Friday, April 30, 2010

We've Come a Long Way Baby?

A couple of days ago I wrote about my infertility. Yesterday on Facebook I linked to an article from the New York times about new restrictions in Oklahoma (my home state) on abortion. I won't go into the particulars again because it'll just rile me and and apparently isn't not good to be stressed when you're 38 weeks pregnant. But I can't imagine not being riled up. In this day and age to have people who are telling women what they can and can't do with their bodies, I said, I don't want to get too riled up.

This morning on NPR I heard a story about EMILY'S list, a "community of progressive Americans dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to every level of office." The story started out how in 1985 there were only two women senators and just 23 women in the House of Representatives. Now there are 17 women in the Senate, 73 women in the House. Sure, we've come a long way baby, but seriously? 17 women in the Senate. Out of 100? And 73 women in the House. Hardly equal representation. And that's not to say that I don't think men can't represent women. And I know not all women are pro choice and for fertility treatment any more than all men are anti choice and against fertility treatment.

But I just think maybe a little more equality would be nice. And maybe, just maybe, if we had more congresspeople who actually could have babies, they'd have a better understanding of reproductive rights (both for getting pregnant and ending a pregnancy).

Monday, April 26, 2010

What if I didn’t live in a time and place where ART was an option

It's National Infertility Awareness week and this post was brought about by Stirrup Queens "what if" post.

I never thought much about infertility of course until it happened to me. And once it did happen to me, I was lucky enough to (a) work in a state that mandates infertility treatments to be covered by insurance and (b) work at a company that doesn't somehow get around those laws and provides quite extensive infertility treatment coverage.

The year-and-a -half-long journey of trying to conceive (after having tried the natural way for a year) could have cost me tens of thousands of dollars. The doctor's visits, tests, procedures, injections etc. could have drained my savings account in addition to taking a toll on my sanity. But I was one of the lucky ones. Not only, after five cycles of Clomid, two IUI's and three IVF cycles (each of which yielded only enough fertilized eggs for one transfer), was I lucky enough to finally conceive a child, but I did so by spending only about $5,000 in co-pays and uncovered tests. Not even enough to qualify for the health tax deduction from the IRS.

As it was, having done two unsuccessful IVF cycles involving daily shots, sometimes multiple shots a day, regular intra-vaginal ultrasounds and blood tests, all ending in a "procedure" to remove eggs and then fertilize them and hopefully another (less painful) procedure to put them back again, I was looking at the third time possibly being the last time. If it wasn't successful, I just wasn't sure I could go through the emotional roller coaster that I knew now would follow. How I could have made the decision to go on after having paid out of pocket for something like that, well, I probably would have given up after the first try.

If I didn't live in a time and place where Assisted Reproductive Technology wasn't available to me because I couldn't afford it, or because there were laws against it, or for any other numerous reasons...well, I probably wouldn't be expecting my baby any day now. My mother, father and mother-in-law, wouldn't know the joy of being grandparents to our child. My sister might never be an Aunt. I would have had to learn how to deal with not having a child of my own. Maybe I would have looked into adoption more seriously. Maybe I would have decided this was fates way of telling me that I was too old to have children, or that I wouldn't make a good mother. Maybe the depression that I worked so hard to get through years ago would come back and rear its ugly head.

There are so many maybes out there...that even as I enter my 39th week of pregnancy, and complain about not being able to sleep, about the heartburn and how I just want to have this baby already...I try (with Mr. H's help) to remember the times before this baby was pretty much a given. I remember the negative pregnancy tests and the tears. I remember the joy of the positive followed quickly by the dread and worry that something would go wrong. I feel the baby move inside me and I remember how lucky I am to live in a time and place that offered me choices and freedom to make those choices.

The links below have more information about infertility:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pretty sure I should be locked up

Because I slipped and almost fell on the ice on my walk home yesterday. And if I were in Utah, and this new proposed bill passed (Criminal Homicide and Abortion Amendment), I could be tried for murder of my unborn child.

Or, if I were living in Iowa and I accidentally had a fall down the stairs because I was distraught after having a fight with my husband who told me he's considering leaving me and I told the nurse at the hospital that there were times I wish I weren't pregnant, I might end up in jail for a couple of days. And if I lived in any of the 36 other states which have fetal homicide laws, which I do, I should probably be more careful getting to and from work.

So why risk it. Just lock me and all the other mommies-to-be up so no one can hurt us (at least I don't have to worry about crossing the street anymore) and I can't intentionally or accidentally hurt myself or my unborn child.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pregnant or Just Puffy

This morning, while standing in the aisle on the train , I looked around and wondered if anyone might possibly decide that they should at least ask to give up their seat for me. I wasn't really expecting anyone to, and honestly, I don't have trouble standing for the 15 minutes it takes to get downtown, so I don't really mind. But I did notice several people looking at me and I think they were trying to figure out if I was pregnant or if my puffy coat was just particularly puffy.

But then, as I walked from the train station to the gym, the guy selling the Tribunes yells out to me "hey, get a Tribune for the baby." So I guess I do look pregnant, even in the puffy coat.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crossing Over

I cross several streets on my walk to and from the train each day in my neighborhood. It is a common occurrence that cars at the stop signs don't really like to stop to wait for people to cross the street. There are those who just roll the whole time, slowly, inching toward you. There are those who will actually swerve around you. And, most commonly, there are those who go the second your behind is past their front bumper. I am used to this and normally just glare at them to which most of them act oblivious as if to say "hey, at least I didn't hit you."

But lately I've become a little more vocal. Apparently it's common to more easily loose your cool during pregnancy. Sure, I expected mood swings, but the thought of getting a bat and taking a swing at every car that tries to rush me through the cross walk actually sounds like a good idea.

Last night, on my walk home, a huge truck on the other side of the intersection decided that he couldn't just wait for me to get out of the crosswalk for him to go. No, he needed to bear down on the crosswalk, being intimidating and stupid. So of course, I started yelling and swearing at him. He was on the phone or texting, so he wasn't really bothered. But the woman getting out of her car kinda shot me a look. I apologized and then proceeded to get upset because I'd let this idiot in his idiot truck get me upset.

I think the bat is a better idea because it gets my aggression out and at least gets the attention of the stupid drivers.

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