I got knocked up by my prom date

There is a single event that best sums up my husband and my relationship.  Back when we were dating, David and I took a trip to Target.  He was buying some stuff to bake cookies; I was looking for an allen wrench to fix a broken doorknob in my apartment.

David (a.k.a. “The Hubby”) and I met in high school.  I was in 11th grade and he was a senior.  And, before you ask, NO, we were NOT high school sweethearts.  The only reason I get so uppity about correcting people on this is that I know the statistics and perception of couples that dated in high school.  Also, if we had actually dated back then, I’m sure I would have screwed it up. David had a crush on me while I was busy pining over the worst sort of guys… you know, the “the band is gonna make it” type and the selling pot at graduation & hacking into the grading system type.

After he graduated and spent a year at an out-of-state college, I was finishing up my senior year, and, with no date prospects for prom, I posted an “ad” on my AOL Instant Messenger away message (you know, the good ol’ days) for the “Find Nancy a Prom Date Foundation”. David saw this and, from all the way in the midwest at college, asked to take me to prom (still as friends, for those keeping score). He was home for the summer by the time prom came around, so we went together. That led to our first kiss (awwww… or, alternately, gag for the less sentimental), which then led to a tortuous summer alternating between being friends, attempting dating, and flat out not talking to each other for days at a time. By the time I started college, David had switched to a school near mine, so we actually tried dating for real. Of course, I still needed to shake off a bit more of the high school drama queen before we were truly in a relationship. However, by the winter, we were already joking about getting married (something we wouldn’t do for another 6 years).

I think the reason our relationship works so well is for one simple fact: neither of us know why the hell the other one stays with us (and, you know, mutual respect, open communication, blah blah blah). Seriously, for those that watch “How I Met Your Mother”, we have constant arguments about who is the Settler versus the Reacher. We both think we are Reachers (but, of course, I’m right). We will have been together for 9 years starting this fall and married for 3 in December, and I still think Hubby could do WAY better.

To give you some insight into my husband’s psyche – he just found a pic of a baby seal hugging a penguin and literally started screaming with joy. He can quote historical philosophers and Pauly Shore movies with equal aplomb. He wants to teach our son to say “I gotta drop a deuce” when asking to use the bathroom in school. He hangs up ultrasound pictures in his locker, but hates when the girls at his school fawn over him for doing so. He can make even the simplest of errands an “adventure”. He’s an amazing cook but a terrible baker (hates following directions). Also, no matter what he tells anyone, he is kicking serious ass at law school. Now, before I get too sappy, all I can say is how could I NOT want this man to be my baby daddy.

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And you thought I wouldn’t…

Please refer to this post by Finslippy and the comment chain to know what the heck is going on:  I bet that gym teacher couldn’t spell “synecdoche” if her life depended on it

This one is for you, Alice

Captions are welcome!

P.S. I swear I’m not a creeper (and yes, I am aware that is exactly what a creeper would say)

Relying on the kindness of strangers

At this point in my pregnancy, it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I’m pregnant, I guess.  Even complete strangers are confident enough to ask me if I’m having a boy or girl.  I’m even reaching the limits of my non-maternity clothing options due to ANOTHER sudden growth spurt by the fetus (or my uterus, I suppose, if we are being particular).  Anyway, I’m guessing this is the contributing factor to what happened to me the other day.

I was on a shopping excursion for work searching thrift stores trying to find a table that looked like one in a set design for an upcoming show plus some spray paint to paint 2 chairs.  The plan was to hit 2 thrift stores, then Home Depot.  Unfortunately, this very specific-looking table couldn’t be found at the first 2 stores, so I added on 2 more to my trip in hopes of landing the perfect piece.  Those turned out to not be fruitful either, so it was just past lunchtime and I was finally hitting the last spot on my errand run.

