Usually I am pretty decent at both writing and giving presents. This year, not so much with either. I’ve been too busy doing and adjusting to the actions to really express those feelings. I’ve moved to my grandparent’s land in Beaverdam, VA. I’ve really increased my efforts towards running my historic window renovation business, Karnage Creations LLC. I’ve started renting my house in Richmond to another collective, Quercus. I’ve stood by my partner during a nasty, expensive, and stressful custody battle. I’ve taken the time to go to the dentist which I hadn’t done in almost 10 years. I had tubal reversal surgery and couldn’t lift more than 5 pounds for a month during which I moved from my old big house to a new tiny house.  There is way more than that, and I still don’t feel like getting into it all! A lot of good changes, updates, self care, etc. have happened. It has been busy and involved a lot of hard work. But they have been stressful and expensive even when positive. So this year I do not have the money, and haven’t even had the time, to do anything in the way of presents. Instead I have an announcement and these words to share.

For years and years I have watched other people’s children. From younger cousins, to clients, neighbors, and friends who had me watch their kids fulltime, nights, weekends, whenever. I have seen yall raising your children. And I have become jealous of your pregnancy announcements, adorable pictures, and snuggly little people.

I had my tubes tied a long time ago, hoping to adopt and not wanting hormonal birth control or other options. But as hormones got a hold of me, and the realities around unmarried broke people adopting became clear, I decided I wanted to have kids of my own.

Honestly, I think the main thing that made me want to get my tubes untied was watching so many amazing parents I am lucky to know. From the badass single mothers to the couples figuring it out, I am lucky to have been close enough to watch yall have and raise your children. You inspire me, all of you, and have made me want to have a kid or six of my own. I really can not stress enough how much I love an admire the mothers I know. I would seriously list yall, except for fear of leaving one out. Feminists, punks, artists, musicians, dancers, anarchists, travellers, teachers, bakers, herbalists, writers; you have all shown me amazing ways to parent, and how awesome non mainstream kids can be. If I had known all of you in my early 20’s I would not have gotten my tubes tied. Or I still woulda cause I’m a stubborn jerk. But you impress and inspire and encourage me to know  I can do this too.

Of course, for 1,000 different reasons having a baby is a scary thing. One of the major things I worry about is what kind of world my kid will grow up in. Whether it be climate issues, endless war, fascism, racism, sexism, icky capitalism, cell phone zombies etc., I am very much certain that the world is a bit of a shithole.

I’ve done for years and will continue to do ‘activism’. I think a major reason to work on these changes is for our children. I probably won’t reap the benefits of my actions, but I hope the next generation will. It is why I think being nice, helping strangers, having dialogue with those with whom we disagree, not littering, not wasting resources, buying used, showing animals kindness, etc. are vital things we have to incorporate into our daily habits. Beyond that we can organize movements, protests, write and deliver speeches, make art, or however we express a more explicit activism.
I know there are plenty in the punk and activist scenes who think having kids is for sellouts. Cultures need to work harder on making parents welcome, providing childcare and more. Having a kid knowing how shitty this world can be is brave as hell, and I think, is an expression of hope. We need more hope.

2 of my friends recently gave birth. One for her first time, and one for her second. I am super inspired by their bravery, toughness, and how dang cute lil Mira and Silas are!!! I appreciate so much the women who have talked to me about the pregnancies and children.

I reckon I better announce it, for the record. I am pregnant, and expecting some kind of lil squish on or around August 23, 2016.

So until then we will be working our butts off to finish fixing the little house we are renting in Beaverdam, build a chicken coop, plant a garden, and generally do the requisite nesting ahead of time. I’m going to be doing a 9 month herbal apprenticeship starting in March which I am so excited about. And we need all the historic window restoration work we can get. Even when I can’t work, David can, and I can handle the office side of things. Don’t be shy, continue to send us window business so lil squish can have the fanciest non battery, non plastic, environmentally friendly knick knacks spare change can buy!

I am a little nervous about announcing the pregnancy. I hear 12 weeks is the traditional time, and I am about half that. But I am really excited and want to be able share the happy news. Telling our parents and family already happened so we should be good for telling all of yall now. I hope I have a healthy pregnancy and everything goes well. If I have a miscarriage, it will be really really really sad, but would not stop me from trying again. That is what the internet tells me about announcing early- I risk having to announce a miscarriage later. But I am fed up with how weirdly shaming a lot of pregnancy articles online are. I don’t know how I’d feel if I miscarried, this being my first pregnancy, but I think Id like to be able to talk about it. It is exhausting sometimes to not talk about things that are on my mind. Please send me all your positive energy for a healthy pregnancy and baby, cross your fingers and your toes!

image

That is a picture of my little blob. Awwww. and part of my shorts. I was wearing shorts on Christmas Eve. What a life. I’ve had 2 blood tests and an early ultrasound to check to make sure it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy. All of those results were good.

Having a kid out of wedlock (wooo that word just is yuck) is taboo for some folks. That’s fine, let me just ask that you keep it to yourself. The last thing I need is your stress, well intentioned or not, placed on me. I’ve gotten to see David parent his daughter, and I get to spend time with her too! I think we all wish the situation with his ex was a bit
more civilized, but keeping positive and trying to keep Jewel happy and healthy can only help. She is a super baby, and I know she is going to be an excellent big sister to our lil squish.

I am excited to have a vegan pregnancy, and see if it is even possible for me to eat more food than I already do. Or weirder food than I already do. Doesn’t seem possible. Once I figure out what doctors/midwives my insurance will cover things will be a lot easier to map out. I have to wait til 2016 for my insurance to change to get a doctor. And I am nervous about what my lead levels might be thanks to working around lead paint for years. I am going to go get a really good respirator today to try to keep myself from having any lead during this pregnancy.  Every twinge I feel makes me worry something bad is happening. But David and my friend Laura and others assure me that my body knows what it is doing, and it will be ok. I am so excited and so tired of not being “public” with this.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print. I am super excited. And scared and nervous and not ready and been ready for so long. I just hope we have a healthy lil squish in August and we can raise them to be a good, happy person. Helpers on that front welcome. The world is ours to change.

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