Adventures in Homeschooling in Southern Indiana

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Bleakness of an OB office

I had another blood test today to make sure my hormones are returning to normal.

There's something dismal about visiting your OB after a miscarriage. All the posters and magazines gleefully proclaim how great it is to be preparing for baby.

You're visiting the place where you saw your child jumping around on the ultrasound screen, but now your child is dead, and you're undergoing tests to make sure that he's completely and totally gone from your womb.

You're surrounded by happy expectant couples when all you have to expect is a needle in the arm.

I almost wish I could have these tests done somewhere else-- at my family practice office, maybe, just so I wouldn't have to grieve while I waited.

I didn't feel like getting up this morning to go to the doctor. If I was on my own, I probably would have just canceled and stayed in bed. But I have a husband and kids, which means that I have to LIVE, not wallow in grief. This is a VERY good thing. I don't know how single women cope with this sort loss.... it must be horrible.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quick Note to Anon- starting the discussion up again

Hey Anon--

First off, I want you to know that I don't really expect to change your mind about abortion-- this is more about letting you see how the other side thinks, I think. Obviously you have strong reasons for your position, and a random discussion on a blog isn't going to drastically alter your underlying philosophy.

BUT I would like to point out that earlier in the discussion you characterized the idea that abortion should not be allowed as a religious belief, and said that religion has no place in politics.

And you've asserted again and again that you believe that life begins at birth, without giving a scientific or philosophical reason why this is so.

So, really, your belief that life begins at birth is ALSO religious in nature, even if it's not the official dogma of a mainstream religion.

While most people's beliefs CAN be explained by philosophy or science, I don't think most people have actually examined the basis for their beliefs-- most voters are voting based on their "religion."

For instance, a lot of people believe we should give more money to public schools. But when you ask them why public education is important, they don't respond with the results of studies or the philosophical reasons why a nation should have a unified educational system available to all.

Abortion is a touchier issue because the divide between pro-and con- is deeper, and the topic is a more emotional one than finance reform or EPA regulations.

But if we limit voting to those who have carefully explored and examined the philosophical and scientific underpinnings of all their beliefs, we'll have a pretty small voting pool. (And who decides what's been properly examined???)

Also, it's not really fair to dismiss a person's beliefs just because they're 'religious' or 'unexamined.' Because many people have a pretty good 'gut' for these things, even when they haven't thought it through all the way.

Of course, not everyone agrees on contentious issues... which is why we vote in the first place, and why we lobby elected officials, and why we all try to change hearts and minds. But the strength of a democracy is that Linus Pauling and that crazy guy on the street corner BOTH get their say, and that no one gets to say who's vote is worth more.

So I would hope that while I can't convince you to accept my positions on when life begins, or whether abortion is good or bad for the mother, I can at least convince you to consider the idea that there is nothing wrong with voting your deeply held beliefs.

And that there's nothing wrong with encouraging your opponents to vote based on THEIR deeply held beliefs. Because that's what Democracy is supposed to be!

Back From Christmas

Well, we're back from our Christmas trip. We met my in-laws at French Lick, IN and spent a week visiting relatives across Southern Indiana.

We also got to go to Midnight Mass at St. Meinrad's monastery--- beautiful, joyful and solemn, except that my 3 year old seems to have a SEVERE reaction to Incense... We'll have to keep that in mind at Easter!

My oldest and youngest slept through the whole thing, but 3YO enjoyed all the non-smokey parts... especially the music. (She should! After all, she's named after the patron saint of liturgical music!)

We had a time zone snafu and got to the monastery WAYYY early, so we walked around, looked at all the art, and spent about 10 minutes in the adoration chapel. (short time, but long for the kids.)

My almost-toddler pointed to the Tabernacle and said "Dat's Jesus!" Clearly he's destined for sainthood. =)

Christmas day was a blur of presents, food, and family. We're now trying to get the kids back on a sleep schedule we can live with. (They get a bit hyper when we travel.)

BTW-- The pope's Christmas Homily was excellent....Check it out!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two Sick Kids

Two sick kids with fevers and vomiting. I'm so tired I can barely function. I'm coming down with it too, and the coffee is the only thing keeping me going until my husband gets back with some sinus drugs.

If I was pregnant, I'd be dead in the water right now, unable to take ANYTHING.

But I still would rather be pregnant.

Today's reading was the Luke's account of the Annunciation, btw. One of my favorites. Even better in the Latin. I read the readings at home and watched some of Mass on TV-- feverish kids can't go to church-- they might spread their germs and kill someone's grandma!

The Anchoress had a link to a homily on Mary's question of "How can this be?" and how we meet so many things in life with disbelief.

I think, with Paul, I'm still stuck at "How can this be?" This was the first pregnancy where I WASN'T afraid I'd miscarry. After all, the last 3 were easy, so this one would be too.

And sometimes it irks me that an unknowing God gives babies not meant to live more than a few weeks to Moms who would happily raise them forever, and babies who could have lived a full life to Moms who kill them in utero.

But I know it's all about opportunities for grace, in the end. I had a boss once who'd been a teen mother (she was a 20-something mother when I knew her.) She's been alone and scared when she found out about her son, everyone tried to persuade her that an abortion would be best.

When I knew her, she said he was the best thing that had ever happened to her, and that it still bothered her that some people treated this amazing little boy like he'd been some sort of a mistake.

Sometimes, sappy Sunday school posters are right. God doesn't make mistakes. But people can.

