Cranky pants

Ok, so pregnancy is officially kicking my ass (hence the lack of updates as I cannot stay awake long enough to compose an entire post).  That second trimester euphoria has been replaced (or, rather, forcibly removed) by third trimester exhaustion and swelling.  Everyone at work now comments on how I’m REALLY pregnant… or my waddle.  On a side note, NEVER tell a pregnant woman that she’s waddling unless you are offering her a chair and getting her whatever she needs.  Considering that the baby is stretching from my bladder to my rib cage, I don’t really think there’s enough room for the both of us in there, which is making me very nervous that he still has another 2 months to grow.

Basically, all of the edema and fatigue have made me more than a little cranky and weepy, which has led to a very short fuse.  On the plus side, I’m being a lot more forthright with people, especially those that are pissing me off.  However, it is also making me more ranty than usual.

For example, a friend of mine posted the following article on Facebook: Lactation Breeds Lack: The High Cost of Breastfeeding.  Now, the article itself isn’t anything to write home about.  It uses outdated data, draws conclusions where none really exist (although, I do agree with said conclusions), and focuses more on short-term solutions (such as better laws for expressing milk in the workplace) rather than the underlying issues (the major suckitude of maternity leave in the U.S.).  The worst part for me, though, was the comments.  Yes, I should know better than to ever read the comments section on any article, ever.  Now, do you think that is really going to stop me?

If you scroll down and see my replies, you will see exactly where I take offense. Women post responses declaring that the only reason this is even an issue is because women aren’t willing to leave their job with their precious money and sack up and take care of their children.  Now, excuse me while I go tear my hair out and scream!  First of all, looking at the state of the economy, I don’t know very many households that are sustainable on a single income, even when “making sacrifices” or “cutting back”.  Most people aren’t struggling in their finances because they have expensive tastes (and, generally speaking, those that are overspending aren’t the ones that recognize that they have financial issues in the first place) – it’s because companies are preying on a desperate workforce that doesn’t have a lot of options.  Jobs don’t have to pay competitively anymore because, really, where else are you going to go?  Secondly, that does not take in to account families where the woman is the breadwinner, not always by choice.  Hubby is in law school.  Should he sink the money already invested in his education to attempt to find a job that will pay significantly less than what he will be able to make once he is out of school?  And that doesn’t even BEGIN to address the issue of the single mother!  I despise the criticism that working mothers don’t love their children.  Do you really think that we all just go to work for that sweet, sweet cash?  Does it ever occur to you that we drag our asses to soul-sucking jobs day after day BECAUSE we love our children and want to make sure that they have food in their bellies and a roof over their heads?  That, were it not because of them, we would gladly quit and survive on ramen noodles and live in a cardboard box until we found a rich husband or a better job (with flex time and maternity leave that would allow us to actually breastfeed our babies).

This also leads me down another mental path, one that I have a hard time reconciling.  Now, people always say that if you can’t afford to have a child, then you shouldn’t have one.  In this day and age, though (and given the position that I am in), this feels elitist.  Sure, you shouldn’t be broke and in severe debt and expect to properly raise a child, but what is the “right” amount of money/income for having kids?  Are we saying that only the wealthy should be allowed to procreate?  That those in a less-than-ideal financial situation shouldn’t be able to start a family? It just starts to feel classist after a while when only the rich have access to the means necessary to reproduce.

I know I am having a hard time expressing my point properly, but my son is trying to escape out my belly button butt-first, and I need to get out from behind the computer now.


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.

This was going to be my $0.02 on SOPA/PIPA

I started to write a post on my feelings about SOPA/PIPA while I was at the doctor’s office a few days ago.  Unfortunately, I’ve learned that drafting something on my phone is not a good start to a post.  So, after a quarter of the way through my musings, I was finally called back for my ultrasound and all interest in that topic went down the drain.

So, in short, I think Congress isn’t outright trying to censor the Internet – they just have no idea about intellectual property OR technology, which are kind of important when making laws concerning the two.  I also think the lobbying groups (namely, the MPAA & RIAA) really need to learn that when people share things online with each other, even if it technically “breaks copyright law” in their mind, it is also FREE ADVERTISING, morons!  Generally speaking, any ideas that these groups come up with to protect against real pirating is about 5 steps behind where those pirates are operating.  People know about IP addresses versus domain names.  Get ahead of the technology – stop trying to catch up.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten my topical BS out of the way, back to talking about me me me!

Update on the doctor visit: doctor told me, basically, that I looked like shit and prescribed me some antibiotics.  Baby’s heart rate was still fine, and my blood pressure was as low as ever.  Going back in for a retest of my white blood cell count tomorrow, but I’m already feeling tons better, so hopefully I get the all clear.  Went in for an ultrasound the next day since the doctor was still concerned about all the pressure I was feeling & wants to tell me to just suck it up but couldn’t without one more look at my innards.  Luckily, and I quote from the doctor at the ultrasound facility, my “cervix is long enough for triplets.” Everything was in its right place and as it should be.  Plus, we got to find out…

I'm a Boy!

Yes, that arrow is pointing where you think it is...

I get to post pictures of my son’s peen across the interwebs now!  The only sad part was that the anatomy scan was scheduled for this week when the hubby could be there.  I had to call him on the phone so that we could find out together.  All together, though, baby weighed approximately 12 oz as of that sonogram and measured about 3 days ahead of schedule (I was at 20 weeks exactly, he measured 20 weeks, 3 days).  On the individual measurements, he has a huge head and short legs.  Taking after his mom already, I supposed.

And for one really cute story: hubby just found out that someone he knows read the same story to their little fetus everyday before it was born.  Then, whenever the baby heard that story afterwards, they would always smile.  The only difference is that hubby’s idea of a “story” is to read the Declaration of Independence, complete with his personal DVD commentary (which, as I tried to explain to him, completely throws out the whole notion of reading the SAME story every day so that the baby will know the rhythm of the words).  Still, it was very cute, and I know I’m lucky to have such an involved daddy-to-be (commence gagging… now).

So, next for the neuroses, provided the doctor’s appointment tomorrow goes fine, is that I still haven’t felt the baby move yet, at least that I can know for sure.  Between normal pregnancy gas and antibiotics killing almost anything in my stomach that would aid in digestion outside of acid, there is way too much action down there for me to tell what is another person poking at my insides.  Here’s to hoping I figure it out soon.