“If the Good Lord had wanted us to walk, He wouldn’t have invented rollerskates,” or, Unassisted Childbirth, a clarification

A friend of mine (Adrianne, I think it’s safe to say that you are probably not only a friend, but, indeed, my best friend in Oklahoma) has misunderstood a recent post of mine, in a way that I think is hilarious and proves … something.

When I wrote about Unassisted Childbirth (UC), she wrote on her blog about it in a way that made it sound like she thought I meant “unassisted” as in “un-drug-relieved.” Which is understandable, because she might be aware that I rely on caffeine-assistance every day.

But UC refers to a movement (or, as they would say, the natural way things have been done forever) of women who give birth at home, without even the presence of a midwife. (maybe some allow a midwife; this is a club with very stringent restrictions; I’m not entirely sure what is allowed).

This is funny to me, because it shows that Adrianne shares my main paradigm regarding childbirth — it’s something best done in a hospital (or maybe a birthing center next to a hospital), and the only question is if/how much narcotic/anesthetic intervention to use (scream for?).

As Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) would say, If the Good Lord had wanted us to suffer that much in childbirth, He wouldn’t have invented epidurals.

Dr. Seuss is really … rather irritating

If I have to read Oh the Places You’ll Go, one more time, I warn you! I remember, as a child, being frustrated when my mom refused to read If I Ran the Circus (the Circus McGurkus) just one more time, please (whine, whine). Now I’m surprised she didn’t burn it, and other Dr. Seuss classics, in the dead of night, in a forest, under a full moon.

But I love There’s a Wocket in My Pocket. It’s so fun to read aloud. Maybe it has deep thematic elements about accepting difference and sharing our material blessings with others, and maybe it is highly educational with the introduction to more complex rhymes, but mainly I just love how it sounds.


I like the ZABLE on the TABLE.

And the GHAIR under the CHAIR.

But that BOFA on the SOFA…

Well, I wish he wasn’t there.

Necessary Nudity (in movies)

1) I am for free speech (free as in “paid for by a soldier;” nothing is every really “free”).

2) I am for self-censorship (though if you’d heard what Sally was parroting last night, you might not believe that).

1a) I am for movie directors directing whatever the heck they want.

2a) I am for my being able to edit the movies I see.

On Friday night, Dick and I watched Children of Men, edited, courtesy of our ClearPlay DVD player. If I am mistaken about any plot points, I apologize; the editing our filter does is smooth, but it is obvious when something is omitted. Children of Men is a bleak dystopian flick about a future when no women get pregnant and there is great immigrant, etc, unrest. It was moving in that a few characters sacrifice much to protect the woman, Kee (get it, she’s the key), who is pregnant and needs sanctuary. Continue reading

Karin’s hot prom date

I just want to know: where was he when I was in high school?


I don’t like to boast, but my friends (well, my mom anyway) say that Karin and I look alike, or at least she used to say that. Karin’s dress is a Karin-designed and ever-accomodating-Mom-sewn original creation. Love the brown!

Despite the many promises that life after high school gets much better, I have to say that I enjoyed most of high school quite a bit. I had some of the best friends in the whole world. Specifically, without Tracey and Melinda, it would have been miserable. Who else would have read trashy (though wholesome, I promise, Mom) novels with me on Friday nights and walked through the halls in our bathrobes after our last-period swim class? Who would have studied through lunches of Macey’s bagels and yogurt and ditched AP history to go swimming at my house? Nurse-shoe Mr. Burnham never forgave us for not only missing class, but for not trying to get in the door that he had locked against us when it was apparent that we were late.

Who would have helped me ask Christian to a dance with a frozen chicken, and, for the first girl’s choice of our junior year, joined me in asking twins so that we could risk rejection together? Who else would I have rather been with when I was out on the dates I did have? Who else would have always taken my part against Rory and that tall Jex boy and who else could have endangered my record as most dangerous driver ever?

I guess it’s okay Karin’s date wasn’t around. I had friends. (not that Karin doesn’t have friends. she does. great friends. she just happens to have a hot prom date too.)

Unassisted Childbirth (UC)

It’s so last month (when I was fiercely interested in this), but just a couple thoughts on UC from the past few days. I find it highly compelling/appalling that I, my sister, and at least one of my best friends feel very strongly that our first child and/or ourselves would have died if not for serious medical intervention at the delivery.

In my own case, I was two weeks overdue and experiencing much less fetal movement. When I was admitted to the hospital my amniotic fluid was (dangerously?) low and I was dilated to 1 cm. I was induced and 28 hours (not to mention the shadow of the valley of death) later, I held my slightly large baby.

