Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lost Bodies

Bodies. We all have one. We are often taught that our bodies are temples and to take care of them. I mean, after all you only get one! Our bodies can do some incredible things, and when you really stop and think about every system and process we are capable of, and how it all works it can be really mind-blowing. Pregnancy in particular is fascinating. The ability for a whole new life to form, grow, and be birthed. Honestly, I think it's incredible. I mean, not that turning a taco into poop isn't totally impressive too, it is- but of all the bodily functions I do find reproduction to be one of the more impressive and intriguing.
Thanks to my browsing history, many of the ads and articles that come up on my laptop are baby and postpartum related... well, that and Great Dane. I'm often times put off by how many of those are related to "getting your body back after pregnancy." Now, I know I am probably being a little nit picky on wording here but... what the heck does that even mean anyway? I mean, do people actually LOSE their bodies when they become pregnant and then have to go out and search for them to get them back? Does this actually happen? NO!
In fact- pregnancy made me more aware of my body than ever before. No way was I misplacing it. Not even a limb or two. No doubt pregnancy changed my body. I have stretch marks I didn't have before. (Don't worry, they just blend in with the roadmap of the ones that were there already. Thank you non-elastic skin type!) My belly which once grew my sweet boy is now squishy like Jell-O. Like, seriously squishy. I'm totally rocking what in the cat world is known as a spay sway. My boobs aren't quite what they used to be. In fact, first thing in the morning I have awesome boobs and feel like maybe I don't want that boob job after all. But, as the day goes on they deflate and sport the rock-in-a-sock look. My c-section scar which is bigger than most due to the emergency nature of my surgery will always be there. But you know what? These are signs, physical reminders, of the life my body created.
We as a society put so much value in pretty bodies we neglect to recognize the pure beauty in a body that has created life- one that has gone through the most divine transformation a human body can possibly go through. My postpartum body isn't what most consider pretty. It's not what you see on a tabloid. But it's mine. And I am learning to love it.
My body has been through many chapters of life. It's been abused by alcohol and drugs. It's been marked by ink. I was that teenager that never actually was overweight but thought I was fat anyway. I've been 258 lbs. I've been 107lbs (my low last year- it was NOT pretty, or intentional. That's what having a baby in NICU does...) I now reside at a healthy weight for my body, but battle a very sensitive digestive system. I have skin so sensitive that shaving my legs means being covered in painful red spots. So guess what? Sometimes, I go WEEKS without doing it. Being body positive is something I've always struggled with. No matter what I've looked like I've been able to find something wrong with myself- something worth hating. Until now. Now, through all those imperfections and "uglies" I see a body that did something UH MA ZING. I see these bodies all around me. And I see women hating themselves, constantly commenting on the baby weight, the wide hips, the bigger clothing.
I guess my point is... to all the mamas out there who somehow lost their bodies while incubating an entire human being, I hope you are able to find them. And when you do, relish in the beautiful changes. (And then freaking put a GPS locator on that thing. Never again should you be running around without a body.) And then pat yourself on the back because you made a freaking PERSON. And that's really damn impressive. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Freedom and Business

Freedom is a funny thing. We love to have it. Many have died for it. We take pride in it. Oh yes, we Americans sure do love freedom... until someone does something crazy like... oh, I dunno, exercise it.
Last week it was Hobby Lobby, and this week it's CostCo.
Honestly, it didn't surprise me that the Hobby Lobby court case caused a huge uproar. It's *REALLY* easy to make Democrats cry victim. Somehow their refusal to cover certain contraceptives translated into them denying contraceptives to their employees. Which, let's just back up for a quick minute here. I'm NOT going to buy you a new car. Ever. Does that mean I am denying you the "right" to own a car? No. It means I'm not giving it to you, go buy your own. Problem solved. For some reason this big chunk of the population is sadly under the impression that 1. contraceptives are a human right, and that 2. everything in the world should be given to you. Neither of which are true. So, Hobby Lobby is no longer forced under Obamacare to provide "contraceptives" that interfere with the progression of an already fertilized egg- such as the plan B pill, but they still provide 16 out of 20 available methods of birth control. Go them. Not to mention their employees are treated very well and paid more than most retail jobs. Go ahead, liberals, cry that you might have to pay for your own abortions. *eyeroll* Yeesh, if you don't like the terms of employment- work for a different company! Find work elsewhere. If it's SUPER important to you that your employer provide you the morning after pill every time you screw up then work for one who does. It's really that simple. And if you're all in a tizzy that Hobby Lobby can't do this because it's none of their business... guess what? Your healthcare is none of their business, either. They don't have to provide ANY insurance, but they do. For a company that large they;d be better off paying the fees/ taxes and not providing any at all, but that's not what they did because they're not assholes.
What DID surprise me a bit here recently is that CostCo pulled a book with conservative views from the shelves and Republicans freaked out about it. Um. What? A business has a right to sell or not sell any product they want. Again, CostCo not selling XYZ book is NOT censorship. It's a business deciding they don't want to stock something because of sales, morals, or any slew of reasons. Guess what? In my storefront I refuse to carry poor quality crappy dog foods like Purina, Iams, and Pedigree. I, as the business owner, have made that decision- that products that don't meet *MY* standard in quality won't have a space on our shelves. I have a right to do that. I am in no way infringing on your right to buy whatever the heck you want, you will just have to go to another store to poison your animal. CostCo can choose to carry or not carry whatever they want. I see people commenting how they're going to boycott CostCo and go sign up for Sam's Club. Because, you know, the sister company to Wal Mart in NO WAY presents moral and ethical conflicts of their own. CostCo treats their employees well (overall rated one of the best companies to work for) and presents reasonable prices on quality products. Plus, their bacon is freaking delicious. Whether them pulling the book actually had to do with sales, or if it was the head honcho's bias that led to it- it doesn't matter. All these people crying censorship and complaining about their rights are idiots. Id. I. Ots.

I'm sure as heck not boycotting Hobby Lobby for the owners having a moral conflict with certain forms of birth control, and defending their right to not pay for them. There's a lot of things I have moral issues with. I don't support rodeos- so I don't give my money to them. I don't support abortion- so I don't donate to Planned Parenthood. I don't support animal abuse an exploitation- so I don't donate to PETA or HSUS. (oh, snap!) People can choose to take part in these things all they want. I will not stand in someone's way to jump in line for a rodeo ticket. I don't get in the way of people's murders abortions. I don't stop people from donating to whatever scam charity they wish. But, I want nothing to do with it and forcing me to contribute to it would be unethical. So, good for Hobby Lobby. You don't have to agree with their stance on the issue to see that they have every right to not pay for something like that.
I'm also not boycotting CostCo for their decisions to pull a book from the shelves- even a book that I probably support more than not. (I can't say for sure, I haven't read it) Why? Because that's their prerogative and if I want to read that book there's a million other places I can get it. If the owners of CostCo want to pull a product due to sales or morals, go them. I don't care. I will keep going. I will keep buying bacon.
I also have to chuckle to myself because I know most of these people are all talk. History shows that very few people ACTUALLY will inconvenience themselves or change habits just for the principle of the matter. If someone is pissed at CostCo, but it's a close, convenient store... they're not going to stop going.

Also, people suck.