This is my first short story for Anne Cohen’s website. 🙂 It is a little different than the rest of my fiction.
Hi everyone! 🙂
Just a quick announcement for those who follow my writing (and thank you for that – you know who you are 🙂 ).
As of today I’ve officially been published in the Huffington Post, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
You can see the article here: An Unlikely Friendship Between a Pregnant Collegiate and a Gentle Black Man
Thank you for your support!
New Crunchy Mom
Proverbs 20:5 tells us, “The intention of the human heart is deep water, but the intelligent draw it forth.”
I know that in my heart flows deep rivers of intention but I, to this point, have been unintelligent. I have let those intentions grow stale in my heart and fade to the backgrounds of my memory. If I learned anything from my best friend’s mom, it is that you don’t know how many days you have ahead, you cannot sit around thinking that you can put the intentions of your heart on hold until tomorrow. Tomorrow might not come. Therefore, I’ve made a small list of things I plan to do in this season of Lent that will help me be more intentional:
1. Send letters or cards to five different friends or family members – just because.
2. Call two people I haven’t spoken to this month, to catch up and really listen to what is happening in their life.
3. Send two small care packages with something bought and something homemade in each. These would go to people who don’t receive the letters/cards mentioned above. (I want to reach as many people as possible).
4. Designate a day to someone and be very intentional with my thoughts and prayers for that person. This will be done in the privacy of my own heart and I will NOT tell the person about my intention but God will hear the cry of my heart.
5. Make baked goods for two different neighbor families.
I challenge you to be more intentional with your thoughts and prayers. Join me in this commitment to manifest the intentions of your heart. What are some things that you can do in your everyday life to bring forth the deep waters of your heart?
Sitting on that crinkly paper, my feet dangling above the sterile linoleum floor, my heart sank to my stomach at the same time that all the blood rushed right to my face.
I didn’t meet the doctor’s eyes… because I was working up some courage.
I was going to have to say no. I was going to have to speak up.
As a child, I was the teacher’s pet. I always followed the classroom rules, sometimes to the point of being obnoxious. I always wrote my last name on my assignments, got anxiety if I didn’t finish homework on time, and adored my teachers.
I like people in authority. I’m a people-pleaser.
But I’m learning.
Back when I was nineteen, and a fresh-faced new college student, my mom sent me to a college-required-check up over Fall break.
“You’re not sexually active?” the doctor asked, skeptically.
“No, I’m not,” I replied, blushing profusely.
I had decided to save myself for marriage at a young age, and that decision wasn’t changing just because there were some really cute guys in my Philosophy class. After all, going to a Christian college, many of the cute guys had also made the decision to choose abstinence until marriage.
“You know, you can tell me. I won’t tell your parents,” the doctor continued, conspiratorially, almost at a whisper.
With a few well-placed digs at my integrity and honesty, and a promise that a prescription would have no side effects and would even clear up my acne (“A fresh new start in a new place is nice, you know…”), I ended up with birth control pills that I definitely didn’t need.
So began my experience with pushy, distrustful medical professionals.
About two years later, still faithfully taking my birth control pills and still just as faithfully a virgin, I headed to the doctor to get my finger looked at.
My bad habit of biting my nails had brought about an infection, and I was pretty sure I needed some antibiotics to clear it up.
“You’re not sexually active?” the doctor asked, skeptically.
“No, I’m not,” I replied. I didn’t blush this time. This was sounding pretty familiar.
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. I’m a virgin.”
The doctor poked at my (very sore) finger.
“Hmm. This looks like it could be gonorrhea manifested in the joint.”
“Gonorrhea!? I’m a virgin.“
“Well, yes, that’s what you’ve said…”
Three swabs, three hours, and a blood test later, they finally released me with my antibiotics for a soft tissue infection, which cleared up in less than a week. I got a big medical bill – and a good dose of humiliation that month, for tests I didn’t need.
Four years later, and I’d been off of those birth control pills for six months.
A newlywed, I was finally taking charge of my body. I’d done research. I’d started charting my cycles.
I’d tried everything I could to get my temperatures to jump at cycle day 14, or cycle day 18, or cycle day 23. I painfully, obviously, heartbreakingly was not ovulating. While we weren’t actively trying to conceive, knowing that my body wasn’t doing what it should was alarming.
So off to the doctor we went. An OBGYN – a lady – who came highly recommended from a new friend of mine.
“You’re trying to have a baby?” the doctor asked, looking at me sideways.
“Well, not really trying… but if we get pregnant, that would be great. I just want my body to be healthy. I’m not ovulating… see?” I pulled out my carefully detailed charts. She didn’t look at them.
“So… you’re not trying to get pregnant, then? You should be on birth control.”
“Well, I don’t want to fill my body with hormones when I don’t need them… and I don’t like how hormonal birth control acts as an abortifacient. I have a moral issue with it.” (I told you, I did my research. Big words and all.)
“Well. I’d recommend birth control. It will regulate your cycles.”
Perched on the crinkly paper, I looked down, my hands folded, and I took a deep breath. I finally said what I should have said four years before. Six years before.
