As a parent, I absolutely love the perspective and comments of my non-“breeder” friends. (Usually-there are some rather large exceptions to this.)
Aside from getting a chance to live vicariously in a world that is not, generally, dominated by breastfeeding debate, finding the best BPA-free feeding utensils and being immersed in other peoples feces, the childless insight into parenting can be enlightening. Sometimes we parents get so wrapped up in our kids that we can’t see what is plainly obvious to an outsider.

So, I’m thrilled to be able to share with you this guest post on parenting by the amazing @kindalikethis ( Who blogs regularly here.)

Enjoy!

The Best Parents Are The Ones That Don’t Have Children.

To tell you the truth, this is the first time in my life I have heard this phrase. Since the few days that have passed, I have been told it’s common? Anyways, I’m not a parent. And because I’m not a parent, I’m not one to tell someone how to raise, or discipline their child. But I AM a woman, and therefore I have maternal instincts, and a natural care toward children.

Last week I was on vacation in LA with my mom for her birthday. Disneyland. While in line for a ride, it kept stopping. They weren’t telling people to get out of line unless they knew it would be down for more than 30 minutes. So, needless to say, those of us in line were waiting for a while, and were tired. It was hot. A bunch of kids were walking around in costume, and little girls everywhere where wearing princess dresses; Belle, Cinderella, Snow White… you get it.

I think it would be sort of dumb for someone not to expect their children to sit on the hand-rails. I mean, in all my life I’ve never understood why they don’t put some sort of bench all along or something! I can hear a father telling his daughter behind me not to sit on the hand railing, because she was sitting on the bottom row and her dress was touching the ground. Hey, I understand, have you seen how expensive those things are?

I, my mother, and about six other people were all leaning against the rail ahead of them. I keep hearing him say to ‘get off the hand rail’ and she keeps saying she’s ‘not on it.’ After a few minutes of this, we, myself and the others leaning on the rail in line, start to feel a sort of jerking/knocking on the rail. I had my sunglasses and mini-mouse head-band ears on, and kind of turned to see what was going on.

This girl was maybe 8 or 9, and the dad was about as tall as, if not a little shorter than me. I’m 5’2”. His hands were wrapped around her wrists so tight her skin around his fingers was white. He was banging her elbows against the railing so hard, it was shaking six grown people along this rail. After a couple of times I finally couldn’t just sit there anymore and I yelled “EXCUSE ME!” really loud and he looked at me with this shocked look on his face.

–Side Note–
If you know me personally, or have followed any of my blogs for long enough, you’ll know I’m not afraid to voice my opinion and I don’t give two shits about my ‘language’ or ‘my mouth’ either. Fuck that. Freedom of speech exists and I waited a long time as a kid and a teen under my mothers roof to ‘do whatever I wanted’ when I was ‘grown up’ so fuck that fucking shit!

Without using a ‘language’ a parent would – hopefully – not want their young child to hear, I told him, in a VERY loud voice, that I understood she was HIS child and he has every right to discipline her. He was about to say something and I put my hand up, which basically was in his short ass face, and I told him if I saw him do it one more time I was going to report him to security. I told him if that’s the way he “disciplines” his child, I highly suggest not doing it in public if he doesn’t want someone doing something about it!

By the time I was done we had about 20 people staring at us. And a few giving me a “thumbs up” with a smirk on their face. I turned back around and left it at that. He didn’t say a word! Just stared at me! After a while I can hear the mother making comments about how she wouldn’t have been so nice, and ‘let someone say something’ to her. Excuse me? Where was she five minutes ago when I was yelling at her husband, a complete stranger? About HER daughter? ‘The fuck? I almost turned around and asked her if she didn’t speak until spoken to just to be a bitch, but it was Disneyland, and my mom’s birthday, so I ignored it. But honestly, you either say something then, when it’s happening right in front of you, or shut the fuck up. Period.

Say what you want, I believe in “physical” child discipline. As in yes, I believe in spanking! Anyone in my generation, or the generations before will say that their parent’s discipline is what kept them from being a prison inmate today, or being dead, or whatever. It’s what kept them from being stuck in a room all summer instead of being at the beach. The generations after me have no idea of this discipline, because all of a sudden, it’s bad to slap your kid. I don’t fucking think so, I think kids now have no clue and that’s why you read the news about teenagers being arrested for murder. MURDER! How bad if your life at 14 and 15 to kill someone for a gold chain and an ipod! Really! Go ride a fucking bike, go swimming, try to experience a god damned childhood for fucks sake.

