Friday, September 23, 2005

Missing you

The table was cold. The words were colder.

“Are you sure you’re pregnant?”

Nothing on the ultrasound. Blood in the urine sample. Five minutes before even a faint line showed up on the pregnancy test.

I recite my HCG test results again. And again.

Running through my mind were the words that made me leave another doctor, who said over a month earlier, “Don’t worry, Honey. Everything will be just fine.” Bitch.

I’m left alone. White walls. Steel sink. Blank HPT. Bloody thighs.

I couldn’t believe this was happening again.

What followed were psychotic moments at the lab, screaming “My baby is dead! My baby is dead!” at the inept counter people refusing to let me drop off my samples and go cry in peace. Shock while listening to the doctor say, “When it’s three in the morning and you call me, doubled over in pain because you refused the D&C, and you want my help, you’ll have to wait.” Tests, ultrasounds, ER visits, perinatologists, more doctors, constant pain, and always the blood. Always the HCG levels staying the same. Always an empty uterus. Always the question, “Are you sure you’re pregnant?”

I had a gross jealousy of other ectopic pregnancy moms. They got to see their baby. They had answers. People took them seriously. And they never, in my mind, were asked if they were sure they were pregnant, never reduced to a puddle of insanity wondering if I really was making this all up.

Little Kiddo, it’s been four years this month. I’ve never really had a chance to say goodbye. I was always trying to say hello. I miss you.



What does it mean to be poor?

This post deserves reading. angry old broad

It brought to mind a quote I read from a guy boarding up his store in Houston in preparation for hurricane Rita. He said (paraphrased), "Of course there are going to be looters. There are only two kinds of people in the world: Those who work,and those who steal from those who work." Asshole.

Thanks to a lie a day for pointing me there.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Seeking Tulipmania

Hope you're ok. Miss your blog.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Elite Meet Teat

Ok, that’s a bit of a crass headline, but when I thought of it while trying to make up a silly headline, I couldn’t keep from posting it.

The New York Times (free registration required) published an article (thanks to my friend Karen for pointing it out to me) on Ivy League women students considering a career as Mommy over a career as Lawyer, and their plans to either cut back on work or quit altogether once they have kids.

Bear in mind that this is all about Ivy League females, most of whom, according to the article, "are likely to marry men who will make enough money to give them a real choice about whether to be full-time mothers, unlike those women who must work out of economic necessity." So, in other words, this is all theory for people like you and me.

The article cites several surveys of female students at Ivy League schools about their plans for family and career, and a few interviews with students and faculty. Speaking as a working mom who knows other working moms, the results of the surveys aren’t shocking - a significant number of female students find the idea of staying home with their kids more enticing than working.

Not surprisingly, there appears to be a diastema between some interviewed faculty and students in theories of mixing family with career. Laura Wexler, a professor of American studies and women’s and gender studies at Yale, said,
“Women have been given full-time working career opportunities and encouragement, with no social changes to support it.”
That, right there, is the crux of my own ennui about this whole working mommy thing. I work for my family’s benefit. I even get a bit of self-satisfaction out of it. But then AlphaMom comes along, or 19 year-old Yale student Cynthia Liu and her mom. She said,
“My mother’s always told me you can’t be the best career woman and the best mother at the same time. You always have to choose one over the other.”
I’ve talked to enough working moms out there to know it’s not just me - working moms are being pulled in different directions, each one arguably the “best.” I get along ok, with a few tearful moments when the kids are crying for me and I’m at the office, or worse, on travel. But then I read something like what Uzezi Abugo from the University of Pennsylvania said, and anger, if not disgust, sets in:
“I’ve seen the difference between kids who did have their mother stay at home and kids who didn’t, and it’s kind of like an obvious difference when you look at it.”

I have to take to heart that at least my kids will probably be obviously different from Uzezi. After all, it’s Dad who stays home, not Mom. And, they will hopefully be even more obviously different from Harvard student Sarah Currie, who appears to *like* (you’ll see why I used that word) the fact that men in her class *approve* of women’s plans to stay at home with children.
“A lot of guys were, like, ‘I think that’s really great.’ One of the guys was, like, ‘I think that’s sexy.’”
Yes, dear girls, male sexual approval is what life is, like, all about.

Still, I see nothing wrong with, as the article puts it, a woman expecting her career to take second place to child rearing. Certainly, my family takes precedence over anything, work or play. It’s the standard raised by Marlyn McGrath Lewis, the director of undergraduate admissions at Harvard that worries me. She said,
“[women leaving careers for motherhood] really does raise this question for all of us and for the country: when we work so hard to open academics and other opportunities for women, what kind of return do we expect to get for that?”
Ummmmm, educated women? Educated mothers? Educated voters? Is that a problem?

The only saving grace from this article for Yale is the Dean of Yale College, Peter Salovey. He said,
“What does concern me is that so few students seem to be able to think outside the box; so few students seem to be able to imagine a life for themselves that isn’t constructed along traditional gender roles.”
I have a BSc in Zoology and an MBA. That combination of sheepskin by itself makes me three standard deviations from the norm. Maybe even four. Add to that I have a husband who’s a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD), and I’m an outlier sure to be thrown from any sample. I’m so far out of the box FedEx won’t ship me. Only three percent of 138 respondents to one survey, all women students at Yale, even mentioned the possibility of Dad staying home with the kids. So, yes, it does concern me, too, Dean Salovey, that a SAHD option is not often considered, and I appreciate you bringing it up. Not in any sociologic or economic sense, just in that these people aren’t considering a viable option that meets their stay-at-home parent desire, like poor Uzezi. This myopic view isn’t helped by Dean Salovey’s colleague, professor Cynthia E. Russett of Yale who said,
“At the height of the women’s movement and shortly thereafter, women were much more firm in their expectation that they could somehow combine full-time work with child rearing. The women today are, in effect, turning realistic.”

