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Just cause…

October 23, 2007 4 comments

I just have to put this out there in light of couple responses I have gotten on my blog…

I am not here to argue just to get it off of my chest “JUST CAUSE.”

Just because millions of people eat a lot of processed foods and fast food and are still relatively healthy doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it.

Just because a lot of people let their babies cry it out and the babies are ‘just fine’ doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Just because millions of people smoke cigarettes and NEVER get cancer or die from complications related to smoking doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Just because people have been drinking sodas and diet sodas for long periods of time and are ‘just fine’ doesn’t make it the best idea.

Just because many people vaccinate their children by the thousands every year and they don’t all have adverse reactions doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk associated with doing so.

ALL OF THESE INSTANCES HAVE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THAT THERE IS A RISK INVOLVED WITH THEM!!!

JUST BECAUSE BABIES ‘THRIVE’ ON ARTIFICIAL BABY MILK/FORMULA DOES NOT, I REPEAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THERE IS NO RISK ASSOCIATED WITH DOING SO!

Feed your child however you wish, by all means, it’s YOUR child. But DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT argue with me that JUST CAUSE YOUR CHILD TURNED OUT “JUST FINE” that it is a GOOD IDEA to do so because it JUST ISN’T.

And I am truly sorry for the mothers who truly cannot breastfeed. And I commend the adoptive mothers who attempt to lactate and the mothers with serious breastfeeding issues who give it all they have before giving up and I UNDERSTAND why people formula feed. I get it, I know, I understand. But all the reasons in the world that may or may not justify why you do what you do with regards to feeding your child does not change the fact that there are, INDEED risks associated with formula feeding that are not associated with breastfeeding.

Hell, you’ve heard the stories from your mothers and grandmothers about how they brought babies up with Condensed Milk and Karo Syrup – were they ‘just fine?’ SURE they were! But damn, come one, gimme a break!!!

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It’s okay to stand up

October 21, 2007 4 comments

There are so many times that it is inappropriate or disrespectful to go against the grain. It’s often times considered rude and rebellious to do things outside of the norm. We live in such a culturally diverse world yet we are expected to be a cookie cutter image of what society says we should be. But normal my friend, fits in a wide canyon. It’s okay to bite your tongue, it’s also okay to save face, but when it comes to you and your children, it’s okay to stand up.

It’s okay to stand up to in-laws, neighbors, cousins, and strangers who may argue with your decision to breastfeed your baby. It’s alright to stand up to grandparents and anonymous bloggers who say you shouldn’t co-sleep and that you are doing this world some injustice by not vaccinating, or doing so selectively. It’s acceptable to stand up to your pediatrician when he tells you that you need to wean your 1 year old when you know better. It’s legal to be the mother you want to be, after all it is you that has to live with what you create. It’s perfectly fine not to spank your children and to home school, unschool or whatever it is you choose to do. It’s okay to do it your way. And it’s not okay for others to push themselves on you, call you radical, irresponsible, accuse you of spoiling your children or anything else inflammatory. And it’s your right to put them right back into their place when they attempt to do so. The secret to a happy life is boundaries.

So the next time someone makes a snide remark about how many children you have or asks if they are all yours, or someone stares at you for wearing your baby in a sling or nursing in public or someone actually has the nerve to pretend to know anything at all about you in the first 5 seconds of speaking to you, give em the ole heave ho and stick it to em loud and clear. Boundaries are important and a life without boundaries makes for one unhappy mama. You have the right to stand up.

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Update on Jinx- Visit to the GI yesterday…

September 19, 2007 Leave a comment

The appointment was today…I saw the ARNP, she was great. She was super sweet and very sympathetic. She said I was amazing Oh right, this is about Jinx

The Dr and NP seem to think that the antibiotics I had (IV @ 3days pp, then a 10 day round, then another 7 day round at 3 weeks pp) have caused inflammation in Jinx’s intestines. They think a bacteria called “C. Difficile” is growing there (also due to the abx). Weird that antibiotics would CAUSE a bacteria when that’s what they are supposed to kill, but go figure. Apparently the abx left her gut sterile, and a sterile gut with no bac at all will grow whatever is opportunistic.

