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 Life is good. I have a great baby, great husband, and great friends and family. Who could ask for anything more?


 Hey boys and girls! This is probably the last update I'll be doing for a while, because BIG THINGS are happening. Tomorrow night, I am going in for the first leg of induction. They are softening my cervix with a vaginal suppository, and then they will be giving me Pitocin on Friday. I'm scared to be honest, but I think I have the right to be. Wish me luck. At the end of this, I will (hopefully) have a healthy, happy little boy (and having a healthy, happy self wouldn't be bad either). It's all so surreal. It literally seems like yesterday that I was walking alongside Rich on 86th and Lexington, holding tea in one hand and a bag with a pregnancy test in the other. Wow, the thought of how far everything's come is making me a little teary. No time for tears now, though. 
I don't want to be bothering regular readers with mom stuff, so I created a separate Blogspot Blog:


So you can put that in your feed, or whatever you do. 

So, now that Gossip Girl Marathons and LJing may be less frequent, I apologize in advance if I disappear for a period of time. 

Wishing you the Best of Luck in Your Endeavors,

Queen of Debt

Weighty Issues

 According to ABC News, the Boy Scouts of America are barring overweight VOLUNTEER parents from engaging in "high-risk" trips such as camping, and forcing them to have physicals before going on trips lasting longer than 72 hours. While I understand that parents may not want an overweight parent being the sole guardian of their child on a climbing excursion, if they are with other, "healthy" adults (which they usually are), I don't see what the problem is. And I also don't see the direct correlation between weight and ability. My dad is overweight, but he's also whooped my ass on hikes through the woods before. But apparently, Boy Scouts of America doesn't see it that way. Scout Executive Hugh Travis states that "the Boy Scouts are concerned about childhood and adult obesity."
I think we've gotten to the heart of the matter here.
The Boy Scouts aren't barring overweight dads from helping out because they are generally concerned about their safety. They are doing it as a message to overweight children. They are subliminally saying "look, kids, if you don't lose that weight soon, you'll be an overweight adult. And overweight adults don't get the same opportunities as everyone else." Brilliant. Why don't we just pull aside the colorblind kids and tell them that they will be unable to fly planes, put out fires, and fight crime while we're at it?
There seems to be a new trend towards insulting people into losing weight. The Skinny Bitch series started this trend, saying that fat women are unloved women and sugars, fats, and oils are a one-way ticket to Hell. The very cunning publishing company had a crack team that realized that women wouldn't by this book unless the original skinny bitch herself, Victoria Beckham, was shown at Barnes and Noble buying a copy. The book began to sell like hotcakes, and now is spread into a whole series, including Skinny Bitch: A Bun in the Oven that tells pregnant women that they are not gaining a baby, they are gaining fat. Needless to say, I couldn't get past the first ten pages without wanting to vomit (and not just due to the hyperemesis gravidium). But people subscribe to these crap views and it is a multimillion dollar industry, although their next installment, Skinny Bastard isn't doing as well. Men apparently don't like their "moobs" to be the reason for their shortcomings. Bravo, boys.
I think this whole "we will insult you until you lose the weight thing" is unhealthy, because it makes several assumptions:

1) Overweight kids are overweight adults, and vice versa. Not true. Some kids lose the "baby fat" with puberty, and some adults gain with menopause.

2) Overweight people are unhealthy people. We rarely say that about underweight people, unless they are shockingly skinny.

3) Overweight people can lose the weight, if they really want to. In fact, they wouldn't be overweight if they didn't let themselves go. Ever heard of Grave's Disease? Or weight gain associated with vasectomies and tubal ligations? You can exercise and eat rabbit food all day, every day and keep gaining.

4) Overweight people have no control over their lives, because they have no control over food. We wouldn't dare say that about the CEO who is a chain smoker or the lawyer who is an abusive alcoholic, because outward appearance is everything in this society.

