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gender-based vioence, abuse, sexual violence, gender based violence, rape

gender-based violence, abuse, sexual violence, gender based violence, rape

Gender-Based Violence*Denial of care for women* The subjugation of women and deprivation of human rights and respect* Gender based violence is physical or emotional violence against women*Anything that doesn’t see the woman as a human being* Women are worth protecting and worth respecting* The old belief was that women are servants and used as procreation tools*

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time but gender-based violence was something that I needed to mull over and give my full attention; the topic is that important. It is about life and death. It is human compassion. The scariest part is that this topic is not just happening in some far off land or third world country. Gender-based violence is happening right here where you live; maybe it’s next door, the next street over or maybe it’s happening in your own house. It has to stop. No woman deserves this.

Gender-Based Violence is not what I want for my little girls

The gravest threat to a woman’s life is violence inflicted upon her simply because she is a woman. How can you even comprehend or justify this sort of violence? You can’t. Enough time of being beaten down for it and eventually a woman will begin to hate herself because being a woman makes her a target for unimaginable and unprovoked violence.

Women between the ages of 15 and 45 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. Often times, violent acts such as rape, female genital cutting, or extreme physical abuse are used to intimidate, humiliate and discredit women, denying them political weight in society and forcing them into silent, second-class citizenship. Beyond personal injury, gender-based violence also results in unwanted pregnancies, severe psychological trauma and an increase in maternal mortality.

Gender-based violence can take many different forms, and is constantly mutating into new forms, be it acid attacks, bride burnings, rape or domestic violence. Gender-based violence is often perpetrated by those closest to a woman; a family member, her partner or a friend; someone that she trusts. About one-third of all women globally face beatings in the home. In most countries, between 30 and 60 percent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence by a husband or a boyfriend. 30-60 percent! That means it is very likely that someone that you already know has been a victim of gender-based violence. The statistics for female murder by male partners are also astounding: Up to 70 percent of female murder victims were killed by their male partners, according to the World Health Organization.

In some countries, female genital mutilation is also a concern. Over 135 million girls and women have undergone genital mutilation and 2 million more girls are at risk each year. “Honor” killings, in which a woman’s relative murders her for disgracing the family, can also be a concern in parts of the world. Women are treated like property and inanimate objects. For some reason, there is the assumption that women are put on this earth to serve only the wants and needs of others. I have news for you, we are human with feelings and thoughts and being dismissed, used to satisfy man’s sexual appetite and abused hurts us at our very core. It undermines our very sense of self.

Many governments across the globe continue to turn a blind eye to this violence. To date, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not outlawed and more than 2.6 billion live in countries where rape within marriage is not considered a crime. Without legal retribution, assailants rarely face consequences for their actions and the victims are less likely to report the abuse. In many cases, women are concerned that they will be the ones punished if they report the violence. Other times, rape and sexual assault are so stigmatized that the victim stays silent even if there are laws in place. How can we in good conscious live in a world where victims of unspeakable acts are treated like the perpetrator?

Rape and these other abuses often work to keep women down. Women who have experienced such violence can suffer isolation and depression and have increased drug and alcohol dependency or even poor reproductive health. They may become unable to work or care for their families because they have become so broken from the abuse.

Gender-Based Violence Kills Hope

While laws are important to help combat gender-based violence, the main solution is to change the way people think. Two things lie behind gender-based violence: sexism and misogyny. And it’s not just the men: women too adhere to discriminatory social customs, and frequently are the ones to transmit to the next generation.  For instance, women are often the managers of brothels in poor countries or the ones who demand that their daughters’ genitals are cut. Women have been abused and treated so badly for so long that they have began to believe that they deserve the treatment, accept that the abuse is normal and even become perpetrators of the gender-based violence against other women.

It’s happening all over the world; in every country and every city, even in 2012 in the United States. Pay attention to the news; women’s rights and reproductive rights are being pushed and pulled and torn away from women by politicians who need to change their views. If our leaders view us as second-class citizens, how can we expect the rest of the men in our lives to be any different? The government makes the rules and sets the standards by which all others follow.

Since these attitudes are embedded in culture, they will only change with education. We need to help by acknowledging these harmful and sexist attitudes and traditions and refusing to accept them any longer. By not ignoring the issue we are helping quietly sanction this violence against women.

As women, we need to stand up and speak out. We need to demand that we are treated with the same respect as men. Just because we have a vagina that doesn’t make us weaker; that makes us stronger because we have always had to work harder to prove ourselves to society.  I am afraid what might happen if we don’t. Is the world you want to raise your daughter in? We need to change so that our daughters and granddaughters don’t grow up to know this devastation.

Half the Sky Movement is helping reverse this devastating trend by shining a light on these horrific acts of violence and inspiring victims to champion gender equality and safety. They are making a real difference in the world. You can see the PBS special and learn more on October 1 & 2.

We are humans* We are worth protecting* We are deserving of love and respect* We are the givers of life* We are more than just what lies between our legs*

Gender-based violence  is unacceptable

Disclaimer: This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a compensated program initiated by Women Online/The Mission List to raise awareness about the Half the Sky. All commentary and opinions are, of course, my own.

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insomnia, mommy sex and the man cold, man cold, feminine hygiene, U.T.I, motherhood, dad cold

Oh you read that title right? And I’m the barely living proof. In case you’ve been wondering where the hell I’ve been all week, I got taken out of the game by a U.T.I. Yep, I said it. No alibi just a damn U.T.I. I’m feeling like I’m upside down in the middle of nowhere. As if having stress incontinence and mommy brain were not embarrassing enough.

This past weekend I was feeling out of sorts, okay, bat shit crazy is more appropriate. What started out as a low blood sugar spell, as my mamma would call it, turned into something else. I ate something but nothing seemed to work. I just couldn’t shake that lightheaded feeling.

I took a shower, laid down and prayed that it would pass. It didn’t. Of course, I’m going through WebMd assuming the worst. It had to be a tumor or maybe brain cancer. Maybe I’m about to go into a diabetic coma (no I’m not diabetic) or maybe my blood pressure was going to make me have a stroke. Fuck, I don’t want to have a stroke. Or maybe the stress of my children is finally going to give me Bells Palsy. It’s not funny. I think about this sort of shit and then I freak out because my smile is already crooked and I just don’t think I can pull off the droopy face look. Some people can, just like some people look good bald. I am barely passing as human on a good day.

The next thing I knew, all the blood is rushing from my head and the only thing I can hear was the sound of my own blood coursing through my veins. The room was getting foggy and I was freaking out because I knew it was going to happen next. I was going to pass out.

