Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Delayed entry into Mamatography 2012 - Last week in February

As Hannabert started to grow, I feel like I lost track of time and didn't take enough picture of him to highlight each stage of him growing and changing.  Looking at the hundreds of pictures from his first year, I realized that very very few of them are pictures of Horn, Hannabert, and me and even fewer are of just Hannabert and me.

Sleeping in our bed the first night in our new (temporary) house

Perhaps this is why we don't have any pictures together - he makes these kinds of faces...

The key to car seat success is covering the hands - apparently it is like putting blinders on a race horse.

Wearing Horn's overalls from when he was a boy (I am not THAT bad at laundry).

Sleeping in bed with me while Horn stayed at our old rental house.

Who doesn't love lasagna while wearing glow-n-dark jammies?

Are you up for a challenge? One that will take something from you every day, but give a whole lot back too? How about joining me for the photography challenge in 2012 then? A photo a day of whatever your day involved. You can jump in any time through the year!
If you’d still like to join us, you can start at any time, just sign up here and our host will email you further information.
Without further ado, here is the current list of all participants for Mamatography 2012 so far!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Linky - Parenting Peacefully with Social Media

Welcome to the February 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Respectful Interactions with Other Parents

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have focused on how we can communicate with other parents compassionately.



Hannabert was being somewhat dramatic - he was jumping up and down and happily chatting just a few minutes before and was upset that I didn't pick him up as quickly as he wanted.

I am a lawyer and, like many other lawyers, I am quick to look at a situation, assess it, reach a conclusion, and give my opinion. Since becoming a parent, I have realized that this trait isn't always favored.

For instance, I had posted, like many other parents, on the topic of "cry it out" and the potential, longterm dangers of this particular sleep "training." My comments regarding the article (that Horn is more comfortable with this style than am I and how our family would not be doing this) led to some hurt feelings. Others commented on the topic with the majority of people saying it wasn't right for their families. A few people made some judgment calls - those that use CIO are cruel (actually the FIRST comment and from a well trusted, well educated, very knowledgeable individual).

Horn almost immediately came to me to express how upset he was and how he feeling attacked and that HE was being called cruel.  To be perfectly honest, I didn't see it that way and thought that perhaps he was being a bit sensitive about the situation.  Thinking about it, I guess I can see why he would feel that he was attacked as his name was mentioned in the post (yes, I have apologized to my dear husband and in fact, the line of posts has actually been removed).

What I really didn't understand was when a person posted that their family had used versions of CIO with each of their children and that she didn't feel that her children were worse for wear because of it.  I acknowledged her statement and said that many people felt that it was a good thing for their families.  Now, she was posting well after the original post of CIO parents being cruel.  The whole line of conversations was there.  The comment didn't come after her post, no posts were really directed to her.  No one called her out by name to criticize her use of CIO.  Yet, she confided to another that she felt "attacked" by the comments!  The comments were already there, present, bold, and in all their glory PRIOR to her commenting.

My initial reaction was extreme irritation and frustration - mostly directed at the fact she didn't tell me directly but let the game of "telephone" slowly bring her feelings to my attention.  My next reaction was one of feeling isolated, closed off.  Yes, isolated.

In this modern world where you can't help but to be friends with family members and co-workers, I feel like I don't have an avenue to explore who I am as a new mother and who we (Horn is included on this) we want to be as parents and what our family values will be.  Should I not post interesting/controversial parenting topics on Facebook, Twitter, or the ever popular Babycenter for fear of offending someone?  Do I post the article and say "Discuss but don't respond"?  Do I say that I don't care if other people's feelings are hurt and I don't care if loved ones are upset by the responses?  Do I start each posting with the phrase "The views and commentaries belong solely to the poster and are not a reflection of this medium any other poster and are in no way intended be to a judgment on any one person's particular belief system"?

