Thursday, December 6, 2007

$250 Shopping Spree!

This is such a great chance to get some babywearing stuff or even some cloth diapers!!!

All you have to do is go to Along For The Ride and follow the instructions! It's really easy!!

Good luck to all who enter!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

More on Applebees

There are some more articles that I felt were worth sharing.
Breast-feeding protest at Lexington Applebee's goes national
National nurse in-you in?
Ky. breastfeeding protest to go national

The Hazleton, PA General Manager was apparently rude and just redirected our contact person to the owner of Applebees. The owner was nice enough to inform us that Applebees has a friendly breastfeeding policy that ALL of their stores are made aware of. Obviously not though. Corporate had issued Ms. Ryan's attorney a letter reinforcing the blanket policy so clearly corporate isn't in on this breastfeeding friendly policy. Not to mention, this incident happened to another woman a few days ago. We also have seen statements from various Applebee's locations in which they state that a woman MUST cover up because "after all, this is a family place". It seems that the stores are taking it upon themselves to create their own policy regardless of what the owner claims that she has in place. When our contact person informed the owner of the KY incident and about what the Hazleton store had told her, the owner quickly shut up. I guess she didn't know what to say at that point- or maybe she was just savoring the flavor of her foot that she had just inserted in her mouth.

My son has shown me that children have more common sense than most adults. When I told him about what happened to Ms. Ryan and how some Applebee's say that mommies must cover up baby's heads and their breast while feeding the baby because they think it's disgusting he said "Well, I'm not going there!" and he was very angry. When I told him about the protest he said he wants to go and hold a sign that says "You're wrong. Breastfeeding is not disgusting" While, I don't encourage him to tell people that they're wrong, I still think it's amazing that my FIVE YEAR OLD is able to see how morally messed up this whole situation is. Breastfeeding is a normal activity. It's nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be forced to cover up because of. Really, I've worn some pretty low cut shirts in my time because, well- I've got the cleavage for it. NOBODY has EVER asked me to put a blanket over my cleavage because they find it offensive. Hell, I've seen plenty of men staring at my cleavage but I can garuantee that those same people who found it acceptable for my breasts to be hanging out then would tell me to cover up if they saw me today as I pulled out my breast and exposed VERY LITTLE SKIN to nourish my son. My child however is able to see that it's a means to feed his baby brother. We could learn something from our children you know!

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Buzz on Applebees

In today's world, you can easily see more skin than you ever desired just by walking down the street. Take a look at the way people dress today. Low cut shirts, low cut pants with thongs visible to the world, shirts cut to expose the midriff, and boys wandering around with their jeans at their knees and their boxers exposed. Heck, I've seen people with just a fishnet shirt over top of a bra and super super short skirts that could more accurately be described as a belt. This is what I see on a day to day basis and this is acceptable by society. What isn't acceptable however is the mere inch, if that, of skin that you may ACCIDENTALLY see from a breastfeeding mother. The notion of a blanket is always thrown out there. Quite frankly, I see a blanket as a safety hazard when nursing a child. The blanket would clearly cause a child to become warmer than they need to be- said child would be dressed appropriately for the weather and is being snuggled against their mommy which provides additional warmth. A blanket, would just make them warmer than they need to be. There's also the fact that many children will not eat with a blanket on their head. Here's a nice experiment for you, place a blanket over your head and eat. Leave that blanket there for the duration of your meal and go ahead and let us know just how uncomfortable that is for you.

A Kentucky mom left Applebee's without ever getting a chance to enjoy her meal because she did not have a blanket with her due to the heat. She could not cover up and because the manager insisted on breaking the KY law and telling her that she needed to, she left to go nurse her child in car. You can find the press release here