I screamed for the Big Guy and when he came upstairs, he saw that I was as white as a ghost and, through my head spinning fog, I told him that we needed to go to the hospital, the vets or whatever the closest place was where a person trained in medicine, of any kind, could make me feel “normal”. Not your typical Sunday night. Well, maybe it is for us. Over the course of this past year, it seems like everything that ever happens bad to us happens on Sunday. Remember the ER visit on Easter Sunday thanks to the gall bladder from hell. It’s our only free day of the week. I think just the fact that my body gets to rest, it goes into shock and likes to cause some good old fashioned drama.

I went to the doctor expecting to be told that I had high blood pressure or high sugar, high something. I’m a middle-aged mom who never makes time for herself. What the hell else would I expect? Of course my body is going to mutiny at some point. But that wasn’t the case.

Turned out that I had a blockage in my ear, that needed to be removed. That was disgusting. If you’ve ever had one, then you know I’m talking about and if you haven’t count yourself lucky. While I was being poked and prodded at every end, they also found out that I have a UTI. A fucking U.T.I at my age!

I’ve never had a U.T.I before.

Somehow I made all through college and all that sex and never had a U.T.I but here I am a week before my 44th birthday, monogamous for nearly 2 decades, with my first U.T.I like some coed gone wild. That’ll teach me to have sex three times in one week.

Apparently due to the infection, I was experiencing some lightheadedness. I didn’t even know that was possible. Who knew that your urethra wielded such dizzying power over your mental well-being? Just in case the finicky urethra was not the culprit, my Eustachian tube had to be excavated and all wax removed, by force if necessary.

It all sounded terrible, what I could hear of it. Apparently, between the swooshing of my blood in my head and my blocked ear, I wasn’t hearing as well as I should’ve been. The thing is when your urethra is hijacking your health, your ear is being power washed from the inside out and, just to keep things interesting, your vagina and all of her reproductive friends are trying to kill you by slow and heavy internal bleeding, you just don’t give a fuck whether or not they beat on your ear drum with a miniature fire hose. You just make a bunch of ugly faces, while your kids watch because it’s Sunday and you have no babysitter, and you deal with it. That’s being a grown up and it sucks.

All ready long story short, sometimes weird shit happens on Sunday afternoon and you just have to put on your big girl panties (and a bra if you’re going into public) and hit up the local hospital where they know your name and pay a ridiculous amount of money because being able to function without falling over or passing out, is pretty important when you’re a mom. I mean how am I supposed to drive everyone everywhere if I’m randomly passing out all over the place? How is my husband supposed to be gone at a conference all week if I’m running a fever and passing out?

Oh, don’t mind me, I’ll just take 10 days’ worth of these horse pill antibiotics (maybe he did take me to the vets after all) and 10 days straight of antihistamine and wait for the impending yeast infection that will surely follow while you all just go on about your lives. By all means family, don’t let my illness encroach on your plans…. mother fuckers. (I feel like I should add a Mother Fucker there for some reason).

Anyways, I’m not passing out but I’m now feeling crazy from the steady Benadryl drip I’m on. But it’s all good. Nobody be alarmed. I took the kids to all their extracurricular activities this week. The Big Guy didn’t miss any of his conference social events and I even managed to attend a Middle school football game (because my daughter cheered) and a mandatory school board meeting. I’m not bragging or anything but did I mention that I cooked dinner every damn day this week? Don’t be jealous, ladies! Not bad for a half dead woman who can’t hear and has issues with her lady bits. Of course, my house looks like a pig sty had a baby with a tornado.

This Sunday is my birthday. The girls are going to grandma’s house tonight and all I want to do is sleep for the next 48-hours. But that probably won’t happen because…well, I’m a mom and a wife and when the people I love need me, I can’t say no. We have tickets to a Purdue game and my parents are coming to visit and…I just need a nap. Can I just be the flake this weekend? Why couldn’t I have simply contracted a man cold? With a man cold, all expectations would have disappeared but not with a U.T.I. I caught the wrong thing from my husband.

Have you ever suffered from a U.T.I ?

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An Open Letter to Men from Women on Misogyny, Abortion, Sex and Equality

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

As a feminist mom of teenage girls, this is the post that lives in my mind at all times. As a daughter and granddaughter of a mother and grandmother who have always been marginalized by what lies between her legs, I am offended.  As a woman who has been judged, juried and punished for being feminine and curvy, I am livid. As a woman who has been sexually harassed and abused by men and afraid for as long as I can remember, I am done. As a woman who thinks and feels and sees and exists, I am outraged. This is my open letter to men on misogyny, abortion, sex and equality

For as long as I can remember, I have walked through the world feeling in danger. In danger of being touched, groped, raped and even assaulted by men. Worse still, I have learned to survive. To make myself small and quiet when I needed to which if you know me, you know is not me. I am not alone.

When strange men on trains, on planes, in clubs, at school, at church, online, at frat parties, walking home from school, playing at a friend’s house, while shopping, while eating, while working, breastfeeding, playing at the park with my children, while living my life and even while sleeping have forced their crude remarks, wandering hands and themselves upon me, I had to learn to escape with the least amount of damage; not unscathed because, as any woman knows, that is impossible. So I made a decision, a long time ago, I refused to raise my daughters to make themselves small and I myself will never again make myself small…because they (my daughters) are watching.

Misogyny

I refuse to raise my daughters to hunch their shoulders, hide their bodies in baggy clothes, feel shame for being attractive or saying no. Not today misogyny. I would not raise them to consider anyone other than themselves when getting dressed. No one else’s opinion on what they wear, their size, shape, hair color, makeup or sexual prowess is any of their business. I taught my girls that they are equal to men and, let’s be honest, in some ways, they’re better. Most importantly, I raised them to respect themselves and their own thoughts and opinions over anyone else’s. That being said, they were taught that everyone else is entitled to their opinions about life but those opinions have no effect on our lives.

My girls know what consent is. I taught them to say no loudly and habitually when they want to. Their body is their body, not mine, not yours and not some random dude who can’t keep his toxic masculinity and hormones in check, not even their husband or boyfriend. Believe me, toxic masculinity comes in more forms than just a rapist in a dark alley or skeevey dudes at the clubs, these men can also be your boss, your priest, your friend, the old man down the road, the boy next door and the guy who’s supposed to protect and serve your community.

