Thursday, September 30, 2010

Facebook and their stupid censorship!

So, 2 major activists for breastfeeding I know on facebook have had their accounts deleted. Emma Kwasnica, and Kate Hansen. I am so upset over this. I have become so paranoid, that I went on my back up account and added all my friends that I had not yet added from my main account. Why is facebook doing this to Mother's who breastfeed, practice  elimination communication, and intactivism?
It does not seem fair. I myself have had 2 warnings and photos deleted. In Feb of this yr, my original account was deleted by facebook and I never got it back. I lost so much that can't ever be replaced! There is NOTHING indecent about EC or Breastfeeding photos. The outrage we are all feeling over this is HUGE. I cannot imagine how these two precious ladies must feel! They are well known, and many depend on them and love what they stand for. I hope their accounts are reinstated. :'(     -Me

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Introductions Part 3 (The story of Peanut)

In late 2005, Phil and I hit an ultimate hormonal phase of doing you know what almost everyday. I am not sure why, but a few weeks later I started having pains in my sides, excessive tiredness, headaches, and cramping. Since I am irregular with my cycle, I didn't think anything of it! My Hubby suspected that I was pregnant but didn't want me to get my hopes up like I had so many times before.
About mid January, I decided to take a home test with Phil's urging. It came back positive! It was very faint, but it did show SOMETHING...He was very apprehensive to accept the home test because I had taken MANY over the yrs and they were wrong.
I made an appointment at the Crisis Pregnancy Center, to get a test done. I remember how nervous I was. It had been 9 yrs since I had a baby. How did I even know if I would be a good Mom to a newborn again?
Their test was positive too! I then applied for medical assistance. I started thinking of my options for prenatal care and my birth. I had always wanted a homebirth but I knew that my Husband did not agree with it. I had never really heard much about unassisted birth, but it did fascinate me. I decided I wanted to find a Midwife and have a hospital water birth. 
During my pregnancy here are SOME but not all of the books I read:

The Birth Book: Everything You Need To Know About Having A Safe and Satisfying Birth by William Sears MD

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

The complete Book if Pregnancy and Chilbirth by Sheila Kitzinger

Gentle birth Choices by Barbara Harper 

Birthing From Within by Michael Odent

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League

The Breastfeeding Book by Martha Sears

Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding by Eileen Behan

Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering by Sarah J Buckley

Big Beautiful and Pregnant by Cornelia Van Der Zeil MD and Jaqueline Tourville

Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read

Now as I stated before, these are only a FEW of them. ANYWAY, back to the story...

So, when I realized I wanted a Midwife, I was excited to find that there was a  Midwives available to me even though I was on government medical. I made an appointment to meet with  her. She had an office only a few miles from where we lived. I learned that there was a birthing center in Phoenix, and found out what specific health plans they accept, and chose one accordingly.
Walking into her office lobby that first time and signing in, I was so nervous! The first thing she asked me was "Why I felt I wanted a Midwife for my birth" and to which I answered, because I wanted a natural birth with none of the interventions during my birth that an OB/GYN would normally do or push. She told me that their offices at the birth center indeed had an OB/GYN on staff, but that if I preferred not to be seen by him, i could request one of the other people for my appointments if she was not available. I liked that idea. She asked me about why I wanted a water birth. I told her that I felt it would be more relaxing, and that I loved water and wanted my baby to come into the world almost the same as where he/she grew for 9 months.

Her next question really surprised me. She wanted to know if I would be breastfeeding. I said most definitely YES! Now her next question blew me even more away. She asked if I had given any thought to whether I would circumcise or not if the baby was a boy! I didn't know what to say to be honest. I was kind of shocked. I said, well my son was circ'ed when he was 19 months during Orchiopexy surgery, and that I had regretted the decision due to his pain and swelling and bleeding. She said, "ok well let me know if you have any questions about that." and there was no other questions about it or discussion. I honestly to this day do not know if she is or isn't for it.

During all of my pregnancies I NEVER threw up at all, but had "morning sickness" all hrs of the day and night through most of the pregnancy. This I would say was TORTURE to me. With V I craved ranch dressing on EVERYTHING, with H I craved chicken constantly, but with Peanut I craved cheese danishes, protein bars, and protein shakes. Whoah super weird

My ultrasound was scheduled for March 28th 2006! Phil did not attend the ultrasound but V, H, my friend Beth, and my "nephew" Malachi. (Who was about 10 months old at the time.) When I got there I had already drank 44 ounces of water, but the Tech guy said it was not as full as he would have liked my bladder to be. I had emptied it a little but not much. He also tried to tell me I wasn't as far along as I thought and I knew he was wrong because I knew when we had conceived!  (it turned out later that I was right and he and the Midwife were wrong!)
Seeing her little feet all up in the "air" and waving her little hand, that was so sweet. I didn't know the dangers of ultrasounds back them but I do now.

