Thursday, April 30, 2009

I love being a pregnant woman in a man's world: Part 1

We're living in the Barlow Center in Washington, DC, home to not only BYU interns but also the Washington DC institute and center for public and international affairs for the Church. The other day, I went to find an ethernet cord so we could access the internet in our room and I was pulled into the institute director's office because he wanted to meet me. I obliged, and introduced myself. We began casually chatting about my internship and my future career goals (think grad school, etc). At some point, I mentioned that I was pregnant, and his whole demeanor changed. He asked me if I planned on pursuing said career goals (which, honestly, change quite often so who knows if I actually will) now that I was pregnant. I replied that I planned on it, to which he basically stated that should I choose to not be a stay-at-home, I will jeopardize my children's future. He apparently did his dissertation on such-and-such family research and found that mothers who work tend to have children that do drugs and engage in premarital sex. Ok. I get it, day care, nannies, not the right thing for most. I retorted that our children will always have one of us (meaning a father or mother) caring for them. To which he came back with the notion that my husband would not have the skills (because he's a man) to raise our children. Because, men aren't nurturing, right? I told them co-parenting has worked for many families, with very positive results including the wife and mother making a contribution to the world and the father knowing his children as well as his counterpart. To which he shoved the Proclamation off his wall and into my face. To which I told him that I knew what it said and I had thought deeply about those words. His reply: "That's your problem, you need to do less thinking and more praying."

Why this little encounter upsets me SO MUCH:

a) This man does not know me. He is not my spiritual leader, he has no right to tell me what to do. He had no right to tell me that I need to completely change my life now that I'm married and pregnant.

b) When men (or women for that matter) are staring me down and telling me things like this, I CAN'T TALK BACK. I am horrible at defending myself and my positions, I think mostly for fear of brutal retaliation. And this man is very, very intimidating.
c) He also stated that the US has good reasons to not ratifying CEDAW and members of the Church should not support such a family-demeaning institution.

d) I want to do something about it, I want him to be corrected, I want a General Authority to call him up and tell him that he's wrong, that everyone is entitled to personal revelation about their lives and families and he is not entitled to receive that revelation for MY family. I want to tell him that all people, no matter members of the Church or not, are entitled to live their lives genuinely, and if Heavenly Father wants me to be a political scientist/public health guru/midwife/WHATEVER then I should not be told that I will hurt my children and that I'm being selfish and listening to the world (which is pretty much the gist of what he said to me).

e) I don't want him to be able to say the same things to other women.

f) I think it's offensive to my husband to say that he does not have the capacity to be as nurturing and as loving and is as capable of raising our children as me. If anything, barring the birthing and the breastfeeding, I'd argue that Tim is just as capable of such a thing, and I think what hurts me most in this whole exchange was that my husband has to be outside the home to make his contribution to our family.

g) I've worked my butt off for 16+ years in school, slaving away at honors classes, multiple minors in college, internships, etc. because I like to accomplish things. I like to work hard, I like to learn, I like to contribute, I like to research. I don't think being a woman and particularly a mother makes me any less entitled to reap what I have sown with all of this hard work. And I'm smart damnit! And I've worked hard! Don't you tell me that I'm not allowed to pursue further education and potentially a career that will benefit society as well as my family!! And don't try to guilt trip me into giving it all up! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT.

End rant.


I went to the library yesterday, and this is my list of books:

1. Birth: The Surprising History of how we are Born
2. Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali
3. Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Birth
4. The Prenatal Prescription
5. Three Cups of Tea
6. Carmelo (on Today's Book Club list)

In my Netflix queue: Orgasmic Childbirth (which there is a "Very Long Wait" for, the first I've ever seen)

Can you tell what I am preoccupied with a little?? I want to learn as much about birth as humanly possible. Then I want to give birth. Then I want to be a midwife. Forget political science and foreign policy and business as usual. I want to be a midwife. This week at least.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My photo debut

My friend Kaitlyn took some cool pictures of me the other day! I think they're really good, considering she's only dabbled in photography a few months. I was so glad we did this, since our camera broke a while ago and there are no pictures of my prego belly, which is growing rapidly. And behold, our little boy finally learned to kick!! It was just a few nights ago, and very exciting. All day at work today he was going at it. And I love it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Heard at church today....

We are in an AWESOME ward in DC. Very diverse. Meets in an old Baptist Church. Half of the ward is French-speaking African immigrants. I'm in heaven.

A few things I heard today at Church:

1. In RS (the woman sitting behind me, getting fidgety and said out loud): "I NEED a cigarette."

2. At a baptism (a prayer by a Primary boy, probably about 8 himself speaking of the child being baptized): "And bless him that he will be OK with singing hymns, because we know he doesn't really like to."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

We made it.

