28 May, 2022

How our free plan stays free


We also get users who write in to support asking, “How can it possibly be free?!?” In certain tech communities, you will sometimes see a comment like this1 on articles about Tailscale:

“If you’re not paying, then you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

I’ve always disliked that claim. It starts from a grain of truth, especially for advertising- or spyware-based companies. But it’s not universally relevant. Sometimes a free lunch is just a free lunch.

Is there really such a thing? What’s the catch? Let’s discuss Tailscale’s business model.

03 May, 2022

a reddit user on a terrible stillbirth


I just don’t even know what else to say. I’m so tired of anyone aside from my doctor and me making decisions for my own health.

I had a stillbirth 5 years ago in Texas. I didn’t want a stillbirth. I didn’t want to ever need an abortion. I’ll say it again. I DIDNT WANT TO NEED an abortion. Ever.

My baby girl was very much wanted. By both my husband and I. Fuck. We did everything “rIgHt” according to their fucking conservative social norms.

Married first. Had our first baby. We wanted a second. Though we were a little surprised on the timing. And I had gotten pregnant while on the pill. No biggie. We wanted a second anyways.

I was thrilled. My husband was happy. Went in to do all your prenatal testing and that was the fucking start to the worst year of my life.

We did the quad-screen and it popped positive for possible Down syndrome. Of course we were worried and scared. But in the few days before seeing a specialist we had decided that Down syndrome wasn’t going to be something we wouldn’t be able to handle.

Cue the visit at the specialist. First we met with the geneticist who talked about ang and all possible inheritable diseases that could hide in our family history and explained that sometimes the quad screen will pop positive for DS and it could be anything else. Or nothing. And only an amniocentesis would give a definite answer. Which I insisted on doing because I wanted to be able to prepare as much as I could if I were to have a special needs child.

And then we went in for the ultrasound. The tech was nice and showed us everything. We found out we were having a girl yay. And then the doctor came in. He spend some time looking at the ultrasound himself before showing and explaining everything to us. At this point I was still hoping this was just a rare false positive.

But that hope was just shattered. Our baby girl had a severe heart defect. Cystic Hygroma, hydrops fetalis. A full body edema. He looked at us. And I can still hear the words. “I’m sorry. I don’t think your baby will survive the next 6-8 weeks.” I decided I wanted the amniocentesis, because I needed to know what was going on. Which happened just the next day.

The results came back 2 weeks later. Our baby girl had Turner Syndrome. Which about 1% of pregnancies with Turner Syndrome will make it to term. If she survived the pregnancy TS wouldn’t be as much of an issue as her heart defect: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The problem was the sum of her physical health.

We went to a second doctor because if I were to need to make a decision to terminate my pregnancy I wanted to know all I could. She basically confirmed what our first doctor said.

What do you do if you’re told your baby won’t survive to be born? The baby you had plans, hopes and dreams for? The baby you have a name for?

So I talked to my doctor what our options were. And at this point. None. The law made all abortions illegal past 20 weeks. And I was more than 20 weeks pregnant. The only exception in the law at the time was if the physical health of the mother was in danger. My physical health wasn’t in danger as long as my daughter was still alive. My mental health didn’t matter apparently. I was diagnosed with antenatal depression, to no surprise of anyone on my medical team.

I had to go to weekly check ups. Sit in the doctors office surrounded by dozens of pregnant women, who were excitedly talking about names, nurseries etc. it was pure torture.

Until at my last appointment they couldn’t find her heartbeat anymore. They allowed us to stay in the room until I felt strong enough to stop crying and sobbing. And I left to go home with an appointment to be induced the next morning.

The whole thing lasted a couple hours. But they gave me all the pain meds because they didn’t have to worry about the baby. I just wish that could’ve also knocked out the mental pain. After a bit I pushed out my baby girl. The placenta didn’t come out in one piece though. Of course why would anything go smoothly? So to prevent me from bleeding out they manually extracted the rest of the placenta. Which - fun fact - your uterus itself isn’t numbed when you’re on all the pain meds. So for a manual extraction the doctor takes their hand and pushes through the cervix into the uterus to use their hand to carve out the placenta. While you feel it.

I was screaming in pain.

After all that I was able to spend the rest of the day holding my daughter. Before we had to say goodbye forever.

All this and you still get hospital bills. Funeral bills. Therapy bills. But sure. Almost making my husband a widower, forcing my oldest to possibly growing up without her mother or pushing a family into debt is better than allowing a mother to make the decisions regarding her own pregnancy with her medical team.

Abortions are healthcare. Mental health is physical health. You won’t be able to stop abortions. You’ll only be able to stop safe abortions. You’ll see more women die. Congratulations. I’m terribly grateful for modern medicine or I’d have died.

This isn’t about saving babies. If they wanted to save babies they’d care about the ones that are born and alive. Not the hypothetical babies. They just want easy brownie points to feel morally superior