Last year my resolution was to live in the moment more with Carter and just enjoy his second year as much as I could. I feel like I did that well. Props to Scott Noelle, Alfie Kohn, and Naomi Aldort for for helping me find my path to relaxed, peaceful, joyful parenting. :-)

This year: We're planning an IVF cycle in the summer, and so my goal is to get as healthy as I can before June. I set a goal of losing 50 pounds back in October, and have lost 20 so far (though I'm betting I've put 5 back on over the holidays). So I guess my personal resolutions for this next year are:

1) Get healthier (lose 30 more pounds, exercise more regularly, eat better)
2) Get pregnant!
3) Learn to cook healthy food more creatively. (I need to branch out from steamed veggies and baked chicken, SRSLY.)

Happy New Year, everyone!

This is a post I've been mulling over for a while, and I think I'm finally ready to write it out.

In May 2002 I received my PhD in mathematics from the University of Arizona, and subsequently accepted a tenure track position in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. That was about as good a job as I could have possibly hoped to get coming out of grad school, and the future seemed wide open. We had always planned to start trying to have a baby as soon as I graduated, with the idea that we would have two kids early in my tenure years, leaving me the last few years (when those kids were pre-school aged) to push hard for tenure. I imagined myself as a tenured professor, a successful researcher in my field and providing a example of a strong career woman to my children, who would be enrolled in the best preschool around.

But as most of us know, plans don't always work out the way you expect them to. )
I was waiting for Mothering Magazine to say something about the recent news items about the relationship between circumcision and HIV. As usual, they lay out the facts and talk about what the science really says: The Truth About Circumcision and HIV: Some argue that recent studies support universal circumcision. The evidence disagrees.

If you've been reading this LJ for any length of time, you know that I was committed to a natural birth before I developed pre-eclampsia with Carter. Unfortunately, his very small size meant a vertical incision was required, which rules out a chance of a VBAC in the future. (I am aware that there are successful HBACs after vertical incisions, but I'm not willing to do a home birth after my experience -- and that's if I'm lucky enough to go full term AND if I'm lucky enough to actually get pregnant again.)

I was pretty devastated about the loss of my ability to give birth, but I'm moving on. And part of my moving on is reading about planned c-sections that are gentle, respect the baby's journey into the world, and are family-centered and baby-friendly (in the WHO sense). In other words, as close as I can get to the birth experience I used to dream about. Here are some interesting links:

Until reading this stuff, I never thought about writing a birth plan for a c-section, or having a doula present. This is really giving me hope that I might be able to have a positive birth experience someday!
jenn_unplugged: (Resistance is futile)
It seems like there is some sort of organized campaign against breastfeeding these days. There are always the asshats who think it's gross and perverted to feed your baby the way God/nature intended, but in this case, the effort seems to have been spearheaded by women who breastfed their babies and somehow found it a miserable experience.

Okay, I get that BFing isn't for everyone, I really do. But why belittle those of us who not only BF, but who went out of our way to make it work by pumping to start or maintain our supplies? Why mock us for that commitment? Clearly Judith Warner had major issues with her own role as a BFing and pumping mom. Fine, whatever.

But if it weren't for the pump, I would never have been able to nurse Carter. At all. Ever. Breastmilk is more than just "best" for preemies; it saves their lives. In the city I live in, if the mother of a preemie doesn't pump, the doctors write prescriptions to get donated breastmilk for the babies. Since they started doing this, NO preemie here has died of intestinal infection -- and there are 5 NICUs in the area.

I was PROUD to pump for my baby, because it was the ONE thing I could do for him while he was hooked up to machines and living in a heated plastic box. It helped me heal from the devastation that is an unexpected premature birth. It helped me cope with almost 8 weeks of visiting my baby in the hospital before he could finally come home. It made me feel like a real mother, something I desperately needed.

So pumping was and is really, really important to me. Clearly Judith Warner has no idea what it's like to walk in my shoes. She makes good points about society needing to support working BFing moms more, but the idea that a breast pump is some sort of torture device that should be relegated to a horror museum (yes, she basically says that) demonstrates not only ignorance of situations like mine, but also the opposite of the point she thinks she is making.

But you know, things like this just highlight to me yet again how abnormal my parenting journey has been. That is often a source of pride for me, but sometimes it just makes me wonder how people can take their fertility, their health, and their ability to bring a baby into the world for granted like that. If you have no trouble getting pregnant, have a healthy, full-term pregnancy, and then go on to nurse your baby for years with no major difficulties, good for you. But remember that some of us didn't get to do it that way, and be grateful.
I bought a Diva Cup 3 months ago, and as of today, I can finally say I've mastered it!

