Checking in

Blogging is hard to prioritize when you have two kids, a part time job, your own business, and school, but I am trying. I’ve written more drafts than anything lately, half finished commentaries on things that I’ve been noticing. But I thought it was time to fill you guys in on what’s new around our home.
I never really filled you guys in on my new job. It’s two days a week working in the front office of a chiropractors office. I do billing and scheduling and that kind of stuff, not terribly exciting but it’s nice to have the extra money and the adult time. Also, the benefits are awesome (free chiropractic care!).
I’m also taking Lamaze Teacher training in a couple of weeks! By then end of this year I hope to have completed my ToLabor certification as well as my Lamaze certification. I’ve been going to lots of births lately and am super pumped for my birth work.
Jeremy and I have made the decision to give up cable. We’re both a little nervous about the shift, and I can understand why Jeremy is, he’s never lived without cable. I, on the other hand, have only had cable for the last 8 years of my life, why should I be nervous?
We’re probably getting some coturnix quail soon , which we will raise for meat and eggs. We’re also building vertical pallet gardens!
Freja is growing and eating well! No teeth yet, and she sleeps terribly, which is frustrating as all get out for me, but what are you going to do? She’s so close to crawling, but hasn’t quite figured it out yet.
Elijah is in school and has had mixed experiences. This year has led me to fantasize about homeschooling all the time, but there is no way I can consider that until I’m done with school myself. Also, I won’t consider another baby until then either.
That’s all I can think of right now, but I may add more. With any luck, we’ll get a snow day tomorrow!

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The difference between Pro Life and Anti Abortion

I had to unfriend someone on Facebook the other day because they posted something about how if women get to have the choice to abort a baby they don’t want, then men should have the choice to walk away from a baby they don’t want and not pay child support. It’s exactly this kind of crap that makes it impossible for me (a Christian who could never, personally get an abortion) to ever align myself with the anti abortion movement.
I get that you don’t like abortion, I’m not a big fan of it myself. No one likes abortion. But maybe instead of trying to shame women who might consider one, or punish them for getting them, or even making them illegal, wouldn’t it be a better idea to think about why a woman might want an abortion, and try to eliminate those reasons?
For example, one of the major reasons many women choose not to carry a pregnancy to term is the fact that legally the father of that baby is required to do very little to help care for it. He is required to pay a small percentage of his pay in child support, and that’s it. He’s not required to help provide physical care for the child, he’s not required to make any emotional investment in the child, and in most cases, even if he flakes out on the one thing he is required to do, he rarely sees any negative consequences for it. So do you really think that advocating for less paternal responsibility is going to make more women “choose life”? (I won’t get into the issues of how terminating a pregnancy and walking away from a living, breathing child are not even close to equivalent)
Lets think of some other reasons a woman might want to terminate a pregnancy, and how we could eliminate those concerns.

Fear of poverty
Here’s an idea, why don’t we raise the minimum wage, make education more accessible and high quality (this does not mean more standardized tests in schools), and eliminate the wage gap. Also, making sure everyone in the US has access to quality health care would be a good start. At the very least, we should be better about making men pay child support for their kids when the mother has chosen to pursue it.

Fear of having to deal with an ex who might be harmful
Women know when it’s in their best interest not to include their ex. Rarely have I known of a woman who keeps her kids from a good man (far more often I see women going nuts trying to force an asshole to be a dad to her kids because of this myth that kids need a father, any father, in their lives.) Maybe we could give moms some autonomy to do what she feels is best for herself and her child, and not shame women for choosing not to pursue child support. If a man really does want to be a dad, and is a good person, he can pursue claiming his parental rights on his own. It is not a woman’s responsibility to hand him his rights.

Fear of shame
This is one anti abortion folks need to be reminded EVERY SINGLE HOUR OF EVERY SINGLE DAY. Shaming women for getting pregnant in a less than ideal situation causes abortions. Shaming single mothers causes abortions. Judgement, lies, and bigotry over single pregnancy and single parenting causes abortions. Stop it. Right now.