I’ve fought the school on dress codes and refuse to have my daughters wear baggy clothes just because it’s too distracting to the boys. Why aren’t clothes that fit enough? Sorry, breasts and butts happen. We all have them.

I’ve fought public opinion on my daughters wearing bikinis when they were toddlers because someone had the audacity to say I was sexualizing my toddlers. No, you pervert are the one sexualizing a child. That’s a “you” problem. I was simply buying a suit that was comfortable for my tall child. Covering her belly button is not more important than preventing discomfort or causing infections. As teenagers, I stand by that statement. What women are wearing is not a concern for men. If it offends you or overstimulates you, overt your fucking eyes. Stop policing us. We don’t police you. Stay in your lane.

Sex

I’ve taught my daughters that sex is beautiful when they are mature enough to handle all that comes with it. We’ve talked about sex since they started asking. It’s not dirty or bad. They are not naughty for being curious. I don’t preach abstinence. I talk about respecting their bodies, themselves, their partners and waiting until they are ready.

I tell them that sex does not equal love. Sex is sex and someone can love having sex with you and not love you at all. I’ve taught them about birth control and responsibility, taking it themselves and demanding it of their partners. Sex with someone you love is beautiful and sex with yourself is cathartic. We don’t slut-shame so I’ve even taught them that we don’t judge and criticize other people’s sexual choices.

Abortion

I am pro-choice and I’ve raised my girls to know why. It’s not that I am pro-abortion or that I’ve had or would’ve ever chosen to have one. It is that I respect women and their lives and it is every single human being’s right to be in control of what happens to their own body. You can argue that you are pro-life because you believe every single life is precious but if that’s your reasoning, what about the life of the girl or woman who finds herself pregnant (for whatever reason, the reason is irrelevant…women should not have to qualify the choices they make for their own bodies to anyone else, especially men) and is not capable of raising it, taking care of it, wanting or loving and providing for it in the way that she wants at that time?

If you are pro-life only for an unborn fetus, then you are not concerned with life (because you have disregarded the woman’s) you are concerned with moral superiority and inflicting your beliefs on others. It’s a power struggle not a pro-life issue. If abortion morally offends you, simply do not have an abortion. Period. While we’re on the subject, can all the politicians please GTFO of our uteruses?

Whatever your belief is, the consequences rest with the woman having the abortion and it’s between her and her God. She will have to live with that choice forever. There is no way around that. If you think the decision to have an abortion is one a woman takes lightly, you’ve never actually asked a woman who has to make that choice. Her decision has no immediate or direct effect on your life. It’s not your business to decide and making abortion illegal will not stop abortions, it will only stop safe abortions which means they will put women’s lives and their future reproductive health in jeopardy.

Equality

My girls are free to make their own choice on which side they choose to support because I respect them, their intelligence and their right to choose. If my daughters ever find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, I will do what any parent should do, I will counsel, love and support them in whatever decision they make for themselves. But at the same time, it’s my responsibility, as a parent, to teach them about respecting their bodies, loving themselves, pregnancy prevention, sexual safety and knowing the difference between love and sex.

Don’t misunderstand, I am not promoting teen sex, promiscuity, unplanned pregnancy or abortion. I am simply saying that these things happen and, in case no one was paying attention, it takes a man and a woman to get pregnant but only the girl or woman is left with the immediate responsibility of raising, caring for and providing for the child because we are the ones who carry it. Men can walk away and pretend it didn’t happen and some do. Men are not the ones paying for the consequences of one night for the rest of their lives, women are.

So until men can be held equally accountable for women’s reproduction, they should have no say in what we do, how we behave or what we choose to do or not do with our own bodies. Women are not property, nor inanimate objects, we are not born to provide care and pleasure for men…we are simply born to live and pursue our own happiness, just like every man.

It’s enraging enough that we are not given equal pay, equal voice or equal respect or rights as human beings. The world teaches little girls that doing anything like a girl is bad, weak and less than. It teaches girls to be quiet, be amiable, smile more and accept the places they’ve given us. Little girls need to be encouraged and empowered to use their voices, stand up and be everything they dream of being without the worry of being oppressed and reduced to their sexuality. Our girls are more. We are more.

This is not about me bashing men. This is me protecting and standing up for my daughters and every other child. These things I am teaching my daughters; need to be taught to our sons as well. Things will never change until we all work together to change the way things are; we have to stop accepting misogyny (in all its forms) as just the way it is. I don’t want my girls to feel scared and afraid of men and boys and I don’t think your boys want my girls to feel that way either. It starts now by refusing to let one more girl make herself feel small and quiet just to feel safe living with girl parts in the world.

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hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

What trumps a surprise uterine biopsy? A surprise poor man’s D and C. It’s not the same as a D and C in the hospital under anesthesia. My doctor’s words, not mine. It’s fall and the week before my birthday, so I must be waiting for biopsy results. Remember last year’s biopsy wait and see? It was the worst. I went in for my annual exam and ended up with a surprise biopsy. Damn uterine fibroids. Get off my lawn.

This year, I had a 28 day period and nobody knew why. Was I menopausal? Am I perimenopausal? Are my fibroids just the worst? Is it endometriosis? No, I’m not menopausal. Dr. says probably another 6 years before I’d start any kind of natural menopause. Perimenopausal? She said nothing of being there either. Not endometriosis, at least not that she mentioned.

What I did have was a surprise ultrasound to see if my uterine fibroids had grown. Last year, my uterus was the size of a 10-week pregnant woman’s due to the size of the uterine fibroids. This year, since we’ve come to the conclusion that a 28 day period for a severe anemic is not something I can withstand longterm without transfusion…a hysterectomy it will be. Yep, those days of being adamantly against it have given way to just wanting to be able to function in the upright position without feeling like my insides are falling out.

Well, talk about a surprise. The doctor and I were both surprised with the ultrasound results. It was my third time taking off my panties in one office visit and I was getting scared. But when the ultrasound tech nonchalantly asked me, “When was your last uterine biopsy?” I began to get a little squirrely. I asked, “Why? Do you see something?” To which she replied with her best poker face, “Oh, no just wondering. “

READ ALSO: The Menopause Spectrum

I knew that was bullshit. It felt like the day they told me they couldn’t find a heartbeat with my last pregnancy. I wasn’t getting a good vibe. It was hour 3 at the gynecologist’s office and I was beginning to really freak out. She sent me back up to my doctor’s office.

My doctor came into the room like a frantic ball of nervous energy and very quickly told me, “Debi, I need you to get undressed and on the table. Your entire, now, 12-week pregnant sized uterus, is full of blood and we need to empty it and do another biopsy.” As you might remember, last year’s biopsy was very painful and traumatic. A biopsy is not anything you want to be sprung on you.

