February 26, 2009

More GarbageThat I Don't Agree With

My reaction to the below article which was posted on a web forum.

Okay. Here's what I can agree to here: I agree that medicines should be used sparingly. I, personally, hate taking anything in terms of antibiotics. I always have side effects and I always get sick in other ways from them. For Jack's childbirth I refused narcotic pain meds both before and after (I did happily get an epidural though and would do it again)- I ended up with a uterine infection a week after his birth and I fought my OB on meds and pain killers. I conceded after she said, "Fine. Then we can just walk across the street and get you checked into the hospital then, because if you don't take these antibiotics to get rid of the infection, you could die." Um. Point taken. I even allowed her to prescribe Tylenol 3 (I refused vicodin and percoset whole heartedly) so I could at least TRY and take care of my newborn son- I was in so much pain at this point from the infection that I could barely walk let alone pick him up, breastfeed or change his diaper. Put the baby blues on top of it and we're talking crisis.

My point here is that while I'm posting all these rebuttals to natural, homeopathic methods of healing that doesn't mean I'm an over-medicator for me or especially my son. For myself, I prefer to let things run their course unless it is going to cause a larger problem (for example, a bladder infection that goes untreated can turn into a kidney infection). With Jack's recent double ear infection, I very willingly took his pediatricians advice in that he should take the Amoxicillin to treat him. She did say there is a possibility it wouldn't work and that if he didn't get better in 3 days to come back- not for new meds, but to monitor his ears to make sure that they didn't get worse or rupture. It wasn't a case of, "He has an ear infection, here are his meds." I am a firm believer that many illnesses simply need to run their course, but there are many other times that they should be treated and taken care of. As far as the argument about how people lived prior to vaccinations and antibiotics? Ummm... perhaps you should read that stats on how many people DIED from these things and reconsider your position on modern medicine. It isn't all about making the drug companies loads of money- there are doctors out there who CARE about keeping your children healthy, safe and happy. We're not living in the freakin stone age here people!

I bring a lot of this up as it is a sensitive subject for me. My sister's newborn baby was all of 2 weeks old. His breathing became labored, and he started crying "funny". My parents being of the old school said "Oh he is fine, just let him ride it out." Her pediatrician said the same thing. Her mother's intuition told her something different. She took him to Children's and he was admitted immediately. He had bacterial meningitis. The bad kind. Had she not brought him in THAT night he would've died within a matter of a day or two. Even so, he coded twice in that first night and again the next day. He pulled through with the help of an amazing medical team. There was worry about developmental delays, mental retardation, hearing problems... By some miracle he has none of these problems and today is a healthy 3 year old boy. NOTHING has ever broken my heart as much as seeing my baby nephew so sick. I still credit my sister to being the most amazing mom in the universe for following her gut, not listening to the nay sayers calling her a crazy mom and getting Miles the medical attention he needed. Had she let it run its course, he would not be here today. P.S. The reason he contracted the meningitis is because my sister was not treated with MEDS for Strep B when she gave birth to Miles.

Again, and I will say this over and over and over. If your baby is sick, take him to the doctor. If you don't want to medicate, communicate and discuss your thoughts and perhaps together find an alternative treatment, but don't discredit their advice. Call ME a crazy mom, but if my baby starts running a fever of 102.5 again, I'm calling the doctor.

P.S. Please note what I highligted in red at bottom of the article.

Healing Crisis: Don't Worry Mom, I'm Just Growing!
By Melissa L. Block
Issue 119, July/August 2003

Editor's note: This article features the ideas, knowledge, and advice of Dr. Philip Incao, MD. Dr. Incao received his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1966. Dissatisfied with the limitations of modern medicine, he spent two years in Europe studying anthroposophic medicine, which he has practiced since 1973, first in rural upstate New York, and then for the last seven years in Denver, Colorado. Anthroposophic medicine was founded in the early 1920s by medical doctor Ita Wegman in collaboration with Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education and anthroposophy. According to Dr. Incao, anthroposophic medicine or, as he likes to call it, "Steiner holistic medicine," is "based on a marriage of our rational thinking with our deeper intuitive faculties to foster a growing understanding of the human spirit's role in health and illness." Dr. Incao was the first president of the Physicians' Association for Anthroposophic Medicine (PAAM) in the US . He lectures frequently nationwide, is a consultant to many Waldorf schools throughout the US , and is a member of the advisory boards of Alive and Well AIDS Information Network in Los Angeles , the National Vaccine Information Center in Virginia , and the Foundation for Health Choice in Washington , DC .