Fear she will never be happy/find love/be successful
It never ceases to amaze me how we as a society can bring our children up with the belief that an unplanned, single, or too young pregnancy is the worst thing that could possibly ever happen to them, and that if it happens your whole life will be over, parenting your baby will be miserable, no one will love you again, and you’ll never be happy or successful or have fun ever again until you die, and then we are shocked when a woman reacts to an unplanned pregnancy as if it is a threat to her life. We live in a culture that thinks it okay to shoot home intruders with automatic weapons to protect your tv. You think terminating a pregnancy that’s going to completely destroy your life is somehow different?
Here’s an idea, instead of telling kids that pregnancy will ruin their lives forever, lets teach them that it makes things harder, but that success, happiness, and love is still totally possible if you’re willing to work extra hard for it. Lets emphasize the struggle without making it sound like a baby is a curse that should be eliminated the same way we find it acceptable to eliminate a tv thief. Just an idea.

Lack of support
This ties in with shame and fear of her life being ruined. If your daughter comes to you and says she’s pregnant, for God’s sake, support her. You think telling her she’s a slut and to lie in the bed she’s made is going to make her want to keep the baby? You think it’s going to make the situation go away? What good does it do? Taught her a lesson, now she’s pregnant, alone, and she feels like shit. Good for you. And the baby will suffer too, awesome. Great parenting, right there (this goes for parents of older kids too, I was 23 when I got pregnant, and thank God for my supportive family!)
Furthermore, bring up your sons to take responsibility for the actions of his penis. Teach him that if he gets a girl pregnant that he still needs to be a dad even if he doesn’t want to be with the mother of his child. We need to build a culture of supporting parents and their children.

The adoption industry
This is huge, and hard to hear, but adoption is a hard choice for many women to make. Many have responded to this by setting up “clinics” with the purpose of manipulating women into choosing adoption when that’s not what they actually want. These clinics are, of course, connected to for profit adoption agencies, so of course they have a big interest in coercing women into adoptions they don’t want. There are other sinister reasons behind this practice that I won’t get into now, but profit is probably the biggest motivator. This practice needs to stop. Women who choose adoption should do so of her own free will without coercion. People who wish to adopt children should think about all the born children who need loving homes and stop trying to farm babies through reduced access to birth control and “options counseling”.

She’s just not ready for a baby now, or ever
Maybe, just maybe, we should give people as much access to means of preventing pregnancy in the first place. And I’m not just talking about birth control for women, I’m talking about giving men some options beside condoms, sterilization, or abstinence as well. Birth control for men does exist and is being used in other parts of the world. Even more is in development. I think we need to ask why our country is not on the ball with giving men the ability to take control over their reproductive futures. Part of the issue is, I think, the knowledge that if we give men more responsibility over preventing pregnancy, they won’t have as much room to play the victim if an unplanned pregnancy occurs. Also, I think it’s been easy for the FDA to mess around with pumping hormones into women’s bodies, because women’s bodies don’t matter. In the end, dumping all the responsibility for contraception onto women is just another way of telling us all that the consequences for sex are solely a woman’s burden to bear. But I would like to see a future where both my son and my daughter have wide varieties of ways to take control of their reproductive futures. And maybe, just maybe, if men take a little more responsibility, it will be easier to give them a little more rights.

Those are just a few ideas, I’m sure you all could think of a lot more. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather live in a world where abortion is available but no one wants or needs one, than a world where lots of people want abortions but no one can get one. I think that’s the fundamental difference between a person who is pro life and a person who is anti abortion. A pro life person is working towards a world in which no one wants or needs an abortion. An anti abortion person just wants to make abortion illegal.

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One step closer to ending sexism in the military

This week some news came out that made me really excited. The Pentagon announced that it will be opening up combat roles to women in the military. I have never had any desire to serve in the infantry and personally could not hack it (mentally or physically) even if I did, but I do not represent all women. Surely there are some women out there for whom this announcement has allowed them to finally reach their dreams in life, and I am happy for them. More than that, I am glad that one more barrier between male and female service members has been removed, so that it is easier to reach a place of respect for women in the military, something very few men in the military truly have.
I posted my glee on Facebook, and a friend of mine responded by posting this article article written by a female Marine Corps officer arguing against why females should have access to combat roles. Here was my response.

