Friday, February 24, 2012

Movie night...

I'll leave the technical details of Act of Valor to himself...but go see it.  It will be time well spent--emotionally draining, but certainly a movie everyone should watch.  Our movie dates are few and far between.  I typically choose my movies as brief escape from reality--not to be slapped in the face and heart with it.  But I'm still glad we saw it and that we went together.

Other thoughts...

There should be a law against Nicolas Sparks books being made into movies.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter...Oh. Mn. Gee.  I cannot wait for that movie to come out!

Someone decided it was a good idea to remake 21 Jumpstreet.  Why? Even Channing Tatum can't save that train wreck.  I loved the original--cheese and all.  From the previews, they're trying too hard to make it a Super Troopers version.

And the final preview was for The Raven with John Cusack.  That one will be an other date night!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When women roar...

Today's statement from our governor:

"I am pro-life. I believe deeply in the sanctity of innocent human life and believe governments have a duty to protect human life. The more our society embraces a culture of life for all people, the better country we will have. Over the course of my 20-year career in elected office, I have been glad to play a leading role in putting in place common-sense policies that protect and defend innocent human life in the Commonwealth. One of those bills was Virginia's informed consent statute, of which I was the chief patron in the House of Delegates, finally seeing its passage in 2001. This session, the General Assembly is now considering amending this informed consent statute to include a requirement that any woman seeking an abortion receive an ultrasound in order to establish the gestational age for appropriate medical purposes, and to offer a woman the opportunity to voluntarily review that ultrasound prior to giving her legal informed consent to abortion.
Over the past days I have discussed the specific language of the proposed legislation with other governors, physicians, attorneys, legislators, advocacy groups, and citizens. It is apparent that several amendments to the proposed legislation are needed to address various medical and legal issues which have arisen. It is clear that in the majority of cases, a routine external, transabdominal ultrasound is sufficient to meet the bills stated purpose, that is, to determine gestational age. I have come to understand that the medical practice and standard of care currently guide physicians to use other procedures to find the gestational age of the child, when abdominal ultrasounds cannot do so. Determining gestational age is essential for legal reasons, to know the trimester of the pregnancy in order to comply with the law, and for medical reasons as well.
Thus, having looked at the current proposal, I believe there is no need to direct by statute that further invasive ultrasound procedures be done. Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure.
For this reason, I have recommended to the General Assembly a series of amendments to this bill. I am requesting that the General Assembly amend this bill to explicitly state that no woman in Virginia will have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound involuntarily. I am asking the General Assembly to state in this legislation that only a transabdominal, or external, ultrasound will be required to satisfy the requirements to determine gestational age. Should a doctor determine that another form of ultrasound may be necessary to provide the necessary images and information that will be an issue for the doctor and the patient. The government will have no role in that medical decision.
I have requested other amendments that help clarify the purposes of the bill and reflect a better understanding of prevailing medical practices. It is my hope that the members of the General Assembly will act favorably upon these recommendations from our office. We will await their action prior to making any further comments on this matter."

Thank you, Governor McDonnell, for being the type of leader who actually listens to his constituants.

Some things are better left to the professionals...

Thank you, Mr. Stewart!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On "Personhood"...

I'm about to violate my own rule and chat about politics for a bit.  Because recent events have me more than just a little spun up and I find myself in desperate need of venting.

There are currently a number of bills sitting on our governor's desk awaiting his signature to be signed into Law.

One is a request to throw out the current "one gun purchase a month" law.  Fair enough.  I think it's been proven time and time again that the only ones who feel like their 2nd Amendment toes are being trod on are the law abiding, responsible gun owners.  Let them purchase as many guns as they want, when they want.  But don't call me naive and ignorant because I refuse to own a handgun.

The other bill (HB-1) is full of lots of pretty big words but it boils down to this:

A person is a person no matter how small.

Bill SB 484 goes hand in hand with it:

A woman seeking an abortion must first have a trans-vaginal ultrasound to determine the age of person she's wishing to do away with.

The members of our state government pushing the "Personhood" bill will tell you that religious beliefs have nothing to do with their views.  And yet the arguments they use to prove that life begins at conception are riddled with verses from the Bible and references to God and the miracle of a child.  Hypocritical and unconstitutional.  Never a good combination.

The same law makers will also tell you that it is not their intention to limit or do away with legal abortions or limit contraceptives in any way.  They are merely seeking to establish a way of protecting a baby from late term abortions as well as having a law in place that allows prosecution of someone who harms a pregnant woman and either endangers or kills her unborn child.

Good intentions.  But short sighted and ignorant.

At the least, the bill is a crack in the wall of legalized abortion.  At the most, it will work to abolish most forms of contraception.

I believe that life begins at conception.  I believe the use of abortion as birth control is morally and ethically wrong.  

Regardless of my own beliefs, abortion is legal in this country.  The government forcing its way into my bedroom, into my marriage, into my uterus is not.  I took an oath once to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  I will continue to do so.

Bill HB-1 states that life begins at conception, thereby granting two cells the label and protection of Personhood.  Again...good intentions.

I have gone through multiple lost pregnancies.  Tiny little people who, through no fault of my own,  never stood a chance.  We mourned those losses even though, for the most part, we never even knew they existed until my own body aborted them on its own.  

Deaths of infants and children while in the care of parents or caregivers are investigated for foul play or negligence.  

