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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Non-Consensual Circumcision IS Rape

rape (n)
1: an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force
2: unlawful sexual activity ... carried out forcibly ... against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent

Let's break it down, shall we?

"An act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force." Well, they didn't get strapped to that circumstraint by hopping up on the board themselves. And they certainly didn't consent. Furthermore, cutting away 50,000-70,000 nerve endings so as to ensure the babe never has a full sexual experience as nature intended is forcibly robbing him of his sexuality with life-long physical ramifications to both he and his future partners. Yup. Rape.

"Unlawful sexual activity..." Rubbing the penis repeatedly so as to cause an erection in a newborn's penis without said newborn asking to have it done to them. Mmm hmmm. Rape.

"...carried out forcibly..." Again, he's not shouting from the rooftops, "Strap me down and slice me up!" Someone is doing it to him sans consent. Forcibly. Yeah. Rape.

"...against the will of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent." We've outlawed female genital mutilation (though only in 1997, which means I certainly could've been a victim and you could have, too). Thank goodness. But those boys are certainly not of the age of consent by any stretch of the imagination nor are they capable of giving valid, knowing consent. In fact, their screams, tears, and/or state of shock seem to demonstrate pretty clearly that they are, in fact, vehemently protesting - it's just that nobody is listening, because we consider babes to be sub-human and to be controlled. Definitely. Rape.

It blows me away how many people at once say they are against genital mutilation, but that calling it rape is a gross exaggeration and they're offended that I've done so. How much more clear do I need to make it? It's a gross something, but exaggeration it is not...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Through the Eyes of Society and My Son

How society sees my body:

- saggy breasts
- unmade face
- oversized middle
- saddle bags
- wide hips
- flat butt
- frizzy hair that is sprouting grays
- frumpy dress
- flabby arms
- hairy legs

How my son sees my body:

- comforting boobs that give "really tasty bed" whenever he needs or wants, great place to rest ("bed" is his word for breastmilk)
- beautiful, "regular" face - he hates when I wear make up (which I don't anymore - see the reasons why here)
- huggable, soft belly
- squishy legs are the perfect place for resting his legs while we're breastfeeding while laying down
- excellent hips for horsey rides through the house
- good buns for patting when he's in need of attention or pushing when he wishes me to leave the room
- excellent hair for playing with, styling (often), running hands through, and holding onto while riding on my shoulders
- great clothes for playing, painting, working, wiping his snots, wiping his hands (and, for the record, he picks them out for me about half of the time, so I'm pretty sure he approves)
- strong arms for keeping him held close and protecting him from all that is scary or dangerous
- he knows no different than my hairy legs, but he knows that I feel perfectly happy and comfortable with the way I am naturally, which gives him the freedom to feel the same about himself

Guess which view I care about. Guess which view makes me feel beautiful.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh Where, Oh Where Has the Critical Thinking Gone?

Oh where, oh where could it be?

It's there...underneath the layers of comfort and blissful ignorance we all build up around us. Those layers seemingly protect us from all that would make us ache and blush sheepishly as we realize just how wrong we might be about so very many things. And, believe me, I understand how good it feels to stay cuddled up in their folds, but I implore you to shed your shroud and stand naked among the many truths that surround you.

It will feel cold. You may shiver and huddle with those nearby for warmth and reassuring comfort. Eventually, though, as you allow yourself to step away and feel those truths, to touch them and allow them to touch you, you'll find a new warmth. This warmth, however, will come from the fire that is inside of you. And once that fire has been lit, once you have been ignited internally, you'll stay forever warm without the need of those external, false comforts.

I fancy myself a critical thinker and I actually really enjoy when someone challenges my thought processes to the point that I shake off my veil and feel naked. Don't get me wrong, I don't like it at the time. Like I said, it's uncomfortable and cold. I feel embarrassed and self-conscious. I try to blame the other person for trying to steal my covers. I rail against the truth and the teller. "No! That can't be true, because I don't accept it as true and I'm a critical thinker, damn it!"

