Nips, Lips, Hips, ‘N Fingertips











{November 6, 2008}   I don’t blahg here anymore.

I stopped blogging here when I was in the process of becoming a Therapeutic Foster Parent.

I started a blog about my journey of foster-adoption, And Foster Baby Makes Five, at blogger.com. It is private, due to laws about confidentiality regarding the sharing and transmission of images and information about children in foster care– but if I know you, and you send me an email, I can send you an invitation.

This election brought out the fierce Mother Liberpublican in me, so I started a new blog on November 5 to get some things off my chest. It is open to the public and located here: http://motherliberpublican.blogspot.com/

You know you want to see what I’m up to.

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Okay, probably the best/worst childhood horror story I have of late is this little nugget:

I was in our “Jack & Jill” bathroom (a bathroom with two doors to be shared by the occupants of two or more bedrooms), and I was getting ready to get into the shower, so I was bottomless but not yet topless, when I heard a shriek from the bedroom where my two sons were supposed to be playing nicely with their LEGOS. So I hurry across the hall to their room, expecting to see blood, only to find that DS2 has unplugged the stereo and deprived DS1 of his new addiction, listening to KLOV (local Christian radio station). Quickly and quietly, I remedied the situation by plugging the stereo back in. This involved bending over, and I did not have on any underwear, but I am their mom and they are my kids and they are still too young to think anything weird about nudity so I thought nothing of it. Back in the bathroom, with the monitor on, I hear DS1 say to DS2, “Did you see that disgusting thing hanging out of her butt?! Wasn’t that embarrassing?!” I explained to DS1 later that I wear tampons when my period is heavy, apologized to him for going into his room without any undies on, and promised him that it would never. happen. again.

Yet another reason to go back to the Instead “things” or break down and buy a Diva Cup!

Or as DH says, yet another reason to go topless instead of bottomless!



{February 15, 2007}   Why I hate to take Celebrex

First of all, I apologize for not writing for months! I moved my business from a way-too-time-consuming YAHOO!-hosted website to an easy-to-build eBay store; my family and I have been ill (we had the whooping cough! and a nasty cold that lasted over two weeks, including a record-breaking five and a half days and six nights of fever with yet another febrile seizure!); I bought a sewing maching (yes, me, a sewing machine!); I have been going to aqua classes at the local rec center; and we are in the process of taking classes to become certified as a foster-adoptive family. 

So I’ve been taking Celebrex since sometime in September for Osteoarthritis (OA). I finally saw a Rheumatologist, at the advice of my PCP (Primary Care Provider, not street drug) and after an extensive bone scan, some bloodwork and more X-rays, I was diagnosed with “severe, widespread OA”. It is mostly in my neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and lower back. I do not yet have painful ankle or wrist joints, which is a saving grace since I like to do a lot of things with my hands. My knuckles occasionally ache in the Winter, and used to be much more painful whenever I played the cello and guitar, two time-consuming hobbies I have since given up only because I am a full-time at-home momma now, not because it hurt too much.

Anyway, I have tried Celebrex at the lowest dose possible despite much anxiety about taking such a risky prescription drug. I once had a client who took Celebrex, plusI’ve heard in the TV commercials about the risk of liver problems and stomach bleeding, and I’m the poster child for GI problems. Call me crazy, but I don’t take lightly the risk of serious liver problems and stomach bleeding “that may occur without warning” and be “potentially fatal”. I’m a mother, and the thought of leaving my two boys behind just because I wanted to get some relief from joint pain is more than I can bear.

I couldn’t even read the Patient Information. I had DH read it and then boil it down for me as it makes me crazy with worry and I think that I tend to induce the symptoms in myself when I know what they are. So far, I’ve had threeof the less-common side effects including darkened urine, facial swelling, and weight gain (10 pounds since I started on it about 5 months ago, even though I am far more active since being on it and not being in so much pain). I started out on the twice daily dose, but I experienced heart palpitations and dizziness upon standing up. One night, I even thought I was having a heart attack and almost called 911. I called my doctor the next day and she recommended that I cut the dosageback to once daily. I did so, and I was still terrified to take it, but it helps. And even though it really does help, I hate to take it!

