The one about the GOP on abortion.

Every four years, I get very sick of the politics in our country. Last time, it was all about patriotism. Now we are all up in your face about women’s rights, gay rights and the economy.

This post was going to be all about how I hate politics, but in light of yesterday’s announcement from the GOP, I had to change it.

This is now the one about the GOP on abortion. IF you are against abortion, if you follow the GOP stance, please read. I have lots of gray to show you.

This will be long, so get some coffee and sit back. Ready?

First, a story
In 1999, Dr. Jay and I started the simple task of getting pregnant. Pretty easy,right? Some fun too, right? After 6 months of nothing, I was getting very upset. After 8 months, we scheduled an appointment to see my doctor. She was soon not to be my doctor. She was late to the appointment and was pretty flip about everything. She immediately went into the false notion that stress causes infertility. If you follow that link, you’ll find that while there is a link between stress and infertility, it is not clear which causes which.

She sent me to have my fallopian tubes checked (HSG) and I discovered that yes, my tubes were open and yes, I am allergic to contrast dye (never a good thing). It has been documented that the HSG test irritates the cilia in the tubes and can improve the chances of becoming pregnant. I lucked out and we conceived that month of the HSG.

I was excited, thrilled and not the least bit scared. We found an OB and set up an 8 week appointment. Dr. Jay and I went in on a Thursday. We did all of the normal tests and then had the ultrasound. The tech did all of the measurements and I dressed and we waited for the doctor.

I remember that she was a very nice women who explained, by doodling a heart shape on her doctor pad, the ultrasound measured the fetus at 5weeks and there was no heartbeat. She wanted to redo the ultrasound on Monday, just in case the measurements were off. I knew the truth. She was gone. As we left, I called my little one Pathfinder, as she at least proved that I could get pregnant(no, I never knew the gender, but Patherfinder is female).

I had to go to the office alone the next time as Dr. Jay was away on an observing run. The measurements were exactly the same. This time, the doctor explained to me that this was called an “incomplete abortion”. The baby failed to develop, but my body had not recognized this yet. I was still producing the proper hormones for my body to think I was still growing a baby. My options were to wait it out until I fully miscarried (this could take up to 4 more weeks), have a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure to remove the baby, or wait another week to check again. I asked how likely was it that there would be a heart beat in another week. She said, at this point, close to 0%, but it was what I wanted. It was my choice.

Dr. Jay was heading home when I sent his phone a call. I had arranged for the D&E to be the next day. He would be home for it.

We went to the hospital together. I could barely talk I was so overcome with grief, but the receptionist was very rude to Dr. Jay and made it clear that she thought he was pushing me into this. I had to finally pull myself together and tell her “the baby is dead. Just give us the information he’s asking for.” Fortunately, the staff in the hospital was much nicer. We had a 2 hour delay as someone had a medical emergency during birth. I did not envy that women at all, even if she was getting her child I was not. I had to sign a parental consent form for the disposal and I was asked if I wanted to have the body saved. I said no.

When I woke up, all was done. I had a wicked headache, an empty stomach and a broken heart. We left after about 30 minutes and went to IHOP where we ate and were just sad.

It wasn’t until after Soleil and Luna were born that I discovered something terrible. As the link I posted states, D&E are abortions. The word abortion, in medical speak, means to end a pregnancy. The condition of the fetus does not matter. I wrote to the CDC and asked “If I had a D&E for a miscarriage, how is that reported to you?” The answer back chilled me. It depended on the hospital. Generally, D&E are counted as abortions. When you see from the CDC the number of abortions in a year?

Yeah, Pathfinder was an abortion.

Doesn’t matter that she would never live.

Doesn’t matter that I carried a dead fetus in me for 3 weeks.

This is one of the reasons I am angry at the GOP. Under their new “personhood” ideas, I would have been forced to carry pathfinder until my body figured it out. That could have taken up to another month.

I have two friends who discovered their child had trisomy-18. Most trisomy-18 children don’t make it to birth. One friend decided to terminate the pregnancy. One didn’t find out until it was past the date of legal termination. He died in utero and was induced at 32 weeks. I photographed his birth. It was devastating to his parents. It was as devastating to this friend as the one who chose to terminate.

