Blush: Sophie Labelle in Ottawa

This is an emergency Blush post.

Sophie Labelle (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is giving a talk in Ottawa on Monday, February 11, 2019 at Venus Envy on Bank St.

She is an incredible artist (Assigned Male Comics) and public speaker. She will be answering questions in French and English and then signing her books (available at time of the talk if you don’t already have any of them).

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Blush: Recommendation Wednesday: Time article about teens

My cousin shared this article from Time a couple weeks ago.

Image from www.time.com

It brings up some excellent points about the disconnect between what teenagers are taught and how the “rules” are applied in reality.

For one thing, when most teenagers (and adults) think about rapists, they think of some murky, shadowy stranger armed to the teeth lying in wait for their victims in the bushes.

Which is incorrect.

Rapists look like anyone who doesn’t listen when their partner says no.

Rapists are anyone who doesn’t get (and I quote from the article) “[…]consent needs to be
informed, enthusiastic, sober, ongoing and freely given.”

We should be teaching everyone about consent.

I mean, if my 2 year old can get it, then so can teenagers and adults. It’s not that hard, once you’re taught how it works.


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Blush: Binding and Care

I wrote about binding a while ago, but the other day, a post about self-care while binding crossed my dash, and I wanted to share it with you.

Image from www.gabrieljoffelmt.com

So go check out the post! It includes how to bind safely, breathing and relaxation, stretching, and self massage techniques.

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Blush: Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Back in August, I asked the moms of Keladry’s due date group if they had any super early warning signs that they were pregnant. I’m talking about before a missed period and before an hCG test would show a positive.

It seemed like an appropriate time to ask, as many of the moms were announcing second (or third) pregnancies.

I got an excellent response. Many of the moms had unusual early pregnancy symptoms, as the only symptom mentioned pre-week 4 in any of the research I did was mild cramping/spotting.

Keladry chose the colour. Image from amazon.

Common

  • mild cramping and spotting can happen as early as 1 week after the last menstrual period (LMP)

Uncommon (according to my informal research done on the subject)

  • tired
  • ovaries hurt when sneezing or coughing
  • breasts hurt/get hard/sore
  • pimples
  • abdomen hard/cramping/pulling feeling
  • bloating
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • couldn’t drink/taste coffee (taste sensitivities)
  • extreme lower back pain
  • tasting blood (copper taste in mouth)
  • vivid dreams
  • sensitive skin
  • sensitive to smells
  • there are tons more

Lots of these “uncommon” symptoms show up later in pregnancy-related research. So why is there only one symptom listed pre-week 4?

There are a couple reasons for this, one being that it is hard to study people who don’t know they’re pregnant yet. Another, in my opinion, is that every pregnancy is so different, even in the same family, so the results are varied that it’s hard to publish because there’s no consistency.

Or you could be like me, and have no symptoms at all until I see a positive on the pregnancy test. Does that mean my symptoms are psychosomatic? Perhaps. And that is pretty hard to prove.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/early-symptoms-timeline

https://www.kidspot.com.au/birth/pregnancy/signs-and-symptoms/first-symptoms-of-pregnancy-what-happens-right-away/news-story/2683c7eed8bb3fe71f95599078bddea5

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853

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Blush: Porn Data

If you are on the internet, your activity is tracked.

Image from qz.com.

Porn sites are no exception. You don’t even have to be logged into an account, and your selections, pauses, fast forwards, and screenshots are saved and put into a data mining engine.

If you do have an account, they use this data to give you better options that suit your tastes.

Fortunately for the privacy of its clients, the data collected is not sold to third parties, at least not from MindGeek, the primary company that owns most of the porn (and other sites) on the internet.

You can read more about how the data is collected and what they do with it here.

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Blush: Light-hearted

The other day, I was at my first physio appointment in a very long time, and the first for my hips. (Did you know that hips are two separate charges? Bah) I was SO not prepared.

They let me borrow a pair of shorts, and as I was sitting on the bench getting my upper thigh massaged, I looked down at my legs in the harsh lighting of the physio office and shrieked internally.

Now, I am not particularly vain. I am not offended (or any other negative word) if I or others choose not to shave. However, I was not expecting to see hair on myself, so I was rather shocked. I pushed it out of my mind until the next day, when I decided to do something about it.

And I thought I’d write a blog post about how I have to shave my legs. Because it’s funny and light, and why not?

A Mini Highland Cow. Isn’t it adorable? Image from www.boredpanda.com.

One way:

I sit on the edge of the tub and use shaving cream, water, and a razor. This is relatively low stress, more thorough, and incidentally, how I shaved my legs on the morning I finally went into labour with Keladry.

The second way:

In the shower. I don’t use shaving cream. I prop my foot up on the edge of the tub under the shower spray and blindly (because I’m legally blind without my glasses on) feel with one hand while the other uses the razor. I use this way most often because it’s faster. However, it leads to missing patches. I can then catch these after I get out, and do a quick shave of those spots.

