The government is making it very hard to be a “pro-life” female

Now, I’m not one to usually get topical, but if I go on one more heated rant to my husband, I think he will fully expect me to start burning my bras (which I’m inclined to do anyway at this point – those suckers have gotten itchy).

Full disclosure (if you couldn’t tell by the title), I generally put myself on the pro-life side of the spectrum (and, yes, it is on a continuum in my opinion).  I do believe in the choice of abortion for rape/incest victims and in circumstances where the mother’s health is at risk or if the fetus has no chance of survival outside of the womb.  Otherwise, though, I do have to say that I don’t agree with the practice.

The difference between me and a lot of pro-lifers, however, is that I think the best way to prevent abortions is to, hmmm, prevent unwanted pregnancies, perhaps?  There are many reasons why a woman wouldn’t want to be pregnant.  In a lot of cases, it is because she simply cannot afford it, regardless of her desire to be a mother or not.  She either can’t risk her career progress or doesn’t have the money to pay for another mouth to feed (remembering that some women that have abortions already have other children).  I guarantee anyone that if you improve maternity leave rights and protections for pregnant employees, the abortion rate would go down.  Next up is teen pregnancy.  Obviously, my argument for this would be for schools to include more comprehensive sex education.  It is shocking just how little young women today know about reproduction – not just contraception!  The general mechanics of ovulation and fertility are rarely covered in a biology class.  There are so many things that women don’t learn about their bodies until they are actively trying to get pregnant (sometimes, not until it is getting to be too late for them).  Lastly is the woman who simply doesn’t want children.  For them, this is where the “less government intervention” that conservatives purport should mean something.  Women should have access to birth control just like gun owners have access to guns (in fact, I fully believe the latter is easier and cheaper than the former).

It seems like most of the proposed legislation and current rhetoric regarding women’s reproductive rights have more to do with punishing women because some choose to get abortions rather than actually protecting anyone (unborn children included).  For example, Rick Santorum thinks that we should do away with prenatal testing, particularly amniocentesis, because it could potentially lead to a woman choosing to get an abortion depending on the results – which conveniently omits the fact that many infant lives are also SAVED by such tests.  Hey, Santorum, you know what else leads to a lot of women choosing abortion: home pregnancy tests.  Should we do away with those too?

My only wish is that the people making these decisions on behalf of women know a little something about biology.  Life does NOT begin at conception.  It begins at IMPLANTATION. An embryo is not going to become anything if it doesn’t attach itself to a womb.  Furthermore, the “vulnerable” fetus is not going to survive outside of its mother prior to, say, 24 weeks, which I understand why we need to protect it; however, if keeping the fetus alive is going to hurt the mother, then BOTH “people” are going to suffer if the fetus cannot survive on its own.  While I don’t think that a fetus is a part of the woman’s body (I believe it is its own entity), it IS  basically a parasite dependent on a host and cannot exist without a mother to carry it.

For me, that is what “pro-life” means – protecting all life, not one at the expense of another.

Son, please remove yourself from my bladder

What they don’t tell you about blogging is that it is really easy to write when you are complaining; it’s significantly less interesting to write about how things are going well.

Not to jinx myself, but I’m really pretty good lately.  I can finally feel baby moving or, rather, rearrange furniture via my uterus.  Hubby felt him kick for the first time a little over a week ago and jumped a clear foot in the air.  The petrified look on his face was comic gold, as was him almost falling off the bed (and, yes, I’m horribly mean).  Other than falling asleep at obscenely early times, I actually feel like I can contribute a little to the house again.

Since I’m in such a bright effing ray of sunshine right now, I thought I would talk about some of the good things about being pregnant.

I’ve actually never received more compliments on how I look than I am getting in my second trimester.  Based on my history with weight gain, I expected to blow up when I got pregnant.  I thought that I would just become round and bloated, being 5 feet tall and all.  Instead, I’m pretty much all belly, which suits me if I do say so myself. This is part to the fact that the baby has literally wedged himself UNDER my hipbone (as my bladder likes to remind me now by refusing to actually hold anything) – according to my hubby, my hips have actually moved UP an inch rather than spread.  Leave it to my kid to completely mess with the simple process of how to lay in a womb.

Also, it’s pretty much the only time in my life where I’m asked by almost everyone I see how I’m feeling.  I definitely need to be careful about this ego boost – I don’t want to get into a Duggar situation just because people seem to like me more when I’m pregnant.  I don’t think my husband’s heart could take it.  Speaking of which, it is absolutely hilarious to have hubby speak to my stomach; this is mostly because he chooses his words very carefully so as to shape the baby’s mind in a certain way.  For example, he spent half of the Super Bowl shouting at my stomach “Tom Brady sucks!”  The indoctrination must start early.  On the bright side, we shouldn’t have any problems with the baby sleeping because hubby has a lot of theories and knowledge to impart to his offspring.

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day everyone!

Who’s down with CPSC… JPMA…

So, my neuroses have attempted to focus themselves on something productive – looking at baby items that will eventually end up on our registry. Unfortunately, letting that part of my brain handle this monumental task means I’m up until 1am twitching because if I don’t pick out the right high chair, life as we know it will end.

Also, I’ve found it is very easy to get caught up in the millions of safety & health concerns involved in shopping for baby items.  Recalls, JPMA-certified, BPA, toxic paint, fumes… it’s extremely daunting.  And who wants to be THAT parent who didn’t read THAT article and is subjecting their baby to ALL THE CHEMICALS and now my kid won’t get into Harvard.  Or worse, purchase something that is legitimately unsafe.  The problem is that the internet does a terrible job at distinguishing between the two.  I recently discovered Consumer Reports’ section on baby gear.  The same people that crash test car seats (an important service methinks) tell you NEVER buy a sling because your baby WILL suffocate and die (even though faulty slings have already been recalled and you are never supposed to let your baby’s face be covered when in a sling in the first place – the reason for the recall).  This means that I have no idea when they say that you can’t microwave, boil, or put in the dishwasher a platic bottle, does that apply to BPA-free platic?  Of course, they also tell you to not listen to the manufacturer’s directions because they are just filthy liars out to make a buck.  (as you can see, I don’t do well with scare tactics)

The funny thing is, we aren’t even the types that believe you need a ton of crap to raise a baby.  We see the parents in restaurants with their kid having a seizure over Elmo on the portable DVD player and the ones that just let their kid play with the utensils, and we know that we will fall in the latter camp. 

However, I’m also a realist. There are things that we NEED (crib, diapers, bottles, car seat) and things that will make our lives much easier (swing/seat, stroller, carrier). Hubby says we don’t need a changing table and that we can just change the baby on the floor; I’m not so sure that he will agree with that sentiment after the baby arrives (he’s never changed a diaper before in his life).

Most people’s response to this would simply be to just get one later if we decide we need one.  That really isn’t an option in our world.  We aren’t doing great financially.  I’m the only one bringing in a (paltry, non-profit job) paycheck.  Hubby is currently in law school.  That makes our registry like currency, as horrible as it is to say.  If people are determined to buy us things, we need them to be as functional and multi-purpose as possible to get the most bang for someone else’s buck.  I don’t like being this dependent on other people (and I know Hubby absolutely hates it).  I also know that I need to provide for my son, and this is the only way I know how to right now.