Her treatment has resulted in a nationwide nurse in/out. People are aiming to make Applebee's change their policy and to make people aware of how important breastfeeding truly is.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; September 1, 2007 -
Breastfeeding supporters will gather on Saturday, September 8, 2007, at 12:00pm at Applebee’s Restaurants across the country to protest the treatment of Brooke Ryan and her 7 month old child.
Allegedly, on June 14th, while Ms. Ryan was breastfeeding her baby discreetly in a corner booth during an anniversary dinner with her family, an Applebee’s Manager asked her to cover her baby with a blanket. Ms. Ryan responded by citing the Kentucky law that states that “no person shall interfere with a woman breastfeeding her child". Ms. Ryan then produced a copy of the statute that she had received from the Kentucky Health Department, an organization that encourages women to keep a copy with them for situations such as the one she was experiencing. The manager, after reviewing a copy of the statute continued to insist that she had to "cover the baby with a blanket" if she wanted to breastfeed there, and that nursing her child was "indecent". The family left the restaurant before being served their meal, Ms. Ryan and baby in tears.
Shortly following the incident, Ms. Ryan retained the services of a lawyer who contacted Thomas and King, the company that owns and operates the Lexington Applebee’s location. Nearly 2 months later, the company responded with a letter stating "we are considering keeping blankets in the restaurants for use by breastfeeding mothers that may not have them readily available,” with the intent that mothers will be forced to put them over their babies.
Breastfeeding supporters have decided to conduct a public protest at the store location, as well as locations nationwide. It will occur on Saturday, September 8, 2007, at noon. When Senator Tom Buford, (Rep., KY), who spearheaded the passage of the Kentucky public breastfeeding law was told of the planned protest at the store in Lexington, KY, he said, "Let me know the date and I will come by and support you", and also made a suggestion of an appropriate sign for the event: "small children are not allowed to eat in this restaurant."
Even though there is a patchwork of strong and weak state laws aimed at protecting a woman’s right to nurse her baby, the mistreatment Ms. Ryan encountered is far too common. Most women who nurse their babies will at some time be forced to feel the shameful sting of discrimination. Usually this burden is carried by a woman in secrecy, due to fear of further anguish to her family. Some women choose to bring their stories to the public in an effort to educate and bring about a positive change. Earlier this year, a Pennsylvania woman was threatened with arrest if she did not stop breastfeeding her child at her local mall. Last November, a mother in Vermont was kicked off of a Delta flight for not covering up while breastfeeding her child. The Delta incident resulted in over 800 participants protesting the discrimination by conducting "nurse-ins" at Delta counters in over 40 cities across the US.
"Because most public breastfeeding laws do not provide a clear remedy for women who are harassed or discriminated against," said Salem Hamilton, Executive Director of Birth Without Boundaries, International, "we are asking for breastfeeding supporters across the country to encourage their legislators to add enforcement provisions to their state’s laws that would provide the protection women and babies need".
On Friday, August 31, 2007, the official corporate response as given by Mr. Alex Bressette, Applebee’s corporate office’s International Guest Relations Manager, is as follows: "Applebee's strives to provide a comfortable and enjoyable environment for all our guests. Our policies regarding breastfeeding are consistent with the laws of the states in which we operate."
In the spirit of the existing diversity and inclusion policy published by Applebee’s Restaurants, Birth Without Boundaries, Intl. is asking the corporation to adopt and implement an official breastfeeding friendly policy.
As a breastfeeding mother, Ms. Ryan is doing the best for her child by giving him the optimum nutrition possible. According to UNICEF, if infants worldwide were fed only mother's milk for their first six months, at least 1.3 million lives a year would be saved.
The September 8, 2007 event is sponsored by Birth Without Boundaries, International; a Pennsylvania based non profit organization committed to eliminating restrictions placed on birthing mothers and their babies.
Inquiries may be directed to Salem Hamilton, 717.379.8804, or to birthwithoutboundaries

You can find out if there is a local nurse in/out in your area by visiting our Yahoo group at

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Watch your Language

I want to preface this with I am not anti-formula. It has it's place but the AAP, WHO, and Surgeon General state that breast is best. There is plenty of scientific evidence available. I just found this article to be thought provoking.

"Watch your language!"
By Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC
July-August edition of CCL
Family Foundations, 1996

The lactation consultant says, "You have the best chance to provide your baby with the best possible start in life, through the special bond of bresatfeeding. The wonderful advantages to you and your baby will last a lifetime." And then the mother bottlefeeds. Why?