Then all the blood began to rush from my head ( apparently to my uterus) and the room was spinning. All I heard was biopsy, cancer and uterus full of blood. Remember last year when I complained about my 5 days of heavy bleeding each month and it got me a biopsy and an entire year of horrible, no good unpredictable, heavy periods? Well, now if my options are cancer or menopause…. I’m praying for menopause.

If you’ve made it this far, the next part is going to be TMI so if periods, uterine fibroids and cancer are not your thing, leave now.

My doctor was so frantic, that it felt frenzied. I felt like she was acting under a code blue and I was an unwilling participant in the shit show that was about to happen to me in stirrups.

She put my legs in the stirrups. Asked me to please scoot down and then bright lights and speculums. The deepest one you can find because I have a deep cervix. There was no pain medication of any kind administered.  After trying several speculums, she finally found the one that fit.  I can hear her opening it up. It made me feel like I was about to get a tire changed. She is apologizing the entire time. My fibroids were recoiling while drowning in a uterus full of blood. My imagination is running rampant.

But worse, my gynecologist is talking to herself out loud and I am practically in tears. “I wasn’t worried about cancer but there is just so much blood!” “I’ve never seen so much blood in a uterus!!” “We’re going to do another biopsy.” “You might faint!” “Do you feel faint?” “Hold on to something, this is going to hurt….” “Oh but it’s dark blood, so it’s old blood so I’m not as worried. “ “Sorry, just talking out loud.”

hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

WTF??????

Then she proceeded to insert a giant syringe about 12 inches long and 2 inches around in diameter in through the speculum opening and began to vigorously and aggressively suck the blood and clots out of my womb. If my uterus were a hotel, I imagine that scene out of the Shining when the walls are bleeding and you can hardly see anything.  It was very painful. A surprise D and C is not ever a surprise that you’d want. She referred to it as a “Poor man’s D & C.” I dug my fingers so deep into my arm to stop from screaming that I am covered in bruises.

She emptied 5 full syringes of blood and clots into those cups they make you wee into to check to see if you’re pregnant. I was getting more and more faint with each syringe. Meanwhile, she is calling my attention to it, “Debi, look! Can you believe this? This is incredible.”

I felt hollow. I felt like someone had roto rootered my female reproductive organs. To be honest, I felt violated.  I understand she was doing her best impression of a caped crusader to eliminate the blood from my uterus and shrink it down to as close as possible to normal sized but I could see the vigorous movement of the syringe through the top of my pelvis and worse, I could feel it. It felt like labor pains or those pains you get right after you give birth and your uterus is shrinking down. Either way, it was PTSD traumatic.

READ ALSO: When Cancer’s on the Table

And now, aside from scheduling a hysterectomy that I don’t want to have but have to have and advocating to keep my ovaries so that I don’t go into early menopause and worrying that my uterus will be too big and robotic surgery will give way to a full stomach incision removal, I have to wait to see if I have cancer. Happy birthday week to me.

They’ve put me on meds to stop the bleeding but I’m still bleeding. Right now, it’s a wait and see, try not to throw up from nerves sort of week. I can’t think of anything else and all I want to do is distract myself. Did I mention that the Big Guy is out of town for work? Yep. He volunteered to stay home and cancel but I’ll need him when I have the surgery. I’m just praying it’s not cancer because I don’t want to be alone if that’s what they tell me.

Right before I left with my insides feeling like swiss cheese and my world flipped upside down, I was taking solace in the fact that she said, “It’s all dark blood, I’m not as worried. It’s probably just the fibroids and nothing more.” Then she stopped me as I was leaving, all the color left from my face and said, “If the results come back as cancer, I’ll have another surgeon in there to check your lymph nodes.” And all I could hear was Charlie Brown wah, wah, wah, wah and my mind has been in a very dark place ever since.  I hate the waiting.

Being a woman is hard enough with the whole world trying to stick their noses in our uteruses without having it turn on us and having to worry that the very thing that brings life into the world may in fact, take ours.

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cancer, cervical biopsy, when cancer's on the table, waiting for biopsy results, FemiLift, vaginal lift, pap smear, cervix, xanax, miscarriage

I’ve been waiting. For months, I have been waiting. I had a health episode last February, one that scared me. I thought I had a heart attack. It happened shortly after the inauguration. There was an incident where they were detaining Mexicans coming back to the United States thru O’Hare. That’s our home airport. My father is retired and spends time in Mexico. I didn’t think it phased me but then boom.

I’m not sure what happened that day but I read the news on my phone and the next moment it felt like my heart burst (and not in a good way) and then I got all tingly.  I thought for sure, I was dying. Then I took my blood pressure and it was 187/107. I don’t know about you but that is really high for me.

Long story short, after an EKG, ECG and total blood panel work up my heart was fine but maybe my blood pressure was an issue, I found out that I was “prediabetic” or “diabetic untreated” as my paperwork said and I found out that I was severely anemic. So anemic, in fact, that I was almost to the point of needing a transfusion. I’ve been silently terrified for months. I always feel like if I talk about these things I’m tempting someone or something to intervene and not in a good way. Probably a byproduct of all those years in a childhood of “I can give you something to cry about.” No thank you.

Two weeks ago, I went back to see my doctor for some follow-up. Good news is I am no longer “prediabetic” or “diabetic untreated”. I’m also no longer anemic. And it turns out that I probably have white coat syndrome, even though my brother-in-law and one of my best friends are doctors. Blood pressure meds made my blood pressure bottom out. Basically, a couple Thursdays ago, I wanted to shout from the rooftops. I. AM.HEALTHY!

But if you know me… at all, you know, that’s not how I work. I am convinced the minute that I get happy, karma is going to come in and snatch it all away. It’s the way nature keeps me humble. I quietly told my family and every so often yelled, “I’m not diabetic” with a super cheesy smile at my daughters like I won the lottery. Yes, they think I am insane. But I never said it out loud to the universe for fear the other foot would drop.

Then last Wednesday, I went to see my Gynecologist. After all, it’s October. What better time to get my mammogram on, share my selfie and promote breast cancer awareness…plus, it fell perfectly into my monthly cycle.  Only, I get sort of terrified ever since that time in 2012 that I went to see my ob/gyn and she told me that my baby’s heart wasn’t beating.  Yeah, shit like that tends to give me PTSD. To be honest, every single time I go there, I’m afraid she’s going to give me bad news. It’s like, in my mind, she is the grim reaper. Though logically I know she’s not. In fact, I like her as a person that’s why I keep going back.

