Saturday, March 29, 2008

Truth about motherhood...

Damselfly wrote about mothering with her ears open for a recent blog blast on Telling the Truth About Motherhood, which is happening in conjunction with this post on Discovery Health.

There are a lot of things I wish people would have told me about motherhood... some of which I am sure were told to me, but I did not have my ears open!

I wish someone had told me that little boys get erections. Yup. It starts at birth and continues through a lifetime. Until I had The Boy, I thought that the whole erection issue started around puberty, but no. I've shocked a few women with this knowledge, and I am sure that this post will shock a few more. So there you have it... what I wish I had known... with a chuckle!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yo J-Lo

So-- the J-LO and Mark twins' spread in People included an interview with the parents, where J-LO says (courtesy of Celebrity Baby Blog ... I know, stop looking at me like that...):

On her decision not to nurse the twins:

J: My mom didn't breastfeed, and I think that was the thing for me. You read and figure out what's the best thing for them.

As much as I have enjoyed J-LO in the past, my respect for her has dropped to an all-time low. I am disappointed in her answer-- not only that she decided not to nurse, but her statement says that she "read and figure(ed) out what's the best thing for them." What in the heck is she reading that tells her that formula is best for a baby? If she didn't want to breastfeed, she should have just said that and not tried to back up her answer with having done research and then deciding that breast was not best. Hmph. Sorry, J-Lo. You've lost this fan.

Monday, March 24, 2008

US Mothers are Dying... Why don't we know that?

Crunchy Domestic Goddess wrote a post on that title last week, and I have been saving it. It's starred in my reader, and a MUST READ for anyone considering having a baby; anyone who knows someone having a baby; EVERYONE!

Food for thought (from her post):
The maternal death rate in the United States is the highest it’s been in decades - 13 deaths* per 100,000 live births and, even more startling, for black women 34.7 deaths per 100,000, in 2004. Gaskin asserts it also may be seriously underreported. According to the Center for Disease Control in 1998, “there is so much misclassification in the US system of maternal death reporting that the actual number could be as much as three times greater than the number officially published each year.


THREE TIMES! Did you read it?

You might say that I am scaring people, but let's face it. Some people need to be freaked out enough to stop and think about what is happening in this country! I touched on it in my post about The Business of Being Born.

So, why don't "we" know about this? My thought-- people don't want to know. We are socialized to believe that if we go in to the hospital and deliver our baby, everything will work out wonderfully.

Well, guess what?

It doesn't. Life isn't perfect, and childbirth carries risks no matter where you birth. If you feel comfortable in a hospital, great. If not, no problem. But take a minute to weigh the risks associated with BOTH options! Look beyond what society (and your doctor/midwife for that matter) tell you, and think for yourselves ladies! Our brains work as well as our vaginas.

In a society full of instant gratification, pregnancy and childbirth is an excellent opportunity for delayed gratification-- working towards that final goal. Be patient. Trust yourself and your body. Be healthy. And bask in the final result!

***In the interest of full disclosure, I am opposed to unnecessary medical intervention in to labor and delivery. I am well aware from my own birthing experience that sometimes things don't go as planned and intervention is necessary.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Business of Being Born

My friend, Kara, watched The Business of Being Born almost a month after I went and saw the show at the Circle Cinema, so I suppose it is high time I get to writing about the film!

As some/most of you know, The Boy was born in Frankfurt Germany, and in spite of my best intentions, the birth did not go as planned. However, due to an amazing midwife, I feel like I had a wonderful experience. Knowing what I know now, would I have done some things differently? Definitely, but that does not change that we made solid decisions for the health of me and the boy, and I pushed him out unassisted.

I heard about The Business of Being Born (TBBB) from a blog I read, so I went to look up the places where it was showing. I was actually rather shocked to see that there would be a showing in Tulsa, but as soon as I found out the times, I asked a few friends to join me for some afternoon "fun." I knew going in that the film was very pro-natural, pro-home birth. (BTW-- if you are anti either or both of these, just stop reading now and continue your business as usual.) After watching it, and having Kara also point it out, I feel like I should mention that it is almost to the point of midwife propaganda, BUT there are so many facts dispersed in the film, that unless you choose to focus on that aspect, you should be able to take that with a grain of salt.

The film itself only solidified my gut feeling that we are allowing doctors...mostly men... decide when and how we will birth our babies. Not only that, but we are avoiding "nature" and scheduling our births for no medical reason! I know. I "scheduled" the birth of The Boy after he failed to show up for 12 days, and he was born on the 13th. That is one thing I would do over. I would have waited a couple more days to see if he would have shown up on his own.

In a time where the US's C-section rate is more than twice what the WHO suggests it should be for any country, the film is eye-opening and a breath of fresh air that au natural does not mean you need to be a hippie...or self-sacrificing. Quite the contrary. The US also has some of the highest infant and mother mortality rates in the developed world. Even honest doctors will tell you that vaginal delivery is safer than a c-section. After all, a c-section is a MAJOR abdominal surgery.