I follow Cecily who had to terminate her son to save her own life. His twin had died. She had developed pre-eclampsia. She would have died if she had not delivered the second child.
My cousin developed pre-eclampsia in her 30th week of pregnancy with triplets. In this case, all three survived and are entering 3rd grade. Her choice was deliver and hope for the best, or die.
In Luna’s pregnancy, I developed ante-partum depression. I had to go back on my antidepressants to not commit suicide as the hormones were that strong.

These are real people with real difficult decisions. The GOP would have us believe that women decide one day while walking down the street “Wow, this is too much, I’ll have an abortion” and jump into a clinic. The world is not the black and white. Do women choose to have abortions? yes. Do they choose because it isn’t convenient right now? Some do. Some don’t. Do they choose because they were raped? Does it matter their choice?

Listen, pregnancy is a very unique situation. Two lives in one. A male can never experience the wonder of a pregnancy. Nor can they ever experience the pain of losing a pregnancy. They can never understand what it is like to have to make that choice because no man ever had to.

It was my choice to have the D&E. Others who are not doctors, who do not know my situation want to tell me what to do. I am having signs of perimenaupause. This issue may not be terribly relevant to me soon. But it will matter to me as a person.

It is time for the GOP to step back and stop attacking my rights to make my own decisions. I have two daughters. I am raising them with a strong code of what is right and wrong and pushing YOUR religion on someone else is wrong. Deciding that you know best for everyone in every situation is wrong. Deciding that an unborn child’s life is more important than the living is wrong.

I don’t want my children growing up in a world where men, men who can’t even understand the basics of the female reproductive system, are outlawing how they care for their body.

Abortion is not a black or white. Is it not even stopping a beating heart in all cases. What abortion involves is a large gray mass and the only morals to be invoked in this situation are the ones the woman who is pregnant can handle. This is currently, and should remain a choice for the woman.

The one about running

Running. Ah yes, my fun sport. I love/hate running. It’s really the first mile that does me in. If I can get past the first mile, I am in good shape. When I say the words “good shape”, I mean the starting pains are done and I can get a good pace(for me) going.

I have scheduled and registered for two half marathons this year. I think I am crazy! 13.1 miles of running? What the hell am I thinking? Apparently, I am thinking that things are going well and this is helping me become a fitter person. Is fitter a word? More fit of a person? Who knows? I am a science major, not a English major!

I’ve had some troubles with my right foot. Turns out I damaged the plantar fascia on my foot during the half marathon in Feb. I am working on taping, icing and generally being good to my foot, however, I also need to start training for my half marathon in January. In July, I started work on that. This weekend, I am doing a 5.5 mile run. woot! I just mapped it out.

I find that once I have my groove, the run is easy. It’s smooth and I feel good. I am not very fast, at least when I run with the dog, I am very slow. Without the dog, I move to the category of Not Very Fast. I want to improve that, but I am not sure how. Right now, I am pushing for endurance.

Sometimes, I look at the reports from my other running friends and get frustrated. I’m not fast. My pace, on a good day, is 12:30 min/mile. My ultimate goal is 10 min/miles. Listen, this isn’t Olympic pace. It isn’t track team race. It just means I could run a 5K in about 30 minutes. But I feel slow and sluggish when I see what others can do. Sigh…

This has to be helping my heart and my legs. I am stronger. I may still be a ball of flab, but I am glad to be running. In theory, this should be helping my serotonin levels, but I am
doubtful of that. My thyroid and the hell it is putting me through will be discussed in another post.

For now, just keep cheering me on!

The one about summer camp

This summer has been crazy with summer camp. We started week 1 with a lovely trip to Barcelona, Spain. I would not have traded that for anything in the world. Then a few weeks of sleepover camp, one week with both girls gone, and back to day camp and other things.

Camp has been interesting this year. We started with Girl Scout Day Camp. We quickly realized that both girls have kind of out grown this camp. It’s sad because it is close to home and easy to get to on the way to work. However, I have to accept the plain and simple fact that my girls are getting older.

