3 words...round ligament pain. Oh my.
This is probably my biggest complaint over the past couple of weeks. And my goodness, it is uncomfortable! Round ligament pain happen as the uterus expands in pregnancy. There are ligaments (special muscles) that hold the uterus in place in the abdomen. During pregnancy, the uterus expands and the fetus grows and consequently these ligaments have to stretch to accommodate the larger size of the uterus. Just like when you stretch any other muscle in ways it is not used to, pain can result. Even though I've experienced it before (with my previous pregnancy), it's still a shock when it happens. Sometimes it occurs when I get up from a sitting position or when I roll over at night. It can happen at other times as well, but those are fairly common. The pain is a shock that takes my breath away until it eases, just like any kind of muscle cramp would.
I also had a slight illness scare during Week 17 that called attention to how scary it can sometimes bRead more...
As we've done in the past -- like here and here -- today we've got a the whole of a short interview that was excerpted in small part for a piece over at Ms. Magazine yesterday, Future of Feminism: Sex Education As a Human Right.
Given some of the content and certainly some of the comments on another (just a note: a lot of the comments there are really rough, and there is intense transmisogyny afoot) of those pieces, one that I saw right after I'd sent this interview back to the author, I feel like the second half of this interview is particularly important, and I was sorry to see it didn't make the cut.
Q: How would you define feminist sex education?
A: I consider that a work in progress, ever-evolving, but you can see how I do that currently here:
Feminist sex education:
• Emphasizes -- for all sexes and genders, not just one or two -- autonomy, personal responsibility, full and active consent, sexuality in the holistic context of a whole, well-rounded life and healthy, equitable r
Yeah, we meant to say that. Boy do we wish we didn't.
Here's the spiel: it's Back Up Your Birth Control Day today, but as you may have heard, or personally experienced, here in the states, we're still having a lot of trouble with pharmacists refusing over-the-counter Plan B (emergency contraception, the morning-after-pill, or whatever you like to call it), for a whole of reasons, including because of age, even though most of those asking for or about it are of legal age to get it over-the-counter, and without a prescription. We knew that was happening already, but that recent covert study linked there brought it more to light and gave this some more (very needed) attention.
We understand that dealing with being refused something when you're likely already feeling panicked, and also asking for something pretty private without much, if any privacy, can make dealing with refusals even more hard and maddening than they already are.
We also know that in thRead more...
As we're rolling out some redesign we've been working (and working to fund) over the last year or so, we thought we'd celebrate by sharing some of our history.
Mind, it's probably more fun for our readers than it is for me, since showing designs from times when the tech to do design blew, and one's (notice how I avoid saying my?) skills were less honed is a bit like streaking naked through a busy city street, or winding up at the ER after an accident when wearing the rattiest undies in your drawer.
Thank goodness, I came to web design with some solid design skills already -- though some not-at-all-slid coding skills, I pretty much had to learn that by the seat of my pants -- so I was better equipped than a lot of people making sites, but that still doesn't mean everything was awesome, and that I don't shudder a little bit to see some of my designs of yore.
However, I've at least resisted the attempt to embarrass myself less by showing screenshotsRead more...
I am so fucking fed up.
The latest is from Arizona: now, if an employee uses the company’s health insurance to purchase contraceptive pills, they must prove to their employer that they are using them for “non sex” purposes. If they don’t, they could be fired.
How is this supposed to go?
“Oh, yeah here is my ultrasound from my ovarian cyst. See it over there? Yeah, its a big one.”
How are you supposed to prove that you have ovarian cysts popping a mile a minute and a slough of gay ex’s to prove how terrible your PMS is while simultaneously proving that there is no way in hell you are using it for "sex purposes?"
How are we supposed to prove that birth control–whose very name not so implicitly implies controlling a birth–is not our bang without a baby free card?
We can’t even refer to it by its official name, contraception: itRead more...
For one, I know that a lot of people (including myself sometimes!) have or have had satisfying, full sexual lives without intercourse, either because they're not at intercourse yet in life or a given relationship, it's off the table for a while for some reason, or because they're in relationships where penis-in-vagina sex just isn't an option or possibility in the first place. I also know, as a sex educator, that some or all of the physical and emotional things that can happen with penis-in-vagina intercourse can and typically do happen with other kinds of sex, whether we're talking about emotional feelings or experiences, the human sexual response cycle, the expression of sexuality in general or possible outcomes like STIs or pregnancy. The way I define sex as a sex educator is like so:
If we say someone is having sex, or doing something sexual, we mean they are acting
It's been a busy couple of weeks (both in terms of life in general and in my pregnancy).
At the beginning of week 14, I had my most recent appointment with my OB/GYN. This time I'd only lost 1 lb in the month. While weight loss in early pregnancy is not completely unusual, in most cases care providers would rather see you maintain weight or gain around 5 lbs by the end of the first trimester. Since my weight loss is still relatively low (around 5-6 lbs total), my doctor is not too worried.
Because I hadn't had one in a year, I was due for a pap smear. During my first pregnancy, I had a pap before I became pregnant. However, had I needed an exam they would have done it during my first or second appointment. The office policy has changed since then and now if a patient needs a pap, they wait until you are more than 12 weeks to do the exam. I've never been particularly bothered by gyn exams, so as usual, I had no problem with this exam. My doctor conducted a regular physical (listeningRead more...
Over the last few weeks, I have been sicker than sicker than sick. I managed to pick up whooping cough, which, combined with other health issues I already have, made my blood pressure dip to a very scary place, to boot. I had already been having some flare-ups from those other issues, so they made the whooping cough worse, it made them worse. Like plenty of uninsured people do, I tried to hold off on healthcare for as long as I could, but eventually had to cave and suck up the big bill so I could get the big meds and also be sure I wasn't, you know, dying or anything.
This combo of illnesses made it impossible for me to do nearly anything, including most work. When you mostly work from home, you can usually work through almost anything, so when you can't even do that, you know it's bad. They've also put some big cramps in my life. For a week or so, the deepest conversations I had with anyone were something to the effect of "More. Tea. Blanket. Ugh," and the most passionate embrace IRead more...
I'm sorry my blog is a bit behind here! Life was busy last week and somehow I just never managed to sit down for more than 2 minutes to be able to talk about what was going on with my pregnancy.
On the positive side, during the last week to week & a half, I've been feeling better. This is likely related to coming to the end of the first trimester. My afternoon/evening nausea is starting to abate, thank goodness. I was getting very tired of being almost unable to eat after lunchtime. I've also noticed that, especially within the last week, my anxiety has decreased as well. This is a distinct relief.
While I know it seems superficial, my biggest complaint right now is about clothing. My pants still fit (barely) around my slightly thickening waist. I don't look pregnant, rather just as if I've put on a few pounds around the middle. (My weight is actually still down overall though, so I must have been losing in one area and gaining in my abdomen.) If I button my regular jeans it is uncomfRead more...
There has been an increasing level of organisation and activity in the UK from politicians and pressure groups who are against comprehensive sex education, even lobbying against the basics like teaching body parts to primary school children and ever more increasingly speaking about abstinence. The tactics are versions of what US sex educators have been battling against for a while.
Recently, Nadine Dorries, the member of parliament who represents my area of the UK, has become a main figurehead for the trend, and has come across relatively successfully on TV debates given how extreme the implications of the policies she proposes really are.
What really got my attention was how familiar to me the language she uses was to me. She spoke about sexualisation, empowerment, focusing more on relationships, and of course abstinence and so on, which apart from the word abstinence itself sounded very much like plenty of feminists and pro-sex activists. So I've begun to think about what these wordRead more...