In part because that sales pitch could just as easily have come from a commercial baby milk pamphlet. When our phrasing and that of the baby milk industry are interchangeable, one of us is going about it wrong... and it probably isn't the multinationals. Here is some of the language that I think subverts our good intentions every time we use it.

Best possible, ideal, optimal, perfect. Are you the best possible parent? Is your home life ideal? Do you provide optimal meals? Of course not. Those are admirable goals, not minimum standards. Let's rephrase. Is your parenting inadequate? Is your home life subnormal? Do you provide deficient meals? Now it hurts. You may not expect to be far above normal, but you certainly don't want to be below normal.

When we (and the artificial milk manufacturers) say that breastfeeding is the best possible way to feed babies because it provides their ideal food, perfectly balanced for optimal infant nutrition, the logical response is, "So what?" Our own experience tells us that optimal is not necessary. Normal is fine, and implied in this language is the absolute normalcy--and thus safety and adequacy--of artifical feeding. The truth is, breastfeeding is nothing more than normal. Artificial feeding, which is neither the same nor superior, is therefore, deficient, incomplete, and inferior. Those are difficult words, but they have an appropriate place in our vocabulary.

Advantages. When we talk about the advantages of breastfeeding--the "lower rates" of cancer, the "reduced risk" of allergies, the "enhanced" bonding, the "stronger" immune system--we reinforce bottlefeeding yet again as the accepted, acceptable norm.

Health comparisons use a biological not a cultural norm whether the deviation is harmful or helpful. Smokers have higher rates of illness; increasing prenatal folic acid may reduce fetal defects. Because breastfeeding is the biological norm, breastfed babies are not "healthier;" artificially-fed babies are ill more often and more seriously. Breastfed babies do not "smell better;" artificial feeding results in an abnormal and unpleasant odor that reflects problems in an infant's gut. We cannot expect to create a breastfeeding culture if we do not insist on a breastfeeding model of health in both our language and our literature.

We must not let inverted phrasing by the media and by our peers go unchallenged. When we fail to describe the hazards of artifical feeding, we deprive mothers of crucial decision-making information. The mother having difficulty with breastfeeding may not seek help just to achieve a "special bonus;" but she may clamor for help if she knows how much she and her baby stand to lose. She is less likely to use artificial milk just "to get him used to a bottle" if she knows that the contents of that bottle cause harm.

Nowhere is the comfortable illusion of bottlefed normalcy more carefully preserved than in discussions of cognitive development. When I ask groups of health professional if they are familiar with the study on parental smoking and IQ, someone always tells me that the children of smoking mothers had "lower IQs." When I ask about the study of premature infants fed either human milk or artificial milk, someone always knows that the breastmilk-fed children were "smarter." I have never seen either study presented any other way by the media--or even by the authors themselves. Even health professionals are shocked when I rephrase the results using breastfeeding as the norm: the artificially-fed children, like the children of smokers, had lower IQs.

Inverting reality becomes even more misleading when we use percentages, because the numbers change depending upon what we choose as our standard. If B is 3/4 of A, then A is 4/3 of B. Choose A as the standard, and B is 25% less. Choose B as the standard, and A is 33 and 1/3% more. Thus, if an item costing 100 units is put on sale fo "25% less," the price becomes 75. When the sale is over, and the item is marked back up, it must be marked up 33 and 1/3% to get the price up to 100. Those same figures appear in a recent study, which found a "25% decrease" in breast cancer rates among women who were breastfed as infants. Restated using breastfed health as the norm, there was a 33 and 1/3% increase in breast cancer rates among women who were artificially fed. Imagine the different impact those two statements would have on the public.

Special. "Breastfeeding is a special relationship." "Set up a special nursing corner." In our family, special meals take extra time. Special occasions mean extra work. Special is nice, but it is complicated, it is not an ongoing part of life, and it is not something we want to do very often. For most women, nursing must fit easily into a busy life--and, of course, it does. "Special" is weaning advice, not breasfeeding advice.