I guess I just kind of have an issue with this, because I've witnessed the abuse others (especially women) who are overweight get firsthand. Everyone from that friend who is "just being honest" (aka being a bitch to make themselves feel better) to the waiter taking your order of a tres leches cake has something to say. They all have diet and exercise tips, most of which are ridiculous and end with the user once again feeling demoralized. If we coddle those who compulsively diet, why do we shun those who compulsively eat? Shouldn't we be treating them the same? Or is it that we see a bit of ourselves in those who overeat, and thus we project our self-loathing on to others?

Parenting Rant - TL;DR

 CNN posted an article this week entitled "Why I didn't Want a Girl" via Parenting magazine. Columnist Amy Wilson reflects on how her two boys, and her anxiety towards expecting a daughter. "Even before I had sons, I worried about having a daughter. I could handle boys, with their cut-and-dried needs, but girls were so much more complicated. Girls have elaborate hairstyling requirements. They whine and mope, manipulate and triangulate. How was I going to deal with that?" Wilson states that boys are much easier to deal with, simply, because the world is kinder to them. Towards the end of the article, Wilson states that her daughter, Maggie, is sixteen months old and she now "gets it".
I nearly threw a tantrum when I read this article. I understand that people have apprehensions when they are expecting. I have a lot, and I'm sure Rich has a lot as well. But before I even speak to another person about my anxieties, I ask myself "is this anxiety reasonable? Can I change the circumstances surrounding this anxiety? How would I feel if this anxiety were to manifest itself." So for example, the chance of my child being autistic is small, there is nothing I can do to prevent him from being autistic (I don't buy into the "vaccines cause autism" campaign), and I would love my child no matter what (part of the reason I didn't go for an amnio), so I just let the thought pass. If it comes up again, or I feel that there is something I can do to prevent this anxiety from becoming real, I'll talk about it with Rich (usually it starts out as me getting upset that the cream reduction I was boiling curdled, and then we get to the real issue). Or I'll write about it in one of my composition books. Or a private LJ. I don't go around to syndicates trying to gain fifteen minutes of fame.
Anyways, off of me and back to Ms. Wilson.
I understand that couples tend to expect one or the other when it comes to sex, but I know very few in this era who are outright disappointed with the sex of their child. It seems ridiculous to be disappointed. If you are really that concerned with the sex of a child, go adopt. When you do it the natural way, it's kind of a toss-up. I also think that there is a new era of people who think that every little thought that pops into their head is valid and should be published for the world to see (call me a hypocrite all you want, but I thought this post out before writing it out). A woman in England wrote into The Daily Mail about how she doesn't love her daughter. How would said child feel if she even found a personal diary saying that? Probably less humiliated than someone who found out their mother had written it as an article that millions have seen. I think I'd prefer to hear that my parents were involved in a drug cartel or prostitution ring than that they wrote a book about not wanting me. 
We're in an era of believing that absolute, uncut honesty is the best policy. Apparently, we must go back to the Victorian policy, of "some things are better left unsaid". Or in this case, unwritten.

Good Morning!

 On Saturday, Rich and I drove around and went to the Outlet Malls. It was really nice. Afterwards, we went into downtown Patchogue (sp?) and went to a really yummy steakhouse. That night, we just chilled out and tried to find something decent on television. On Sunday, we just hung around the house because it was so hot out. I talked to my parents, ate dinner from Papa John's, and watched television for a while. We went to bed at like 9:00 p.m. because I had an early appointment with the cardiologist. 
Yesterday, I got up at like 4:00 a.m., took a shower, ate breakfast, and left for my 8:00 a.m. appointment. There was so much traffic on the LIE that I was almost late. The appointment went well (although an Echo is the most uncomfortable procedure if you're nine months pregnant) and as far as we know, I can go through a natural birth with an epidural as opposed to a planned C-Section. :)  The only thing I have to take care with is my hypotension, because certain drugs can lower blood pressure, but they know that. Otherwise, no dilation or anything. After the appointment, Rich and I went to Smithaven to walk around. It was nice and cool in there, and we wanted to kill time because they were spraying herbicide in the community. After a while, I was getting tired so we went home and I slept for like four hours. Then Stop & Shop. Then making ribs for dinner. After dinner, I cleaned up and talked to my parents. After that, Rich and I watched House and ate cheesecake. Then bed. I still haven't watched my DV-R of Gossip Girl, but I will before the day is over. 
I had a really rough time sleeping last night because it was so hot out, so I slept in this morning instead. Now I'm off to do dishes and hopefully fold the laundry that has been chilling in the dryer for a few days.