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Long before my now-almost-three-year-old daughter, Sarah, was even a twinkle in my eye, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Philip Incao, one of only a handful of American physicians who openly question the safety of vaccinations as well as other conventional medical practices. I left the meeting with a fat folder full of Dr. Incao's writings and the scientific studies that supported his arguments. Once I began to pore over them, I couldn't stop. Not only did Dr. Incao make perfect sense of the baffling rise in all kinds of chronic disease in American children; he also revealed to me the reasons I had suffered from so many bouts of strep throat and lung infections during my own childhood-and how the conventional ways in which those illnesses were treated had led to my adult battles with asthma and allergies.

With the guidance of the Santa Barbara Midwives, I birthed Sarah at home-16 days post-date-right into my husband's hands. She weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces and looked not in the least bit like a newborn. As I sat around the house in my robe, nursing and sleeping, regaining my strength, falling in love with this brand new person, the realization that she was mine to protect hit me hard. Pondering the vaccination question again, I wondered how to best support her health? I didn't want her to fall prey to any microbe that came her way. I decided to call Dr. Incao.

By the time I hung up the phone, I felt confident. He had given me common-sense advice: don't take your baby out in crowds while she's small; when you do take her out, keep her close to you, in your arms or in a sling; keep her warm; breastfeed her exclusively for the first six months; put her to bed early; don't overstimulate her. He told me how to deal with fever, and how to support my baby's body through whatever illnesses might come along. Most important, he helped me to recast my ideas about what illness is-that it isn't something to be dreaded or even to always be avoided. Instead, he encouraged me to regard feverish illness as a sign that my child's body was developing the ability to heal itself.

Sarah had a bout of mastitis at the age of one month, for which I unquestioningly gave her the penicillin and Tylenol the pediatrician prescribed; even the midwife I spoke with agreed that this type of infection had to be dealt with in this way, and once we started the medication, it cleared up quickly. Over a year passed before Sarah fell ill again. One afternoon, she woke from a nap and refused to nurse. She was burning with fever, listless, and vomiting frothy white mucus. I feared the worst. Meningitis? Some virulent strain of flu? I took her temperature and called the pediatrician's office. They asked me a few questions and concluded that Sarah probably didn't need to be brought in. I hung up the phone and lay there with her for hours as she slept, waking every so often to vomit. We went to bed; I cuddled her hot little body to mine until morning, worrying that we were in for days of more of the same.

Morning came, and when she woke, she was her smiling, rambunctious self again. I could have wept for joy: her immune system was so powerful. I knew then that I had made the right decision.

My parents believed-as did most parents of their generation-that illness was an enemy to be eradicated by any means necessary. As soon as I began to show the slightest symptoms as a child, I was toted to the doctor's office and given antibiotics. By the time I was in my twenties, I had developed severe asthma and allergies. Today, I believe that this is because those natural childhood illnesses were never allowed to run their course.

Now I know that symptoms are not illness; rather, they are signs that the healing process is beginning. When we suppress symptoms-when we interrupt what Dr. Incao calls the healing crisis-we prevent our children's bodies from healing.

Ending the War on Disease
Healing is commonly described in metaphorical terms, and the images those metaphors evoke have a strong influence on the way we heal. The metaphors of healing that pervade Western medicine today are those of war and battle. We fight illness and doctors treat illness aggressively. We declare war against cancer. We eradicate infection with our arsenal of pharmaceutical weapons. While this war against disease has provided us with treatments that can be lifesaving, it has also created the mindset that illness is always bad, and that health is a state of complete freedom from illness.

Germs have become the scapegoat in this metaphorical war against disease. If we can rout out those dastardly microbes that cause our children to fall ill-if we can kill them off with antibiotics or antiviral drugs, prevent them from ever taking hold with vaccines, and quickly relieve symptoms whenever they do affect our children-then shouldn't we expect those children to enjoy nothing less than a state of glowing good health?

For anyone who is paying attention to the health of children in developed nations, the answer to this question is a resounding "No." In 1960, 1.8 percent of American children suffered from chronic (i.e., lasting longer than three months), activity-limiting conditions such as asthma, neurological and learning dysfunction, autoimmune diseases (including Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis), diabetes, and cancer; by 1995, this figure had increased more than threefold, to 6.5 percent, and it continues to rise. (Today's adults are also more prone to chronic health problems: more than 100 million Americans suffer from some sort of chronic disease.) Conventional medicine has been unable to satisfactorily explain this rise in chronic disease incidence, and offers no cures-only more symptom-suppressing medications.

Traditional Medicine's Definition of Health
The metaphors used by more traditional healing practices, such as Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, and Ayurveda, are metaphors of balance. According to these medical models, illness isn't caused by an invasion of unfriendly germs, but rather is a result of our bodies being out of balance. Treating illness isn't about eradicating a microbe or feeling better right away, but about gently guiding the body back to its natural balance point so that it can heal itself.

