Getting political and getting an IUD

On November 9th, 2016, I spent most of the day in anguish. Like many of my friends (and much of the United States), I wasn’t just disappointed. I was devastated. I was afraid for my friends of various backgrounds, afraid for my LGBTQ friends, and afraid for myself. I knew that it was probably that reproductive rights would be rolled back in the new administration. I had been receiving free birth control thanks to the Affordable Care Act and able to make my own choices about what was right for my body.

Unfortunately, that was going to come to an end. I knew I needed to do whatever I could to protect myself before it was too late and birth control became something too expensive to maintain on a monthly basis.

I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood for December of 2016 to get an IUD, without knowing much other than I could be protected for up to twelve years with a one time procedure. For the time being, it was covered, meaning that my IUD would be completely free. It seemed almost stupid not to do it. But when it was coming up, I decided to put it off. I was afraid of that decision, afraid of the consequences of either getting twelve years of protection and having a possibly debilitating heavy period or getting hormonal and seeing the return of the heavy acne of my youth. I had been on the pill since 2012. I hardly knew what my body was like before it.

Then in the middle of the night on January 11th, 2017, the Senate voted against keeping contraception covered by health care. I no longer could put it off. That day, I re-scheduled my IUD appointment for the first Friday in February.

I chose to go to Planned Parenthood because, at the time, I didn’t have an OBGYN. My last one essentially said, “You can’t be pretty because you’re overweight.” Since then, I had been going to a CNP for my women’s health exams, but she didn’t perform IUD insertions.

As it came closer, I decided that I wanted to live tweet the entire experience. I had several friends who had an IUD who hadn’t known anyone else when they went in for their procedure who also had one. I had several friends who, like me, were afraid of the pain of the procedure and the consequences of that decision.

Using the hashtag #teamIUD, I wanted to join a conversation that was already happening. It seems more and more women have been tweeting about their IUDs in the days since my procedure.

In addition to tweeting, I shared this decision on Facebook. My post had so many responses and so much conversation between women in different areas of my life. There were so many responses, and I felt so empowered and proud of my friends.

This is just a small sample of the reaction to my Facebook share.

If you had asked me a year ago if I would share something so personal, there’s just no way I would have said yes. But these are strange times we are living in… we cannot afford to remain silent.

Getting an IUD was the right decision for me. It’s a longer term solution that is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy. While it’s not right for every woman, you need to know what your options are to make an informed decision.

I hope that by sharing, I helped more women make the right decision for their body.

Volcanic Activity Data

Volcano outside of Sitko, Alaska. Sunny Side Up, Attribution 2.0 Generic License

I have a mild fascination with natural disasters.

As you may remember, last October I spent multiple days trapped on an island due to Hurricane Sandy. I was stuck until I managed to escape just in time for NASA Social. This was not my first experience with natural disaster. In fact, as a child I lived in cities where natural disasters were frequent. I hid in the hallway of our family ranch home in Miami during Hurricane Andrew. I was even in the Bay Area for the Loma Prieta Earthquake (otherwise known as the World Series Earthquake).

I once took a class called Natural Hazards & Disasters, where we spent our time learning that we would never really be safe. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, landslides… these can happen at any time. Some can be predicted; some cannot. If Yellowstone goes up (and it will at some point in the next 60,000 years) no amount of preparing will save us. Even if you’re out of the immediate danger zone (Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming would likely be completely inhabitable), there’s still the danger of ash flowing throughout the country. We’re talking major climate change and millions of people dying.

I’m not saying panic. Seriously. There’s only a 0.00014% yearly chance it will happen. Read more

International Networking & Hurricane Sandy

Last New Years Eve, I met a wonderful girl named Alexia Attwood. We were both staying in the same hostel in London, without friends, and decided we would venture out together. She told me she was a journalism student in Australia, on a pit stop before headed to the Carribean for an internship. I told her I was a recent graduate from Michigan State, on my last hurrah before moving to the Big Apple. We had a wonderful night, watching fireworks over the London Eye while standing on the Millenium Bridge.

