I think this is probably going to be a post full of real ramblings, thoughts that have been running through my tired brain over the past few days. I will try to remember what I was thinking this morning, and yesterday morning, but it’s a little difficult seeing as my brain may be turning to mush. Blame it on the impending arrival of Baby no 2, or the insane amount of work that I have been swimming through (maybe that’s why I feel at a loss today as I am waiting for new assignments and edited work, but nothing to do right now, which is kind of weird). 39 weeks today and I feel like my body is really stretched to its limits. I don’t know if the baby has much more room to grow really. The bump appears to have reached her optimal size and I’m really hoping that we don’t have to wait too much longer. I trek to the hospital every 3 days for an NST and fluid check and every time it’s always the gamble of “OMG is today going to be the day?!” and then I get to go home. I made a wonderful playlist for labour and now we just WAIT.
I see that it was World Breastfeeding Week last week and I did get stuck down some random internet comment rabbit holes that tend to drive my blood pressure up more than anything else (or at least give me the impression that it is rising). Comments such as “if the child can hold a cup then they don’t need a boob in their mouth anymore” or “cow’s milk is healthier” (yes, that’s why cow’s make milk for humans and humans make milk for cows, right?!). Another one was “breastfeeding a toddler is DISGUSTING”. OK lady, why is it disgusting? Because your boobs belong to men? Well sorry about that, mine belong to me, and as long as they belong to me they will feed my child. My gosh… I now avoid participating in any type of online breastfeeding discussion because so many people in this country think it’s normal to see Victoria’s Secret billboards all over the place but get offended by a woman breastfeeding a 1 year old in public. There is room for both! One is not “more acceptable” than the other. I kind of have to blame my brother for getting worked up this year as he was the one who mentioned being sucked into a ridiculous comment thread, so I HAD to go and check it out myself… Even though I knew what I would be reading before I even did. Silly me.
And then, amidst things like a huge explosion in China, continued attacks against people in Syria, debris of that Malaysian plane turning up, a drought that isn’t ending in California and you know, probably a load more deplorable and inhuman acts against humanity, a woman causes “outrage” because she decides to run a marathon on her period without wearing a tampon. Once again I started getting caught in internet comment hell, and learned, yet again, that this was DISGUSTING. Men and women pee and poop themselves while they are running (this is pretty common knowledge), but a woman knowingly had her period and decided to run without anything to catch the blood, well that’s just wrong, isn’t it? Blood, like breast milk is just so DISGUSTING when it is in the public view. Nevermind that this lady, Kiran Gandhi is her name, did it for reasons of raising awareness, no, according to some people she just wanted her “15 minutes of fame”. Oh and this is the US where women have access to sanitary towels so “why would she want to raise awareness here? Can’t she just send a box of tampons to a third world country?” (even though it happened during the London Marathon, which still happens to take place in England if I am not mistaken). She probably could, but if she sent a box of tampons to a third world country would anyone be talking about it? Would the few people who actually looked past the DISGUSTING side of it and saw that she was trying to get people to focus on what period shaming really means in certain countries, then maybe they would understand what she was trying to do.
Think about it this way. Most women between a certain age have a period every month that lasts for about a week. Where we live we don’t need to stop our lives, yes it’s annoying and uncomfortable and sometimes a little painful, but we aren’t stuck at home for a week every month, hiding, or washing out pieces of cloth to reuse them, are we? Now place yourself in another country where women may not have access to tampons or pads, where they aren’t allowed to do anything when they have their periods except stay at home and wait it out. How would you feel if you had to live like that? So while what Kiran Gandhi did may appear as “DISGUSTING” to you, all she ended up with were some ruined running trousers and a lot of internet comments from women who don’t understand why she did it. But hopefully a few more people will talk about the real reasons why she decided to do this. And think about it, there are many other ways to get your “15 minutes of fame”… I doubt this was her objective. But you know, it’s DISGUSTING, so why even try to look past that? Just read through some comments for a laugh really. It’s quite incredible how people think. It reminds me of the famous scene in Carrie when all the high school girls are taunting her to “plug it up”. DISGUSTING. Because the blood that runs through our veins is DISGUSTING. Reminds me of the time when my mother went to pick up all of the photos taken during my brother’s birth, and someone at the photo lab had put black crosses through them all. They were private photos, only intended for the eyes of a few but blood on a newborn was supposedly too DISGUSTING for the photo lab worker to deal with. I hope they never had to deal with childbirth; their stomachs may have been too weak for it.
Which makes me think about how DISGUSTING some women are with each other online. You don’t have to like everyone per se, I sure don’t, but some people really need to get their head out from under a rock and start looking at the world that surrounds them. It’s a lot bigger than you think it is.
In other news I am going to spend the rest of today playing with Luna and trying to stop her from eating crayons and playing with a pair of scissors that I am positive I keep hiding on a top shelf but keep reappearing, and watching Call the Midwife again. Which happens to be my only real preparation for childbirth, again, apart from the awesome playlist I made last week. Other news in the outside world is that our beloved Rhynan has finally finished his extremely tough 9 weeks of chemotherapy, started his senior high school year 2 days after his last treatment and is quite the embodiment of the super teen. We all have our fingers and toes and anything else that can be crossed, crossed that the next scans come up clean and that he can go back to living a normal life again. Now THIS is something that is DISGUSTING: a 16 year old who has to go through a summer of chemo because he has a rapidly developing form of cancer.
Lastly, if you have time during your coffee and tea break and are interested in reading some articles that are not disgusting and don’t shame women, you can check out a very tough, but necessary, blog post my mother Alison Toon wrote about Domestic Violence. And you can also read a lovely article my friend Bonnie wrote about why she wants people to stop telling her that she “must need a break”.
So, back to the couch while I muse upon the question that if my waters break in public will I be considered DISGUSTING, and maybe next time I have an update it will be as a mother of two. Maybe. My babies tend to enjoy staying past their due date. Kind of like me in my 20’s when I never wanted the party to end, even though it was closing time.