Breastfeeding is best; artificial milk is second best. Not according to the World Health Organization. Its hierarchy is: 1) breastfeeding; 2) the mother's own milk expressed and given to her child some other way; 3) the milk of another human mother; and 4) artificial milk feeds. We need to keep this clear in our own minds and make it clear to others. "The next best thing to mother herself" comes from another breast, not a can. The free sample perched so enticingly on the shelf at the doctor's office is only the fourth best solution to breastfeeding problems.

There is a need for standard formula in some situations. Only because we do not have human milk banks. The person who needs additional blood does not turn to a fourth-rate substitute; there are blood banks that provide human blood for human beings. He does not need to have a special illness to qualify. All he needs is a personal shortage of blood. Yet only those infants who cannot tolerate fourth best are privileged enough to receive third best. I wonder what will happen when a relatively inexpensive commercial blood is designed that carries a substantially higher health risk than donor blood. Who will be considered unimportant enough to receive it? When we find ourselves using artificial milk with a client let's remind her and her health care providers that banked human milk ought to be available. Milk banks are more likely to become part of our culture if they first become part of our language.

We do not want to make the bottlefeeding mothers feel guilty. Guilt is a concept that many women embrace automatically, even when they know that circumstances are truly beyond their control. (My mother has been known to aoplogize for the weather.)

Women's (nearly) automatic assumption of guilt is evident in their responses to this scenario: Suppose you have taken a class in aerodynamics. You have also seen pilots fly planes. Now, imagine that you are the passenger in a two-seat plane. The pilot has a heart attack, and it is up to you to fly the plane. You crash. Do you feel guilty?

The males I asked responded: "No, because I would have done my best." "No. I might feel really bad about the plane and the pilot, but I wouldn't feel guilty." "No. Planes are complicated to fly, even if you've seen someone do it."

What did the females say? "I wouldn't feel guilty about the plane, but I might about the pilot, because there was a slight chance that I could have managed to land the plane." "Yes, because I'm very hard on myself about my mistakes. Feeling bad and feeling guilty are all mixed up for me." "Yes, I mean, of course, I know I shouldn't but I probably would." "Did I kill someone else? If I didn't kill anyone else, then I don't feel guilty." Note the phrases "my mistakes", "I know I shouldn't", and "Did I kill anyone?" for an event over which these women would have had no control!

The mother who opts not to breastfeed, or who does not do so as long as she planned, is doing the best she can with the resources at hand. She may have had the standard "breast is best" spiel (the course in aerodynamics) and she may have seen a few mothers nursing at the mall (like watching the pilot on the plane's overhead screen). That is clearly not enough information or training. But she may still feel guilty. She's female.

Most of us have seen well-informed mothers struggle unsuccessfully to establish breastfeeding, and turn to bottlefeeding with a sense of acceptance because they know they did their best. And we have seen less well-informed mothers later rage against a system that did not give them the resources they later discovered they needed. Help a mother who says she feels guilty to analyze her feelings, and you may uncover a very different emotion. Someone long ago handed these mothers the word "guilt." It is the wrong word.

Try this on: You have been crippled in a serious accident. Your physicians and physical therapists explain that learning to walk again would involve months of extremely painful and difficult work with no guarantee of success. They help you adjust to life in a wheelchair, and support you through the difficulties that result. Twenty years later, when your legs have withered beyond all hope, you meet someone whose accident matched your own. "It was difficult." she says. "It was three months of sheer hell. But I've been walking ever since." Would you feel guilty?

Women to whom I posed this scenario told me they would feel angry, betrayed, cheated. They would wish they could do it over with better information. They would feel regret for opportunities lost. Some of the women said they would feel guilty for not having sought out more opinions, for not having persevered in the absence of information and support. But gender-engendered guilt aside, we do not feel guilty about having beeen deprived of a pleasure. The mother who does not breastfeed impairs her own health, increases the difficulty and expense of infant and child rearing, and misses one of life's most delightful relationships. She has lost somethings basic to her own well-being. What image of the satisfactions of breastfeeding do we convey when we use the word "guilt?"

