Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I believe

In the interest of full disclosure you should know that I am a conservative. No, I'm not demonstrating in front of abortion clinics and I don't think that gay marriage is the end of the institution as we know it. I don't agree with the craziness that many in the Right wing of politics have come up with but in general I agree with the conservative line of thought more often than not.
I just came across this on a blog not too long ago and it seriously disturbed me. If you want to read the full description of this you can go ahead and read the other blog but here's the bit that really bugged me.
Certain folks in congress are starting to chat about a second bill of rights to include most of the following.

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.

Now, many of these things are things that most people want for themselves so it's not a hard sell to consider them as rights. However when you consider it your right to have a job or your right to own a home what incentive to you have to work for those particular bits of life. My husband and I have worked really hard and sacrificed many things to achieve the kind of life that we want. We don't consider a nice house a right, we consider it something to be achieved and want to pass on that work ethic to our children. Life will not be handed to you by your government, you have to do the work, no one will do it for you. So, if the folks in congress can come up with a "manifesto" of sorts I figure I am entitled to do the same, here is mine.

I believe that America is the land of equal opportunity, not of equal results. What I do with that opportunity is my business.

I believe that I have the right to an education but again, what I do with that education is my business.

I believe that I have the right to pay for as much housing as I can work for regardless of my age, race, gender or other qualities.

I believe that it is my right to pay for what health care I feel I need and not to pay for what I feel I don't need. For this reason, I don't believe that government has any business getting involved in health care issues other than outlawing things that are harmful to vast majorities of the population.

I'm very sorry to get all kinds of political on this space but a week away from an election and things like "redistribution of wealth" are being brought up but not in a bad way and this scares the hell out of me. Do we really want to live in a society where all you have to do is show up and the government will just take care of you? Do we know what the costs of that sort of thing are and are we really willing to pay them? It's not so long ago that we saw the failure of societies like this, do we really think that we can do it better? And do we really want to try?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bad vibes

My darling nerd has a very manly love of action movies and thriller type flicks. We are currently on the couch watching "The Kingdom" which (if you haven't had the pleasure) is a FBI anti-terrorism flick complete with innocent victims getting blown to bits, brave agents being tortured and scary bad guys doing unspeakable things to people who look a lot like me.
I am not of the school of thought that believes that anything you see during pregnancy will affect your baby but as I write this now from the safety of my bedroom, I know these sort of images affect me. I also know that seeing images like these leave me terrified for months. I saw "I am Legend" shortly after I found out I was pregnant and occasionally still have nightmares about zombies. I know this about myself and I don't want my baby catching my frightened vibes. That's right, I said vibes.
I am not a hippy but I do believe that the things that you feel can be transferred to the people around you and most definitely to the person being gestated inside of you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Other things I've learned recently

Beware all you squeamish types out there, this has to do with actually human body functions that tend to gross out the uninitiated so reader beware.
I've been reading a lot about Childbirth lately and there's a lot out there that's a lot different than what you'd see on Discovery health channel or TLC. I'm mad about it quite frankly. Not that DHC or TLC have any responsibility to me to educate me on childbirth. I'm angry that so many women are so uneducated about what there bodies are capable of.
I am not totally anti-doctor. I know many people who are but I am not inherently one of them. My wild one (2 and a half now) has been vaccinated, takes medicine when she has a cold and I don't hesitate to call our pediatrician when she's running a nasty fever at 2am. However, when it comes to any health issue, especially something as life altering as childbirth, I firmly believe it is up to the patient to know what the heck is going on and not rely solely on the Doctors advise. Doctors are people, fallible people. They do not know everything and they do not know everything about my body.
The experience of birthing a baby is far more than a medical event. It is a spiritual and emotional event on par with your wedding, graduation and every major life event all rolled into one. You are responsible for eveyrthing that happens to that child up to that point. They are in you and are your sole responsibility. Then, as the natural process happens, they become their own person, right in front of your eyes. Suddenly you don't do everything for them. They start taking over some functions that you previously did for them. It's all a metaphore for the journey of parenthood in genral. Through struggle comes further independence. The sooner a parent learns that lesson, the more adaptable they are to the challenges of parenthood.
When the doctors come in and interrupt the process by telling you that your body isn't big enough to pass the baby that you made, it isn't competent to handle the struggle of labor, it isn't strong enough to push the baby out and they have to come in and "help" with a vaccuum or forceps; they take away that lesson from you, they take away the experience and they take away the power that comes with that.
If Doctors instead told women that they were big/compenent/strong enough to handle the process that eveolution has prepared us for then maybe women wouldn't be so terrified of the things their body do. Maybe they wouldn't be so scared of the natural process and maybe they would be able to relax and let it happen instead of trying to fight against what their body is supposed to do.
What we ultimatly take away from women with all these interventions that have become so rampant with birth is the power that is inheritantly ours. The one thing that only women can do is give birth. It is ours alone. If your doctor is pressuring you to take steps to "help your body out" or making you doubt your own capabilities, go find yourself a good midwife and trust that your body knows what to do.
Yes, birth is an intense and sometimes painful (that's right I said sometimes, not all women experience pain in birth. Some even get off on it, literally) experience. However, it is what our bodies are built for. We are the product of millions of years of evolution of the female system. We are the most advanced baby-having machines out there, don't let anyone take that away from you.

Too busy knitting to write

Oy, it's been a busy summer. So sorry for the long silence. But, big news! Last time I wrote I was not but I am no, most obviously knocked up. In fact I am at 31 weeks gestation (out of 40 weeks for the uninitiated). So far things have gone very well, I am huge but not so huge that I can't move yet so, bonus.
I have been busy stock piling various baby things for the impending arrival. Most recently I finished a pair of baby mittens connected by an i-cord to each other. They are super cute and the pattern took about 10 minutes to knit (Exaggerating of course). I also finished a pair of matching baby socks.
For Mama I just completed a pair of plain old stockinette socks that I love. I used my Jitterbug sock yarn which I also LOVE!!!! Totally fun to knit with and delicious. Love the colors too.
I also completed the February Lady Sweater but I didn't do very well on that one. It's too big through the shoulder and yolk which made it too big in the arms, bust and back. Other than that It was a nice project to knit, I just messed it up. This was my first adult size sweater and a good project to work on. Pretty easy to memorize the lace pattern so it traveled well for a sweater.
Things I would add to this pattern to make it a little easier
  • use stitch markers between each repeat of the lace pattern. The pattern never says to but its a good idea, I tried for a while without and had to rip back a few inches. No fun.
  • Knit the arms separately and find a way to add them later. It's a pain in the butt to knit in the round with the whole sweater needing to go around as well.
  • When knitting the yolk, I think it would be worth it to occasionally thread some waste yarn through all the live stitches and measure the thing around your intended recipient. It's a pain but after my experience with the shoulders/arms/bust all being too large because I kept the yolk going too far.
I'm sure there have been other things completed but I can't think of them all now. On the needles now I have a really beautiful silk scarf, a baby sweater that's done all in one piece with short rows and lots and lots of tiny little Christmas Stockings.

I've learned a fun new technique this fall. The two socks on one needle thing is great. I did the jitterbug socks, the baby socks and the baby mittens with this method and it goes so quickly. It totally fixes the issue of one-sock-syndrome. Lots of fun. I definitely recommend you give it a try.