This happened a little over a year ago when I was a brand new page. I made some sort of statement like, "Intactivist Confession: I don't hate Mayim Bialik." Boy, did that cause a ruckus. It caused more of a ruckus in me, though. Several people hopped on the bandwagon I built, either because they agreed or because, unfortunately, some people see bloggers they enjoy as gurus and gods and they'll agree with anything we say. That makes me sad. It made me particularly sad in this case, because I was wrong. No, I was not wrong to decline to "hate" her. I was, however, wrong as I went on to explain that while I disagree with what she has done to her sons (she circumcised her sons, justifies her decision as one of religion, but says that she does not agree with it if not done for religious reasons - lack of critical thinking example #4799227), I thought she was a wonderful spokesperson for the AP community despite that one fault. So, so many agreed with me. A few politely disagreed. I lost a couple fans. I was holding my own, though. I was doing so well through that discussion. Until Devon. Devon from Boys Deserve Better, a well-respected member of the genital integrity advocate community and now-friend, asked me, "Amy, would you still say all this if she had circumcised her girls." Boom. Off came my comfy blankets and whoosh went the fire of truth inside of my gut. No. Of course, I wouldn't feel the same if her children had been girls. Duh.

Now, not always is it that fast for me. Sometimes, I have to sit in front of those uncomfortable truths buried snugly in the midst of my circle of protective friends and family for days, weeks, months, and yes, even years before I realize what a fool I've been. I've been there more often than anyone here can probably imagine. And I am intelligent enough to recognize that I am probably still there in regards to some things. I am also intelligent and critically-thinking enough to understand that this is OK, mindful, human, and temporary. I will continue to grow. I will continue to dig deep. I will continue to get honest with myself and others. And that's all that I ask of you. Dig deep. Get honest. Shed your layers with me. They're fake warmth. Let the fire light within you and never be cold again.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Baby Showers Don't Have to Be Painful

I am not a fan of showers: baby, bridal, or other forced gatherings (solitary, rainy type excluded, as evidenced by my ode to my own). The goofy games, the explosion of washed out pink and/or blue, the belly touching, the oohing and ahhing over yet another blanket or bodysuit, and the games (yes, I mentioned them twice, because they are just that bad). I generally find some excuse to get out of them. Sometimes, however, someone I really, really love has occasion to celebrate with a shower and I find myself compelled to show my support.

Here are some ways to make baby showers a little less painful:

- Instead of giving a card with your gift, give a book with a thoughtful inscription to the babe. Make this the theme of the shower and send the information with the invitations so that everyone does it.

- Have a scrapbook out and have people write a notes and take a picture so the babe can see who was there and what all her "old" friends looked like.

- Guests each get a piece of paper with a number on it from one to twenty-one. The guests get stationary or birthday card and envelopes and they write babe a little note. Each envelope gets the number the guest choose and babe opens that letter on the coinciding birthday.

- Because babe always gets a ton of clothes, blankets, bibs, etc. (more than they could ever use), why not focus on mom? Shower her with gifts such as a nursing support basket - usually a nice basket with a handle with including a water bottle, bath salts, nipple cream, a journal, bracelets to help keep track of which side breastfeeds on, snacks of some sort, a box of tea, etc.

- Have a diaper party, especially for those who wish to cloth diaper, but are daunted by the initial cost. Everyone bring one cloth diaper (and cover, if not an all-in-one). Mom will grow her stash and it won't be a high-cost gift for any one person.

- Instead of shower gifts, have trees planted in honor of the new babe.

- Perhaps a "books and bottoms" theme. All gifts are either books or something to do with diapering.

- Instead of a shower before babe is born and then having a bunch of the same people dropping by your house individually and at random (sometimes overwhelming and inconvenient) times, have a "meet and greet" several weeks after babe arrives.

- It's worth mentioning again: don't forget mom. Perhaps a toiletries bag for caring for her postpartum self with little shampoos, hair ties, essential oils, etc. in it as well as a snug bathrobe and pj's.

- Guests fill in a card with something practical they will do for the parents after babe is born, such as cook a meal or donate a day's housework help.

- By all means, go co-ed and include kids. I like to include whole families, not just the grown women.