Anyways, the kids were enrolled at Eagleridge Enrichment Program at the time, but did work with me during their off days from the program. In my 5th month, we had to move back to Phoenix, so we had to pull them out of Eagleridge because the travel time would have been crazy. (We still had a car (barely) at this point, but it was having a lot of problems.)
Within 1 week of moving back to Phoenix, our car went "KAPUT" on us and we gimped it to the dealership. We had ZERO money to get it fixed. The dealership guy said he would "take care of everything." And gave us a ride home in a company vehicle. We honestly thought he mean the would have it fixed for us, BUT nope. 6 days later we received a paper of  "voluntary repossession."

That RAT of a salesman had repossessed the car unbeknownst to us! What an @#*&%^!!!
From then on we were without transportation...thank God we had friends with a Van! Anywho, I enrolled the kids in Arizona Virtual Academy. The teachers came to our home and did some testing, evaluating, and placement. At first, things were going fine. The school provided a brand new computer, ,materials, books, software, etc. But after awhile the kids were struggling to keep up with the required amount of work, and the curriculum was very advanced.   So, the school allowe dthem to stay on, but not without warnings and lectures constantly directed at me that my kids "weren't keeping up." 

My first visit to the midwifery offices in Phoenix weren't that great. (except for finding a copy of Compleat Mother!) The wanted to weigh me ever single time, talked to me about not eating too much, poked and prod at me, and I rarely got to see my CHOSEN Midwife. (Donna Tash CNM) It was very irritating! Then, in my 8th month, they lost my birth plan that I had given them on file, one of the Midwives on staff was very snobby to me, and told me that I could not continue there unless I submitted another one. WTH??? I told her that I had given Donna one in the beginning and she said to me, "AGAIN Mrs. Smalley, I REPEAT, you CANNOT continue our services without a birth plan." I just stood there watching her body language and thinking, is this how they are going to treat me? I felt disappointed because I didn't have a back up copy. It had been lost on my computer when it crashed. So, I had to make one over again and submit it to them.

Nearing my 36th week, they did another ultrasound, and everything looked fine. I guess I should mention that I am "high risk" according to the medical professionals. I get Gestational Diabetes with every pregnancy, and I am also A-. No RH I have always had to get that stupid Rhogam shot. Anyway, the 2nd ultrasound was a pain to even get to that day. Phil and I and the kids with Beth and Malachi all rode the bus to the Midwifery offices in the dead middle of Arizona summer. We were so hot and exhausted by the time we got there! The Tech would not allow anyone with me, and even tried to tell my Husband he could not come! I was like, "He is my husband, he has a right to be there, especially if something was wrong!" So in the end, she let him see the ultrasound. The reason they were doing another Ultrasound was because my baby was "not in the right position for birth, and she isn't measuring the right size" I was told. It was difficult for the nurse practitioner who had seen me a few days prior to tell exactly what position Peanut was in, because I have an anteroflex uterus and she was very far into my back. In fact, when i would walk, I felt like a had a straight 2x4 nailed to my back at that point in the pregnancy. I think Peanut was pinching some nerves. With both my girls, I had sciatica acted up so bad that I had a lot of problems walking anyway.

 At my appointment, (week 37) I was asked to come into he financial office and speak to the woman who handles billing. She informed me that I would need to come up with $780 in order to have my water birth at the birthing center. WHAT??? Apparently my insurance had switched it's policies and stopped covering the birthing center! I was so pissed. I asked her if I could change my health plan to one that would cover it but the next enrollment date was October! That would have been way too late So, I was aced out of my very much wanted water birth because I had been told that the hospital I would h ave her at (the only hospital that the Midwives were contracted to) did not allow .birthing mothers to get into a tub during labor. Ridiculous right?

The next few weeks went by so slow I felt I was aging at a rate of 1 yr older per minute it seemed like. A tthat time, the "Numa Numa song" was popular and all over youtube and the internet. I remember swaying and jumping and bouncing all around to that dumb song, hoping labor would start because I couldn't stand being pregnant anymore! The other popular song was "Here it Goes Agin" by some weird group called "OK! GO!" 

In my 40th week,  the kids and I had gone to Target on the bus and we were going to take a cab home with our groceries. Well, when i went to pull money out of the atm, I had left our bank card in the machine and didn't realize it until I had been shopping for a few hrs. We were taking our sweet time just to get out of the house that day. 
I called Phil on my cell phone and told him what had happened, and I was balling my eyes out! (those pregnancy hormones sure do make me wacky!)
 Phil was so sweet, and calmly told me to just go to customer service and ask if anyone had returned it. I was doubtful, but when I did, YAY! Some honest person had. So, that made me feel 100% better!