Let's rephrase, using the words women themselves gave me: "We don't want to make bottlefeeding mothers feel angry. We don't want to make them feel betrayed. We don't want to make them feel cheated." Peel back the layered implications of "we don't want to make them feel guilty," and you will find a system trying to cover its own tracks. It is not trying to protect her. It is trying to protect itself. Let's level with mothers, support them when breastfeeding doesn't work, and help them move beyond this inaccurate and ineffective word.

Pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. Breastfeeding is a straight-forward health issue--not one of two equivalent choices. "One disadvantage of not smoking is that you are more likely to find secondhand smoke annoying. One advantage of smoking is that it can contribute to weight loss." The real issue is differential morbidity and mortality. The rest--whether we are talking about tobacco or commercial baby milks--is just smoke.

One maternity center uses a "balanced" approach on an "infant feeding preference card" that lists odorless stools and a return of the uterus to its normal size on the five lines of breastfeeding advantages. (Does this mean the bottlefeeding mother's uterus never returns to normal?) Leaking breasts and an inability to see how much the baby is getting are included on the four lines of disadvantages. A formula-feeding advantage is that some mothers find it "less inhibiting and embarrassing." The maternity facility reported good acceptance by the pediatric medical staff and no marked change in the rates of breastfeeding or bottlefeeding. That is not surprising. The information is not substantially different from the "balanced" lists the artificial milk salesmen have peddled for years. It is probably an even better sales pitch because it now carries very clear hospital endorsement. "Fully informed", the mother now feels confident making a life-long health decision based on a relative diaper smells and the amount of skin that shows during feedings.

Why do the commercial baby milk companies offer pro and con lists that acknowledge some of their products' shortcomings? Because any "balanced" approach that is presented in a heavily biased culture automatically supports the bias. If A and B are nearly equivalent, and if more than 90% of mothers ultimately choose B, as mothers in the United States do (according to an unpublished 1002 Mothers' Survey by Ross Laboratories that indicated fewer than 10% of U.S. mothers nursing at a year), it makes sense to follow the majority. If there were an important difference, surely the health profession would make a point of saying so, rather than making a point of staying out of the decision-making process.

It is the parents' choice to make. True. But deliberately stepping out of the process implies that the "balanced" list was accurate. In a recent issue of Parenting magazine, a pediatrician comments, "When I first visit a new mother in the hospital, I ask, 'Are you breastfeeding or bottlefeeding?' If she says she is going to bottlefeed, I nod and say OK, and I move on to my next questions. Supporting new parents means supporting them in whatever choices they make; you don't march in postpartum and tell someone she's making a terrible mistake, depriving herself and her child."

Yet, if a woman announced to her doctor, midway through a routine physical examination, that she took up smoking a few days earlier, the physician would make sure she understood the hazards, reasoning that now was the easiest time for her to change her mind. It is hypocritical and irresponsible to take a clear position on smoking and "let parents decide" about breastfeeding without first making sure of their information base. Life choices are always the individual's to make. That does not mean his or her information sources should be mute, nor that the parents who opt for bottlefeeding should be denied information that might prompt a different decision with a subsequent child.

Breastfeeding. Most other mammals never even see their own milk, and I doubt that any other mammalian mother deliberately "feeds" her young by basing her nursing intervals on what she infers the baby's hunger level to be. Nursing quiets her young and no doubt feels good. We are the only mammal that consciously uses nursing to transfer calories... and we're the only mammal that has chronic trouble making that transfer.

Women may say they "breastfed" for three months, but they usually say they "nursed" for three years. Easy, long-term breastfeeding involves forgetting about the "breast" and the "feeding" (and the duration, and the interval, and the transmission of the right nutrients in the right amounts, and the difference between nutritive and non-nutritive suckling needs, all of which form the focus of artificial milk pamphlets) and focusing instead on the relationship. Let's tell mothers that we hope they won't "breastfeed"--that the real joys and satisfactions of the experience begin when they stop "breastfeeding" and start mothering at the breast.