Finally, some words of advice:

- No matter what you think of the registry, how you feel about the choices they're making (disposable over cloth, bottle over breast, crib over cosleeping), get gifts from said registry. Not doing so means the parents get duplicates of many things they don't likely need and end up spending money on essentials at a time when their budget is at its tightest. I once had a friend say to me that she never buys off a registry, because she knows better than the new parents what they'll need. Don't be that friend.

Special thanks to all my Zen Parents who helped with ideas. As always, you all are brilliant.

Originally written for Nurture Magazine.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Make-Up: Round Filed

I felt inspired today. Jen from Our Muddy Boots was inspired the other day. Another mom was inspired earlier. As a result, we've all come to our own conclusions about make-up. My conclusion? No more. And to show my commitment to my conclusion, I threw it all away.

In fairness, I have never really worn much. In my make-up hey-day, I wore lipstick, blush, and light eye make-up. I've always been a pretty natural girl and woman. Manicures are for others. I paint my toenails about three times a year for fun. My hair is naturally curly and a little out of control (think Merida from Brave or, you know, Mufasa from The Lion King if I've showered right before going to bed). There was a time when I straightened it religiously. I can't tell you the last time I broke out that particular tool. I don't honestly know where it is now.

As a working woman, I wore make-up daily. It was part of the uniform I created and saw as essential for myself. In my dating years, I never let a man see me without it. If we spent the night, I would go to bed with it on unless we were in a committed relationship and practically living together.

My mother always wore make-up. Every woman in both sides of my family always wore make-up. My grandmother and aunt even put make-up on while we're on our annual camping trip. I never gave much thought to whether or not I should wear make-up or why, because it was just one of those things that was done. I'm a woman, so I should wear make-up.

That all changed when I had my son. I stopped having time, energy, or desire most of the time. I did, though, have plenty of self-criticism when I looked in the mirror. Not that I've ever spent much time in front of the mirror, but when I did see myself, I saw a washed-out, unattractive mess and missed my youthful, genuinely pretty woman. I didn't wear make-up often, but didn't feel good about myself without it.

Somewhere along the line, I began to see myself differently. I am back to enjoying my reflection. It's a different reflection from the one I saw in my 20s. I still think she was beautiful. I still enjoy the way I looked with make-up. Now, though, I also enjoy the way I look naturally. This is a big step in my personal growth. This is a big step in my journey as a mother.

You see, much like Jen said and the mother before her, I do not wish my son to ever believe himself to not be good enough. He'll listen to what I say...sometimes. He may even retain a little of it. He'll never forget what I do, who I am, and how I've made him feel. He'd never forget if I said, through my actions, that who I am is not quite good enough, needs a little tweaking and "oomph" to make me acceptable to myself and society. No, I won't tell him that. I would never say it with my words, so why would I with my actions? I won't. I stopped. I've thrown away all make-up. I've thrown away that message to my son. I've thrown away that message to myself. I reject it all. It's been round-filed - permanently.

Inside the Blogger's Head

I just got finished doing an interview with Shirin from On the Fence, who is a good friend of mine. It got me thinking that you might want to know your friendly neighborhood blogger a little better. You can read Shirin's post here to find out more intimate details about me and you can get the Reader's Digest version below:

What is your favorite word? Mama
What is your least favorite word? can't
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? productivity
What turns you off? defensiveness
What is your favorite curse word? fuck
What sound or noise do you love? my son's laughter
What sound or noise do you hate? my husband smacking his mouth when he eats
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? midwifery
What profession would you not like to do? President of the United States of America
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "You'll be with them again."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Why I Am Against Circumcision - One Nurse's Tale

Guest post by Bronwyn Peterson

It was the 1992-1993 school year and I was studying at a small college to become a pre-school mothercraft nurse.* I was 18 going on 19 at the time and as a part of our training we had to do a 6 week placement at a hospital in their maternity ward. I loved the time spent here, watching babies being born and learning how to care for them; learning much from the knowledgeable women I worked with. During my time on this placement, I was privileged to be a part of many amazing moments and I remember them fondly.

However, there was one incident that I saw and it has also remained with me but for completely different reasons. I attended a circumcision and it was possibly one of the most horrific and disturbing things I have ever witnessed. I was told by the doctor who was performing the procedure that most of the time when he did this the little boys were so relaxed they would fall asleep. So here I was, naively thinking that all would be well, I mean the doctor was a professional, why question it? Especially as I was so young and unskilled.

