Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I have moved blogs! Please visit me at my new (more premanent) home at


Friday, August 21, 2009

A mother's ability to heal

I read this article today. I encourage, beg, plead, demand that you read it too.

This article moved me more than anything I have read in a long time. I was so choked up I could barely speak. This article speaks so deeply to what I am most passionate about. It is a wonderful story of a mother's love and fear. More importantly, it is a powerful tale of a woman mothering instinctively. The miracles of modern medicine have done so much to prolong life, increase quality of life, and save people from illness and death. However, it has also stripped women of the confidence and knowledge they need to trust themselves and their bodies. It has turned the most primal and natural processes into medical procedures. It has encouraged women to turn to doctors instead of themselves or their own mothers and friends when they have questions. And so much of what they are being told is wrong and driven by the financial interests of doctors and other industries making money off them.

That is why this story is so refreshing. Here, a woman, facing the most tragic moment of her life, when the doctors have stepped back and are not discouraging her, follows the instincts from within, and ends up saving her baby's life. No grand interventions saved her. The cure was simple, mother. It is terrifying to think, what if? What if you don't do what the doctors say and something goes wrong? I haven't been able to totally cancel out this fear, even in myself. But I do try to continuously encourage mothers to listen to their instincts. If someone is telling you to do something other than what your instincts tell you, listen to yourself. You have a connection to your baby, physical for a very long time, and then, I think, through emotions and energy for the rest of your life. You know far more than you give yourself credit for.

The other part of this story that moves me so much is that it is solid proof of the two things. 1) The power of touch to babies, 2) the absolute NEED for babies to have touch. Studies have proven this, but we (in the US especially) are so concerned with spoiling our children that we put them at arm's length, or further. This mother's touch healed her child, brought her back from the brink of death. That is powerful, more so than any modern medicine. If touch can be this good for a sick baby, why wouldn't it be just as good for a healthy baby? Why wouldn't it be just as good for a 6 month old? This is why breastfeeding is so important, why attachment parenting is so powerful. Babies need to touch, to be touched, to be held. Our bodies were designed to meet their needs even outside the womb. We provide their nourishment, can keep them warm, can regulate their breathing and heart rate. Just because they are born to the world, doesn't mean that they are any less dependent on their mother to love, provide, and care for them at every moment and for every single need.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saying goodbye

On Saturday morning, I received a phone call from Dr. Henry. Let me emphasise that it was HIM that called, not a nurse... I love having him as a doctor! He wanted to check in on me and to tell me the results of the chromosone screening. They found that it was an abnormal pregnancy. Something in the splitting of all the chromosones didn't go as it should. He said it is a very common cause of miscarraige. This was a relief in the sense that we now don't have to move forward with surgery and we can feel confident that our next roll of the dice will go better. He is keeping me on estrogen supplements for a week and then will have me on birth control for a few weeks. After that, everything should be back to normal, at least physically.

Emotionally is another story. We also found out that it was a girl. I wasn't surprised... somehow I already knew. I have said for a while that I would be the mother of boys, yet from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew it was a girl. Aaron and I talked and as soon as I knew the sex, I felt a need to give our baby a name. So, we thought it over and we have named our baby Sidney. Before we were even pregnant I had brought that up as a possible girl's name. I like it and it is the name of Aaron's paternal grandfather that passed away last year. So, it seemed fitting that our little angel share the name of her great-grandfather who she is in heaven with.

Healing from this so far has been an interesting ride. It is so different from the last time. That was our first pregnancy and the normal feelings of loss were compounded with a fear of never being able to have kids. I wasn't able to be around women that were pregnant or young babies. It was all too overwhelming. So it is a blessing this time around that I don't have to deal with those fears. I don't have to overcome jealousy and fear. However, that time we never saw an actual baby, it was more the loss of the concept. When we had the ultrasound that time they couldn't find anything, so the baby never really "took". That didn't "lessen" the pain, but it was different than this time. Sidney was as real to me as M was when we first laid eyes on him. Seeing the shape of a baby and her heartbeat solidified her place in our lives. At that moment we became a family of four. So this time I face a true mourning of that loss. It is more concrete. It is more tangible. In is no harder or easier, just different. We are taking it a day at a time and trying to find our way. It is good to have M to keep us moving and laughing. And there is the need to be there for him that keeps us moving forward. But I do find myself totally overcome with emotions, usually out of the blue. I will simply just be moved to tears at a given moment. I try to just let it come when I feel the need.