Here's the slippery slope...if the babies I lost at five, six and eight weeks pregnant were granted Personhood would I be subjected to a negligence inquiry? Would, on top of the grief of losing an unborn child, my actions during those weeks be questioned? Could I be prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter because my body terminated a pregnancy all on its own? Extreme? Maybe.  We only need to look at the massive number of gun laws in place to see what happens when good intentions go awry.  

The other bill requires that a woman receive an ultrasound prior to her abortion.  Not a non-invasive "jelly on the belly" ultrasound--but a trans-vaginal ultrasound.  Whether she consents to the procedure or not.  The stated purpose is to establish age of the fetus and eliminate accidental late term abortions. 

Slippery slope number two.  And a little graphic.  Sorry.  Because of having a chunk of my cervix removed years ago and also of the high risk nature of both of my full term pregnancies I received ultrasounds at 5 weeks gestation.  Trans-vaginal ultrasounds.  As a coping mechanism we irreverently dubbed them "dildo cams".   Even the ultrasound technician was sensitive to the invasive nature of that particular test.  She had me guide the ultrasound wand in before taking over.  The procedure itself was painful, uncomfortable and had the potential to be humiliating.  The reward was seeing the flicker of a heartbeat on a blip that was just a little bigger than a grain of rice.   

However, to require that particular procedure, with or without consent,  prior to an abortion is nothing more than a means of subjecting the woman to humiliation and emotional distress.  They know they're pregnant.  They don't want see the heartbeat.  There's no medical reason why the procedure is necessary. 

To preform a trans-vaginal ultrasound without consent is rape.  

Due to my "mature maternal age" while pregnant with the wee girlie, I was advised to undergo extra testing in order to determine and monitor the health of the baby.  We consented to the tests that did not put either of us at risk.  We also consented to the extra tests in order to avoid any surprises, we wanted to be prepared for any health issues that might be found.  One of the tests was an ultrasound at 12 weeks gestation.  It was a non-invasive belly ultrasound and a perfectly formed, perfectly healthy baby showed up on the screen--already bouncing and twirling.  

Pregnancy termination after 14 weeks gestation is considered late term or partial birth abortions.

For our law makers to state that a trans-vaginal ultrasound is the only way to determine early stage pregnancy shows their ignorance on the subject as well as their lack of respect for the female body.  It also shows their true agenda in clear light.  

Over a thousand women, as well as a large number of men, showed up at our state government building yesterday to protest these bills.  Pro-life and Pro-choice supporters stood side by side and in solidarity against it.  That in itself should show how poorly these bills were thought out.  The author of the "Personhood" bill, Bob Marshall, is running for the GOP slot in the US Senate this November.  Given how he's just managed to piss off almost every woman in the state, I don't think he needs to start packing.

And for Mr. Santorum who wishes to do away with prenatal care as a whole...Rick, you ignorant, self-righteous twit.  Do you have any idea how many millions of lives--both born and unborn--prenatal care has saved?!  If you were to read the Constitution you would know that women now have the right to vote.  And you won't be getting mine.

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." ~ uncredited New York Times reporter, 1938

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Undamaged calm...

Nowhere to go.  Nothing pressing that must get done.  And no one anxious about it.

The refrigerator, deep freeze and larder are all full.

It's been snowing all day.  And will continue to do so into the wee hours of the morning.

Schools were already closed tomorrow for Presidents' Day.

The offspring are old enough to frolic in the backyard snow all by their lonesomes.

And Himself has taken some much needed time off.

Weather forecasts for later in the week promise temps up in the '60's.

I really can't ask for anything more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In honor of a useless, made up non-holiday...

And then we procreate and give birth to a whole new generation of weirdos...who discuss alien abductions on the way home from a delightful dinner out as a family.

Here's to 16 years of being weirdly compatible!  And thank you for never buying me roses on Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I located all wayward library books...both public and school...before late fees and nasty librarian notes find their way into school folders!

Sent the wee girlie off to preschool with her class valentine's day cards (hand made...well, printed and hand cut).  Also remembered to include next year's scholarship application and this month's tuition!

Finally took my poor phone in to be looked at--fully expecting the worse.  But half an hour on line with tech support, one hard reset later and my feisty little R2D2 Droid is back on line!  I was also assured by same tech support that if I continue having the same issues, they will be able to replace my phone with another R2D2.  Is it wrong to want to hug a complete stranger? Or to be that attached to my phone? Is my geek showing again?

Just to prove I'm not a complete responsible grown up--I giggled when I read a headline on today's science news, "Alien Life May Not Survive on Planets With Uranus Like Tilts".  First...I totally left out the "l" in "tilts" and thought, "gosh, that'd be unfortunate..." Then my inner 7-year-old started in with a full stream of Uranus jokes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

An update...

The nurses (and my loving husband) all found it uproariously funny that I misread the directions on my special drink and ended up drinking four times the amount of water the night before.  Good thing I actually like water.

The doctor found and removed a'll be a couple of weeks before we know the test results.

My family has been amazing.  I'd be lost without each and every one of them! Encouraging emails from my parents and friends, hugs and kisses from my kiddos, and gracefully enduring an extra load of parenting from my husband.  And special thanks to my big sister who (to the best of my knowledge) did not mock me on the drive home yesterday while I was still tripping on valium and demerol.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Boldly going...

A variety of persistent symptoms and a doctor saying, "Well, you are let's take a look just to make sure" bought me an date with a liquid diet, cleansing fluid and the anesthesiologist. question is, does the old adage "The camera adds ten pounds" hold true even if the camera's on the inside?