Imbalance is a natural consequence of growth and change, which are at their height during the years of early childhood. And while the illnesses that take hold during childhood can be uncomfortable, they are an indispensable part of the growth and change children's bodies undergo. The duty of the pediatrician and the parent is to support the child's body in ways that facilitate its return to a balanced state. If the measures used to correct imbalances are overzealous, the scales can easily be tipped too far in the opposite direction. This is what happens when an obstetrician uses overly aggressive medical measures to bring a baby into the world, or when a physician recommends antibiotics, vaccines, and other drugs when they aren't really needed.

A child's body is remodeled over and over again between birth and adulthood, and every change requires not only the building of new tissues but the demolition of old ones. The immune system does this work, targeting and breaking down outworn or foreign materials and expelling them from the body. Studies of children have shown that respiratory infections steadily increase in frequency from birth, peak around the age of six, and decline sharply after age seven. This pattern is seen in the majority of children, regardless of how those infections are treated. In other words, these illnesses appear to be a normal feature of childhood. They are an intrinsic part of the development of a healthy and active immune system, just as bumps and bruises are an intrinsic part of learning to walk, climb, and run.

Fever, mucus production, vomiting, rash, and diarrhea are among the immune system's most important tools for cleansing the body. When you suppress these symptoms with medication, you're sending those wastes and toxins more deeply into your child's body, where they will be stored indefinitely-or until her immune system rallies again in an attempt to be rid of them. This is why children so often have runny noses, productive coughs, rashes, diarrhea, fever, and episodes of vomiting: their immune systems are actively working, pushing wastes and toxins out to make way for the growth of new tissues.

One five-year-old patient of Dr. Incao's demonstrated his intuitive understanding of this process when, at the peak of his illness, he said to his concerned mother, "Don't worry, Mom-I'm just growing!" Another child admonished his mother when she came at him with some Tylenol: "No medicine yet-I'm almost finished."

Germs Precipitate the Healing Crisis
Fever, mucus production, rashes, ear pain, and sore throats are all caused by the same immune response: inflammation. In fact, referring to colds, bronchitis, flu, and other common childhood ailments as infections-the result of contamination by or contact with disease-producing matter-is a misnomer. Our bodies are constantly exposed to and contain all manner of bacteria and viruses, but these make us sick only once in a while. When we hear the word infection, we tend to picture nasty, sharp-toothed, microscopic creatures intent on harming us.

Children's illnesses are more accurately referred to as acute inflammations. If it's red, painful, swollen, and hot, it's inflamed. All of these characteristics of acute inflammation are caused by the immune system shifting into high gear, focusing its considerable energies on reestablishing a state of balance in the body. Acute childhood inflammations are not solely the result of malicious bacteria or viruses, but also of the inherent wisdom of your child's body in recognizing when it's time to clean house, get rid of the old and outworn, and make room for new, healthy tissues. Germs are a necessary link in the chain of feverish childhood illnesses, but they are not the first link: before they become active enough to cause symptoms, they require sustenance in the form of wastes and debris naturally produced by a growing body.

Each fever and acute inflammation is like a labor pain. While it's hard to welcome and embrace the intense discomfort of a contraction, each one brings you closer to holding your baby in your arms. Each fever and inflammation is trying to bring to birth a new balance in your child, helping her to make a new step in her development. (I noticed a definite developmental leap right after my daughter's last illness. Dr. Incao has seen this happen over and over again with his pediatric patients.)

Our role as caregivers is not only to remove discomfort, but also to provide a warm, supportive, and positive atmosphere-exactly the sort of environment ideal during labor and childbirth. Antibiotics, aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, and other medications that suppress symptoms do so by suppressing the inflammatory response of the immune system. The result is that the symptoms subside before the illness has worked its way out of the body. Either the inflammation will return, or the debris the immune system was attempting to get rid of will settle more deeply into the body, eventually increasing the tendency toward allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disease.

Dr. Incao emphasizes that the selective and appropriate use of antibiotics can be very helpful-even lifesaving-when the "cleansing fires" of inflammation and fever threaten to burn the proverbial house down. Most of the time, however, they are used neither selectively nor appropriately. Doctors may prescribe them only because they feel the parents expect them to; parents demand them because they fear the illness will worsen otherwise; and, for the most part, neither parents nor physicians know about the cleansing and healing methods Dr. Incao uses successfully for treatment of most feverish illnesses. (These methods are described later in this article and in the sidebars.)

There is very little evidence, on the other hand, that anti-inflammatory medications (including Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen) do any real good when a child is ill. They may briefly make the child more comfortable, but their potential side effects far outweigh their benefits. Parents trying to keep their children comfortable by giving them Tylenol every four hours around the clock have ended up unwittingly causing those children liver damage. Frequent use of Tylenol has also been linked to increased risk of asthma in children.1 If aspirin is given to a child with a viral illness, a potentially deadly side effect called Reye's syndrome can be the result. The use of ibuprofen in treating children with bacterial infections has been linked to increased risk of complications.2

The Protective Power of Childhood Illnesses
Acute inflammations in childhood protect against chronic, low-grade inflammations such as asthma and allergies later on. Excessive use of vaccines, antibiotics, and anti-fever medications compromise the ability of the immune system to create healing inflammations. Studies have shown that when the number of childhood fevers and inflammations is higher, the child's risk of chronic inflammatory conditions later in life-including asthma, allergy, and eczema-is lower.3 These slow-burning, chronic inflammations never heat up enough to push toxins out of the body, and strong evidence exists that vaccinated children are at greater risk of these conditions because their ability to create powerful inflammations is reduced.

