Day 4

Third complete day, beginning the fourth.

Little Isabel Lorraine, love of my life.  So far she likes being awake at night.  She finishes drinking her milky then wants to look around at us and everything.  Last night she had a long awake period, beginning at about 3:30 a.m.  Lucky for mommy, during the day she seems to like to sleep for a while between nursings, so I slept too.  I was tired.

Day 1: Isabel Lorraine is Born!

I awoke this morning at 6:59 a.m. to a pain that hurt like a terrible menstrual cramp and ran down the insides of my legs.  Considering how many false alarms I’ve had with painful contractions, I considered that this too might not be real.  However, the pain was real enough I could not go back to sleep.  I lumbered out of bed and went to the bathroom.  In the bathroom, I started having very real, very painful contractions.  I called out to the others in the house, but they were asleep.  I was having gastrointestinal problems because the night before I made the mistake of eating cheese pasta with truffles.  I knew better.  I am allergic to milk.  Not just intolerant, but allergic.  This means that if I drink milk or get its protein in cheese or other things, I get allergy symptoms and severe gastrointestinal upset.  However I had smelled the truffles in this pasta and they were so heavenly, I thought one small scoop would not hurt.  It did.

As I sat there having contractions and going through the unpleasant side effects of eating cheese, I knew this was it.  I finally was able to get up and go tell Daddy to set up the birthing tub.  I then tried to straighten a few things in between contractions.  At 7:30, I gave up bothering to try and time them and called the midwives.  The contractions were hurting so much by then I couldn’t function when they were happening.  The tub was filling slowly, but I decided just to get in.

The contractions were intense and painful, so close together there really wasn’t any breather in between.  I begged anyone and everyone to make them stop.  I was not one of those serene women, suffering in silence.  I moaned and groaned.  My hips were hurting because the muscles were so stretched from walking around pregnant for 42 weeks.  I finally had the urge to push and at 9:19 a.m., September 26, 2009, Miss Isabel Lorraine was born.

I cannot stress enough the pleasure of having our baby at home.  As quick as my labor went, I don’t know how we would have made it to the hospital without more torturous pain anyway.  Yet after the birth, our experience compared to the birthing center in a hospital experience was so different, so mellow, so peaceful and wonderful.  My little baby was with me the entire time.  She was weighed and measured on our bed.  She snuggled closely skin to skin with a blankie wrapped around her.  She found my nipple right away and started suckling.  Perfection!

Milla was so enchanted with the entire experience.  She video-taped and helped keep the dog out of the way.  She was right there the entire time.  Mostly the midwives, Daddy, and Milla just stood to the side providing encouragement.  I did not want to be touched, but was grateful they were there. After she was as delighted with her sister as we were and could not wait to hug and hold her.  She is as in love as we are.

Isabel weighs 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and is 20.5 inches long.  A big baby!  She looks like a little peach.  Her face is round and perfect, her hair soft and blonde.  I am completely in love.

Take Your Version of Commitment and Shove It

I got this comment on my post about television from some woman named Kristin who appears to think she is part of the morality police.  She thinks my not being married causes my daughter more damage than allowing her to watch television.  Riiiight…I am so damaging my daughter because I have actively chosen not to partake in an institution based originally in the ownership of women (I was married once, but we did it because the government would give my partner financial aid if he was married and would not if he wasn’t.  Government likes marriage too)?  I am worse because I do not follow her version of morality?  All I can say is, it is nice for you Miss, that you can cut the world so neatly into black and white little boxes.  Bad people don’t get married.  Good people do.  Where does television fit into this exactly?  You’re probably one of those people who wanted to keep their children from watching television, but realized it was such a great babysitter, you found excuses to allow it and now you are jealous because I have managed to keep it out of my home when you weren’t able to.  Sour grapes to you, Sour Puss.

I have made the choice not to be married rather than allowing people like you to dictate my morality.  There are many reasons for this, chief among them the lack of necessity of having my relationship sanctioned by bigots like you.  In addition, I refer again to my refusal to take part in an institution that was created by men to improve the likelihood the children to whom they passed their worldly possessions at death were in fact their children.  Women were property and religions sanctioned it.  I am not interested.