Side note: We dropped off a stool sample for a 48hr culture on Friday and apparently they can’t find Jinx in the system, nice But the GI took another sample today and they are gonna culture that to see what’s up.

The NP did a rectal exam <insert screaming baby smilie here> and said everything felt normal from what she could feel (doesn’t mean everything is though, kwim?). After she did the exam, J pooped like you would not believe. I changed her, she pooped again, I changed her and she pooped again…okay we went through 4 diapers before she was done. But I am glad b/c the NP got to see firsthand how watery her poop actually is.

She was not surprised that the Tylenol with Codeine didn’t work at all anymore (even though Jinx has only ever had it 4 times) but she WAS surprised that the Levicin/Hyoscyamine Drops didn’t work She said the Probiotics were a good idea (something I knew already but always good to have confirmed by a professional). She was very adamant about how well Jinx is, that made me feel great. I so didn’t want anything bad to be wrong with my baby. I will be happy to know she has a bac in her gut that is treatable that will make the inflammation go away which in turn will make her comfortable in her own body again

Now for the treatment of the C Diff (if that’s what it turns out to be) is, yep, you guessed it ANTIBIOTICS! Wow, I am amazed that antibiotics can cause such a problem in my baby, then in turn be the only thing that can fix it! Glitch in the Matrix? Must be.

If it isn’t C Diff then we just chalk it up to “an immature digestive system.” I am so glad that it isn’t something more serious (unless of course her poo culture comes back wacky ).

Now for the weird part…the NP was going on about how great Jinx is and how well she is growing and she even pulled up a chart to show me from birth till now yadda yadda, look at the curvy line, etc. But OVER TWO WEEKS AGO (17 days) my baby weighed 12lbs 4oz and today she was 11lbs 13oz. I know the whole different scale thing and all but even if she was the exact same weight and not under from then, isn’t it weird that she hasn’t gained anything in that amount of time? I dunno, the NP and DR didn’t seem concerned. But I just had to throw that out there.

She also said that the choking on her spit up, losing her breath, etc., was normal. She said that if she turns blue or is struggling to breathe (very rapid breaths) I should be concerned. But she didn’t seem to think it was an issue. So should I cancel the appt I have with the Pulmonologist?

The reason her belly button pops out when she screams is because she has an umbilical hernia, apparently that’s no big deal either. They said that once she starts sitting up her belly muscles will be stronger and it’ll be fine.

So, that was our day.

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1 month, 3 weeks & 5 days…UPDATE!

September 8, 2007 3 comments

Things have been insane with Jinx.  We’ve had episodes of screaming for 12 hours, serious gas, stinky dipes, serious spit-uppage (yes I made up a word).  After being on a Total Elimination Diet for a while now I have discovered that she has issues with dairy, soy, wheat and I am not sure what else.  Even with that cut out and on a very restricted diet (turkey, green beans, sweet potatoes, pears, zucchini, onions and cabbage) she was still having some serious discomfort.  I’m talking we had to give her prescribed Tylenol w/Codeine to get her to sleep after 12 hours of upset.  I’ve done it all, rocking, swaying, shushing, swaddling, belly massages (with my homemade belly oil containing Peppermint and Fennel Seed Essential Oils), wearing her, warm baths, nothing comforts her.  The Ped prescribed these Hyoscyamine Sulfate drops for intestinal cramping and they helped some in addition to the Gripe Water, but not really.  I recently stopped EVERYTHING.  All of my supplements b/c my prenatals have Iron, I was also taking Garlic and Cranberry, so I quit it all, the B-Vitamins, the Omegas, all of it.  I also quit all of Jinx’s meds (the Hyo drops and the Gripe Water both have citric acid) and the only thing I am administering now is her Zantac with a probiotic mixed in.  We had the best day and night yesterday that we have had in a long time.  Things still aren’t quite right though.  Often time when she is nursing she chokes on the milk and stops breathing, it is not due to Over Active Let-down, it makes no difference where she is in the feeding, it still happens.  She throws her head back and gulps and tries to breathe and can’t and then finally catches her breath.  She does this not just when nursing, but also when medicine is administered and sometimes when she’s just sitting around (I think she spits up and then chokes on it).  I don’t know if she’s inhaling the fluid or not.  But it’s really freaky and it scares me to see her struggle to catch her breath.  We see a GI on the 18th and a Pulmonary specialist on the 27th.  Just wanted to update you all.  Things have been crazy, but hopefully all will be well soon and we will be at the bottom of this all!!