For the record, I have tried the following (with some relief, though not lasting): Rhus. Tox. (a homeopathic remedy), fish oil (most recently,  krill oil), Reiki, an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise (aqua classes and weight-bearing exercise/weight-lifting to strengthen the muscles that support the joints), and yoga. I have been trying to lose weight for over a year now, and I have also been diagnosed with “Metabolic Syndrome” for which I was prescribed speed (phenterfine) that had its own set of risks and which I decided was first and foremost not safe to take while I am still breastfeeding (you can find out more about by looking up the drug phenterfine in the reference guide Medications and Mother’s Milk by Thomas Hales).

I hate to take Celebrex, but here I have been off of it for only 48 hours now and I am in a great deal of pain- especially in my knees. Our house has a multi-level floor plan, with four levels and four sets of stairs, and I need to be able to ascend and descend them as needed to take care of our children and our house.

I was going to stop taking Celebrex for Valentine’s day- I don’t know why, but when I get some idea in my brain, I go all the way with it- but I gave in and called in my prescription to the pharmacy just now. I also looked up Weight Watchers and there is a meeting location “0 miles” from me so I am going to go to a meeting this evening at 6:15 p.m.

This will be my third time joining Weight Watchers. I lost a good amount of weight with WW after my first was born (and thanks to breastfeeding on demand until he was eighteen months old), and although I didn’t stick with it after my second son was born, it was mostly because the “nearest” location was just too far away in downtown Ogden, and the time of day when I could go to meetings was the worst time of day for traffic so it took me thirty minutes to get there. I also tried to go to a “Mommy and Me”  WW meeting but it was a joke- with my two boys in tow, it felt more like “Fussy Baby Brother, Mommy & IT’S ALL ABOUT ME”. My oldest was too old to be entertained by the baby toys that were provided (and wouldn’t have anything to do it the activities and books I brought along for him), and my youngest was just too loud and obnoxious, fussing the whole time and wanting to nurse which involved a great deal of exposure and juggling on my part. Nonetheless, it was the only way to keep him quiet, so I did it, and likewise suffered the consequences (weird looks, no one wanting to be my partner when we were to pair up for an activity- basically, I was socially ostracized for nursing in public.)

So tonight I’m off to Weight Watchers, because I am at least 75 pounds overweight and that has to make my OA worse. I don’t think my weight has *caused* my OA- in fact, I think it is the other way around- but I have to do everything I can to feel better. I know I’m way too young to hurt like this, and I am just.not.ready for injections and surgery for my knee pain.

I hate to take Celebrex, but I’m going to take until I am at least 25 pounds lighter, and then try to come off of it again. I will continue to do that every 25 pounds until I am at my ideal weight. If I go off Celebrex then, and I am still in a great deal of pain, I will most likely consider the injections. The older folks with OA and RA in my aqua class swear by them!



Just in case you live in a cave, I’ll fill you in on the latest juicy mommy story:

A woman (and her family) was kicked off a plane for openly breastfeeding her baby!

You know what? I don’t even want to try and fill you in on the formulaic details (is anyone else starting to see a pattern here??). Just go read the story for your self and then come back and read my lactivistic rant if you find that afterward you’re parched.

You can read one of MSN’s very brief versions of the events right here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15720339/

Here’s the quote that really got my goat: “A breast-feeding mother is perfectly acceptable on an aircraft, providing she is feeding the child in a discreet way,” that doesn’t bother others, said Paul Skellon, spokesman for Phoenix-based Freedom. “She was asked to use a blanket just to provide a little more discretion, she was given a blanket, and she refused to use it, and that’s all I know.”