Okay, now-are you ready for my birth story, because I have arrived at that part of this post!?

Monday the 18th of September I had been having a lot of contractions but I was not dialating and they seemed irregular just intense though. I had taught Beth how to do pelvic exams during her own pregnancy, soshe had learned to do them on me. I taught her to gently not forcibly slide her finger around in there and she had felt Peanut's head and thought it was so cool! Now, I am not one for having my fingers up some other woman's "cookie" but, I had read up on how to do it when she was pregnant with Malachi, so I got to touch him pretty much before anyone else did because I felt his head! That made me feel so special, so when she did it for me, she felt all excited and was squealing, "I felt her head, I felt her head!" LOL it was quite humorous and sweet. 

Anyway, I remained that way for 3 more days. Constant discomfort but not pain. It really was irritating! Thursday evening, the 21st, Phil and the kids and I had walked down to the corner and had some Carl's Jr. for dinner. I had been having more intense "rushes" while we were eating, and I knew my body was ready. I called my "coach" (My adopted Mom Catherine) @ about 8:30 pm. She said she would get ready and be there as soon as she could. She had to pack for a few days stay at my house because she was going to watch the kids while Phil and I stayed the night with the baby in the hospital after birth. Well, when we got home from dinner, I felt the contractions even more, so I let my instincts take over, and I just started cleaning and moving furniture. HEAVY furniture! Heavy book shelves in particular lol.

Mom arrived about 11:300 pm that night. We all went to bed and I tried my best to sleep. Around 3 or 4 am, we decided to wake Phil because my contractions were really close together. Upon arriving at the hospital, the Midwife I had mentioned I didn't like because of her snootiness was on call and came to check on me. She was like, "You aren't in active labor yet, what is it you would like us to do for you if you want a natural birth, do you want us to induce you?" I didn't know what to say, because I thought I had been in active labor and that is why I came so I told her that no I did not want to be induced. She asked if I wanted to go labor at home until I was ready to give birth and then transfer myself to the hospital. I agreed and she released me. The main reason I  was mad at her reaction was because she was assuming I came to the hospital because I didn't know what I was doing! She had even mentioned that I must not know after 3 kids what active labor was.
Anyway, we arrived back home, and my son V who was 11 almost 12 at the time was complaining of painful urination and said he has some blood in his urine. He didn't want to tell me because he knew I was close to birth. Mom and I decided to immediately take him to Phoenix Children's Hospital to have him looked at. During this whole time I was working through my "rushes" or contractions. The staff at the hospital were concerned I would give birth in their hospital , LOL and they were not equipped for that. I assured them that I was fine and was not going to have my baby there, ha ha. Anyway, so they gave V a prescription and took care of his needs and we went home. The rest of the day we just relaxed and slept as much as possible. Mom is not for homebirth, so she kept urging me to go to the hospital. I didn't want to because like Marla the snooty Midwife said, I wanted to labor at home. LOL! I kept in tune with my body and was not in any pain, just some discomfort. 

At about 8 pm I started to feel Peanut transitioning and sliding into position and then I KNEW it was time to go to the hospital. So, we all piled in. During my huffing and puffing, Mom had made a wrong turn and got lost. Once she was back on the right track, I was starting to REALLY ge concerned that this baby was going to come while in the car! I mean I could LITERALLY feel her ready. I remember Mom saying something like, "Hold on Bubbs, we are almost there. 
When we got there, she drove up tot the Emergency entrance of Phoenix Baptist Hospital and dropped us off . I wanted to WALK into the E Room but they wouldn't let  so she could park the car and come in after us with the kids and Andy. (My "brother", who is down syndrome) Anyway, so we got inside and upon checking in and  admitting us, we sat there for over half an hour. Phil kept trying to tell them I was ready to give birth but nobody listened! FINALLY, they called me back. By then, Mom and the kids had come in and we were all now sitting in this small hallway waiting area. I  just kept breathing through my rushes, and then all of the sudden, my water broke all over me and all over the chair I had been sitting in, and all over the floor! (My pants were ruined!) I forgot to mention that earlier that morning when I had seen Marla the snotty Midwife, she had checked me and said my bag of waters was still intact but bulging. (I have had a very thick strong bag of waters with all my pregnancies, but it was more thick with V and Peanut than with H.)
So Anyway, the nurse had been taking her sweet time and had told us we would be put in a laboy and delivery room as soon as one was available. SERIOUSLY??? My body was telling me to push! When Phil told her , "Ummm, My wife's water just broke lady! If you don't want her having this baby right here, I suggest you bet us a room!" When she came to see it "for herself" instead of taking our word for it, she said, "Oh, SH**!" and hurried to call my Midwife and get me into a room. It was approximately 9:01 pm!
They  "prepped" me for birth, or at least tried to but I was ignoring all of them and just allowing my body to do what it was meant to. They wanted to put the monitors on me and I refused. I remember shaking my head no, and telling them I was pushing. The nurse that had not taken us seriously before my water broke told me to "wait for Donna hun, wait for Donna" and I IGNORED HER! 
Another nurse came in and thank God she was so sweet. I told her "I am pushing, I can feel the baby is coming!" She responded so kindly and said, "Go for it sweetie, Donna will be here in a few moments, she is getting ready now." I must admit that at this point I was VERY uncomfortable. I kept leaning forward and lifting my Bum because it felt better than laying flat on my back! Donna arrived (my Midwife) and she got down there to have a look see. I started to cry because "the ring of fire" had begun! She even said, "Okay let's have this baby! Sh eis coming out now! (Also I have to add that at some point in the 20 minutes between my water breaking and Peanut's birth, I had asked for some pain control lol. YES I admit it, I almost caved!!!)
I think there was maybe 3  BIG pushes, and Peanut was out! It was 9:21 pm on 9-22-06. LOL 
V had missed the actual birth because he had been in the bathroom (my poor boy!) in pain trying to pee! He came out a few seconds after her birth. Everyone was congratulating me. I was feeling such a high sense of accomplishment. The room was quiet. Donna immediately placed Pea nut on my chest while she helped the placenta to birth. She made a joke about how I hadn't needed her for the birth because I did it myself, and that she was only there to retrieve the sac. LOL