 I did have a substantial amount of Ibuprofen during the last month of my pregnancy due to pain (6 ribs out of place, etc.) cause the chiro just wasn’t cutting it and I couldn’t afford accupuncture or accupressure.  I also had 2 rounds of antibiotics and IV antibiotics during the first three weeks postpartum.  So I think I may have ruined any chance her gut had.  Here’s hoping the probiotics help and in the end I hope these specialists just laugh at me and tell me she has a bad case of reflux and nothing more!

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NIP Challenge

August 26, 2007 21 comments

Okay Mamas…Here’s my challenge to you!

For all who are reluctant to NIP even though it’s your God given right and even if you don’t believe in God, it ain’t against the law so get hip with it. You are paving the road for our daughters to NIP as well! I challenge you to make a list of 5 places you are hesitant/reluctant/afraid to nurse in public.

Next, I want you to go there and DO IT!! And post to us all about how friggin’ liberating it was! Be sure to send this link to your mama friends!

http://mamamojo.wordpress.com/2007/08/26/nip-challenge/

Dr. Seuss for Nursing Moms

Would you nurse her in the park?
Would you nurse him in the dark?
Would you nurse him with a Boppy?
And when your boobs are feeling floppy?

I would nurse him in the park,
I would nurse her in the dark.
I’d nurse with or without a Boppy.
Floppy boobs will never stop me.

Can you nurse with your seat belt on?
Can you nurse from dusk till dawn?
Though she may pinch me, bite me, pull,
I will nurse her `till she’s full!

Can you nurse and make some soup?
Can you nurse and feed the group?
It makes her healthy strong and smart,
Mommy’s milk is the best start!

Would you nurse him at the game?
Would you nurse her in the rain?
In front of those who dare complain?
I would nurse him at the game.
I would nurse her in the rain.

As for those who protest lactation,
I have the perfect explanation.
Mommy’s milk is tailor made
It’s the perfect food, you need no aid.

Some may scoff and some may wriggle,
Avert their eyes or even giggle.
To those who can be cruel and rude,
Remind them breast’s the perfect food!

I would never scoff or giggle,
Roll my eyes or even wiggle!
I would not be so crass or crude,
I KNOW that this milk’s the perfect food!

We make the amount we need
The perfect temp for every feed.
There’s no compare to milk from breast-
The perfect food, above the rest.

Those sweet nursing smiles are oh so sweet,
Mommy’s milk is such a treat.
Human milk just can’t be beat.

I will nurse, in any case,
On the street or in your face.
I will not let my baby cry,
I’ll meet her needs, I’ll always try.
It’s not about what’s good for you,
It’s best for babies, through and through.