Okay, having fully read the article, I want to suggest the writer take a biology class. She talks about her injury in Iraq which led to restless leg syndrome, caused presumably by the weight of her armor on her skeletal frame, but there is no difference in skeletal strength between a man and a woman, her skeleton is exactly the same as any man with the same lifelong diet and activity levels. If her bones are weaker than average, it is because of poor diet and activity choices either she or her parents made at some point in her life, not her lack of a Y chromosome. However, this is common because we feed female children differently than we feed male children in our society. We tend to restrict food to girls in order to encourage a petite build, as is the fashion for women in our society. And I’d be willing to bet this woman has, at some point in her life, been on a diet, as most women have. Diets are notoriously hard on your bone mass, for a variety of complex reasons.
Furthermore, because of societal conditioning, women are simply far more likely to seek treatment for this kind of problem, and therefore far more likely to be diagnosed. That doesn’t mean men aren’t experiencing this issue. It’s just that societal pressure is more likely to encourage a man to suck it up and be tough, rather than seek medical assistance.
That same phenomenon could be responsible for why she saw slower deterioration of her male peers in Afghanistan. Women are taught to really give a lot of power to pain, and taught from a very young age that they can’t take it. In fact, the one source of testing yourself with pain we were historically allowed (childbirth) has even been taken from us, sending us all a clear message that we can’t handle pain. Meanwhile, men are taught from a young age to ignore their pain and not seek treatment. We know men are statistically FAR less likely to seek treatment for a physical or mental ailment, and when they do seek treatment it’s always far later than a woman with the same condition. It’s a mental thing, encouraged by societal gender norms, that she experienced faster deterioration, and that other women have too. Men wear out and break in the infantry just the same as women do, the difference is that many of them just silently die of their injuries, rather than getting help that might have saved them, but led them to a different career.
And the PCOS thing? That’s even more a dietary thing than bone mass is. I’d bet a million dollars it had more to do with chow hall food than chemical exposure on the battle field, although any chemical exposure she experienced likely had equally as detrimental an effect on her male counter part’s reproductive systems too, as our systems are remarkably the same, despite their different looks. They are all derived from the same tissue and function using the same hormones, just in differing amounts. But again, men are far less likely to seek treatment or even acknowledge fertility issues than women are. In fact, there are many perfectly healthy women taking clomid right now in an attempt to treat her husbands low sperm count. :-/ But if we’re talking chemical exposure and PCOS, I also would like to know what chemicals she’s been slathering on her skin daily in the name of beauty, what chemicals she’s been cleaning her home and work place with, what fragrances she’s been inhaling in her car, home, and work place, and what kinds of chemicals her food has been doused in. The lifetime effects of the thousands of endocrine disrupting chemicals women are exposed to daily in much greater amounts than men because of, again, societal gender norms, likely played just as big a role, if not a bigger role, in her PCOS as any war time chemical exposure. The vast majority of women with PCOS have never seen combat or served in the military at all. We have no way of knowing if this woman would have gotten PCOS had she not been in the Marines at all, but I’ll bet she would have. To blame a condition like PCOS, which is insanely common and known to be primarily caused by lifestyle choices (not genetics, as she implies here), on her experience in combat, is just ridiculous. And then to assume that men’s reproductive systems are somehow immune to whatever she believes caused her reproductive issues is completely ignorant. Or maybe men’s reproductive health just isn’t as important as women’s, since their worth in society isn’t defined by whether or not they produce children?
Here’s the deal. Biologically, we are created pretty equal. Things happen along the way that diminish that equality or make us perceive more of a difference than what there is. I agree with her that standards should not be lowered just to get more women in, nor should more women be smooth talked into combat positions by recruiters just to make the force more diverse, but if a woman can meet the standard and wants to be in the infantry, she should be allowed to. The only thing I took from her argument about the risks to longevity in combat roles is that both men and women should be better informed of those risks, and maybe men in combat roles should have their health better monitored. Maybe little girls should be encouraged more to be tough and strong and less to be thin and dainty too, but that’s outside the military’s scope.
And her suggestion that there should be a “separate but equal” female force in combat? Straight up offensive.
HOWEVER, I will say this would not have been my top priority when it comes to improving the lives of servicewomen. Do you think maybe now we can address the military rape issue?

The more I think about this article, the more I think that this officer, unbeknownst to her, made a really great point about how unhealthy and in natural it is for ANYONE to be in combat roles long term. Perhaps 11B simply isn’t an MOS one should be allowed to maintain indefinitely. Most infantrymen I’ve known don’t stay there their whole lives anyhow because it is so unbelievably hard on you. Why should men ignore this fact but not women? Patriarchy hurts and oppresses us all in different ways.
I am glad that we’ve taken this step. A friend of mine pointed out that our military is already kind of behind the curve on this one. Many other militaries have already integrated, as have our police force and fire departments. While it certainly hasn’t ended sexism in those professions, it’s a step. I’d like to see many more.