I pray that the healing continues and that Sidney is in heaven and knows that, although we never met her, we loved her all the same. She was a blessing to us, truly a gift from God.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomorrow starts a new day

Monday, July 6, was one of the best days of my life. And Friday, July 10, was one of the worst. Monday I got to see the heartbeat of our little surprise. I was comforted to see the baby, heart racing, snuggled safely in my tummy. It was perfect. Everything was perfect. Our little peanut was already almost 8 weeks along. Our chances of bringing that baby home in 7 months was over 95%! We started imagining our life as a family of 4. Things seemed to be more complete, more right. However, the rest of that week was a roller coaster of fear and hope. From one crazy episode of bleeding to another, but all without the tell-tale pain. Still having a good feeling about this one, we chose to have an ultrasound done on Friday to ease our fears before the big wedding weekend. I was so nervous before the ultrasound that I nearly had a panic attack. I could feel my heart in my throat. The nurse began the ultrasound and I explained how we hadn't told M about the baby but were planning to as soon as we saw the heartbeat again since he was with us. My first indication that something was wrong was when I caught a glimpse of a measurement and it measured 7w3d. I knew we measured 7w5d 4 days earlier. I tried to not worry about that since it is all based on the screener's mouse clicks and we had a different nurse this time. But I did notice that I wasn't picking up that little beating speck like last time. Still, nothing seemed too alarming. But before I know it, half the screen became a series of flattened wavy lines. I hadn't seen something like that before on an ultrasound and I asked what it was. As I asked and saw her face I knew the answer. I said to her "there is no heartbeat is there". And that is the moment my life changed. That is the moment I lost my baby. I have miscarried before and it was life altering and terrifying. But there was never a heartbeat, never an image. This time we came home to the pictures we had taken of our baby just 4 days ago hanging on the fridge. Never in my life have I been so high and so low in such a short time.

Tomorrow I will be going in for a D&C... my third. My body really loves to be pregnant. Seriously. It refuses to let go of anything inside of me. I find this to be an interesting metaphor for my personality. So, we faced a difficult decision. Do we allow nature to take its course, knowing that my body will likely refuse to give up on this baby? Or do we take the chance of more scarring and complications? Knowing that this was a healthy pregnancy until the 8 week mark, I know I couldn't endure this miscarriage. There would be no way to miss the loss of this child. It would be painfully obvious. And then I would likely still have to have the surgery. Instead we will take this opportunity to find some answers. We will have the D&C in the hands of one of the most wonderful doctors I have ever met. Our baby will then be tested to discover if it was an abnormality that caused it to not survive. If it was, we will be comforted to know that we have good prospects of the coin landing the other way next time. But if it was a normal, healthy baby, we will know that the scars of my past D&Cs likely caused this. And we will then be headed for a few months of recovery and another surgery. We will also learn the sex of our baby through all this. I am simultaneously excited and terrified about this prospect. A part of me that needs this baby to be validated as real feels that knowing the sex will make my pain more relevant, more understandable. A part of me that needs to push this pain away just to survive can't handle knowing if I lost my first little girl or Maddox's little brother. It will be a gift and a curse to know.

I don't know how to handle this. I bounce from positive and hopeful to panicky and blurry-eyed. I have been overwhelmed and lifted by the love and support of my family and friends. I have found peace in the stories of my sisters out there that have lost and gone on to have beautiful babies. I have wept for those that have lost too. I feel guilty for wanting more. I question if I should even try. I have a perfect, wonderful little boy and I know so many that are fighting so hard to get that. Should I be fighting for MORE? I feel guilty for not being able to keep safe Aaron's little joy. I know in my head that I have no control, but there is guilt regardless. I am brought back to the anger at my body, the frustration. The same things that it took 2.5 years of an amazing nursing relationship to heal. And I am angry to be feeling these emotions again! I feel robbed, I feel cheated. From moment one, Aaron and I were calling the baby a girl... did I lose my chance for my little girl? I can't believe that I am here again. And then I feel guilty for all this self-pity because I know how lucky I really am.
Tomorrow will be a day of mourning. It will be a day of recovery. And I hope it will start the days of healing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stepping Off the Spaceship: Life, Death and Nourishment

Stepping Off the Spaceship: Life, Death and Nourishment

A Found Memory

Welcome, Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! Thanks for visiting! Be sure to check out the other contributors, whose links are listed at the end of this post. Also, please share your thoughts or comments!

