Put Your Damn Pants On!

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Oh, NOW I Get It…

So for the past year, I’ve been in the process of becoming a giant, feelings-having sap. I didn’t know that I was capable of such mushiness, nor that I ever wanted any of that…stuff. The gentleman with whom I’ve chosen to spend my time is wonderful in all the ways, and I could not be happier. Nor did I realize just how much easier life is with a fucking good partner. Of course, I mean this for day-to-day things (like cooking and doing the dishes and taking the goddamn recycling out in the rain, and is it raining literally every time we have to go outside for something? I think so.) But I also mean it as a parent.

Accurate representation of my insides now.

Accurate representation of my insides now.

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Well. I’m Never Doing THAT Again.

I must be softening in my old age because my son somehow conned me into throwing a sleepover for his birthday. Which, you can gauge from the title of this piece, is something that I am never doing again. The experience could have been way worse, to be sure. But my house and my heart are too small to put myself through it again. Lessons learned, people. LESSONS LEARNED. Continue reading

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Guest Post: Running While Female

This blog entry will actually be about putting your damn pants on, no matter what kind of pants they may be. Plenty of people wear pants, and more often than not, those pants are put on the same way by all kinds of different people.

I am a runner. When running, my pants (or shorts) of choice are primarily made of lycra and/or spandex. This is not an uncommon selection, no matter where your gender identity lies (which is on the female scale, for me). When I run, I don’t like to have loose fabric weighing me down or creating wind resistance. Minimalism in clothing is important in running, ranging from shorty shorts in the summer and tight pants in the winter. While I am nowhere near elite status, you will see this type of clothing amongst the most decorated runners.

When I run, I am disgusting. I sweat, I wheeze, I spit, I wipe my nose on my shirt. Any sort of “ladylike” manners get thrown out the proverbial window when I run, and I don’t care. I have a mission to complete. Over time, I have added another non-ladylike mannerism to my oh-so-appealing running persona – the middle finger.
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How about a happy post?

So, I just had another baby. You think I’m crazy, right? I am crazy. But, I am also happy, so at least there’s that.

Now, let’s start from the beginning. I already have two kids. I thought that for sure I was done. My husband and I had the conversation about the vasectomy and he decided that he would get one. Three days after said conversation, I wake up to my 10 month old baby fussing, wanting to nurse. I roll over and nurse him, but something is weird. It feels like my boobs are empty…what the hell happened to my supply? I figure that it’s just my period about to come into fruition and think nothing more of it (except, hopefully I’m actually providing my 10 month old with some nutrition from my boobs). My 4 year old wakes up and comes into bed with us. My husband is still snoring. The kids and I get up, I make coffee, make them breakfast, it’s a normal day. My husband decides to mosey on out of bed two hours later (in fairness, he works late nights, so this is totally normal and part of our routine). This is the time of day that I get to leave reality and do something for myself. I decide to go to this awesome outside yoga class right down the street from our house. It’s a beautiful day outside, I get on my bike with my cute little yoga mat and start pedaling away. But, I feel weird. Something is off. I get to yoga and everything is great, I’m in my happy zen place, and then, I am in some twisting move and I feel the familiar pull in my uterus.

I knew right then that I was pregnant. I chose to stay in denial for a little bit longer, but I knew.

I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the day, but it ends with me going to Target with both kids, buying a two pack of the crappy Target brand pregnancy tests, taking one of the tests in the handicap stall of the Target restroom (because how else am I going to fit myself and two kids into a stall), and getting the goddamn positive result. That unholy little cross.

Fuck. That’s all I’m thinking. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Everything else goes blank. My hands are shaking. Pull it together, Amie. You’re at Target with your two kids. Pull it together.

So, I do, and get myself and the kids out of the bathroom and to the car. I don’t remember doing that. It’s like when you have too much to drink and you remember being at the party and the next thing you know, you are waking up in your own bed.

So, anyway, I get both kids buckled in their car seats and I take out the pregnancy test and stare at it agian. As if I didn’t see it correctly the first time. I take a picture of it and send it via text to my husband. He respnods back with the laughing, smiley face emoticon. He thinks I’m joking. I tell him it’s real. He responds back with “Fuck.” Yep, this is how it all started.

