Division of Labor

My job during the day is as a software trainer. I tell people how to do things all day. My personality type is such that this is very satisfying to me. I like to tell people what to do, how to do it, etc. I am a leader (and if you know me even a little bit-bossy and I like to be in control of my destiny).

However, when I get home I get tired of telling people how to do things, and my patience level is worn down. This is what lead me to the decision that I needed to be in charge of cooking and shopping for our household.

This wasn’t an easy decision, and I thought about it long and hard (after of course, I struggled and fought with my husband trying to get him to cook and meal plan). But, alas the easiest thing to do was to take charge and do it my way.

So, I told my husband that I wasn’t going to fight him anymore about cooking, or tell him where things in the kitchen are, or what food items we have and don’t have…I was just going to do it myself and save myself the hassle and him an earful.

He laughed at me 1. for being so effected by this decision 2. for getting irritated every time he asks where X is and 3. for sharing with him all of my thoughts up to this point. This is why I love him. He can poke fun at me and all of my ridiculous ways and love me anyway.

The strange part about this decision, is that since I told him (2 weeks ago), he has cooked 3-4 meals on his own, and went to the store!!!


Midwife fallacy

Vegas baby-On a spur of the moment decision, we decided to go to Vegas this weekend. Prince is playing at his club, and with the help of another couple we were persuaded to drive 5+ hours tomorrow for his show, stay the night and then drive home on Sunday.

I am pretty excited actually. This is likely the last time I will be in Vegas for quiet a while, so even though club clothes for me consist of stretchy waisted skirts and larger size tops…at least I have more on the top to fill it out with–hubba hubba if you know what I mean.

On a different note, I decided yesterday that I wanted to use a Midwife to deliver, rather than an OB. So, I called Blue Cross of CA and asked about the process. When I called yesterday (and spent over an hour on the phone and searching their website, the CSR didn’t know what I was talking about-she had never heard of a Midwife.

We both did some additional research and it turns out that the Medical Group or OB has to refer you to a Midwife. OK, easy enough. I called my Medical Group-who conveniently doesn’t have any Midwives available.

So, I called Blue Cross and asked if I could change groups. Blue Cross said yes, of course, as long as you can find a new Medical Group who will accept you. Again, I thought, “no, problem”. I should know better by now, you are thinking, right?

I did some additional research, and found 3 prospective medical groups, all assigned to a premier women’s hospital. When I called the medical groups I was advised that because I was out of my first trimester that they wouldn’t accept me. All three declined, and as a side note-none have midwives.

For those of you who know me, you will know that I almost always get what I want. I am a fighter. Let this be evidence of one of the times I didn’t. And for the record, this is a pretty big deal. I cried on the phone with the last Medical Group. I have to go through my entire pregnancy, labor and delivery at a sub-par hospital. It wouldn’t suck so bad if I didn’t know any better…but I do. I just know it a little to late.

It hardly seems like a fair process. I forced the gal to give me a reason why they wouldn’t accept patients past their first 3 months-after she researched it, her response was that changing medical groups was considered an interruption in services, and that the new medical group couldn’t be financial at risk. Ahh, the truth seems to have come out in the end. HMO-need I say more.

I am trying desperately to ‘get over it’ and accept that this is somehow how it should be, that I have nothing to worry about, and that thousands of women have babies every day. But the more I read, and the more informed I become the more afraid of the medical system I become.

While I am supporter of western medicine on a lot of fronts, I am also a scared to death of hospitals, episiotomy, needles, c-section, and things that I have no control over (like emergency treatment, and doctors who make medical decisions without my full informed (no-pressure) consent).

The only thing saving me from flying off the handle is that currently I am on Cobra (at least I am insured-I cant imagine what my choices would be like if I was uninsured). And my company is going to be offering medical benefits (effective 03.01.07), and we have our intro meeting on 01.30.07. I can only hope that they have to allow me to join (pre-existing pregnancy and all), and that I can move medical groups at that time.

How do pregnant women find Midwives that are included in their insurance plan? From what I can tell, my plan covers it but conveniently-there are none available. There is a huge movement for natural births, home births, midwives, doulas, and holistic medicine. But, who pays for it? Is this a luxury for the wealthy?

My first car

When I was 20 I made one of my first big ticket purchases-all alone. I went to the Nissan Dealer and began looking around the lot for a car I could afford. I had never been car shopping before, and didn’t know how the process worked. I was excited and felt empowered to be there on my own, making a big decision.

I was approached by a blond guy, mid 20’s perhaps, friendly and smiling. We talked about budget, and what I could afford. I wasn’t the type of girl to hold things back, and was pretty outspoken for my 20 years. I had a steady job, and didn’t pay any rent so I could afford a few hundred a month for a car.

Not knowing any better, I settled on a test drive in a stripped down white 2 door Sentra. The exact order of events are not crystal clear to me, however what occurred and how I felt is clear.

The salesman flirted with me all the while we were on our test drive. He made suggestive comments. I felt somewhat flattered that a guy who was so cute was attracted to me. I also felt somewhat powerless to refute his advances. I was torn between being wanted and accepted, which I longed for desperately and standing my ground and risk pushing him away and feeling rejected.

I gave in. At some point in the test drive he asked me to pull over and we started to make out, kiss, then things progressed to him pushing me to go down on him, and then to sleeping together. It was dirty and totally unwanted.

We drive back to the car dealer, and I ended up leasing the car. I wanted to drive the car home (of course!) so the salesman had his girlfriend (!!!!) meet him at the dealer and we all drove back to my house and then they drove my traded in truck back to the dealer.

