2016

I’m Thankful for Noah

2016 was a rough year for our country. A lot of terrible and tough things have happened and a lot of people are ready to close the books on it and not look back. For me, however, 2016 is a year I will treasure forever. 2016 is when we welcomed our son into the world.

It’s been a tough journey getting to him. It started in 2014 and was derailed by a cancer diagnosis. I had to deal with the risk that chemo brings of never being able to have kids. But I was lucky and got pregnant soon after my doctor gave me the green light this year. That was followed by a pregnancy that was anything but glowing. I had trouble gaining weight due to the nausea that plagued me for almost the entire pregnancy, I was exhausted, sore, and all of the normal pregnancy challenges. I spent several hours in the hospital when I went into preterm labor, afraid and not ready. Luckily Noah decided to wait a few more weeks. We had another scare when my midwife picked up an arrhythmia and there were also concerns about his growth. After hours spent in fear limbo, we were again cleared. Finally Noah joined our family after 32.5 hours of labor, healthy and without needing a c-section.

It was love at first sight. Even though he proceeded to poop on me twice within his first few minutes of outside the womb life. Everything I had been afraid of in becoming a Mom (what about everything I would be giving up? what if I didn’t bond immediately? ) faded away and didn’t matter at all. Being a Mom is like breathing, it doesn’t require thought. My world shifted in an irrevocable way and I didn’t even feel it happen.

There are challenges. I cry pretty much every day. I think the blog “why is my son crying” could have a precursor blog for new families called “why is Mommy crying?” Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s hard, there’s a lot of crazy emotional surge going on post baby. The struggle is real.

There’s a lot of things you can’t prepare for. I understood I wouldn’t be getting much sleep, but it’s different knowing that in theory and living with not knowing how much sleep I’ll get in a night or when I’ll get woken up. It’s really tough. Most physically tough things you have the ability to tell yourself you just need to get through an amount of time and it’ll get better. It may be years before I can sleep in my own bed and get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Luckily the reason that I’m going through sleep deprivation torture has the sweetest face and I love him with all of my heart. Once I manage to get myself up it’s all better, sometimes I sit there at 3am just looking at him as he’s fallen back asleep and marveling at how beautiful he is.

I also have an amazing partner in this that I am thankful for. He continues to take care of me through the good stuff and the tough stuff and he’s also head over heels for our beautiful son.

So thank you 2016 for changing my life in the best way possible.

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The Day After

As many of us are, I’m reeling from the results I saw when I woke up this morning. I honestly thought this was impossible, even as close as things were last night. The repercussions of this are impossible to know, other than they will last far beyond four years. I cried.

The last time I cried was when Bush was elected, I was a teenager and too young to vote and I sat up by myself and cried. Today I’m an adult about to have a child and I feel like the Bush election was nothing compared to what has just happened.

So I had a long hopeless feeling cry this morning.

Then I took a shower and picked myself back up.

This election will change us as a country, but it does not change us as individuals. I am still an #independent #nastywoman. I still believe that everyone who is not a heterosexual white man deserves the same rights and opportunities as they do. This just means the next four years will require a greater effort from me and everyone else who feels this way to do our best to continue to fight for these things, even though the laws that are passed or struck down may not align with this. We have to take it one day at a time and do our best to fight for ourselves and each other.

Thank you to my friends that campaigned for the democrats. You put personal time and money into trying to fight this and I know this must be hitting you all even harder and just want to say that I really appreciate what you did.

To the democratic party, fix your shit. Somehow you’ve become far more currupt than the republicans and you lost this election. In my eyes, the republicans didn’t win this, you lost this. You fixed your own election, got caught, had scandal after scandal, and now the country will pay. You have four years to figure out how to be better. Do it or get out of the way.

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She’s With Me

I voted early. Being 9 months pregnant, I didn’t want to miss my opportunity and I didn’t want to risk standing in long lines that I physically might not be able to handle. I also didn’t want to risk them running out of our Blue Dog “I Voted” stickers.screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-9-32-12-am

I voted for Hillary. Being a female liberal, about to have a baby, in my 30s this shouldn’t surprise or upset anyone. It was a given. I’m an independent so I don’t align myself with the Democratic party (and have never been prouder than that given this election cycle) but the republicans really don’t even try to talk to liberal independents, so presidential cycles are thus far automatically a democratic vote for me.

This election cycle has been the most brutal and most disappointing of any that I have been aware/a part of. It’s left me unable to use the hashtag “#ImWithHer” with my vote.

I’m not. I do think that she is the best option for president in our current candidate field, I do feel awed that I was able to vote for a female presidential candidate who has a real shot at winning, and there are pieces of her that I feel proud of and aligned with.

But there are also a lot of things that I feel disappointed by and can’t dismiss. I’m not going to get into them because seriously, we’re almost out of this shit, why bother? But I’m not with her.

However, she’s with me. And that is actually a lot more important to me in a presidential nominee. I don’t donate money to presidential candidates, I don’t think I should pay to have someone be president, I’d rather my money went to providing help to people in a more direct way and not to bloated egos and hateful political ads. I want candidates to prove to me that they’re good enough for my vote.

Hillary is with me personally because she supports Obamacare and wants to improve it. I’m a woman so I benefit in a lot of ways from Obamacare for my healthcare. I’m also a young cancer survivor so I have a preexisting condition that insurance providers are not a fan of. I’m also about to have a baby so I use my insurance often between the cancer and baby check-ups, and Obamacare provides longterm healthcare coverage for my kid.

I’m also a female professional. I work in an industry where there is no wage equality or consistency or transparency and is often structured with lots of women working under all male management. Equal pay is important to me, and when I live in a state where it just voted down, I look to Hillary as someone who may be able to help.

I’m also about to take maternity leave in a state where FMLA is the only available option unless businesses choose to offer more. This means that there are lots of women who don’t get FMLA based on the size of the business they work at or can’t afford it because it’s unpaid. It’s a real issue of inequality and honestly it would be nice to see some of those pro-life motherfuckers spend some of those millions of dollars in services to help women post birth instead of giving me fetuses on billboards.

There are a lot of other reasons that I think Hillary is the best choice for president in this election cycle, but these are the main reasons that she’s with me.

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Nasty Woman as evidenced by the pirate cat, alt necklace, guns hanging from my ears, and you can just tell from my eyes that I’m opinionated…