Where Are All The Secular Mamas?

So, I’m 4 weeks and 3 days pregnant today! I’ve been waking up every morning with headaches that make it impossible to do anything more than what is absolutely necessary. I slept for 10 hours last night, and I’m home from work today and have already had a hard time staying awake. A nap sounds so good, but I know waking up will be next to impossible and then I will be up all night!  I just can’t seem to win, lol. The heartburn started about two nights ago, and the nausea is still a daily occurrence. It’s usually just bad when I eat, which I’m hearing is the opposite of most mamas to be. Everyone keeps telling me to snack on crackers or eat a light meal, but that just makes it worse. All weekend I found myself very emotional, to the point of crying so hard that I couldn’t catch my breath, over the stupidest things. Friday night, it was bingo. I cried for hours because I wanted to go but we couldn’t afford it. I told Ashley the next day, it feels like I am completely out of control of my own body! All of these things are just absolutely different from what I’m used to, and it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that this is just how it’s going to be, and I’m going to have to get through it like a big girl! After all, if I can’t handle sleepiness, nausea, heartburn, headaches and uncontrollable mood swings, I am NOT cut out to be a mother! I’m certainly not the first one to to through this.

I’ve been having a lot of cramping/twinging, but no bleeding so that is good. I had some spotting from days 10 through 13 past IUI, and I was very happy to see that go away. I talked to some of the girls at work, and they told me that they had also experienced some spotting and cramping in the first trimester, and it scared them too! It’s nice to hear that other people have had the same experiences, and I am not alone. Although sometimes I feel like I have read way too much online, and heard too many horror stories, it’s nice to type a symptom into Google and see 200 people on a message board say that they’ve had the exact same thing and came through it just fine. It’s a nice sense of community. Another thing about message boards is that it really puts our journey to pregnancy in perspective. There are a lot of women who have done countless cycles of IUI and have has miscarriages every time, and women who have spent upwards of $100,000 on trying to get pregnant through IVF. During our attempts, it was easy to become impatient and discouraged when our first try didn’t work and my ovaries didn’t seem to want to cooperate, but now I realize how lucky we are for this to have worked on the second try. It’s really something to be thankful for.

So. moving on to the point of this post! Since June, I’ve become a little bit of an addict. Yes, I am addicted to Pinterest. Especially the Kids section! I have been scrolling through 24/7 for months now, and it’s nice to see all the fun ideas that are out there on the internet. Of course, there is one thing that I’ve noticed that has me a little irked. Every time I find a blog post that I think sounds promising, I will get about 1/4 through it and realize that it’s a Christian blogger, and the entire post is about Christian parenting. There will be fun titles like “20 Things Every Mother Should Teach Her Son” and 18 out of the 20 are about following Christ. Now personally, I have no issues with Christians or their parenting. It would be foolish of me to sit here and judge the parenting of a group of people when I fight against that judgement every day as a lesbian and an atheist who is about to bring a baby into the world. I think that it’s important for everyone to have their place to speak their mind and share their thoughts and ideas with other like minded people. Go for it! This is America! But seriously, I’m finding that secular mothers are seriously underrepresented in the blog world, and I think it’s about damn time that someone steps up and turns that around!  I am so inspired by these mothers, Christian or otherwise, who share their experiences so openly and honestly with the world, and I feel like that is definitely something that I want to do. I am going to write a blog as a secular mother raising free thinking and secular children in a country (and, more specifically, state) that is very harsh toward the type of family we are about to create. Ash and I were watching Sister Wives yesterday and thinking that it takes a strong person to stand up to a government and a society that morally opposes you. It’s comforting to see a family that can still remain so close and loving, even with the ever present weight of the moral majority pressing down on you.

Standing up for what you believe in is never easy, especially when people who are very close to you disagree. We’ve run into this with my feelings about having my baby in a birthing center as opposed to a hospital, too. I felt so empowered and positive when I decided against a hospital birth, and I knew that my natural labor and delivery would be free from the pressure and guilt of refusing medical intervention in a hospital. I was feeling so good about it, that I decided that I would talk about it openly with people. BIG MISTAKE. The onslaught of negativity was immediate, and no one even took a second to see why I was concerned and what had led me to my choice. Everyone immediately jumped on me and told me that my baby would very likely die, and that it was unsafe to have a birth anywhere other than a hospital. I had done my research, considered myself to be very educated, and suddenly I was changing my mind. I was thinking, “I have to have my baby in a hospital, or everyone will be upset with me.” The thought of my labor turned from safe, serene and free to cold, clinical and full of pressure from others. I knew the statistics, and I knew that a natural birth outside of a hospital was entirely safe.  Ashley finally told me that no matter what others thought, it would be wrong of me to make my decision based on that opinions of others, and not on my own opinions. I’ve found a lot of comfort in talking to Jeffrey and Michael, who were (and still are) in a similar situation with their daughter, Haidyn. When they decided not to vaccinate, they faced a tital wave of judgement from people who had no argument other than, “Vaccinating is just what you’re supposed to do, everyone does it, so you have to do it too.” Watching them face that and still make the decision they felt was best for their child is encouraging, and it reminds me that it’s OK for me to make my own decision too. The weight of the world is nothing compared to the guilt I would feel after caving in to the pressures of others, when it’s no one’s decision but ours.

There is still a lot to come before we make our final decisions. I plan to tour several birthing centers and hospitals, and meet with OBs and Midwives as well before deciding what is best for my baby. At this point, I foresee a natural labor and delivery in a birthing center, attended by a midwife. Of course, any conditions that come up in the next 9 months will definitely have the power to change that plan. For example, I wouldn’t feel comfortable delivering twins in a birthing center. (We’re still hoping there is only ONE in there, but we’ll just have to wait and see!)

Our ultrasounsd is scheduled for the 24th, two weeks from today. I’ll be just over 6 weeks, so we’ll be able to tell how many embryos we have! I can’t wait to hear the heartbeat… time can’t move fast enough.

Devan

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