As my son is now weaned, here is a story from August 18, 2007. It is one that means more to me than just about any other.

I was just nursing Maddox and my mind was wandering as it usually does. But this time I stumbled upon a memory that had been lost for a long time and I felt compelled to share this with all of you. I suddenly realized how much breastfeeding is at the core of who I am. When I was at my Peer Counselor training I had made the comment to one of the amazing women there that breastfeeding had changed me at the deepest levels of who I am. She said, "I don't think it has changed you as much as it has helped you find a part of you that you did not know". I thought that this was profound and it changed my view quite a bit. But now this new found memory just totally solidifies that!

So, here it is... first of all, some background.

Before having Maddox, Aaron and I became pregnant. We were ecstatic, but we lost that baby early on. The miscarriage broke me, shattered me. And to make matters worse, it continued for nearly 2 months. My body had retained something from the pregnancy and after the miscarriage it continued to grow and my HCG levels began to rise. The ordeal lasted several weeks before I finally had to have a D&C. I had blood drawn nearly every other day during those months, along with the surgery, and the pain of not being able to move on. It was a true low point for me emotionally. I was very angry and have realized since then that I was depressed and mad at my body for not "working". I mourned this loss, but was steadfast in wanting to be a mother and wanted to allow that to happen as soon as this wonderful world felt it was time. At first, Aaron was completely with me. But as the drama drew on over those two months, fear began to wear on him. Then the realities of being a father began to scare him. Soon we found that we were arguing about whether or not to try again right away. I was again devastated... after all, if my body had done what it was supposed to I would be pregnant with my baby. I felt robbed all over again.

This is where the memory comes into play... this is something I had forgotten until now. One night during all of this I had a dream. It was so real that when I woke up I was in tears and could still FEEL it. I had a dream that I was nursing my child. I could FEEL the warmth of his body, smell his sweet scent, and FEEL the overwhelming love and pride created by this connection. I woke up and told Aaron, as I cried in his arms, that I need this, I am ready, I need to have my baby in my arms. I need to feed my child from my breast and connect with him in this miraculous way. It was not long after that that we were able to work through his fears and come to an agreement.

At the time the dream was nothing more than that, a signal to me that I wanted a child more than anything in the world. But, now, 2 years later, I see so much more. I find it intriguing that, even though at the time breastfeeding was not something I had thought much about other than knowing I wanted to do it because it was best, it was rooted in my soul as the pinnacle of mothering. It represented to me the absolute most basic and profound experiences of motherhood. Without giving it direct thought, I KNEW that breastfeeding would be the greatest joy of my early relationship with my child. How? Was it something engrained in my psyche from being breastfed myself? I will never know the answer to that, but I do know something now. My friend was so right. Breastfeeding hasn't changed the core of who I am... it has been there as a part of my natural state. It has however helped me realize and fulfill that internal longing that had been resting so patiently inside of me.

Breastfeeding has offered me so many gifts. I have been thankful for its power to heal my anger at my body, for its ability to create a wonderful connection with my son, for its many health and emotional benefits to Maddox and I. But tonight, as I nursed Maddox back to sleep, I am thankful for it helping me become truly who I was meant to be. That is the true power of breastfeeding.

Goodnight all.

Be sure to check out the posts from these other Carnival contributors:
The Story of Hannah’s Weaning
Weaning a Toddler
Stepping Off the Spaceship:
Life, Death, and Nourishment
So Fawned:
Sticking with It: Our Breastfeeding Story
Mommy News Blog:
How Breastfeeding Changed My Life
And All That Sazz:
Flying Breastmilk
Breastfeeding Failures and Success
Baby Carriers Down Under:
Massachusetts Friends of Midwives:
The Best Breastfeeding Advice from the Least Likely Source
Breastfeeding 1-2-3:
The "I told you so"
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom:
Breastfeeding is not Easy, but it's Definitely Best for Baby
Breastfeeding Moms Unite:
Can Early Public Breastfeeding Sightings Shape One's Future Breastfeeding Practices?
Zen Mommy:
Celebrating my Chest, in Honor of Breastfeeding
The Towells:
Breastfeeding after Reduction Surgery
Nursing in Public
Breastfeeding Mums:
Breastfeeding Made me the Mother I am

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thoughts I am enjoying...