I think one of the problems is that I am friends with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter so I always run the risk of making someone I care about upset because my views and values are different from theirs.  I know that the choices my parents made when raising my siblings and me might be different than what I do and if I say that I would never do X and they did X, I can expect a comment from my mom expressing how I turned out just fine despite her doing X.  In my husband's case, his dad is a ob and Horn is worried that I might express disagreement with things his parents did that might reflect negatively on his dad (a great OB by the way - definitely calm under pressure). I struggle with feeling the freedom to comment and share things that are important to me while balancing the fear of making my parents or Horn’s family upset or concerned (I STILL get calls from my mom with suggestions that I think twice before posting something or she will preface a conversation with "don't put this on Facebook;" I swear I have more tact that I did when I was 10).

Going forward, I have decided on using the following phrases/comment:  This is what I/we do as a family...; I don't know too much about X, why don't you tell me more?; Interesting...;Thanks for that advice....; I know that choices/decisions we are making aren't for everyone, but they are working for Hannabert...

This might not give me the opportunity to educate others but it will definitely help me develop patience and a bit of understanding and it could provide room for me to educate others on why we do what we do in OUR family.  

One thing is for sure, I definitely won't be posting about the dangers of "undercare" anytime soon.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon February 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • How to Respond Respectfully to Unwanted Parenting Advice and Judgment — At Natural Parents Network, Amy (of Peace 4 Parents) offers some ways to deal with parenting advice and criticism, whether it's from your mom or the grocery store clerk.
  • Judgement is Natural - Just Don't Condemn — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shared her views on why judgment is unavoidable and why the bigger issue is condemnation.
  • Four Ways To Share Your Parenting Philosophy Gently — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares tips for communicating with fellow parents in a positive, peaceful manner.
  • When Other Parents Disagree With You — Being an attachment parent is hard enough, but when you are Lily, aka Witch Mom, someone who does not enforce gender roles on her kid, who devalues capitalism and materialism, and instead prefers homeschooling and homesteading — you are bound to disagree with someone, somewhere!
  • Mama Bashing — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud reflects on the hurt caused on the blogosphere by mama bashing and pleads for a more mindful way of dealing with differences.
  • Accentuate the Positive — Joella at Fine and Fair shares how she manages interactions with the parents she encounters in her work as a Parent Coach and Substance Abuse Counselor by building trusting relationships and affirming strengths.
  • The politics of mothers – keys to respectful interactions with other parents — Tara from MUMmedia offers great tips for handling the inevitable conflict of ideas and personalities in parenting/mother's groups, etc.
  • Trying to build our village — Sheila at A Gift Universe tells how she went from knowing no other moms in her new town to building a real community of mothers.
  • Internet Etiquette in the Mommy Wars — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses how she handles heated topics in the "Mommy-space" online.
  • Parenting with Convictions — Sarah at Parenting God's Children encourages love and support for fellow parents and their convictions.
  • How To Be Respectful Despite Disagreeing On Parenting Styles... — Jenny at I'm a Full-Time Mummy shares her two cents' worth on how to have respectful interactions with other parents despite disagreeing on parenting styles.
  • Public RelationsMomma Jorje touches on keeping the peace when discussing parenting styles.
  • Navigating Parenting Politics — Since choosing an alternative parenting style means rejecting the mainstream, Miriam at The Other Baby Book shares a few simple tips that can help avoid hurt feelings.
  • Hiding in my grace cave — Lauren at Hobo Mama wants to forget that not all parents are as respectful and tolerant as the people with whom she now surrounds herself.
  • Carnival of Natural Parenting - Respectful Interactions with Other Parents — Wolfmother at Fabulous Mama Chronicles explores how her attitude has changed regarding sharing information and opinions with others and how she now chooses to keep the peace during social outings.
  • Empathy and respect — Helen at zen mummy tries to find her zen in the midst of the Mummy Wars.
  • Not Holier Than Thou — Amyables at Toddler in Tow muses about how she's learned to love all parents, despite differences, disagreements, and awkward conversations.
  • Nonviolent Communication and Unconditional Love — Wendylori at High Needs Attachment reflects on the choice to not take offense as the key to honest and open communication.
  • Respectful Parenting As a Way of Life — Sylvia at MaMammalia writes about using her parenting philosophy as a guide to dealing with other parents who make very different choices from her.