I did not tear, and never have. I am lucky. My babies all have small heads! Ha Ha! Anywho, for the first 30 or  more minutes, the left us alone. They did not try to cut her cord right away. When it was done pulsating, Donna had Phil cut it. Mom had cut H's cord in 1996, and Phil had cut V's cord in 1995. After the cord was cut, they all just LEFT. it was all of us in this quiet room. I put Peanut to the breast. She latched on so easily! Nobody in the medical field took her away, or interfered. I rubbed the stuff that was all over her into her skin. It was so peaceful and sweet, that first hour. 
Eventually, after about an hour, the nurse (nice one) came in and said it was time  for her bath. OH BOY Peanut did not like that! H the doting sister stayed right by her side and held her hand. Peanut cried the whole time! Daddy and Brother and Sister oogled and awwww'd over Peanut, while I went in the bathroom and cleaned myself up a bit. Someone came to change my bedding.  

After her bath, Peanut nursed some more. Grandma, Uncle Andy and kids and Daddy had held her, and now it was MY TURN to hold her again, and bask in the sweet knewness of my baby, that I had NATURALLY and totally by myself! I made a note to myself that if we ever had another baby, I KNEW I would have a homebirth. I knew I could do it! Pardon me while I BRAG, but I was SO PROUD of me!!! LOL 
Anyway, Mom kissed me and baby goodbye, and so did the kids, and they left for my house. When Peanut was 3 hrs old, they transferred me to an "overflow room" because they could not find me a post partum spot.  Around 1 am we were all settled in, and we fell asleep. Daddy on his cot, and me with Peanut in a bed. I had to sign this form saying they were not responsible if something happened while sleeping with my baby. One of the nurses had come in prior to this and mentioned that "It is hospital policy that the baby remain in a basinette unless feeding for their safety and to protect the hospital legally" I told her that I would sign whatever I had to, because I WAS NOT going to leave my baby in that "thing". LOL I of course got my way! :)

Peanut had her first poo when she was awake and I was sleeping and Daddy had been tending to her. (By the I sit here and type this, and walk down memory lane, I am crying. What precious moments those first few hours were, and how oh os close I felt to my Husband like I never had before, because with our other 2, he did not want to stay at the hospital with me, and I had felt so hurt about it. When I had V, I was alone. When I had H, at least I had Mom Catherine there.)
I woke because I heard Peanut whimpering, and there was Daddy changing a POOPIE! Her first one! I snapped a picture, LOL. 

Around 11 am, Donna came to check on us and everything was fine. I took her picture while she was holding Peanut. I had not realized how tiny Donna was until I got the picture developed! So anyway, she asked if we wanted to go home. I was like, "YES!" so we were released about 1 pm and Mom left the kids and Andy home at our house and came to pick us up. Donna had prescribed some medication for my "soreness' (I think it was prescription Tylenol but I can't remember.) So after bringing Peanut home, and introducing her to our Dog (he loved the baby so much he wanted to lick her, but we didn't let him do it on her face, only her toes!) Mom and I left the baby  with Phil to go get my prescription, and Phil and kids walked across the street to McD's for a bite to eat. 