"A mature view of scriptural authority requires us, as we have in the past, to move beyond literalism. The Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it's impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to ours." - Lisa Miller, Newsweek

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly"

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

To Facebook with Love

My recent postings on Facebook about breastfeeding have stirred up some interesting conversations. I have been compelled to share some thoughts, but far too much for a comment on there. So here it goes.

First, I will say that I am unapologetically pro-breastfeeding. I think breastmilk is a superior infant food. However, I want to be clear that this does not mean that I judge others for choosing formula. Some of my favorite women in the world have used or will use formula. I was personally very close to not being able to breastfeed myself. It was through the grace of God and a very strong will that I ended up being able to breastfeed exclusively.

Actually, I think formula is important. There are some (very few, but some) that cannot physically breastfeed. They need to have the best possible alternative. I think that the formula companies should constantly seek to catch up to breastfeeding, although it is unlikely they ever will since it is a changing and living thing. But the children that do need formula and those whose parents choose formula, deserve to have the safest and healthiest food that can be created.

I truly do think that judgement is not the right way to reach women about breastfeeding. A new mother does not need heavy handed pressure at a time when she is so vulnerable and scared. I think that by being supportive, informative, and gentle, more women would be open to trying to breastfeed. This is why I do what I do in my online communities. I am a firm believer that many women choose to formula feed simply from lack of information about breastfeeding. Formula is what they know and they haven't given breastfeeding a single thought. It's these women that I hope might stumble on my stories and find a piece of information that peaks their interest. I also post my research because there are SO many misconceptions out there about breastfeeding. The more accurate information I post the more chance I have to educate someone. It truly breaks my heart to hear a woman who formula fed talk about it in a regretful or apologetic way. Sometimes they wanted to breastfeed, but felt they weren't able to. If only they had the proper support and information, they would not have that regret. So maybe by reading an article or two, a woman can avoid that feeling in the future. I post my research to share with my fellow breastfeeding mommies because, like every mom out there, we need rejuvinated too! And reading about all the amazing things related to breastfeeding helps do that. I post my research so my friends and family can understand more about me and the lifestyle I have chosen. They can get to know me a bit better by seeing my passion for this topic.

I do feel that breastmilk is superior to formula. I don't know any other product in the world that has to say that it is inferior in its commercials. We are lucky to live in a country where the risks associated with formula are minimized, but there are many places in the world where formula and the mentality against breastfeeding is deadly! There are countries where women are pressured to use formula but they are too poor to buy it and end up diluting it and babies die. Or the babies die from dirty water mixed with their formula. And yes, we could have a serious issue in this country if we had a contamination issue like China had. And yes, that means our babies would die. I don't take that issue lightly.

When we choose to use formula we are at the mercy of those corporations. We have to rely solely on them to ensure the safety and health of our very young children. I am just not willing to put that amount of trust into a corporation. I posted a quote recently about formula being the worlds longest lasting uncontrolled experiment in medicine. This is so true. Formula is just that... a FORMULA... it is a man-made, man-researched, and man-flawed concoction. It has changed GREATLY over the many years it has been available. It seems to be constantly improving, which is great, but I do not want my child to be the test subject for the latest design.

I WILL NOT judge a mother for her choice to use formula. Every family has to find what works best for them. But I also will not apologize for my ardent support of breastfeeding, my passion for the science relating to it, or my desire to educate anyone willing to listen and seek information.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

To Do list

I am feeling overwhelmed... there is so much coming up and so much to do! My urgent to-do list:
1. Make CD of Angela's Pics
2. Get pics posted from easter for the fam to see
3. Contact preschools for Maddox
4. Plan something at work
5. Complete plans for disney trip

Then on to the normal mile long to do list.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The latest on the reproductive issues

Oh where to begin... first I have to say thank you to the best friends and family in the world! I appreciate all of your love and support more than you know! I know there are so many people out there with harder things going on in their lives than this, but you all have been so sweet and supportive.

I am going to go ahead and give the background for those that aren't sure what I am talking about. Guys - some of this might be TMI.