The procedure began. Anaesthetic was injected into the newborn boy's penis - and then the screaming began!!! The screaming and crying continued throughout the whole procedure. Was it from the anaesthetic needle or the cutting?? Who knew? Who cared? He was SCREAMING - surely that should have been enough to make any caring human being stop the hurting!! I began to feel faint and everything in the room went very loud and very bright and I almost fell to the floor. The doctor actually noticed and told me to sit down and put my head between my knees, which I did and started to feel immediately better - physically, but never emotionally.

I remember him crying and screaming - I have an image of him lying there with legs apart and no nappy on. Such an example of vulnerability and exposure. Writing it now, so many years later, still makes me feel quite ill and angry as well. At the time, I was just so shocked and perhaps did not really know how to deal with it. The feelings came up at a later date and now whenever I hear about circumcision I always feel quite sick and emotional and just know that I would never have it done. There is no need for it!

All this time later, I still have flashes of that time. I cannot see it all as a clear sequence of events. I believe that is my mind's way of dealing with the trauma of it. I remember telling people about this experience and how much it disturbed me, but as time went by I pushed it to the back of my mind. Although, every time I ever saw anything on television or written about circumcision, I would remember this experience and my horror and sadness about it. This experience cemented in my mind that I will NEVER have a son circumcised, if I ever have the blessing of bringing one into the world.

Writing this brought up more emotion than I imagined, I even had a cry while putting it down here. If I'm this traumatized so long afterward, I can only imagine that little boy - all the little boys. . .

*A pre-school mothercraft nurse is someone who is trained to work in day care centres - running a room and planning learning programs for children. Also, the training enables them to work in maternity wards alongside midwives, more along the lines of working directly with the mothers and babies helping with teaching care of babies - eg. bathing, breastfeeding, etc.

Bronwyn Peterson is 39 years old. She lives with her partner Sherene on a gorgeous country property with their beautiful 5 month old daughter. They live in Australia, in the state of Victoria, up near a place called Castlemaine - a gorgeous part of the country. She now works with a local chiropractor as a receptionist, part time and also works from home doing massage. She enjoys infant massage. She has two dogs, a cat and six chickens - she loves animals and would have many more, but is not sure she really has the time to take care of them! She loves to read, write stories, do yoga, use the gym, and do spiritual studies with a Hindu nun. She has an amazing life!

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Hope You Dance

Parenting is like dancing. You have to find your rhythm. You have to listen to and follow the beat. You have to go with the flow.

When "Wake Me Up Before You Go, Go" comes on, you can't rail against it by continuing to waltz. And when the tune changes to "Blue Danube," you can't be rocking The Watusie.

Listen to your babe. She is your music. Dance with her, not against her. It's a partnership.

I hope you dance.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Feminism and Zen Parenting

"Most posts on here don't come across as feminist to me. Breastfeeding, baby wearing? Are you sure you're a feminist?"

I recently got this comment on my page and was instantly confused by her confusion. What do breastfeeding and babywearing have to do with being a feminist or not? What about my page doesn't seem feminist? First, I state clearly that I am, in fact, a feminist, so ya, I'm sure I'm a feminist. Second, I regularly post about equity, choices, freedoms - all basic tenets of feminism. Third, I wish to breastfeed, I wished to wear my son as a baby, I wish to stay home with him instead of continuing to be a teacher, I wish to fight for his (and every boy's) equality when it comes to their rights to genital autonomy, I wish to do all the things I am doing - sounds pretty feminist to me. Here's why: I choose to take and keep my freedom to do whatever it is I want as a woman, as a mother, as a wife. I chose to become a mother. I fought hard for it, as a matter of fact. I believe we all have every right to choose to or not to become mothers and respect everyone's decisions either way. I chose to become a wife. I waited a long time, was single and on my own with a successful career and life of my own beforehand. I believe we all have every right to choose to or not to marry and respect everyone's decisions either way. I choose to be who I am and believe we all have the right to choose who we all wish to be and respect everyone's decisions either way. I don't feel bound by obligation to do anything. I don't feel chained to my husband, my son, my house, or even my decisions. I feel blessed to go through this life with them, because they're who I wanted. This life is what I wanted and still want. I feel free to make whatever choices I wish to make. I am a woman, I am a person, and I have full freedom to live whatever life I want to live. Feminism.

