Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bloody blog, House Husband, SAD

Onsite is over again. I've got a million and one thoughts rattling through my brain, so I'm just going to ramble a bit. I know that there is at least one person reading this who has needle issues, so I'm going to block-quote until I'm done with the needle talk (just skip down to where the margin shifts back to normal...)

I started IVs today. And at last onsite. These seem easy to me. There is something about the feel of it. About how you can just FEEL when you have gotten to the right spot and you're (almost) home free from there. I'm still a little messy about it, but I picked up a great tip from the RN in the group about how to keep things a little neater. On the other hand, I seem to be non-competant at drawing blood. I am not sure why I find the IV *cannula in particular* so easy to feel, but have no similar "just feel it" going on with the blood drawing. My instructors think that this is peculiar (not the instructors for this particular course, who are wisely -IMO- not critiquing this disconnect just yet), as not only are the ideas so similar but most people have it the other way 'round.

I have a bruise on my hand that is there by no fault of my classmate. I am mightily impressed that she got an IV running on the back of my hand, in a vein that looked and felt to me little larger than the IV cannula itself. I got saline and electrolytes. My dehydrated body loves you, Classmate.

We also took a look at some real lab slips, and that was awesome. The learning had been ridiculously abstract.

I still don't have a preceptor and am feeling...irritated. I am essentially in home turf for SMS, and them asking me for a list of midwives in my area makes me shall I put this nicely...oh I can' they're fucking with me. *breathe out* *release tension in shoulder muscles* *you didn't want a clinical placement yet anyway, you TOLD them you wanted to ease into it slowly and that delayed was OK, it is unfair of you to freak out about it now*


In other news, my husband has been having a grand time with the kids this week. They have met up with other papas, they've met up with his brother, they've gone to the zoo, and to the park. He has kept them clean and fed, bathed and played and happy. He CLEANED. The house is far cleaner right now than it normally is while I'm watching them.

He shows no signs of being stressed out about all of this. When I got home at 10 last night, he was putting the polish on a full day and totally happy about it. This reminds me of those times when I have been forced (not in a prying-it-out-of-my-hands kind of way, but in a "I can't jump in and just do it" way) to hand over large chunks of parental responsibility in order to preserve my personal integrity in the face of hyperemesis (morning sickness) or early postpartum. My husband has by and large simply jumped in and taken up the vast majority of what REALLY comprises the heart and soul of parenting. The tear-wiping, the park-going, the storm-drain-watching, the patient teaching, the kid-nurturing HEART of parenting. I've never needed to ask him to do any of these things, he has just seen the kids' needs and filled them.

He wants another baby.

I think that *he* could handle another baby with the way we live. But I don't think that I could. It makes me sad to tell him that I can't do it now, it really does, because of all the things that midwifery school has caused us to give up, this is the biggest saddest one. Not that we are giving up having another baby entirely, but that it feels so unfair to ask my husband to make all these huge sacrifices and contributions to something that is essentially all about *me*...and then I am, on top of that, telling him that while I can hear him and feel his pain and longing for another child, I just can't do it. And it is largely a CHOICE, a lifestyle CHOICE that I made when I decided that now was the time to do this crazy midwifery education thing. A choice that was all about me. I am important. It is my body, and my life that is overrun for the first good-long-while of a new child's life. So I stand rather comfortably by that choice as the best one all around. But it hurts to see my husband hurt, and to know that what I have chosen has largely caused that. Not that he doesn't have choices, too, and not that his hurt is ruining or overshadowing our relationship/family/whatever. Not that he is perfect and such a stellar person and father that I feel like I'm denying him this one-last-piece to his perfect life. It is simply a sad, sad thing.

But I am also, simultaneously, realizing that I suffer from some variation on SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that is kind of like a Seasonal Kinesthetic Disorder or something. My mood does not become depressed, but my body does. I was sick on and off all winter, and got so tired so easily and for so long. When the days are longer and I am spending time in the sun, I can get far less sleep and still be happy and healthy about it. I do think that there was something chemically, physically different about my body this winter, and I do think that it is because of the weather. What to do about that, if anything, is a different question entirely. At the moment I am simply relieved that I'm not feeling the 7 consecutive nights of less than 6 hours of sleep in the same way that I would have a two months ago. When we get around to next winter, perhaps I will devise some sort of management plan...even if that plan is simply to be aware of the fact that my body has set these limitations, and in order not to drive myself into sickness, I need to accept them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Out of Context?