I also gather from your nasty comment about the child in my belly that you think I am a big, bad person for having sex (GASP!) before having a religion or the government sanction my relationship.  Guess what, Chica?  This is my body.  It does not belong to the government or to any religious organization.  If I want to have sex without a marriage certificate, I will!  I am fully apprised of the risks and benefits in doing so and take action with full awareness of the consequences, including pregnancy.

So take your little version of morality and keep it to yourself.  I don’t need for you to read my blog.  If you don’t like what I have to say, go somewhere else.  No one asked you for your judgmental bullshit, least of all me.

Television is So Dumb

My daughter spent 4 1/2 months living with her father this last winter and spring.  In our house, she does not watch television and movies are limited, nor does she play idiot, I mean video games, or ever listen to music on headphones.  (She is a Waldorf student, after all, and I have followed these teachings as closely as possible.)  At Dad’s house, she was given a television in her room.  He let her play video games and bury her brain in headphones listening to true corporate crap. The differences since she spent those four months watching the stupid box are enormous.  She was  sold on corporate culture, began to believe most advertising (although she is also skeptical if the ad isn’t cute and geared toward selling to a ten-year-old), and generally thinks all the television that was left on at all hours of the day was entertaining.

I don’t know if I did her any favors keeping this shit from her if seeing it makes it so palatable.  Yet I still would not change that most of her life has not been spent in front of the idiot box.  The first couple of weeks after she came home she kept claiming she was “bored” and wanting me to entertain her.  Then she slipped back into her home routine and started knitting and creating plays for her stuffed animals and reading, doing all those things with her mind she did not do when she had an idiot box to stare at.

It blows my mind that parents find the thing “educational” and “interactive.”  It might present some content or ask questions the child answers, but the child is still sitting there on her butt, being told or asked by flashing movements, more loud and ugly these days.  The child is not out making the discovery on her own, thinking and creating, truly interacting.

Milla proved to us her ability to create and design and think on her own, using her own mind.  She planned and executed an amazing dog wedding between our dog and the neighbor dog, Luke.  She designed and sewed Ava’s gown and veil.  She made a marriage certificate with a shiny, glittery, yellow seal.  There was a guest list for us all to sign. She wrote the vows and planned the ceremony.  She chose the music for all aspects of the ceremony, including the processional, after the vows, the first dances, and the reception.  She designed decorations and hung them in the yard, Ava and Luke Tie the Knot.  All of it was thorough and amazing.  She’s ten.  This is what she does instead of staring at the television.

I was thinking about all of this this morning.  There was an ad on Dan’s computer before something he was watching on Huffington Post.  Milla saw it and said it was a funny commercial.  She had seen it at her dad’s.  She told us the premise.  To me it sounded so damn stupid and ridiculous, nothing funny at all, and I felt sad that she found this shit she had seen on the idiot box amusing.  However I long ago realized that her life is hers to live, not mine to control.  I can provide certain influences, but so do so many other things and ultimately she will make her own choices.  I can only hope that the influences I’ve provided help her to be a functional, healthy, and happy adult.  That’s the thing about parenting, if we do our jobs, this is exactly how it should be.

Why are the Neighbors Murdering the Trees?

Two tall, beautiful trees.  Cutting them down.  Nothing wrong with them.  But the neighbors have paid some tree murderers to come and kill them.  One is gone already.  The other is on its way.  Trees that must be over a 100 years old.  I hate this.  I wish they’d leave them alone. They make the street palatable.  Our street has some dumpy little houses on it.  With the tall, old trees, the street looks stately.  Without the trees, it looks dumpy.  Idiots.  One of them has a bunker in his backyard and no plant life really.  He has giant lights he leaves on all night.  I say if you want to live in a parking lot at a military bunker, go do it, but don’t destroy a beautiful street because you don’t like the plants.

It’s just disappointing, these tree murdering neighbors.

Reality Check

This article has been published on Huffington Post and can be seen here.