The next few days were a bit of a blur for me. I just nursed and slept and nursed and slept. Daddy took care of diaper changes when he could, and the kids stayed quiet for me. I was up on the 3rd day and ready to conquer the world! LOL We had the Fletcher's come over, and Fushia and Ronnie as well. Mom had gone home that first day we came home, because she had some things she had to do. All our friends took turns holding her, and after they left things quieted down again. 
On Friday, the day peanut turned 1 week old, the kids and I decided to go to Target and do some shopping. I will never forget it. WHY? Because there was some guy on the bus shouting profanities because he had been asked to give up his seat for a mom. (me) There were so many women and children (ourselves included) on that bus. The driver of the bus (who knew us well) asked him to kindly STOP cursing. He refused. I was so mad I got in his face! I said, "Sir, I just had a baby, and I got lots of hormones going on right now! YOU DON'T WANNA MESS WITH ME! Now, you can either get off this bus, or I WILL MAKE YOU!" He proceeded to continue...The bus driver STOPPED, yes STOPPED the bus, and said, "There is no need for threats now."  (to me) and then to the guy, "SIR, remove yourself from MY BUS please or I will call the police." The guy got off, LOL.

Well, I think I am DONE finally, YAY!!! I hope you all enjoy my birth story. Sorry it is so long...Please subscribe and comment, and THANK YOU for reading! -Me :)



Saturday, September 25, 2010

Good people do STILL exist!

So today ladies and gents, I was able to meet a fairly new facebook friend in person.! She is an awesome Mamma and her baby is so sweet. She told me weeks ago that she had got Peanut a birthday gift and was going to get together with me whether there was a party or not. (I had made a facebook event about 4 months ago for her 4th birthday party but for lack of guests, I canceled it a few days ago.  
We went to the Chandler Mall. First we found the food court because we were hungry. Peanut had said she didn't want to eat, but I knew she would change her mind. So, when I ordered my chicken quesadilla I made sure they left 1/4 with just the cheese.  Anywho, Peanut was a good girl and spoke up when she had to potty, and used the "noisy potty" (as she calls them) without being terrified like she used to. By then she was already looking tired and wanted me to carry her.  ,My friend had offered as we were going into the mall for me to use her Babyhawk, but I declined at that time. 
At the play area we sat and talked while baby J nursed and observed, and Peanut played. I love the fact that she nurses J (who is 4months old) out in the open and does not hide in a bathroom stall. That was great to see.  (you know what I mean.)
Afterwards, I accepted the invitation to use the Babyhawk because Peanut was looking more tired. We went into Barnes and Noble bookstore inside the mall, and as soon as we got there,  Peanut told me she wanted "down". LOL. 
I wanted to get her a "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" book, and a Spencer wooden train for her birthday gift because we had talked about those 2 things beforehand and that is what she wanted. (She has a DVD made by Scholastic and it has the CCBB song with animation on it just like the book, and it is her favorite song, also she collects Thomas toys) 
We looked around for awhile, and even read the book I mentioned while we we there. Peanut had other ideas! She put back the Spencer, and picked out a sparkly clown fish plushy/stuffy. It was what she wanted, and we all know that with "AP" styles-child led is the way to go, so I saw no harm in letting her choose her own gift.  I was still willing to get the book, but she stated she only wanted 1 gift so I put the book back! (OKAY...?) When it was time to pay, I even got a discount, thanks to my friend! Peanut was extremely tired by then, and I had forgotten my wrap/mei tei, and didn't bring her stroller. J's carseat goes to 35 pounds, and my friend has the "snap n go" stroller base, so his Mommy let me use it since he was asleep in his Babyhawk on his mamma.
We got the kiddles in the car and poor J cried a bit until she took him out when we got to my place, just for a few minutes. I am glad she didn't come inside though because when I opened the door, it stunk! The baby kitties had pooped in their box. Ewwwww!
Anyway, that was my day, and I learned that good people do still exist! Next time I will right Peanut's birth story...I hope. -Me