Baby News/Duck Tales

 I am officially waddling. I kind of feel like I could do my own version of March of the Penguins.
I went to the doctor's on Thursday afternoon. I've lost my plug (it's kind of gross so I don't want to go on about it here, but if you type in "plug" and "pregnancy" in Google,  you can see) and I am starting to efface. That really doesn't mean much, except that everything is going as planned. I also stopped by to visit Melissa because it was her birthday and to pick up the stroller from Joanne. Rich put it together and it is pretty sweet. It is orange and it matches my super awesome airplane diaper bag.
Today, Rich and I went to Lowe's to get babyproofing goods. I have to say, the baby gate is my favorite. It lists all its features and one says "GREAT FOR DOGS TOO!" It kind of made me laugh. Then we went to Target and got some of the stuff we still need, like a breast pump, diapers, bath stuff, and whatnot. We're not even done yet, but I have learned that babies are expensive. Like really expensive. At least some of the stuff is going to last a really long time too. After that, we drove home, dropped the stuff off, and went for really good Chinese food. Then home to organize all our stuff.
This is all getting kind of super-real, but I like it. I am excited! Only a few more weeks to go!!!!
In non-baby news (for all of you who are sick of me cooing) we have ducks in our pond. But I am not talking about run-of-the-mill Long Island ducks, these are kind of weird. They look like domestic ducks, but they are brownish. And they are violent! They run really fast (like probably faster than me!) and they have chased every other duck away from our pond. And they communicate. They re a threat to humanity! I vote eviction, although they are entertaining.

Short Update - Kind of Incoherent

 Why is it that Family Guy is no longer funny? Have we just grown out of it, or is it less funny?
I watched The Hills before. Heidi walked into a bar to find Spencer chatting up some slutty bartender. It kind of made me lose my faith in humanity. I'm sick of watching people break up around me. It really depresses me.
Everything's been getting on my nerves lately, and it is really annoying. Oh well, that sucks. Nothing I can really do about it.
 Jo-Ann fabrics is refusing to sell the March/April issue of Quilter's Home because of its content. Now, if you thought of quilts as heavy, moth-laden works that are featured in Pennsylvania bed-and-breakfasts, you're partially wrong. Quilts can also be works of contemporary art too. In a segment called "Shocking Quilts", several "controversial" works are displayed, including a Confederate Flag quilt that has appliques of a KKK member and several blacks being lynched, a piece called "Helping Hands" that features tiny phalluses, and one of Jesus dressed up as a cowboy. Apparently, Quilter's Home offered to ship the magazines to Jo-Ann's shrink-wrapped in plastic (the same way Penthouse is sold), but Jo-Ann's refused. For the full story (avec photos!), check out Design Crisis.
I can understand that the quilts are not the typical fare for the typical Jo-Ann's customer. Maybe I'm just biased because I hate that Jo-Ann's calls itself a "fabric store" when the vast majority of its textiles are cheap synthetics in horrid colors and any "natural" fabrics that are sold typically come in patterns that would make you want to burn your eyes out (chartreuse and black striped linen, anyone?). I hate how their employees have no knowledge of crafts whatsoever (I overheard one telling a customer that knitting is the same as crochet) and how they only appeal to "traditional" crafters, i.e. middle-aged women who own a different knit vest for every holiday and drive minivans without realizing that ANYONE can be crafty. I have a little less hatred towards A.C. Moore and Michael's because they actually do have some cool products and seem less pretentious, and I love A.I. Friedman for pretty (yet expensive) craft things. 
I really actually like some of these quilts. I think that "Southern Heritage/Southern Shame" has a very eerie prospect to it. "When Hope Unborn Has Died" and "Requiem" both have beautiful colors and lines. And I could see a quilt like "Jesus Get Your Gun" draped across the couch of Juno's or Napoleon Dynamite's living rooms. Oh, and are the tiny penises actually embroidered or is that a fabric? If it's the latter, where can I get this phallic fabric?
All the quilts are beautiful, and must have taken so much work. I like that "arts" and "crafts" are now merging, especially since handicrafts are no longer just for grandmas. Knitting became a hipster movement five years ago, and it's kind of expanded to other fields. Who knows what the next trend will be?
Basically, I think Jo-Ann's needs to get over themselves soon because they are a crumbling corporation as is.