We're in Washington DC! We finally made it. It was touch and go for a while there, mostly because I was hesitant about accepting an internship 5 months pregnant, but I did and we're here and so excited. We arrived about 3:30 yesterday afternoon, took the Metro to our lovely little dormitory. And lovely it is, because: a, it has a pull-down bed which I think is really cool; b, it feels like Helaman Halls and we all know how fun that was; c, the old interns left pillows, a comforter, towels, and we did not bring any of that and thought we were going to have to buy it; d, there's a Trader Joe's HALF A BLOCK AWAY (I'm in heaven). We live on a busy, hip street in Georgetown, near GWU. We have yet to really explore the out of doors yet, mostly we just moved in and went to Trader Joe's for delicious groceries. I'm sure there is way more cool stuff about where we live in, and I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

And more pictures of Theodore

I might as well put these up for posterity while I'm at it:


That's right, we're having a BOY. I was so floored, yet secretly I think I knew it would be a boy. Probably because I wanted a girl so much. We weren't going to find out, but at the last minute Tim made the decision that we should. And I'm glad we did, because I think if I was set on a girl for 9 months, it would be delivery time and they would announce it was a boy and I would probably have cried or something. Now I can get used to the idea of having a boy. And figure out what you even do with a boy.

And a exhibitionist boy at that. We told the technician we didn't want to find out, so she said the whole time he was flashing his thing and she kept maneuvering to hide it. At the end when we decided, we got quite the peek, as you can tell from the picture above. I wonder if in 15 years our little Theodore (not really his name) will be embarrassed that his penis made it to the world wide web?

Monday, April 20, 2009

How I feel about finals

On my econometrics final:

"The strengths to my approach are I’m sure they resemble somewhat of what I was actually supposed to do. A weakness would be that I missed this week of class because I was pregnant and miserable, so I don’t really know how to run panel data regressions. What would I have done differently? Used birth control, probably."

Please listen to this... and laugh/cry

A Michigan woman delivers a baby in her family bathtub. She did not know she was pregnant.

Listen to the 911 call. It's hilarious.

If this couple can do it at home, I would venture to say Tim and I can. I'll just write down the instructions from this 911 dispatcher and keep them on our fridge for when I go into labor.

I can't even fathom not knowing you are pregnant. I wish I didn't know I was pregnant some days.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mattress commercial goes home birth

A mattress commercial in Spain (pretty sure shown on national TV) portrays a home birth.

I think the tagline reads something to the effect of "your bed is the most important place in the world".

Can you IMAGINE the backlash if something like this appeared in the US? Most mattress commercials in the US feature a skinny, middle-aged white woman lying leisurely or a glass of wine not being knocked over.
I love finals week. It's awesome because all semester I have to study and go to class and do a million other things too. Finals week is simply studying, all day long, and you can do it whenever you please. No schedule. Combine that with the fact I only have ONE final, and it's take home, and it's econometrics, and I don't really care about how well I do on it just that I finish it by Monday.

Last night I went to a retreat at a cabin in American Fork canyon. The snow was piled high on these gorgeous evergreen trees. I felt it appropriate to sing a little Bing Crosby. Then I remembered that I'm leaving in ten days for my SUMMER internship. And Christmas isn't for 7 and a half months.

Tonight we have a dinner gathering/bbq with WomanStats coders at Dr. Hudson's house. I love WomanStats gatherings. LOVE THEM.

Oh, and Charla. She's engaged. That, I think my friends, is the best news of all! And she's getting married on August 15th, which is exactly a week after we get back from DC. So we can be there, barring complications like labor and such. Actually.... I'd probably go even if I was in labor. Early labor at least.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I haven't posted much lately, but I'm fine. I'm sure you were all concerned. Mainly it's because Cait had the computer in her room most of the time in New York. I would have been to tired to post much anyway. I got sick partway through the week and it was all I could do to do my part in Model UN and get out onto the streets of New York enough not to feel like I was wasting the trip. I have three things I want to talk about, but I think I'll probably have to break them up so they don't become too long.