Anyways, around my birthday I get all, “get your ducks in a row bish” and I go see all my doctors. I got my mammogram, as I do every year. I always get freaked out that they’re going to tell me bad news. Remember they haven’t always worked so well. They tend to be more for looks than function, apparently but I found out Friday that my mammogram was good. No problems. Woohoo! Again I wanted to tell you, but…other foot.

While I was there and getting the usual pap, things went a little weird, thanks to 3 little fibroids (one for each pregnancy). Only they are not so little and they are causing some issues. Nothing big, just enough to be a nuisance. Enough to definitely give me an abnormal Pap. So, I got a surprise biopsy. Have I ever told you how much I hate the surprises I get at doctors’ offices? Surprise…no heartbeat. Surprise…biopsy of your cervix.

When cancer‘s on the table things get real.

It all happened so fast, I really don’t remember much of what she said. I do know that biopsies are usually done to diagnose cancer. I also can tell you that when you aren’t expecting them, they hurt. Don’t believe that “it’ll just be a little pinch bullshit.” It was more than a pinch but better to get a “pinch” than living with undiagnosed cancer. I want to live. Even saying the word feels like I should spit to avoid the evil eye.

I have a deep cervix and me and that damn super-sized speculum are well-acquainted. I’ve given birth to two big-headed babies. I’ve had gallbladder attacks, broke the shit out of my leg and had cells scraped from the roof of my mouth and I can tell you, while it was no gallbladder attack a cervical biopsy is no freaking pinch. If you ever have to get one, definitely get it but take some ibuprofen or ask for a local beforehand. It felt like she took a tiny melon baller to my cervix and it was not the surprise I wanted to have when I’m naked from the waist down. Why is it never, “Surprise you are my 1millionth Pap and you just won 1 million dollars and you are going to Disney World!”? Why ? I could get into that kind of surprise.

My doctor told me she was just doing it as a precaution since I was spotting during the Pap. Ladies, you know, bleeding of any kind during a pap can cause it to come back abnormal. She did the biopsy just to make sure that even if the pap came back abnormal she could rule out cancer. Then she said, “It’s the fibroids, Debi. I’m almost sure of it.”

Other foot.

Don’t’ get cocky lady. Last time I got cocky and thought it was “nothing”, I left your office with a baby with no heartbeat and I howled like a dying animal in the parking lot and I haven’t been the same since.

I’ve been waiting. To be such a damn amazing procrastinator, I am a horrible waiter. I’ve been imagining all of the awful scenarios. Cervical cancer. Uterine cancer. Endometrial cancer. Cancer. Cancer. Cancer. Have I mentioned everyone I’ve ever known that had a female reproductive part cancer died? I am terrified.

Missing my daughters grow up. Missing first confirmations. Missing the quinces. Missing graduations. Missing college. Missing first loves. Missing the big loves. Missing their weddings. Missing grandbabies. Missing being there just to hear them talk when they needed me to listen. Mentally messing them up forever because I wasn’t there when they needed me most.

Current status: I’m living in a Xanax induced fog praying the days go by quickly and willing myself not to cry like a giant baby. I’m calling every few hours and I’m trying not to live in that deep, dark howling hole. I’m being a real pain in my doctor’s ass because I need to know. I told y’all I’m a bootstrapper so if there’s an issue ( God, I hope there isn’t) then I want to start working to fix it and if there isn’t, I want to announce it to the world. Either way, when cancer is on the table, even just as a precaution and I know cancer is technically always on the table, but to have the biopsy makes it feel a little more tangible and I am freaked out. Like vomit, nauseous, cry for no reason panicky freaked out.

I’ve told y’all I’m a bootstrapper so if there’s an issue ( God, I hope there isn’t) then I want to start fighting it and if there isn’t, I want to announce it to the world. Either way, when cancer is on the table (even just as a precaution) and I know cancer is technically always on the table, but to have the biopsy makes it feel a little more tangible and I am freaked out. Like vomit, nauseous, cry for no reason panicky freaked out.

I called last night and they said that they had the results but my doctor wasn’t in and she needed to interpret them before they could give me the results which only made me more freaked out like there was something there and they wanted her to tell me. I’ve got my fingers, toes, and ovaries crossed that everything is good but I’m mentally preparing myself for whatever comes my way. I’ll be sure to update this post when I find out either way.

Have you ever had a biopsy or a health scare that terrified you? What did you do to get through the waiting?

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lying, What to do when you catch a child lying, tween, mom, how to talk to your tween about sex, mother/daughter

Have you been struggling with how to talk to your tween about sex? Me, too. At what age did you have “the talk”? I mean we’ve talked about puberty. In fact, we’ve talked puberty to death. It’s old news. They both know so much about the inner workings of the female reproductive system that they could probably teach a class. But we’ve not quite made the leap to …you put the penis in the vagina and do that thang. I’ve been mulling this idea over for years, waiting for the right moment. I just haven’t been ready to see the innocence disappear from her eyes.

I told my tween that she and I would have “the talk” before she turns 12. In a culture where Teen Mom is a show that makes celebrities, I want my daughter to know babies are a lot or work and where those babies come from. She wants nothing to do with that conversation. Boys are not even on her radar yet. She is still pretty happy with unicorns, slumber parties and playing with dolls but I don’t want her getting misinformation about sex from other kids. I promised myself I’d talk to my tween about sex before she was 12 and now, I have less than a month, people.

Fool that I am, I made plans. The universe laughed at me and then life intervened. Now, I’m binge-reading all the articles on how to talk to your tween about sex because a teachable moment has arisen. No, before any of you have a stroke, it has nothing to do with her and sex. It’s more of a collateral damage situation.

But how to talk to your tween about sex is not an easy thing to figure out. It has to be the perfect balance of honesty, openness and availability.

The conversation has to be had with every child and no nervous giggling or embarrassment is allowed on the parents part. We have to be a source of information and comfort. They have to believe we know what we’re talking about and not be afraid to ask questions.

Last Tuesday was Valentine’s Day, I’m sure you know where this is going, and let’s just say the Big Guy and I were feeling particularly amorous. Him and all his damn romantic gestures. Anyways, apparently, we actually made some noise. We usually use our inside voices because, you know, KIDS! (TMI, I’m sorry.)