  • Homeschooling: Why Not? — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how parents can often make homeschooling work for their family even if, at first glance, it may seem daunting.
  • If You Can’t Say Something Nice… — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her philosophy for online and offline interactions … a philosophy based primarily on a children’s movie.
  • Different Rules for Different Families — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how differences between families affect our children, and how that can be a good thing.
  • Respectful Interaction With Other Parents — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares the ways she surrounds herself with a like-minded support network, so that she can gently advocate in her dealings with those whose opinions on parenting differ vastly from her own.
  • Parenting as a mirror — Rather than discrediting others' parenting styles, Kate Wicker discusses why she tries to focus on doing right rather than being right — and why she’s also not afraid to show others that she’s a heartfelt but imperfect mama just trying to be the best mom for her family.
  • The One Thing {Most} Parents Have In Common: They Try Their Best — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry finds interacting with other parents easier once she accepts that they are all just trying their best, just like her.
  • Finding your mama-groove: 5 ways to eliminate judge/be judged metalityMudpieMama reveals 5 ways of thinking that have helped her find her mama-groove and better navigate tricky parenting discussions.
  • Speaking Up For Those Who Can't — We've all had those moments when someone said something hurtful or insensitive, or downright rude that just shocks you to your core, and you're stunned into silence. Afterwards, you go home and think "Gosh, I wish I said…" This post by Arpita at Up Down, And Natural is for all the breastfeeding mamas who have thought "Gosh, I wish I said…"
  • Thank you for your opinion — Gaby at Tmuffin shares her go-to comment when she feels like others are judging her parenting style.
  • Mending — A playground conversation about jeans veers off course until a little mending by Kenna at Million Tiny Things is needed.
  • The Thing You Don't Know — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about what she believes is one of the most important things you can consider when it comes to compassionate communication with other parents.
  • 3 Tips for Interacting with Other Parents Respectfully When You Disagree with Them — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about respectful interactions on her parenting journey.
  • Peacefully Keeping My Cool: Quotes from Ana — How do you keep your cool? Ana from Pandamoly shares some of her favorite retorts and conversation starters when her Parenting Ethos comes into question.
  • Kind Matters — Carrie at Love Notes Mama discusses how she strives to be the type of person she'd want to meet.
  • Doing it my way but respecting your highway. — Terri from Child of the Nature Isle is determined to walk with her family on the road less travelled whether you like it or not!
  • Saying "I'm Right and You're Wrong" Seldom Does Much To Improve Your Cause... — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment writes about how living by example motivates her actions and interactions with others.
  • Have another kid and you won't care — Cassie of There's a Pickle in My Life, after having her second child, knows exactly how to respond to opposing advice.
  • Ten Tips to Communicate Respectfully, Even When You Disagree — What if disagreements with our partners, our children or even complete strangers ultimately led to more harmony and deeper connections? They can! Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares ten tips to strengthen our relationships in the midst of conflict.
  • A Little Light Conversation — Zoie at TouchstoneZ explains why respect needs to be given to every parent unconditionally.
  • Why I used to hide the formula box — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen finally talks about how judgement between parents changed her views on how she handles differences in parenting.
  • Assumptions — Nada at minimomist discusses how not everyone is able to nurse, physically, mentally, or emotionally.
  • Shushing Your Inner Judgey McJudgerson — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction knows that judging others is easy to do, but recognizing that we all parent from different perspectives takes work.
  • Respectfully Interacting with Others Online — Lani at Boobie Time Blog discusses the importance of remaining respectful behind the disguise of the internet.
  • Presumption of Good Will — Why — and how — Crunchy Con Mommy is going to try to assume the best of people she disagrees with on important issues.
  • Being Gracious with Parenting Advice — Tips for giving and receiving parenting advice with grace from Lisa at My World Edenwild.
  • Explain, Smile, Escape — Don't know what to do when you're confronted by another parent who disagrees with you? Amy at Anktangle shares a story from her life along with a helpful method for navigating these types of tricky situations (complete with a handy flow chart!).
  • Balancing Cultures and ChoicesDulce de leche discusses the challenges of walking the tightrope between generations while balancing cultural and family ties.
  • Linky - Parenting Peacefully with Social MediaHannabert's Mom discusses parenting in a social media world.