In a study conducted by the Developmental Delay Registry, a nonprofit organization of parents and clinicians who suspect that there may be a relationship between increasing immune problems, antibiotic use, and developmental delays in children, a multinational survey of 696 children revealed that those with developmental delays were 50 percent more likely to have been on continuing, prophylactic rounds of antibiotics.4

Helping Your Child through a Healing Crisis
Dr. Incao has been a family doctor practicing anthroposophic medicine since 1973. An extension of conventional Western medicine that was developed by Austrian scientist Rudolf Steiner and a group of European physicians in the 1920s, anthroposophy is based on a spiritual model of the human being-the same model on which the Waldorf system of education is based. It takes a holistic view of illness and health, embracing both the spiritual and the physical in its healing practices. While conventional pharmaceuticals may be used when necessary, anthroposophic treatments usually apply common-sense comfort measures-the kind your great-grandmother probably used-along with homeopathic remedies and other natural therapies designed to encourage the body's innate healing processes.

The following cleansing and detoxification recommendations have been proven time and again in more than 80 years of anthroposophic medical practice around the world, and in Dr. Incao's medical practice of 30 years. Once you begin to apply them with your own children, you will find it easier to discern whether they need the help of medications or can make it through without them.

At the first sign of acute inflammation, fever, ear ache, or sore throat, Dr. Incao recommends that you cleanse the child's bowels, unless diarrhea is already present. For children older than one year, give a glycerin rectal suppository or one-half to one adult bisacodyl (Dulcolax) suppository (not available in pediatric sizes). Keep the cleansing going throughout the illness by giving a dose of milk of magnesia once a day for three to five days. Children from one to five years of age should take one to two tablespoons or two to four tablets; children five to 12 years of age should take two to three tablespoons or four to six tablets; and children over 12 and adults should take four tablespoons or six to eight tablets. If your child won't take milk of magnesia, try the flavored kind, or give prune juice or stewed prunes instead. Infants under the age of one can drink weak fennel tea and diluted juices from stewed organic apricots and prunes, or can be given an infant glycerin rectal suppository. Give the child lots of warm herb teas, especially horsetail (equisetum), which cleanses the kidneys. All of these remedies are designed to support the natural drive within the child's body to expel wastes and toxins-to flush out what's no longer needed and make way for the building of new tissues.

Dress your child warmly. Toxins accumulate faster, and viruses and bacteria grow more quickly, in a body that is not adequately warmed. The child should wear layered natural fibers and wool socks, weather permitting. In traditional medical practices, fever is considered a helpmate that "burns out" illness, and for good reason. Warmth supports increased immune activity and creates an atmosphere that is less hospitable for bacterial and viral growth. This is the reason fever exists.

When a fever is cooled with medications or the body is not properly supported with warm clothing and rest during illness, immune activity slows down. During a fever, you'll know your child is wearing enough clothing when his cheeks are red and his hands and feet are warm, but not perspiring. If the child is very uncomfortable and restless, wet a washcloth with tepid water and arnica tincture (you should be able to find this at your local natural food store or vitamin shop) or lemon juice. Avoid undressing a feverish child from the neck to the knees, but rub the arms, legs, and head vigorously with the damp cloth until the skin turns red. This will help dissipate excess body heat through the skin. Remember that restlessness and irritability during a fever are caused by circulating toxins that need to be released. The body, in its wisdom, wants to be hot in order to digest and eliminate these toxins.

Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman
The next time your child has or is coming down with any type of acute inflammation, cold, or fever, before you reach for the liquid Tylenol, think about this advice, attributed to author William Bullein: "The best doctors are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman."

Dr. Diet Laboratory studies have shown that eating little or no food during an illness literally activates the immune system's function, so don't pressure a child who isn't hungry to eat during an illness. When she becomes hungry, offer her vegetable broth or vegetable soup, herb tea, fruit juice, grains, or light crackers. Avoid protein-rich foods (meat, eggs, beans, fish, nuts) for the duration of the acute illness; if she is no longer nursing, avoid dairy products as well. Definitely avoid giving any refined sugar, which hampers immune function significantly. It is a good sign when your child's appetite returns, but the illness may not be over yet, so keep meals light for another day or so. Your child will naturally regain any weight he or she has lost. Reintroduce protein foods gradually once you're sure the illness is over.

