My Post-Spring Semester To-Do List… Revisited

Okay, so it’s like practically winter.  Did I do anything I said I wanted to do?

Burn my A&P book.  (Okay, not really, because I actually kind of like it.  We have established a relationship now.) Nope, no burning here.  I still reference it, actually.  

Apply for the nursing program (FINALLY!!!!)  Done.  

Get my CNA. Ha.  

Do my real estate continuing ed like a good real estate agent.  Ha.

Clean my bathroom until it is SPOTLESS.  This means a good hour + of scrubbing tub, shower, and sink.  SPOTLESS.  Everything has been spotless at least once.  Just not all at one time.  Hey, I didn’t get technical here.

Clean my office until it is spotless.  Again, it WAS spotless.  It is not now.

Get rid of a ton of shit that just sits around this house and I’m sick of.  I lied.  There’s like three tons here.  But I did get rid of one ton.

Post the kid’s old clothes I’m getting rid of on  Yeah, no.

Get my stupid file cabinet out of Emmie’s room and into the newly clean office.  Done.

Convince Nick to get rid of his ginormous computer monitor that he doesn’t use.  Seriously, what’s the point dude?  Nick?  Get rid of something?  No.

Shampoo carpets.  How about removing them completely?  (In progress)

Read a book.  Any book that I don’t HAVE to learn anything from.  (I’m willing to learn, just don’t want the pressure of NEEDING to learn from it.)  I started a Laurie Notaro the other day.  Like a chapter worth.

Paint Emmie’s room.  No

Paint Ollie’s room.  No

Get a new window since I have some ghost or something breaking mine.  Yeah, no.

Do a ton of BPO’s.  Hey, I can hope.  Lots of unpaid ones, even !

Close some houses for some AWESOME clients!  Woo hoo!  DONE.

Bake something.  I made cupcakes approximately two weeks ago.  And spinach artichoke dip for writing class.

Cook something.  I made hamburgers with mushroom gravy tonight for dinner, actually.  It’s extremely complicated.  Or not.

Start a 9 credit summer semester.  I kicked its tushy.


I Don’t Get It – A Post About Birth Rape

The term “birth rape” is all over the internet. In fact, I did a project on this for my psych degree last semester. My instructor had never heard of it, but got quite caught up in it as my project continued on, and actually found some great info that fascinated both of us.

When I started, I believed in birth rape. I could understand how a woman felt that her birth was “taken away from her”. Since then, though, my thought process has changed. Two things occurred to me that made me rethink the way I regard birth rape.

Sometimes the “perfect birth” is a “control-freak” issue. No one should take offense to this. I know all about being a control-freak. (And some OCD tendencies, too, but that’s another topic) I suspect that my saving grace is that I’m the type of control-freak where if I can’t plan every little detail perfectly, I tend to throw my hands up in the air and “give up” (not my best characteristic). I conciously did this with childbirth – I couldn’t plan how it would go, couldn’t even attempt to. So I finally just said to myself that I gave up – what happened, happened, and that is that. Looking back I’m very glad that I had a very intelligent CNM in a hospital, as there were some hurdles along the way, but am I upset about it? Not at all. I had no expectations, so my birth exceeded what I expected. However, as a college student I had a plan, and this semester I’m finding that my plan is being foiled. I’m freaking out. Obsessing. Can’t sleep. This leads me to the belief that perhaps this is exactly what has happened with moms that feel they experienced birth rape. I’ve experienced my-planned-college-career rape. And you better believe I’m pissed! I had a PLAN, and now things are not going according to PLAN, even though I obsessed and poured my heart into this PLAN and researched more than any normal (sane) person should research (OCD), and my plan is destroyed! (Insert drama here – my plan is not destroyed, just comparable to your chain coming off your bike.) So while I understand this, birth is like nearly everything in life – you cannot predict what will happen, you cannot perfect every detail in advance. Just like you can’t predict that even though you went exactly 40 weeks with your firstborn, your secondborn that was supposed to come the week BEFORE midterms happened to go to 41 weeks and cause you to miss an exam. (No sob story – I made it up, and I accept full responsibility for my slightly crummy grade and getting pregnant while in school.) Birth is one area of life where you cannot be a control-freak, because it will only harm, not help.