But there is a fine line you walk being a parent who chooses to touch your child while disciplining them, and I believe that there is absolutely no reason for a parent to be slamming his young, small, frail daughter’s bony elbows into a metal railing hard enough to shake about a thousand plus pounds of people leaning on it. This thing is cemented into the ground. Really. You do the math.

After another twenty minutes of standing there waiting for this ride – god damnit we came all the way there and it was her birthday, we were going to ride this thing if it was the last fucking thing we did – I pretended as if I were going to ask the attendant how much longer we had to wait, which I did, but I also turned him in and told the guy the whole story anyways. When we got to the front, finally, they had security just chillin’, watchin. But I was told that there’s not a whole lot they can do unless they actually see him doing it again. All they can do it report it and keep and eye on them.

Enough for me. I said what I needed to say and it didn’t happen for the rest of the duration of them being directly behind us in line. Who knows what they do at home if they do that kind of crap in public! But I am the type of person who is going to say something if I feel something is out of line. I’m not a ‘bystander’.

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Because I’m currently unable to form a coherent Panda, I’m posting some random stuff from the old blog that people seemed to find amusing for some reason. This sounds about right.

A Poo Post

Poo tubes.

If you have no idea what this stuff is for, consider yourself lucky. Also, you are about to be educated.  After my last doctors appointment, I was presented with a package of fun tubes and slides, for another round of “What the fuck is wrong with you this week” testing. I was going to do this all in private, and tell no one about it ever, but then I read the instructions, and I couldn’t not share them with you. It  would be wrong of me to keep this to myself.

So lets check out: “How to Collect Poo, in Eight Languages!”

Click to enlarge.

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Pay close attention to the little pictures along the top. By far, the best part.img_3162

That sad face was also on the little vials. In case you feel the urge to drink the poo you have collected, please don’t, as it will make you make that face. I also like how they thoughtfully drew a little turd in the toilet illustration. Also, do not let small children play with Poo.

Feel free to enlarge that and read the list of ” Don’ts” My favorite is the one warning you not to shit directly into the tubes. In case you are confused about where you SHOULD shit, refer once again to the happy illustration for acceptable places.

Yes, that last one appears to be a bowl and a Tupperware container.

Fortunately, I had the foresight to ask  for this thing this time around:

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I highly suggest that should you ever have to do this in the future, you ask for one of those things.  It seems to be called a “hat” for whatever reason. I did not get one of these last time and was left with a fun dilemma. Ended up  going with trash bag over toilet seat, which I do not recommend.

All in all, it’s an extremely humiliating experience, but at least the instructions are entertaining.

The next person that asks me “How was your day?” is going to regret it.

Moving to Texas has been, well, an experience. I’ve been here about a year now, and I’ve caught myself uttering many, many things that I never imagined I’d ever say.

“Wow, it’s cooled down a lot. It’s only 102.”
Texas is hot. And don’t give me the “It’s a DRY heat” crap. That’s maybe true in some parts of Texas, but over near the Gulf, not so much. I’ve given up wearing makeup during the summer because it melts during the WALK TO THE CAR. I’m not even kidding. When you turn your faucet tap to cold, what you get is “Slightly less hot.” turning on the hose outside can result in serious scald burns. I used to hate seeing people let their infants out in nothing but a diaper. My son now regularly plays in the front without clothing, sometimes even naked. And if I could get away with it without someone calling the homeowners association or Greenpeace on me, I would too.

“No, you can’t play at the park until the cow goes home.”

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I’m so not even kidding. I don’t need that trip to the ER where I have to explain how my kid got trampled by a random cow coming off the slide.

“Texas isn’t so bad.”

