Tag Archives: Natural

International Women’s Day, My experiments in equality

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
-Anne Lamott

I sat on the title for this post for a long time.
“Sexism experiment”
“The problem with a dirty name”
“My own social experiment”
“How to loose a guy in a month”
“My body, my choice”
“Nature Vs. Sexism”

But in the end, I decided to post on international women’s day, so I shall honor that.

Let me start by saying, that I do intend to “throw people under the bus”. But hey, like Anne Lamott said, you should have behaved better, and I won’t hold back my story, my feelings, or my writing for anyone. I also have no apologies for being blunt or honest about parts of my body. Just throwing that out there. I am not ashamed of any part of my body or any way that *I* choose to handle *MY* body.

Months ago I started a low key social experiment, I stopped wearing make up to work. The first day, I had just woken up late and decided not to take my make up bag with me to do on my break. I just went au natural. I got so many comments on how I looked different, tired, that my face was broken out, and that I looked better with make up on. So I did it again, and again, and again. Then randomly, one day I wore make up, not a lot, just enough to look different but not to actually tell I had make up on. And I was told how beautiful I was, how rosy my cheeks looked. The next day I went all out on make up. I was told I was wearing too much. I went without it, and told I should wear it. All by my male coworkers. I started to reverse the roles. I told them they looked tired, and that maybe they should start wearing make up. I got laughed at. I asked them why it was different for them than it was for me, the only answer they had was: “You’re a woman”.

The next month, I decided to try something else. After reading a new study showing that bras actually increase your chance of getting breast cancer, I stopped wearing them. right away I got remarks, but not what I expected. People started asking me if I put on weight, if I was pregnant again, if I should really be eating that. You see, I am a small chested woman, so without a bra making my chest look bigger, my chest and stomach are about the same size. Not wearing a bra made my boobs look smaller, and my stomach look bigger. These comments came from male AND female coworkers, on a daily basis. Always without couth. Always without thought or care of my feelings. It was perfectly okay to tell me that I looked fat, even months after giving birth. It started extending further, my family told me I looked fat, and I started to believe them. My self-esteem started to drop, and hasn’t truly recovered. But I refuse to start wearing a bra again. I’ve had days here and there where I felt ashamed, and put a bra on, but I took it off within hours. Why am I going to put myself in pain, and increase my chances of literal CANCER for other people to enjoy looking at me?

Last month I started a new experiment, I knew I needed time for this one, that I wouldn’t be able to put it into play until summer. I stopped shaving. As a young girl, I was taught as we all are that we need to shave, and that body hair on a woman is gross. When I came of “shaving age” I was obsessed with being “beautiful”. I shaved my legs, my privates, my arm pits, my arms. I wanted no body hair at all. I thought it made me beautiful. I look at my husband, or my brothers running around with body hair and wonder why their hair is natural, but mine is disgusting. When it physically hurts to shave, when I spend way too much damn money on a razor, when it literally doesn’t improve my happiness or quality of life at all, why do I do it? So I stopped. I just stopped. I figured I wouldn’t see the full extent of my social experiment until this summer, when I was in tank tops and a bathing suit and everyone could see my awesome leg and armpit hair. But after only a week, my own husband asked me if I was going to shave. When I explained to him that I was not and why, I was met with backlash. Will writing this and calling him out create more backlash? Probably, but that’s exactly why I need to talk about it. He said I needed to shave, and when I asked why he didn’t need to, he said because I wasn’t disgusted by his body hair, but he was disgusted by mine. That if I was disgusted by it, he would shave it. But it still didn’t answer my question, why was my body hair disgusting to him, but his wasn’t disgusting to him? Why is it, that when I stop doing as I’m told, and I let my body, MY BODY be natural it’s disgusting? We haven’t talked about it again, but I continue to rebel against what society has always told me. And you know what? I’m so comfortable! My skin is no longer red, and bumpy. No more cuts, or ingrown hairs. I feel, for maybe the first time ever, totally empowered by my own body.