Medical professionals have feelings, too. And fears. And the desire to see happy, healthy moms and babies. Sure, there are some preventative measures taken that probably aren’t necessary in every case that they are used. But doctors, midwives, and health care professionals in general don’t just do things to be malicious or mean – they do things because they have a reason. While there may be the occassional provider that is worried about their vacation, holiday, or golf game, I highly doubt that it is the majority. I know as a future midwife, if I have a baby stalling with hypoxia I will be worried about if that lack of oxygen will contribute to schizophrenia. (Need sources, I got ’em!) I also know that if I have a mom who is having a hard time letting go and convinced that she’s dying, I’m going to do what I can to help her progress. During my first birth I stalled at 9 cm for hours. Literally, I reached 9 cm about 12 hours before I had my son – and I only spent 20 minutes pushing. I was going nowhere, and the longer I went not progressing, the more distraught, tired and in pain I was, which was followed by more lack of progression. A small Pitocin drip and an epidural, and 20 minutes later I progressed to a 10 and was pushing on my own. 20 minutes after I began pushing a 9 lb 7 oz baby joined this world (practically walking and talking, I might add!). Do I think routine induction is a good idea? No. Do I think Pitocin was a fantastic tool that helped me along a bit when I – for whatever reason – just seemed stuck and was beginning to mentally suffer? Yes. Do I feel that I was birth raped by my CNM? Not in the least. I consented, first of all. (And before anyone says “but consent during labor is not fair – you are in pain and will say yes to anything”, don’t say it – I will begin a long rant as to how that mentality (lack of competency) further supports any and all theories that are based on women not being able to “handle” labor on their own because they are temporarily “insane” or suffering from hysterics. Way to contribute to gender inequality and the degredation of women!) I had a healthy baby boy. He’s brilliant. Insane, spirited and hyper, but brilliant. Did things go perfectly the way I had planned? Nope! But I can honestly say that my second birth wasn’t perfectly the way I planned either, but it was still natural, no drugs, all me. (If you must know what my issue was, I mysteriously HATED the jetted tub the second time. I looked forward to it through the whole pregnancy but when I got to the hospital I tried to sit in there and hated every second. Loved it the first time, though!) I had to let go of the control freak in me and just go with the flow and remind myself what I was there for – not to win a medal, not to have the most “perfect birth”, not to impress anyone and not to do what others expected me to do – to bring home a baby that would grow, change, learn, and join the small ranks of people on this planet that I would die for.

So really, what constitutes birth rape? Is there really such a thing? Or is it just a term used to place blame on someone when things just don’t go the way we planned? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Joslyn Does a BPO

Property address.

Property ID number.

Oooh! A facebook notification! Well while I’m over here, I should check on my favorite childbirth pages.

*Insert Mama Tao, Mom:Informed, Mama Birth*

Get distracted by reference to Dr. Amy. Head over to Skeptical OB’s blog. Am grouchy. Make snarky comments to judgemental people about their inability to use the English language correctly and their laziness in using “U” instead of typing TWO MORE LETTERS and writing “you”.

Oh yeah. BPO.

Define neighborhood boundaries.

Price range of listings? Wait…. what? $40k-$1,050,000??? Geez, I need to move out of Kanabec County. Are they sure that’s not a typo?

*Distracted by 6,000 sq. ft. house on 20 acres in Cambridge*. Holy shit, that’s huge. Who can I show that to? Who has that listed? What do you wear to that listing appointment?

Oh yeah, BPO. Remove 6,000 square foot house from comparables. Price range of solds. What solds? Ugh.

*Searching for sold comparables. Expand search. Expand search more. Expand outside of allowed parameters. Decide Fannie Mae can kiss my tushie. It’s 11 PM. I know what I’m doing. Deal with these comps.

“If I Die Young” starts on iTunes. God, this song haunts me. What caused them to write this?

Google “Meaning of the song ‘If I Die Young’ by The Band Perry”

Live life to the fullest. Got it. Huh. I was hoping for some story or something behind it.

Find vague reference to Anne of Green Gables and the music video. Go watch music video.

It’s a recreation of the boat scene. Scene snaps to a sad mom. Uh oh. Flood of emotions. OMG, what would I do if one of my kids died? Song takes new meaning.

Start bawling at 11:30 PM alone in my living room watching the music video to “If I Die Young”.

Crap. Compose yourself woman.

Return to Skeptical OB. Read post about the 10 worst pregnancy blogs. Then read comments from the blogger themselves defending their blogs. The bloggers can’t use the English language, either.

Insert snarky comments.

Oooh, woot off! A Dyson? Nope, I’m good… thanks anyway, phone.

Ooh! A facebook notification!

Oh yeah…. BPO.

Tab *insert address* tab tab tab *insert city* tab tab tab *Yes, REO property*… I need new music.

Scan iTunes library. Decide on Ingrid Michaelson.

Sing along quietly to “You and I”. Tab tab tab enter tab tab tab type type type tab tab tab….

Return to playlist. Hanson? Oh God, high school reunion next weekend. Holy crap.

Huh. Wonder if Shannon is going. *Facebook message Shannon*

Huh. Wonder if Kari is going. *Facebook message Kari*

Browse list of people who have RSVP’d. Yep. Could be fun.

iTunes shuffles to N’Sync. Huh. A sign? I miss Shannon.

Remember fondly how I used to insist that Backstreet Boys were better than N’Sync. Shannon disagreed. Fun to argue about.