Soleil is now 10. She is quite capable of handling some serious situations. She did a 2 week sleepover in NH this year. 2 weeks away from me. That’s HUGE for her. She was excited to see us during the break, but she did great! Luna is now 8. She’s very whiny as of late, but she is doing more sleepover camp and really starting to enjoy the independence.

I am torn about summer camp. When I was a kid, mom was a teacher. Camp was rarely an option. When we did do camp, I had some pretty bad experiences. I will never forget the treatment by some other kids.
However, this seems to be much better. Soleil and I were able to talk about some of her issues at camp, including a girl with a severe lack of coping skills. “J” was difficult and Soleil tried to work with her, but it didn’t work well. In fact, “J” hit her once. However, there were twins who begged their mom and dad to come to the session last week only because Soleil was in that session. That was cool.

Luna is still unsure about camps. She would rather be on the ice. She’s in an ice skating camp this week and coming home exhausted. She loves it. I am glad she is there, but man, she is tired.
She is suddenly blooming in her maturity on some items (but not her humor…that stays at the 12year old boy level), but back sliding in others. The fall will be a big test. She enters 3rd grade and the upper Elementary school. That is a BIG change for her.

Next year, Soleil has requested to go to overnight camp all summer with weekends home. We’ll see. Luna wants to do more overnight camps… Again, we’ll see. Me? I want to be off all summer… AH!

The one about Gun Control

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” 2nd Amendment

Okay- I agree. We need to have the right to bear Arms. I totally agree that we should have this right.

Definition of INFRINGE

transitive verb
: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another
obsolete : defeat, frustrate

So here’s the question: Does putting a registry (as in a well regulated militia) put an infringement on the right to bear arms? Does preventing assault rifles to be stored at home infringe the right to bear arms?

Let’s say our country instituted a nationwide weapon ownership registry. Every time someone purchased a weapon, that information would be stored somewhere. Does this encroach upon the right to bear arms? And let’s say, someone purchases several weapons in a short period of time and the registry notes this. Is this encroaching on the right to bear arms? And let’s suppose that the ATF comes in to ask said person about their purchases. Is THIS encroaching on the right to bear arms?

My answers are no. But what are yours?

Now what about assault rifles? Could someone be required to place assault rifles in a place where they are locked up? I would think that would infringe on the right to bear arms. Does it need to be within the context of a miltia? I don’t know. What is the purpose of an assault rifle? I can imagine some people want it for fun. Go to the target range and blast away with an assault rifle. Sounds like great stress relief! Should we track these guns? Put them somewhere safe? What counts as safe? Who makes sure these are safe?


Itching to write

I’ve been, well, overwhelmed with living lately. We’ve been extremely busy at home and work. I want to get more time to write, but I have little time to do that. So, I will do my best.

As we leave May and enter June, I am preparing for a camping trip with my Girl Scouts. We are going to the great wilds of Cape Cod for a huge camporee of approximately 2200 girls. It will not be quiet.

We’ve purchased a tent in preparation for this. In addition to our tent purchase, I finally agreed to let Dr. Jay purchase a boat. He’s been wanting to buy an inflatable boat for years. We decided that this kayak would be good. It is more of a canoe than kayak, and it only holds one adult+ two kids or two adults (when the kids are at camp??) We took it down to the river in town and checked it out.

First, Dr. Jay and the girls took it for a spin:

Then Soleil and I went out. I think I need a better fitting life jacket. This one may kill me.

We’ve also jumped into summer with the pool around the corner opening up. When I say “around the corner”, it is a 3 minute bike ride to the club. The girls spent at least 7 hours there this past weekend.

My garden is growing, although not as fast as I would like. I have planted mint this year, so I can have home grown mojitos.

I have not been doing so well with my business project. I am getting lots of great feedback and many people thinking it is a wonderful idea, but I am getting no work. A great idea that nobody is willing to try. I need to brain storm this weekend when I am camping and come up with some new ways to get the word out.