I have never felt more natural, more at ease with myself as a mother, more like a woman than when I am breastfeeding. I am in tune with myself, my body, my instincts, my history and, most importantly to me, my son. That is what is important to me, he is who is important to me. As Dr. Christiane Northrup said, "“When we trust the makers of baby formula more than we do our own ability to nourish our babies, we lose a chance to claim an aspect of our power as women. Thinking that baby formula is as good as breast milk is believing that thirty years of technology is superior to three million years of nature’s evolution. Countless women have regained trust in their bodies through nursing their children, even if they weren’t sure at first that they could do it. It is an act of female power, and I think of it as feminism in its purest form.” Feminism.

Never before had I ever thought much about my power as a woman, but think about it. I am incredible. I can give life. I nurture and strengthen a human being with my body. I have the power to chase away sleepy-time monsters with a single touch of my strong, feminine hand. I have the power to ease the pain and fear of a fall with my strong, but soft arms. I have the power to immunize him from illness with nourishment from my breasts. I am a powerful woman, mother, and feminist. Feminism.

I have made sacrifices to become the mother that I want to be. That doesn't mean I've sacrificed myself. We all set our priorities and make sacrifices based upon them. It was important to me to stay home with my son instead of returning to work. My choice. My other choice - getting rid of my car, cutting down on what I saw as extraneous expenditures, doing with less "stuff." All my choices made with the freedoms I take and exercise. Feminism. As Elaine Heffner said, "Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women's opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering." Feminism.

I recently read an amazing post from Barrel of Oranges that sums up why I am both a genital integrity advocate and feminist and why the two go hand in hand. I cannot speak on the topic with anywhere near the eloquence or authority that she does, but here's where I stand: feminism is about equality equity for everyone, so why would that not extend to genitalia? I cannot, for the life of me, understand why I would send the message to my (or anyone else's) son that we should all be treated with equity, we should be respectful of everyone's bodies, everyone deserves protection from those who wish to treat them unfairly except for when it comes to your penis. What sense does that make? If I hope to send the message (and I do) that we are all deserving of equity regardless of genitalia, then I have to work to protect said genitalia for everyone. Feminism.

According to a recent study in Sex Roles, feminists are more likely to be on board with Attachment Parenting than their non-feminist counterparts. Why this is was not readily clear, but the two do, indeed, go hand-in-hand for me. They came naturally to me. I wish for the world to be a fair place in which my son, his peers, and their descendents can live with all the rights, freedoms, and choices they deserve. Whether my child is male or female is irrelevant to this, because feminism isn't about women - it is about equity for everyone. Feminism.

Bottom line: yes, I can be and am a feminist and a Zen Parent. In fact, I know no other way.

Originally published by Our Muddy Boots.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Letter to My Pregnant, Childless Self

As I perused Pinterest this evening while my son was falling asleep on the boob, I came across this piece and looked forward to reading it. Let's just say, it wasn't exactly my cup o' tea. It did, however, inspire me to write my own letter to my former self.

Dear Little Ms. Changing-a-Lot,

Right now, your estimated due date is approaching (which really means very little), and you’re hyper focusing on a lot of insignificant stuff. I wish you knew that none of what you are worrying about matters. What you need to do now is focus on your meditations, visualize the outcome you want, practice positive self-talk, keep your husband in the loop of all of that, and dismiss all the static coming from everyone else.

What’s that you say? Too much static coming from too many places? Tell them to shush. You don't have to listen to their birth stories o' horror. You don't have to listen to their "concern" in the form of passive-aggressive questioning of your home birth plan. You don't have to put up with your mother-in-law loudly disapproving of every decision you're making. You get to tell them to shush. You get to tell them you don't want to hear anything but positivity. You're the pregnant person - they have to listen to you. Besides, it's good practice for when the baby comes and their "well-meaning" words of wisdom (Ha! Oh, that's a good one! "Words of wisdom." Hahahahaha! Hang on, I need a minute...paha...ok, I'm back...) really start flowing.