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And yes, I do plan on dying it a crazy color when it’s long enough. Because it’s my body, and I want to.

So what does feminism look like to you? Are you a feminist? Have any of the above things ever happened to you? Have you ever questioned why you do some of the things you do? Do you actually enjoy them? Are you stuck thinking that you have to do something, just because you always have, and not because you actually want to? Question your everyday things. Fight back when people continue to tell you what you should do, man or woman. Keep moving forward, it’s the only way to show other people the inequalities that are at play every single day. So go out without make-up. Burn your bra. And stop buy $18 razors that hurt you. Or keep doing them, because YOU WANT TO. Be you.

Happy International Women’s Day. Today, Tomorrow and everyday.

A little Caterpillar of green: One, two, THREE! (Part 2)

So now you know how I got here. I’m in Fort Mitchell Alabama, pregnant with my third child, a perfect 4 year old daughter, a perfect 2 year old son. I’m determined to have the birth I want, and I’m determined to go into labor on my own…

My 20th birthday, 20 weeks pregnant, in a hotel on my way to Arizona.
My 20th birthday, 20 weeks pregnant, in a hotel on my way to Arizona.

I woke up on Sunday, October 16th (2011), with so much energy I knew I had to do something with it. I made a plan to spend time with the kids doing fall things We made homemade cookies, carved pumpkins, and I even ran to the store (twice, because of course I always forget things). We had a wonderful afternoon together. Around 4pm Curtis suggested that I drink the Castor oil that he had picked up while grocery shopping the day before. I poured about 2oz in with some V8 splash and drank it as fast as I could. You know what? It’s not even half as bad as everyone said it was going to be. If you haven’t done this before, there is no taste, at all. The hard part about castor oil, is the texture, its literally oil and can be hard to tolerate. Anyways, because of all the horror stories, Curtis and Mike (my brother-in-law who was living with us at the time) didn’t want me to leave the house, even though I wanted to walk, in fear that I would go right into labor or possibly not make it to the bathroom in time (for those of you who don’t know, castor oil is a very strong laxative and is thought to send you into labor because it irritates your bowels and makes you contract). After a few hours of nothing, no contracting, no running to the bathroom, no changes at all I decided to try one more time. Around 7pm I drank another 2oz of castor oil with V8, but this time I insisted on walking, so Curtis and I walked around the neighborhood for about an hour, talking and looking at the stars. We came home and I finally had a BM, but still felt no contractions. Around 11pm I was in the bathroom every 15 minutes with some minor cramping but I was sure that labor was just not going to happen. Curtis and I went to to bed at midnight and I tossed and turned as normal for a few minutes before I was back in the bathroom. I would sit down for a few minutes, then stand up and rock back and forth because I could feel real contractions coming on, then sit again. It was a terrible hour. Finally I sat down again and *GUSH* my water broke over the toilet.

October 14th, three days before Lex was born.
October 14th, three days before Lex was born.

My jaw kinda dropped, and I just sat there for a minute, trying to take in that my son was coming, that I had gone into labor without being medically induced, and not only that, but I was finally, actually going to get my ‘It’s time’ moment! I yelled for Curtis… and again,.. and again, but he sleeps like a rock. I got up and went to the bedroom and called him name again and he shot up with owl eyes! “Don’t freak out! But my water just broke. ” his response? “That’s it?”.. I guess he was dreaming about Iraq and thought a bomb went off. So I had to say it a few times before he realized what was going on and he said “I can handle that”… I got my things together and called my sister and mother-in-law to let them know Lex was on his way. Then we hopped in the car and were off for Martin Army Community Hospital.. an hour away.

