Sun Stories: Summer – Astonished – Part 3 – Update

 

UPDATE: They’ve run a battery of tests on Summer and the baby. They have determined that the child is fine and there are no problems that they can see. So that’s wonderful news for now.

Summer is a straight A student, but hates to do all the homework they assign the students. She simply pays someone else to do it, then goes in and crushes the exams.

Leave it to this bright, cunning, lovable, repugnant, remorseless girl dodge 9 months of pregnancy. She’s having the baby in 3 months. She’s been pregnant for 6 months. So to her since she found out, she’ll only have to stay sober for 3 months in stead of 9 because 6 of those months are behind her. So to her it feels like a 3 month pregnancy and then boom, baby.

When her father heard the news that the child seemed perfectly healthy, he said “My daughter’s got an Iron Placenta.” (Sounds like a good name for a Death Metal band)

Her mother is already super excited to be a grandmother at 47. These people are rich, that child isn’t going to want for anything. I just pray that it’s okay health and developmentally in it’s formative years.

 

Oh, by the way… It’s a boy.

 

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Sun Stories: Summer – Astonished – Part 2 – Lets Look at the Science

Summer just told me that she just found out that she’s 6 months pregnant and didn’t know it. She drinks like a Viking, and has been for awhile. The whole 6 months she’s been pregnant.

I pray that the baby will be okay, but let’s take a look at what could happen.

 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

 

 

What is fetal alcohol syndrome?

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy can give birth to babies with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, sometimes known as FASDs. FASD is the umbrella term for a range of disorders. These disorders can be mild or severe and can cause physical and mental birth defects. Types of FASDs include:
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
partial fetal alcohol syndrome
alcohol-related birth defects
alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder
neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure

FAS is a severe form of the condition. People with FAS may have problems with their vision, hearing, memory, attention span, and abilities to learn and communicate. While the defects vary from one person to another, the damage is often permanent.

 

Causes

What are the causes of fetal alcohol syndrome?

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, some of that alcohol easily passes across the placenta to the fetus. The body of a developing fetus doesn’t process alcohol the same way as an adult does. The alcohol is more concentrated in the fetus, and it can prevent enough nutrition and oxygen from getting to the fetus’s vital organs.

Damage can be done in the first few weeks of pregnancy when a woman might not yet know that she is pregnant. The risk increases if the mother is a heavy drinker.

According to many studies, alcohol use appears to be most harmful during the first three months of pregnancy. However, consumption of alcohol any time during pregnancy can be harmful, according to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome?

Since fetal alcohol syndrome covers a wide range of problems, there are many possible symptoms. The severity of these symptoms ranges from mild to severe, and can include:
a small head
a smooth ridge between the upper lip and nose, small and wide-set eyes, a very thin upper lip, or other abnormal facial features
below average height and weight
hyperactivity
lack of focus
poor coordination
delayed development and problems in thinking, speech, movement, and social skills
poor judgment
problems seeing or hearing
learning disabilities
intellectual disability
heart problems
kidney defects and abnormalities
deformed limbs or fingers
mood swings

 

 

Diagnosis

How is fetal alcohol syndrome diagnosed?

The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome. Talk to your doctor if you think your child might have FAS. Let your doctor know if you drank while you were pregnant.

A physical exam of the baby may show a heart murmur or other heart problems. As the baby matures, there may be other signs that help confirm the diagnosis. These include:
slow rate of growth
abnormal facial features or bone growth
hearing and vision problems
slow language acquisition
small head size
poor coordination

To diagnose someone with FAS, the doctor must determine that they have abnormal facial features, slower than normal growth, and central nervous system problems. These nervous system problems could be physical or behavioral. They might present as hyperactivity, lack of coordination or focus, or learning disabilities.

 

Treatments

What are the treatments for fetal alcohol syndrome?

While FAS is incurable, there are treatments for some symptoms. The earlier the diagnosis, the more progress can be made. Depending on the symptoms a child with FAS exhibits, they may need many doctor or specialist visits. Special education and social services can help very young children. For example, speech therapists can work with toddlers to help them learn to talk.

At home

Children with FAS will benefit from a stable and loving home. They can be even more sensitive to disruptions in routine than an average child. Children with FAS are especially likely to develop problems with violence and substance abuse later in life if they are exposed to violence or abuse at home. These children do well with a regular routine, simple rules to follow, and rewards for positive behavior.

Medications

There are no medications that specifically treat FAS. However, several medications may address symptoms.

These medications include:
antidepressants to treat problems with sadness and negativity
stimulants to treat lack of focus, hyperactivity, and other behavioral problems
neuroleptics to treat anxiety and aggression
antianxiety drugs to treat anxiety

Counseling

Behavioral training may also help. For instance, friendship training teaches kids social skills for interacting with their peers. Executive function training may improve skills such as self-control, reasoning, and understanding cause and effect. Children with FAS might also need academic help. For example, a math tutor could help a child who struggles in school.