Dr. Quiet Most adults crave peace and quiet while ill, and find that they are disturbed by noises that normally wouldn't bother them. Children have the same need while ill, but rarely express it. Out of boredom, they will tend to ask to watch television or videotapes or play videogames-all overstimulating for a sick child, especially a younger one. Explain that illness is a time to relax completely and allow one's body to repair and renew itself in a peaceful, supportive environment.

If at all possible, be there for your child during his illness in an unhurried, reassuring way. Keep him quietly under covers in bed or on the couch, away from any hustle and bustle, and encourage him to sleep as much as possible. Read to him or talk quietly together. These times can be wonderful opportunities for renewed communication and bonding between parent and child.

Dr. Merryman Articles about "fever phobia" have appeared now and again in pediatric medical journals. This unreasoning and unwarranted fear of fever has prevented many a child from undergoing a needed healing crisis. Although a merry attitude about your child's fever may seem far-fetched at first, it helps to keep reminding yourself that the fever is the child's protector, doing what needs to be done to naturally restore balance in his or her body.

Fear is a natural response to powerful forces that we do not understand, and acute fever and inflammation are poorly understood and powerful forces indeed. When fear gains the upper hand, clear vision and judgment go out the window. If we can master our fear and sit calmly and reassuringly with our children when they are ill, observing them carefully, there is much we can learn. We may find that our fear gives way to a healthy respect for the changes that emerge through the ebb and flow of our children's healing crises.

Dr. Incao tells the story of one mother who had been very proud of her daughter's complete freedom from feverish illness-until the girl was brought to see Dr. Incao for evaluation of her recurrent eczema. Once the mother understood what was going on in her child's body and realized that, in order to heal the eczema, her daughter actually needed to get sick-in other words, to fully undergo the healing crisis of feverish illness-the girl promptly developed an illness that took care of the problem.

In other words: It's never too late to implement these healing practices. Even if your child is fully vaccinated, has had several courses of antibiotics, and has taken other drugs to suppress symptoms, once you create a warmer environment for your child, her body will respond by flushing out toxins during illnesses. Nature is forgiving; even if healing crises have been suppressed repeatedly, a change in approach usually brings about exactly the healing crisis a child's body needs. For that matter, I'm hoping that my own body will respond this way when I bundle up during my next illness-so that I can be free of the chronic health problems I've tried so hard to spare my daughter from.

NOTES
1. S. O. Shaheen, et al., "Frequent Paracetamol Use and Asthma in Adults," Thorax 55 (2000): 266-270.
2. "Doctors Warn of Painkiller Link to Flesh-Eating Disease," National News, New Zealand Press Association, February 1, 2001; www.vaccinationnews.com.
3. C. Bodner, et al., "Childhood Exposure to Infection and Risk of Adult Onset Wheeze and Atopy," Thorax 55, no. 5 (2000): 383-387.
4. "Child Developmental Delay Study Notes Role of Vaccine Reactions," "Vaccine Reaction," 1, no. 3 (July 1995).

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Crocetti, M., et al. "Fever Phobia Revisited: Have Parental Misconceptions About Fever Changed in 20 Years?" Pediatrics 107, no. 6 (June 2001): 1241-1246.

Greenstone, Sandra. Healing at Home. Ann Arbor , MI : Healing At Home Resources, 1999.

Lemer, Patricia S. "Link between Antibiotics and Developmental Delays in Children." Developmental Delay Registry, Silver Spring , MD. www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/GW3413.pdf.

Leviton, Richard. "The Promise of Anthroposophical Medicine." East West Journal (July 1988): 54.

Martinez , F. D. "Role of Viral Infections in the Inception of Asthma and Allergies During Childhood: Could They Be Protective?" Thorax 49 (1994): 1189-1191.

Murphy, Christine, ed. The Vaccination Dilemma. New York : Lantern Books, 2002.

Newacheck, P. W., et al. "Trends in Activity-Limiting Chronic Conditions Among Children." American Journal of Public Health 76, no. 2 (1986): 178-181.

Odent, M., et al. "Pertussis Vaccination and Asthma: Is There a Link?" Journal of the American Medical Association 272 (1994): 588.

Paffenbarger, R. S., et al. "Characteristics in Youth Indicative of Adult-onset Hodgkin's Disease." Journal of the National Cancer Institute 58, no. 5 (May 1977): 1489.

Ronne, T. "Measles Virus Infection Without Rash in Childhood is Related to Disease in Adult Life." The Lancet 8419, no. 1 (1985): 1-5.

Shaheen, S. O., et al. "Frequent Paracetamol Use and Asthma in Adults." Thorax 55 (2000): 266-270.

Thompson, N. P., et al. "Is Measles Vaccination a Risk Factor for Inflammatory Bowel Disease?" The Lancet 345 (1995): 1071-1074.

