Now that we can all breathe again….

Managed to not lose the sticker included with my absentee ballot. WINNING.

I used to write a fair amount about politics, back in the day.  Then, for a long time, I really did not care much.  I was way too preoccupied with anxiety and depression over not knowing whether we’d ever get to bring home a baby, and trying not to acknowledge even to myself that I WANTED to bring home a baby someday.  So it waxes and wanes, my political fervor, I suppose.  But I wanted to quickly touch on one aspect that ties into this blog – the title.  My blogger blog went through several different names, but nothing ever really seemed to click and feel just right.  So for a long while, it was titled simply ‘Undecided,’ and it stayed that way for what felt like an eternity, as I sunk deeper and deeper into apathy, not really caring about much other than making it back to my couch at the end of the day to stare at the TV and try to not think about the subject that was all I could ever really think about.  Then came the 2008 election season, and along with it, Ms. Sarah Palin.  I am about as liberal/libertarian as they come, I think, but I must circle back around and offer sincere gratitude to John McCain for choosing her as his running mate, because it PISSED ME OFF how pandering and condescending and frankly just ignorant the whole thing was.  It made me realize, OH!  I CAN HAZ FEELINGS!  ABOUT STUFF! IN THE WORLD!  And I began to care again, to be less stuck in my head, in the never-ending internal dialogue that I rarely dared to even voice aloud.  Granted, this was all after my very first miscarriage, and I had varying reactions after each subsequent one, but during that campaign I decided that ‘Undecided’ was the very last thing that my blog should be named.  Still lacking any creativity or willingness to commit to tying any one specific word or phrase to my own life’s chronicles (what can I say, I hate to be defined.  Too constricting.), I simply changed it to ‘Not Undecided.’  It stayed that way long enough that I eventually started seeing the phrase turn up in my keywords/search terms, so I figured it had better stay that way, so that anyone looking for it without a bookmark could find it again. And so here we are.

(I never did change the url to reflect the title, though.  I have often thought that it should be ‘hard to MAKE a human,’ rather than ‘hard to be human,’ but again, I kind of like the built-in history reflection, even if I’m the only one who can recognize it.)

So, while I am not Obama’s biggest fan (looooooong way to go on civil liberties, civil rights, drug policy, the whole not killing innocent people thing, etc., etc.), I am deeply, deeply relieved to not be entering a Mittens presidency, for I firmly believe that it would be a far scarier thing than what we have now, which I will continue to critique (though not always here, I’m sure).  Shudder.  I think that’s all I need to say about that.

(Except also, YAY for the huge advances made in the Senate and House races, as well as ballot initiatives for marriage equality and legalization.  YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!)

Stuff I’ll want to remember

It’s kind of unsettling how shallow my bellybutton is getting.  I’m guessing there’s no way it won’t pop out at some point in the next 15ish weeks.  I have gained plenty of weight, but I still tend to look down at my belly and think…eh, not so big.  Looking at my profile in the mirror leaves me with a completely different impression, though.  It’s more like, WHOA.  I really should take more pictures.

Still feeling lots of movement – which can now also be seen from the outside.  Every time I feel him moving around and kicking I sort of want to drop everything and just stare at my belly.  I don’t know how to describe it.  It’s…yes, Alien-esque, but also…pretty much the best thing ever.  
Had a doctor’s appointment this morning – everything seems to be going well.  My blood pressure was up a bit, though not in any kind of warning or danger zone.  Will check it again this evening when I go to the pharmacy to pick up heparin and vitamins.  Had to admit that I have been feeling what I’m pretty sure are contractions, sometimes a few a day.  Nothing consistent or progressive, so I haven’t panicked or worried too much about it, but I was sure to mention it this morning.  I have nothing to compare them to, so I figure they’re Braxton-Hicks.    Was enough to get a cervical length check – still at 2.5 cm, which she says is “within normal range,” but…damn Dr. Google.  Seems short to me.   Kind of scary, but I’m not freaking out, since there was no funneling.  I guess I will just pay close attention to the contractions (funny, haven’t felt any today since I brought it up) and make sure to drink a lot of water and try to de-stress.  Work has been supremely annoying, and I skipped yoga last week.  I think I’m going to try a different studio for a few weeks…if they return my email.  The class is a bit earlier in the evening, so I’ll get home sooner.  
Sadly, though not unexpectedly I guess, she did not seem to have gotten more information for me about the birth center  and whether being on blood thinners disqualifies me.  I did call, and left a message, and they called me back and left me a message, but I haven’t called again yet.  It took a ridiculous amount of convincing myself to just dial the number the first time.  I’m afraid they’re going to say no way, not gonna happen, too bad so sad.  Still, I am leaning toward that hospital rather than the one my current OB would have me go to…so I may be switching OBs regardless.  Seems petty, to a point, but when I compare the tours, one was so much more encouraging of going the natural route, even in L&D and not in the birth center.  The other seemed to assume I’d want the epidural and the monitor and everything else and dammit, I don’t want to assume that.  I realize I may get into it and change my mind in a hurry, but I at least want to really give myself  a chance.
To that end, I may have found a doula.  Her experience is very impressive and she’s not too expensive, so I should probably just go for it.  My hesitation here is mainly what I find on her Facebook page.  First…it’s one of those weird me-and-my-hubby-share-EVERYTHING deals – seriously?  Second, it says she has “conservative” politics and religious beliefs.  Meh…I’m assuming she’d be respectful of my heathen liberalism, but it’s hard to say.  I may keep looking a bit, but I’m starting to feel like these things need to start falling into place soon.  Eek.

