Monday, September 26, 2011

On Abortion

I apologize for nothing in this post. I will be stating facts; facts do not require apology.

The following link contains some surprising statistics on abortion in the United States. As stated in the article, "All abortion numbers are derived from pro-abortion sources."
I will be quoting parts of the article below, but I do invite any readers to read the entire article.

The most pertinent sections from the above article:

Why women have abortions1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

At what gestational ages are abortions performed:52% of all abortions occur before the 9th week of pregnancy, 25% happen between the 9th & 10th week, 12% happen between the 11th and 12th week, 6% happen between the 13th & 15th week, 4% happen between the 16th & 20th week, and 1% of all abortions (16,450/yr.) happen after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Abortion coverage:48% of all abortion facilities provide services after the 12th week of pregnancy. 9 in 10 managed care plans routinely cover abortion or provide limited coverage. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds, virtually all of which are state funds.

Now enough statistics. Now for some personal facts:

Personal Fact #1: I am pregnant.
Personal Fact #2: This pregnancy was planned. I know the exact date (within a 1-2-day margin of error) on which conception occurred.
Personal Fact #3: The following image is from the low-grade ultrasound my midwife performed in her office when I was just barely 10 weeks pregnant (sorry it's upside-down):

I will also note, in this ultrasound-- though of course it is not apparent in a photo-- I could see the embryo's heart beating. It was ALIVE.

Personal Fact #4: This next image is from an ultrasound done at barely 15 weeks:

Note, it already looks like a baby!

Now to re-quote some of the statistics with the above images in mind.

12%  [of abortions] happen between the 11th and 12th week, 6% happen between the 13th & 15th week, 4% happen between the 16th & 20th week, and 1% of all abortions (16,450/yr.) happen after the 20th week of pregnancy.

That means that at least 23% of abortions take place after the heart has already started beating! 4% happen between the 16th and 20th week (hmm, right before most pregnant women look forward to their first ultrasound to make sure the baby's healthy and to find out its gender).

I took a health class at our local college, and in the textbook we used is a section on abortion. It seemed fairly straightforward and non-biased, just stating the facts. Until I took a look at the pictures and got a little skeptical.

One picture illustrates the process of suction curettage, a procedure involving the gradual dilation of the cervix, then a suction cup is inserted into the cervix and the contents of the uterus are vacuumed out; finally, a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette, is used to check for complete removal. In the illustration, the amniotic sac looks much like my first ultrasound image, taken at 10 weeks after my last menstrual period. But suction curettage, according to the textbook, is typically done anywhere from 7 weeks to 13 weeks. 13 weeks is 3 weeks more than 10, and only 2 weeks less than 15, which is where I was when the second ultrasound image was taken. Which means, at 13 weeks-- the upper end of when suction curettage is routinely performed, the embryo/fetus is more likely to resemble the second image than it is the first. The heart is already beating, and limbs are fully formed, looking a lot more like a baby and a lot less like a mere "sac."

And there's the facts. Garner from them what you will.


So, last week the word got out to the general acquaintance, so now I can announce it here, too. I am seventeen weeks pregnant.

I will probably be posting on here a lot more often now! There were so many things I could have written about the last couple months, but I wasn't ready to make things public yet.

The first trimester was a teeny bit miserable, but I can't complain too much since I've known women with a lot worse morning sickness than I've ever had. The worst of it, though, was when I was down in California last month, driving on windy roads in the hot weather.

It's amazing how that second trimester starts, and all of a sudden BAM! No more morning sickness. How does my body know?

Nick keeps feeling the need to apologize to me for getting me pregnant. Ha, like I didn't play a part in it? I knew exactly what I was getting myself into at the time; if I had told him, though, he would have freaked out-- just like he's doing now. Yes, I'm a little surprised myself that I decided I was ready again so soon, when for a while I figured I'd wait until Z was at least 3 years old before I got pregnant again. But, I've realized something else. And that is, time's ticking.

