Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shouldn't Have Gone There....

In the natural birth blog community, there is a woman known as Dr. Amy. She trolls around, looking for home birth blogs especially, so she can 'make an example' of anyone who has the slightest trouble at a home birth. She is (was?) an OB, with 4 kids, but her head so is so far stuck up the medical model of birth that she has lost sight of what a normal birth is. I see reference to her on many blogs I visit, but I have refrained from actually checking her out myself. Until today. Argh. I wish I hadn't gone there. People like her are not interested in changing their opinion to one based on acredited, substantiated research. No matter what research you show her, no matter what your own personal experience was, none of that matters if it differs from her views. Sad. Her post I read today irked me: skepticalob.blogspot.com and scroll down to March 24 2011 (I don't want to directly link there case I don't want to get embroiled in anything). This post is about a woman (not a theoretical woman, but an actual, live, grieving woman) who had a homebirth and the baby died due to his arm pinching off the umbilical cord during birth, long enough to cause lack of oxygen. The mother feels that her baby's birth was not in vain--his 'job' was to faciliate her spiritual growth (interpretation by Dr Amy). Dr Amy called her selfish and immature and goes on to lambast the mother for making a choice to homebirth. I don't know anything about the cause of death, however, I do know that in a hospital, monitors are not always used, and if they were, they are usually removed during pushing (unless something was detected). I don't know how someone in the hospital could have seen inside the mother's womb to know that the umbilical cord was pinched. Dr. Amy does not provide any info on how to diagnosis this, prevent, or 'treat' this condition that is NOT limited to homebirth locations. All she does is pile her brand of dog manure onto the mother. Depsite Dr Amy's belief that women are planning their homebirths so they can star in their own 'show', I do believe that women want the best for their birth. When something bad does happen, they need to reconcile that in their OWN minds, and piling Dr Amy crap on top does not help anyone. How is that mother going to feel now? Better? Umm, no. (I still can't get spellcheck to work)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Strange Things in the Land of Oz

The kids are still not feeling well, so I'm downstairs again to watch my soap....I'd much rather record it and watch it later without commercials. Instead of channel surfing during commercials, I'm cleaning, LOL, and blogging.

One show I can't stand to watch "live" (and it's on at a bad time anyway), is Dr. Oz. Now, I do quite like him and what he's doing for health awareness, even alternative health practices. However, after what he just showed, and said, I'm not too sure anymore.

On March 11, he did a segment about incredible 911 calls. The first one really was incredible (a woman who got the call for a lung transplant, but when she got on the highway, there was a traffic jam and she risked running out of portable oxygen and the short window of time to get there). The second call irked me SO much though. And because it's a fairly routine occurance, the misimformation that was given is much more of an issue than if it had been an odd incident. What was the 911 call about?

A woman giving birth in a car. In one way, I think that's great--minimal interventions! However, the 911 operator told the dad to take his shoelace and tie off the umbilical cord (to prevent transference of the mom's blood to the baby). Gah! Gross! If that wasn't bad enough, Dr. Oz's response was unbelievable. He actually said that doing that probably saved the baby's life. What? The baby was already crying! If anything, he put their lives AT RISK!

A few points...it's becoming more common now to let the cord stop pulsing before clamping it. This allows baby to get ALL the blood possible from mommy. It's a GOOD thing. There are people who actually leave the cord attached to the placenta until after the cord naturally detaches from baby. They keep the placenta wrapped up and elevated above baby for a day or so. This is called a lotus birth. Same call it hooey, but whatever, as long as it's kept clean, it's probably not harmful.

What IS harmful is the use of a potentially dirty, grimey, floor dusting string to sever the intimate connection between baby and momma. Picture this...shoelace has invisible germs, it's cinched tight around the cord, perhaps breaking the membrane and coming in contact with blood. Where's that blood going and what is hitching a ride? Ewwwwww.

For a great read about this topic, check out the ever imformative Navel Gazing Midwife. Also check out the Unnecesarian for a post, and read the comments and then read the follow up post. Apparently it's pretty difficult to change the official protocal, they won't take info from experts that are not in the academy of 911 dispatchers. Dumb. So, if you know someone who is a 911 dispatcher and would be sympathetic to this cause, let them know their advice is outdated and unsafe and give them the links so they can pass on real info to their academy.