Cut for TMI )


Aug. 3rd, 2008 01:03 pm
I think I might have to stop watching [ profile] naturalbirth. It's hard to read posts there about beautiful births and not be bitter about my own -- or bitter about the fact that I will never have one.

But the worst part is that I feel like I have nothing to contribute any more. When everyone is talking about how awesome it was to be able to just trust that their pregnant bodies were doing what they were designed to do, all I can say is that I can't trust my own any more. After all, I felt wonderful, even when I was checking myself into the hospital. But the reality was that I was dying, and taking Carter with me.

So I now have a perspective and an experience that doesn't seem to mesh well with everyone else in that group, even though I believe so strongly in what they stand for. *sigh*
This morning Carter had his 6 month well baby visit with his pediatrician, Jill Nichols of the Austin Diagnostic Clinic. Up until today, I've been happy with Dr. Nichols. But this morning she told me he was old enough to start sleeping through the night, and that I should start cutting out his night feeds. When I told her it wasn't a problem for me, that I didn't mind nursing him twice at night (for ten minutes each time), she lit into me. I argued back, because after all I've actually read a lot of the research that contradicted what she was saying. We went around and around about cosleeping: she thinks Carter sleeps in a cosleeper sidecarred to our bed (I started lying about that one after the first visit when she made her opinion on bedsharing clear), and she thinks that's bad because OMG he might still be sleeping in our room when he's two!; nursing at night: she said it would cause tooth decay, despite the fact that there's not much evidence to support that for breastfeeding infants; pushing him to sleep through the night: she thinks I'm doing him permanent damage by "conditioning" him to wake up to eat overnight, despite the fact that research suggests human babies NEED to eat overnight, and so on.

When it became clear that I wasn't going to back down, she said, "Well, I'm very anti-attachment parenting. I think it's a horrible way to parent and produces children who are clingy and far too dependent on their parents." At that point, my jaw dropped, and I stopped talking. I decided there was really nothing more I could say to her. She checked over him, but I only nodded or shook my head at her from there on out. She came back and apologized before we left,
and said she had strong opinions and understood that I might disagree with them, but I still left the appointment thinking this was no longer the best pediatrician for my family.

I will only see her for a few minutes every few months, but I don't feel like I can be open with her now. I'm afraid I won't be inclined to tell her things I probably should, because I'll be concerned that she's judging my parenting. So I think it's time to move on. (I posted about this on a local AP group, and already have several recs for new peds, all of whom are much closer to my house anyway.)

But still, yuck. You know? I'm completely confident in my parenting choices, but it's still no fun to be confronted in that way. I'm thinking I might send her an email when we transfer to explain (in a very reasonable way, of course) why I'm leaving the practice. Or should I just quietly slink away?
I'm going to put all pregnancy talk behind cuts in order to be sensitive to anyone reading this who's TTC. )

In other news, I am all holed up today reading the new Harry Potter book. The midnight release at Book People last night was really amazing, with at least 1500 people there, half of them in costume. Andrea and I were in costume, but we just blended into the crowd next to a lot of the people there. It felt like New Years Eve, like something I've never experienced before -- and all for a book! It was amazing.

Pictures )

I got home at 2:00 am and stayed up until 5:00 reading, then slept a few hours and read more. I'm halfway through now and just took a few hours off to have a nap, eat dinner, and do my shot, so I'm about to start up again. I've had the TV off ever since, so it's been really quiet around here. I'm not even venturing onto the internet except to post this, so anything could be happening out there, and I wouldn't know!

Doug is in Asia now, and said he's seen people reading the new book everywhere he goes. He even saw a Chinese news report showing people at a midnight book release, mostly in costume! It's amazing to think that so many people in the world are doing exactly what I'm doing today -- reading the same book. :-)

Diet, etc.

Mar. 6th, 2007 10:01 am
Since I've got a few months before IVF, I'm going to try to lose a little weight. My goal is ten pounds, which isn't a lot, but the real goal is to eat healthier and more reasonably, which I figure will really help me if I get pregnant. Doug and I eat pretty well about half the time; we eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, we cook with quality ingredients, and we use olive oil almost exclusively. Of course, we eat too large portions when we cook, and when we don't cook, we tend to eat fast food because we're busy and tired. So we have good intentions, but we don't quite get there most of the time.

So my first goal is to try to become more conscious about the amounts of food I eat. )

I made yogurt! )
One of the worst parts of Doug traveling internationally so much is that I can't just talk to him whenever I want to. For weeks at a time, I can't call him up to tell him something, or hear his voice when I want. I have to wait until he has a chance to call me. The time changes are weird, and sometimes he can't call me at all because of his travel schedule. We try to plan it in advance, but often a day or two will just pass, and I won't hear from him, not even by email.