Thursday, September 23, 2010

C's 4th birthday 9-22-10

Our day started at around 5am. I think I must have woke her up with my coughing. She was eager to get her birth day going. LOL! She asked to wear her Thomas dress at about 5:30 am, so I proceeded to put it on. It took me a while, what with this cold zapping my energy. I even did her hair in little twistie buns and placed her Thomas bow on the side of her head! We went downstairs at about 6 am. Peanut wanted to watch the Madagascar christmas movie so I put it in. Then she asked for applesauce for breakfast.
After breakfast and her short dvd we headed outside because she wanted to play with the dog. She was very careful in her play so as not to dirty her outfit. By about 7:30am I was snapping a few pictures. For a total of 5 minutes she let me, and then she wanted the dress off so she could play with her trains in the mud. I didn't think it would harm anything so I let her. I was able to capture a few images of her palying, whilst wearing only her hair bow and some panties, LOL.
Later, Ronnie took us out for lunch to Pacific Buffet. We know 2 of the waitresses fairly well after dining there many times, so it was good to see them. They were so surprised that she was 4 already, as the first time we ate there she was about 18 months. They showed up half way through the meal with a piece of strawberry shortcake with a candle in it and sang her Happy Birthday. She was kinda shocked! I caught a picture of that too! On the way home she wanted to stop and play by the motor sports place. (Alot of small hills and grass) and I was able to snap some more pics of her playing and pushing her stroller, LOL.
After we returned we kinda just hung out. Adam and H baked the cake for me while we were at lunch and it was cool when we got back, but I wanted to wait til Da Da got home for the girls and I to decorate it.
Adam prepared dinner for us. Baked chicken legs, and herb noodles. YUM! We sang Peanut Happy Birthday and had our cake and ice cream. We didn't have any gifts for her to open for financial reasons between pay checks, but she knows she will be getting her gift this weekend. Probably will be something Thomas related...Anyway, I am going to close this blog post for now, because this cold is really kicking my butt. I hope to feel better by this weekend. :) -Me

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Montage 9/14/10 at

For my children...

Introductions Part 2

My labor with H started on November 22nd 1996 at around 4 pm in the afternoon. I was sitting on the couch and felt wetness all of the sudden. I went to the bathroom, and sure enough more trickling. I called Phil at work and told him my bag of waters had begun to leak. Cathie (whom I called "Mom" and considered her as such, was one of my mamma's best friend's and her sons and I grew up together) had been at a premiere Star Trek movie. I called her as well. I told her to call Dad (her Husband Dave) to let him know I was headed to the hospital with V (my son) in tow, Andy (her down syndrome son whom I consider a little brother) and Phil. We had previously arranged for Dave to come pick up the boys when I went into labor, and bring them to a lady named Beth from church who had 2 small boys near V's age. (Beth later turned out to be a very close friend)
 When I arrived at the hospital, Dad (Dave) had gotten there before we did, and was waiting for us at the check in counter to retrieve the boys. When they got me into a labor room and did some test strip, it registered that I was indeed in early labor. Mom (Cathie) arrived at the hospital as well. (She was to be my coach) and made some joke about that she knew it was going to happen today, and I believe she had even mentioned that when she had left that morning, LOL.
About 4 hrs went by with only 1cm progression, so not much was happening. As inn most (but not all) hospital births, they had me strapped to the bed, gave me pitocin, and I had monitors pinning me down and I was flat on my back.. I wanted to get up and move around, they wouldn't let me. I mentioned I was hungry, they told me I couldn't eat. Phil and Mom ordered pizza and I STILL was not allowed to eat. They brought me ice chips...
More hrs went by and I was told I was a 7 at about 11 pm. They told me they wanted to give me  an epidural because I was in pain. I remembered that it had taken away all the pain for V's birth so that is what I agreed to. It didn't work! It did however make my contractions stronger, come more often and more painful.
The intensity of the pain caused me to cry alot and whine. I was told to relax. HOW COULD I RELAX???
My ob/gyn was not on call, so his partner was tending to me. I had never met this dr at all, so I was very apprehensive. Anyway, labor progressed, and at around 3 am they told me I should start pushing. I did.
Around 4:23 am H was born. Mom cut her cord, and they took her across the room to poke prod and examine. I was not given her to hold at all. She was crying the whole time. I kept asking how much she weighed and they finally told me she was 6 pounds 3 ounces. Finally after about 25 minutes, they handed her to me. She looked like a porcelain doll! She was so tiny and beautiful! (I forgot to add about V, that he was 6 pounds 5 ounces at birth and was the sweetest thing I had ever set my eyes upon at the time)
Before H was born I had read about the importance of a birth and hospital plan, so when Mom helped me make one I wanted it clear that she was to room in with my the whole time, not leave my site for anything, and requested that NO BOTTLES OF FORMULA be given to her. We had a little message taped to her bassinette that said, "No bottles please, I am exclusively breastfed." (Mom's idea) The rest of my stay was very nice. They didn't try to take my baby from me for any reason, and preformed any "tests" on her in my presence. We were released to go home when she was 2 days old.
The first night H was home, all she did was cry. She would nurse and nurse and still seemed hungry. I got frustrated after 3 nights of no sleep and non stop crying, so I gave her some formula in an avent bottle. She didn't like that and it seemed to upset her tummy. So, I continued to just nurse her 24/7, which Mom told me was normal. I have never been so sleep deprived in my life! LOL
V didn't seem to like his new sister. He seemed so withdrawn, jealous and angry. I tried to spend time with him. He acted out alot, which I didn't understand at the time was his way of trying to get some attention. My poor V! His babyhood had been robbed!!! :(
When she was 6 days old I took her to her pediatrician. He said she had severe jaundice. She was soooooo yellow!!! He had her admitted to St. Joe's Hospital. They allowed me to stay with her but told me I could not sleep with my baby or hold her alot. I tried to nurse her but she was so sick and they told me that my breastmilk would only make her worse. So, I opted for formula in an avent bottle that Mom brought over, but continued to try to "pump and dump". I felt so sorry for my little H. She looked like a baby full of mustard, LOL. They had her in this incubator with her eyes covered with a soft little mask to protect her from the bright lights they had on her. I remember putting my hands through the incubator and just rubbing her gently and touching her with love and concern.
The woman in the bed next to me had a 5 month old son. I heard her arguing wit the nurses alot. They kept telling her she could not lay with her son on her chest because it was against hospital policy. She said she knew her rights and whatever she had to sign to not make them responsible she would. They brought her a paper to sign and that was that. She never let go of her son nor did she put him in the crib next to her. She was also breastfeeding, and I noticed that whenever her son made the slightest peep, she popped him on the breast. I thought that was awesome!
Her and I started talking and I was telling her how they informed me I could only hold H at feeding times. She shared with me that it wasn't true and that I had rights they didn't want me to know about. I did nothing at first, but then asked the nurse to sign a waiver so I could hold my child more often and have her on me sleeping. I was too timid and shy for too long, and didn't know how to stick up for my rights, even though I had them. The woman apparently owned a second hand children's boutique (which I wish I could remember the name of) and after she had been discharged with her baby, she came back to visit me and brang H some really cute dresses. I never saw her again, and sadly lost her number, but she inpacted my life as a parent.
Well, that's it for part 2. Here is a pic of Me, V, and H shortly after she was born.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Introductions part 1

