When I was pregnant, my clothing had one main requirement: comfort. I was mostly concerned with what would help support my growing belly on my slight frame, especially toward the end of my pregnancy when I developed symphysis pubic dysfunction (a fancy way of saying that my pelvic joint was unstable and caused me near constant pain whenever I moved). I was fortunate that during the latter half of my pregnancy I was focused on finishing my graduate thesis, thus fashion didn’t factor much into my days spent behind a computer screen or between library book shelves. In fact, my daily uniform of yoga pants, long t-shirts, a puffy vest, and comfy sneakers didn’t seem to phase me or the number of folks I came in contact with.
In retrospect, I consider myself very lucky. Keep reading »
“I love a good piece of dolphin meat on my plate, but every time I feel bad for eating an endangered animal,” 32-year-old artist, Ai Hasegawa, told Vice. “We’re soon going to be facing a global food shortage crisis. But I still want to give life, I don’t want 30 years of painful menstruation to have all been in vain. And I want to eat good meat.”
What 30-something woman hasn’t been faced with such dilemmas concerning food and reproduction? While most of us chose to avoid dolphin meat/baby making, hoping the problem would rectify itself, Ai Hasegawa got busy looking for options that were “less costly than raising a human” with “fewer responsibilities.” To reconcile both her desire to give life and her need to eat good meat, she came up with an unconventional solution: the idea of women birthing endangered species and eating them.
Hasegawa’s project, “I wanna deliver a Shark…,” tackles “the problem of human reproduction in an age of over-population and environmental crisis” with a literal attempt to birth a shark. And why a shark? Because, her initial research suggests that sharks are the most compatible with the human body and “they’re endangered, their life-span is almost as long as that of a human, and most importantly, they’re delicious.” Keep reading »
A school district in Michigan has banned two pregnant teen girls from showing their bellies in the high school yearbook, claiming it goes against the school district’s abstinence-only sex ed policy. “It’s our feeling … that (the photos) could very well be a contrary message to (the state policy),” White Could Public Schools Superintendent Barry Seabrook said. “We’re not saying they can’t have their photos in the yearbook.” But they do have to reshoot waist-up photos in the yearbook if they want to be included.
Keep reading »
Last summer, I had my first panic attack, and it was induced by children.
By the way, I don’t have any kids.
During an office baby shower, a female colleague about 15 years my senior reminded me that I was next, since I was married, 27, and only had an estimated 12 percent of my eggs left. Highly inappropriate? Hells to the yes. And effective. It freaked me out.
Four months later, I was having a particularly rough morning at work. I couldn’t stop getting interrupted and my to-do list kept getting longer. I suddenly felt massively overwhelmed. My brain went into a crazy-spiral: If I can’t get my work done today, I can’t get home and write the screenplay of the century, and it’ll take me forever to become the Nora Ephron of my generation, and I will be letting down every woman and brown person in America by not unleashing my voice to the masses, and I won’t be able to have a baby until there’s at least some small sign that I could accomplish that, because I’m not trying to be some resentful, broke mom with “dreams.”
I blacked out at my desk for a minute, popped an Advil and sat in a nearby park for an hour inhaling an economy-sized bag of popcorn.
That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Keep reading »
Pop star Shakira gave birth to her son, Milan, back in January. Since then, she’s been hard at work promoting her new gig as a judge on the NBC show, “The Voice.” As part of that promotion, Shakira spoke with US Weekly and weighed in with some thoughts on motherhood:
On getting her pre-baby body back: ”I mean, I guess our mothers and grandmothers weren’t under the pressure that women of today are after delivering a baby. My dad says that there’s nothing better than a little meat on the bone! He likes my mom a little chubby. So she was never under the pressure to get back to her old weight, and she never did, actually! But it’s different, I have a career, and that’s the only part that’s been a bit stressful because I knew that I’d have to come back here to do ‘The Voice’ two months after I delivered a baby. I didn’t have my four months maternity like every woman on Earth has. So I’m not trying to complain, but it’s been a process full of challenges in my life. I’m still a few pounds over! Zumba has been pretty great for me even during pregnancy. I did it almost until the end.”
Sigh. That’s a whole lot to unpack. First, I have to admit to busting out a cackling laugh at Shakira’s seemingly naive lament over not having her “four months maternity like every woman on earth has.” But then I remembered Shakira is Colombian and — oh yeah — it’s pretty much just the United States that is completely screwed up when it comes to mandated paid maternity leave. I’ve ranted about this before, but honestly, it never gets old. The U.S. is one of only four (FOUR!) other countries in the world that does not provide any sort of mandated paid maternity (or family) leave. Keep reading »
In one of the most horrifically bizarre cases we’ve heard in a while, a woman in London, England, attempted to have her 14-year-old daughter impregnated so she could have another child. The woman, a single mother of three adopted children, wanted to adopt a fourth child, but the courts denied her request. In response, the unnamed woman attempted to have her 14-year-old daughter inseminated with donor sperm.
The initial attempt failed, but the daughter eventually became pregnant at 16, with the aid of artificial insemination. In a Mother’s Day card she gave her mother in 2009, the girl even included a photo of a positive pregnancy test, and promised her mother she would give her the baby she desired. The mother had undergone an elective sterilization in response to a medical condition she had and could not have children of her own. Keep reading »
If you have been in a one mile radius of me anytime in the past few weeks, you have probably heard me tell you all about how I love “Call The Midwife,” mention I’m going home to watch “Call The Midwife,” or suggest you watch “Call The Midwife.” That is because — yup — I am obsessed with the PBS drama “Call The Midwife.”
The premise is this: Jenny Lee (actress Jessica Raine) is a 22-year-old midwife in the 1950s hired for her first nursing job in an impoverished section of London’s East End. She’s had a privileged, sheltered upbringing and the poverty she sees in Poplar is like nothing she’s ever experienced. Nurse Jenny lives at Nonnatus House, a convent run by nuns who are also nurses, with three of her other 20something midwives: Nurse Trixie is the house glamour girl who loves boys, dancing and gossip; Nurse Cynthia is the thoughtful, quiet one, and Chummy is a gawky, awkward nurse from a titled family who is an embarrassment to her parents but finally finds a place in life working amongst the poor. Keep reading »
Amnesty International has warned that a 22-year-old woman is going to die if the government of El Salvador does not give her a lifesaving abortion. Abortion is illegal in the country under all circumstances, even to save the life of the mother. Keep reading »