All of us within the profession want breastfeeding to be our biological reference point. We want it to be the cultural norm; we want human milk to be made available to all human babies, regardless of other circumstances. A vital first step toward achieving those goals is within immediate reach of every one of us. All we have to do our language.

NIP Challenge

A mama on posted a link to a rather impressive blog post. I read the post and felt that it was just one of those things that needed to be shared. Tara, the blog owner, has given me permission to repost it here. You can find her blog here

She has given her readers a NIP challenge. I think it's fantastic because NIP is IMPORTANT! So go out and do her challenge!! Her challenge can be found here

I found this to be brilliant
Dr. Seuss for Nursing Moms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Violation of a woman's desires.

I'm troubled by my birth experiences. With my first son, I was young and didn't know that I had any say in what was going on. Doctors are intimidating after all and we are taught to respect doctors- not something my children will necessarily be taught.

I went into very early labor at about 11pm February 12 but had yet to dilate. We went to the hospital where they had me walk and around midnight I dilated to 1cm. The nurse wanted to give me a shot of something to help me sleep. I had refused it. The nurse insisted and told me that I needed to relax so she could administer it. I kept refusing and she finally said she wouldn't give it to me and when I relaxed, gave it to me anyway. She tricked me.

The next day there was more walking. Around noon, my water was leaking, they broke my waters and I started having heavy contractions and over the next 3 hours, I progressed 3 more cms. At about 4pm, I received an epidural. I didn't ask for it-they just told me they were giving it to me. That's when my labor stopped. After a mere THREE HOURS of not progressing further, the dr came in and said "well, you're not having this baby, we'd better do something" and they whisked me off to the OR. I know now that that 3 hour period was NOT enough to deem a "failure to progress" The hospital staff just didn't want to wait on me!

I was given an unnecessary surgical procedure at the convenience of the hospital. There is no doubt in my mind that that's true as there was NO problems with my baby. He was still doing perfectly fine in there on his own. His heart rate was good and he was moving around just fine. He just wasn't ready. They forced him out before he was ready.

With my second child. I wanted a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) and at the beginning of my pregnancy, they told me I was a great candidate and that they'd allow me to try. I know now that that was a lie. They just didn't want to fight with a hormonal pregnant woman. It was a false labor trip that made me realize that they weren't taking me seriously.

I was 36 weeks 6 days- which is considered full term. I went into the hospital and was told that if I went into active labor, they'd stop it. Most hospitals won't stop labor at 37 weeks because it's full term. I however would have had my labor stopped because of a day's difference. The dr followed that with "when is your c-section scheduled? We want you to make it to then". I looked right at her and said "I don't have c-section scheduled! I want a VBAC. Dr. so-and-so said that I was a good candidate."

This doctor looked annoyed and said "well I guess if you went into labor on your own we could let you try but it's really not a good idea" and she went on to tell us about Uterine Rupture (note it's less than a 1% chance) and how dangerous it is and how it can cause fetal or "even mommy" death. She NEVER mentioned that it was less than a 1% chance. In fact, she made it sound like it was such a high risk that it was almost guaranteed that I'd have it.

I had already educated myself about a VBAC so I just ignored her at that moment. When we left the room, my poor fiance was quite terrified for both me and our son. I had to calm him down. I had to explain that the doctor is an idiot and didn't know what she was talking about. That she was making it worse than it is.

When I was 40 weeks, I was told that I HAD to schedule a c-section because they "don't let women go past 41 weeks". After me protesting for awhile, he agreed to let me try, should I go into labor before hand. My c-section was then scheduled for August 28th 12:00pm, when I was 40 weeks 6 days.

On August 28th, I went to the hospital at 7am to fill out all the needed paperwork before my surgery that I did not want. I was only 6 days past my due date. After filling out all my paper work, I started having the hardest contractions I had EVER felt. They hurt but not as much as you would think by watching movies. They were more pressure like than painful. I was fairing through mostly fine, though admittedly it was hard to speak, when the doctor came in and asked how I was doing.