Religion? Really?

 The following are posts from Adam Rightmann, a conservative minister and outspoken blogger:

Number OneCollapse )


.Number TwoCollapse )

Really? I can't believe this guy is claiming to be a Reverend. He also says that husbands have the right to forcibly have intercourse with their wives (a debate for another time - but that is called "rape" in many states) and that a woman should produce a MINIMUM of five children, as close together as possible. It really bothers me that people who judge others call themselves Christians. What do you think?


Writer's Block: Ripped from the Headlines

What news story have you heard or read lately that made you really angry? What about one that made you really happy?


<input ... > View other answers

There were three stories this week that really pissed me off. One was featured in Jezebel, the other in The New Yorker, and the last in The New York Times. 
The story in Jezebel was about how legislators want to make the HPV vaccine mandatory for all schoolchildren, male or female. And of course, starry-eyed morons parents think this is great because we can eradicate HPV just like we eradicated Measles (yes, a commenter actually said that). A couple problems with this logic. Firstly, the HPV vaccine only protects against four strains of the disease, so people can still get HPV and cervical cancer even if immunized. Secondly, the HPV vaccine is dangerous. I don't really feel like injecting my kid with something that lists Guillan-Barre Syndrome as a side effect. Maybe in a couple of years down the road, when more studies are done. Thirdly, you can't get parents to vaccinate against poliomyelitis, so how are you going to get them to vaccinate against this. Fourthly, Measles isn't eradicated in this country. There was actually a major outbreak in Georgia over the summer. I think that this report shows how Congress favors the drug companies over the well-being of their constituents. If Congress really wants to do something productive, they should fund research on cures for cervical cancer, developing an HPV test for men, providing women with access to regular pap smears, and educating Americans on safe sex and STDs.
In other STD news, the Times published an article on how circumcision is an effective method of preventing HPV and HSV-A (genital Herpes). Really? This is proof that we still believe things our Victorian counterparts wrote. America is the only country where circumcision is still commonplace, and if people knew why it became commonplace, the number of circumcised men would drop drastically. It was reintroduced into Western society as an effective method of preventing masturbation. See, to clean the area, the young man must retract the foreskin to clean under it, and then draw the foreskin back over when he is done, which is the first step to masturbation (actually, it's really one of those "repeat until satisfied" deals). Apparently, Victorians didn't get that people gratify themselves, male or female, cut or uncut. I am really anti-circumcision (if you do it for religious reasons, that's fine - but there are few legitimate "medical" reasons to do it). I mean, young girls have the clitorises removed in Africa, and we call that a Human Rights Violation. Why is it so different for young men? Also, if God didn't want us to have foreskin, he wouldn't have made us that way. So once again, focusing on safe sex seems like a better use of time and money than mutilating male genitalia. 
Lastly, New York Magazine published an article called "Extreme Birth". It is about Cara Muhlhahn, a New York City midwife that has performed hundreds of home births throughout the five boroughs. Obviously, they are like most home births, taking place in water without the use of drugs or external fetal monitoring. The difference between Ms. Muhlhahn and most CNMs or CPMs is that she seems to be an egomaniac. She has a strong distrust in obstetricians and tends to use fear and guilt as tools of manipulation. In fact, she uses the documentary, The Business of Being Born to convince her clients that hospitals are cold, impersonal spaces filled with incompetent staff members. I have seen BOBB, and I have to say, it is scary but it is also sensationalist. I have been to New York-Presbyterian (Columbia and Cornell's University Hospital) twice for gynecological issues (once while pregnant, once not), and while the attending physicians were great, the residents (both young women from Columbia) were awful. They