Friday, April 11, 2008

Against Chemicals, Except Those That Make Babies

So I spent almost forty dollars on two Sigg water bottles and a lot more on BPA-free Born Free bottles for the girls (which we probably should have used from the beginning, thus saving hundreds of dollars). Sometimes I feel like we just hemorrhage money.

This whole Bad Plastic situation changes so much for us. I keep a Nalgene on the counter with water in it so it gets to room temperature, and then I use that water when making the girls’ bottles. This way I didn’t have to run tap water until it got to the right temperature or use cold water from the fridge. Easy. Again, here I am thinking I am saving time and effort and the earth, but in reality I was (maybe) pouring leaching chemicals into bottles with more leaching chemicals. Meta leaching. Great.

Now I am only worried about their bibs, toys, carpet, cribs, sheets, clothes and the dirty city air. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration but I feel like we are surrounded by these chemicals and the only way to escape them is to move out to the middle of the country and live in a field. But then acid rain would get us. Is there still acid rain? Why don’t we ever hear about acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer anymore?

Yesterday, I took the girls for their first grass experience at Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park. Madeline loved it, and crawled around, happy as a clam. Avery was a bit skeptical and preferred that I hold her. Both tried to eat the grass and the dried leaves.

A father and son came over and started talking with us. When we got to the lawn, he was a good distance away, but I saw his two-ish year old child looking at the girls and pointing. They made their way over to us and he started talking to me. It almost seemed like he was flirting with me, which made me a little uncomfortable. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and talked in the “me” and not “we” way. I am clearly wearing a wedding ring, so I don’t want to jump to (narcissistic) conclusions, but we was very attentive.

The conversation took a disturbing turn when he asked if the girls were identical or fraternal. I said fraternal, and then he said something about twins and higher order births being commonplace today. I replied with my usual “Well, my mom is a twin so it runs in my family….” And was about to say “…but these girls are compliments of IVF” when he interrupted and made some obnoxious comments about fertility drugs, IVF and trying to have a baby the “non-natural” way. I was flabbergasted.

I wanted to say something but I thought it is just pointless. I am not going to debate fertility rights in the middle of Sheep’s Meadow with someone who thinks that IVF is wrong. And I am not going to buy into the theory that all IVFs must end in only one baby. For many, twins are a blessing. Women who have had miscarriages or are getting older or don’t have the time or money to do multiple rounds of fertility treatments or who are battling disease or who have difficult pregnancies are more than happy to have two babies at once, effectively buy-one-get-one-free. Twins are hard, they really are, but I am so grateful for both of my babies, even on the hard days, because I wanted two children and I have two children. If I only had one, I have to be honest, I am not sure we would have gone through the TTC process again. It was so long and hard and heartbreaking, not to mention wearing on my relationship with Nicole. I look at my two amazing girls and think “which one could we do without” and the answer is obviously neither. They were a package deal and I am grateful for that. So all those people who think what I did was wrong, hopefully they will never be in my shoes and have to confront compromising their own morals for their own gain. Close-minded people like that are the first, sometimes, to change their opinions drastically when they are ones in difficult positions. It made me really appreciate the internet community of bloggers and the opportunity to find people who empathize, sympathize and appreciate without judging.

Pictured above, Madeline and Avery discovering that concrete and carpet are the only things under their feet.


suz said...

Why must some people who don't have fertility issues act like they are somehow superior because they conceived "naturally." The truth is they are just luckier, not better than the rest of us.

We have a singleton after IVF and part of me really hoped that we could have had twins. I have two brothers whom I love dearly and I would love for my daughter to have a sibling and I would love to have another baby. But she was the result of our third IVF cycle and I'm not so sure that the financial, emotional, and physical stress of more IVF cycles would be great for any of us.

Whenever I read your blog I think how lucky you are to have your girls and how lucky they are to have each other!

K J and the kids said...

It's a wonder we lived. and grew.
I was raised with microwaves and plastic bottles.

What a jerk. What amazes me is how a stranger knowing NOTHING about your views and or choices will spout of about shit like
this. I'm surprised he didn't start on border control and gay rights.

Shelli said...

See, you are SO polite! ;) I would have been all snarky with mister asshat. But maybe that's because my snark is turned up the second someone approaches me, because I get tired of being asked what language I'm speaking to Malka, and I get tired of people asking where she's from.

Maybe I'll just start saying that we're speaking in Chinese, because she's from China.

I'm impressed with their grass skillz, as Malka really didn't "do" grass until about 20 months old - she would REFUSE to be ON grass, unless a blanket was under her. Silly girl.

Blue Pearl said...

Bizarre. Mr. Ethnocentric.

Clever Girl said...

Hi, de-lurking to say that you handled that guy much better than I would have. We have just started trying to conceive, and if in a year from now nothing has happened and we find out that either of us are unable to procreate naturally, you better believe I will try anything and everything. The main thing it boils down to is this: it is none of his or anyone else's business how your sweet girls came into existence. Does he think that children should not be adopted because the adoptive parents didn't have them the "natural" way? That the only people who deserve children are people who have them "naturally"? I mean, who just comes out and says that to a total stranger? How rude. I don't see how anyone could think IVF is wrong. I would have never even thought that people would think that way. I guess people can be much more strange than I had thought.

Sorry. Just had to rant. I enjoy your blog!

judy said...

What an A-hole. I am so tired...really tired of all of this bashing. It is everywhere and hits everyone.
Please read my post about Sam....Then you will understand where I am coming from. Sometimes you just have to take the curve instead of the strait and narrow.

judy said...

Sorry about my above rant. I am just feeling especially vulnerable to bashing. My choices for me and my family have been a point of much scrutiny from public school lately, to the point of phone calls from the administration admonishing me for my child rearing, I have also had two babies the chemical way, after already having two children naturally...You can imagine the bashing I got from people who thought I was weird and selfish to want more. And now, my son is having to defend a friend from bashing, because the adults around them at school can't seem to do the job.