(Oh, also at The Anchoress's blog (no link today, sorry, computer issues so I can barely type) she has a great quote from Penn of Penn and Teller. Penn wonders how much you must hate someone, if you really believe there's a possibility for eternal life, but don't let them know about it, for fear of offending.

I see where he's coming from. If you're about to cross a railroad track, and I see a train coming through the fog and don't tell you, aren't I just condemning you to death? Even if you might be offended that I interrupted your walk, isn't it my duty to say "Watch out for the Train!??!?!?!"

Watch out for the Train, folks. I don't want you to get hit.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. Sinuses and insufficient sleep combine in odd ways sometimes...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Courage of a Child

This post at the Anchoress is just amazing. And a good reminder about what Christmas, and Christianity, is all about.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mini Rant about the Barney Video.

George, Laura, what are you doing???

"A Red, White and Blue Holiday?" Which would that be?

"Ooh! It's like Independence Day in December!!!!"

Would it REALLY kill you just to say 'Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah?"

"Have a happy HOLIDAY?" What if I celebrate more than one? Do I only get to be happy on Christmas? Do I have to sulk all day on the Feast of the Holy Family?????

If you try too hard not to favor any group over another, you just end up sounding stupid.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A question

My doctor told me it was better to miscarry naturally and avoid a D&C. She said a D&C increases your risk of fertility problems, placenta previa, ectopic pregnancies and other complication.

Makes sense. After all, you're scraping the Uterus clean.

Now, we're told again and again that abortion does NOT cause any problems. But an abortion is just a D&C on a living baby instead of a dead one.


Maybe OBs are just incompetent.

Because the abortion industry would NEVER lie to women, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Pet peeve

Sorry to vent so much, but...

Another crazy-making phenomenon :

People asking if I'm "OK."

My child died a week ago.

I'm still in 'labor', passing chunks of placenta.

If I try to do anything other than sit sedately typing and watching TV, I bleed a lot more and have to go back to sitting sedately.

So no, I'm not OK. I'm physically ill, I'm sad, and I can't expect not to be either for a while. But if you ask, I'll tell you I'm fine, because that's what you want to hear and I AM fine for where I am at the moment.

You know, even when everything's great, I'm not overly fond of people. Days like today, I wish they'd all stop talking at me.

Another tough thing

I'm supposed to be treating this like recovery from a term-birth. But after normal childbirth, you're left with a tiny person who wants constant holding, nursing and snuggling. And you have warm, happy hormones that make you want to hold, nurse, and snuggle. So it's much easier to sit around doing nothing.

Instead, I have grief... which makes me antsy.

At least I caught up on "Samantha Who" today. "Chuck" is next.

Why I'm Lucky

1. I actually got to see my child, hold my child, and bury my child. A lot of women don't.

2. I spend all my time around people who understand about babies. So I haven't had to listen to a lot of rude, unfeeling comments.

3. My priest did a wonderful job with the graveside service.

4. I think my bleeding might be slowing down.

5. I have other kids. I used to think this was a heartless thing to say after losing one, because kids aren't interchangeable. But having other kids does make the pain easier to handle, because I have people to hold, people to rock, and people who miss Paul as much as I do around me all day. And I can't imagine how other women bear this ache with empty arms.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Things that currently Irk me.

1. My baby is dead and buried. (We named him Paul Marie) But my miscarriage isn't done yet.

2. My doctor's definition of "Small chunks of placenta" is not the same as mine. As in, her "small" looks an awful lot like "Fricken Huge" to me.

3. I'm still at risk for hemmorage, but the place we're supposed to go for Christmas is AN HOUR from the nearest functoning ER.

4. People who tell me it's good we buried Paul because it will 'help us grieve.' We buried him because he's a person, and you bury people. It's called respect for the dead.

5. Because Paul was so old, my recovery will be the same as from a full term birth. But we hadn't planned to have me off my feet for a week until.... July.

6. That God's plans and my plans for Paul were not the same.

7. That my 5 year old is afraid to hug me because "she doesn't want any more blood to come out."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Grieving Kids

My kids' personalities really shine when I watch them deal with tragedy.

First of all, all three of them, even Ben, were angels in the ER. When the nurses switched shifts, the ones who didn't see us come in had no idea we had three bored, antsy kids in the room with us. They were THAT good even though the whole visit took 3 hours, and they were missing the matinee of Bolt because our baby was dead. I have no idea why I've been blessed with such amazing kids.

Now it's really interesting to see how they deal with death and how they deal with grieving parents.

Anne, my almost-5-year-old, didn't want to see Paul when we retrieved his body. I told her that he looked just like one of those plastic pro-life babies you get at the fair. (He did, just a tad smaller....) So she keeps picking one of those up, calling it Paul, and rocking it. When I'm upset, she sits next to me and we work on a jigsaw puzzle together.

Cecilia, who is three, wanted to see the body. She looked, and said "He's really dead. And he's dirty. he needs a bath." (We didn't risk washing him... I want to keep his body whole until the burial) When she sees me cry, she tells me her tummy hurts and the only way to make it better is to color with her. Then she proceeds to tell me EXACTLY which crayon I must use for each piece of the picture. And yes, she's always this hard-headed and bossy.

Ben's too young to understand, but he's really clingy. And when I cry? He puts a duck on my head and gives me a toothy, maniacal laugh until I have to smile at him. Because clowning toddlers are beautiful.

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Anon---

Hi Anon. I've seen your new comment, and I was working on a reply to it when we had the worst weekend of our lives.

I'm sorry. I can't respond to you with reason and logic right now. I'll get back to you when I can, but at this point I don't know how long it will be.

God Bless,