Last night, after three years of expectation I went shape note singing at the invitation of my friend Gordon Rees. Gordon told me about his experiences shape note singing while we were mission companions in Argentina in the early-middle parts of 2006. I've always meant to go to the group which meets once a month on Tuesdays. Sometimes I just neglected to go, but usually I had classes or church meetings, so I wasn't able to go until last night, when our Model UN class finally finished. I went with Cait and with our friend from MUN Maggie Beasley, who is always up for random activities. We had a good time. I am sure no expert on shape note singing, but from what I understand, it's a way of singing music, originating in the southern US, that is simplified so that a person can read a series of shapes, instead of musical notes. I believe we were singing the variation of shape note music called "Sacred Harp." You can read more about it here and here. And Gordon can feel free to provide any additional information he feels prudent. What it basically came down to, though, was singing traditional southern type gospel music as loud as we possibly could. It was even better then a I thought it would be. I've always enjoyed singing loud, although I don't do it very often, only sometimes when I'm alone playing my guitar. It made me feel a very deep connection to the music and the words,which, for the most part, were very well written, gained more power as I sang them with more power. I was a little sick, so my throat didn't hold up super well, but that didn't stop the enjoyment of just singing loudly with a group just for the sake of singing loudly with a group. Maggie and Cait seemed to enjoy it as well and afterwards we all (Cait, Maggie, Gordon and I) went out to eat at Los Hermanos, one of Cait's and my favorite places to eat and sat and talked for a while. Overall a great night. We'll probably try to keep going next year when we get back from D.C. even though Gordon wont be here anymore. If anyone would like to join us, feel welcome.

Next time I'll post about my feelings about New York.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Short notice

For those who are interested, I'm presenting my breastfeeding in public research at a symposium today. 3pm. B104 JFSB. I meant to put this up last week, but totally forgot, but if you want to come, would love to have you there!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A revolution of sorts

Ashley Mae and I are starting a revolution. It involves postcards, empowering stories, and fashion magazines.

To join us in the revolution, think of an empowering story about womanhood. It can be a time you felt empowered as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a human being. Write a vignette about an empowered or strong woman that you know. If you'd like us to take your story on our revolutionary activities, you can leave it in a comment, or e-mail it to if you're more comfortable with that. Or: you can write it on a plain white postcard yourself and stick it in a random fashion magazine at Barnes & Noble (and do as many as you'd like, ask friends to do it, announce it in good news minute, etc). We're hoping to have hundreds next week to blanket all of the magazines at Barnes & Noble in Provo. Write a statement at the bottom to encourage readers to pass it on: ask them to write their own story on a postcard, and put both of the cards back into 2 separate magazines with the same message. Pay it forward. Empower women. Let's do it.

I've never been so happy to be in Provo


I can walk on the sidewalks without being prodded, pushed, touched inappropriately, asked to smoke cocaine, etc.
Sunshine. Sky. Trees. Grass.
Quiet. Mmmmm.
Inexpensive eating.
Clean public transporation.

New York City is great. I just realized these 9 days, it's not quite for me for long periods of time. I thought I wanted to live in a big city when I grow up, but I think I'd prefer DC/Boston/San Francisco/Seattle. New York is just TOO big.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Voting procedure

Today was the day we voted at MUN. What a horrendous day it was.

Anyone that has ever done MUN knows just how frustrating this can be. Now, let's pretend you're on a committee with, oh, 300 people. You have to individually convince all of these people that your draft resolution is the greatest thing in the entire, entire world. They have to vote on it, it's in their country's interest, oh that little clause doesn't actually mean that. After you go through that fun for a few hours, and get yelled at, mocked, or ridiculed by a few college students who think that the whole game is actually real and will affect more than just an announcement of best delegate at a dinky ceremony on Saturday (in fact, not just affect more, but like, completely alter the way world politics occur.... but oh wait, the real UN doesn't even really do that), you get the fun of going into "voting procedure". Now, in voting procedure, there is no talking, no moving, no passing notes, no leaving and coming back, no laughing, nothing on your desks except the resolutions. This can take about an hour or so. On a committee with 300 people.... 300 OBNOXIOUS people... this took FOUR HOURS. People want roll call votes. People want to take out clauses, make amendments, correct the chair on EVERYTHING. So, about two hours in, I left. Mostly because I had to pee. SO BAD. I hadn't drank anything for hours in preparation for voting procedure, but it did not work. So, I left and was not permitted to come back (I actually explained to our director that I was pregnant and may need to do so, and could I come back in because come on, I'm PREGNANT? Nope. Marginalizing mothers, once again). So I left. And I'm kind of glad I did. Because if some stupid delegate had called for another stupid roll call vote on another meaningless resolution, I was going to scream.