I want to listen to Backstreet Boys!

WTF? I don’t have any Backstreet Boys?

*Search iTunes store* WTF?!?!?! $9.99 for Millennium? God, is it worth it?

*Search Amazon mp3 store* $7.99. That’s better. *Purchase Millennium. Open the Amazon Cloud. Begin “Back to Your Heart”. Memories*

Ahhhhh, love. Crap! Didn’t my past flute student get married this weekend? *Return to facebook*

OMG love her shoes. Cute pictures. Wish there was more.


*You have been logged out due to inactivity*

Ugh. Well if it logged me out, surely it saved my info….

*Stream of words that no one should hear… ever.*

*Start re-entering comps. Tab tab type type tab tab tab type type yes no convert acres to feet tab tab tab*

*Start dancing to “I Want It That Way”*

Realize I’m a loser. Shrug. Keep dancing.

Huh. I should just buy their first album, too. *Search Amazon* $9.99? Ugh. But I’m getting a big kick out of Millennium. Good biking music. Yes. I can justify this. *Purchase*

Debate how 1-click purchasing enables impulse buyers. You know, like me.

Shit! BPO!

*Upload subject pictures* Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait WHY DO I USE A 10 MEGAPIXEL CAMERA FOR THESE!?!?!?!

Email notification. Order summary from Amazon. $17.98. Wait… did I really just spend nearly $20 on Backstreet Boys music?

Well, I used to own the CD’s, so I guess it’s not the first time.

*Dance like an idiot to “It’s Gotta Be You”*

OMG. Emmie’s gonna LOVE this stuff. She already shakes it every time she hears Justin Timberlake. And Backstreet is better than N’Sync….

But no one does it better than Justin.

*Look at iTunes top 25 played*. Justin holds 6 spots. Huh. Does that make me a loser?

Too late. I already knew I was.

CRAP! PICTURES! *Upload, select file, select file, select file…*

I have to pee.

Very cool!

My project relating psychology and childbirth was a huge undertaking, but I got an excellent grade on it from my teacher. I was VERY pleasantly surprised when I logged in today though and discovered my peer reviews were posted. First of all, thank you SO MUCH fellow classmates! The kind words mean a lot. I just had to share, because I was super proud, and it increases my confidence in my ability to be a great midwife someday! 🙂

Comments by Peers about Your Project:

o I thought that this presentation fits Josyln and her personality, and she picked a good topic for her.
o I especially liked all the pictures, and thought it was well laid out. The parts about Post Partum Depression is extremely helpful to all new mothers.
o I personally knew that my “baby blues” had turned into post partum depression after a few weeks of not feeling better. I received therapy, and breathing techniques for my anxiety. I felt guilty when I could not bond with nursing, and was upset that my pregnancy was not as planned.
o I found the information on epidurals interesting.
o I read a lot of books to get prepares and felt overwhelmed.
o I thought it was intriguing that woman who experience a spontaneous vaginal birth show a great improvement in mood and self-esteem. I had a C-section and I felt like garbage after, I wish I would have had a vaginal birth to see if this really works and I am sure my post-partum depression wouldn’t of been so bad.
o I thought it was cool that you added your own life experience in the paper about you using a midwife. It shows that you know what you are talking about because you have first-hand experience.
o I enjoyed this paper and it sparked my interest because I have three children and the joys of childbirth are fascinating to me.
o I liked that it was a slide show and that you included pictures of your children as a personal touch.
o I also learned some new info. Ex. ( I had no idea that dads could suffer from baby blues)
o I was unaware that a person could suffer PTSD from something as normal life as childbirth. I found this very interesting to read about.
o There was a lot of information that I can relate to being that I am a mom. This is very helpfull when trying to relate to a topic.
o I thought that this presentation was very organized and creative. I found the project to be very interesting and could easily keep my attention. The overall theme of the project seemed to match, which was good. This project exceeded the minimum expectations.
o One thing that would be applicable in real life would be how a mother and father can both be affected by a pregnancy. The mental disorders that can occur after childbirth are also something that would be helpful for a “parents to be”.
o It met and exceeded the minimum requirements, and it was done in a creative way that kept my attention, not to mention it was on a subject I thought was very interesting.
I thought this was written very well and organized, and it had a good flow to it. The information presented was a great expansion on the limited information most woman already know about Pitocin and child labor. I didn’t know Pitocin inhibited the release of hormones that were responsible for bonding, had I known that I might not have been induced, but luckily I breastfed.
o This is great information for expecting mothers and any woman who plans to have children.
o I loved this project! I really liked how she chose a topic which coincides with her career choice. You can tell by reading that she has enthusiasm toward this topic, and that she’s passionate about what she’s teaching us- this is refreshing, and it really draws the reading into the information. This is also applicable to real life in that both men and women alike can learn about these aspects of psychology and pregnancy. Men have children too, they just have it way easier than us!
o The slides were fresh as well! The photographs really play with the words, it’s easy to follow and pleasant to read. I like that every slide has a photograph, and even though there’s a lot of information within the project,it’s easy to read and follow. Much though was put into the preparation and look of this project- it is very finished and completed.