On our way to the hospital I called labor and delivery to let them know we were on our way, and I talked to Tabbatha (my sister-in-law) for awhile. When we got there is was about 1;30am. We went to L&D where they hooked me up to the machines and checked for amniotic fluid. My contractions were 4 minutes apart and strong, about a 7 on the pain scale. When they checked me I was 50% effaced and 2cm, and they couldn’t find any fluid, but I knew that my water had broke, that it wasn’t all in my head. So my Dr had me put on a giant pad and told me to walk for an hour in hopes that more fluid would leak. So Curtis and I went down to the parking lot to walk, and talk, and even dance together a little (it was a magical, intimate moment I will remember forever). When we got back to L&D it was about 3am. I was now 75% effaced and 3cm. I knew it was going to a long night. Still no fluid though, so the Dr. (who I had never met and seemed very young and inexperienced) gave me a sonogram to measure fluid. There wasn’t a lot, but there were pockets here and there. They admitted me and sent me to the room they were expecting me to deliver in. After being asked 500 questions, I told the nurse that her and the Dr needed to know what I wanted now. I gave them the rundown and my hopes were crushed. The Dr would not do a water birth, and my midwife MIGHT be in sometime after 8am. If I wanted my water birth, I had to hope and pray she was going to be in, and that I was still in labor at that time.

From 4am to 9am I labored uncomfortably, without sleep. I walked, I sat on the birthing ball, and I tried to stay out of the bed knowing its the worst place to labor, as my pain steady got worse and my contractions became 2 minutes apart. At 9AM my favorite Dr, and my midwife came into my room and I sighed a great sigh of relief, and she saw it. Right away she started filling up the tub as my Dr checked to see how I had progressed, and it became apparent why after 8 hours of labor I was only 4cm and 90% effaced, The other pockets of water needed to be popped. At 10am they broke the rest of my water and put me in the tub.

The bathtub felt amazing, it took so much pressure of my hips and back. It was soothing, it was quiet. But my contractions went from a 7, to a nine instantly. But I’ve been here before, I knew what I had to do, and I knew it would be over soon. After just half an hour they checked me, and I was 7cm. Suddenly the long hard labors I was used to, were flying by! But I had the feeling like I needed to push! I knew it was too soon to push, but my body was getting ready to have the baby so fast, I tried with all I had NOT to push. There was talk in between contractions of how the hospital was going to get rid of the midwives, and that I was the 11th person in 10 months to deliver in the tub. I was shocked. How has America become SO lazy that they get to the hospital, ask for a giant needle and sleep through labor laying in a bed, or ask for their baby to be c-section simply because they don’t want to deal with the pain. The pain in a natural part of life! A few Drs had never seen a water birth, and I approved for them to be in the room. If I could spread how simple this is, how much better it is, maybe other Drs would start doing it, and more women would have the beautiful experience I did.

At 11am, about 10 hours after my water broke, I couldn’t resist the need to push. My midwife checked me, and I got terrible news. A lip of skin was stuck over the babys face. This is not the first time that I’ve had this news. While in labor with Collin, this happened, and I pushed for 4 hours to get the lip over him. I almost lost it. But my midwife re-assured me, and told me that during my next contraction she was going to try to remove the lip. I crossed my fingers and suffered through another contraction, and I could feel the same terrible pain I felt with Collin, and then relief. She had been able to move the lip, and now, I could push.

Ten minutes. I pushed in the big bathtub for just 10 minutes. No pushing on my belly, no one holding my legs, no one pulling my sons head. I did it. I finally got the birth I’ve been dreaming of. Where my body did it, no medication, just me.

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Alexander Michelangelo Kimball was born at 11;35AM on October 17th 2011. He was 8lbs 11oz and 22inches long. He was placed directly on his mothers chest where he sat for 5 minutes before his father cut his umbilical cord. He was never taken from me without my permission, he wasn’t given certain unnecessary medications, he roomed in, and he was released early.

Lex is three now! He has a huge personality. He’s bossy and sassy. He’s a “boy’s boy”. He likes to fight, and play sports and run (because he’s the flash)! He loves Dinos and the ninja turtles. He is tough as nails and with a name like his, why wouldn’t he be? He’s his sisters twin, and a daddies boy. And I love him.

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