Tag Archives: feminism

Questioning Words

My brain is full of words.

Two to four essays plus 2-4 lengthy papers a week.

Discussions with peers.

Writing, writing, writing.

But where to find the time?  And the energy?  If I weren’t so close to finishing this quarter (3.5 weeks), I’d consider calling it quits.  With the tables turned and Ben supporting me through grad school – in a nontraditional manner as he works full-time and I am both a graduate student and stay-at-home mom – it’s amazing how many words remain unsaid between us.  As I teeter from complete breakdowns to feeling on top of everything.

Mostly, the word is why.  Why did I decide to pursue a graduate degree now?  With two kids, 3 and 2, and another on the way (making it 3, 2, newborn)?

I suppose it’s my crazy feminist-like belief that a woman should not neglect her dreams any more than a man should.  I also believed that all that support I provided my husband through his years of undergraduate education and that partial year of medical school (when, despite his being near the top of his class, he realized he did not want to pursue medicine) would provide a foundation from which he could support me.

Naturally, I thought I’d have more time during the day.  I forgot about the havoc two toddlers can cause in an hour and how exhausting pregnancy is, even in the second trimester.  Nap time work? Heh. Waking up early? If I want to risk feeling out of control from exhaustion for the next week.  Staying up late? Without the distractions of my husband, sure. The line between too much and too little is thin and those comforting words I’ve told myself since starting – you can do this, it will be difficult but worth it – aren’t so comforting in the middle of it all.

And all those words spoken between us?  Of me explaining that I need his help and him saying that he will give it?  Are easier said than done.

Writing.

Talking.

Words.  So many words. Too many words.

What I want now is answers and time. Things that words can’t give and that I can’t seem to find.

*****

My gals at Momalom are hosting Five for Five.  Check it out!  And, they are combining forces with the lovely Heather for her Just Write series.  Pure awesomeness.

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Filed under Graduate School

2011: The Year of Positive Change

While two miscarriages in a year might indicate suckiness, I publicly declare 2011 a success.

In 2010, the year of despair, I decided to make 2011 the best year of my life.

It began with medication, making my anxiety and depression manageable.  Shortly after, I saw motherhood through a different lens which allowed me to enjoy parenting and really connect with my kids.

I suffered through my third miscarriage in May, two weeks before we moved across the country.  While it was hard, emotionally and physically, I finally reflected on my religion that had promised me a healthy pregnancy, twice, which ultimately resulted in miscarriages.  Since I was often wallowing in guilt–especially as a woman and mother–and confused by all the doctrinal inconsistencies, I decided to seek the truth, whatever the outcome. My conclusions were vastly different from what I had been taught I would find, so I finally said good-bye to Mormonism.

Leaving religion helped me find my voice.  I evaluated my current goals against my dreams for the future and decided that my husband and I were equally intelligent and capable of caring for our family.  We moved to the Midwest, Ben started medical school, and I became the breadwinner.  We learned how a partnership really works.

In November, I had another miscarriage.  Three weeks later, I found myself pregnant again.  I discovered a new perspective with this pregnancy and left my worries about miscarriage behind.

At the viability ultrasound, we saw the developing embryo and a beating heart.

All these events culminated in a successful year and I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings.

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Filed under Holidays

I Might As Well Turn Myself In

In February of this year, Georgia state representative Bobby Franklin proposed a bill that would make miscarriage illegal. And worse, punishable by death penalty. (For summaries or a refresher, The Huffington Post and Mother Jones are invaluable resources.) When I heard about it, I remember scratching my head. How could a man get off punishing a woman for a biological process?

After my most recent miscarriage, this issue has greater personal impact. And I wonder, how would I have proven that my miscarriage was, indeed, a miscarriage? If ever questioned by authorities, I have come up with a plan of action that involves three steps.

1. Written proof from my doctor that I was taking progesterone to prevent a miscarriage. Present the medication as evidence.

2. Provide a copy of ultrasounds one and two which show conclusive evidence that a heartbeat was not found.  Have the radiologist, the doctor on call, and my primary care physician write a detailed description of what the ultrasounds indicate.

3. Submit video of me lying on the couch in obvious pain. Show a graph that indicates the contractions I was enduring. Include blood samples taken at time of miscarriage and the embryo I “birthed.” End with a heartfelt plea from both my husband and me exclaiming our sincere grief at the loss we experienced.

Joking aside, this type of law indicates the giant chasm women still need to cross to ensure our rights and dignity are maintained. It is also proof of the corrupting nature that any state with a consistent political majority–be it republican or democrat–undergoes. In their attempt to remain “right wing” and “pro-life,” the lawmakers of Georgia have undermined a women’s right to not only choose, but to have control over their own bodies. The most humiliating part being that a man is leading this debate on a women’s reproductive issue–proof that men continue trying to control women through their misogynistic legislation.

I have yet to determine how this law fared in Georgia’s legislature. But I am darned grateful I don’t live in Georgia.

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Filed under Uncategorized