I would really like to have a word (or a thousand) with the cretinous ignoramus Skellon, let me tell you. A breast that is being used to feed a baby is not a sexual object, period! Thus, there is no need for discretion. To me, the whole notion that a flight attendant on an airplane can have a family removed for something legal that she finds personally offensive is about as ridiculous as a server in a public restaurant asking a customer to not chew with their mouth open (something that really disgusts me) because the inside of the mouth is used for oral sex and they find it offensive- and going on to say how if they insist on chewing with their mouth open, they must do so while covering their mouth with a napkin. To take my analogy all the way, imagine if a server could have a patron removed from a restaurant for refusing to hold a napkin over their mouth while eating.

You may think my analogy is far-fetched, but I assure you that for most breastfeeding mothers, breastfeeding is as natural to us as chewing ones food well before swallowing (with our mouthes closed because our mothers taught us not to chew with them open).

And I really find it funny discordant how babies have so many rights *before* they are born in our country, but not while they are too young to do anything but cry about not being fed.

Airplanes are Hell on Earth if you ask me, and flight attendants have the efficacious opportunity to make it better or worse. From the moment we board an airplane, it is the flight attendants who set the tone for the flight. Some are business-like, some friendly. Some make funny faces or lip sync to their co-workers voices while going over the emergency procedures. Most see it as their job to help get you settled in, some are authoritarian about it. But either way, once the plane takes off and climbs to the cruising altitude, one quickly feels that the cabin is cramped, and the stale air smells like B.O. and farts.  The flight attendant with the headphones quickly becomes one’s best friend. Veteran flight attendants offer blankets and extra pillows to those who look sleepy. It is a small luxury that affords a measure of comfort and privacy in a public setting. The blanket is not intended to cover up shameful behavior, but to provide warmth.

But the blanket offered to Momma Gillette was a blanket of shame. It was intended to provide privacy for someone else who is capable of looking away, and it is symbolic of our society’s completely conflicting rules about nudity and sex. Breasts can be flashed on TV to sell the latest Victoria’s Secret push-up bra that juts unnatural breasts into even more unnatural positions (and by the way, in case you hadn’t heard, the secret is that Victoria doesn’t support breastfeeding) . But god forbid a woman ought to use her breast for what it was created/evolved to do best: to nurse a troubled baby/child. 

Babies can experience horrible, piercing pain in their eardrums as the plane ascends and descends. A baby who is breastfed (or given a bottle or sippy cup for that matter) on a plane is a quiet baby. Most people seem to loathe babies and children in general on planes. I know this from many, many personal experiences flying with my children- the longest flight being from Salt Lake City, Utah to Honolulu, Hawaii. I have heard comments ranging from “Oh great, it’s Romper Room” to “I hope they aren’t sitting behind us” while boarding flights with my boys, who are usually better behaved than the adults on the flight. I’ve been known to make direct comments to the people who say such rude things, usually something along the lines of : “So did you spring to the Earth fully grown?” or “I guess your parents never took you anywhere when you were little!” but anymore I just let my children’s good-natured and almost always polite in public behavior speak for itself.

I have nursed both of my boys while flying- with the youngest, most recently, at about 2 years old. I was almost hoping the last time we flew that someone would say something about it. You could say I was ready for a fight. I had my fierce rebuttal prepared about how it was my right to breastfeed whenever and wherever I could legally be- and certainly in a seat which I had paid for was one such place.  I would have further added that any part of my breast/nipple exposed during breastfeeding was not considered indecent exposure or a lewd act and that any suggestion in that vein would be defended by my attorney, a family lawyer who we have on retainer.

I never even got a chance as the (Frontier) flight attendants completely adored us. They kept bringing things by to entertain the boys, flirting with them and playing peek-a-boo and things like that. When I had to breastfeed Smooshie, who refuses to even allow my shirt to cover my breast a tiny bit, one of them flashed me a great big smile. Another one, an older guy, gave me a thumbs up! I was so completely blown away and we will loyally fly Frontier from now on whenever there is a choice. And yay, their hub is here in Denver!