I told him "I'm contracting- HARD". He looked at the monitor and said "Yes you are! and they're quite regular!!" and walked out of the room without ever checking my cervix.

Next thing I know, I was being prepped for the OR. What happened to letting me try? What happened to my VBAC? What happened to my rights as a human being? They KNEW I didn't want that surgery yet I was rushed into the OR without having a choice in the matter.

I should have said something but what? I was in a hospital gown, having hard contractions. I wasn't exactly in a fighting condition. My only support system stood there completely flabbergasted at what they were doing to me. He didn't know how to react. He didn't know what to say.

My son was taken from the womb at 12:36pm. They showed him and all his baldness (so cute with his bald little head) to me and then the side effects of my spinal kicked in. I started gagging. Horrible gagging. I felt terrible. I wanted to throw up because I thought it would make me feel better. Anything was better than the gagging! I had to take my oxygen off bc it was making it worse. The nurse put it back in and I took it off yet again and told her "it's making me worse".

She was a sweetheart and told me to leave it off if it made me feel better and that she'd get me something for the gagging. Shortly after all that, the gagging stopped and the freezing and shaking started. If you've never had a reaction to a spinal then you can't understand what it's like to spend 4 hours freezing and shaking and no amount of blankets can make you warm again. You're not actually cold afterall, you just FEEL cold. I was so cold it hurt. I was in tears because of the intense coldness. It hurt. I was FREEZING.

They brought me to my room after about an hour or so and I spent the next few hours like that. Around the 4 hour mark I started to feel better. Then they brought my hungry baby in-something that should have been done IMMEDIATELY. I had been told not to sit for 4 hours because of the risk of a spinal headache. I had been gradually sitting myself up just before then because they said they wanted to bring the baby in. They brought him in and I forced myself the rest of the way up so I could breastfeed him. Yes, I got a spinal headache.

Again, this time my baby had been fine. There was no fetal distress, he just wasn't ready and was forced out regardless.

I had complained to someone online about this and was told in a round about way that I'm selfish for being angry. That I should be happy that my babies are safe and healthy. While I AM glad that they're safe and healthy, I was violated. They were safe and healthy BEFORE my sections. The unnecessary surgeries PUT them at risk!!

This person also went on to tell me that a vaginal birth is no walk in the park and that I don't know how "easy" I had it. That if I had a vaginal birth, I wouldn't view them the same way as I do now. She also said that her future children would be born via planned cesarean section because her vaginal birth was so horrible.

I'm sorry. It's not normal for vaginal births to be that traumatic. I am truly sorry for her but her experience was not normal. A surgery, whether planned or not, is a trauma to the body. A NORMAL vaginal birth, free of any complications, is NOT a trauma to the body. The body is meant to do that. A body is not meant to be sliced open from hip to hip. Her remarks to me were rude, cruel, and hurtful.

I recently came upon this article (my comments are the ones that aren't in italics)

where in it states
After Marlowe refused to consent to a C-section and checked herself out of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital Wednesday morning, the hospital took legal action against her.

This is the hospital I "gave birth" in. Is this what would have happened had I refused? Legal action? Legal action because she was refusing a surgical procedure that she didn't need?

At the request of Wyoming Valley Health Care Systems, Luzerne County President Michael Conahan signed an order Wednesday appointing the hospital as legal guardian for the unborn child.

They awarded the hospital as legal guardian? Why? Because the mother wouldn't submit to their actions?

Judge Conahan also ordered that the parents "are hereby temporarily restrained from refusing to consent to a C-section delivery of their unborn fetus if the professional medical judgment of WVHCS and the treating obstetrician is that such a procedure is necessary

So she really had no say in the matter. She was told she HAD to have a c-section or else. What happened to maternal instincts?

"They kept wanting to cut me open to get the baby. I think they may have actually sent police to our house, but we weren't home," said Marlowe. "I kept telling them I've already had six kids..."

This woman KNEW what she was doing and was being forced into something that she KNEW she didn't need. For that she was threatened and had the guardianship of her unborn child awarded to the very hospital that was violating her rights as a human being.