Or, you know, I can catch them at the next physio appointment.

You know, I was really looking forward to winter so I wouldn’t have to care about shaving. Oh well. At least it feels satiny on my bed sheets.


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Blush: Spot Check

This post is about when there is unusual or unexpected blood spotting.

I thought this was a funny picture for this post; the dog’s name is Spot. Image from www.junkee.com

Why might this happen?

  • hormonal imbalance
    • thyroid issues
    • ovulation
    • starting or stopping birth control (pills, patch, IUD, shots)
    • emergency contraceptive
    • menopause and perimenopause
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • pregnancy
    • implantation
    • ectopic pregnancy
    • miscarriage
    • termination
  • infection
    • STI
    • douching
    • intercourse
    • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • cancer
  • uterine fibroids
  • polyps (I don’t know why I love the way that word sounds)
  • endometriosis
  • object insertion
  • diabetes

What should be done?

Go see your doctor. I am not a medical professional. I can’t diagnose anyone. But if you’re concerned, go see someone who is and can!

Reasons you should be concerned:

  • pain
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • heavy or persistent bleeding in between normal menstrual cycle

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/vaginal-bleeding-between-periods#causes

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321811.php

https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/spotting-between-periods-should-you-worry/

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-causes-bleeding-between-periods/

https://www.health.com/menstruation/spotting-before-between-period


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Blush: Ontario Curriculum Survey

If you live in Ontario, the Ministry of Education’s online survey on education reform is available ONLY until December 15th!

Image from the completely random www.pae-eu.eu. I just liked the picture.

I mean, you can fill it out even if you don’t live in Ontario. But it asks for your postal code, so your answers might not be counted.

You also don’t have to be a parent of a school-aged child (or any child). But it does ask you how many you have and in what school. I’m hoping that they still count our answers, even if we don’t have a child in school.

In any case, please complete the registration (emails could take up to 48 hours to arrive in your inbox) and then complete the 15 minute survey. Everyone in Ontario is affected by this, whether you have children or not, because the children being taught right now will go out into the world and will interact with us.

Let’s make sure that they’re taught respect, consent, and open-mindedness.

Because let’s face it; not every parent is going to buy Blush and play it with their children. 😛


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Blush: Trans Rights are Human Rights

It seems obvious to me to say this, but Trans Rights are Human Rights. Transgender humans deserve the same freedoms and rights as cis-gender humans.

It boggles my mind that there are people out there who think that they don’t.

Trans Rights are Human Rights. Image from feministapparel.com

Right now, the Trump-Pence administration is trying to pass a proposal that would remove LGBTQIA2S+ people from federal civil rights protections and stop enforcement of the non-discrimination laws. Within this proposal, there is the definition of “sex” as biological traits only identified at birth “according to science”.

This is scary, people. If the US succeeds at passing this, not only are transgender people going to lose legal protections and ability to legally change even just their name, but anyone who identifies under LGBTQIA2S+ are no longer going to be protected.

And if the US succeeds, what’s going to stop conservative governments in other countries from trying to follow suit? I’m sure Trump-lite in Ontario would love to try the same thing.

Sex and gender are much more complex than what the US is trying to propose. I read an awesome Twitter thread about it the other day. But here is a much more detailed article. Although the world insists on defining sex as a binary, it’s much more like a spectrum than we realized. And by we, I include scientists, who are only recently using a non-binary approach to their studies.

So please, US, stop trying to fit everyone into a two-box binary that is decided by observation of their genitals at birth. Everyone is a human and deserve legal protections and rights.


References

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/21/politics/human-rights-campaign-hhs-transgender/index.html

https://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/eng/content/lgbtq2i-rights

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/vbka3d/canada-is-not-safe-from-donald-trumps-attacks-on-transgender-human-rights

https://www.nature.com/news/sex-redefined-1.16943

https://twitter.com/ScienceVet2/status/1035246030500061184


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Blush: Sex Ed Consultation in Ontario

Hello parents and educators!

Protest sign from a rally in Toronto July 19, 2018. Image from toronto.ctvnews.ca

Were you aware that Ontario has started their consultation of parents? I wasn’t. The first part (the open consultation) closes on December 15, 2018. Here is information from their website:

We’re consulting with parents across the province to address concerns and get feedback in several areas of the education system.
Feedback from these consultations will help shape decisions in the following areas:

  1. Improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  2. Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding
  3. Improving provincial standardized testing
  4. Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy
  5. Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones
  6. Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis
  7. Developing the first-ever Parents’ Bill of Rights

The online survey will be “coming soon”. I’ll be sure to write another post about that when it happens.

The third part is the telephone town hall. Dates and registration details TBA.

As my daughter is not yet school-age, I’m worried that they won’t take my feedback seriously. I don’t like that they asked the question about the age of the child at all. The sex ed curriculum affects us all.

We’re relying on you, parents of school-age children. Help shape our future!


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