I saw several articles on 9/11 debating whether the US is safer, particularly since we went to Iraq.  That 9/11 is even connected to Iraq as somehow making us safer as laughable, especially considering the only relation between the two is that 9/11 was used as an excuse to get into Iraq.  Any suggestion that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 has been roundly proven to be non-existent.  Yet the myth remains.

Ironically (or not considering the climate of this country since the year 2000), in the so many “arguments” against healthcare reform, the reason most often posited against any public option by those purporting to be reasonable is the cost.  This is ironic mainly considering these same naysayers have not been arguing against the obscene cost of the Iraq war.  Even if the government took over 100% of healthcare, owned every medical facility, hired every medical professional, and owned all of the equipment, the cost still would come nowhere near what we have spent and continue to spend on the Iraq war.

Supporters of the Iraq war have long used the argument that being there keeps us safe from terrorists.  This of course is in spite of evidence against any connection between Iraq and terrorism, at least before we got there.  We may now have created more terrorists in the way we have handled and treated the citizens in Iraq.  But to the supporters of the war, spending money in Iraq is spending money to combat terrorism.

Yet let’s be realistic here.  Suppose we actually were doing something to fight terrorism by being in  Iraq.  Would the cost still be justified?

Ask the average American how their life or the lives of their family members have been touched by terrorism.  It is more likely that this person has been struck by lightening five times than it is they have been personally affected by a terrorist attack.  Yes, it can be scary for some people to contemplate.  But seriously, it is extremely rare any of us will endure anything terrorist related that affects us personally.

Ask the same average American how their life or the lives of their family members have been affected by the healthcare crisis in this country.  It is more likely that they or a family member have been affected personally by the healthcare crisis than not.  Nearly everyone has some story to tell.  And even if a citizen hasn’t yet been affected, the possibility they will be affected if they lose their job (a much higher possibility even in a good economy than being affected by terrorism), then the lack of affordable healthcare will affect them.

We have spent billions and continue to spend billions in Iraq based on the dubious possibility we might be fighting terrorism, something that affects so few people, yet most of us cannot point to anyone who has been personally affected by it.  At the same time, we have politicians and citizens arguing against a public option because they claim we can’t afford it, even though most of us are affected by it every day.

We need a reality check.  The next time a politician claims we can’t afford public healthcare, ask them to stop spending money in Iraq and spend it here on healthcare instead.  Even if we could afford Iraq (we can’t), and even if being in Iraq protected us (it doesn’t), the reality is we should stop spending that money there and spend it here at home on something that affects all of us every day.

No Baby Yet

No baby yet.  Just kind of lumping along.  I feel like a lumbering cow and must admit to being glad not to have gained any further weight since the last midwife appointment. Right now the baby is wiggling so much it is driving me nuts.  She has not been this wiggly all at once in a while.  I don’t know what is getting her going, but she sure is moving around.  Want to come out, maybe?

My daughter is planning a dog wedding between our dog and the neighbor dog.  She designed decorations, has picked out music, and sent out invitations.  She certainly has a mind of her own, that one.

Anyway, still no baby.  Too tired to write anything else, although I must say that I am ashamed of our country and the legislators who think it is okay to catcall the president during a speech.  I hated GW, but I still felt his position deserved the respect of the other branches of government.  We have turned into a nation of freaks and ignoramuses.  Sad indeed.

Labor Day

People have been calling to ask me if I have had the baby.  My sister called to check.  Why is it she thinks I wouldn’t tell her?  You have to call me when you are in labor she said.  Duh.  I will.  And mom too.  And his family.  And our friends.  We will tell.  Come on, how else are we going to get free food?

The other thing people have been asking like it is a hilarious joke is whether she will be born on Labor Day.  Can’t say.  Don’t know.  I’m not being induced on a certain day or having a scheduled C-Section.  Barring some rare complication, I’m having my baby at home with midwives.   No need to pretend it’s a medical catastrophe to have a baby or to have her according to some doctor’s schedule.  She’ll come when she does.  Symptoms point to an imminent arrival, but considering I am at 39 weeks, this should not be a surprise.  Maybe the next time I post anything it will be to announce her arrival.  Or maybe not.  We’ll see.