Work is tiring. What can I do? It is. I’ve received no calls from the several jobs I have applied to outside of my company. Sad. I can’t tell if I am over or under qualified. On the other hand, I’ve worked here for 16 years in June and I am finally accruing enough vacation time to save at the end of the year. I really wiped it out with 2 pregnancies with bedrest and 2 infants where mom stayed home when they were ill.

I am also working on reinventing me. After my wedding, I lost 50 lbs and got much healthier. I am trying to do this again. I feel much healthier than in the past, but I weigh almost as much as I did when I gave birth to Luna! I am really trying T-Tapp again and I will stick with it longer. I also have 2 half-marathons planned for the winter. Hopefully, in 6 months to a year, I will be thinner, fitter and all around healthier.

Smile and wave

She is only seven.
I still have to help her get her skates on.
She just learned how to tie her sneakers.
She just learned how to remove the blade guards.

I watch her struggle to stretch the spring on the guards.
She steps on the ice and swoosh, she is gone.
The scratching of her blades on the fresh ice are like fingernails on my soul.

She is only seven.
My baby.
Yet on the ice, she has the grace of a swan.
She is more comfortable on two thin blades of metal than a fish in water.
left forward inside edge, side toe hop, right forward outside edge
bunny hop,bunny hop, waltz jump, mazurka.
She rises a good 5-6 inches off the ice and lands without fear.

I cannot keep up with her.
I’ve reached the point that I must simply sit off to the side and watch.
I can’t tell when she does a half toe loop
I confuse it with a half lutz.

She has coaches now.
They will guide her in her natural element.
My beautiful, warm ice princess
Her blades cut patterns and figures in the ice
and cut the maternal strings in my soul.

All I can do
is sit in the bleachers
and smile and wave

The one about religion-part five

Yeah, I know this took forever.Shut up, as if life doesn’t get all in your face too and take away all of the time you have.

Partly why this took so long is that I will probably offend EVERYONE. So hang in there.

So I have two kids. Two Jewish children who go to religious school and learn about God and all of that and their heritage and all of the things that make them Jewish. And I am not. Not only am I not Jewish, I am not anything. I just am.

This leads to some interesting conversations in our house. Soleil is proud to be Jewish as is Luna, but Soleil believes in a G-d. Luna doesn’t. Luna doesn’t see a conflict with being Jewish and not believing in G-d. Soleil does. We often discuss these things since I am atheist. Soleil gets very upset at anyone who makes fun of other religions. She gets upset at people who don’t understand that you can go without religion.

I’ve had to learn a great deal about Judaism to be a parent to Jewish children. Here’s my basic comparisons between Christianity and Judaism based on my experiences. I went to an Episcopal and the United Church of Christ as a child.

  • G-d totally chilled out about some of the laws after having a kid
  • The leaders of the Christian congregations stressed obedience to G-d’s word.
  • The leaders of the Jewish congregations stressed obedience to one’s conscience
  • If you ask forgiveness for your sins from G-d, you can reach salvation (Christianity)
  • You must ask forgiveness from both G-d and those you harmed. (Judaism)
  • To be a true Christian, you have to obey the word of G-d
  • A true Jew prays like everything depends on G-d, but acts as if everything depends on himself
  • Both religions can be corrupted by those who choose to use the words for their own power
  • Both religions can be used to hold down women and the weak.
    • In the end, I can understand, in my heart, why I can’t follow any religion. Our temple has reached an interesting bump in the road where the rabbis are seriously discussing allowing one of the rabbis to perform a mixed marriage. This brings up the question of what is a Jewish community? And Dr. Jay and I are discussing it. We are on the same page. Neither of us want to see our daughters, or their friends turned away because they love someone who is not Jewish. The rabbis should respect the desire of the member who wants G-d in their marriage even if it cannot be a true Jewish ceremony.

      So, I guess this kind of wraps up my religion rant.

      Flame away and please ask if I failed to cover a point.

Tapping the mic

Yes, I am still here.

Life is amazingly busy. I can barely come up for air. Let’s just say that I have been busy at work, home, girl scouts, helping the kids with personal issues and other fun things.

The biggest thing going on is: fear.