I'm just so surprised at Dr Oz's reaction to this, how wonderful it was, a great idea. Did he not check it out at all? Did he not even think about it for a few seconds?

(I can't seem to get spellcheck to work....hope it's all okay!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Okay to Sometimes Ignore the Doctor

Hugh and Lucy are home sick, so while they veg upstairs, I'm relegated to the basement. This means I'm forced to watch TV as it happens....which includes commercials (rather than watching what I record on the DVR). So, I'm flipping between Mighty Ships and Bringing Home Baby.

It's a first time mom. Her best friend visits, she has a toddler. You hear her ask the new mom if she can hear the baby swallow, which is answered with a yes, and the friend replies that that means he's getting milk. The next day, the mom goes for the baby's check up, and comes home with instructions to supplement "a little, 20z" because her milk is slow in coming in.

WAIT!! Giving a bottle will mean your body isn't going to be told that it NEEDS to make milk! Your body is going to think "oh, I should slow down a little, there's no demand". Nursing MORE will increase your milk. You might say "oh, but baby is still hungry an hour after I nursed". Then nurse again! You might say "I nursed for 15 minutes and he's still fussy". Then burp, and change breasts and nurse some more! If, after that, baby still seems hungry, then offer supplementation, but by finger feeding or, even better, by a supplemental nursing system so baby is still nursing and the body gets the message it's got to step it up. Leaving baby with grandma and a bottle while you go to do laundry is NOT going to increase your milk supply. Why is it so hard for doctors to understand that? Oh yeah....a pediatrician is not an expert in normal infant feeding needs, or breastfeeding. Duh. That's like going to see the dentist because you have a stomach ache, and gee, the food starts off in your mouth.

See a lactation consultant for lactating troubles. They're the experts.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Yes, we saw a robin last week. But that's not what this is about!

When Rob and I moved to Orangeville, Dec. 1997, we figured we'd be there 5 years. Most people in similar jobs where Rob worked left (or were asked to leave) by five years. We thought Orangeville was a nice town, but worried that there wouldn't be the same opportunities for our children as back in our larger home town/city. We were very wrong---it was the small townness that gave our children the opportunities to have the best start in life they could have.

Hugh was born June 3 2000 and it was a hot, sticky summer. I knew early on that there was something "different" about Hugh. He always wanted to be held, and to be moving, and he rarely slept. During that first frustrating summer, I visited the breastfeeding clinic, not so much for breastfeeding help, but thinking maybe I was doing something wrong that made it hard for him to sleep. We stripped him down, weighed him, and I sat in one of the comfy chairs. He didn't want to nurse, but within minutes he was asleep. And stayed asleep for over an hour. The nurses were great, and suggested that it might be the heat bothering him and I could come back anytime I wanted to get relief from the heat and let him nap.

In December 2002, I had six week old Lucy and was running on empty. I called Public Health asking for a home visit by a LC to get help with nursing laying down. An angel named Robin Berger came to my home just before Christmas. Hugh was 2 1/2 at the time and tried desperately to get some attention from Robin, LOL. Near the end of the visit, she said something that changed the course of our lives. She noted that although it wasn't her area of expertise, she felt that Hugh wasn't meeting speech milestones for a 2 1/2 year old. She suggested we call "Wee Talk" and get him assessed. We had been on the fence for a few months, as he comes from a family of late talkers. I think Robin saw my hesitation and lack of energy, because the next week, I got a call from Wee Talk! But that's not the end of Robin's involvement in our life!