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“As simple as losing weight”

Yesterday I was watching the video we play in the waiting room at my work (I haven’t told you all, I got a part time job at a chiropractors office!) and I heard the narrator say that breast cancer could be greatly prevented by something as simple as losing weight. I laughed, immediately thinking “Oh yeah! Because losing weight is soooo simple!”
Has this guy ever lost weight? Have you? I have. Twice. I’d be happy to tell you how simple it was!
The first time I lost sixty pounds. It was super easy! First, I put myself on a starvation, eh hem, I mean severely reduced calorie diet for three years. In order to maintain this severely reduced calorie diet without gnawing off a limb I smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day, sometimes almost two packs a day during my deployment. I also took a lot of over the counter diet pills (some of which have since been removed from the market for things like causing brain damage, heart attacks, and death). Not only did I subsist on the absolute minimum calories a person can take in and still hope (though it’s not likely they actually will succeed) to get adequate nutrition, but I also did at least one hour of cardio five days a week, and one hour of weights three days a week, and yoga and pilates either in a class or in videos at home one to three times a week, and other work out videos a few days a week, and in my free time I went hiking. For two years I did all of this and then I was having a really hard time maintaining it all and still had about 30 lbs I wanted to lose (I had lost 40 so far), so I got the help of a prescription amphetamine, phentermine. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s one of the phens in fen-phen. Then I lost twenty more pounds, bringing me to a grand total of sixty pounds lost, and at the very highest end of what’s considered to be a healthy BMI.
Shortly there after I got pregnant and had to quit smoking and taking pills, and stop starving myself. As you can imagine, the hunger was overwhelming, but I tried really hard to keep it in the 2000 calorie a day range or lower. It was probably pretty erratic. I remember logging all my calories every day (because that’s what I did, I obsessively measured and logged EVERYTHING that went in my mouth), and some days I’d take in under a thousand (those were days that caused me to be sick the next day, so I soon learned if I wanted to avoid nausea and fainting I needed to eat regularly). I gained 80 pounds, ending up after I had Elijah twenty pounds heavier than I was before I began my super simple weight loss journey.
So I had to begin a new weight loss journey. It was super easy too! Let me tell you about it!
First, I went on a diet specifically meant for breastfeeding moms (Weight Watchers for nursing moms). My milk supply dropped radically, and I suffered from what I now know was some pretty severe post partum depression. Two years of post partum depression. Just to clarify, I know that this was separate from my lack of satisfaction with my job and my life. This was an entirely different kind of sadness that exacerbated those issues, but were not caused by it. I couldn’t see the difference then, but now that I’ve had Freja and have seen how different it can be after having a baby, I know what I went through with Elijah was not normal. Anyway, I started looking for alternative diets that wouldn’t impact my milk supply so much, and I tried I don’t even know how many. High protein, high fat, low fat, low carb. All of them claimed to be the healthy and not miserable way to lose weight. I did the South Beach Diet, the Flat Belly Diet, the Eat Fat, Lose Fat Diet, Nourishing Traditions, veganism, juicing and green smoothies, the list goes on and on. Nothing worked. I also started training for a marathon in that time period, so I was doing a lot of running. Weight loss was really unimpressive. I was also seeing a personal trainer twice a week in the months leading up to the marathon. By the time I ran the marathon (just a month before Elijah’s third birthday), I was still just barely in the obese range according to my BMI. For almost three years I had been dieting the healthy way with no cigarettes and diet pills (but, oh, did I long for them, they made dieting so much more successful and less miserable because you didn’t feel as hungry ALL THE TIME). Because I was now a mother, I no longer had time for the 3-4 hours of exercising a day I used to do, but I still got a lot in, a lot more than the average American, that’s for sure. I can’t tell you how frustrating eh hem, I mean simple it was to do this for three years and see only about 15 pounds of weight loss. I can’t tell you what it feels like to be working so hard for so long and still have it shoved down your throat that being overweight or obese is simply a self control issue. Clearly I was still fat because of a lack of will power, duh. But then my weight loss miracle came a few months after I ran the marathon! I was placed on prescription amphetamines for a totally unrelated health concern! Yay! I lost twenty five more pounds just in time for my wedding, for a grand total of 40 pounds of weight loss in almost four years of dieting and exercise. I was still 20 pounds heavier than I was right before I got pregnant with Elijah, and solidly in the overweight range according to my BMI, but I finally lost a significant chunk of the weight I gained with Elijah.
Then I got pregnant with Freja, went off the amphetamines, and gained 50 pounds. Despite the fact that I stayed very active in that pregnancy (I was biking regularly up through 41 weeks pregnancy, and did yoga regularly through most of it, and did tons of walking, and swimming, and even went hiking once around seven months), I still gained back everything I had just lost. Plus ten pounds.
I’d love to tell you the story of the super simple way my mom lost 100 pounds, but I’m not sure it’s my place. Let me just say, though, that it’s like, 100 times simpler than both of my stories combined, and like, 100 times healthier and safer in all of it’s places. Totally.
In fact, everyone I’ve ever known who’s tried to lose weight has found it to be totally simple. Never does it ever require YEARS of drastic dietary changes that make you miserable and alienate you from society. Never does it require exercise habits that border on meeting the definition of bulimia. Never does it require extreme and risky intervention like prescription meth and surgery. Nah. Losing weight is super simple! And the best possible thing you can do for your health! The proof is in the pudding.