This is the most recent picture of the kids and I, taken on August 8th 2010.

My name is Kelaiah. (real name withheld for safety) Hubbs and I married in 1993, and moved to Arizona in 1994 when I was pregnant with our first child V. He was born in Jan 1995, and it was the happiest day of my life. At the time, my Mamma was dying of cancer, I was in a new state, did not know anyone, and my family was 600 miles away. It was a very lonely and dark time for me. When I was pregnant with V, I knew I wanted to breastfeed and cloth diaper. I had become interested in these parenting styles when my Aunt Wendy had her Daughter Brianna in 1987, and my Mamma had done her best to inform me of what she could. She told me I had been breastfed until 5 months old, but we never discussed why I hadn't been for longer, so I will never know. Anyway, she also told me about cloth diapers and how she used to fold the flat ones and use rubber pants. (ewww, RUBBER pants?)
 So, I thought all births happened in the hospital. I didn't even know what homebirth was at that time. Needless to say, being only 19 and young, I was very nieve and unknowing of my rights as a patient. My hospital experience was awful. I arrived the morning of Jan 9th 1995, in "early" labor. They recommended an epidural, (done) and a pitocin drip. (done) I wasn't in any pain the whole time, feeling numb from my waist down. I even had a chance to call my Parent's in CA to tell them I was in labor. Anywho, I guess my blood pressure was creeping up too high, and the baby wasn't getting enough oxygen. (yrs later I learned why-because of the epidural and pit drip) After about 8 hrs, the doc broke my bag of waters without any warning. He just did it. An hour later, he said to me (while doing so) "I am giving you an episiotomy." and he did it just like that. (come to find out later that he was so careless, that he cut almost to my anus, and I couldn't poop for nearly 3 weeks! Sorry if TMI) and V was born within a few minutes.
My baby was born blue. He wasn't breathing well. (effects of their interference again) Phil got to hold him for about 2 seconds and we took a picture, then I got to hold my son for not even 5 minutes and nurse him. (He latched on beautifully, too bad the hospital destroyed that for me and robbed me and our son of this special bonding and cure all meal and moment.) Next time I saw my baby, (after asking for him a dozen times) was when he was about 6 hrs old. They kept telling me they had to "stabalize him" and would bring him to me when he was alright. When they finally did, he had already been introduced to bottles of sugar water and also formula. This upset me, and still does when I think about it. Anyway, they didn't care. I tried to nurse him. He was fighting it. He was hungry and didn't want to work the breast. I asked for help getting him to latch. They nurse came in a clumsily tried to show him how to. My baby got frustrated. He was scrunching up his face, and his legs were fiercely kicking me. I tried every position I had read about. She left, and he latched and fell asleep out of pure frustration and exhaustion, and so did I. I wasn't even sure if he was getting anything. The nurse came in to check on me when he awoke ravagingly hungry. She said to me, "You might as well give up trying to breastfeed sweetie, he doesn't like it and he is hungry. You need to give him a bottle." I gave in. I fed him the formula, in which he gulped down in no time. He was still hungry, so I put him to my breast. He suckled until he fell alseep. This feeding formula and putting him to the breast after he was burped remained routine until we left the hospital. It was heartbreaking to hear my baby scream and cry and kick his little feet and suck his thumb. I thought there was something wrong with me. I felt like a failure!
Arriving home with our baby was even more stressful. (We lived with Phil's overbearing doting minipulative controlling mother and his Dad and Grandma) While I understand that she had a hard time thinking of me as an adult, it was very annoying to be told what I should and should not do with my baby on a daily basis. It seemed like everything I did was wrong to her. I held him to much, he wasn't warm enough, I was going to spoil him, I shouldn't let him sleep or bathe with me, etc. etc. etc. it never ended. She kept filling my head with negativity over and over. I had continued to nurse him and bottle feed him, but he obviously wanted the bottle more. She would tell me how I was "confusing him" and should just give up nursing him. I caved. I gave in. From the age of 2 weeks, my baby boy was weaned forcibly. I cannot tell you how ashamed I am to this day.
When he was just about to be 2 months old and I was visiting my family in CA, my mom's parents, brothers, and sisters came over to spend some time with her. My Aunt Wendy and I were talking, and I shared with her my struggle to breastfeed him those dreadful first 2 weeks and how I gave up. She talked to me about relactating, and worked with me and baby V that day. It didn't work. He was dead set on his bottles and his formula, and although I continued to try for a few weeks to get my milk to return so I could nurse him, it never did. The stress didn't help any. Between caring for V, I was also caring for my dying Mother. I drove her to radiation and chemo, doctor visits, helped her to dress, bathe, prepared meals for her at times, etc. It was Brian and I responsible for most of her care. You cannot imagine how bittersweet those last months were for us. It was hell, but also joy, for the moments we knew we had left with her, the memories we were making that would soon end, and the fact that we were so close to her. Like I said, very very stressful time.