Other than that, MUN has been fun! And we get three more hours of voting tomorrow, but this time at the real UN, so that might be cool....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New York City: Day 4

One thing happened today: While waiting in line to go through security at the UN, an overwhelming craving for donuts struck. I needed Dunkin Donuts, and I needed them right now. Unfortunately, the closest one was about four blocks away. So I booked it. I got my donuts and satisfied the beastly craving. Also unfortunate is by that time Tim and the rest of my group went through the gate, meaning I had to go back by myself and get in line and start the one hour process all over again. I stood in line for 1.5 hours, and when I finally got a seat, it was in an overflow room. At least it has internet so I can blog during the opening ceremonies.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New York City: Day 3

Today was cold and rainy. I wore Chaco's and my feet were FREEZING. We walked around the financial district. Wasn't as depressing as I thought it'd be. Tim told me not to say the word bailout because I'd get beat up or something. We walked (part) of the Brooklyn Bridge and sipped hot chocolate. We ended up in Brooklyn accidentally after a misinterpreted Subway sign. It was like all of a sudden, we were above ground. "Er.... this can't be right."

We ate an overpriced cannoli in Little Italy and irritated the waitresses at the Ethiopian restaurant (because we did not order all of those beets!) That doesn't seem like much, but man it was a long day. Tomorrow we start the competition. Our first session is tomorrow night at 8. I might take a break from daily blogging because it won't be that interesting anyway (today, we were in committee... for 16 hours...)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New York City: Day 2

Highlights because I really need to write my econometrics paper and it's 1:30 in the morning...

1. Conference at the temple/chapel right across from Julliard.
2. Chinatown: a) Buddhist Temple, biggest Buddha statue in NYC. b) DELICIOUS dumplings. c) Tranfiguration Catholic Church. d) 90-degree angle side street designed to keep the ghosts out.
3. Central Park. Tons of people out because it was the first sunny day in a long time. There was a skating rink. That is really, really inefficient.
4. Ending up on the East side instead of the West. Park Avenue, Madison Avenue, I forgot people could be so rich. Holy cow.
5. Fireside.
6. Plan A: Harlem jazz club in some basement. Closed for renovations. Plan B: Senegalese food. Ridiculously long wait, but DANG good chicken and couscous. And there was a picture of a breastfeeding woman on the wall. One of the guys in our group commented that the guys should sit opposite ways facing it. I lectured him that breastfeeding was not obscene. Later I find out he's allergic to peanuts, lima beans, among other things. He probably wasn't breastfed.
7. Subway to Carnegie Deli. $9 cheesecake, but I made Tim split it three ways with two other girls because it was so expensive, I don't like cheesecake, and I'm a mean, mean wife.
8. Back to the hotel: 1 am. Not tired in the least, but need to write this paper!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New York City: Day 1

So these next few posts are more for my own personal journal (since I don't keep one) but you are free to indulge as well.

New York thusfar: We arrived at around 6 am at JFK airport. After a long Subway ride, we made it to our hotel (the Marriott Marquis in Times Square), and our rooms were ready for us (ok, quick note, Tim and I are not sharing a room-- we opted to split up in order to save money). It was a beautiful thing. We tried to sleep but I was too antsy to get out so we took the Subway down to the WTC site. Very disappointing, mostly because there is really nothing to see because they are doing construction on the new memorial. There is a tourist-trappy sort of Museum that costs $10 to get in. We declined the offer and headed back home because I was quite grumpy by this point (no food, no sleep=not a happy pregnant woman apparently). We grabbed a pita at a little joint in Chelsea and went back to the hotel for a nap. After the nap and a little Gen Con, we headed to Harlem, where our friends Elisse and Eric live. We hung out with them for a while, went to eat dinner at Chipotle (both of our first, and it was YUM) and then headed back to their apartment for E.L. Fudge cookies, Tagalongs ice cream, and conversation. We left before it was too late because we were getting exhausted again. And now here we are. Watching the series final of ER. And Rory Gilmore is the intern!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Life as of late

I do apologize for the severe lack of blogging. Before I lose my loyal readers (all 4 of you...) I figure I need to write a little update. The lack of blogging is due to several factors, which include, but are not limited to: Econometrics homework and MUN.

And nothing witty or interesting has really happened to me, and I do not want to make you read about my life. Boring.

But... my life is actually far from boring. I was almost beat up by a woman on drugs last night (and I actually have some nifty bruises from restraining her from beating up other women as well). I woke up this morning with no water in my apartment. I showered at the women's shelter. I'm going to New York on Friday for 9 days. Yesterday I received an internship offer at the Women's Foreign Policy Group, where I will most likely be working this summer if Amnesty International doesn't ever call me back. I heard my baby's heartbeat yesterday and told my midwife I will eat while I'm in labor if I want to. She said just don't tell her. I have an ultrasound on the 21st. I don't think we'll find out the sex. Tim and I are having an ongoing discussion about circumcision (I say no, he says he doesn't want him to get teased in the MTC). I really need to work on my econometrics research project. It's about the correlation between women's empowerment and government corruption. And... that is all. I'm sure when we get back from NYC we'll have some sweet pictures and tales. For now, I leave you with this.