I was born in Connecticut. I grew up in Hawaii and I’ve lived in Florida, but I’m a New-Englander at heart. A damn liberal Yankee. Before I moved here, I was told that I’d “never survive” and that I’d basically be drummed out of the state for my liberal hippie views. By “friends” no less.
But you know what? People are like, NICE here. My neighbors are awesome. Even the conservative ones. We moved in and people brought us “welcome to the neighborhood” cake. And when we all got the 24 hour flu-of-death, diapers and Gatorade were delivered to our door. Every weekend, if we need some social interaction with other adults, we just go outside. Neighbors congregate in driveways. With beer. Like King of The Hill. We are invited to dinner, and block parties every weekend. All of the kids roam the streets together and all of the parents look out for them.

Over the holidays, several different neighbors helped us decorate the house with blue and white lights for Hanukkah. No one cares that we are Jewish and Pagan. No one judges us for having different beliefs and political views.

Maybe I just got supremely lucky with our neighborhood, but even at stores, people are generally courteous and kind. Several times people have shooed me to the front of a line because my son was obviously OVER shopping and about to meltdown. Men in Cowboy boots hold open doors and usher me in with the wave of a hat.

It’s weird. Like living in a TV show.

“How old does my kid have to be to take a gun safety class?”

We used to be a gun free family. No guns. No toy guns.

Then we moved to a state whose motto seems to be “Welcome to Texas, here, have a free gun.”

It’s not just a stereotype. I swear, EVERYONE here has a gun.

(Hmmn. Maybe that explains why people are so considerate. When you know everyone is packing, it’s best not to piss them off?)

And living in a neighborhood where my 8 year old is often spending the night elsewhere, it seems prudent to teach her about gun safety. Or shoot a watermelon in front of her and remind her that could be her head. Whatever.

We are still a gun free house, but it doesn’t matter. The boys have taught Kira to make scarily accurate sub-machine gun replicas out of Trios. Or bread. And my son chases me around while aiming toilet paper rolls at me and yelling “PewPewPew!”

Sigh.

Some other favorites include:

“Stop licking the armadillo.”

“Did you guys see Kiss at the Rodeo?”

“Y’all”

“What is your kid wearing for “Texas Day'”?

“I have horse shit on my shoe. Again.”

“Did you hear about the fire at Possum Kingdom Lake?”

Recently, this seasons contestants for the ABC show ” Dancing With The Stars” were announced. Among them this year is Chaz Bono.

Yes, it seems Bono is the child of Sonny and Cher. He’s also transgendered. Born female, Bono now identifies as a man.I don’t know many of the details or specifics here, and though I could look them up, frankly, I’m not going to. Because his personal experiences and whether or not he’s had surgeries or whatever is none of my damn business.

In my opinion, he’s a man, and who cares about the rest.

Apparently though, this is reason for many fans of the show to flip the fuck out. Publicly, on the shows message board. The constantly streaming river of hate here is just so extreme and intense it makes me sick. Although many people have come out to show their support and encouragement, the haters, well, they’re a-hatin– and in full force.

The issue for many seems to be along the lines of won’t someone please think of the children!!

One Anonymous Guest states:

“Sorry, but you just lost this family’s viewership. Having Chaz Bono on as a “star” is not only ridiculous and a cheap ploy for ratings, but is totally inappropriate for a so-called family show. I don’t want to have to explain to my 6 and 8-year-olds why/how this “man” used to be a girl. Come on, ABC!”

Another:

“Chaz Bono is not a “he”… For God’s sake people, quit trying to drive your social agenda down the throats of heterosexual people with your agenda to proclaim such a lifestyle as LBGT being “normal”. It isn’t. It is abnormal and it is unacceptable.  
You might as well shut down your show because it is NOT a family show and it is NOT something to watch. Good by DWTS!”

(P.S. It’s GOODBYE, dipshit.)

Also:

“Very disappointed in the lineup of “stars”. My family has watched for years and we have even flown out to California to see it live. We will not be watching this year. We will filter the show this year and do not support cast choices of transgender, gay or lesbian contestants. My kids enjoyed the younger dancers from shows they watch and this year there are no stars they can relate to.