When Mamma passed, V was 2 days short of being 4 months old. The last week of her life was awful. Watching her die was horrible. I felt helpless. I had wanted to have my baby boy with me the whole last week, but when I had packed to go back out there to CA both my MIL and my husband convinced me somehow that I didn't need the added stress. That pissed me off, but I gave in and left V in the care of my MIL. I regret that now. Phil came out on the next weekend and brought V with him. I could not have been happier to see my baby!!! Anyway, mamma died that Sunday morning. Her heart stopped beating at 3:09 am. We had several people there with us that Mamma was close to.

Enough of about that. In fact, I am done with part 1 of introductions today. More to come.

My first post and email to Old Navy

Well, here I am in all my mommy glory, typing this first blog post while in my jammies with my unbrushed hair and sitting in my upscale fancy office (the couch) with my preschooler nursing on me and laying accross one side of my body.  My teens are both working on thier blogs and enjoying the freedom of unschooling.
Today their activities at home began with all 3 of them participating in a game of Band Hero on the ps2.

(followed by creating their blogs, and now pursuing their own time to explore the world of the internet for whatever floats their boats...LOL :)

 MY DAY started out by discovering a picture that a friend posted on facebook of a bodysuit on sale at Old Navy for $5 that says, "FORMULA POWERED". This made me irate quite frankly, so I emailed customer service about it. Here is my email to them:
Mon. 9/13, 11:33 AM
Subject: "FORMULA POWERED" Boys 2-in-1 Tatoo-Graffic Bodysuit in 'Holly Wreath' $5

Hello, I am sending in my objection about this product. It gives the implication that formula feeding is the norm. As a nursing Mother, I take high offense to this bodysuit. It portrays that a baby becomes healthy and strong through that of formula, which is simply untrue in general. Yes, there are cases in which breastmilk was not available to those of preemies, or orphans and these infants have thrived due to the consumption of formula, but still deprived of the exact nutrients that only mother's milk could make and formula will never be able to replicate. BUT, to those that are uneducated about breastfeeding, this could contribute to the mislead assumption that formula is an acceptable source of good nutrition when it is NOT. I am very displeased with your company's marketing this product and I fully intend to make others aware of its existence and the harm it is no doubt causing to new and expectant mother's who either are hoping to successfully breastfeeding or are so dead set on formula feeding due to lack of proper resources. Sincerely, Children's Rights Advocate, Natural Parenting Advocate, Intactivist, and Lactivist Mom of 3, Barbara C Smalley

 While I had hoped it would get a response, I am not too hopeful about it having any impact on them at all. They are a muti-million dollar company, not likely to care whether a few hundred breastfeeding moms contact them with their distaste for this product...which brings me to the end of that subject for now.

I hope you enjoyed my first blog post, and I will write more in a bit. :) -Me