Now, before the c-section police get on my ass, let me be straight. I believe that the c-section has a place in our society and in medical care. In some cases, it is more than necessary. However, that percentage is rather low. Ladies-- our vaginas and bodies function just fine without medical intervention!

I skimmed over the home birth portion, but let me make a few statements on that too before I end this LONG post. I do not believe in the scare tactics used by American doctors to discourage home births. They have a financial interest in delivering babies, and they want no part in anything that would jeopardize their share of the market. A trained (and licensed in states where a license is available) midwife will be able to help you deliver a baby just as well as a doctor. If there are complications, only a crappy midwife wouldn't have a back-up plan. Not every birth goes as planned in the film either. This is another thing I would have changed. My midwife asked if I wanted a home birth, and I said no. If I were doing it again, I would say yes. I think it would have been a lot more relaxing, and a much nicer all around situation. I would have delivered in the bathtub I think... anyway...

Some final food for thought--

An uncomplicated c-section costs almost double what an uncomplicated vaginal delivery costs. Complications and drugs only add to the cost. Paying cash? Be prepared to fork over more than $10K.

Why not take an elective c-section and treat it as cosmetic surgery for insurance purposes? Or limit the coverage of an elective c-section to that of an uncomplicated vaginal delivery?

An article on the founder of lay-midwifery in the US.

The Job update

I've had several questions on how the job application is going. Well, it is going slowly. See the Feds have a long drawn out process with very strict requirements, so I am still in the gathering/writing my resumix self-nomination form, which is due by 11 April. After that, I wait...and wait...to hear if I made it on to the short-list. If I do, I interview, and then hopefully can get the job. If there are no other qualified applicants, or I am clearly better than the alternative, I can get the job sans interview, but at this point, I have no idea who else is applying!

So... I keep working on it. I need desperately to get my transcript from OSU, so I plan on faxing that on over tomorrow. Other than that... keep your fingers crossed. I will post right after I submit!

I adopted my son/daughter...

... so I couldn't nurse. WRONG! And here is a great article in the Chicago Tribune about mother's who did adopt and did induce lactation or relactate in order to nurse their adopted child(ren). If you are thinking about adopting and nursing or just want more information, Kellymom is a great source!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My guilty pleasures!

Schokolade Maedchen tagged me to list my top 3 guilty pleasures... here they are!

Here are my top 3 guilty pleasures:

Nutella-- The only thing better than a small jar of Nutella is a large one! Eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I won't tell!

A good handbag-- I love a good handbag. That Fendi I bought in December 2006? It gets used and used and used some more! And nothing polishes off the perfect outfit like the perfect bag!

Manis, Pedis, Facials, Massages and Waxing-- Honestly, I have neglected these, but when I can have them, I LOVE them. Hopefully I can get back to them soon!

I am not going to take anyone, but play along if you want!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fear.

This is going to be a quickie, but I have to get it off my chest. I am freaked out! Wanna know why? Obviously you do or you would have closed the window by now. Let's start from the beginning...Cliff's Notes style.

The Senior Economist retired in January. I am his understudy. His position "hit the street" at USA Jobs today. I need to apply. I should apply. I will apply. I am freaked about about NOT getting the position. I know that I am probably not the best candidate out there and probably will not get the job, but I fear looking like an ass for even trying...and then failing once I do try. My supervisors know and want me to apply anyway.

Not to worry. I am going to do it, but I am freaked out about it. My heart is racing already. More on this topic and failure, societal views of success and failure and the pressures to succeed without ever failing to come over the next month.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Grief and Grieving

Most of you who visit my other blog know that my Grandpa died a little over a week ago. Before I left, a friend asked which stage of grief I was in. I told him I was numb in an acceptance kind of way. Looking back, I think I was somewhere undefined.

Several authors describe the stages slightly differently, but typically, there are seven stages of grief identified:

- Shock or Disbelief

- Denial
- Anger
- Bargaining
- Guilt
- Depression
- Acceptance and Hope

Honestly, I am not sure that I have gone through all of the stages, nor do I necessarily believe I will. I was not shocked when Grandpa died. I had seen him around Christmas time, and he was not doing well then. However, knowing it was coming does not make my heart ache less. I was not angry at God, the doctors or anyone for his death.

I did (and do) feel guilty for not going home on Tuesday/Wednesday like I had thought I might do. I felt even more guilt for not leaving on Friday. However, I think I suppress that feeling-- knowing that it was an impossible decision.

If anything, I'd say I am currently somewhere between the mildly depressed/sad stage and acceptance. (Keep in mind that this is not clinical depression, but a sadness.) I have read that depression can come and go throughout all stages of grief. I am sad that I won't see him interact with The Boy any more. I am sad that he isn't there to pray before meals. I am sad for my Grandma, because after 57 years of marriage, she is without her partner in life. My heart...it is heavy. I suspect I will feel like this for a while, and there will be good and bad times, but overall, I accept his death and must keep living life.

I have been absent...and this post reflects why. I'll be on to more controversial topics soon.

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