Monday, February 13, 2012

HTH or My relationship with PIS is ending.

For the last 7 months, I have carried my pump with me to work daily. Only twice did I forget parts/pieces. I am really proud of that.

For the first 6 months, I pumped 4x a day (thank you 29 usc 207 r 1) for about 25 minutes each time. This past month I have struggled with dropping minutes from each pumping session and dropping a session. Come Monday, my right to take a break as needed ends. I will still pump during my lunch hour for the time being.

Despite the challenges that Hannabert and I encountered on this breastfeeding/breastpumping journey, we made it a full year!

When I reflect back on Hannabert's arrival, stay in NICU, sleepy baby syndrome, lack of supply, and SNS usage, I didn't think that we would ever make it to this point.

As Hannabert plays on my old laptop where 2oz of SNS formula spilled and I was sure that we would never get it right. I admire and appeciate all those woman who embraced using a SNS during their enitre breastfeeding journey. I am humbled by those mothers that have shared their wealth of "liquid gold" through organizations such as "Eats on Feets" and I now know that I will have a resource available to me should I need to supplement with any future children. I thank The Leaky Boob, Dr. Jack Newman (who gave me the confidence to supplement with food rather than formula), and Kelly Mom for providing me resources and information during the days where I thought that I was a failure as a lactationer.

I apperciate the support and encouragement of the students and staff at the college where I teach; thank you a student in particular who was so encouraging in speaking of the benefits and how wonderful it is, especially considering the negative comments a classmate was making. I hope that our conversation in class and the fact I proudly carried my pumping equipment daily is encouraging and supporting to other new moms at the college.

Thank you to my little guy as I certainly would not have gotten to this point without his involvement and desire to continue nursing. I will always continue to love and nourish you and your soul even after our breastfeeding journey comes to a close. You awe me and amaze me and while I cannot wait to see the man you will one day become, I will enjoy each and every moment I hold you close and snuggled in my arms. I love you, ba'y.

To my wonderful husband- words cannot describe how supportive you have been. When I struggled with supply, you went to the health food store and came home with bottles of supplements and herbs to use. You never complained when I needed to nurse or pump "right now". As we walked into work today, you still actively encouraged me to pump for as long as I needed and to take advantage of my last day of protection. Thank you for supporting me in my desire to breastfeed and thank you for supporting me everyday in all my pursuits.  I love you.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

First Anniversary

Dear Hannabert

One year ago today I started to think about packing a bag for the hospital.  I actually was finishing up my programs application to the American Bar Association for Paralegal Program Approval.  It needed to be complete and in the hands of the ABA on 2/15 and I knew I was being induced on 2/11.

You dad physically removed me from my office desk (after he taught his class) and made me walk out the door to go home and pack the aforementioned bag the next day.  It isn't that we weren't excited for  your arrival it is just that when we get nervous we procrastinate.

Auntie Anu came to keep me entertained at the hospital the night before you were born.  You dad slept a bit on a pull out chair/bed.  My water broke.  I got bored and got an epidural (yep, your dad sleeping and me being bored and his inability to take ITunes off of shuffle forever impacted your arrival).

The first epidural didn't work.  They did a second epidural which didn't work. The third epidural worked a bit too well.  I remember asking them if it was normal that my hands were asleep and then I couldn't feel my hands.  Then I don't remember anything other than not being able to exhale and begging to be intubated.

I don't remember how strong, wonderful, and calm your dad was.  He helped them put a catheter in when the other nurses were preparing for the worst.  I don't remember being wheeled into the operating room and I don't remember trauma doctors, respiratory staff, and neonatalists rushing into the room just in case something really bad happened.  I know that dad was with me the entire time and he never left my side.

