Sunday, June 28, 2009

On Choice, and Why I Believe in It: Part 1

This is a 3-part series on choice. Part 1 deals with abortion and contraception. Part 2 deals with birthing. Part 3 deals with breastfeeding and childcare.

I believe in choice. For women specifically, because that is the experience I have had. Men can decide for themselves whether they want choice (or not).

But I digress. Choice and women. Two words that are surprisingly inflammatory when put together. And I'm not just talking about the A word, although that is part of it. I'm also talking about birthing choices, and contraception choices and breastfeeding choices and childcare choices. All of these are particularly relevant to women because, well let's face it, my body is involved.

On Monday, on my way home from work I heard a story on NPR about the aftermath in Wichita of George Tiller's murder. Let me just get this out here so we can get it out of the way... I am pro-choice. Which means, that some of you reading this will now look for anything and everything that you can find to disagree with my position. I am also pro-life, which means that others of you are now struggling to keep reading.

Pregnancy 6

But I want you to hear me out. I believe that the decision to continue or terminate a pregnancy is a decision that can only be finally made by the woman whose uterus is in question. I believe that there are other stakeholders (such as the father) whose opinions should be given weight; but, in the end, it is the woman who will bear the vast majority of the weight of the decision one way or the other.

I don't think I need to explain how mothers experience discrimination in the workforce and how that decision to have a child can have an adverse affect on your career. Or how having a child (and the concomitant costs associated with that birth - see part 2) can drastically drag down the family finances. I can go on and on about the negative effect having a child can bring to a woman's life.

But, a child also brings much that is positive. However, those positive things don't really factor in to our current American idea of success and happiness. Which may be one of the reasons that we're seeing our birthrate decline - we just don't place enough value on children and parenthood for today's generations to be willing to give up some of the pluses of not having a mini-me around.


I believe that the decision to bring a child into this world is probably one of the most important decisions you can make. And that if you don't feel that a child will have more pros than cons you shouldn't have one. Period. We have enough screwed up people in this world without adding more to it. And there are enough people out there who love children and who will decide to have them that the human race won't cease to exist. So, let's not make a baby unless we have thoroughly thought out the consequences to having one.

Which brings me to my second point: contraception. Abortion is NOT a valid method of contraception. The word contraception broken down into its parts means "not/against" + "conceiving". Abortion occurs after that conception and prevents the process from continuing. Abortioncontraception.

I believe that abortion would never be necessary if quality birth control were freely available to all. But, it's not. Even to me, a woman who is of majority age, married, and who has decent insurance - contraception is still held hostage. Birth control, the kind with the highest effective percentages, is a controlled substance. Which means that my doctor (or in my case midwives) and my pharmacist get to have a say as to whether or not I get the kind of birth control that I want and when I want it. And that insurance companies also refuse to cover various methods of proven birth control.

It happened to me not that long ago. Communication between my midwife and my pharmacist got a bit wonky and I was unable to get my prescription refilled for 3 weeks. And my insurance company denied coverage of a birth control method that would make my life so much easier (and would prevent that miscommunication problem from ever happening again). Even in 21st century America, the land of the free, where choice is king, I am not able to choose to control my fertility.

In such a system, its no wonder that women feel their only option is termination of pregnancy. I'm certain that women who choose abortion would have preferred to never have had to make that decision. No one likes abortion.

But we cannot, and I repeat, we cannot remove that option from women without first providing adequate and 100% available birth control. Second, we must remove the negative effects that motherhood has on the woman by providing equal pay, adequate leave, affordable birthing options, and accessible child care. We must allow women to make the choice for themselves.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I'll talk about birthing choices (or the lack thereof); and Part 3 will focus on breastfeeding and childcare choices.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Things I Have Said or Thought in the Last Week

2.5 years and I've finally put a diaper on the child without waking her. I am amazing!


Dead means no more moving (discussing with my child about why the fly wasn't moving after I gave it a good smack with the fly swatter).

Dear mother of god, how long is it going to take these charts to print? (after I'd already been waiting on it for 30 minutes, and we were only at page 6 of 16)

Here comes a tornado (it didn't, but the wind did blow down our fence).

What's the best way to approximate creamer?

Got creamer?

They almost hit us (the person who was turning left into our lane stopped just shy of t-boning our car)!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Coming Soon!

Coming soon!

These socks have been a work of love. I've never ripped and reknitted ANYTHING this much - I think the final count is 5 times I started over - and that doesn't count the times I've tinked back to get something right. But I think, at last, I have a sock pattern that you're going to just HAVE to knit. And its top down OR toe up - you pick your poison.

The cushiest sole you've ever seen

And yes, it includes the comfiest, cushiest sole ever. You'll want to make ALL of your socks this way.

Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Has had a week to remember


First, my beloved cat, Ivan, who was the first cat to ever choose me to be his pillow decided he wanted to spend some time outside and went missing on Saturday morning. Just poof gone. We were, unfortunately for him, getting ready to head out on a romantic weekend and so we had to hope that he'd be there when we got back. But he wasn't there when we returned. And he still wasn't there after we got back from Mosaic. I'd decided that he was just gone and was getting ready for bed when I decided to call for him one more time in the garage. Sure enough, I called him, and he waltzed right back in the house as if he'd been gone minutes instead of days! I'm still in a bit of shock that he actually came back home, but I can tell you that I'm being extra vigilant about him getting outside!

Happy 6th Anniversary!

Going back to the romantic getaway - Jason swept me off to Dallas for a fun-filled afternoon and evening. We met up with our friends Tim & Jenny and had a fantastic dinner at Bengal Coast. The food was delicious and we got to chat it up with the chef who was the one who sat us at our table. If you are ever in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, you should definitely check it out. Great food and affordably priced. Then we headed over to Chocolate Secrets for dessert. Wow. Chocolate + wine + live jazz = perfect way to end the evening. My eyes ended up being way bigger than my stomach and I think next time I'll just get one chocolate and one glass of wine instead of going with the chocolate and wine pairings (FOUR chocolates and TWO glasses of wine - oh my!). Still, the chocolates were fantastic - I'm hoping there's more of this place in my future :) We got a great deal and scored a luxurious room at the Warwick Melrose. Did I ever feel pampered! It was a great weekend and Little Bit had a blast at the Lientz's - I think we can definitely do this again.

I'll leave you with a link to my last picture - my neighbors apparently have decided that they want a bit of ad revenue in their lives