I have never flown on Freedom Airlines so I didn’t have any particular opinion of the airline until I read this appalling story. I have flown Delta and I have had experiences ranging from cold and callous to Midwesternly friendly. But now, I have an entirely negative concept of Freedom Airlines because of the actions of one flight attendant and an ineffective spokesman.

The flight attendant ought to be fired or seriously reprimanded at the very least. I can’t even believe that one flight attendant can make a comment that can then cause an entire family to be removed from a flight. It seems like since 9/11, we have given flight attendants power that supercedes their human, subjective judgement. We now err way too far on the side of caution and trust that if a flight attendant or a paranoid passenger thinks someone is suspicious then they must be doing something wrong. How much education does the average flight attendant have? How much sensitivity training? How  much diversity awareness? Apparently,some of them don’t even have a basic understanding of the law as it pertains to breastfeeding in public.

http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVJunJul05p51.html

I hope that the Gillette family sues the airline *and* the pants off the flight attendant, too.

I would be willing to bet my breastpump that the flight attendant wasn’t breastfed. Those are usually the people who are the most easily offended by breastfeeding in public places. It has to be difficult to see what you were not given as a baby/child. It must bring up a lot of feelings…intense feelings like anger, denial, hunger, inadequacy, jealousy, sadness.   

But I also think that flight attendants have just gotten too big for their britches.

On one trip to New York from St. Louis, when we had to change planes twice (and take three different flights) to get there, I patiently explained what a sling was about five times to five different people who told me I had to put our son in his carseat. I had one flight attendant tell me that I could not have my son in the sling for take-off as he could be killed or seriously injured in a crash. I said something about how if I could have him on my lap then the sling is the same thing. She insisted that I could have him on my lap but not in the sling.  I repsonded that I was going to have my baby in the sling and I was going to be breastfeeding him when the plane took off and that it was my choice to do so and there was nothing she could do about it. She left me alone for the rest of the flight but had a male flight attendant answer our call when we dinged to ask for another blanket. She glared at me as we exited the plane. I just smiled back at her. Happy baby, happy mom.

I can’t even imagine if I had been asked to leave the flight for refusing to buckle my infant son into his car seat during takeoff. We had not even paid for a seat for him and had been allowed to bring the carseat on at the last minute since there was an emtpy seat next to mine. I think that was probably the only reason she didn’t make a bigger deal out of it.

Why am I going on and on about this? I don’t know. I think I am just sick and tired of people who think that they can tell us parents how to raise our children. The Scolders. Those who think they know more about the proper care and feeding of a baby than the baby’s own mother. Baby experts and baby cops need to take a permanent time-out. They are often “childless by choice” (or the father who was in medical school and doing his residency while mom was home raising the kids he is a so-called expert on parenting) and have no Earthly idea what they are talking about- but yet we are supposed to be concerned about their sensibilities? Children ought to come first. Adults ought to have the maturity to turn the other cheek of they don’t like something. The intense needs of a baby who has to nurse on an airplane to feel comfortable and safe are more important than a flight attendant who is fully capable of averting her eyes. 

After all, our children will be their doctors, fire fighters, lawyers, and nurses someday. They will be glad then that we breastfed them and attachment parented them and homeschooled/private schooled them. But until then, because we tend to be a kind and tolerant lot, we will put up with their whining. We are parents, and that’s what we do.



…I learned from Breastfeeding. Yeah, you read that right. Because I breastfed a baby before I gave birth to one. My firstborn was delivered via Cesarean surgery, and it rattled me to my core, but was the stepping off point for many new truths that I now hold dear.