I am about to send out the announcement that I need science projects for the RBT*. I am still on a job search, but I am either over or under qualified for where I’ve applied to 15 jobs (13 are still open). Sigh. The other RBT is going ok. I have about 25 people who want to do this. I have zero people giving us work. Sigh. So the push is on to find work for us. I really want to get this going. If I can get the word out, if we can get people started sending us work, I know this will take off.

I am currently collecting emails of people I know, people at small locations, people with grant money.
Sigh. Wish me luck, I am going to need it!

As for me personally, I am having thyroid issues up the wazoo. I have seen one of the top specialists in Boston and we are first going to force my meds on a strict schedule. This should help. Then in six weeks, we’re going to do a blood check and also do a non-tropical sprue test. Why? Turns out there is a connection. If I have NTS (or celiac disease), I don’t have the typical symptoms. In a small number of hypothyroid patients, celiac disease flies under the radar. You check the antibodies and if the test is positive, then you cut out gluten. This might* (big fat might) be the cause of the craziness in my system. Who knows. The doctor did warn me that it is a big net they cast and only catch a handful of NTS cases, but for those few, this is a great life changer.

For the girls, I have Soleil running with me for exercise and I think I have convinced her to run a 5K with me. We are doing 90s running, 60s walking. I want to push it to 90s running and 45 s walking and then keep that pace for the race. Luna recently finished a skating competition that I will try post soon. I post a lot on faceboook for those who “know” me, but I really need to write more here.

The War Against Women

(I know I have one more part on my religion post…but this couldn’t wait)

As an American woman, I want to ask all of the legislators in our country, whether state or federal, a simple question. Why?

Why is there a sudden push against being born with two X chromosones?

Why have the following items been introduced or PASSED to be part of our legal system?

  • ARIZONA: Employers can ask women for proof that their birth control is for medical reasons only
  • ARIZONA: Allow a doctor to withhold medical information from a woman if the doctor thinks the woman might get an abortion and the doctor is opposed to that.
  • ARIZONA: A legislator suggested that women should be forced to watch abortions before having the procedure done
  • GEORGIA: A legislator compares women to cows and pigs and want women to have to carry a dead child until natural childbirth.
  • KANSAS: Taxing women for having an abortion regardless of reason (with an exception of an incomplete miscarriage.) Allowing doctors to not tell the women of any medical issue with the pregnancy that may cause her to seek an abortion. Women must hear the fetal heartbeat and be told of a link of abortion to breast cancer which have been refuted by many studies.
  • The numerous laws on making sure a woman knows what the fetus looks like:
    • Five states require that ultrasounds are offered to the woman by the provider: Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.
    • Nine states require that if an ultrasound is conducted to prepare for the abortion, the provider must offer to show the woman the image: Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.
    • Six states require an ultrasound for each abortion and the provider must offer to show the woman the image: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
    • One state, Texas, requires an ultrasound for each abortion and that the provider display and describe the image.
  • TEXAS:By failing to follow federal regulations on abortion rules, has had $3.5MILLION to run BASIC HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN pulled.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE:Under the guise of “religious freedom” tries to remove the coverage of abortions from taxpayer funding and remove required contraceptive coverage.
  • IDAHO: While discussing a bill requiring ultrasounds for abortions, a legislator suggests that a doctor could ask a married woman if she is sure that the pregnancy is from rape or normal marital relations.
  • MISSISSIPPI and ALABAMA:A woman who had a stillborn child at 36 weeks was charged with murder because she was on cocaine.Others who have had miscarriages, including a Down’s fetus, have been charged with murder despite no evidence of any action causing the miscarriage.

I could find more cases if I wanted to. But I am sickened with this.

I am a woman. I am an American citizen. My rights to have privacy are being invaded. My rights to have an honest conversation about my health with my doctor is being compromised. I don’t plan on having any more children. However, that is my choice. Your choices end when they enter my uterus. My First Amendment rights are not to be trampled by yours.

I’m not pro-abortion. I am for the humans who are suffering because some in our country are trying to make their religion the moral compass for our country. How can we let this happen?
How can we allow women to be treated like second class citizens? We need to stand up NOW.

ETA: I was recently informed about this wonderful idea from the Pennsylvania governor.”Just close your eyes”