Monday, April 16, 2012

Odds & ends & recent reading

  • Last week, one of the girls in my office gave birth to a baby girl -- prematurely, from the sounds of it (the baby was under 5 lbs). There were several rounds of e-mail "congratulations!" & "that's amazing!!" The mom is a newer member of our department, and works for a different part of the team in a different part of the office, so I don't see her very much or know her very well. The problem was -- I knew she left work early because of her pregnancy -- and I was almost certain I remember someone saying she was expecting twins. :( I pulled aside my boss, who confirmed that yes, she did lose one twin -- "but now she has the other baby, and she's doing well -- so everything turned out fine in the end!" Ummm, yeah. Sure. Maybe. That's what YOU all WANT to think, I'm sure...
  • I was thinking about one of my college friends today. AJ lived in the same dorm as I did for three of the four years I was at university. I can remember her telling me that she had had cysts on her ovaries. At barely 21, she had already had one ovary removed and (so she told me) part of another. (Is that possible?? -- I was just 21 & my knowledge of these things was definitely hazy at that point -- and I most certainly was not thinking about pregnancy or babies for myself then.) She said the doctors advised her if she wanted to have kids, she had better do so, pronto. She didn't even have a steady boyfriend at the time. I sadly lost touch with her after I left school, but I have thought about her over the years and have tried Googling her, without success. I wonder if she ever had the family she wanted?
  • Recent Globe & Mail sports headline: "Time fails to do its job and heal the Rypien family: Even advent of Stanley Cup playoffs holds little interest." I mean, really!! After all -- it's been almost eight whole months since the guy committed suicide. What the heck is wrong with that family?? They should be over it by now. It's the Stanley Cup playoffs, for crying out loud... sheesh, snap out of it. Time to move on, people...
  • (I was, of course, being sarcastic. And, happily, a few of the commenters took the paper to task over the headline.)
  • I read an XX Factor column in Slate about Ashley Judd (who recently responded in The Daily Beast to well-publicized comments about her suddenly much-fuller face). Judd sadly noted that “this conversation was initially promulgated largely by women.” "For girls, having to look their best 24/7 can create resentment towards those who fail to join the competition," writes columnist Juliana Jimenez. "It’s as if they are saying, “You are not getting a break: if I had to go through this, so should you.” I suddenly had a flashback to every exhausted mother of every misbehaving toddler who, bizarrely, almost immediately after screaming at her child, would turn to me and ask, "So, when are you having kids?" (This happened more than once, and only occasionally with a sense of irony or sarcasm.)
  • Saturday's Globe & Mail had a column in the Life section by Katrina Onstad musing "Why are we so obsessed with pregnant celebrities?" Hearteningly, she actually noted "the fertility fetish can weigh on non-famous women who aren’t mothers" and (even better) quoted from Pamela's award-winning book, Silent Sorority. (As always, beware the comments.)
  • The Toronto Star is starting a new series written by a (previously childfree by choice) dad-to-be -- of twins -- via IVF -- facing first-time parenthood at age 46. The first installment was in today's paper.

Happy reading! : )


  1. I thought the article with Pamela's quotes from her book was pretty good! I skipped the comments, however... ;)

  2. Years ago I was in a movie with Ashley Judd - I never saw her snack on anything other than a handful of Triscuits - and she did so surreptiously like a squirrel. I also wondered if she were hungry.

  3. Oh I feel so sad for your workmate, the loss of her twin so easily ignored by everyone. Focusing on the positive is good, but denying that woman her loss, her grief, is terrible.

    Ditto with the newspaper's headline on the family that are still grieving after 8 months. Good grief! (sorry)

    Thanks for all the interesting links. I particularly loved the quote: "It’s as if they are saying, “You are not getting a break: if I had to go through this, so should you.” How true.

    As for the dad-to-be's series. I suspect he is going to be a "born again Dad." Which is nice for him, but more of the same messages - "you're missing out if you don't have kids/there's something wrong with your relationship if you don't have kids/etc." Sigh.

  4. Great post - I love your round ups of interesting articles/events/thoughts you are having.

    I feel very sad for your co-worker who lost a twin. It is so odd to me how uncomfortable people are with loss and how people always want to sweep it under the rug. Many people, after my hysterectomy, were like "well, you are fine now!" And yes, it was a relief to be cured from cancer, but I wasn't exactly fine emotionally. But, I guess people just don't quite no how to deal or respond.

    And on the Ashley Judd issue, I too have found interesting how most of the time the harshest critics are other women, when we should be showing each other more support.