When we decided to on a name for our baby boy, we wanted to name him for someone we admired. Without much thought, the first name we landed on was her brother's. We didn't think all the way through the implications to his future family. What if he had a son? One thing we really never thought about was- what if he had a son who wasn't named after him. Would that son wonder why his cousin was named after his father instead of him? I had never really thought through all of the "what's in a name" implications.
So now, we're trying to figure out what to do with our son's name. Our son's name had been a combination of both her brother's name and her father's name- two men we admire and hope our son will one day emulate. We could simply change the order of the names, we could change the names altogether. I'm just not sure. I've been calling my son by his original name since he was 18 weeks cooking. It feels odd to call him anything else. We will change his name- but for now, I'm mourning the loss of the original one.
What could be smarter 2 weeks before the birth of your child than starting a kitchen renovation?
Thats right folks- here we are, with a c-section scheduled for 7/1 at 7:30 am- and a kitchen rehab starting. While it does sound dramatic, here's what we're doing:
Creating storage by enclosing this stupid bar area in the kitchen, making it functional. Right now the brilliant person who designed our kitchen put in a bar-bar is pushing it, really, its formica countertop supported by a ledge on the wall and a leg at the end.
Extending an existing hanging cabinet to include shelves for cookbooks.
Getting new countertops
I'm very sure the cabinetry will be taken care of by due date- its the countertops I'm worried about. Between cost, appearance and function, we still don't know what we want AND can afford. What I think we want is Silestone/Caesarstone/insert other quartz composite. What I think we can afford is granite, which I just don't generally like appearance wise, but seems to be less expensive in our 'hood. Outside of the whole decision making process, I've heard so many horror stories about countertop product not being available at the right time, installers having to do the job twice, taking forever, etc. Ugh.
I’m sure that most of you have read Slate’s article by now, so I won’t bore you with recapping, however I will bore you with my personal reactions.
My first feelings on this were best described as, oh just another crock of shit, right wing sponsored article. As I continued to read however, I thought about it from many angles. Having found out I was adopted only a year or so ago, I understand the plight of a person who wants to figure out their connection to the world. While I found my biological mother and have closure on that part of my lineage, I still wonder about my biological father. It isn’t a wonder that makes me feel disconnected from the world, just a wonder that causes me to think wow, there is someone out there that gave me this logical personality, dimples, and short stature- I wonder what he would be like to chat with at dinner? While I was on the frantic search to figure out if I “fit” better into my genetic family, I had angry feelings of “how dare I be deprived of information”, “I can’t believe that people don’t protect their genetics more”, “Adoption is wrong, genetics should be kept together”. I think this is far more a reflection of my mother never telling me the truth, never sharing what she knew and finding out on accident, more than my real feelings. I have nothing in common with my biological mother, I’m not more like her, she wouldn’t have been a good mother- and frankly, as crazy as I think my mother is-I’m so glad she raised me. My genetic mother gave my mother a gift and in return, my mother raised me to be a smart, confidant, self reliant person. I have almost a full picture and no longer feel any anger. The surveys I took regarding adoption when I found out about my adoption versus now would reflect very different results, and that just takes into account a year’s time.
This brings me to my feelings on sperm donation, egg donation, gamete adoption, etc. Based on my adoption experience, I absolutely know that my son will feel deprived of something at some point. I know that he will wonder where his comes from or yearn for a connection with his genetics. I hope by constantly being open and honest with him, sharing all the information we have, and providing him avenues to find out as much info as he can he will not be a negative statistic. I hope that he will feel connected to our family, embraced for who he is as a family member versus ½ of his genetic makeup. I hope that he will recognize we understand his need to connect to the broader world in some way. I also know every child’s personality is different. He may never think about it or have loyalty traits that prevent him from feeling like its ok to ask. He may be intensely curious and take the information we have and figure out who his father is. Really, with everything the cryobanks provide now, it wouldn’t be that hard to figure out who biological fathers are.
In conclusion, I can’t debase the feelings of those donor survey respondents, but I can say after I found out I was adopted, I sought out every survey I could to let the world know how pissed off I was. In my more calm state, I haven’t responded to any surveys, but if I did, the results would be very different. Do I think genetic connection is important to children- yes, so sperm donation, egg donation, adoption, etc all matter. However, I think when these things are open and honestly talked about within the family structure and not clouded with shame and secrecy, children fair better emotionally.
So there you have it, my 8th grade quality essay on the article.
Janet’s OB appointment Friday involved an internal exam as well as the normal Doppler fun. She did her exam- cervix is still soft and closed, his head isn’t quite fully dropped yet (I think that’s the terminology?). After she was done and much to my surprise, Dr. Lo (the best OB EVER), offered me a pair of gloves and asked me if I wanted to feel my little boy’s head. Of course I said yes, gloved up, followed and instructions. Lo and behold, there was the most wonderful bump of a cranium. I know its crazy, but I’m totally in awe- I felt my little boy’s head- he’s really going to be here soon!
Yesterday, Janet and I made our way to the hospital where she will deliver for their breastfeeding class. The class was conducted by a Labor & Delivery Nurse/Certified Lactation Consultant.
• She was great at pitching the benefits to baby and mom
• She tried her best to use both father and partner
• She gave easy to remember techniques for achieving good latch (Can you forget nose to nipple?)
• From the baby’s we were given to demonstrate the hold techniques to the videos we viewed, everything was VERY white and/or upper middle class targeted.
I have to admit, I’ve never spent much time thinking about the social politics of breastfeeding and baby nutrition. The only dad in the group was of Asian decent. As the practice baby was handed out, he made a comment similar to “What- no Asian eyes? This couldn’t be my baby.” While it was funny- it was also true. All of the practice babies were fair skinned with blue eyes. In a town like Dallas that is predominantly Hispanic, I was totally embarrassed at the lack of even practice dolls that were at least reflective a little diversity. Breast feeding is so important to the wellbeing of a child that we/hospitals/encouragers should bend over backwards to make families feel supported and embraced in the classes.
Next part of the con that made me wax a little more thoughtful: While we were there, sitting in front of the $150+ breast pumps required for working moms who want to breastfeed, I started thinking of all the WIC dollars I had seen spent at our local grocery stores on formula. I’d always been curious as to why these families would use their WIC money on formula when breast milk is free. While I can’t possibly know why families do what they do, I can make an educated guess that many of the mothers work. If they are working and on WIC, sinking over $100 into a breast pump so that they can work and breastfeed probably isn’t in the question. Also, a WIC mother working in an environment where she could take a break to pump is probably suspect. As I was typing this, Google rewarded me with WIC information. Apparently in Texas, there is a breast pump program. The program covers all sorts of pumps!
So, now I’m back to the whole WIC participant’s employers being less friendly to pumping. Texas has no law (at least per LLLI- I didn’t get farther than that in my research) mandating room for pumping or even time allowed for pumping. Working in big business, I know that my business is far more generous than Federal/State law, and a company’s policies are all that really matter. I know how large businesses with low wage workers can be convinced to allow/enable/encourage pumping- all it takes is a business case, i.e. lower rates of absenteeism due to child illness and lower turnover rates. It’s the small business/self employed case I can’t really think through. Those of you out there in small businesses or self employed: How would you craft a case?