Here is what I learned from my baby, and all of the wise women of La Leche League:

  • The consumption of food and healthful drinks need not be restricted in pregnancy, labor or while breastfeeding. (“Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.”)  
  • Prenatal care that follows the Midwifery Model of Care supports the healthy growth of women and babies. (“Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.”) 
  • Pregnancy and labor are a time of complex, intense, symbiotic communication between the baby’s brain and his mother’s brain. (“Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship and an adequate milk supply.”)
  • The calendar is not helpful. (Watch the baby/momma, not the calendar.)
  • The clock is not necessary. (Watch the baby/momma, not the clock.)
  • Birth doesn’t have to hurt. (Breastfeeding doesn’t have to hurt- and shouldn’t.)
  • You can sleep between contractions (nursings) and must!  (Sleep when baby sleeps.)
  • Birth works best without intervention. (“Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.”) 
  • Natural birth is best for mom *and* baby. (“Breastmilk is the superior infant food.”)
  • Separation after birth (for “routine” procedures such as weighing, measuring, and bathing) is unnecessary and inhumane to the newborn baby and mother. (“Baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.”)
  • Mother is the only sustenance necessary for the healthy, newborn baby. She has the ability to help regulate his temperature and breathing- veen if he is premature- and can calm him with her voice alone.  (“For the healthy, full-term baby, breastmilk is the only food necessary until baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.”)
  •  It takes *at least* a year after childbirth to regain ones strength and recover from the stress of pregnancy, childbirth and the sleep-deprived, postpartum period.  (“Ideally, the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.”)
  • The experience of birth impacts the entire family negatively or positively, whether it is one that ends in surgery, a vaginal delivery, or loss. (“Breastfeeding is enhanced and the nursing couple sustained by the loving support, help and companionship of the baby’s father (partner). A father’s (co-parent’s) unique relationship with his (her) baby is an important element in the child’s development from early infancy.”)
  • New mothers need the encouragement and support of other mothers. (“From infancy on, children need loving guidance, which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.”)

Thank you, La Leche League,  and thank you, “Yummy” boy!!

Inspired by Hathor’s Attending La Leche League Meetings Is Political Action, in her new book THE MILK OF HATHOR! THE BREASTFEEDING COMICS, available now at www.thecowgoddess.com



{November 8, 2006}   It’s the little things

Today I realized that DH had put away the dishes last night and he put the odd fancy spoon that I picked up at a thrift store and that doesn’t match our silverware which is my coffee spoon into the painted ceramic frog that I keep The Coffee Spoon” in (not unlike Monica’s “Phone Pen”). He finally realized there is such a thing as The Coffee Spoon and I didn’t even have to tell him. He just noticed and put them together on the counter by my coffeemaker.  Now, THAT is what I expect after seven years of marriage. Put the freaking coffee spoon where it goes. Thank you, Honey-Bear. I will keep you for at least seven more years. <very big grin>



{November 4, 2006}   Happy Housewife’s Day

Yesterday was “Housewife’s Day”, according to my Hathor calendar anyway www.hathorthecowgoddess.com. I prepared nutritious meals and snacks, did the dishes and laundry, helped the boys get dressed twice (the second time after getting wet in my sink while I was blogging), joined in and supervised play, blogged away some more, sorted through the mail and recycled most of it, put more Halloween stuff down in the basement, dipped the turtle, and swept all the floors as usual.

 I hate being a housewife! There, I said it! So another thing I did yesterday was to call and make sure that I belong in the informational session that I am signed up to attend Tuesday to find out about getting my BSN through an accelerated program at the U of CO. They don’t have an RN program, but because I already have a BS degree, I can take the accelerated 19-month BSN program if I have the four prerequisites. Unfortunately, Anatomy & Physiology classes aced in massage school do not count as it is considered a vocational school, so I think I have to take A, P, and Microbiology. I can’t remember what the fourth prerequisite is but I think I have it. I will either take the other prerequisites at a community college or through a home study program if that is acceptable. When I grow up, I want to be a Labor & Delivery Nurse and/or Lactation Consultant.

