregnant right? If the last two years have taught me anything it’s that my body will fail to work properly. Twice they put embryos exactly where they are supposed to go only for one to somehow find it’s way to an ectopic pregnancy and the second to fail to do anything at all. So no…I don’t see myself relaxing and enjoying anytime soon. Honestly…I’m afraid to relax and enjoy. I’m afraid to believe. I want to…I don’t think I have ever wanted to believe in anything more than I want to believe in this.

I was talking to IvoryGirl today and said that I am ever so slowing beginning to believe that it might be okay. That’s all I can muster. I want to…I do. More than anything I want to enjoy this and be happy about it. I want to look at baby clothes when I shop and be brave enough to walk into a maternity clothing store. I just can’t. My reaction to both is still…it’ll never be mine. Hell my immediate reaction to someone’s pregnancy is still jealousy. It takes a moment to realize I don’t have to be jealous anymore.

I’m just not sure I’ll ever be the oblivious happy pregnant chick. I’m sure that sounds selfish but I know too much about what can go wrong. I have heard too many horror stories. Shed too many tears for my fellow infertile sisters when their joy…their world… is demolished. The pain of the loss I suffered with the ectopic pregnancy is still very real and raw…even now nearly 9 months later. Had that pregnancy been normal and healthy I would be getting ready to greet that child so soon. And I can’t get past the knowledge that February 16th is rapidly approaching …I can’t. I don’t know how. I want to focus on what’s going on in my uterus currently and celebrate that but I’m still mourning the sibling that will never be…

And I don’t know how to stop.