Over the next 8 months we went for many assessments. At some point, one of his check ups was done by a young, pregnant, SLP. I wish I knew her name! At the end of the visit, she asked me about some of Hugh's behaviours, and asked me if I knew about Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I nearly kissed her! I told her that I had heard of it, and felt that it was the issue, but got no help from the doctor. She got in touch with the community agency that deals with this sort of thing and before long, a caseworker came to see us. She agreed that he'd benefit by seeing an occupational therapist and we got that started. After several months of visits by the OT, she recommended that we get in touch with Family and Children Services and see if Hugh qualified for "Infant and Child Development" program. Our caseworker for that was the wonderful Nina Little. Within a few months, Nina recommended that I come take a workshop at the Ontario Early Years Center, called "Raising Children with Challenging Temperments". And her co-coach was none other than Robin Berger! But in this small town, life doesn't just go in circles, it's more like figure eights, LOL.

At some point, probably while going for the Wee Talk assessments, I ran into Robin at the public health unit. I mentioned to her that I was disappointed that I hadn't met my "one year" goal of breastfeeding the two kids. She was compassionate and understanding, and expressed to me that ANY amount of breastfeeding should be celebrated, rather than feeling bad about the amount that wasn't spent breastfeeding. And that maybe, if there's a next time, it might be different. I felt validated and supported, even though I thought I would have "let her down" by not reaching "industry" goals. That left a good impression on me, much more than the moms who said I "should have" kept nursing if I had "wanted" to make it to a year.

My third child, Meg, was born in November 2005, and like while I was in labour with Lucy, I visited the breastfeeding clinic. It was great to see familiar faces there. I would see much more of Robin over the next year, as Meg had reflux and slow weight gain. Despite being an experienced nurser, LOL, I always felt welcomed in the clinic, and GREATLY appreciated Robin's home visits with the scale as Lucy was not always the most co-operative big sister while at the clinic, LOL. When I felt like giving up, Robin gently pushed me to keep going, reminding me that while reflux is messy, it's not nearly as bad as formula reflux, and there'd be no guarantee that formula would "fix" her. She might have been small (compared to the other kids), but she was still benefiting.

Robin is a great example of how friendliness, compassion, empathy and real support can work much better than the techniques used by "nipple nazis". I hope she gets celebrated hugely at her retirement tea, as hugely as she celebrated nursing moms (and parents of kids with challenging temperments too!).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

House of Rash

We are a pretty lucky family. We've dealt with developmental delays, behaviour issues, speech and language delays, but we don't have "serious" issues like allergies or more intense diagnosis. What we have had though is many, many, many rashes! Not really eczema or allergies, but illness, both viral and bacterial. Even I had my tough time after my breast reduction! Scarlet fever, chicken pox, cellulitis, unknown....
And now, Lucy has red cheeks. She was a little cranky on the weekend (thought it was due to a sleep over) but on Monday she woke up with red cheeks. No fever, no loss of appetite (I wish, LOL), sleeping well, etc. We figure it's probably Fifth's Disease. Not something serious, usually....

But here's the thing....her teacher is pregnant. In her second trimester, but still....Lucy would have gotten this before coming home for March Break. I'm going to send an email to the teacher, but it's a work email, and I don't know if she'll be looking at those during March Break. I feel bad, but hey, it's not like there's a vaccine, LOL (which I wouldn't have gotten for them anyway, even if there was one!).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Meg's Big Day

In early April 2008, Meg had a horrible day. First she burnt her hands on the stove. Then she ran into a corner and knocked out her front tooth. This picture was a day or so later, after she started to heal.Tonight, Meg lost her first baby tooth by natural means:

It hadn't been loose for too long, we noticed it last week, but tonight after school, she did something with her water bottle and it made it really wiggly.

I went out shopping, and when I came in the driveway I saw a BIG raccoon scrounging in our Green Bin. It went up between the houses and I ran in to tell the kids, and Meg starts yelling that she lost her tooth! The kids were able to see the raccoon out the laundry room door, so everyone was happy.

I'm happy comparing these two photos--the top one really shows what happens with pacifier use, and I'm really glad to see her jaws straightening out. The dentist said her adult teeth were getting really close, LAST March and she's due to go again! When she lost the top one, she was still small for her age, and everyone noticed this cute little girl missing a top tooth (they rarely fall out first!). But by the time she was 4, she was huge for her age, so most people just thought it was normal (it's not). Now, she's finally back to 'normal' LOL. (It's 10:25pm and she's colouring a picture in front of me...)