Not that I'm feeling old or like I'm going to lose my...fertility anytime soon. But, I've decided I'd rather have all my babies sooner rather than later. And that means having them a little closer together-- say, over a 10-year period-- rather than spacing them out more so as to be spending the next 20 years of my life in the baby/toddler stage. I don't want my oldest to be in high school when my youngest is just learning to walk.

But, that's just me.

Anyway, there will be just over two and a half years between Z and the new baby, so pretty much the same as with my first two. Yes, it's going to be stressful and tiring and sometimes downright miserable; but, that's how it's going to be whenever I have a baby, so I might as well get it over with. And then I can move on to enjoying my "big kids" that much sooner.

I will say, though, I sure am enjoying both G and Z at their current stages of life. So far, my favorite ages have been 2 and 4; least favorite, 0 and 3. How's that for leapfrogging?

Sunday, September 18, 2011


In today’s Sunday School lesson, the main topic—or at least, what I mostly got out of it—was trial.

 Often, we simply think of a trial as something that tests our faith or ability; something that is difficult to bear, but—if we bear it successfully—will ultimately make us stronger somehow.

 The Merriam-Webster online dictionary provides further insight into the meaning of the word trial, and its several definitions can certainly be applied to our lives in a spiritual sense as well as temporal (italicized words are my own; bolded are for emphasis):

 1a: the action or process of trying or putting to the proof : test b: a preliminary contest (as in a sport)  A trial is an opportunity to prove myself.

2: the formal examination before a competent tribunal of the matter in issue in a civil or criminal cause in order to determine such issue What more “competent tribunal” can we have than Christ?

3: a test of faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation; broadly: a source of vexation or annoyance

4a: a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness — compare clinical trial b: one of a number of repetitions of an experiment  Am I valuable to God? Am I useful?

5: attempt

 During today’s lesson/discussion, the following passage also came to mind, from 1 Corinthians 10:13--
There hath no temptation ataken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be btempted above that ye are able; but will with the ctemptation also make a way to descape, that ye may be able to ebear it.

 I do not think it inappropriate, in this context, to substitute the word “tempted” in the above scripture with the word “tried,” and “temptation” with the word “trial.” Temptations are trials: trials of our faith, trials of our discipline, trials of our love for Christ and our Heavenly Father to want to overcome temptation in order to become closer to our Savior.

 So, what I get from this is that I will never be given any trials in life that I cannot overcome with the help of my Heavenly Father. Trials are best viewed, not as hardships or annoyances that I would be better off without; but rather, my trials should be viewed as an opportunity for me to prove myself, to prove my faith, quality, and worthiness before the Lord.

 It is a well-observed fact that every man or woman in this life experiences trials. It is also a well-observed fact that every man or woman experiences very different trials in mortality. Some people’s lives seem so trial-ridden, complicated, and downright devastating, that it’s a wonder to me when I hear some of these people share the trials they’ve been through, and to realize that they are still optimistic about life, that they feel fulfilled and happy, that they still love and trust their Heavenly Father. I only hope I can come out as strong if I ever go through half the trials these people have been though. But, that’s just the point: these people were tried, and they passed the test; their value and usefulness were tested, and they were found to be worthy, good and faithful servants.

My trials are tailor-made for me. Whatever has befallen in the past, whatever I’m going through now, whatever trials might arise to test me in the future—none of it is random. God knows exactly what I am capable of bearing. He also knows exactly what trials will allow me to demonstrate my own unique gifts, to strengthen my own unique weaknesses, to reach my maximum potential and growth, to become a “profitable servant” before my Lord. And if I know what’s good for me, I will welcome those trials with open arms, with a heart and mind in tune with the Holy Spirit to guide me and comfort me along the way.