Cue nine months later. Read more

An Interview with CNN Money

Early in August, I saw a retweet from Erie (head of Tech LadyMafia) of CNN Money Producer Erica Fink. Erica was looking for people who had used Airbnb to interview in the NYC area. I happened to have used Airbnb in June 2012 with my friend, Melissa, to stay in a lovely coast-side apartment in Connecticut. I decided to tweet her back.

This led to emailing back and forth and setting up a time to be filmed in my apartment. Her assistant producer, Spencer, ended up coming in to film after Erica was called away to film a Facebook story (how cool is that?).

After about 30 minutes of filming, including an interview and a lot of b-roll, I only ended up in the final cut for about 5 minutes. However, the overwhelming awesomeness of being on CNN’s website more than makes up for time usage.

It is a shame that they use a flash video player. Come on CNN, HTML5 video. It’s the way of the future.

Check it out on CNN Money’s website.

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RIP Steve Jobs

It would be impossible and quite frankly irresponsible of me not to talk about the death of Apple’s co-founder (and until recently, CEO), Steve Jobs. I found out about this at exactly 7:40PM tonight, Wednesday, October 5, 2011 via TIME Magazine’s twitter.

This blog entry will be divided into two parts: the devastating information received and the way it was received.
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The Death of Steve Jobs

The History: Steve Jobs has had a long battle with his health. In 2004, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Although this tumor was subsequently removed, he continued to become thin and frail, even without a reccurence of the cancer. In April 2009, he had a liver transplant, causing him to take a medical leave of absence. He returned in the end of 2009, but he left again on medical leave in January of 2011. He maintained his position as CEO with Tim Cook running day-to-day operations. His final resignation came on August 24, 2011, as he could “no longer meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO”. Read more

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Bearded Charity

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Me and My Beard

Today, I read an article on GOOD about a company who is giving back with the help of the interwebs. This project is called the Build a Beard Workshop.

What do bearded pictures have to do with charity? If you select one of their many options, add it to your face (via a photo editor, or a printed version) and submit it, then they will donate $1 to Kiva, a non-profit designed to help people in developing countries with micro-loans. There are even beards of well-known celebrities to choose from (Bob Ross, anyone?).

steps

It’s really that easy. So what are you waiting for? Beard up!

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European & Religious Rights?

A New York Times article, “France Enforces Ban on Full-Face Veils in Public,” is really stirring some thoughts in my mind. On one hand, I understand where the government is (or COULD BE) coming from. There is a risk to not being able to identify people, particular in the case of an emergency. In addition, the men who force their wives and other women in their lives to wear the Niqab (Muslim full face veil) or the Burqa, are causing issues about women’s rights. However, there is a deeper issue at stake that the NY Times has failed to address.

I don’t believe this ban is 100% about the women’s rights issue. There is something much bigger at stake: Religious freedom. In 2004, the French house majority enacted a law banning major religious pieces from being worn by students. This was specifically targeting Muslim hijabs and Jewish keepot (or yamulkes). Smaller symbols such as a cross, pendant, or necklace would not be prohibited as they were not “ostentatious.”

Let me go on a tangent and say, I am not a religious person. I have my own cultural convictions and celebrations, but I am by no means making this argument because I myself practice certain religious rites. However, why must we stop others from practicing what they believe? Why must we put a ban on certain religious freedoms? This is coming from an American point of view, where the bill of rights protects our right to practice any religion to which we choose. France clearly has no such law.

Sure, now it’s just religious garb which has certain stipulations, but what’s next? The right to go to a mosque/synagogue/church on days which are not their respective Sabbaths? Or a ban all together? Probably not an all together ban, as the majority right wing does practice a certain religion. However, it raises questions about the next step. It also reminds us of an event about 75 years ago where all of the sudden, Jews were forced to identify themselves as Jews and wear yellow stars, while dropping every other Jewish part of their life. These new laws probably (and hopefully) will not lead to another massacre, but it certainly isn’t leading towards living in peace.

As the only opponent to Nicolas Sarkozy stated, appropriately ending the NY Times article, Daniel Garrigue, said: “To fight an extremist behavior, we risk slipping toward a totalitarian society.”

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