Last night, DH brought home a new Claddagh ring for me- one that had to be ordered when the first one he gave me was too small (and it had to come from Ireland which took a few weeks). Go finger, this one is too big. I seem to have lost some weight without even trying. So the ring slips all over the place and I may have to wear it as a thumbring until I can get it re-sized, but it’s oh-so pretty. It has an emerald in the heart and diamonds (I call them diamonds but I am sure that they are Cubic Zirconia) on the crown and sidebars. I fell asleep staring at it last night, it’s so bee-yoo-tee-full.

If you don’t know what a Claddagh is, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claddagh_ring

I ought to be happy, and I wish I was. But something’s missing, and I think it’s me.



{October 21, 2006}   Did you watch ER last night?

I’m becoming an ER junkie. I’ve been watching the show for years but it is now dovetailing so nicely with my own angst that it is like Gestalt therapy to watch.

I find myself wanting to pull for Kovac, but knowing that it’s more complicated. Forest Whitaker does an amazing job of portraying the frustration of being asked to put ones life in the hands of doctors who chat and eat bagels with cream cheese while we are suffering.

I was bawling again watching last nights episode, at how deeply Ames (played by Whitaker) felt betrayed- and the distrust that comes from betrayal.

Yes, I know the big picture- and I LOVE that the writers of ER are digging deep to really show how complicated it is- but I have also been on the receiving end of malpractice.

I wonder how many people out there watching ER can relate?

How many of us women (before and/or after birth) have been left to sit in our own blood/milk/sweat/urine-soaked bed for hours or days, neglected, overlooked, patronized- even abused, or can I call it brutalized?- by an Obstetrician and “overextended” nursing staff? How many of us have been told that the doctor knows what is best and that is what will be done? How many of us have had a doctor or nurse play the dead baby card in an effort to get us to comply with hospital protocol? How many of us have been denied food, water, comfort, and our lover or other partner while in labor? How many of us have been told that we do not know what we are talking about, that being flat on our backs in a hospital bed on the monitors with a posterior baby isn’t as bad as we are saying it is, that we just need to relax and if we would only get the epidural all the pain would go away? How many of us have taken the epidural (after several tries) and still been in pain but then unable to move about? How many of us have been cut open for no good reason except that we were taking up too much of our OB’s time? How many of us have been told that our babies were in distress because of late decels when s/he was simply responding to contractions the way God/Nature/The Universe intended? How many of us have been told that if we refuse surgery our babies would die? How many of us were told we needed a hysterectomy when we didn’t? How many of us have had our babies taken too soon, because an ultrasound was wrong? How many of us have aborted babies because an ultrasound showed a defect that wasn’t there? How many of us have worried about a defect the entire pregnancy only to find out that it didn’t exist at birth, and better yet that the baby was the complete opposite sex that we were told she was? How many of us were not aware of a defect until birth despite the fact that we had countless ultrasounds during our pregnancies? How many of us have been told that we needed to have an episiotomy to ease the baby out at birth only to tear from clit to anus and find that we are then in pain for the rest of our lives? How many of us have had an OB (or a resident) put an entire hand inside of us and extract a perfectly healthy placenta that just needed a little more time to come out on its own? How many of us were told we had to be induced because the placenta was dying only to find a healthy baby and healthy placenta? How many of us have pushed out one twin only to go to the OR to have the other one surgically removed because s/he was breech? How many of us have had a scheduled Cesarean surgery for a breech baby simply because knOBs do not know how to deliver breech babies anymore? How many of us have had a scheduled Cesarean surgery for breech, only to have the baby turn before surgery, but been told that it is best to go on with the surgical plan? How many of us have been denied a VBAC because our knOB doesn’t want the possibility of a lawsuit? How many of us have been told that VBAC is dangerous and been coerced into an increasingly risky second, third, fourth or fifth Cesarean? How many of us have had a nurse holding- even pushing back in- our baby’s head while waiting for an OB to show up so s/he could “catch” the baby? How many of us have been told not to push so that we could make it to the OR for a scheduled surgery? How many of us have been told how/when/where/why to push (an urge that is extremely primal and best followed by the mother without “coaching” or counting)? How many of us have been told that we couldn’t have given birth vaginally, and gone on to prove them wrong? How many of us have vaginally birthed babies larger than the ones we were cut open for? How many of us have avoided sex after Cesarean for fear of getting pregnant again? How many of us had babies we didn’t really need or want just to have another chance to birth? How many of us have wished we could back to being ignorant and perhaps more blissful? How many of us have been told after having an avoidable/preventable/unnecessary Cesarean: “You should be grateful” or “Fifty years ago you would have died in childbirth” or “All that matters is a healthy baby!” How many of us have been told while undergoing repair for a fourth degree tear that the really hot water the resident is pouring on our labia is not really that hot? How many of us have refused induction, surgery, repair, or medication for a repair just so that we could leave the hospital? How many of us have been told that if we leave the hospital because we are sick of being mistreated that it will be written in our charts that we left AMA (Against Medical Advice) and that we will then be saddled with the hospital bills when our HMO/PPO won’t pay? How many of us who have refused/resisted circumcision of our male babies were told that it doesn’t really hurt them and asked to hold our screaming infants still while the procedure is performed? How many of us have felt like no one understood that we were essentially raped and then blamed for our anger, frustration, mistrust, reluctance to seek further medical attention?