o Very nice presentation! Extremely pleasing to the eye! The pictures were a great touch! Your babies are adorable! Your report provided a lot of good information!
o I gave Joslyn a 95 for such a great job.
o The first aspect that was especial helpful and real to life is the information about the fathers. I heard rumors that the father can feel the same way as the mother but I just would laugh when I would hear it. I didn’t understand why my husband would be so exhausted after I was the one having the baby. Without fail he was the one zonked out right after the baby was born and I was the one holding the baby dealing with after contractions calling the nurse because my husband can’t wake up to help with something. I have four babies and the after math was all the same with each one. I also found that my husband would gain the same amount of weight as I would during the pregnancy too. My husband says it’s because I would make him eat with me but I just think it all sounds funny. I guess I just didn’t realize that the father was so connected to the mother. I think that’s a beautiful thing now that I think about it. I also thought the baby blues was interesting to with both mother and father.
o The second aspect that was especial intriguing was the bonding section in this power point. I had three out of four kids induced and received that hormone Pitocin. I however breastfed all of my babies so I did bond with them. I was very disturbed though while I was reading about how it is difficult to bond with your baby if you get this Pitocin running through your body. I am saddened because not all women breastfeed and I hear about situations where a mother has a hard time bonding with her baby.
o I thought the tone of the presentation was wonderful. It was easy to read, funny, and personal which really kept me engaged and actively paying attention to all of the information. There were a lot of suggestions of what a woman should do during and after pregnancy, which I normally would not respond well to, but the way the information was presented I was more open to suggestion.
o I found the information about oxtocin to be very interesting. It sounded vaguely familiar but I didn’t realize how much there was to it. I wasn’t aware that common medical intervention during labor caused it to stop being released. If I end up having children it will definitely be something to think about.

What is even more exciting is that some information was sent out into the world and received! I love the comments that people are going to consider all of this information in the future – that is AWESOME!

Okay, my little ego-party is done now. 🙂

Dear College Career…

Dear Pre-Nursing College Career,

Today I wave goodbye to you. My pre-reqs are done. I have achieved the first goal in a long line of goals related to education. I’ll admit, it makes me a little sad. I’m scared for the next chapter, but excited at the same time. So onward I go, working now on BSN generals to kill time before I start the program. Oh yeah, and getting that extra degree that I might as well get. 🙂

All The Things I’m Going to Do After I Finish This Semester

Burn my A&P book.  (Okay, not really, because I actually kind of like it.  We have established a relationship now.)

Apply for the nursing program (FINALLY!!!!)

Get my CNA.

Do my real estate continuing ed like a good real estate agent. 

Clean my bathroom until it is SPOTLESS.  This means a good hour + of scrubbing tub, shower, and sink.  SPOTLESS. 

Clean my office until it is spotless.

Get rid of a ton of shit that just sits around this house and I’m sick of.

Post the kid’s old clothes I’m getting rid of on

Get my stupid file cabinet out of Emmie’s room and into the newly clean office.

Convince Nick to get rid of his ginormous computer monitor that he doesn’t use.  Seriously, what’s the point dude?

Shampoo carpets.

Read a book.  Any book that I don’t HAVE to learn anything from.  (I’m willing to learn, just don’t want the pressure of NEEDING to learn from it.)

Paint Emmie’s room.

Paint Ollie’s room.

Get a new window since I have some ghost or something breaking mine.

Do a ton of BPO’s.  Hey, I can hope.

Close some houses for some AWESOME clients!  Woo hoo!

Bake something.

Cook something.

Start a 9 credit summer semester.

Did You Know? – Infant Mortality Rates

I love movies like “The Business of Being Born” and “Pregnant in America”.   Yet they do a little twisting of data, and it kind of bothers me.

You’ve probably heard it – “The United States has one of the highest rates of infant mortality!  We are killing our babies because our obstetrics care is HORRIBLE!  HORRIBLE, I TELL YOU!!!!”

My response?  “Yeah…….. whatever you say.”

I believe that there are issues with our birthing system, sure.  I believe that there are things to be changed and women to be educated and Cytotec to take away from doctors.  But infant mortality rate doesn’t tell me anything about obstetrics in the United States or anywhere else.

PERINATAL mortality, however, measures deaths from roughly the month before to the month after delivery.  This number will have significantly more weight on our obstetrics practices.

Did you know that the U.S. has one of the lowest perinatal mortality rates globally?

So relax, moms-to-be.  Don’t let anyone scare you with numbers of infant mortality.

Want more info?

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