First of all, its a DANCING SHOW. The chance that there is going to be many in depth conversations about the specifics of gender reassignment is: highly fucking unlikely. Though I’m not a regular viewer, I’m pretty sure most of what they do is dance. Not talk. Not indoctrinate the children with the eeeviil LGBT “agenda”

Second- Explaining it to kids? Easy. Bono himself said it best. He explained that all children start off as female. Some change into males physically while in the womb. But sometimes, females are born with the brain of a female and the body of a male. Or the other way around. I don’t know about you, but one of the most important things I try to teach my kids is not to judge people by what they look like on the outside, because what is on the inside is what counts. There are many things that I’m not looking forward to explaining to my kids. This is so not one of them. It’s only a big deal if you make it one. Tolerance begins at home, and if you set an example by handling this in a relaxed, matter-of-fact way, your kids will not think anything of it.

This applies here.

If someone looks like a woman on the outside, but is really a man on the inside, then-SO? This one isn’t even about homosexuality, or really sexuality in the bedroom kind of way at all. It’s about biology. Genetically, some people are born with the body of one gender, but the brain of another.

I just don’t see how that’s hard or awkward or weird or whatever to explain to your children. I really don’t get it.Its not theological or immoral or any of that crap, it’s science.

Also: Its NOT ABOUT SEX. Or GAY SEX. OR evil homosexual pedophiles who are trying to harm your children. It’s a simple genetic screwup. Just like some people are born with extra arms, or twelve toes or a third nipple. Sometimes, shit happens.

Another reader states:

“Chaz Bono is not a man. She is a selfish woman who had her breasts removed. Do you know how many women agonize each year from having to have their breasts removed because of cancer? You make me sick. DWTS is no longer a family show.”

How is modifying your body to fit what’s on the inside selfish? If you had been born with a tail, wouldn’t you have had it fixed? What’s the difference between that and gender reassignment for those who were born with the wrong genders plumbing?

And don’t give me the “God made them that gender so they should deal with it” crap. I guarantee that mist of these people would not let their kids run around with a tail because that’s the way god made them.

“Just so you know…we will not be watching this time for the first time since the show started. Adding Chaz to the lineup was the final straw! Gone is the day when this was entertainment. Now it is sensationalism and we will not participate. I understand there are a lot of others, too, who share our view of this. 

Good luck!

It’s only a big deal because you make it one, dude.

“ABC’s willingness to feature a lesbian WOMAN (Bono) who is so utterly confused with HER sexual identity on DWTS new season will, I hope, prove whether the American people will tolerate the attempt by activists to normalize the immoral behavior of homosexuality upon our societies. Personnaly, I hope the shows ratings drop…

Um, not all Trans people are gay. (Though some are attracted to other members of their inside-gender) But I don’t think most of them change their genders because they want to be with members of the same sex, as a member of the opposite sex. I believe that they change the outside because they want it to match who they are on the inside. Again, really doesn’t revolve around who they choose to have sex with. If someone is outwardly a man, but inside, is a woman and they choose to have sex with men, it’s because they are a woman. Not a gay man. Most Gay men I know, are quite happy being men. These are two different things.

(My head hurts a little. Did that make sense? Ow.)

Also, calling him a woman repeatedly=rude. CAPITALIZING it just reinforces what an asshole you are.

“I think it’s discusting that you’re forcing this trancgender thing upon the public. The gay thing is enough! Now this! Where will it stop!!!!!! I used to love watching your show, but now I’m done!!!!!!! Tell Chaz to go back into the closet!!!!!!

Holy exclamation points, batman. Is it me, or do the most hateful of comments seem to come from people who didn’t make it past the third grade? Stupidity and ignorance breed intolerance. Get an education, lose the fear and hate, and, also, learn to spell.

 

It’s ShirtMageddon time again!

Just In case you live under a social-media-free rock somewhere, and didn’t catch this post by Melissa from Pigtail Pals (@PigtailPals) or this post by @phdinparenting or this post at MoxieBird by @kdiddy or this post by Rebecca at Think Progress or this post by @JessicaWakeman at the Frisky. In case you missed allllll those posts, and the talk that started it all on Facebook last night, Let me fill you in:

Isn’t this all you need to know?

In case that picture isn’t enough, here’s some words too. This was posted last night on the Pigtail Pals Facebook page along with the comment “OMGZWTFBBQ!” (I’m SUMMARIZING, PEOPLE.)

