Sunday, October 28, 2012

Another important political discussion...

I would like to preface this by saying that I'm going to try not to make this an "angry rant" because it is a subject that is very important to me and it is a hot button issue all over the country right now.
Recently two politicians (a congressman and a senate candidate) have come under extreme fire/scrutiny for commenting on their believes on pregnancies that result from rapes. The most recent comment was that if a rape results in a pregnancy, it was God's Will.
This politician immediately came under fire. People (including someone I know) called him the "worst person in the world." Why? Because he believes life begins at conception and values human life? Gee, what a terrible person, especially compared to the murders and drug lords and genocidal leaders and the Taliban, for crying out loud. He is being practically nailed to the wall for what he said. Guess what? He didn't say that the rape itself was God's Will. I can't believe anybody would actually think that he believes that. He was saying that if after all that goes on in such a terrible situation as rape, if a baby is conceived, it is just as much a miracle than if a man and woman were actively trying to have a baby. Like Paul Ryan said, a life is a life regardless of the circumstances of how it came to be. 
When I lost my baby back in July, it was awful. People rallied around me saying how sorry they were, including many who don't believe what I do. If people think that at 6 weeks I only lost a group of cells, not a baby, why would they be sorry for me? Not a life, not a big deal, right? Why is it that if a woman miscarries it is a truly sad thing, but if she aborts, its exercising her woman's right? So a note to all: I too believe that begins at conception, so I guess that makes me a terrible person as well...
The other politician started a scandal when he said that it is unlikely that a rape would result in pregnancy. I don't know if that's true --I'm not a doctor-- but this was also not a new statement to me. I had heard many times in my life that the conditions of a forcible rape (the adrenaline, the stress, the fear) are not ideal conditions for conception. Again I don't know if that's true because my medical training is non-existent, but it sort of makes sense to me. Along with all that, the timing would have to spot on, you know what I mean?
Let me expand on that. As any woman who has gone through Trying To Conceive can attest, myself included, the conditions for pregnancy are very specific and particular. The parameters that must be met are limited. The average woman of prime child-bearing years has one cycle every month. In that month, there are only 1-2 days when she actually ovulates. Depending on age and health, most women only have about a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month. The older you get, the lower your chances are. Women trying to get pregnant count and calculate until they can't stand it anymore. It takes the average couple 6 months to conceive.
Here's some more biology for you: Tens of Millions of sperm enter the female body. Most of those will die or get "lost" along the way (insert cheesy man vs. directions joke here). Then the sperm have to choose between two fallopian tubes and hope they get the right one. Then once the sperm reaches the egg (FYI: there are only about 100 left at this point, out of the initial tens of millions), they have to find a weak spot in the egg to burrow into. The odds aren't great. This video is a bit dramatic in the narration, but it explains it well.
So, pushing the emotional/hormonal stuff going on in your body during a rape aside, the rape itself would have to occur within a day or two of ovulation and the sperm would have had to find its way to the egg and penetrate the egg itself in order to result in pregnancy. I'm not saying it wouldn't happen, but I am saying the chances are small so I really don't think that should be the definitive argument for the legality of abortion. No website will offer hard statistics because they are so hard to prove, but I really don't think the majority of abortions are because of rape or incest. I just don't.
I know this isn't a popular opinion, but it's mine and I own it. I am tired of people, especially other women, making women feel like they are casting aside their womanly duties by not supporting abortion. I will never support abortion, to be honest with you. I never feel like it is OK to kill a child, in or out of the womb. In fact, I told my husband if it ever came to that, choosing between me or the baby, to always choose the baby. Rape is a terrible and tragic thing that should never happen, but it isn't the baby's fault.
People got upset when certain states passed a law that required an ultrasound before an abortion. Were they perhaps upset because they would see a living being? They don't want to know that a heart is beating and the organs are forming and the baby has a brain and a central nervous system and cardiovascular system and fingers and toes and CAN HEAR YOU.
OK, I think that is all for now. I'm sure I can say more. I could talk about this all day. I'm not trying to change minds (though if I helped, that would be great), but I am trying to make sure that my opinion and those like mine are just as respected as people who disagree. People need to stop putting others down for what they believe just because it is different. It is a threat to the freedom of speech and that is a dangerous territory to be getting ourselves into.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ten Years: Part Two