Parents and siblings might also need help in dealing with the challenges this condition can cause. This help can come through talk therapy or support groups. Parents can also receive parental training tailored to the needs of their children. Parental training teaches you how to best interact with and care for your child.

Alternative treatments

Some parents and their children seek alternative treatments outside of the medical establishment. These include healing practices, such as massage and acupuncture (the placement of thin needles into key body areas). Alternative treatments also include movement techniques, such as exercise or yoga.

Prevention

How can I prevent fetal alcohol syndrome?

You can avoid fetal alcohol syndrome by not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. If you’re a woman with a drinking problem who wants to get pregnant, seek help from a doctor. If you’re a light or social drinker, don’t drink if you think you might become pregnant anytime soon. Remember, the effects of alcohol can make a mark during the first few weeks of a pregnancy. Visit these blogs for more tips and information about fetal alcohol syndrome.

 

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Sun Stories: Summer – Astonished – Part 1

Summer has resigned from the salon. With school, and holiday winter break she’s over it. I think what happens to these girls they just get tired of all of the people who come in here to tan. Mostly the women just start to annoy them. It’s happened to a lot of the girls who have worked here.

I miss her and occasionally reach out to her because I’m fond of her. We mostly text.

“I feel like we’re drifting apart because we don’t work together anymore.”

“Aww no! I’ve been dealing with so much shit I haven’t been myself.”

 

Thursday

“Happy Thanksgiving!”

“Happy Thanksgiving!”

 

Sunday

“Hello”

“I was just telling Kita today how much I missed you. I told her I was going to text you to see if you would visit me at the salon… and here you are! How are you?”

“Ha Ha is she working there yet?”

“Not till January.”

“Ohhh Gotcha. Did Achilles leave my final pay?”

“I haven’t seen it. Should I tell him you’re coming in this week to get it?”

“Yea, or I can text him either one…. I have terrible, terrible news as well.”

“What happened, Summer?”

“Charles I’m pregnant. You can’t tell anyone though. I found out on fucking Tuesday.”

“What………………….The………………………………….FUCK?”

“Yup.”

“Do you know who the father is?” (a feeble attempt at levity in the face of great adversity)

“Jake.” (her boyfriend of two years)

“Does he know?”

“Yea. He made me take the test. I had to tell my parents and he told his.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Well there’s not much I can do. I went to the doctor to see if I could get an abortion. Guess how far along I am?”

“No idea.”

“Take a guess.”

“Two months.”

“Six months since yesterday.”

“What the fuck??? Didn’t you notice you hadn’t gotten your period in all that time?”

“My period is so messed up I haven’t gotten it in over a year. It’s always been messed up.”

“Ok. I’m stunned. So what’s the plan?”

“I don’t look it at all. And I am not sure yet.”

“Well abortion is well off the table.”

“Yea. six months. That’s a legit baby.”

“So adoption or become a mom. What do the families say?”

“They all sound like they want me to keep it.”

“Well your family can afford it and probably don’t want one of their own being raised by another family.”

“Yes, that’s very true. They said not to worry about the money.”

“That’s good… so shotgun wedding for you and Jake?”

“hahahahahahahahahah Hell no!”

“Just think he broke up with you when you were pregnant with his child! (Got back together a week later) Do you know the sex of the baby?”

“I find out Wednesday. Think about all of the drinking I did since June… We’re seeing if the baby is healthy.”

“I was just thinking about that. Oh Jeez. No birth control?”

“I was on birth control since 8th grade. My liposuction surgery fucked it up. I got pregnant two weeks after it. The antibiotics canceled it out.”

“Oh shit. I hope the baby is okay. When can I see you?”

Tomorrow I’ll come in and see you.”

“Okay. see you then, Summer.”

 

Well let’s see where this journey takes poor Summer!

 

 

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Michelle – Chapter 11 – RU486?

We were sitting out on Michelle’s balcony. She lived on a high floor and had a great southern view of the city. City View was the name of the development.  I remember looking at all of the burned out bulbs on the top of the PECO building. I always found that ironic. THE ELECTRIC COMPANY CAN’T CHANGE THEIR BULBS WHEN THEY BURN OUT.

They have since replaced the whole moving signage with more energy-efficient LED lights.

We were sipping chardonnay as usual. Laughing, smoking and chatting away the evening. Then this horrible sentence happened:

Michelle: “You know…it’s been awhile since I got my period. I think I’m late.”

No man ever wants to hear these words. My father drilled into my brain as a boy how being on time is a super important thing.

But this a whole different kind of “Late.”

I told her she was probably fine and just miscounted the days or something.

This is Def Con 4 boys….