Well, I hadn't had a period since Sept of 2005 (yes 2005, that is not a typo). That is when I got pregnant with M. At first this didn't seem too odd because I nursed M until he was 2.5. But, he weaned dramatically last fall and still nothing happened. In December I had really bad cramps and what I would consider a "cycle" without the period... I had the pain, fatigue, hunger, bloating, etc. I called the doc and went in because the pain seemed abnormal and I still hadn't started. They did a cycle of progesterone at this point to "kick start" things. M also totally weaned at this time. Nothing ever happened after this though. Then 2 months to the day later, the pain and symptoms returned but still no period. I called the doc again and this time they did a cycle of estrogen. The estrogen didn't do anything either. So, they did an ultrasound, pelvic exam and bloodwork. Everything came back normal. So, we tried a month of birth control and the doc said if it didn't work we would head to surgery next to do a hysteroscopy. The BC caused changes like breakouts, etc. But at the 2 month mark from the last episode, the pain returned with no period. This was the weekend before last. This time the pain was off the charts. It was almost bad enough for me to have aaron take me to the hospital. It was absolutely horrendous. The pain during these times is basically nonstop cramping. It makes all of the organs and muscles in my stomach and pelvis sore and achy. It even hurts to use the restroom because all of the muscles required to do that are so strained. Even with percocet I was feeling the pain. So, on Monday (a week ago) I took the advice of a friend and called a reproductive endocrinologist. Dr Henry is wonderful and saw me that same day. He did an internal ultrasound (which has always been easy and not painful) and as soon as they touched my cervix I was crying. He didn't see anything abnormal so he decided to bring me back in a week for an HSG (hysterosalpingogram where they inject dye into the uterus to look for blockage or damage under an XRay). That brings us up to today....

So, at 11:00 I checked in for the procedure. When it was my turn to go in I was really nervous; I had heard the gal before me yelp in pain. I had taken a percocet and advil, but as soon as he began inserting the catheter I was in incredible pain. He was able to get it in somewhat, but not as far as he needed it to in order to get a seal to keep the fluid inside. He tried two catheters and couldn't get past a certain point. So he ended the procedure and took me up to his office to have an ultrasound procedure. During this they injected me 4 times with a local anesthetic in the cervix to numb it. Then he used progressively larger catheters to dilate the cervix and the canal while watching on the ultrasound to see his placement. It was during this that they discovered that I have an incredibly small uterus that is shaped in a way that makes it very shallow. Also the canal to it is VERY thin. He felt as if there may have been a blockage (scar tissue?) at the base of the canal that he broke through. That alone may have made a difference for me. After all this it was time to go back to try the HSG again. We did that and he got it to work, but not as well as he would have liked. It was still incredibly painful. He reviewed the films with me and we discovered some things. There is a large growth at the top of my short uterus that makes mine a V shape instead of a triangle. This could be either a septum (where a woman is born with her uterus divided in two, but he doubts that - or it is scar tissue from my 2nd D&C I had - the one after I had M). He also got a better picture of the shape, size and how small the canal is. It was rather stunning to see.

So, after all this, we met back in his office to discuss everything. Basically, he has no difinitive answers. There are only educated guesses at this point. From all the evidence, he would guess that it is scar tissue and that there was/is a blockage that has caused me to not bleed. The pain would probably be the uterus constantly contracting to try to push out the blood, the blood being reabsorded, and possibly it spilling back up the fallopian tubes and into the stomach cavity and causing irritation. Our options are
1. do nothing and see what comes with my next "cycle". It is possible that what we did today broke a blockage and things could be "fixed". the good news with that is no more crazy pain and getting my cycles back to normal to get pregnant. The bad news with that is, if that large area is scar tissue, if a fertilized egg were to implant on it it would cause a miscarriage so my chances of miscarriage are much greater.
2. do a round of estrogen followed by a round of progesterone... not sure of pros and cons other than more hormones etc
3. do surgery. This is something that he doesn't want to do unless we have to because he is concerned about the anatomy of my uterus and about puncturing the top of it accidentally and causing more issues.
4. go on birth control until I am of an age to not care and then have a hysterectomy... not really an option for us.

So, we have chose to go with #1. We will wait and see what happens. He said if I end up with pain he will prescribe meds to help that and then we will look into it immediately. Then he would feel more comfortable with the surgery because we would have tried all we can. The bad part of that is that the 2 months since the last "cycle" is right when we are on our way back from Florida... fun.

He was really wonderful and I feel I am in good hands. It is so frustrating though. I just want answers. The prospect of facing the pain I felt last week is terrifying. And the idea that even if this all works itself out I may have a really hard time getting and staying pregnant... not fun either.