As promised, a follow up:

Things I took away from my 10-year reunion (which I believe was a complete success, by the way. Everyone really seemed to have a good time and we had a somewhat good turn-out. It was small-ish when you consider how many people didn't come, but I think it was a good size group):

1. Spanx and Little Black Dresses are the Photoshop of real life (myself totally included.)
2. Ten years is a long time in some aspect, but not long enough in others.
3. Those I genuinely liked and considered friends and have fond memories of, (outside of my regular group of that I hung out with all the time, that is), I still feel the same about them. I truly enjoyed seeing them and catching up (I was going to list names, but I was afraid to leave someone out, so I hope you know who you are!).
4. There were a lot of people not there that I haven't seen in a long time and I wish had been there
5. The people who didn't really talk to me much in high school, didn't really talk to me at the reunion either but I'm OK with that.
6. I'm starting to think my memories of high school have grown slightly distorted over the years, but it is all starting to go back into place now.
7. I don't know what's more disappointing: discovering the guy you had the biggest pull-your-hair-out-in-love-with crush on turned out to be kind of a jackass, or looking back and realizing he probably always was.
8. I not only miss, but truly TREASURE the really good times I had (Float parties at the Taylor's, homecoming decorating, spirit week, donkey basketball games, basketball stats with my girls JoAnna and Brittney, driving Mr. Goedhart crazy in choir, "babysitting" at the Natural History Museum with Kristen, Joey and Devon... I could keep going, I'm sure)
9. I experienced some not great things in high school and I used to say I hated it, but now having been out for 10 years and having the experiences I've had, I don't know if that's actually the case. I didn't love it by any means, and there was quite a bit I wish I could have changed, but I had some really great friends and enough happy memories that it would be wrong of me to say I hated it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ten Years: Part One

Ten Years...

Confession: My high school reunion is on Saturday and I am pretty nervous. OK I'm terrified.

I wasn't the popular girl in high school, not by a long shot. (I wasn't exactly a loser either, for the record. At least I hope not.) My fear is that I was forgettable.

During one of our reunion planning meetings (yes, I somehow found myself on the committee and surprisingly enough have enjoyed it. Although, side note: Planning a reunion is much more stressful than planning a wedding.), someone mentioned a name I hadn't thought about in years (probably 10) and I thought "Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about her!" Then another thought occurred to me: What if that's me? What if I'm the girl people say "I totally forgot about her!" when they hear my name?

I had a lot of self-confidence issues when I was in high school. I guess a lot of people do, but still, it was big issue for me. When I graduated and started living my life out of my little private school bubble, I met a lot of people who knew nothing about me from before. I was able to recreate myself, if you want to put it that way. Or maybe even be more of my true self, which is probably more accurate. I made a lot of friends and my self-confidence soared. I still feel better about myself than I ever did before.

The problem? It is very easy for me to go back to the self-doubting, self-defeating girl I once was, to slip back into that routine. Especially when I am surrounded by my past. The memories alone of how I felt are enough to do it. The biggest thing is, nobody ever really made me feel this way (well, not nobody but that's another story or two altogether). This was pretty much all me. All me not feeling good enough. All me feeling down on myself because I didn't look a certain way or wasn't invited to certain activities. All me for comparing myself to others CONSTANTLY. I'm really glad my husband is going to be there with me, because when he looks at me, it brings me back to reality and I can brush off the old stuff knowing it doesn't matter anymore.

I had a really good group of friends in high school and even friends who weren't in my regular group. I'm sad that I didn't stay in better touch with more of them (except for Jen Westerbeek, who I of course stayed in touch with. She's been one of my best friends--if not my absolute best friend--since we were 10 years old. Can you believe we've been friends for 18 years??!! And now our kids are friends!), but I'm really excited to see them all.

There are a lot of people not going that I really would have loved to see and spend time catching up with and I hope you know who you are (assuming this is being read by anyone... oops, there goes that confidence thing again!)

This blog was "Part One" so I'll try to do a follow up after the reunion. Hopefully it'll be of the "See, I had nothing to worry about" variety :0)