Wednesday, May 29, 2013

news round up, (almost) 11 weeks

Sometimes I see a news story and I think, gosh, if only I had a place where I could rant and rave about this idiocy, uninterrupted. If only I had a captive audience of 9 of my peers who might, just briefly, humor my grandstanding. BUT WAIT.

You guys, in this week’s infertility news round up[1], two things about which grandstanding may or may not be appropriate[2]:

(1) In case we needed further evidence that certain legislators, judges and jury members remain desperately in need of adult supervision, we got it. Mississippi’s state Supreme Court is currently hearing a case that could open the door to the prosecution of women who miscarry. The case involves a woman who delivered her still born daughter after using methamphetamine during pregnancy. Now, before we get our at home pregnancy tests in a knot, we can all agree that using drugs during pregnancy is a big no-no. We’ve all seen Breaking Bad or an episode of Intervention or, dear god, do I only get my substance abuse cues from television? Drugs are bad and meth is a particularly virulent and devastating drug at that. But[3] I hope (maybe?) we can also agree that putting mom in jail for this – or any other potentially-naughty-thing-she-did-while-pregnant-like-eating-soft-cheese-or-drinking-caffeine – really does nothing to protect or support families. And that’s where this case is going – prosecuting grieving women for miscarriage.

In any case, Mississippi is just following the leader – in 2009, Senator Mark Obenshain of Virginia proposed a bill that would require women who miscarry to INFORM THE POLICE. If no such report was made within 24 hours reasoned Obenshain, in this little gem of a proposal, the offending – and now grieving – woman, could spend up to one year in jail while writing out, 100 times, in cursive, I will never miscarry again. And as of this month, Obenshain has been rewarded for his foresight with a nomination for Attorney General. Way to go Virginia!

(2) Mark Bittman[4]. Seriously, he’s everywhere. I cannot peruse any source of print media without being confronted by Mark Bittman screaming VEGETARIAN BEFORE DINNER! at the top of his lungs. But now Mark has crossed a line. Now Mark is all up in my uterus telling me what’s what. Specifically, Mark has taken to the NY Times to tell me that I can’t be a little bit pregnant (among many other non-related items).

“Isn’t being a part-time vegan, the more strident demand, like being a little bit pregnant?”


Except that no. Actually, no, not at all. Actually, that doesn’t make any sense and you’re a dolt (who surely had NO intention of stepping into this conversation). Which is why I’m sending Mark a link to the witty, sardonic, cripplingly funny blog, A Little Pregnant. And why I would also like to ensure that Mark is privy to a grieving, righteous, ranting woman who, weeks after miscarrying, still cannot get her everloving beta down to zero. Any takers? GAH.

<done grandstanding; takes curtsy>
Meanwhile, back on the home front, I’m just holding my breath until my second ultrasound on Friday. But holding my breath doesn’t mean my subconscious isn’t a flurry with activity. This morning, at 3:54 am, I woke up with a start. I don’t know what the opposite of a nightmare is – dream seems so insufficient in this instance and is not cooperating with me (and as YeahScience beat me to mentioning, dream stories are THE WORST). Whatever it was, I was with our baby – I was taking him home from the hospital. His name was Ben[5]. He was swaddled. And I didn’t even care that they discharged me before showing me how to breastfeed[6] because he was mine and I got to take him home and he could barely open his eyes, just like a new puppy. And in that moment, wide awake early in the morning, needing to pee for the third time in approximately thirty minutes, it dawned on me that if Friday doesn’t go well, it is going to be really, really, hard.

[1] Of course, “this week” is wildly misleading because this is the first time I have ever referred to any kind of “round up”, news media or otherwise. Also, the news I’m sharing is more pregnancy/miscarriage related. So basically my statement is inaccurate on many fronts. But you read for the strikethroughs and links to 30 Rock youtube videos anyway, right?
[2] If you care to skip the “grandstanding” – and really who could blame you – feel free to scroll down for a minor pregnancy related update.
[3] So I’m also ignoring what I consider the proof problem – that is, whether the use of meth is actually the cause of the stillbirth. I have no idea. But the point is, I don’t care. Even if we assume that it is, I remain vehemently opposed to a law that punishes this mother instead of offering drug treatment, support, and counseling.
[4] Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
[5] I can tell you that because Ben is a great name but not one on, ahem, the list (we all have one, right?). In fact, it’s what my parents were going to name me had I been XY instead of XX.
[6] Which obviously confirmed that this was not reality – you know, the actual reality in which I would refuse to leave the hospital until someone showed me how to hook that little sucker onto my boob. Or at least tried.


  1. Only one more day to Friday!! How exciting!

    I think it's possibly a good thing that you get all your drug references from the tv...I can only hope it means you don't have any IRL experiences (not your own drug use, but from around you) with which to draw upon as experience.

    Love the wonderful dream! I had one like that years and years ago,but it was a nightmare at that point. lol

  2. Oh, Sarah. What a beautiful dream. You're allowed to get attached to your baby-not-named-Ben. In fact, I think it's awesome. Sending so many good vibes that friday is another psychedelic/joyful experience and that everything will look/sound perfect, including the galoshes :) I'm sure it will!

  3. Earlier today I was only feeling punch-y (thanks, PMS!), but your infertility news round-up has elevated my lash-out threat level status to full-on stabby. Hate... haaaaaate...

    Best of luck with your ultrasound, sending good (not stabby or punch) vibes your way!

    1. Stab on! No, wait, that didn't come out right...

  4. Oh, thank GAWD you summarized your dream in four sentences... I was starting to go catatonic. :) Girl, at least your dreams are mostly pleasant (as I'm sure your ultrasound will be, too). It's always nerve-wracking doing ANY sort of monitoring in the first trimester because everything feels so fragile, but consider Friday the first of many, many, many instances of fear you'll feel for the rest of your child's life. At some point, you gotta try and get used to it!

  5. word. thank you for writing this post. women have also been prosecuted for child abuse after drinking alcohol and breastfeeding. this is frightening and a slippery slope. women should never be afraid to 'admit' they had a miscarriage. there is enough shame and stigma already, without politicians getting involved. thanks again for writing and sharing

    1. preach! I think you said it better than I could have. thanks for sharing my outrage :)