While we are on the topic of useless crap that you are obsessing over, it seems as though you are sitting around wondering if you’ll poop in the pool delivery. Guess what? When the time actually comes, you won’t care if fecal matter ends up in your your husband's drinking water as long as your midwife gets that little fish scooper out in speedy fashion and you get the birth both you and your babe deserve.

Oh, and that asinine What to Expect When You're Expecting? Quit wasting your time with it and pick up a copy of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth or, you know, almost anything other that what you're reading now, because after 34 hours of labor, you'll actually end up transferring to the hospital from home and on the operating table, but you need to be certain you've done all that you could've done so that you live with no residual guilt for bringing your son into the world in a most traumatic way. While the birth is only one day, and your babe will be here for a l-i-f-e-t-i-m-e, your birth experience, babe's birth experience, matters and your time would be better spent learning something about your body, your mind, your capabilities, babe's and your primal needs rather than scaring the crap out of yourself with pages of bad information that will do nothing for the peace of mind, although, they might come in handy for your first bowel movement post childbirth.

On another note, you seem to have a lot of opinions on parenting right now, but you will quickly realize that they're all based on experiences much different from those that you wish to give your babe and yourself. For all of the judgments you make now about other people’s parenting techniques, you will soon learn to eat your words, apologize to your brother and sister-in-law for talking about them behind their backs to your husband about the length of time for which they cosleep, blog about your utterly ridiculous pre-babe ideas (while making yet another apology to an old friend who APs, you know, who you thought was doing her own babes such a horrible disservice by sheltering them and creating children ill-prepared for the real world), you'll sit up on a TV set while the entire world judges you for breastfeeding for the normal term and sleeping in bed with your son, and finally, you'll see that what goes around comes around and it's coming around to you ten-fold by way of your blog and Facebook page in which you'll hear all these things and ever-so-much more on the regular and you get to keep a Zen face while addressing (or banning) them all. So, keep judging that woman for breastfeeding sans cover (gasp!) in public. In just a few short months, you will find yourself whipping it out whenever, wherever all while wearing your "Peace, Love, and Momma Milk" shirt with a pair of boobs right on the front. And the woman you saw at the grocery store in the frozen foods aisle whose nipples were pointing in different directions? Nice job criticizing her to your husband. Karma is about to replace your boobs bigger than your babe's head which will shock you so much to see in pictures that you'll actually tear up.

So, enjoy your pregnant body. Take a lot of pictures. You gained a boat-load of weight during IVF and you're feeling embarrassed and ashamed of your body. You think you are a circus show, but regardless of that, you're having that babe you wanted so desperately, so nothing else really matters . And, by the way, you'll lose it all along with the IVF weight plus 10 pounds of plain ol' fat from breastfeeding in the first few months. However, it'll all be redistributed and that's OK. You'll weigh less than you did when you got married, but wear pants that are two sizes bigger and have a strange, hangy flap of skin on your lower belly. You'll have stretch marks from nipple to labia and half-way across your back and down your thighs. And not a bit of it will matter to you, because you'll have your babe and you'll be a great mom, which will make you feel more beautiful, more confident, more womanly than you ever knew you could.

After the baby is born, between caring for him, your new found realization of just how strong and supportive your husband can be, and your post-partum hormones, you will be so overwhelmed that you'll find yourself in a puddle of happy, grateful tears as you gaze at your babe's face while he sleeps at the breast. You'll also find yourself in the midst of PPD and crazed anxiety. Recognize it. You need help sooner rather than later. Your symptoms won't look like those you've read about before, but you're not crazy. It's OK. You'll get help and things will calm. Dare I say you'll someday feel like your old self - only better - again? It's true. Get help.

There is only one thing that will get you through the birth trauma, the PPD, and the rearranged sleep schedule – the love that, right now, you are unaware even exists.

So hold onto your maternity shorts and try not to wet your pants while you still have some level, little though it may be, of bladder control – this ride is just beginning. Stop being a judgmental, especially of yourself. You're going to need a healthy head space once babe arrives and you realize you're the example on which many of his life experiences will be based for several years to come.

Love, Me