(24w4d)

Ready, Set, Walk! Even virtually!

I know we’re all just flummoxed as to what to do with all the extra money we have laying around (sarcasm skills intact, woohoo!), but if you do happen to be feeling extra flush or just plain generous, please consider funneling some funds toward RESOLVE‘s Walk of Hope happening later this month in Atlanta.  As Julie so kindly outlined, RESOLVE is an important force in the continuing advocacy efforts on many aspects of infertility, such as fighting measures at state level intended to:

  • limit the number of embryos to be transferred during IVF;
  • ban cryopreservation of embryos;
  • ban embryonic stem cell research;
  • ban compensation for gamete and embryo donors;
  • require reporting of fertility patients’ miscarriages to state governments;
  • authorize the release of fertility patients’ medical information to any “public or private entities for statistical, research or educational purposes” — i.e., for any reason at all; and
  • define a fertilized egg as a person.
It’s good work they’re doing.  Beyond the heartache that goes with actually being in the trenches of dealing with infertility, there are political considerations that must be paid attention so we don’t lose ground.  There are many out there who would take away what progress has been made and send us back to the dark ages.  While I hope this is not a realm of issues that will be personally important to you or yours, it always takes support from those outside looking in.  
Plus, Julie is witty.  Goooooo, Team No, YOU Relax!

Ready for Another Nap

I tell you how I feel, but you don’t care 
I say tell me the truth, but you don’t dare 
You say love is a hell you cannot bear 
And I say gimme mine back and then go there – for all I care 

I got my feet on the ground 
And I don’t go to sleep to dream 
You got your head in the clouds 
And you’re not at all what you seem 
This mind, this body 
And this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways 
So don’t forget what I told you 
Don’t come around, I got my own hell to raise 

I have never been so insulted in all my life 
I could swallow the seas to wash down all this pride 
First you run like a fool just to be at my side 
And now you run like a food 
But you just run to hide, and I can’t abide 

I got my feet on the ground 
And I don’t go to sleep to dream 
You got your head in the clouds 
And you’re not at all what you seem 
This mind, this body 
And this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways 
So don’t forget what I told you 
Don’t come around, I got my own hell to raise 

Don’t make it a big deal, don’t be so sensitive 
We’re not playing a game anymore 
You don’t have to be so defensive 
Don’t you plead me your case, don’t bother to explain 
Don’t even show me your face, ”cause it’s a crying shame 
Just go back to the rock from under which you came 
Take the sorrow you gave and all the stakes you claim – 
And don’t forget the blame 

I got my feet on the ground 
And I don’t go to sleep to dream 
You got your head in the clouds 
And you’re not at all what you seem 
This mind, this body 
And this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways 
So don’t forget what I told you 
Don’t come around, I got my own hell to raise


(lyrics via)

Put on a happy face.

The upside to driving Mike’s car?  Old CDs.  Especially the mixed ones made by loved ones.  (My sister rocks.)

I missed Blog for Choice day (title links), but Scott Weiland kinda did it for me.  I’ll just try to transcribe his story…  I have no idea where this came from…she marked it 12-1-01.  Surely that’s the day she found it online.  These CDs are priceless…back then people uploaded shit they recorded off the radio and stuff…?  Apparently, anyhow.  Some radio/live performance/interview?  No idea.  Fair use, I suppose.