And within approximately 4.2 seconds, (I’m ESTIMATING, PEOPLE) everyone in the world had heard about it. Now, I’m not sure how long it actually took, but JcPenney heard about the ruckus and about 12 minutes after I’d first heard about the offending garment, they had pulled it from the website and presumably, the shelves as well. As best I can figure, the product was pulled about 12 hours after the first mention of it, which occurred around 11(CST). last night  It was reported as being removed by JCP at around 10 am today. Assuming they don’t check their google alerts until morning, this is a pretty rapid response to a potentially damaging social media mess.

I’m not sure how much the response helped their image, but the speed with which they reacted was impressive. And much better than some other companies with similar issues have shown. (CoughPizzaHutCough)

Giving them some slack for maybe being asleep until oh, 7 am CST,  the shirt was removed after about three hours. Due to the power of pissed off moms on Twitter started spreading the story like wildfire.

(I’m ugly, so I can do my own math, thanks)

That is some pissed-off  GIRL POWER, people.

Anyway.. yeah. The shirt is stupid. And sexist. And I’m glad its gone, hopefully never to be seen again.

But, unfortunately- this is nothing new. In fact, I actually wrote about a similar issue back in 2009 after trying to find some appropriate clothing for my- then 5 year old- daughter, Kira.

I’m going to repost it here for fun.

(If you recognize where it’s from, shh. I’m anonymous now.)

Why can’t Girls be Superheroes too?

I’m not what you would call a regular customer at the Gap. It isn’t personal, I’m just not a Gap kind of girl. But, I somehow ended up with a giftcard, so decided to browse online. Since all of the stores near me have closed.

Not finding anything for myself, I wandered over to the kids section. You see, the kid, she is into T-shirts. She loves going to school and showing off her new shirts. We just picked out two from Target.

Awesome shirts, by the way. One is green and reminds us that dinosaurs are people too. Another is grey and features the Japanese frog from the “Hello Kitty” line. The one I used to love, instead of Hello Kitty, when I was a kid.

Hoping to find some more graphic kids shirts along these lines, I clicked on the Gap link for their “Junk Food” T-shirts for children. (I have no clue if this is their line or a line they feature, and I don’t care enough to find out.)

Oh! Look! It’s Smurfette! Awesome! I love Smurf… wait? What is Smurfette doing?

Smurfs don't shop!Why is she shopping? I don’t remember a mall in Smurf Village. Hmm. Lets try the next one…

Because, being popular is what's important, kids.So, girls care about being popular and shopping, huh? Good to know.

By this point, I am already annoyed, but when my eyes hit this next one, My head just explodes:

*Pakoosh* (That's the sound of my head fucking exploding)SMURFS. SHOULD. NOT. EVER. HOLLA.

Not all the shirts were as horrific as these, but the contrast between the girls shirts and the boys shirts was very obvious.

The girls shirts were overwhelmingly pink, and while there were two (bright pink) Beatles shirts that didn’t completely offend me, the majority of the shirts for little girls revolved around shopping, love, and candy.  Sometimes,  a combination of all three:

I probably would have accepted this without the "You Drive me" part.“Have romantic relationships at five! Eat junk food! Buy our product!”

Seriously, people wonder why we are raising a bunch of vapid, self obsessed, shopaholics who aspire to be like such “role models” as  Paris Hilton.

Buy me stuff!And we wonder why we have all these over-sexualized tweens running around:

That's right. Learn to manipulate them young!

For the record, The boys shirts were awesome, and I would have bought any one of them for The Kid.  But by the time I got to them, I was pretty well disgusted.

Boys, apparently, get to be superheroes. They get Star Wars, Star Trek, and Batman Shirts.  Their Beatles shirts aren’t fucking pink.

As a mother to three girls, when I see shit like this, I just want to cry. I mean, I know this isn’t the only, or even the worst instance of this. This happens all the time. (Have you seen Bratz dolls? And Bratz babies with thongs? Gah.)

But it’s going to continue unless we, as parent’s, and consumers,  start doing something about it. Refusing to buy shit like this. See it for what it is. We should think about using our considerable power to force retailers into  thinking about the message they’re trying to send our girls, instead of just slapping random cutsey crap onto shirts, dying it barbie-barf-pink, and calling it a day. It’s not innocent and harmless. Especially when it’s everywhere.

So, I propose we say “Fuck the Gap.” And anyone else who wants to keep pushing this crap on us and our girls. And boys for that matter.