You guys are just going to trust that the context surrounding this quote was exactly what logic leads you to think it is, because you're almost certainly right.

I have to rest in the fact that my husband will seek God for council and then answer to God for his decisions. I will answer to God for how I submitted to my husband.

This has been bugging me since I first read it, plucked from a homeschooling discussion board, about 5 days ago. Bugging me in a "does not compute" kind of way.

Marriage is not a free pass out of hell. Christianity (you'll have to trust that's the context of this, 'cause it is) is not about passing off your own responsibility. It is really about some curious mixture between personal accountability and Jesus, in most versions of the religion.

And frankly, it scares me that there is even one woman out there who hangs her hopes of eternal salvation on how well she submits to her husband. That's not Christianity, that is husband-worship. I've read the Bible through and through no few times, and I've never seen THAT advocated. It could also be, in my opinion, a rather cowardly attempt to assign blame for one's own damnation on another human being. Isn't your soul worth more than that to you?

*Phew* monkey off my chest, I do hope.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


So, yes while I am in a state of generalized consternation about the origins of Mothers' Day and the current form in which we celebrate it...the kids are too damned cute. And I do love my mom and did give her a call today.

And I have a rockin' husband who doesn't expect me to be housekeeper-then-wife-then-mother-THEN-person. See? And yeah, he did invite his mom over this afternoon. But we had a pretty decent time of it. She actually seemed to LIKE helping the kids make "leaf soup" in their humongous stump aka "the house."

Fran did something else that rocked today, too. He and Girliness continued their togetherness kick by cooking together - while Toddlerness took her nap they prepared the teriyaki marinade. As usual, Fran was far more patient than I usually am and by this evening - after several more daddy/daughter learning experiences - I overheard Girliness telling him "Some kids learn in school. And some kids have home school. And some kids learn because they do things every day and their brains work and they figure things out." Followed by a lengthy listing of things she'd learned today (everything from dividing a recipe to figuring out which sticks are dry enough to start a fire).

So this evening I am experiencing a more-than-anticipated warmth and happiness with my family.

I still think the holiday is a sham. And if we have to pretend that it's about celebrating our mothers, I'd much rather have done it with my own than with Fran's. And I do have flowers slowly withering and dying on my kitchen counter, courtesy of MIL. *Sigh* at least they're pretty. I wonder how many tons of glass make it into the landfill courtesy of Mother's Day vases, though.

Happy Mothers' Day?

It seems odd that I, a mother, dislike Mothers' Day (and yes, the apostrophe IS supposed to be after the "s").

Some history, may I? Under the guise of legitimizing what is basically a holiday intended to celebrate women who have remained happily in "their place," numerous versions of the history of mothers' day exist.

In my personal favorite fiction, Mother's Day has been celebrated since before recorded history, in the guise of worship of feminine mother-deities. Sorry, no. While such deities have certainly been celebrated, it's a pretty awesome stretch to say that mothers were thus celebrated and therefore we need to buy things from Hallmark. There is no straight line (nor even a curvy dashed one) between the two.

Mothers' Day Proclamation - 1870
by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

And yet, it is the saccharine Anna Jervis version (a pale shadow of the Mothers' Work Days that her mother, Anna Reeves Jervis, promoted and celebrated) of the holiday that made it into the hearts of the (male, durh) lawmakers. By the time Mother's Day had (apostrophe appropriately moved) made it just a few years, even Anna Jervis who said: "I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit," was more than a little sickened by what was developing. Which isn't even why I dislike Mother's Day (although I certainly don't like the commercialism).

So why do I dislike Mother's Day? I dislike the celebration of ideal-woman-as-domestic. I am passionate about the FACT that women deserve respect. How is this respect? This tradition of a pat on the head and a few flowers and a "job well done!" congratulations for "all that woman-type work" we do?

Well, damn, I'd rather have my husband hand me a martini on the way in the door every evening. And keep the kids quiet...I've worked hard and need my rest, after all. Dinner should be warm too, in appreciation of the hard work I've done.

You see? SEE how it comes down? Men get this respect. Women get a breakfast in bed once a year. Little hand-scrawl-imitation greeting cards showing stick women with vaccuum cleaners. And doesn't every woman love watching flowers slowly wither and die in a vase on the kitchen counter?

Give me a fucking break.