So, at this point you all are thinking birth control, right? Why the fuck didn’t you use birth control? Well, I’ll tell you why. Because I didn’t think I needed to. Famous last words.

But, listen, my other two pregnancies (you know, the ones we planned) were difficult to conceive. It took 8 months of continuous (well maybe not continuous, but A LOT) unprotected sex to conceive my daughter and 6 months of the same to conceive my son, so I was pretty sure that I was in the clear. I mean, we had two kids. I don’t even remember the last time we had sex. Plus, I hadn’t gotten a period yet and I was still nursing on demand, all the fucking time, so what gives? How the hell did I get pregnant?

This was the stage I went through after the denial. Anger. What the fuck? This is all my husbands fault. Why didn’t he get the damn vastectomy sooner? I’ve already pushed two babies out of my vagina…naturally…without drugs…and then let them use my boobs to nourish their little bodies until they were done with them. Haven’t I been through enough? Apparently not.

Then, out of nowhere, my mind decided to be rational and I considered my options. ALL of them. I started freaking the fuck out. I decided to call my college roommate. The one person that I knew would understand what this meant to me and give me an honest opinion. She told me to listen to my gut.

That’s the best fucking advice anyone has given to me in a long time. I had actually forgotten what that meant. When was the last time I listened to myself?

When I became a mother, my whole world became about my children. My first thought, my intuition, is always geared toward my kids. I had forgotten about myself for the last few years and now I really needed to check in. So, I did. I thought about what this decision would do to me. I thought about what it would do to my family. And then I remembered that there was once a time when I let life happen to me. It was such a beautiful, happy time in my life. After college, before kids, when life was really just about me. I let life happen, without trying to control everything. I realized that I could do that again. I could just let life happen. This happened. And I could let it happen, instead of trying to control it.

So, I did. I went to Planned Parenthood, got a “legitimate” pregnancy test, listened to my options again, and decided ultimately to keep the baby.

The pregnancy was pretty easy. The first trimester sucked, they always do, but the rest was fairly straight forward.

My family and I moved three times. I had three different “care providers” and envisioned three very different ways of giving birth.

I ended up having Blaise in a very small hospital in Santa Paula, CA with an OB that I like very much. I had my other two babies in a big hospital in Colorado with midwives, so this birth was very different. But, it was great. I got to have him naturally, and he came just when I needed him to. He came out perfect. Beautiful, tiny, and perfect.

This experience definitely transformed me. Changed my perspective. Made me less tightly wound. I am more present. Less worried. Less stressed. Blaise is such a peaceful baby and has brought a sense of calm into all of our lives. I am grateful for that.

I am grateful to be a mother, to be a woman, to have a choice in what I do with my life and my body. The world is a crazy place right now. The thought of bringing new life into this chaos is scary. But, I am happy that I made the choice that I did. While the world is still spinning, we have to figure out how to live in it, right? We might as well be happy while we do that.

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Parenting While Crazy

I’ve mentioned a time or two that I struggle with depression. It’s a lifelong thing, I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t depressed. Sometimes are worse than others, but mostly, it’s basically like this: if there was a scale from -10 to 10, with -10 being superduper depressed and 10 being superduper manic, most people are at a base line of 0. My emotional grid’s baseline is, like, -2. Sometimes I dip low, sometimes I swing high, but day to day, I’m always a little depressed. Depression is my normal. My medication works as a…smoother, it bumps me to a -1 and keeps the lows brief and shallow so now I rarely get past a -3. Still, my outlook is always a little blue.

You as a 0 may ask, what’s that like? Well, let’s see. Imagine your mind is the bridge of the Enterprise from Star Trek (I’m a nerd, but my Star Trek knowledge is limited, so this isn’t going to get super out there for you non-nerds). There’s the big screen in front showing what’s going on, you are the Captain, and your emotions are manning all of the different stations and giving constant input and advice on how you go about doing things. I assume that in your mind, you as Captain, well, you stay in the big chair in the middle and you get the information you need to make decisions and your crew supports you and does as they’re told and mostly things go according to plan. And in those times that things go haywire, you and your crew work together to get back on course.