I remember my dr. arguing with the other drs that I didn't need a c-section and that you were so strong and doing so well.and that she didn't want to take you that way.  I remember a nurse with incredibly calm eyes and dark glasses telling me that I could breathe.

I don't remember being wheeled back to the room.  I know that my dr. and dad had to tell GMa & GPa A and GMa & GPa B (who wasn't suppose to be there at all but just felt like he needed to be) what had happened.  I know that you dad was so relieved that we both were ok and you were still safe inside of me being a trooper.

I remember them all coming into my room and I was really surprised that I hadn't had to pee all day (thanks Horn for helping me out with the catheter).  They all thought that was funny.

I couldn't feel anything from my chest down when I fully dilated and was ready to push.  It wasn't until my dr. realized that you were stuck and now I REALLY needed a c-section did the epidural wear off and I realized that I could have gone natural.

To deliver you, I had to have general anaesthesia because the drs determine that with three separate attempts at an epidural placement, there was a hole into my spine which is what had caused my distress and my dr. didn't want to risk me having a spinal.

They let dad come with me to surgery, something they don't usually do when a mom is under general (no time for the privacy/protection screen) but he had been so calm and so strong my dr. said he needed to be there.  He got some pictures of your arrival.  GPaB came back and was the next person to hold you.

I got to meet you in the recovery room (you dad took a picture of you next to me in the operating room).  I cried because I couldn't deliver you vaginally.  I am still upset about that.

You had to go to NICU because your blood sugar was too low.  I don't remember much of anything that happened.  I can't remember when I found you were you.  I can't remember holding you for the first time.

I didn't get to hold you until you were over 12 hrs old.  I was wheeled into your room just in time to watch them try (unsuccessfully) to put in a gavage feeding tube.  That is nothing that I ever want to see.  You most definitely did NOT want one (nor did you want your glucose IV.  You ripped out your first one and chewed off your second one).

You were so tiny.  I didn't know what to do.  I wish I would have known to immediately unwrap you and hold you skin to skin and snuggled you close.  I feel like I spent a long time, just looking at you and memorizing your features.  You were so handsome. And little. And I fell in love immediately.

Happy birthday Hannabert.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Komen and Planned Parenthood

Thus week has been filled with a lot of news about the decision of the Komen Foundation to cut its grants/support of Planned Parenthood.  Historically, Komen has 3.5 million in the past five years to fund breast exams (about 170,000) and mammograms (6,400 referrals).  In single afternoon, Planned Parenthood has raised over $400,000, over 1/2 of the annual funds provided by Komen so, frankly, Komen pulling support was a windfall for Planned Parenthood.  

People (both men and women) were extremely angry over Komen's decision.  A typical concern was about women's health and the fact that this lack of funding would surely jeopardize women's health.  

The typical person who makes use of Planned Parenthood' services is much too young to be screened for breast cancer - 80% are under the age of 35 and the recent government guidelines doesn't recommend mammograms until the age of 50.  The money that Komen provided to Planned Parenthood provided only about 9% of all mammograms and breast screening completed by Planned Parenthood during that time.

So why were people so upset? Well, there was certainly a lot of media coverage of the defunding.  People felt it was politically motivated (an organization changes its bylaws so that the end result is that only one entity that receives funds is effected?).  People from both organizations quit in protest.  

Only 9% of breast cancer screening were funded by Komen. Annually, Komen spends $46.9 million on screenings (this means that that Planned Parenthood only gets about 1.5% of Komen's health screening budget).

Is this a political issue?  Perhaps as the new Sr. Vice President Public Policy has that much sway?  Maybe the organization is listening to scientists who have long proposed that there is a connection between abortions and breast cancer

What I do know is that each of us has a voice and we can use our voice to support charities those principles and philosophies match our own.  If you believe in a charity and what it does, support it.  If you question how a charity is spending its money, think twice about supporting it.

Likewise, charities should also think about what activities and organizations it supports.  I am sure people didn't donated to Komen JUST so it would support Planned Parenthood.