were rude, and one seemed like she would just be a liability if she ever completed her residency. The incompetent one also kept acting like I was the most horrible person on earth because she had to treat me at 3:00 a.m., leading me to think "if you don't like working erratic hours, maybe obstetrics shouldn't be your specialty". So yeah, I can see how large metropolitan hospitals can be less-than-ideal for a calm, positive birth experience. If I were giving birth in Manhattan, I would have probably hired a doula or midwife to be an advocate for Rich and myself. I also think that if you have an educated, objective midwife, home births can work in some instances. I would never want one because I would be overwrought with guilt if God forbid something went wrong, but I can see how it could work. What I don't like about BOBB is that it presents doctors as horrible puppets to greedy administrators and lawyers. It states that "failure to progress" during labor is a myth. No, it's actually not. If the amniotic sac has broken and more than 48 hours have passed, the child is highly likely to catch a fatal infection. And, sometimes early labor does go on too long, and having the mother continue laboring only to have to push may kill her. Which does result in lots of lawsuits usually. So by saying "you've been at this for thirty-six hours, we need to take him by Cesarean for your health" is a doctor's way of saying, "I am doing all I can to save your life", meaning he is not negligent.
Anyways, Ms. Muhlhahn is kind of insane. One of her patients, Robin wanted to go with a high-risk midwife because of her Lupus, and Muhlhahn discouraged it. Another, Sandra Garcia, labored for 72 hours straight during a hot July week. The tiny brownstone apartment reeked of vomit, feces, and urine before Ms. Garcia decided (after much protest from Muhlhahn) that she should go to St. Vincent's hospital. By the time she arrived there, her temperature had spiked to 103 degrees, signaling an infection. Ms. Muhlhahn left the hospital as soon as Ms. Garcia was admitted. In the end, Ms. Garcia was forced to undergo a Cesarean section and her baby spent four days in the NICU. At their follow-up meeting, Ms. Muhlhahn lambasted the Garcias, saying that if they only trusted her, Ms. Garcia could have had the idyllic birth she wanted. I should also mention that Ms. Muhlhahn has been sued twice for $950,000 (once for a child who suffers from Erb's Palsy as a result of shoulder dystocia, and another for the wrongful death of a child). She also does not have a practice agreement, something which is required by New York State law. 
I think the obsession with home birthing is that people can "have it their way". Or at least they think they can. I never really believed that people can have the perfect birth experience where everything goes exactly as planned. When I met with my high-risk doctor for the first time, he said to me "if you have a heart problem, you can't do a vaginal birth. If you don't, you can do one but you still need an epidural because the aorta may tear under that much stress". I seriously thought I was going to faint. It's not that I was worried about the state of my heart (the logical thing to worry about), it was that my vision of a screaming, crunchy, all-natural childbirth was just a vision, and not a reality. Now I was going to have to be one of those people who cop out to some extent. I labored (no pun intended) over this thought for days upon days, and in the end I realized, "I would rather be alive to see my child than have a perfect story I can publish in Ladies Home Journal." Even with my options more limited than before, who knows how it will turn out? It upsets me that people are so self-absorbed in having an ideal birth that they can't appreciate the fact that their child is alive and healthy. Yes, chimpanzees reject their young when birthed via a Cesarean, but that doesn't mean that my parents rejected me when my mum went under the knife for the second time.
Okay, so positive stories everyone!
The first one isn't really that positive, but I was glad to hear that Natasha Richardson's family donated her organs. It's really a great and selfless act.
This other one is just kind of amusing. It turns out that crabs not only feel pain, but they remember the experience as well. I just kind of wonder who spent that much money on the studies. And I am picturing a crab with a band aid on its shell.



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