I know how hard it is not to give in to this, and let our kids wear this stuff, let them learn this stuff, especially as they get older and start pushing to be like their friends, but it’s ridiculous for us to expect this to change if we don’t do something about it. We need to stop telling ourselves it doesn’t matter, that it’s just a silly little thing. That girls should only love pink and candy and shopping while boys save the world.

It matters. Pass it on.

Yeah. Stupid clothing aimed at little girls is nothing new. But I’m glad the issue has come up again. I actually went out and did some browsing, just to see the kind of things that are going around in the more popular retail stores lately. I was surprised by a few things.

1-The Gap graphic shirts for girls this year are actually pretty awesome. Hurray Gap!Maybe they got my memo.

2-Even Wal-Mart doesn’t sell shit like that. When you can manage to have worse clothing than Wal-Mart, you’re pretty bad indeed.

3-The offensive shirt that started the frenzy? Not the only one available at JCP right now. Observe:

The ad says: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and this screen printed tee makes a strong statement about her love for “bling.”

I just hate the word “Bling,” A lot.

Apparently, girls love cupcakes and puppies. And Shopping. And “BFF’s” How about Math, Science and Superman?

And, you know, they like stuff too. Like Shoes. And hearts. And shopping of course. And cute furry things.

Also, girls can’t spell three letter words without making their brothers do it for them. And the girl who made this shirt didn’t have a brother. Like OMG WTF. 

It’s an ongoing issue, and something we need to constantly be on the lookout for. The messages aimed at our daughters tell them that they must be pretty and pink, and it’s only cool for them to love stuff like “BFF’s” and ZOMGPUPPIES and Flowers and Hearts and cupcakes, of course- lets not forget the over-sugared, obesity encouraging junk food. They are told that they don’t need to have brains, as long as they have looks, and because they are girls, how they look is valued over all else. Our kids are bombarded by these messages every day, and we obviously have the power to do something about it, if today was any example. So let’s keep fighting the good fight.

Because…Seriously?

Shirts like that make my unicorn vomit.

Me: I think I have a..blackhead.

Husband:No.

Me:It’s all gross and stuff. Look at my chin. LOOK.

Husband: It’s a pore.

Me: People are going to like, see it.

Husband. NO.

Me: And they’re going to think I’m gross. Because it’s totally a blackhead. And it’s giant.Everywhere I go people are going to be staring at it. Ill have conversations with the lady at the checkout and she’ll be like unable to comprehend what I am saying because she won’t be able to stop staring at the GIANT black thing on my chin and she will accidentally ring up all of our items twenty times each because shes ENTRANCED BY THE GROSSNESS and then we will go bankrupt  from the $7,850 grocery bill and…

Husband: LEAVE IT ALONE

Me: SIGH. Fine. I’m just going to, um… go pee. Yeah.

 

Two and a half hours later:

Husband: What the fuck did I tell you?

Me: What? I didn’t do anything.

Husband: Why is your entire body all red and bleeding?

Me: Um. I had an allergic reaction.

Husband. SIGH. Because THAT looks SO MUCH LESS NOTICEABLE than that microscopic pore.

Me: Shu..Hey, Whats that on your back?

Husband: Touch me and I’ll stab you.

Me:You are so.. Hey.. Kira…what’s that on your chin?

Kira: Oh hell NO. <flees>

Me: What?

Being non-judgmental isn’t always easy.

I recently came across this article about selective fetal reduction in the case of twin pregnancy.
I admit, my first, (and second) reaction was gut-wrenching horror and deep sadness.
I was pregnant with twins once, you see.

The night before my first ultrasound, my husband and I were on our “honeymoon”. We spent a night away from the kids after our friends threw us a wedding. At about three a.m. Sunday morning, I woke from an extremely vivid dream in which the ultrasound technician looked at me over her screen and announced that there was, in fact two babies in there. Two peanuts, two alien-like sort-of heads, two hearts, both beating.

I shook my husband and told him, and his half-asleep reply came: “Cool, we can name them Luke and Leia.” before he rolled back over and resumed his own- I can only assume-light-saber filled-dreams.

The next day, that actually happened.

I admit, I was stunned. It was beyond surreal. I felt so many things. Excitement. Awe. And yes, even a glimmer of fear.

