Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An interview with Mother Dolores Hart

Here's a great interview in the National Catholic Register: Tim Drake talks to Mother Dolores Hart. What a beautiful soul she is. It was a privilege to hear her speak here at Notre Dame at this year's Edith Stein Conference.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Truth about the Pill

Heard this story on NPR today: With Birth Control Pills, New Isn't Always Better

A 16-year old with a blood clot that could have easily killed her...this is scary stuff. And yet the makers of birth control pills would have you believe that these side effects are "rare" and that the benefits of the Pill far outweigh the risks. It's good to see that Yaz has been exposed as dangerous, but the story also obscured the fact that these side effects are common to all types of birth control pills. We women pump these artificial hormones into our bodies every day for decades and expect there to be no problems. It's unrealistic to say the least.

I was also annoyed to see that not a single doctor challenged the assumption that this 16-year old girl needed to be on the Pill. Acne and irregular periods are inconvenient, yes, but they are common problems in all teenage girls and usually go away as women move into their 20s. There are plenty of other treatments for acne, and the idea that every woman must have a 28-day cycle every month or she's "abnormal" is quite absurd. Now, conditions like severe pain during the menstrual cycle are a different story. But doctors seem unwilling to address the underlying causes when it's so much easier just to prescribe the Pill. Hopefully stories like this will make some doctors rethink that approach.

A hopeful sign: in the comments, a handful of people are actually being open about the emotional and physical side effects of the Pill instead of touting it as a panacea. I'm starting to observe a wider acceptance of NFP/FAM in secular circles, which is fantastic. There are still plenty who scoff at it, of course, but there is an increased openness to the idea of natural birth control. Finally, people are waking up to the absurdity of an approach that suggests that our bodies are inherently "broken" and that the normal functioning of our reproductive systems is something to be "fixed."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have returned!

My apologies to my readers (all six of you!) for my extended absence. The end of the semester caught up with me, then summer rolled around and there just wasn't very much to blog about. No undergrads, no controversy du jour. However, I do love campus in the summer. It's wonderfully quiet, almost eerily so at times.

And then, there is another life change that precluded blogging. To our joy and surprise my husband and I have learned that we are going to be parents. I should say, we ARE parents, because although it's too early to feel any kicks or movement, I am as sure as I have ever been of anything that what I have inside my womb is most indeed a person. :) Building a person is hard work, though - harder than expected. I've spent most of the summer happily sitting on the couch with my feet up. Fatigue has been the major hardship - thankfully I've been spared the misery of morning sickness.

So what does this mean for me exactly? Well, at the moment, I don't have any plans to quit my Ph.D. Although I'm sure many people out there in blogland would disagree with that choice, my husband and I have decided that we have too much invested in this to give up right away. I said we because this has definitely been a joint effort. He's made a lot of sacrifices so that I could come to ND and do grad school and I will always be grateful for that. Also, somewhat selfishly, I love my job and I love what I do. My advisor is so fantastic to work with and I feel this is really a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. Then again, so is a baby!

At the same time, I do realize a baby changes things. I'm trying my best to stay open to whatever path God may show me. I keep praying, and I know that if it becomes obvious that I need to quit for the good of my family, then that's what I'll do. My husband has his job back, thankfully, which means I can afford to take a few semesters off to stay home with baby while he or she is very small. After that, we'll see how things go.

Baby will be here in February, but until then, I'll try my best to keep up with the blog and all the goings-on around campus. Blessings to all!