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You make formula feeders look bad

Any intelligent person knows that the vast majority of moms who feed their babies formula instead of breast milk are well informed, caring mothers, doing the best they can with what they have. Sure, breast milk is the food your baby is designed to eat, and all other choices are in some way inferior to it, but we have to face the fact that breastfeeding isn’t possible or realistic for many women in our society (and, if we care about the best possible health for all women and children, work to change factors in society that make it impossible or unrealistic, rather than attacking moms for doing what they have to), and that, in reality, formula is the next best choice to human breast milk. It’s better than giving your baby straight cows milk, or other solid foods too soon. In fact, if you can’t give your baby human breast milk, formula is the only other thing you should give your baby for the first six months of life. Most moms who feed their kids formula know this, and are simply providing their baby with the best food they are able to. The reasons why they aren’t breastfeeding are none of my business and shouldn’t have to be justified by them. Suffice it to say that they live in this society, and they are giving their baby the best they can given the restraints of the society they live in.

But then there’s the women who, I can only assume out of an urge to look like they don’t care what anyone thinks, say things like “Yeah I give my baby formula? So what? It’s my kid! I’ll put Pepsi in his bottle if I want!”

Really?

That’s the direction you want to take this? Instead of saying, “Breastmilk wasn’t an option for us, so I’m giving my baby the next best thing.” you want to say “I don’t give a shit about my kids health. He’s property owned by me and I’ll trash it by whatever means pleases me at any given moment. I’m not in this to raise the healthiest possible child I can with what I have available to me, I’m in it to do things conveniently and entertainingly, and if it’s bad for my kid? Who cares? I don’t give a shit about all that nonsense of health!”

I know there’s this stereotype out there of the woman who formula feeds. That she is uneducated, lazy, selfish, and that she doesn’t care about her kids as much as the rest of us do. The vast majority of formula feeding moms do not fit this stereotype at all, and yet the stereotype persists. Why? Because of loud mouthed, obnoxious women like the one who compares formula feeding to her “right” to put soda in her kids bottle.

I get the impression that moms who say this kind of thing aren’t really ever going to put soda in their kids bottle, they know how horrendous that would be, they’re just saying it to upset lactivists. But if you’re going to say something horrendous to upset lactivists, why stop there? You know what else upsets me? Sexual abuse of children. Why not say “Yeah, I formula feed! So what?! It’s my kid, I’ll do what I want with him! I’ll molest him if I want! Because he’s my property and his health isn’t important, I’ll do what I want!!!!!” (I imagine all this dialogue in a Cartman voice)

Do they ever stop to think that by comparing formula feeding to the horrendous act of putting soda in a bottle, that they are making formula look like a worse substance than what it is? Instead of saying, “Hey, it’s the next best thing to breast milk” (which it is, please don’t feed your baby under six months something other than either breast milk or formula, and please continue to feed your baby either breast milk or formula for at least the first year of their life, even after introducing solids), you go with “it’s almost as bad as Pepsi and I don’t give a shit!” Which isn’t even true, but their comments not only imply it is, but give the impression that you wouldn’t care if it were true.

Really? You don’t care about the health value of what you put into your kid? Why not let your kid smoke? Why not shoot him up with heroin? It’s your kid, you’ll do what you want!!!!!!

If you ever wonder why formula feeding moms have a bad image, it’s because of moms who say crap like this.