I am trying to be patient and trust my body. After all, it sustained another life for over 2 years... I need to trust that it will do as it should. I am glad that today is over. It was supposed to be a simple, even if painful, 15 minutes and it turned into a VERY painful 5 hours. Thank god for the love and support of those in my life!! Love you all.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Obituary of our Family Friend, Kathy Klatte

From the IndyStar

Kathryn Jean Klatte Who left her handprint on the hearts of so many young, old, and furry, passed away March 7, 2009 while visiting her father in Sun City, AZ. She was 54 and a longtime resident of Indianapolis. Kathy was born November 11, 1954 in San Francisco, CA and was a graduate of Pike High School and Indiana University. Kathy had a passion for outdoor activities, including landscaping, bird watching, and scuba diving. She overcame her fear of heights to bungee jump off hot air balloons and parasail. Her love of music and travel led her to follow her favorite jazz musicians on cruises for the last five years. As an avid gardener, Kathy's backyard was her sanctuary. If you had the pleasure of sharing it with her, you could soon realize that the earth, plants, birds, and pond had a connection to Kathy's soul. Every plant or flower she touched blossomed and thrived, just like her friendships. Kathy had a wonderful gift: a soft spoken charm. She saw goodness in all people, and nudged us to be better, to love more, and to open our minds and share our differences. She worked for the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children as a Quality Advisor. Previously she spent 24 years at Day Nursery Association as a teacher, Center Director, and Director for Center Administration. Kathy taught others kindness, professionalism, zest for life, respect for all things living, and how to smile. Those touched by Kathy will honor her by dedicating themselves to continuing her legacy of making the world a better place for young children. Day Nursery Association has established the Kathy Klatte Award for Outstanding Excellence in Early Childhood Education. This annual endowment will use donations in her name to honor outstanding professionals in early childhood education. Memorial contributions may be made to Day Nursery Foundation, 615 N. Alabama, Ste. 300, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Kathy was preceded in death in December by her mother, Barbara Lyntton Klatte. She is survived by her father, Dr. Eugene Klatte; sisters Susan Duhn Mand (Frank), Constance Gilbert (George), Jeanette Ashmore (Ed), Teresa Gibson (Tim); her significant other Ron Hellmann; her beloved nieces and nephews, and her treasured friends.

Kathy was my preschool teacher. She met me when I was Maddox's age. She has been at every major life event I have had, sharing stories about when I was little. She had an incredible infectious smile and a soft voice that made you feel warm inside. Her heart was enormous and her spirit larger than the world in which she lived. It was a priviledge to be a part of her life and I pray that I can honor her appropriately through my life. Thank you, Kathy, for your spirit and the incredible example you have set.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Label

I had to laugh the other day when Aaron was picking out his new plant for the office. He quickly and happily picked out one marked "Requires Minimal Attention". This was exactly what he was looking for. In my mind I thought "Would he have still picked me if I had a label that was so descriptive and honest??" Surely mine would have read something like "Requires Constant Attention and Affection"... we may never know! :-)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Salma Hayek breastfeeds a stranger's baby!

So, Salma Hayek is one of my new breastfeeding heros. She had a daughter in 2007 and is still nursing. She recently spoke about nursing another woman's baby when that woman's milk dried up. She also talks about it as almost an addiction. Here are a few articles I found interesting.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The New Yorker Discusses breast vs. pump

I read this article today ( I both loved and hated it. For those that are interested in the history of the culture of breastfeeding, it is a great article mostly. It provides a load of information about why and when breastfeeding trends changed over hundreds of years. It also is incredibly supportive of breastfeeding and its importance.

My problem with the article is that it seems to show pumping as a negative thing, as if it doesn't matter what is in the bottle, the bottle itself ruins the positives. The question it poses, and in my opinion doesn't really offer an answer, is "What matters more to the baby... the milk or the mother?". I take great offense to this as I think it is both. There are health, developmental, and emotional benefits to be had from both.I think it does a great disservice to breastfeeding to make it appear that a woman who must return to work and pump for her child is providing less benefit or being selfish. Some women must pump while at work. And, yes, some women choose to pump exclusively, even if they could nurse. But I feel that at least those children are getting the benefits of the milk then. They are missing out on some of the connection that is provided from being at the breast, but they are still gaining so much. I personally applaud any mother that provides her child with breastmilk, whether through pumping or from the tap. I think it is a great blessing and gift.