Wow. I feel better, and I feel worse. I feel like part of a silent majority that is too apathetic to speak up and too busy to actually do anything to change the system and too scared, too. 

I know there are many of us. I have met you through the ICAN list and meetings and La Leche League meetings and the Nursing Mother’s Circle at Kangaroo Kids in St. Louis and on the MotheringDotCommune message boards and the Modern Moms board, and…

There are so many of us. Each with a story to tell, if anyone is there to listen to us.

For some, that’s all we need: just for someone to listen to us. Just for one other person to acknowledge that what happened to us was wrong, and that it should not have happened.

Some of us still feel like it was our fault, and some of us KNOW it wasn’t our fault and we expect something to be done about it and we can’t understand why no one really cares.

The thing is: the system isn’t going to change. It’s broken, it’s dysfunctional, and it’s looking for a way out without having to say that it’s sorry it did something wrong.

But we are not broken, even though that is exactly what they would like for us to believe. We can *choose*. We have the *power* to choose health and wellness and VBAC and HBAC and UBAC- and, better yet, freebirth in the first place and all-ways unmedicated birth if we are willing to take responsibility for our actions and choices.

As the prosecutor asked Ames, on the stand in ER: “Did you refuse the cure that could have saved you?”

I refused the cure in birth, both times. And that made all the difference.

I could have sued my sOB for a number of things, but I didn’t.

Surviving, thriving, and helping others is the best revenge.



{October 3, 2006}   Why I hate job interviews

I had a massage interview yesterday, or yesternight as my eldest son would say. The massage part was awful, one of the worst massages I’ve ever given because I was nervous and not in my space. The therapist who received the massage told me within the first five minutes that she was going through a divorce and had put her first daughter up for adoption. I was distracted by her heavy emotion and felt that she needed Reiki more than the deep tissue trigger point massage she said she wanted. Then I kept forgetting it wasn’t a prenatal massage and I totally am out of practice when it comes to a straight spa-type massage routine (it’s way different doing side-lying than prone/supine, et cetera). As DH said after I practiced on him Sunday, “It’s not that you have lost your skill but you’re out of the groove. It used to be like a dance that you did.”