I will nurse her in my home,
I will nurse her when I roam.
Leave me be lads and ma’am.
I will nurse her, Mom I am.
__________________

Tara…tandem nursin’, co-sleepin’, babywearin’, non-vaxin’, homebirthin’, cloth diaperin’, earth conscious, full-time student, wife to Kristopher &
Mama to my still nursin’ fire cracker Trinity Jade &
my home birthed water baby Journey MaeAnn

6 week update

August 21, 2007 Leave a comment

Today we had our 6 week post-partum check-up with Kelli (my midwife).  I lost 30lbs in 6 weeks!  I couldn’t believe it considering I’ve done nothing proactively to lose it!!  Technically tomorrow will be 2 weeks since I stopped bleeding and I was told by Kelli that I am not allowed to exercise until 2 weeks after I stop.  So it’s good to know that the weight is gonna come off easily, especially since 30 of it already came off on it’s own!!  Beside my stomach muscles still being separated from the pregnancy, I am in good health and good shape.  Kelli says I have 6mo to try to close the separation or it will not close.  But sit-ups and crunches should help with that.  She let me feel her abs, then showed me on mine where the muscle is separated, it felt weird.  Seeing the muscle on a diagram helped me understand it all. I love Kelli, she is so good at explaining things and making sure you understand them. 

Trinity and I are going to start doing Yoga every morning, at least it’s my hope that she’ll do it with me.  I think she will though because she’s very much into imitating me and things she sees on her shows lately.  Trinity is still as sweet as can be with Journey.  Wanting to kiss and hold and ‘love on her’ as she says, all the time.  Journey is responding okay to the Zantac for her reflux and the Gripe Water for the gassiness/colic/whatever you wanna call it.  I am so grateful that my sister lent me her Mei Tei because wearing Journey really helps when she goes into super fussy mode.  We’ve pretty much gotten the thrush under control though some days I still feel it.  We’re doing lots of GSE and Probiotics and even had 2 rounds of Diflucan so hopefully we’ve knocked it out!  Just wanted to send out a little update. 

 

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Name that baby!

August 14, 2007 5 comments

Can you tell who’s who??? For each round, one is Trinity and one is Journey…

Round One -

Round Two-

And Round Three-

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2 week update

July 28, 2007 Leave a comment

 

Adjusting to life with two girls has been so much easier than I originally thought it would be! I think in part it’s because I have already done all this before so the ‘not knowing’ factor and the insecurity about my ability to provide and care for this tiny, helpless sweet being is not in anyway an issue. Journey weighed 9lbs 2oz on Friday and is doing very well. I suspect a dairy allergy (not surprising considering Trinity and my niece and nephew both have/have had dairy sensitivities). I was shocked to see that she rolls over already!! In fact when she was a week old she did it for the first time on a hard floor. She does it on the couch a lot, but it gives a little so I thought nothing of it really, but when she did it on the floor I was like, “Whoa, slow down kiddo!”

Tandem nursing hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it was going to be either. Trinity is more than happy to share with her sister, wait her turn, and drink up the leftovers! It’s been a real blessing having her help with engorgement and helping me to ‘balance things out.’ She recently picked up some kind of virus that makes her eyes and nose all runny and she is coughing that croupy cough in the night. She hasn’t wanted to eat much of anything and I am so thankful that she is still nursing…a dehydrated, sick child in the hospital is the last thing I need right now, but once again – breastmilk to the rescue!

I have really enjoyed having my sister and her kiddos stay with me the past month. I am so glad that she was able to be here for the birth and to help me adjust these first two weeks. It just hit me like a sledge hammer to the forehead how much it is going to break my heart when she leaves tomorrow. It took she and I so many years to finally become friends and work through all of our issues (separate and together) and she is my best friend in the whole world. We don’t agree on everything, but we can always be honest with each other now, and it is a rare occasion that one of us gets our feelings hurt. And if we do get our feelings hurt then we just toss each other a pair of big girl panties, talk about it and work through it. It’s the most intimate and intricate relationship because we have known each other our whole lives, always been together and have a bond that just compares to nothing else. Not everyone is close to their siblings and I understand why. It’s hard work to have any kind of real relationship with anyone and even harder with family at times. But it’s so rewarding once you get to that ‘smooth sailing’ part. I’m just really gonna miss her is all. And my niece and my nephew are just so beautiful. I am crying just thinking about when I am going to get to tickle them again.