Pinch me. I must be dreaming. ‘Cuz apparently, I’m not in, like, reality.

P.S. For a SAHD viewpoint on this article, check out RebelDad’s comments.

UPDATE: Echidne has some interesting discussion on this topic, too.

Well, I tried to talk like a pirate

I really did. But I ended up sounding more like an old prospector.

Hmmmm, William Lewis Manly's anniversary of crossing Death Valley is coming up. Perhaps I should champion a "Talk Like a Prospector" day. I'll rustle up some flapjacks for vittles. That's better than eating shoe leather, don't you think?

I already have my burro.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pledge Found Unconstitutional

Pledge of Alllegiance found unconstitutional

In this case, the ruling appears to just be about the "Under God" part of the Pledge, inserted in the 1950's by Senators afraid of the godless Red Horde.

My oldest daughter is now in Kindergarten, and is being taught the Pledge of Allegiance. I'm sure it's including "Under God" because we live in that kind of Godless Red Horde-fearing community.

My beef isn't so much about her having to say "Under God," although I admit I usually abstained from saying that when I was a school girl, and I expect if she wants to she will abstain herself. Maybe she'll do Mommy proud and say, "Under Gods and Goddesses" although that could lead to violence or at least social pressure against her. (Maybe we could make it into a Religious Studies exercise, and every Pledge she'll invoke a different diety, some days saying, "under no god" as well) My bigger beef is that she is too YOUNG to figure that out for herself right now. My BIGGEST beef is her having to say it at all. If you actually pay attention to the words, that's a hefty promise you're making little kids make. Too big of a promise if you ask me. It's a big promise for an adult to consider and make. Does a grade-schooler really understand what pledging loyalty and devotion means? Or what the Republic means, for that matter?

If we raise our kids to be true to their word and keep their promises, doesn't making them make a promise every single day, one which they can't possibly understand the consequences of, hypocritical?

I brought this up to her the other day. I saw that all kindergartners were expected to be able to recite the PofA by the end of the school year, so they must be teaching it to them now. I asked her if she was learning it, and she said yes. No big surprise. I then told her that I don't mind her learning it, but it's a big promise, and I think it's too big of a promise for a little kid to make, so I don't expect her to say the Pledge, and if she doesn't, she won't get into any trouble at home and we'll defend her at school.

Well, the next day they were going over the PofA, and she told the teacher this. N said the teacher asked why, in a surprised if not offended voice (perhaps N was making the voice up too much). I now have to write a note saying I don't want my daughter to have to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Which, I think, is fine. It's much easier than a Supreme Court battle, don't you think? I think memorizing it is fine, just like memorizing "The Village Smithy" is worthwhile in its own right. But don't make that promise, please. It's just too much to ask a little girl to do.

Frankly, I myself am not very loyal to our Republic right now, as its recent actions in the name of Liberty and Justice for All are downright nasty. One could argue that it's the leaders of the Republic doing this, not the Republic itself, but that's a fuzzy line since all those bombs are being dropped from airplanes with American flags on them. That same flag is on the arms of the uniforms on the guards at Abu Ghraib. That same flag sits in the Oval Office as our President sits by and lets tens of thousands of poor people in the Gulf states suffer because he either didn't care, or hired clueless lackies, or more likely both. Thanks goodness I don't have to put my hand on my heart and make a hollow promise every time I head into work.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Avast, ye Maties.

There be Beasties in my mind.

So, instead of brooding over the unnatural disaster that is our President (that link is worth checking out) and how in the name of Katrina people can support that goon, I'm going to retreat into fancy and prepare for International Talk Like a Pirate Day set for September 19th.

I'm not very pirate-lingual. This will take some practice. Where'd my Richard Henry Dana book go?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Car found

What a hassle.

It could have been so much worse. We could have been in the Superdome.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

My car was stolen

Some creep stole my old car with two car seats in the back from the parking lot at Sea World.

He also got my purse, with my cell phone and credit cards, which he has seen fit to use both of.

Ya' know, if you have to steal a car, don't steal one that's going to strand an out-of-state parent and at least two little kids in the middle of a large parking lot late at night.

I'm keeping my cell phone going for the rest of the weekend. I have free weekend minutes, I figure I'd like to see who he's calling. He's called at least two places, and I'm inclined to post their numbers so you can call them and tell the people who answer what you think of their friend.

Instead, since that might be harrassment, feel free to call my cell phone until midnight Sunday. (deleted), and tell the idiot (who amazingly enough answered the phone when I called) what you think of him.

Friday, September 02, 2005

On Katrina and class

Slate Magazine has an interesting commentary on how Katrina appears to have disproportionately effected the poor, and African-Americans in particular, and how no one in the media is courageous enough to point that out. (Thanks to my friend Shea for pointing me to it).

I'm sure once the insurance claims are filed, the affluent will be able to commiserate as well. Of course, they will be getting a significant amount of their losses paid for. And, I'm not suggesting that a wealthy family's loss of home and irreplaceable baby footprint memorabilia is any less than a sharecropper's decendants' losses.

What gets me is that the poor shown greiving over dead babies and raped daughters didn't have to be there.

This storm was coming. We knew it was going to be terrible. People evacuated days before it came. But over 100,000 people stayed, most because they simply could not get out of town.

Why weren't they evacuated? Why weren't all those busses who can't be used now used then to transport these people to shelters outside of the expected disaster zone?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

"Happy birthday, A,"

"do you want to pick up your sister after school today"

"No, I can't because she is too heavy."

hee hee.

A is three today. I love her more each day, and I just don't see how that's possible since it felt like my heart burst full three years ago.

Happy happy, little Squibby.

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