reSolve to rEvolve

Thursday, July 27, 2006

And in this corner...

There are some people who think that if the world was run by women it would be a much more peaceful place. I think that if the world's affairs were left solely to women the wars would continue to rage and the intensity of the fighting might even be be more ferocious. Women can be real bitches.

I recently made the mistake of trying to do a little reading on Cesarean Sections as my doctor is recommending highly that I consider that option when delivering my baby due to some complications that arose last time and also due to the possibility of future complications that would be hard to manage and very difficult to fix. Valuing my ability to use the bathroom when I am in fact in the bathroom, I decided to check out this C-Section business. I went to Baby Center online and typed in C-Section and was given several links, including one to a discussion group thread in which a lady had asked my exact question--she had a fourth degree tear with the first child and the doctor recommended a C-Section so she could avoid prolapsed uterus, urinary and fecal incontinence etc.
The string of replies were shocking to me. While there were a great deal of women who had encouraging things to say and who had dealt with similar circumstances, I could not belive the high and mighty women who wrote in just to chastise her for considering a C-Section. The comments varied from " I can't believe that you would choose a MAJOR surgery over a tear!" or my personal favorite " I needed stitches and didn't even hurt!" (clearly the person did not have a total tear).
I think that childbirth the natural way is a wonderful thing; what I don't ascribe to is the dogma of natural childbirth. There is such a venomous judgment that comes from many who are card carrying members of the "my-way-or the highway birth club" and it is disheartening. I had arguably one of the crappiest birth experiences possible, super-long, never fully dilating, forceps, needing oxygen, water being broken too early for me, fainting, and a horrific tear. Much of this was due to medical intervention and I was disappointed that it happened that way. Disappointed in part because it will affect my next birth experience and perhaps necessitate a C-section. I am not certain of what I will decide to do, but I do know that a healthy baby and a healthy nether region is what is really important to me.
The other raging female slugfest surrounds the decison to stay-at-home or to go back to work after having a baby. I think women need to give it a rest. I am tired of the backhandedness from both sides. I stay at home because I want to and because I can and because we've moved so much in the last four years that I don't really know where I would have worked. I don't judge my fellow moms who choose to go back to work, or who need to financially or need to mentally etc. I just sometimes wish that women would let their guard down a bit around each other and endeavor to love and accept more.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Y Diplomacy

Moving brings out the adolescent in all of us. A new location can find you nervously scrambling around looking for someone who seems a bit like yourself with whom to belong. In our recent move across the country I have found that starting at square one is humbling. After a recent invitation to dinner I wondered how soon I should reciprocate and does a call the next day seem too needy? Should I beg outright for a playmate for my daughter who is so lonesome for her "family" back in Hawaii. We are making progress day by day and we are meeting people, but it is most certainly a process and I find myself analyzing the minutiae of each conversation with each new acquaintance to the degree that my husband just shakes his head and says "women!"

I am impressed by my 4 year-old's ability to articulate what she is feeling: sadness at the loss (at least in proximity) of all of her friends, while I walk around semi-oblivious of how I am feeling during this time and am occasionally blindsided by an emotion that crops up seemingly out of nowhere.
Somehow in my efforts to grow up and be a responsible adult I have managed to box up most of my emotions that aren't productive, but I am finding that instead of feeling grown up I feel a bit restrained. It is hard for me to tell people what they mean to me. I can tell my daughter and my husband that I love them with ease, but with the rest of my relationships I am never the first to hug, to cry, even to validate and I have realized that that is not a strength, but a shortcoming.
ah, there is work to be done!

I am currently reading Madeline Albright The Mighty and the Almighty (editor's note: there is no underline option on this setting) which is a fascinating look at Madeline Albright take on the state of international affairs and foreign policy, more specifically the situation in the Middle East and the role that faith plays or should play in politics. It is fascinating reading, and I am struck by her descriptions of what good diplomacy can look like. Diplomacy, she writes, is the art of persuading others to act as we would wish, effective foreign policy requires that we comprehend why others act as they do." She continues on to say that "Religion at its best can reinforce the core values necessary for people from different cultures to live in some degree of harmony; we should make the most of that possibility." Now her statements are read in the context of fixing world problems, however just yesterday I was awed by what I perceived to be masterful diplomacy on a smaller scale. I was in the locker room of the local YMCA and was creeping my modest pregnant self into the semi-privacy of a shower stall when I overheard the senior water aerobics class come into the showers to shower after their class.
A gaggle of old ladies with saggy bodies who have absolutely no inhibitions, and actually seem to relish carrying on long conversations stark naked came in. "Thank God it is quiet in here at last!" one boomed. There was no audible response so she rephrased her statement, "I mean I can hardly stand all the noise of the kids that were in here earlier." Still no response.
This is when I became a little steamed on behalf of my little missy who had not yet been in the locker room that day, but would be coming in before her swim class to get dressed. We were not in the Adults Only Women's locker room, we were in the Female locker room which permits children. I was conjuring up images of myself passive-aggressively commenting about how there are locker rooms for people who prefer peace and quiet, but I kept my tongue. 10 minutes later when I was dressing and Madame Curmudgeon was still naked and decided to broach the subject again with her senior pals, I was losing my patience.
"I am so glad there are no noisy kids in here right now!" she declared and it was here that I saw a seasoned diplomat in action. "I have always enjoyed the joyful shouts of children--there is so much life there," stated another of the ladies. "Children grow so quickly and leave so soon and I remember being a young mother with rowdy kids. Do you?" Without waiting for her to reply the kind lady continued, "and the mission of the YMCA is to promote people of all ages being active together, so it is actually one of my favorite parts to hear the glee in the children's laughs. There are of course places where rowdy kids don't belong but this isn't the Ritz Carlton. By the way how was your time last month at the Ritz Carlton?" And with that Madame Curmudgeon had an avenue to reenter the conversation, talking about positive things, feeling loved and validated, but also gently corrected.
I was stunned. I had been gearing up for a full out attack at this rude insensitive lady, but I think that my comments would've fallen on deaf ears. The kind old lady wasn't going to allow Madame Curmudgeon to complain ceaselessly but she met her on common ground and she loved her. She realized that this woman had just forgotten what it is like to be a child, or to have a young child and she gently reminded her.
Anyway I was maybe I'm not that emotionally repressed after all.
I realize I'm blathering, but it has been 5 months since my last post!