Out of curiosity, I called the dealer a few months later to see if the sales guy still worked there and I was informed that he didn’t. I asked why and he alluded to some sort of inappropriate interaction with a customer. I was glad that someone stood up for themselves. I don’t know what prompted my to call the dealer-perhaps if he still worked there-I would have told my story to someone. Perhaps not…

I am not sure why I decided to share this story first. Perhaps because I haven’t shared this experience with many people, or any that I can recollect. Perhaps the loss of power, the shame, or the embarrassment of being taken advantage was too raw and real for me to share. Perhaps sharing it would allow people to think of me as weak (the horror). Perhaps I just wanted to put it behind me. Whatever the reason-I feel good having put it out there.

I know that when I was in the situation-that it was wrong, it felt wrong and nothing about it felt right. Given my upbringing-I had a pretty liberal view of what was right and wrong-but I always stood by the saying that if it feels wrong-then it probably is. And this felt wrong. I wouldn’t call it rape or date rape since there was no physical force. It wasn’t assault-again no physical force. But for a young woman moved by acceptance and the desire to be wanted there was a strong emotional force to give this guy what he wanted. I thought that by giving in–I would gain acceptance and love (something that was clearly missing from my upbringing).

How do I –a woman carrying her first child –ensure that my offspring feel the love necessary to allow them to stand up for themselves. How do I ensure that they can say no when they clearly know that what they are doing is wrong. How do we instill the confidence in our children so they can say no without the fear of rejection. How do we teach them not to use sex to get love… or as power over other people.

Soul purging

I went out to dinner with my husband on Friday and we got into one of our ‘serious’ conversations. It started with me talking about one of the blogs I read daily (I read 10 or more every day). I was telling him how raw some of these women writers are. He knows that I have started a blog, but I have asked him not to read it. I am still embarrassed about my writing and about sharing. I have always been the type who lies and doesn’t share my deepest darkest feelings to my journal for fear that someone is going to read it and know how I really feel about something (or worse about someone). It isn’t so much that I am afraid of my own feelings, but I want to be able to share them at my leisure. I want to be in control of them, and of when and to who I share. I always want to be in control.

So, of course, my husband knows this about me (he is very sensitive and intuitive) and was encouraging me to be honest with my writing and to perhaps use it as a kind of therapy. He thinks that if I write my stories and experiences that I will be able to purge my soul of some of its burdens. He also thinks that often times great writing is about more than a creative style. He said that when you write what is in your heart and soul that it will come out in your words, and that often times simplicity is the best form of writing.

He also wants me to write more honestly. So, going forward I am going to start sharing some of my experiences and my real feelings about things.

Are you ready? Shit (lets be real here) am i ready?

The Acceptance of Powerlessness is Power

At my book club last night, we discussed the book Running with Scissors. All three women gave the book a thumbs up. But, it brought up a questionable interpretation of one of the main events that occurred in the book, as well as a running theme throughout the book.

There is an excerpt regarding a 13 year old boy who had his first sexual encounter (ever) with a man who was 33. During our discussion, 2 of the 3 gals described the scene as a rape. While one person only saw it as rough sex, but consensual. After some discussion, it was also noted that the man was a pedophile (by default because he was so much older than the boy) and used power to control this 13 year old boy into continuing his highly dysfunctional, but satisfying sexual relationship with him for 2 years.

My confusion comes in when I try to imagine how 3 people, so similar in age, socio-economic status, race, etc. can have such different opinions about a topic. This is what I love and hate about this book club. Three people-three very different opinions about the same topic.

I certainly appreciate the fact that these gals are confident enough to express their feelings, although very different. I also appreciate the perspective that I gain by listening to each one, thinking about what they said, and then having a chance to reformulate my opinions with the receipt of new data.

Falling in love

I have been giving a lot of thought to the idea that some women loved being pregnant. I have heard this from several people. Up until this point, I thought that these women were either 1. possessed by super powers 2. didn’t have a lick of morning sickness, nor an ache or pain the entire time or 3. were eternal optimists (possessed by super powers).

After I was able to swallow my initial disbelief (and jealousy), I started to think about what made them love their pregnancy. I came to realize, that it wasn’t the actual pregnancy that they loved (truth be told…it kinda sucks). It was the feeling that growing a life inside of you manifested.

You are a goddess of womanhood. You feel like this very special creature entrusted to care for and raise a babe in your womb. You feel beautiful like you never have felt before (not even at your thinnest, youngest, and perkiest). You feel lucky, and as a result a tremendous amount of love and gratitude flow from your heart. Your emotions are running wild, and don’t get me wrong venom still spews from my tongue. But, overall I feel like I too am falling in love with being pregnant and with my baby.

I think s/he needs a prenatal name. Suggestions?

As the day drags on…

I am exhausted. I don’t know if this is the result of boredom or from actually being tired. I wake in the AM full of energy. Then I sit at my desk all day, and browse the web, read blogs, and just kill time.

I am zapped.

New Years Resolutions

I attended a Buddhist meeting yesterday to ring in the New Year. This is my second meeting, and while this particular meeting wasn’t great, I like the practice behind the practice.

What I take from Buddhism is that it followers are all looking for a way to be happier and more at peace with themselves, and those around them. To achieve this happiness, you state your wishes, desires, hopes and wants in writing. Then you chant about them. In my logical mind this works for 2 reasons-people who write their goals down, have an increased likelihood of achieving them simply because they wrote them down. And second because it keeps things in perspective and at the forefront of your mind. I like both ideas. I don’t know about chanting yet, but I think I might give it a try.

So, as such I came up with 3 goals for 2007 that I would like to achieve:

  1. Be happy with what I have.
  2. Accept that I do not ‘need’ to buy more to be happy, that what I have is enough.
  3. Create my own happiness bubble. Don’t let others affect my inner happiness.

Hmm, I probably should have taken #1 to the mall with me yesterday.