My 11-year-old had the misfortune of getting up to pee at the wrong time and now, we all need therapy. It’s all giving me flashbacks to the time when she was a toddler and she caught us “wrestling”. If these kids would JUST STAY IN THEIR BEDS. (Sidebar, just say no to co-sleeping this is what got us to where we are today. I jest, sorta.)

The thing is the tween is very mature in many ways but very immature in other ways. She’s at that age where she’s beginning to look like a young woman but her brain is not quite there yet. She’s caught somewhere between working her eye roll and still coming in for snuggles and mama cuddles on the regular.

Either way, you’ve got to figure out how to talk to your tween about sex sooner or later.

Anyways, to be clear, I was not howling at the moon or anything like that but when you are a kid and you hear anything coming from your parents’ bedroom other than snoring, you are instantly disgusted. We had no idea any of this took place until the following morning. We thought they were asleep.

All I know was that she got up on Wednesday morning particularly annoyed for no particular reason, as far as I was aware. I just took it for regular tween behavior. Honestly, one minute she’s being all tweeny and the next she is playing American Girl dolls with her little sister. I can’t keep up. She is a fantastic kid. She’s just a bit moody these days. I get it. I’ve been there. I am sympathetic.

But after school, I asked her point blank how her day was. Her answer was,

“It would have been fine if I had gotten more than 3 hours of sleep last night!”

I volleyed back with my standard,

“Well if you went to sleep at your bedtime instead of staying up messing around on your tablet or playing Barbies, you wouldn’t be so exhausted and grouchy.”

Big mistake.

To which she responded,

“No, mom I only got 3-hours of sleep because of you and dad!”

And with that, her lip curled and I could see the disgust. Suddenly, I felt like I was in that commercial back in the 70’s where the kid does the really shitty behavior, I think it was drugs or something, and says, “I learned it from you, dad!” It was that bam! You are to blame.

My next question, the one I wish I had never asked, “What is that supposed to mean? How is this our fault?” I was a little annoyed because I am not, in fact, to blame for everything.

The answer I didn’t want to hear,

“Well, I had to pee and when I got up I heard your “weird noises” coming from the bedroom AND my sleep pillow and FIFI were held hostage in there! How am I supposed to sleep without them and after hearing THAT!!!!!”

There it was. Firstly, I was a little embarrassed that she heard anything so I did what any sane mom would do, I told her that it was her dad. My second thought was, “Oh no, we traumatized her!” I finally did it. I irrevocably damaged my kid. I have to start saving for the therapy.

Then, I thought to myself, this “tween” who pushes me and pulls me back so much on a daily basis that I don’t know if I’m coming or going had purposely left her snuggle pillow and lovey in my room so that she could sneak in there in the middle of the night to sleep. Oh yeah, she still does that occasionally. I’m not complaining but she does bear some responsibility in all of this.I’m not going to lie. I was pretty embarrassed. I don’t get embarrassed but we were both red in the face. Then I sucked it up and said,

“Hey, I know it was uncomfortable to hear whatever you heard but we’re married and we love each other. This is what people who are married and in love do to share physical intimacy. It’s completely natural!”

Then I decided to add, “Besides, isn’t it better to hear “that” than your father and I screaming how much we hate each other behind those doors?”

To which she agreed. Then she looked at her little sister, her voice went down near a whisper and she said,

“But I didn’t want to hear you DOING.IT!”

Then, I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

My response, “Firstly, we never saying “doing it” ever again. It’s called “making love.””

Because hearing my 11-year-old say “doing it” in reference to her father and I, skeeved me out. Of course, hearing myself say, “making love” out loud was nearly as creepy. So we decided to just agree that when the bedroom door is shut, we’re probably together not sleeping. I told her if it really bothered her, I could buy her ear plugs. She was mortified but swiftly answered,

“Yes, please!”

Boundaries were set.

If the bedroom door is shut, stay out. I considered getting one of those old license plates that said, “If the bedroom’s a rockin, don’t bother knockin” and hanging it on our door but I thought it was probably still too soon for that joke.

We still have to have “the talk” but I’m pretty sure she knows what’s going on. I also feel like I need to add a disclaimer to our talk that when she has sex for the first time, what she heard will probably not be what will be happening because, you know, teenage boys are bumbling idiots.

But what am I going to do, tell her to sleep with older men if she wants it to be worth her time? Nope, I’ll just let her suffer through crappy first-time sex like the rest of us besides, after all that eye rolling shade she’s been throwing my way lately, an awkward first time when she’s at college is just what the doctor ordered. Shhh, don’t tell me otherwise. College is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Anyways, I’ve still got to have this talk but now, it feels super weird because I feel like she’s going to relate the entire thing to her father and me. And EWWWW!

What would you do? What’s your best advice on how to talk to your tween about sex?

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Clean Air Moms Action, moms, Presidential election 2016, Clean air act

This post was produced with support from Clean Air Moms Action. All opinions are, of course, my own.

The upcoming election has been dominated by divisive candidate issues. Believe me, many of us have lost friends and family because our politics simply cannot reconcile themselves but there’s one thing that we should all be able to agree on: harmful pollution, climate change, and toxic chemicals are putting our families at risk and it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re a liberal or a conservative, every one of us lives on this planet and, I hope, everyone of us wants to take care of it so it’s still around for our children and our children’s children.

When I think about the future, I immediately think about my daughters. The future is not some obscure thing that will happen to me. Since becoming a mom, everything I do is directly in relation to how it will affect my children and that means I have no choice but to be the change. It’s my job to be their advocate, to make sure that they are healthy and happy and, for me, that means making sure that they have clean air to breathe.

A few weeks ago, the news reported that safe carbon levels in the earth’s atmosphere were a thing of the past. We officially passed the point of no return, 400 parts per million, where the earth’s climate was concerned. The low point of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere typically occurs around the last week of September but this year, levels failed to drop below 400 ppm.

Why’s that a big deal? The 400 ppm mark is considered the red line in the sand and crossing it poses dangerous climate ramifications. Right now we’re at 400 ppm, and we’re adding 2 ppm of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. Unless we are able to change things and turn that around and return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk triggering tipping points and irreversible impacts that will send climate change spinning beyond our control. It will be catastrophic.

To reverse the damage and do some Superman/ Wonder Woman like planet saving, here are three areas we need to focus our attention towards.

CLEAN AIR. Air pollution from fossil fuels leads to bad air quality in too many communities. Increases in smog can trigger asthma attacks and exacerbate other chronic health problems. Do not let your child’s health be voted away to protect polluters’ profits. Instead, VOTE to protect little lungs from toxic air pollution.