"I told them, forget it - I'm leaving. Then I came up here (Moses Taylor) and had my baby the proper way," she stated. "The doctor here never even suggested a C-section."

So, she went to another hospital and had a vaginal birth. A vaginal birth that she had been told would result in death. She had been told that she NEEDED a c-section yet she went on to have a vaginal birth perfectly fine- as she said she would be able to.

Wilkes-Barre General Hospital deemed that she couldn't deliver vaginally on no grounds other than the predicted weight of an ultrasound. They told her it would result in
"...unavoidable death or serious impairment to the baby,..."
Scare tactics. Scare tactics to get her under the knife that she didn't need to be under.

What gives a hospital the right to make choices for people like this? She is a human being and she should not be forced into unnecissary surgical procedures.

No one should.

I was. I won't be again. I will not be going to that hospital for any type of pregnancy related care. We are moving to a friendly Pro-VBAC environment before we even try for more children. I have spoken to many people who have had either VBA2C (vag. birth after 2 c-sections) or HBAC (Home birth after cesarean). I've even encountered a woman who had a VBAC 13 months after her first cesarean. Which means that the body hadn't even had time to fully recover and everything went smoothly with her! I also met a woman who had a HBA4C yes 4.

I KNOW it's possible with the right support system. Don't get me wrong though- if a pro-vbac doctor tells me that it's in my child's best interest to have a c-section- I WILL have one. I will not risk my child's safety- EVER but I will not be violated again.

I've been passing on this information to my friends that live in my area so that they can avoid birthing at this hospital or Mercy hospital as well.

These hospitals clearly don't care about a person's rights as a human being.

To those of you who aren't in the Wilkes-Barre area you can take something from this as well. Find out before hand if you're going to birth in a cut happy hospital. If you don't want a c-section do your homework and make sure that you'll be able to have a vaginal birth and that your hospital won't trick you into a surgery you don't need.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Win an Ergo!

I stumbled across this amazing little contest. I myself have been wanting to try an Ergo so this little contest is rather exciting to me and I wanted to pass it along to anyone who's interested!

Monday, March 12, 2007

A new beginning...

Blogging. An interesting concept. It's all new and exciting. Brand new and shiny. I feel like this should read as if Shatner were dictating. Blah. Too much punctuation. Where do I begin? Who am I? I am a momma of 2 and I have slightly crispy edges.

Danielle I am, and tell you about myself I will. I am 20 years old and have a wonderful family that I spend each and every day with. I live with my soon-to-be husband, Ed. We've been together for quite some time now and we're talking about getting married as soon as this fall! Realistically though, we'll probably wait until next fall. My eldest boy just turned 5, his name is Adam. He came to me at an odd time but he has helped make me the person I am today. He means more to me then he will ever understand. My youngest boy is only 6 months and his name is Logan. Oddly enough, his name was chosen in an attempt to find something that wasn't popular yet I've encountered 3 other people who have boys my sons age with the same name! I guess the name was more popular than I thought!

I am me. That statement alone makes me feel great about myself. There is nobody like me. Thank goodness! Haha.

Oh yea, (minor attention span problem) the crispiness that I addressed earlier, let's get on with that shall we? I breastfeed. Well...I formula fed my first son due to lack of proper support. If I could go back and change that, I would. There are very few things that I can say that about but breastfeeding is one of them. I cloth diaper. Again, I didn't with my first but I did try. Had I known what I know now...I wouldn't have given up. This is another thing that I would change if I could go back in time. I cosleep. Say what you will but cosleeping is not a problem for us. In fact, my oldest son sleeps on his own now because he decided that he's a "big boy" and he can sleep by himself. I waited until he was ready to make that decision on his own. I could be crunchier than I am but this level of crispiness is good for me.

What else can I say? I LOVE being a mommy. It's the best part of my life. I wouldn't trade it for the world! My son said to me today "Mommy, I love you". Hearing that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Children are my life.

I kind of like this blogging thing! I get to just randomly babble!! HAHA I don't get that opportunity often as Ed will only listen to just so much! Honestly though, I'm done for now.
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