My heart's just not in it

You know, I thought we'd sunk to the bottom of the muck when Alberto Gonzales, the architect of the Bush administration's liberal torture policy, was confirmed for Attorney General. Of course, I was wrong. Now, Bush has nominated John Negroponte to serve as the nation's first National Intelligence Director. You probably know Mr. Negroponte from his recent stint as the head U.S. administrator in Iraq, or perhaps from his days as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. But for those of us who cut our political teeth during the long nightmare that was Ronald Reagan's foreign policy in Central America during the 1980's, John Dimitri Negroponte is infamously remembered as the point-man in the covert war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, turning Honduras into a murderous dictatorship in the process. I don't really have the stomach to go into detail, but here's a brief glimpse of the horrors he orchestrated.

I give up. Our nation's top cop advocates the use of torture, and the head of our new centralized intelligence agency ran a covert war that transformed Central America into the western hemisphere's version of the killing fields. Fucking fantastic. There was a time when the folks with these kinds of resumes were too tainted for visible political office. Now they occupy the top spots in the Bush administration. This is grotesque. Absurd and grotesque. And it's leading me to seriously reconsider the utility of venting. It's not making me feel any better, and it's clearly not making a difference. I think my time is better spent hammering out the remains of my dissertation, blogging about the baby, or working on fiction.



New Blog!!

For those of you following along at home, all future baby-related posts can be found at my new blog, Meet the Breeders (http://meetthebreeders.blogspot.com). Follow the trials and tribulations of the reluctantly procreative, and offer your unsolicited-but-much-appreciated wisdom and opinions on parental matters great and small.

sacrifice to fertility god pays off

It's been a while since I've posted anything, primarily because the past month has been a blur, but also because I didn't think anyone was reading. As it turns out, Anna and Kim aren't the only folks who've taken an interest, so it looks like I'll be resuming transmissions. As for the blur, let me quickly recap the past month:

Shortly after my last blog entry, I decided not to scrap the dissertation, and have instead put the novel I'm working on aside until I'm finished with this damn PhD (special thanks go to Joel and my dad for knocking some sense into me). In between debate tournaments, and during a lull in the diss writing, we painted and remodeled the bathroom, and I added light fixture installation to my growing repertoire of home improvement skills. Feeling ever so domestic, and unwilling to wait another year before our tentatively scheduled wedding qualified me for health insurance through Anna's company (COBRA "benefits" are officially the rake), we decided to secretly wed on Valentine's Day. When we discovered it was too late to get a reservation at a decent restaurant on VDay, we decided to move the secret wedding up a couple of days. Fortunately, secret weddings are much more flexible than the real thing. Besides, what's the use of getting married if you can't celebrate with Crispy Oysters on Yucca Root Chips with Habenero Honey Aioli, Veal Osso Buco, and Rack of Lamb? So, we made our reservations at Jeffrey's, booked an appointment with the Justice of the Peace, and picked up the marriage license when I got back from Chicago on Tuesday. Then things got really interesting.

If you've been following Anna's blog, you know she's been feeling sickly for the past couple of weeks. In addition to lingering flu-like symptoms, she had begun to menstruate for the first time since going off the Pill in late August. After a couple of weeks, the bleeding wasn't letting up, so she decided to see an Ob-Gyn, just to make sure nothing was wrong. We both pretty much figured that years on the Pill had probably wreaked hormonal havoc on her uterus, and that the bleeding was just her body trying to reclaim the now-hostile environment of her would-be womb. Still, I was nervous. I couldn't help thinking about the other, more dire possibilities. I wondered whether I'd ever read anything linking birth control pills to cervical cancer, or if I even knew what the symptoms were. I forced myself to think of less traumatic possibilities - ruptured cysts, benign Fallopian tumors, fibroids or polyps, Menorrhagia - but even these often necessitated extreme treatments, including hysterectomy. Anna and I were still pondering the possibility of having children, and although neither of us felt any biological imperative to reproduce, I was saddened to think it might not even be an option. So, I waited and worried. I think I was working on the dissertation when she came home from the doctor.

"I thought you were going straight back to work? How'd it go?" The fact that she was home made me nervous, but when I walked into the kitchen Anna was smiling, which I immediately took to be a good sign.

"Well, I found out why I've been feeling sick." She handed me a fuzzy black and white photo. The image didn't immediately register. "I'm pregnant." I looked closer, and it suddenly began to make sense: the white teddy bear floating in the center of the dark circle was our child. "Ten weeks." Those four nubs are arms and legs, and the black spot in the center of its torso is a microscopic, beating heart. "I heard its heartbeat."

I don't remember much after that. Anna went back to work, and I sat, staring at the pictures of my unborn child. When my head stopped spinning, I called her. "I just want you to know, I've never been happier."