CLIMATE CHANGE. The same harmful pollution that is making our children sick is causing rising temperatures and extreme weather events. Our changing climate is making smog worse. It increases respiratory health threats, particularly for people with allergies and asthma. Also, intense heat waves exacerbate heart and lung conditions. VOTE for candidates who support proposals to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. And vote to put our country on a clean energy path while protecting American jobs!

TOXIC CHEMICALS. Dangerous chemicals are found in our daily lives. They often enter our homes and bodies without our realizing it. In fact, these chemicals may not even have been disclosed, identified or studied. Thousands of toxic chemicals found in everyday products are linked to potential reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, birth defects, cancer, asthma, headaches and skin irritants. Children are among the most vulnerable to such chemicals.

It really hit home for me when my 9-year-old came to me with tears in her eyes and asked me, “Mommy will the air last long enough for me to grow up?” That broke my heart because while the answer is yes ( just), I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I have no idea what the air we breathe will be like for her children and grandchildren. I can’t make her any guarantees. We’ve ignored the warnings for far too long and now, it falls on our shoulders to literally save the planet for our children.

Clean Air Moms Action, moms, Presidential election 2016, Clean air act

Unfortunately, harmful pollution, climate change and toxic chemicals are putting our precious children at risk. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. This doesn’t mean there’s no hope. We just need to collectively get involved, care and make changes. It starts with each one of us.

On election day your vote can elect candidates who care about these issues. If for nothing else, please vote as if your child’s health depends on it. Because it does. Take the pledge and commit yourself to voting for your child’s future.

This fall Clean Air Moms Action is traveling the country with a documentary film crew capturing the stories of parents who are fighting daily to protect their children’s health effects of exposure to oil & gas productions, high-tide flood waters, and ground water contamination from coal ash waste sites.

You can see more videos like this on the Clean Air Moms Action YouTube page

Please join me in working together to move clean energy forward in the US. by joining the fight to protect our children at cleanairmomsaction.org.

Next Tuesday, your vote will tell leaders that you care about protecting our children from the harmful effects of toxic air pollution. The same harmful pollution that is making our children sick is causing rising temperatures and extreme weather. It’s our job as parents to protect our babies and their futures.

Join me by voting. Research candidates with a good record on the environment and vote for them. Join the #CleanAirMomsVote selfie project. Print out the Because I Love sign, fill in the blank, and post it to social media with the hashtag #CleanAirMomsVote

Learn more on the Clean Air Moms Action website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow the hashtag #CleanAirMomsVote

 

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Joe Walsh, abortion without exception

Joe Walsh, abortion without exception

Joe Walsh there are Exceptions to Every Rule

Late last week, Republican Representative Joe Walsh sparked a firestorm in suggesting there’s no medical reason to perform an abortion to save a woman’s life. ( Yes, I am asking myself the same question. When did I become the advocate for women’s rights blogger? I have not but it’s election time and I can’t in good conscience stand idly by while the politicians of the world muck up the topics by flip flopping and the only ones who are going to get hurt are you and I and our daughters, sisters and mothers.)  During a debate with Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth on Thursday, Joe Walsh declared that he was “pro-life without exception,” and said that due to medical advancements, there were no instances in which abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother. Just stop and let that sink in for a moment. These were his exact words.

“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance,” contended Walsh, whose claim quickly was refuted by medical professionals.

I’ve been saying for awhile that the Republican party is trying to set women’s reproductive rights back to the stone age and this is just one more example in a laundry list of things that the Republican party and the Mitt Romney, Joe Walsh, Paul Ryan, Todd Akin, and Terry England’s of the world are advocates for. I understand babies are cute and cuddly and only an animal trying to commit political suicide would ever have the balls to say that he gives a shit about women over a baby. But let’s be real folks, with no women there are no babies. With no rights, women may as well be animals or inanimate objects.

There are most certainly situations where abortions are medically necessary to save the woman’s life and I can tell you, no woman who was celebrating a pregnancy and planning for a child has ever taken the role of terminating her child’s life for her own lightly.It’s medically necessary. It’s a “You’re not going to get out of here alive. The baby won’t make it.Do you want to die with the baby or do you want to live to try again or take care of those children you already have?” I’ve never had to make that choice. I never had the opportunity to choose. My baby died and I couldn’t do a damn thing about it. But I suspect that I, like all women, would trade my own life for my unborn child’s in a heartbeat, if it were an option but it’s usually not.

Joe Walsh you are just one in a long line of politicians throwing women’s rights under the bus to further your own career.

I’m so fucking sick and tired of hearing old, white men tell me what to do with my body. Dictating how I choose to live in the world. Tell me what rape is and what it’s not, deciding what is a legitimate violation of my body and what is not. Why should a man be able to punish me for making choices about my own body and how and when I choose to procreate?

Joe Walsh, read a book, take an anatomy class, and know this, women are people too. I had a reader ask me why I needed the choice to kill a baby to be a human. I don’t. I need the choice to make decisions concerning my own body and my life to be human. If you take away my right of choice, my right to decide how to live in the world, the freedom to pursue my dreams, then I may as well be a piece of furniture or a blow up doll. I was not put on earth to be just a servant to the male population and their every whim.

Men like Joe Walsh, Mitt Romney, Todd Akin, Paul Ryan and Terry England don’t care about women’s rights. They scare me. They make these crazy ignorant statements because they truly believe them and then as soon as they realize that people might not vote for them because of what they say, they backtrack and retract what they said or try to “clarify” and minimize it. They suddenly become gray. when they were adamantly black or what the day before.

Walsh clarified those comments in a long written statement to the news media this afternoon.

“Let me very clear [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][sic] that when I say I am pro-life, I mean that I am pro-life for the mother and I am pro-life for the unborn child.  For me, there is no distinction between the two,” Walsh said.

Make a choice. Stick to it. Know the facts or keep your mouth shut. Joe Walsh I hope no one you love ever needs an emergency abortion to spare her life because then you will know the gravity and weight with which these decisions are truly made.

Joe Walsh

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catholic church, abortion, roe v. wade, open mind, parenting

Today is the 43rd anniversary of the controversial Roe v. Wade abortion ruling. I have always been torn between my pro-life Catholic upbringing and my pro-choice heart. I hoped I’d never find myself in the position to have to decide whether or not to have an abortion but I also learned at a very early age that sometimes women( and girls) do and it’s one of the hardest decisions they ever have to make and it’s one she has to make for herself.