Let me be clear for my lactivist friends when I say formula is the next best thing to breast milk: I know that formula is inferior to breast milk, it raises a kids risk for many illnesses and diseases, it decreases your kid’s IQ, most of it contains toxins like BPA, and most of it has almost as much sugar as a soda, but it also has protein and fats and nutrients and formula is leaps and bounds above soda. Is breast milk a million times better than formula? Yes. But if you can’t feed your child breast milk, for what ever reason, is there some other alternative to breast milk that is better than formula? No there is not. Formula is the healthiest thing you can feed your baby in the absence of breast milk. Period. If you are a formula feeding mom, please own that. Please own that you’re feeding your kid the next best thing to breast milk, because you care about your child’s health and you want to give it the best you are able to. Please do not compare formula feeding to soda, or any other “I’ll do what I want because I don’t give a shit about what’s healthiest” argument. Don’t pretend that formula feeding is a choice you made because you don’t care about your baby’s health just to bug lactivists or look bad ass or whatever you’re trying to do. You’re just giving formula feeding moms a bad name.

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Your feelings about your birth are your own

I came across a conversation on Cafe Mom recently that started with a woman asking why women have to brag about having big babies. It’s so annoying, she bemoaned, why do women think it’s a badge of honor or something? This was followed up by a series comments about how it’s because those women are a bunch of stuck up, competitive bitches, and why do they have to perpetuate the mommy wars?
I found myself very annoyed by this conversation, and said so. I replied “Why do people brag about running marathons or winning a contest? God forbid people talk about having done a hard thing that they’re proud of.
You know what annoys me? I can’t talk about my children’s births without being accused of “bragging” or trying to make other women feel bad. Talking about something that makes me proud does not equal arrogant bragging, nor is it an insult towards how you live your life. Sheesh.”
What women like this don’t get is that by condemning those of us who are proud of our birth experience to silence they are perpetuating these so called mommy wars too. They are telling other women to sit down and shut up, and that their experiences are negative, unworthy of being shared, something shameful that should be hidden. If you don’t hide it, you are called a bitch, and accused of making other people feel bad.
I can’t make other people feel anything. I cannot enter into your body and stimulate the release of hormones, nor can I manipulate your thoughts. How you react to something I say is entirely on you. When I tell my birth story, you can choose to react by feeling yours was inadequate in comparison, or you can just say “Good for you!” Should you choose the first path though, you should know that I never said your birth was inadequate, I never said you should feel bad about it, I never said anything about your birth at all, so your feelings about your birth are entirely your own, and exist whether or not I tell you my birth story. Please refrain from blaming your feelings on me for having the birth I had.

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An Ode to my Husband

I never would have thought it was possible to love Jeremy any more than I already did three months ago. Maybe it’s the post birth hormonal roller coaster speaking, but going through the whole process of labor, birth, and post partum with Jeremy has shown me how incredibly lucky I am to have found someone as amazing as he is.
Jeremy was an amazing birth partner. He knew just when and how to make me laugh, when to quietly hold my hand, when to give me water, when to look strong even when he was scared. He did the hip squeeze (which felt heavenly through most of my birth) like a pro. It was holding his hand and seeing his face that pulled me through that scary period at the end when I was so sure I couldn’t do it.
In the days following the birth, when I was sore and tired and felt so gross, my body bleeding and leaking milk and healing, Jeremy looked at me and treated me as if I were as beautiful to him as I was on our wedding day. He never once said or did anything to make me feel less than gorgeous (and it’s hard to feel gorgeous when blood clots are coming out of you).
One day, I mentioned I wanted to take a bath, and without a thought, he started running it for me. I went into the bathroom, thanked him, and went to step in, but it was way too hot! I ran some cool water into, and suddenly realized that in that time I had bled all over the carpet. It was awful! I was disgusted and embarrassed, how gross was it to bleed on the carpet? But Jeremy came in and cleaned it for me, like he was drying up spilt water, and not the gross thing that it was. He was so accepting of my imperfections, and so loving as he discovered them. I was blown away.
As weeks progressed and he saw I was overwhelmed with housework and kids, he really stepped up to the plate helping out around the house and with child care. Especially with Elijah, he has been so good with Elijah, going out of his way to give him special attention and affection when he can. If I had any lingering fears that Jeremy might love Freja more because she’s biologically his, they have been wiped away. Jeremy is an amazing father.
Sometimes I look at him now and wonder what I did to deserve him. I feel as though I could never give back to him anything as profoundly beautiful as what he has given me in the last few months. But I know I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying.

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