Warden, C. R., et. al. "Evaluation and Management of Febrile Seizures in the Out-of-Hospital and Emergency Department Settings." Annals of Emergency Medicine 41, no. 2 (Feb 2003): 215-222.

For more information about childhood diseases, see the following past issues of Mothering: "Fever in Children," no. 95; "Natural Remedies for Childhood Diseases," no. 77; "Natural Remedies for Winter Illnesses," no. 69; and "Unvaccinated Children," no. 42.

None of the suggestions in this article are meant to replace the advice of your personal doctor.

February 25, 2009

Dieting. Bah.

Okay. Let's just talk about it and get it over with.

Since I was about 14 years old I've perpetually been on a diet. I've never been a skinny girl. I grew up being made fun of, yo-yo dieting and at the ripe age of 32 have decided that being on a diet and being required to work out is just who I am and that the older I get, the more I'm going to need to do it.

Add in having a baby and you've got yourself a real disaster when you're me. Now... I have done well. I gained 40 pounds in my pregnancy. I'm pretty sure the majority of it was Jack, but otherwise it was all water in my feet. I lost 25 pounds very quickly, within just a couple weeks. The rest kind of melted away a bit at a time and I am PROUDLY at the weight I was when I got pregnant a bit over a year ago now. However... things are... different. While losing the weight somehow seems to be going a lot better this time around, I definitely need to get back to the gym to start toning things up. I miraculously talked my DH into letting me stay at my gym (which is a big ol' chain club here in the Twin Cities that pretty much took over all the other chains). I just can't let go of my classes!! Now... to find the time to actually get to them. I am hoping that my hub will get inspired to go and workout there as well once we get the membership stuff figured out. I think it will be a great place for our family once Jack gets a little older.

As I write this I am thinking how many times over I will have to get the motivation back over the course of my life. I hate that I wasn't born with a great metabolism. I hate that I have to work so hard at this. I envy those that don't have to try or eat whatever and as much as they want. I do know that I have done it before and will do it again- let's just hope that I can get it to stick this time around and don't have to start over from scratch. We are starting to discuss TTC #2. Reason being that it took us 2 1/2 years to conceive Jack. We can either wait, have it take another 2 1/2 years and I'll be freakin' ancient by the time I conceive again, or we can just get started and take our chances. If it happens early, we'll have our hands full, but if it takes awhile, I won't be so old! Reason I bring up TTC and pregnancy is that I want terribly to be in good shape for my next pregnancy. I didn't necessarily struggle with Jack (I was sick for the most of the first half), but the pelvic pain would've been more manageable had I been in better shape. That said- I have much different intentions next time around!

Check back in tonight as I tear apart tonight's American Idol hopefuls!

February 19, 2009

New Milestones!

I realized that I talk all the time about my little man but I don't post many pics- so here's one of my little angel today! He's still a little short for his jumperoo so we put a pillow under his feet, but he discovered how fun it is to jump up and down and it is HILARIOUS.

One thing that we have been waiting to see him do is to roll from back to tummy. They said he'd been doing it at daycare but had yet to do it at home up until last night. He rolled over right on his belly and just kept doing it over and over and over... It was so awesome. With that, we knew that our decision to remove the swaddle was likely a smart one. Granted, when he's swaddled like he was, he doesn't have a lot of ability to necessarily move himself to roll, but still. I don't want to take that chance. He actually slept like an angel last night. I'm thinking all he wanted to do was have the freedom to find his own comfortable position- it just happened to be his tummy. I woke up to such a sweet sleeping darling this morning.

I'm also proud to announce my own milestone. I have officially lost the BABY weight! Everything that I gained during my pregnancy is officially gone and I am so proud to have done it in only 5 months. I gained about 40 pounds in pregnancy and it is ALL GONE! I still have a lot of weight to lose in general (I was working on it prior to getting pregnant). If I lose 15 pounds, I'll be back to my wedding day weight which would be lovely. Once I get there, I'll set a new goal and we'll see how far I can go with it! Most importantly, we are hoping to get pregnant with our 2nd and last baby this year (ha! I'm thinking it will take another 2 years) and I want to be in optimal shape to be able to get through it. Sure, I did fine with Jack, but could've been better.