She goes and gets a pregnancy test. Literally runs over to the drugstore across the street to get one. (Women are awesome. They know things) She comes back. I’m still sipping and smoking. She goes into the bathroom.

Within a few minutes, the next thing I hear is:

“Ohhhhhhhhhh Fuuuuuuuck!

I think at that moment I was glad I had a bunch of wine in me. Michelle came out and showed me the wand with the little plus sign on it.

There’s nothing “positive”about seeing that. But I guess for some it’s a moment of great joy.

For us, that was definitely not the case.

Michelle was not on the pill. I don’t remember why not, but taking that every day can have some negative effects on a woman’s body. That’s probably why she wasn’t on it. I remember using condoms a lot but apparently not enough. So stupid of me. I could say, “I don’t know how that could have happened!” But you don’t slip and fall into someone.  Whoops! Sorry I got you pregnant. That is one mighty sperm out of millions that makes that fateful journey and wins the race. Once that one guy lands on that tiny planet, there is an electrical charge. No one else can get in. That’s why I don’t believe in artificial insemination.

If you fuck someone and get them pregnant, your biology lines up. If you’re trying, and you don’t have enough guys or they’re not swimming, or if somethings wrong with her goods down there, maybe it’s not meant to be. Maybe biology says you’re not a genetic match to procreate. I know this all sounds a little Aryan but it’s just science.

Why should some doctor pick a few of your dudes and plug them into a few eggs and hope for a couple of weak fraternal twins. Did God pick up Christopher Columbus by the scruff of the neck and drop him off in North America? Did Aliens come down from space and pick up Neil Armstrong and drop him off on the fucking Moon? No. You need to fight for that shit. You need to be Michael Phelps. Be the one who wins and gets there first. That’s what species do. So I am a firm believer in natural selection. But I’m also a fan of abortion.

That’s why the crime level went down around the year Bill Clinton got into office. Because of Roe vs. Wade. Abortion was legalized and all of those poor, single mothers that would have had to raise kids in poverty and low-income environments got the right to choose for their own bodies. So all of those kids that would have grown up to be juvenile delinquents were never born to offend or clog our penal system. Think about that one for a minute.

Abortion is a good thing.

Just solid economics.

And one more thing on this subject. It’s not hard to make a baby. We are the most complex and evolved species on the planet. We build bridges, and airplanes, and literature and art and rocket ships, medicine, and amazing electronic technology. We do beautiful work as a species. We build cities and created civilization, for God’s sake!

But you can be drunk at two in the morning in an elevator and create another human being.

I remember paying for the morning after pill once or twice, but this time we didn’t really know how far along Michelle was. She didn’t want a baby at that time either. Can you imagine me back then paying not one, but two child support payments if things didn’t work out? I would have put a pistol in my mouth in a New York minute. (But at the time, I was sure things would work out between Michelle and I, but it was just way to early in the relationship to bring a third party into our drunken mix.

Michelle scheduled an appointment at the local clinic. She told her mother about it. I guess she wanted her mom there when they were performing the procedure. I don’t know if I gave her money for it or not. I had paid for an abortion once before back in 2001 for a girl I was dating. I remember that girl telling me she was on the pill, but had forgotten to take it. Don’t you have to take that shit every day?

My own damn daughter Lorelei takes that shit every day.

I can’t remember why I just didn’t go with her. But maybe I had to work. I wish she hadn’t told her mother but what could you do about it then? Because her mother told her sort of 2nd husband about it. Michelle wasn’t happy about that. He didn’t need to know that shit. I remember her mom telling her that she had to tell her husband everything. People don’t need to know everything. There are civilizations held together by keeping secrets. There should be, and can be, private things that are kept between a mother and daughter. Same goes for a father and son. there’s crazy shit I know about my dad that I’ll take to the grave with me. Some stuff you just have to keep in the vault. Let sleeping dogs lie.

But weakness is what it is.

I know Michelle was upset about all of this. I think she just wanted it all over with. I had been down this road before, and it’s a serious decision. You just created another human being with another person, and before that life form can arrive on Earth you’re going to kill it. But Homo sapiens are so good at killing things we’re not even in the food chain anymore.

I think the reason that this story is so important is because of another one.

There once was a 16-year-old girl who was young, naive and in love. Her boyfriend at the time was one of these outlaw types. Well, he got this teenage girl knocked up and basically they were in the same situation Michelle and I were in at the time. This young lady struggled with her now dire situation. I’m sure she was terrified. She was a junior in high school and had to make a gigantic life decision. And LIFE is what she chose.

That life became Michelle.

I believe it was the morning of her appointment at the clinic, that Michelle miscarried.

We never really spoke about it again after that…

Sorry this isn’t a fun one but there was no fun to be had when we went through this. But we grow and evolve through the things that challenge us.

Life is what it is.

So is death.

 

 

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