I understand that the article points out that a pump is not as effective as a baby and that it is an "artifical" way of feeding (when compared to the "natural" skin to skin way). I just feel that the benefits of the milk are so great that they outweigh this type of judgement. I don't think anything can replace the benefits of the child at the breast, but we are not a society that can be so black and white. I think we should support women and their desire to give their milk to their children, no matter how they go about doing it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wedding video highlights

After watching the Obamas dance the night away to "At Last" by Etta James, Aaron and I were feeling sentimental about our wedding. So, I edited together some highlights. I am working on a few more. Here are the first two though.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our New President

Today wouldn't be complete without sharing my thoughts about the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. First, I have to just put out there that I am thrilled, touched, hopeful, and elated! (and impressed that they chose to dance to "At Last" as their Inaugural Dance... our first dance at our wedding!) :-)

I feel that President Obama embodies so much of what I have wanted to see in American politics. The ideas that other generations have criticized as being naive are now shared by the most powerful man in the world. Finally, someone is leading our country that seems to feel that integrity, respect, and honor are the best ways to show power in this world. Finally, someone that values the lives of all human beings, regardless of their location in this world or their ideological differences. I have so much hope for this man and his role in our country! I pray that he remains safe and energized and that the burden of his new post does not silence the power of his convictions.

I also have become a huge fan of Michelle Obama. Finally, a woman is in office who I can relate to. A woman who is educated, powerful, and strong, but also feminine and sexy. A woman who has been a working mother. Even though she has had the financial comfort to avoid many of the difficulties that most working women face, I feel she will be a true advocate for women, children, education, and human rights. I feel that she is a woman that I can look up to and truly respect!

I am so proud to see this family in our White House. I am thrilled to see a man and woman that appear to be a team, a dedicated mother and father, a loving couple, and a couple that are still so down to earth.

So, as they begin their new roles, here are some of the things I wish for them and from them:
  • I pray they remain safe
  • I pray they remain in touch... with each other, with us, with themselves
  • I pray they remain humble, compassionate, and sensitive
  • I pray the fire in them is not extinguished by the burdens of the jobs
  • I pray that their daughters continue to grow to be models to all young women
  • I pray the world sees our choice in them to lead us as a promise that we are a loving, compassionate people
  • I pray that the country gathers to support him and that he continues to earn that support and respect over the years
  • I pray that he proves wrong the critics and proves right the hearts of so many people that believe he IS the change we need!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good friends

I have had so many blessings in life and I am thankful for them each day. One of the great blessings is my friends. I was able to spend the weekend with one of my best friends in the world, Tara, and became compelled to tell the world (or at least the 15 or so people that read this) why I am thankful for her.

Where to begin... Tara is a gift! First, she is one of the smartest people I have ever met. Seriously, she is brilliant. Her knowledge of theology and history is amazing. But even more amazing than her knowledge developed through research and immersion is her knowledge of the spirit of man. Tara has a way to know people, to see the best, to develop that in them, and to project to them a better version of themselves.

Over the last 15 years, I have had so many incredible conversations with Tara that have helped develop me into the person I am today. We have talked about everything and not always agreed, but I always have felt accepted and loved, no matter what. Some of my favorites were the ones when we were teenagers and I would come over to her house and talk until late into the evening.

Over the last 10 years life has taken us to some very different places and we have often gone for long times without seeing eachother or even talking. But there has always been a connection that never broke. Even after a full year we will pick right up from where we left off. There is no expectation, no guilt, just a true joy of being together again! That is incredibly special.

I joke that Tara is like a drug. She just makes you feel so good about life and yourself that you want more! When I leave a visit with her, I feel rejuvinated! I just hope that I can offer her the same in return.

Tara's friendship is a gift! And Tara is a gift in this world! She has dedicated her life to serving others and she gives herself to those in her life. I am so thankful for her in my life! Tara, I love you!!

Did You Know?
I would likely not be in the career I am in now if it weren't for Tara! Tara taught me how to make my very first basic webpage!! It was so much fun that I stayed up late most nights during my freshman year of college and learned more before deciding to make it my major!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Farewell Dungy

I wanted to say something about our now former football coach, Tony Dungy. I listened to his retirement press conference the other day and honestly wanted to cry. I, and the rest of the city, will greatly miss him. Now, I know that this may seem overly dramatic since I never met the man, but there is a lot to love about him.