Okay. I do feel it is my obligation as my opinionated bitchy self to comment on the Octo-Mom. First. She is absolutely, positively BATSHIT CRAZY. How nice it must be to be able to do IVF and have plastic surgery on someone else's dime. When we were considering IVF, we were considering using our life's savings, a 2nd mortgage... you name it. So tell me again how someone who is on welfare, whose home is about to be foreclosed on was able to do IVF? Okay, and tell me again how it is okay for this single, obviously poor woman to think she can even remotely afford to have this many children? I'll tell ya. My DH and I? We work our asses off. We make six figures a year and feel like having a 2nd child will be a huge strain on our finances. We no longer have any "luxuries" that we had prior to having Baby Jack. I just think Octo-Mom is the most irresponsible person in the universe as is her doctor for even allowing this. I guess as someone who is married, has a nice home, goes to church and had a lot of trouble conceiving our first child, this whole thing just hurts and pisses me off that she so easily had these kids, yet can't even remotely afford them (even on the taxpayers dime), and so many struggle to have even one. It just plain isn't fair. Do they deserve to be taken away? I don't know what goes on in that house but if the conditions warrant it or if their emotional well-being is at stake? Yes. She could love those babies more than anything in the world, but if her mental health puts those babies at risk, then yes, they should be put in a more stable home. Anyway, I could go on and on. I just really don't want to see a reality show with her in it. I will boycott it in a heartbeat.

February 18, 2009

Sleep Deprivation

So last night was as big milestone for us as parents. We finally had the courage to let Jack sleep un-swaddled. He did much better than I had actually anticipated and no worse than he did when he was swaddled. I'm still chewing over why in the world he wakes up so much at night and what we can do to fix that. So, I had DH purchase the book "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber. Yup, that's right. The Ferber method made famous in the movie Meet the Fockers. It really isn't quite as cruel as you might think. We're still attending to him, just not the instant we hear a cry from him. Since we feel the need to immediately run to his side, we've started out light. We're doing 1, 3, 5, & 8 minutes to start with (that is, crying for 1 minute then check. Crying for 3 minutes then check and so on and so forth). The hard part is Jack very easily goes back to sleep once we check on him, so how do we break him of THAT? This sleep stuff is so frustrating. I used to think the feeding stuff was complicated, but sleep problems are so much worse. OH what we would give to be able to sleep an entire night. I can't even recall the last time I got an actual 8 hours of sleep (sick and puking my guts out last week doesn't count). I really hate this trial and error stuff. Why don't babies come with a manual again?

In other news... I'm over my rant about the medication stuff. I still stand my ground in encouraging people to follow the advice of their pediatricians over people in their web forums. I know everyone is so well meaning and all they want to do is help, but I get so frustrated when people think their way is the ONLY way and are kind of snotty and mean about it. I had to step out of the forums for a couple days just to take a deep breath and remember that it is just someone's opinion, not a personal attack on me. I so wanted to start a debate, but just don't have the energy to go there.

I have only one thing to say about American Idol last night. WTF. I'm sure everyone was nervous but I thought almost everyone was pretty terrible. They all seemed really awkward up there and it made me super uncomfortable. Top 3? Geesh... I had a hard time coming up with 2. Danny Gokey and what's her name...um.... Alexis? The chick who put hot pink in her hair to be more edgy. She was decent. Otherwise, man. It was painful. I hope American agrees with me in that Tatiana MUST GO. Annoying or whatever the hell she was acting like last night could be an Idol dealbreaker- I don't think I can watch her. Ugh.

February 15, 2009

I'm Getting Sick of the Earth Mama Crap

I hang out in the web forums for a lot of reasons. To share what has worked for me with my baby, to share in the ups and downs of my pregnancy, to find answers from others on what has worked for them, but I would NEVER NEVER NEVER tell someone what to do and say that it is fact. I almost always preface with "check with your pediatrician". There is a woman in one of my mama groups that is always pushing her natural childbirth/mothering shit on everyone else. Guess what. We don't all do it this way and don't appreciate being told that our way is WRONG! It is hard enough being a FIRST TIME mom without someone continually saying that you're doing it wrong or that their way is better. Well take this: my FORMULA FED son is PERFECT. He is mild-mannered, happy, well-adjusted, in great health, he's not HUGE like so many other babies out there and he is thriving developmentally. We treated his ear infection with antibiotics and he was better in ONE day. That's right. ONE DAY. Here's the deal. I do what my pediatrician tells me to do. I trust her and she has not steered me wrong yet. Perhaps your baby's ear ruptured because you PUT SOME STUPID DROPS IN HIS EAR. My pedi said to never put ANYTHING in baby's ear. Not drops (unless prescribed- usually a sort of steroid. I know this because I have had chronic ear pain issues as an adult), not oils, NOTHING. Don't even try to clean them unless there is something clearly on the surface as they will naturally clean themselves out. Honestly. That is FINE if you think that raising your kid as nature intended is the way to raise your child then go ahead! But don't go around preaching to me and to others that it is the only way to do it. I am absolutely fed up with people telling me not to treat my child with antibiotics or not to vaccinate. I am annoyed that anyone would dare make me feel guilty for not breastfeeding. Or when I was pregnant I was annoyed that anyone would make me feel bad for getting an epidural (it just happened to be the best decision for ME. That's right. For ME. I don't give jack shit what was right for you.). I say all this not only because there are a couple people out on the net who are shoving this garbage down my throat, but also I get it from my MIL as well. She is trained in Healing Touch and thinks that it is the only way. As you know she had millions of opinions regarding my pregnancy, birth, feeding and now the raising of my son (never mind that when she was over today, we were practicing with Jack on sitting up and she completely let go of him and he went crashing down and jacked his head on the floor. And she WONDERS why we won't let her babysit for some extended period of time like 2 hours? I can't even imagine what we'd come home to... concussion... bleeding from the head...). Anyway. My point in all this. You do it your way, I'll do it mine. I'm just sharing what worked for me. That's it. How anyone else chooses to do it should be their decision too.