Okay okay, this is longer than I originally intended it to be, just had to put that all out there. I am a wreck right now. My girls are good and healthy and happy and Kris and I are well. I have everything in the world to be thankful for but I am willing to bet that people in Japan can hear the sound of my heart breaking when Christi pulls out my driveway tomorrow…

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My Journey

July 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Friday, July 13th @ 2:08am I jumped out of bed when my water broke.  I woke up Kris just to let him know and we tried to go back to bed to get some rest.  We knew we could possibly have a long night ahead of us.  I couldn’t sleep at all so I hung out by myself with simple, irregular contractions for about an hour.  When I started to get uncomfortable around 3am I woke up my sister to hang out with me.  Within an hour I was having good, strong contractions but they were still irregular and we couldn’t really time them.  I just wasn’t feeling quite right about it all and so I called my midwife who decided to come over.  Kelli got here around 4:30 and by that time I had set up camp in Kris’s grandmother’s old room (her name was Mae Ann).  I was on all fours resting my upper body on a stack of pillows and just in my groove moaning through contractions and chatting a bit in between with my girlfriend Christina and my sister.  Kris, my sister, and my father-in-law started filling up the tub Kelli brought with her while she checked me.  I was four centimeters dilated when she got here, but she said that my reactions didn’t match my dilation. She gave me a homeopathic because my symptoms didn’t match how far along I was.  I progressed very quickly.  I was feeling the urge to push before I ever made it in the tub.  As soon as it was deep enough I got in and it felt great.  I was pushing almost nonstop.  I dilated from 4cm to 10 in ½ an hour and at 6:14am Journey MaeAnn was delivered in the water completely asleep and snoring – definitely her father’s child LOL  She weighed in at 8lbs 6oz and was 21inches.  Beautiful, perfect and healthy with and Apgar of 8/9.  I couldn’t have wished for a better birth experience.  A 2 hour labor with no complications at all.  She’s a strong nurser just like her sister was from the very start. 

 We’ve been well with little complications.  Sunday night I got a fever and my midwife came by with the suspicion of a uterine infection.  She gave me a shot of penicillin and the fever went down but 6 hours later returned.  At 2:30am we were driving to her house for her to dose me again and I was okay until Monday morning when the fever returned at which point she insisted I got to the ER for an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay (to make sure there was nothing left in my uterus that could cause and infection which could be life threatening).  At the end of it all it was determined that my uterus just got lazy and wasn’t contracting as it should have been (even with a baby nursing) so they sent me home with a prescription that makes my uterus have one titanic contraction (for two days – yowee) and an antibiotic to treat whatever funk was going on in there due to a lack of improper evacuation of post-partum stuff (to keep it non-graphic).  So other than being crampy and a bit tired I am doing great and enjoying my babymoon.  Just wanted to check in and give you all a few details cause I know everyone was itching for them.  I have a non graphic video of the actual delivery for anyone who wishes to see it.  Hope all is well with you and yours.

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How Do Children See Race?

April 27, 2007 1 comment

How Do Children See Race?
by Dr. Marguerite A. Wright

Printed with permission from Dr. Marguerite A. Wright’s book I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla, available here.
Trinity nursing a baby doll
Note: This section, titled “Do White Children See Race Differently?” concludes the first section of Dr. Wright’s book, in which she outlines the developmental steps in which young children first perceive skin color and race, and the meanings they attach to these attributes. Dr. Wright has outlined her advice on how to raise black and biracial children (and indeed, all children) with as little racial bias as possible in our race-conscious world, and ends her section on preschoolers with this passage. We highly recommend the book to parents of every ethnic background.

Johnny Lee, a white man who was a former imperial wizard and a founder and recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan Youth Corps, vividly remembers his experience when he was five and saw a black man for the first time. Johnny said to his father, “Look, Daddy, there’s a chocolate-covered man.” Daddy replied, “No, son, that’s a nigger.” Lee said that it was at that moment that “the seeds of hatred” were planted that resulted in his life in the Klan, a life he later repudiated.

Unlike young Johnny, white children who have not been sensitized to race ascribe little importance to skin color.