“No. You’re not listening to me. I don’t want to be on birth control. I want to find out why I’m not ovulating.”
The doctor narrowed her eyes.
“If you choose not to take my advice, perhaps you should see another doctor.”
Perhaps, indeed. And so I did.
I’m still not ovulating, I still struggle with infertility, I still bite my nails.
But I am no longer afraid to speak up for my own medical needs.
It’s uncomfortable, and I still blush.
Why do we think that a doctor knows better than we do about our own bodies?
We’ve been told for so many years that we can’t really understand what’s going on within us, health-wise, that doctor knows best.
But what about when they don’t?
You have a right. You are paying for care from your medical professionals. You have a say in your own health.
I’ve heard so many experiences that are similar to mine. 28-year-old women told they have no other option but to have a hysterectomy to control endometriosis. Doctors with no bedside manner who scare their patients into treatments they don’t want. Lab techs questioning patients, doctors who don’t answer questions, nurses who don’t believe answers to screening questions.
It’s not okay.
And you don’t have to put up with it.
There are doctors out there who listen.
After all these awful experiences, I finally found a doctor who cares about what I want and what I believe. Instead of pushing a treatment plan on me, he sat and listened. He asked my opinions. He answered all my questions without huffing or rolling his eyes.
Isn’t it crazy how a doctor like that is the exception to the rule, it seems?
This is your life, and your health. Find a doctor who understands that.
Don’t be afraid to speak up, to ask questions, to get more information, to ask about alternatives.
And if your doctor has a problem with that, find a different doctor. Please.
We deserve better than this. Let’s begin to demand it.
Ally loves coffee, motorcycles, blogging, and Jesus (not in that order, although coffee is toward the top of her list). An accidental country girl, Ally often finds herself wondering how she ended up living on a 21-acre hobby farm. She and her husband work at a Bible Camp ministry in Iowa, where they are blessed to share the love of God practically and behind-the-scenes.
Ally writes about what God is teaching her, finds the joy, and shares her blessings at The Speckled Goat Blog.
Ally | The Speckled Goat
I wrote a guest post for Anne Cohen over at arcwrites.blogspot.com and didn’t want you to miss it.
Here is a preview 🙂
“Lo and behold, our completely PG-13 thoughts were pierced through with a shrill cry of an abandoned baby. As we went to go rescue our little bundle of joy from his confining baby jail, tears were already springing from his eyes.”
You can view the full post here!
Happy Sunday! <3
New Crunchy Mom
Hi there folks!
Bubba is still on the road to recovery from his recent surgery. This has required a lot of time and attention from me, naturally. Because of this, I haven’t been able to write as much.
As luck would have it, I already had a guest post at trueagape.net scheduled for this week, so you will still have something to read. 🙂
As some of you already know, I took the plunge into marriage at a very young age. I am unashamed of this choice and am thrilled to present you with a list of things I have learned from this experience.
I was told not to do it; get married young that is. The reasons varied, but they all went something like this…”You need to get your degree, pay off your vehicle and live on your own before you get married.”
Hi there! 🙂
I have some updates on what Bubba and I have been up to! We hope you all have been doing well and enjoyed your Thanksgiving.
We are having a rough time with nursing right now. He has 4 teeth (yes, four!) coming in at the same time on top. Naturally, neither of us are thrilled with this and it is causing issues breastfeeding.
He latches and gets angry because it hurts, then he bites down really hard and pulls away, grating his teeth on my nipple. I have tried lots of tricks and suggestions to get this to stop, but it seems to be a waiting game until these teeth are in.
We have a strained relationship at the moment because of this. I’m a little resentful because instead of being able to relax and cuddle while breastfeeding, I am tense and gearing up for the next time he chomps into my flesh. Are there job openings for professional wincers? Because I am now a professional.
He seems to pick up on this and gets fussy and upset too. It’s a mess. It’s been very hard for me to not be upset with him because most of the time, he doesn’t mean to hurt me. There is a small percentage of the time that he is kind of testing the waters for a reaction by biting and we have been putting him down and creating some physical space at those times.
We’ve been pretty busy lately and that has been stressful. I think he has this magical baby sense that can tell when I am stressed.
One of the ways I have been keeping busy is by writing two guest posts! It was so much fun and I highly encourage it. Guest posting is a lot of fun and mutually beneficial for both the guest and the hosting blog.
One of the guest posts was called MILF Moment, where I stepped a bit out of character and talked about the first time you are flirted with as a woman postpartum. The other was Purity Rings and Good Intentions where I talked about some of the unintended consequences behind one of the biggest movements in the homeschooling world.
Along with all of that, I have been working on my performance for thepublicblogger.com 2015 Best Performance of the Year competition and the coming episode. It comes out on Sunday night at 9pm CST and you won’t want to miss this one! There are rumors, though unconfirmed, of a Bubba cartoon in the works! 😉
We’ve also been roaming around the interwebs making other mommy blogging friends (Hello new friends! <3 )
I am sad to say that my computer is busted, so I am blogging from New Crunchy Dad’s computer that he has graciously let me borrow. 🙂
What have you been up to lately?
New Crunchy Mom