When I was 15-years-old, I had a friend who confided in me that she was pregnant and was going to have an abortion all on her own. I had no idea what to do but listen and hold her when she cried at her predicament. I was young and naïve and had no experience or reference to what she was going through. I felt useless because I couldn’t help her. The decision was one of the most agonizing things I’ve ever seen someone go through. In that moment, I knew I would always fight for a woman’s right to have dominion over her own body and reproductive system. I’ve been prochoice ever since.

So this morning when I went to mass, the one my daughter has been asking me to attend for 3 months because she was leading the choir, imagine my shock when the first words out of the priest’s mouth in the homily was, “Since today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade…..” followed by the phrase, “Women commit abortion” which is code for sin and then he went into how every life from the tiniest in the womb to the most elderly person on the footsteps of death are loved by God. That was powerful but it rubbed me the wrong way because I knew his undertone. He continued on saying, “ No matter what the mother feels, God loves that child.”

My mind was filled with all the noise and chaos of that moment when you know you have to say something, “OH.SHIT. This is the worst possible mass for me to attend because I instinctively go into defensive mode.I have a crazy need to right all the wrongs, especially when my children are part of the captive audience. 
People, it took everything in my body not to raise my hand in front of a packed church of children and elderly, stand up and ask, “ But is God going to feed them, cuddle them, provide shelter and clothing for them? Is God going to make sure that every child born has all that he needs?” I was flabbergasted. Then something crazy happened, this priest, who is almost fanatically pro life, began to speak and his words were filled with compassion, caring and love.

His next few phrases are what blew my mind out of my head, right there in the back pew as my baby girl sang.

He said, “Abortion is man’s fault, not women. Because men should treat women like the crown jewels they are and love, respect, honor and support them and if they did, there would be no need for abortion because there would be no unwanted children.”

Let that sit with you for a minute.

Then he said, what I’ve said forever, “ Women are God’s most precious gift to Men and they are not to serve us, they are here for us to marvel with love, respect and adoration because without women, there is no life. Only women have been blessed with the ability to bring forth life.” Everything I thought I knew up until this point about this man changed.

Then he said, “ By men making women objects of lust instead of objects of love, they are to blame for putting women in these compromising positions.” I know that pregnancy take two and I don’t blame men alone for women being put in the position to choose life or not, but it was nice to finally here a man (a Catholic priest no less) say that men should take responsibility for their actions and keep it in their pants. I never expected to hear those words echoing through my church, ever.

Women have always been treated like second-class citizens throughout history in society and especially in the church. I’ve always felt differently and that’s made my views as a Latina and a woman unpopular with many men I’ve known.

I’ve never been particularly fond of this priest because I’ve always felt that he’s too judgmental on situations like these but this morning his words and his heart were filled with kind words of love and compassion for our children and that is so important when you are molding young children’s minds. His words moved me.

Don’t get me wrong I haven’t changed my mind. The feminist in me will always believe it is the woman’s right to choose and the 15-year-old me will always fight for the right for women to make their own choice without condemnation from others but he made me appreciate the choice from another perspective, more importantly he explained to my children in a way that fosters compassion and self-respect. I was impressed and in the end, I didn’t have to raise my hand or storm out of mass.

 

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Annegret Raunigk, advanced maternal age, too old to have a baby, pregnancy

What do you consider advanced maternal age?

What age do you think is too old to have a baby?

Pushing aside, finances and social norms what is your cut off date? I had always said I’d never have a baby after 35.

I know. I was so adorable thinking in absolutes. I drew that line in the sand before I knew anything about life.

Then I found myself wonderfully and unexpectantly pregnant at 39 and I couldn’t think of a reason in the world why that would be wrong. I was scared; terrified to be exact. I’d heard all the horror stories of all the things that could go wrong.

READ ALSO: Unexpectantly pregnant at 39

In the end, it didn’t work out the way we had hoped but if it could have, I was absolutely ready to have another baby because even though my eggs might have been 39, my mind and heartfelt 25. Does that matter? How much does that factor in?

Is 39 too old to have a baby?

A German woman, Annegret Raunigk, is about to make history as the world’s oldest woman to give birth to quadruplets.

The 65-year-old mother of 13 and grandmother to 7 already made the news ten years ago when she gave birth to her daughter Leila at the age of 55. Well, she’s making news again now because Leila has requested a younger sibling.

The things we won’t do for our children, right?

After several rounds of artificial insemination, Raunigk finally became pregnant with four embryos. Thankfully, the pregnancy hasn’t had any major complications so far.

Is 65 too advanced maternal age to have a baby?

Of course, Raunigk has been blasted with questions regarding the pregnancy, her age and the effect the pregnancy might have on her and her unborn children’s bodies. This is her response…

“I’m not actually afraid. I simply assume I’ll remain healthy and fit. In matters of organization I have enough experience, that’s not new for me.” When asked about the “moral implications” of being pregnant at her age by German broadcaster RTL, she had this to say “How does one have to be at 65? One must apparently always fit some cliches which I find rather tiring . . . I think, one must decide that for oneself.” 

I am all for living your life your way and I don’t think it is anyone else’s business to tell anyone, man or woman, what to do with their body. Female empowerment is one of my life causes and anyone who has been a long time reader of The TRUTH knows that I am a ferocious advocate for women’s rights, reproductive especially. I don’t believe in putting people into boxes or labeling human beings.

READ ALSO: My truth about motherhood

However, in this case, I think there is something that no one has mentioned, what about those children? Granted the children may be perfectly healthy and happy, which would be ideal and I don’t necessarily think it’s my business to tell anyone when and how to have their babies but what happens in 20 years when these babies are 20 years old and she could quite possibly be dead?

It’s one thing to survive a pregnancy and delivery at 65-years-old but it’s quite another to bring a child into the world that you won’t be around to be available to them. My mom is 65-years-old and you can’t tell me that she would be able to be the same mom to a newborn as she was to me.

I realize that any of us can die at any time and age has nothing to do with how much we love our children but I just feel like giving birth at 65-years-old could be irresponsible and not fair to the children because 20-years-old is too young to not have your parent. This is a very real possibility for these babies.

Parenting is something we do for our entire lives and our children need us to guide and love them well into adulthood. Maybe that’s naïve of me but when I read this story I felt sad knowing that this mother might not be around to see these children grow to adulthood, get married or have their own children.

I guess the world is full of uncertainties and unexpected blessings and we can only do our best to thrive in our current situation but I feel that the emphasis in this entire situation should be on the children and not Ms. Raunigk.

What advanced maternal age do you think is too old to have a baby?

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