Relatively few studies have been done on how children of other races, including whites, become aware of racial differences. Those available suggest that skin color is not as salient an issue for white children at the early grade-school stage of development as it is for blacks. It is understandable that young white children do not tend to regard skin color as important, since racial prejudice is generally not a factor in their lives.

I am impressed by how little race seems to matter to many of the white young grade-schoolers I encounter. Most of them, from families of friends and acquaintances, attend integrated schools or live in mixed-race communities. Their answers to my question about race are similar to Ian’s, a six-year-old white youngster. Ian described the colors of the white and black people as, respectively, “whitish” and “brownish”; he can identify the “Chinese” people and says that he has friends who speak Spanish, although he doesn’t have a special name for them. Like black children who do not come from racially obsessed families, Ian did not spontaneously describe or categorize people by skin color or race. Despite my repeated promptings, Ian could not think of a single way, other than skin color, in which blacks and whites differed. Although his level of understanding about how people get their color and his awareness of the existence of different racial groups was similar to that of black children, skin color did not seem as emotional an issue for him as it was for some blacks.

I have heard of Latino and Asian children for whom “race” became an emotional issue when they were subjected to teasing and other mean behavior because of their accents, their limited fluency in English, their different types of dress or the lunches they bring to school. Fortunately, however, most early grade-schoolers, regardless of race, do not seem to have stereotypes of themselves or of people who are different colors. Like preschoolers, they are inclined to see people as individuals rather than as members of a group–color, racial or otherwise. Because of this developmental advantage, these early years are an optimum time for children of different races to get to know each other, before they become aware of the stereotypes that in time will rob them of their racial innocence.

I suspect that children in other countries with a history of racial discrimination develop race awareness in ways similar to American children. Several years ago, I met a lovely white six-year-old at the home of friends of friends while visiting Australia. From the start, she seemed very comfortable with me, unlike a few of the adults, all gracious people, who it seemed to me were trying a little too hard to appear at ease with a black person. Circumstances led to my spending much of the afternoon talking and playing games with her. It wasn’t until much time had passed and we rejoined the adults’ conversation that she began to ask me about myself.

First, she asked questions about my skin color (like “How did your skin color become brown?” and “Will it change back?”). Next, she asked me about my full lips. Her parents understandably were discomfited by her questions and took turns trying to dissuade her from asking me anything else. Actually, it was quite amusing. The parents were growing increasingly tense trying not to offend me, while their daughter, oblivious to their discomfort, became increasingly more persistent in her questioning. To make matters worse, their guest was not being very cooperative with the parents’ efforts to restrain their daughter.

In spite of my assurances that I didn’t mind answering the questions, the parents continued to try various strategies to silence their daughter, all the while doing their utmost not to appear anxious. Eventually, they found some pretext to escort her from the room. She had never seen, much less talked to, a black person before, and her curiosity was perfectly normal. I knew that to her, skin color and lip shape were just physical attributes, not the hot potatoes they were to her parents. When we said good-bye later that day, I felt a tinge of sadness; I wondered if I visited her again several years in the future whether she would see my color more than she would see me.

Even at this stage of development, children who have not been exposed to the racial prejudices of their family and society retain the remarkable gift of obliviousness to the social baggage attached to race. Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author and nationally syndicated talk show host, once told a marvelous story on her show about a childhood incident that illustrates this point. When she was a girl, she had a piano teacher named Charlie. Whenever he came to her home to give her piano lessons, he greeted her younger sister by hoisting her on his shoulders. One day, about a year after Laura had been taking lessons, Charlie did not hoist her sister on his shoulders. Instead, he bent down and gave her a candy. Her sister said, “Charlie, your hands are black!” This was the first time her sister had noticed Charlie’s skin color despite all the time they has known each other. Although she had been oblivious to his different skin color when she was younger, as she grew older, she was developmentally able to see the difference. Dr. Schlessinger concluded: “Racism is not congenital; it has to be learned.”

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