And just as I was about to hit "post", he called from the airplane! He's on his way to Singapore now.

*is still sniffly*

On another note: who is the most precious baby in the whole world? [ profile] aidan_memoirs, that's who! (Sorry, Rita -- though little Mr. K is awfully precious too! ;-))


Jul. 11th, 2006 11:41 am
I need to get over my bitterness about this whole infertility thing. It's really difficult for me to talk about it or even think about it without getting upset. I've spent the last couple of months pretending like I don't want to have children and not thinking about it at all, and I've been happier than I can remember being for a while. That says something, I think.

I had a moment during the vacation where I started thinking about the IVF thing, and I got so upset that I had to to change my mental subject. The unfairness of it all is something I just can't seem to let go of. I keep thinking that I must have traded in my fertility for one of the other many wonderful things in my life. There's a sense in which infertility almost feels karmic. I feel like I've led a charmed life in many ways, and I've always been waiting for The Bad Thing to happen to balance it all out. I expected the Bad Thing to be losing a loved one too soon or being diagnosed with cancer, so I suppose if this is really my Bad Thing, I should consider myself lucky. Not that this line of reasoning helps, of course.

I'm not posting this for sympathy comments, btw, so don't feel obligated to respond. And I'm not looking for advice, either. (I know I ought to seek counseling, but I'm barely home these days and I really don't want to talk about it any more than I have to.) Mostly, I just needed to say it. Sometimes it help to put your thoughts in writing.
Eleven years ago today (and on a Monday), I married my best friend. And amazingly, after all this time, we are still best friends -- in fact, I grow to love him and know him better each and every day. I've known Doug for half of my life, and it's hard to imagine my life without him. Those of you who know us well probably can't imagine one of us without the other!

I have a picture of my new ring to post, but it's on my phone and Sprint's picture services are down for the next 24 hours. :-( But there will be a picture post later!

Emo me.

Apr. 25th, 2006 05:33 pm
Apparently seven doses of hormones injected into one's system within 24 hours is enough to wreak havoc on the body. My digestive system is freaked out, I'm tired, and earlier this evening, I sobbed for several minutes after the cell signal was dropped when Doug called from France, just as I was answering the phone. I hadn't talked to him in two days and I miss him terribly, and I was afraid he wouldn't call again because it was midnight there, and I burst into tears. He did call again, for the record. It actually took me a few minutes of talking to him before I stopped crying. Yikes.

Starting tonight it's two doses again. Maybe I won't spend so much time in the bathroom tomorrow... :-P

In other news, the conference is going well. My talk turned out to be today (so last night was a late night, heh), and I got a lot of great feedback on it, including some really encouraging comments from two well-known people. It's amazing how much of an impact that sort of encouragement has, isn't it? I try to do that for other people, and when someone else does it for me I'm just reminded of how important it is.

ETA: Rita, I keep seeing the new UCC commercial on CNN! It's making me a bit teary. ;-)
If you say "yes" to more than 40 of these, you're apparently spoiled.

I guess you can call me rotten, then. )
This is the worst part of the whole trying-to-get-pregnant thing, and the fact that I've done it... *counts* ... at least 30 times now does not make it any easier.

Cut for angsting )


Dec. 21st, 2005 06:58 pm
jenn_unplugged: (Beer)
I have a new phone!!! I'm so excited! I've been wanting one, as my old one had been dropped one too many times and was looking kind of battered. And I'd had it for several years, so I really wanted an up-to-date one. *looks shifty*

It's so tiny! And it's red! I can surf the web and watch TV on it, and it has a camcorder as well as a camera! I took a short video of my cat Lucy to test it. :-D

ETA: Zippy Video to the rescue!

Gacked from [ profile] wordplay. I'm not particularly feminine, so I was curious how I'd score.

Am I more masculine or feminine? )
It's kind of cool when your educational institution holds you up as an example for their prospective majors. *grins* I actually know a few of the other folks on that list, too. It's good to know what they're up to these days.

I've been terrible about updating this, I know. We've been busy, and I keep meaning to update and talk about what I've been doing. We had a great Thanksgiving holiday in London, though it went by fast and Doug and to work for part of it. It was very cold there, and Doug had forgotten his coat (he'd just come from Singapore, where he didn't need one), and we had to go and buy him one! We went to lots of theatre and great restaurants, including a favorite Italian restaurant. It was good to have a chance to spend some time together, mostly. We get precious little of that these days. :-(


Sep. 14th, 2005 08:33 pm
Doug is far, far away and I miss him. So I pulled out some photos and decided to share them. :-)

Lots of photos here )

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