 If I want to be a faithful daughter, if I want to be a worthy servant, if I want to be the best I can be, I will never shrink away from my trials. Rather, I should say “Bring it on, life. There is nothing you can do to me that I can’t face with the help of my God. There is no challenge I might face that will not make me stronger.”

Bring it on!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Humorous Find

A couple years ago, I was browsing a local curio shop and came across an interesting item. I started reading the instructions on the back of the box, and it was so funny to me that I asked for a post-it note and a pen and wrote it all down word-for-word. Today while cleaning out a pile of old papers, I came across the post-it note again. Here's what is says:

Duck Egg Growing Pet
1. Put the egg in a container & fill with water level upper egg (the temperature of the water is under 35*C (95*F)).
2. The egg shell will break after 12-24 hours. Slowly then the pet hasten out of the shell. (Please keep the full water into the container)
3. After the egg shell is broken entirely please add the new water into the container again (the pet will be expanding after 24-48 hours fully).
4. Can remove the growing pet to another container to watch them grow daily.

Some jobs are best not being outsourced...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First day of Preschool

Nick and I were searching and praying to find a good preschool for G, who has been asking us since he was 3 "when can I go to school?"

We make just barely too much money for him to make the cut for Head Start (lots of poverty-level families in our community, even moreso since the recession hit). I was doing all I could think of to try and find an inexpensive alternative, but the only things I came across were daycares that offered preschool on the side, and that wasn't really what I wanted.

Then, we were traveling for a month and I had pretty much given up.

But when we got back just last weekend, my mother-in-law called me with some searching she had done. There was an open house yesterday for a little preschool run out of one of the local churches here. We went to the open house, liked the teacher, liked the curriculum. Though the curriculum is really of secondary priorty to me, as the biggest thing was to just give my son a place where he could learn more social skills, be in a more structured environment, which I think will be good for him as I am one of the least-structured people I know but I want him to learn it from somewhere.

Also, he just responds better in general to being taught by someone else other than me-- at least long-term. He'll learn things from me, sure, but as soon as I try to give him anything like a real lesson, he shuts off.

Anyway, he goes to school for 2 and a half hours, three days a week. And we're paying $150 a month. The teacher says she teaches letters, numbers, shapes, colors, patterning, rhyming and other word games (which I know G will love), and then hands-on stuff like crafts and science exploration.

She is a certified teacher, who in the past has taught kindergarten and first grade.

The class has up to twelve students. When I took G for his first day today, we found out the class is almost all boys, except for two girls. Those poor girls, haha.

He was being really nervous and moody yesterday about the whole thing, but this morning he finally seemed okay with everything. When I took him in this morning and waved goodbye, he was all smiles. He loves making new friends, and he was already introducing himself to the other kids when I left.

After I picked him up, we were driving home and I asked him about his day. I asked him if he learned any songs-- he said yes, but he couldn't remember any. I asked him if he'd made any new friends-- he said yes, but couldn't remember their names. He didn't remember his teacher's name.

Eventually, things started coming back to him and he divulged more details. He was a little disappointed that they didn't learn any letters; I told him that would start next week (today was more of a "get to know you" and orientation day). He was also disappointed that he didn't get to do a craft (though he did draw a picture-- scribble-- of a "pirate ship"). I asked him what toys he played with, and then he told me that he played with the "big legos," and that he and some other kids put on "suits." I'm assuming that means they played dress-up. He said his "suit" was red, and "it was a little too big."

All in all, it sounds like he had an okay first day. He's excited to go back on Monday. I hope he doesn't get too impatient over the weekend.

I am happy and thankful that we found this place. It should be really good for him.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Last night Z was lying with me for a while in our bed before he went to his own bed. He was wide awake and having trouble settling down. Anyway, there was a sleeping bag rolled up and standing up in the corner next to my bed, and all of a sudden Z saw it and pointed, saying "scary!" and he crawled over to Nick's side of the bed to get away. I was able to show him that it was only a sleeping bag, and then he was okay. But, so begin the nighttime scarries...