My mind, well, there’s a lot more chaos. A lot of the data I get isn’t right so I can’t make the best decisions to steer my ship. I have to get out of my chair to try and fix things, and my Spock is pretty incompetent. My crew doesn’t always speak the same language and they definitely don’t get along. There’s a lot of arguing and sabotage and laziness and things just don’t work right. There’s usually a mutiny brewing. My ship takes a lot longer to get to its destination, if it ever makes it there. Captain Me spends a lot of time and energy on keeping the ship going and so anything external can’t be dealt with properly. But, I’ve been captain of this ship for a long time, so I’ve gotten good with duct tape repairs and corralling the crew to get me where I need to go.
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Guest Post: Jen’s Tale

The name’s Jen and I work at a nonprofit clinic that deals specifically in reproductive issues (guess which one!). I own two cats and a dog and we all like ice cream and cheese. I’ve lived in RVA for 10ish years and lack the gumption to move but that’s not on my mind. I’m a single childless lady and all I really care about at this point in my life is where the nearest pizza is.

Trigger warning: rape

Online dating sites are sketchy. We all know that. You’d think I’d give up the ghost after my dates with not one but two ex-heroin addicts, the guy who told me he loved muscular ginger hunks, the homeless man and the fellow who only talked about tree frogs. Yet, for some reason (boredom, intrigue and self-loathing with a touch of hopefulness) I keep logging back on. At the very least I have some peculiar stories to tell.

So here we go again, I have re-activated my account and as this ain’t my first rodeo I know to expect very little. I’ve gotten some charming messages so far:

“Luv ur tat.”
“You should smile.”
“You are funny and girls are not funny.”

Anyway, it’s a fun thing to look at when you’re in between conversations at the bar. In fact, that is exactly what I was doing this weekend when suddenly the “fun” came to an abrupt halt and I almost fell out of my seat.

The man who raped me in 2011 appeared under my top matches.

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Feminist Friday: Aw hell, let’s talk about abortion

You guys, I’ve been staring at my monitor for way too long trying to figure out how to say everything I want to say without offending anyone. Abortion is such a delicate topic and it’s so personal and touches so many nerves and it’s just fucking tough to discuss rationally. And I think that’s one of the reasons the pro-choice side seems to be losing everywhere. It’s a lot easier to hold up pictures of mangled fetuses and scream at strangers and to murder doctors – and to convince people that these extremist actions are needed to protect the babies. I can’t do the equivalent, there is no equivalent. So we on the choice side make carefully worded arguments and try to hold debates and sign petitions and lose the battle of showmanship.

It’s easy to throw our hands up and simmer in our rage and gnash our teeth with every new law restricting our rights and to feel just completely useless. And I don’t honestly believe that reading this post on this little goofy blog is going to convince an anti-choicer to join my side, but I can’t stay quiet. It’s not how I roll, y’all.  So, I’m stealing an idea from John Oliver (which, if you’re not watching Last Week Tonight you’re missing out, it’s brilliant), I’m going to write a whole bunch about an uncomfortable topic and if you read all the way through to the end, you’ll be rewarded with a video you want to watch. Like of tiny animals being tiny and adorable. Deal? (Yes, you can just scroll down without reading, but that would be a total dick move.)

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Feminist Friday: This Time Will Be the Last Time

You guys, I’ve missed you!! I’ve missed writing – life has been a giant can o’ crazy this year and PYDPO has been a casualty. I apologize. I’m hoping that things will be settling and I can get back to sharing way too much personal information with strangers on the internet very soon. There have been so many things I’ve wanted to discuss with y’all recently! But every time I’ve started to write about MRAs or #NotAllMen or Rihanna’s ass, the rage has overwhelmed me and I’ve had to stop. So today I’m going to ignore all of that shit and talk about something much more important: all of my gray hair.

I turned 33 this year. I’m in the middle age zone – I’m all settled with a partner and kids, I have a career, I long for home ownership, I worry about retirement and life insurance. While all of that makes me feel like an adult, what makes me feel old is my hair. Years of slathering on Water Babies to avoid sun poisoning coupled with lots of extra collagen has left me fairly wrinkle free so far, but my roots show my age. And what used to be one here or there has turned into the fact that I’m definitely, totally going gray.
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