My sister and my friend were each also overdue and had cords wrapped around necks and various other fetal and maternal distresses. Of course, some of these distresses are probably attributable to the induction techniques, and maybe I could have stayed at home waiting, waiting for that baby to come and everything would have been fine. There’s no way to know now. And in many ways, I am sad that I missed some of the ecstatic aspects of birth I might have experienced if things had been different. Continue reading

Thanks to Teresa

I wrote a couple weeks ago about my good friend Melinda, who was in the process of weaning her 6-month-old baby, on the advice of her neurologist, in order to resume taking her MS drug. In my bumbling way, I tried to express to her my support for making tough, necessary decisions. A (one-time?) reader of this blog was kind enough to leave a comment on that post, in which she linked to some pharmacology studies and encouraged Melinda to discuss them with her neurologist before stopping breastfeeding.

Melinda (let me know if you don’t want me talking about you anymore 🙂 ) wrote me last week to say that, after researching and talking further with her doctor, she has been able to resume breastfeeding. I am so glad! Isn’t knowledge a beautiful thing? And blogs, and commenters on blogs — they are beautiful too! Good. That’s one addiction I won’t be needing to overcome any time soon.

Most evocative moments in literature

I’d like to start a list of the most evocative moments or images in literature. This would usually not include dialogue; there are websites full of snappy quotes from almost every novel (I know, I counted; just kidding). I could probably have an entire conversation using dialogue from Some Kind of Wonderful (see Good Movies at top) and The Breakfast Club. But I have been haunted, recently, by a moment from Anne of Green Gables (AGG).

Near the end of AGG (page 277; took me 1 1/2 seconds to find it), Anne goes to Queens and Diana … nevermind, here it is:

The day finally came when Anne must go to town. She and Matthew drove in one fine September morning, after a tearful parting with Diana and an untearful, practical one–on Marilla’s side at least–with Marilla. But when Anne had gone Diana dried her tears and went to a beach picnic at White Sands with some of her Carmody cousins, where she contrived to enjoy herself tolerably well; while Marilla plunged fiercely into unnecessary work and kept at it all day long with the bitterest kind of heartache–the ache that burns and gnaws and cannot wash itself away in ready tears. But that night, when Marilla went to bed, acutely and miserably conscious that the little gable room at the end of the hall was untenanted by any vivid young life and unstirred by any soft breathing, she buried her face in her pillow, and wept for her girl in a passion of sobs that appalled her when she grew calm enough to reflect how very wicked it must be to take on so about a sinful fellow creature.

I can’t read that without crying myself. I feel that way about my children, and my mom and the wonderful friends I’ve made these many moons (sorry, Dad, it’s kind of a girl thing. And Dick, however many times you leave towels on the floor and forget the trash and do the dishes wrong and ask the girls “Do you want me to yell like Mom?”, I can’t imagine a parting).

Maybe now that I’ve gotten it down on paper it will stop turning up, and allow me to think of some more.

My addictive personality, or, On Blogging

I lamented to Dick, upon his return from Vancouver, that I have become addicted to blogging. Dick is both my supplier and my ennabler. He nagged and nagged until I started last summer, and now he solves my little technical problems so that I can contine. As soon as I voiced my dismay, I knew what step I should take first to confront the problem: I should write a post about my addiction.

I have other addictions, which I’ve intermittently overcome or embraced. Those that are suitable for discussing in public include Mountain Dew, Publix white cake, reading trashy novels, and running (slowly). Dick says that at least blogging is an addiction that he can understand and encourage. I say that it’s a good thing Dick and I are both the type of person who checks her/his email at least 15 times a day (incredibly, some people only check their email daily, if not weekly). Our courtship would never have gotten off the ground if emails had languished for days unread.

The cool thing about blogging is that anyone can have a blog of her own, and on it, she can say whatever the heck she wants (ok, what I want to say is “whatever the hell,” but I’ve self-censored in deference to some esteemed members of my audience; self-censorship is quite allowed). Even on other people’s blogs, he who comments most persistentely can often have the last word. And my last word is: I think therefore I blog; I blog therefore I am.

Lower-middle-class or upper-middle-class?

I need to figure out to which socioeconomic class my family belongs, in order to determine my reference point in the mommy wars (the SAHM v. the WM). The general consensus is that it is upper-middle-class moms who are faced with the dilemma of whether to return to work after having a child. Lower-middle-class moms are excused from the argument as they are expected to work as a matter of necessity. In fact, they probably shouldn’t even have to hear the argument since they are completely powerless in their own lives (according to this view).

Upper-class moms often have nannies regardless of their working status (see Angelina Jolie’s promise to be a SAHM), so we’ll focus on the Uppers and the Lowers.

Income (also, number of income earners and size of household), Education and Job Type are cited in my reference of choice (wikipedia.org); wikipedia also describes the thresholds for each indicator.

Johnson Family

Income: mid 5-figure range, 1 income earner for a household of 5.

Education: Dick: MFA from Columbia University; Dick & Jane: BA in English, with honors, from BYU.

Job Type: Dick: white collar, “senior” level, but not management (he’s only been in the field 2 years); Jane: mother and homemaker.

Result: Continue reading