God I'm irritated right now!! LOL!

February 12, 2009

Been Absent

Seriously. My house has been plagued by illness after illness after illness... will we ever get a break? I just got over my latest stomach virus. Yay. Fun. Now, both my baby and my husband are getting it. My co-worker had it. For the love of god- how do you stop this crazy thing from going around??

In other news...

Jack turned 5 months old yesterday! I can hardly believe how fast he is growing up. He is getting so big- we'll find out HOW big he's grown in the past 4 weeks at his ear checkup next week. Yup, his EAR checkup. My poor baby had a double ear infection about 3 weeks ago and had to be on antibiotics. AND it happened right before my DH had to be out of town in business for practically 2 weeks straight. He is still thriving though and is the happiest most content baby I've ever known in my life. He's my angel and I continue to adore and love him more with every day that goes by.

Blog followers know I'm an Idol fanatic and it just wouldn't be Idol season without some of my commentary. So here are my comments in short:
  • I am glad that Joanna Pawhateverhernameis got booted- give the REAL amateurs a fighting chance!
  • I don't know if I'll be able to tolerate watching Tatiana. Talk about people you just want to punch.
  • I'm anxious to see the blind guy- but, is it just me or does he look down at his hands a lot when he is playing piano? How blind is he again? Just sayin.
On another note- I am fighting the big fight with my IT department at work to allow me access into Social Networking sites. Apparently a solid business plan and free advertising isn't important to IT. WTF business is it of theirs anyway???

There it is. My mixed bag of rant for the day! Ha!

I've Said It Before...

VACCINATE YOUR BABIES PEOPLE!!!! I am so tired of people trying to argue about this.

Special court rules against families who claim measles vaccine caused children's autism

Last update: February 12, 2009 - 9:12 AM


WASHINGTON - A special court has ruled against parents with autistic children, saying that vaccines are not to blame for their children's neurological disorder.

The judges in the cases said the evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the parent's claims — and backed years of science that found no risk.

More than 5,000 claims were filed with the U.S. Court of Claims alleging that vaccines caused autism and other neurological problems in their children. To win, they had to show that it was more likely than not that the autism symptoms were directly related to the measles-mumps-rubella shots they received.

The court still has to rule on separate claims from other families that other vaccines played a role.

February 03, 2009

This Is My Tax Money Hard At Work

All I have to say about this story is WTF.

My hubby and I make a very good living and work hard to support our ONE little boy. Guess we know where our tax money goes. To dipshits like this.

The Octuplets Came Via Sperm Donor!!!! And MORE Craziness!!!!!!!!!!!

octup.jpg

When you need some juice…..go to the nosey neighbors!

Some savvy reporting unearthed more crazy stuff about the momma who gave birth to octuplets earlier in the week.

A neighbor revealed that the momma's six kiddies AND the 8 new babies were made with sperm from one donor:

"She is single. She used a sperm donor, someone she knew, who donated sperm a long time ago. He donated the sperm for the first six kids and she used his frozen sperm for these one. I don't think the sperm donor knows about these eight kids. He was not involved."

This woman is insane!!!!!!!

The blabber, who asked to remain anonymous, went on to say:

"From what I heard she likes kids, she wants a jillion kids. She even lied to the doctors who impregnated her…. We should find out who the doctor is and where the money came from because this is irresponsible. The girl seemed a little off - and I don't want to be paying for her kids.""

And, there seems to be some confusion about the woman's age and her status.

The latest now is that she is indeed single (aged 33) and it is her father that is going to Iraq, to support the huge family.

According to the neighbor, the parents are very supportive of their daughter and even lost their own home in an effort to support her. "The parents lost their house supporting their daughter," the neighbor went on. "They actually bought this house for her, but then they lost their house supporting her and her kids and they had to move in with her. And now her father has to go back to Iraq to earn more money to support her. Her father either works as a truck driver or an interpreter [in Iraq]."

As to whether the mother herself works, the neighbor says: "She's a professional student and I want to know where the money's coming from to do this. Maybe she's using her student loans to do it."

This is some crazy, crazy stuff, if it's indeed true.

Is this why the family has stayed out of the spotlight?

 
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