Mostly, I was thrilled. Sure, there were some holy-shit-TWO- newborns moments. Will I ever sleep again? How will I leave the house alone? And: FIVE kids. Eeek. So I read everything I could get my hands on and started accosting random strangers with twins with my questions. And I told people. Because I couldn’t contain my awe/panic/joy.

Sometime before 12 weeks, baby A died.
There were no symptoms. No bleeding. No cramping. Nothing other than an odd feeling of being “less pregnant” around 10 weeks.
These things happen, I was told. Maybe there was something wrong with him, I was counseled. I still had one healthy baby, I was reminded.

To say I didn’t take it well would be an extreme understatement. I spent the rest of my pregnancy googling “Hidden Twin Syndrome”  and feeling my belly obsessively. Maybe they were wrong when they couldn’t find a heartbeat. Maybe he didn’t really vanish. Maybe maybe maybe.
But he did die. He did vanish.

I suppose it’s understandable then, that my initial reaction to this article was something along the lines of: Fuck You.

I judged.

How could anyone willingly put themselves through that? I wondered. How could they, so callously, it seemed, destroy something that I’d do anything to have back? How could they deprive their remaining child of their twin, a relationship that is purportedly one of the most special bonds two people can share? I mean, they’d have been womb-mates, built in best friends for life! How could anyone take that away from their child because it’s inconvenient for them?

And I judged.

Though have not been in the shoes of these women and I cannot know what their lives are like or what experiences and facts their choice was based on, I know that if it was me, today, I would not make the same choice that they did.

And I judged.

I went away from the article. Tried to set it aside. But I kept coming back. I read the comments.
All of them.

It took awhile. And it hurt. It still hurts. But, I realized something eventually, reading those comments.
A great deal of them contained the phrase: “I am pro-choice, BUT…”

This started to get under my skin. It worked its way past my gut, past my heart, past my own experience. Past my judgment.

Into my brain.

Pro-Choice means PROCHOICE Not only choices we agree with. Not only choices we, ourselves would make. Not even only choices we feel are moral.

If we believe that a woman should have the right to choose whether or not to be pregnant, then shouldn’t she be able to choose how many children she is pregnant with? How is this different fundamentally than say, having an abortion after having three children already, because she knows she can not support a fourth? Putting aside the fertility medicine and babies as products aspect of this, it comes down to a woman (or family) deciding how many children they feel they can handle, doesn’t it?
(Note: While the consumeristic aspects of this story do bother me, and were harped on endlessly in the comments, I think that the core issue goes beyond that. This is now done for naturally occurring twins as well as “test-tube babies” so I’m choosing to skip over that part a bit, and focus on the act itself-not how it came to be.)

Then there were comments that said this: “This should be made illegal at once “

As sick as this issue makes me feel, this bothers me more. What about women who can’t physically handle carrying twins to term? What about those who can’t bear the financial burden of twins? Will  women deemed healthy be forced to carry to term and put one up for adoption?

A lot of people also seemed to hold the position of, “Well, if they didn’t want twins they shouldn’t have done IVF with two embryos.”

The thing is, in this country anyway, women undergoing IVF are encouraged to implant several embryos at a time to increase the odds of creating even one healthy baby. Some have even claimed feeling pressured to by the doctors themselves, because doing one at a time is considered a waste of time and money. Yes, there is a risk of multiples when doing IVF, but there’s also an increased chance of spontaneous twinning occurring, for some reason the odds of transferred embryos splitting is higher. So, theoretically a person could do everything to insure only one baby, and still end up with two. Should this woman be forced by law to carry both if that’s not what-for whatever reason-she wants? And where does it end? Will women be forced to keep triplets if a doctor thinks your body can “handle it”?

I’m not going to say that I came to a conclusion. That I know what’s right here. Because I don’t, not really. I know what I would do. But I haven’t walked in “Jennys” shoes.
I know that this makes me uncomfortable. Both the act AND the condemnation of it, somehow.
As hard as I try not to judge others for their choices, I can’t say that I wouldn’t judge a friend for making this choice. A lot of the people who spoke up about this either had twins or were twins themselves. I can’t really blame them for their harsh reactions. Because I get it.
But I’m trying really hard to get the other side of it as well.
What do you think?