…off the second album, Purple, and um, it’s also about a painful and sort of heartbreaking experience that I went through years ago, in an old relationship where uh my old partner and I went through an abortion situation…and uh, you know, it was a difficult choice to, for both of us at the time, and it was the decision we made, and it was not an easy one, but thank god, you know, we were able to have that choice.  So this song is called Kitchenware and Candybars.

[missed a bunch of ums, but…you know.]

(lyrics via)

somebody told me, I know where to go
somebody showed me, I was last to know

sell me down the river
sell me down the river
sell me down the river
sell me down the river

what I wanted, is what I wanted
what I wanted is what she wanted

unfriendly feelings, down on wounded knee
unfriendly reasons, some blind mother’s need

sell me down the river
sell me down the river
sell me down the river
sell me down the river

what I wanted, is what I wanted
what I wanted is what she wanted

you read the words and it sells you life
they sell their words, but it’s all a lie

ETA – this is obviously something that needs to be said and heard or read, but not the reason I went invite only.  I’m pretty sure the pod doors will reopen and all…just have some other shit to bury first.  I’ll get to it.  Trying not to hurry.

And then that happened….

Or I’m just paranoid.  Probably that.  But whatever.  It’s not as though I can just CHANGE at the drop of a handful of pins and needles and magically become a private person.  I surely ought…but…I obviously have a lot to say of late, so perhaps I’ll start wanting to come out and say at least some of it if I build some walls.  Perhaps temporary walls, but load bearing all the same.  Hopefully.  We shall see  Hmm…today I laughed at…oh yes!  I think it was today, anyhow.  Analogies.

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

I can’t pick a favorite…will let the Mad Men instruct.  They make it so easy.  Oh yes.  And this is what I wore to work today:

[picture to be inserted when I’m a little less lazy.  so probably never.]

…stalk me again whilst I’m walking and I will cut your fucking Jacobs off.  Unfortunately I have places to be and shit…or I’d take the time to dick around with whatever silliness this is all about.  Le sigh.  So yes…anybody I’m leaving out that should not be left out probably knows where to find me if they really care that much.  Or someone who does.  Creeeeepy.  Like when Jeopardy is all wrong.

Floored and Free

I may have never laughed so hard as when showing pictures from the cruise and the island to my friend’s four year old son and we came across this one (please excuse the blurry):