By the time I’d reached Home Depot, it was well after 1pm (for reference, I usually eat at around noonish).  In front, there was a hot dog stand.  Unfortunately for me, I never carry cash in my wallet.  I decided to try my luck anyway.  I waited patiently in line for my turn, then asked the vendor if he accepted credit cards.  Of course, the answer was no.  As I walked off, a gentleman offered to buy me something.  I politely declined.  A second man called after me, asking what I wanted to eat and handed the vendor some money.  Normally, I would have walked off, but I was starving and knew that there was a chance that I would keel over if I didn’t eat anything – I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where if I go too long without eating, I get really sick.  Since he’d already handed over the money, I told him that just a plain hot dog would be fine.  He tried to offer me more, but I told him that was enough.  Apparently, he had also paid for a drink for me, so I was able to get some water as well.  As I walked off again, the first gentleman told me to grab a bag of chips, too.  The vendor said that the other guy only paid for a drink, but then changed his mind and said that the chips were on him.  As I walked off, he said that he wanted me to know there were still good people in the world.

I don’t think I’ve ever been treated that kindly by a stranger before.  I could have cried as I walked into the store with my lunch.  After procuring the spray paint (the only shopping success that day), I remembered that I had a little bit of change in my wallet, so I put it in the tip jar of the hot dog vendor as I left.  He told me to stay safe as I walked to my car.

It wasn’t until then that I realized how little it takes to make someone else’s day.  The hot dog only cost that guy a couple of bucks, but it was momentous enough for me to tell everyone I know about it.  It even inspired hubby to finally go and donate blood that day (he’d been putting it off for probably a month at that point).  I challenge anyone reading this to do something nice for a stranger when the opportunity presents itself.  Pay it forward!

The business of The Business of Being Born

Alright!  2 blog posts in a row with disclaimers!  Full disclosure: I have not watched “The Business of Being Born,” so I cannot comment on the actual content.  If someone wants to lend it to me, I would welcome it and watch the entire thing.

Every so often, in my transition from believer in all things modern and material gives to the dirty, tree-hugging hippie that was apparently inside, I come across someone raving about the documentary about giving birth called “The Business of Being Born.”  It is, in a nutshell, about how medical interventions during the birthing process are dangerous to women and that doctors choose them for legal and financial reasons rather than what is best for woman and child.  It cites statistics such as “the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world” (now, I don’t know if they address what they define as the “developed world” not to mention I did hear on one occasion that this number is skewed because other countries don’t count a baby as being born unless it lives at least 48 hours past birth, but I don’t know the accuracy of that statement either).

Now, to the reason why I have not watched “The Business of Being Born”: for a documentary about an industry choosing profit over safety, they are charging $20.00 for their DVD.  If this was such an important thing for women to watch, wouldn’t you make it more accessible for everyone?  That’s the price for a Hollywood blockbuster just out of the movie theater, not a statement on modern medicine.  Now, I’m aware that you can buy it on Amazon for under $7, but the original retail price listed there even is still that $20 price point.  Also, if you go to their webpage, you are confronted with giant ads for all of their other products and packages, some of which cost as much as $110.00 for the ultimate fangirl.  It took a good couple of minutes of browsing the site just to find the actual trailer to get any concept of what was in this movie, but I right away knew about all of the different things that they sell!  Even the digital downloads of their new episodes (you know, the kind that don’t cost anything to distribute once created) are going for $10 a piece.

Now, if this money was going to charity or awareness or SOMETHING other than the producer’s pockets, I would not take issue.  I also understand selling merchandise and accessories to recoup the costs involved in making the original documentary.  The way they market this brand, however, proves that they are not interested at all in sending a message to the medical community – they are doing the exact thing that they are condemning.

You know who really needs this information?  Poor and uneducated women.  The ones that don’t follow the crunchy, eco-mom movement.  The ones that can’t afford to buy organic or health insurance, even.  This company does not target that demographic at all, even though they are probably most at risk to have a hospital dictate their “birth plan” and do things out of convenience.

If they really cared, this movie would be available at Planned Parenthood, not Best Buy.

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.