When he came to Indy he said he wanted to turn the community into Colts fans by winning the right way. And that is exactly what he did. He came into this city and won and won and won. He made the players into heros to our children. But the reason we all love him so much is the way he did it. Dungy always conducts himself in a manner of respect, humility, grace, and while remaining true to his faith. He also lead a team of men who were expected to do the same. In a world where, as a parent, you question whether sports are acceptable entertainment for your child because of the seriously poor choices so many of the athletes make, it is refreshing to find a team that walks the straight line. Watching them win is watching the good guys win. You have to respect the team and the hard work they put into their jobs and their community. Dungy raised athletes that are contributing to the community instead of taxing it. He set an example that I wish more coaches would follow. I get sick of seeing coaches acting out on the sidelines and showing disrespect to their team and the refs. Dungy was strong about what he thought on a call, but also respectful at all moments. He had a no excuses mentality that more people should take to heart in their lives.

I am hopeful that the new leadership of our beloved team will continue to maintain the legacy that he built. I hope that the Colts remain a positive example of what men are, of what sportmanship is, and of what "doing it the right way" can create. So, if I could tell Dungy one thing, I would say "You did it. You turned me into a Colts fan and you did it the right way. Thank you!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sick little boy

Maddox has been very sick for the past week. It has been miserable! He woke up last Tues night (after being totally normal all day) and got sick 12 times... every 15 minutes!! It was awful to see! He didn't understand what was happening to him and obviously felt horrible. For the next week he would be lethargic and cuddly almost the whole time. Occassionally he would show signs of improvement, but then would get sick again. We are taking him to the doctor today, and of course he seems GREATLY improved now. But, with the way this has been going, if we don't take him, he will get sick again tonight. I had fears that as soon as he totally weaned he would get sick and I would feel guilty... and sure enough! I have hated not having the breastmilk as a fall back. He has never been sick like this (most he has had was head stuff), but I still liked knowing that he was getting something that was easily digested, safe, and full of everything he needed. This time, I have been so nervous about dehydration, him not eating, etc. This was bound to happen eventually, whenever he did decide to wean, but I hate that my worries came true. For the most part he hasn't asked to nurse at all, until last night. He asked and cried. I couldn't even give in because it has been so long now. I felt bad for that, but held him extra tight and he finally stopped crying.So, it has been a VERY long week. I am anxious to get back into the office and back to a normal routine. Now, I will be waiting for Aaron to recover too, but then we will hopefully be a healthy family again.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New tool... so cool!

I have added a new tool to the bottom of my blog. It is called MyThredz. It allows me to quickly update various areas of my life (right now I am doing Home, Work, Breastfeeding). It is supplemental to the blogging and is more of a snapshot of a day, rather than a thoughtful review of an event or thought like the blog. Let me know what you think of it!

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Site!

I am very excited to announce that I have created a new website for breastfeeding... Aaron sent me a message today telling me about a great site that makes it easy to create a social network site. So, I chose to play with the software and came up with this site. It is focused on women in the Indy area that are interested in breastfeeding; an extention of the mother support groups that are out there. I have invited many of the women I know, but hope that word gets out and more join. I am so passionate about this cause and I want to do all I can!! This is something that brings a lot of joy to me.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Creating a life of love

Today I was at a funeral service for a woman that I had never met, but I was there to support a family friend. I listened to the moving service and had many thoughts. First, I was taken by how wonderful this woman seemed to have been and was sad that I had not been able to meet her. And I was so touched by the people and stories there. I realized that I really want to live my life so that I create that type of love too. It was amazing to listen to her husband of 59 years speak so fondly of her and their life together. He called the need for him to provide her total care in the end a "total honor". He gave her credit for the successful career he had and their loving family. He spoke of her strength and even her moments of weakness. At 26, she had suffered from Polio while pregnant and spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. He had once been counseled to leave her for his own sake and the sake of their 5 daughters, but it said that was just unacceptable. Instead, they faced their adversity together and ended up with a wonderful life full of experience and joy. She even went on an African safari with him! I want my marriage to be like that, that solid and powerful. There were so many people there. It was obvious that she had touched many. I hope that my life, too, will be marked by the love and support I show for others. The experience was very special and renewed a purpose in my mind to be that person... the supportive, happy, joyful, lively person that creates the love that this powerful woman did.
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