Who is that guy?  Is that…Grimace?  He looks kind of…scary.  Is he scary?  –  Yes, buddy, he’s pretty scary. Don’t worry, though.  He can’t get to you.
(Disclaimer – I’m not 100% sure he said Grimace, as apparently I was still too high on blue skies, sunshine, warmth, and little-kid-cuteness to retain that now somewhat critical detail.  Anyway, whoever he thought it was was so far from Jesus it wasn’t even funny was hilarious.  I guess you had to be there.  In fact, I wish you had been there so you could have remembered the crucial part of this little anecdote for me.  Oh well, let’s go with it.)
I took pictures of all kinds of silliness in the seemingly never-ending booths in the straw markets.  
And again with the blurry:
Who buys this stuff?  Let’s see, I need something really PINK.  Should I get…Hello Kitty…or the Holy Bible?
I’ll admit to being tickled that my little buddy had no recognition of Jesus.  Even though I’ve never known her to have any religion to speak of (other than a general affirmation of belief if pressed), my friend has said for years, oh, I should really find a church and start taking the kids…but it’s never happened.  I wouldn’t encourage it, for one because I remember going to church being the cause of plenty of stomped feet and whiny voices when I was a kid (and what parent needs more of that?), and also because her kids question everything and I love that so much.  Most kids do.  Until they sometimes learn to not, because nobody else is questioning it and people don’t like it, so I’d better just play along.  That’s pretty much how I remember it.  Looking around during Mass thinking…really?  All of you people believe all of this stuff?  Really?  Umm…okay.  So I tried.  For a long time I tried pretty hard to believe.  At times I probably did really believe, at other times I was close to believing, but most of the time it seems I was just trying to convince myself I believed.  Fortunately social conditioning kept me from standing up and yelling ARE YOU ALL CRAZY?  THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!!  Though apparently one Sunday when I was really little my parents had gotten seats in a front pew and in a quiet period during the Mass I did shout MOMMY LOOK!  THAT MAN HAS NO HAIR!! referring to the bald priest.  So that had to be kind of funny.
Ahem.  But this is supposed to be serious.  I’ve started to write about this so many times, though until now it’s always ended with me not even bothering to save the draft, because I freeze…I can’t write about this.  But of course I can, and I don’t have to think very hard or google very much to find a myriad of reasons why I should.  I don’t even need to retrace the ancient abuses of power by the Catholic church (but see this for an excellent perspective on the religious side, via the always thought-provoking suntzusays on the secular side), there have been so, so many very recently, in my own lifetime.  Even if I were a believer, why would I want to associate with any of that?  I’m not and I don’t, though that’s never been something I’ve gone out of my way to share with those in my life that might be somehow offended or put off by that.  However, I’m lucky enough to have at least one of those kind of friends to whom you can say just about anything.  The kind of friend who will also in turn tell me what I need to hear, even if it means saying things that might not be well received or are not necessarily nice things to say, and I of course try to do the same for her.  You don’t stay friends for fifteen-plus years with people that only constantly blow smoke up your ass, right?  So at some point during the conversations we had in the three or more hours it took to drive down to get on the cruise ship last week, I came out, if you will, as an atheist to my best friend.  I was shocked that she was shocked.  It was funny and awesome and I really don’t know why I never just came out and said it to her sooner.  It seems to be the kind of thing that needs just the right set up, so if you’ve ever had anything even tangentially to do with religion, you can’t very well just out of nowhere say, hey, so…yeah….I’m an atheist, right.  Cool? to most people, anyway, and expect them to have a reserved reaction or not require some type of explanation for what they perceive as a rather extreme change.  But somehow she or we had set it up just perfectly…I can’t for the life of me recall what we were really talking about, most likely commenting upon the hypocrisy of some side of some issue (maybe abortion…the Tim Tebow Superbowl ad thing, I bet!) and she must have said something to the effect of “Even if you believe in God…” as a hypothetical from the devil’s-advocate side, allowing me to just throw out “Um, by the way, I don’t anymore.”  Too easy, how could I not?  I still find it funny that she was so surprised by this, but she of course didn’t challenge me on it or try to convince me to change my mind.  (And to be fair, I always refrain from telling her how much country music sucks and how she should really not ever listen to damn near all of it.)  She kept saying she was floored, and she was curious, so I talked about it some.  In fact, I couldn’t quite shut up about it for a little while.  In the middle of this we stopped to run into a drugstore for beverages but I didn’t stop rambling on – the cashier definitely looked at me a little oddly; that was fun.  I was on a roll, as she’s the first friend I’ve said this to who really knew me well even way back when I was a guilty-kind-of-recovering-Catholic-ish girl.
For me, it wasn’t a painful process, even though I thought it might be very hard to walk away from faith, or my nearly lifelong attempts at feeling like I had faith.  Turns out it wasn’t difficult at all.  I just had to give myself permission to acknowledge as perfectly valid the natural doubt and skepticism I’ve also had my whole life.  Agnosticism, I guess.  Then I went through a phase in which I truly just didn’t care at all one way or the other about it.  When I finally got back around to thinking about it again, I realized I’d crossed the line and probably wouldn’t be crossing back.  I just don’t need it, whatever you want to call it, be it faith, belief, religion, etc.  It’s not that I choose not to believe in your God, it’s that I don’t believe there is a god.  So simple and reasonable, yet strangely so hard to say, or to write.  To a certain extent, I can sincerely appreciate that it brings joy and peace and comfort to many people’s lives, and I’d never want to take that part away from them individually.  But looking at the big picture, and the overall balance of the good things the church may have done for people versus the horrible, awful, unimaginable things that have been done in the name of religion…I want to imagine no religion, too.  It would be better if there weren’t so many people in the world whose lives are lived in such awful circumstances that it really logically does sort of make sense that they’d better hope for a better life to be waiting for them after this one, otherwise what is the point of all their suffering, but that is of course not the case.  I have no answer for that question, I just know I’m incredibly fortunate to have my basic needs thoroughly met in order to even have the time and resources to consider the kind of questions that led me to atheism.  For me, there is more peace in just being free of it altogether.  I bet a lot more people could come the same conclusion too if they would just let themselves try to be free of it.  This will be mostly preaching to the choir (ha), but you should try it.  It’ll make you feeeeeel gooood.