 But back to the awkward interview…I tried to be open to what my potential co-worker needed and gave her a medium pressure Swedish massage with some trigger point and some gentle isometric stretches. I worked mostly on her back as she complained of lower back pain. While I was working her arms, she asked if I would work some trigger points in her trapezius but she had none! I think she was confused- her rhomboids were tight and she did seem to have referred pain to her trapezius. After she flipped over for the second half of the massage, I gave her some gentle facial acupressure for her headaches and TMJ, massaged her scalp; and when I was working her legs I cradled her inflammed knees and offered her (Reiki) strength and support, and finished her feet and did a Refexology workout (over the stockings that she left on!)

 She commented that she was going to get some Reiki from a guy in the studio who does Reiki. :>) This was my first time using Reiki in a somewhat sneaky way, but still just asking for it if it was needed/wanted and with no intention except for the person’s highest good. She was on fire halfway through the massage! And I actually felt cold by the end of it.

The sit-down interview was the really bad part. The interviewer, a therapist herself, looked like she was 14 and proceeded to behave as such. She barely conducted the interview and she was very unprofessional, at one point calling the questions “retarded”. She was unable to comprehend or make notes of my answers to the hypothetical quesions she read from a sheet (or, in her words: “It’s not like these things are happenening but like what if they did?”)  

Another E.g.: She asked me how I would address an athlete with low back pain. I said I would loosen the iliotibial (IT) band, and work the gluteus muscles, especially gluteus medius- looking for trigger points- and QL (quadratus lumborum). She gave me a blank stare, said, “Okay, wait a minute…okay…” (long pause, staring at the paper in front of her and then the pen) and then, “I can’t write all that down, so I will just write IT band.” 

When she asked me about a time when a client asked me to do something I iddn’t feel comfortable doing, I told her about working in a spa in St. Louis for a month, where every.single.customer (except *one* executive type) asked me for more than a massage. I told her my first rebuttal, that I terminated teh massage if it happened twice and put the person’s name on a “Bad Customer” list with detailed notes like “Acts up on table”…”Requested handjob”…”Squirms all over table”). I told her how I confronted the owner and he ahd a ‘Boys will be boys’ attitude, and said they were just testing me to see how far I would go. Then I quit.

So she says, “Oh okay, so that is what you do when you don’t like something, you just quit.”

I responded, “What would you do if every customer you had was asking you for a handjob?”

I don’t think I got the job.

I should have gotten a call this morning telling me to come to orientation tonight if they want me. No one had called by 11:30 so I called. Shannon said she would “double check” and call me back within a half an hour. that was thirty minutes ago, and that is why I am blogging about this. I hesitated to do so, because my Ego thought it would be embarrassing to blog about it and then not get the job, but my Higher Self thinks there is some learning that needs to take place here.

I don’t think I even want the job. Maybe that is passive-aggressive but I am not excited to work there. The place is right down the street but I just don’t know if I am ready to me a “Team Player” after three years of having my own practice.

Maybe I just need to hit the pavement here in the subdivision (400 acres in the HOA) and promote myself as a mobile massage therapist with an hourly rate that is less than the studio down the street. I could do up a brochure about the luxury of having a massage in your bedroom and slipping into a bath or bed aftewards, while I let myself out.

Maybe I just needed a kick in my big fat indy ass.



{September 22, 2006}   When Art Imitates Your Sad Life

I just watched last night’s season premiere of ER (thank you, Tivo!)- appropriately titled ‘Bloodline’- and bawled my eyes out during all of the sad scenes with Abby, who had to undergo a “Cesarean Section” (read: major abdominal surgery) for placental abruption.

I thought the conversation between Abby, Abby’s doc, and Kovac were well-written, but I do want to point out that most moms in that situation aren’t MDs, their husbands aren’t MDs, and their OBs do not speak to them as if they are intelligent women capable of making their own decisions. When Abby refused the medication to mature her baby’s lungs, I cheered like some sports fan watching his home team score during the big game. Then, I just about had an anxiety attack when Abby refused general anesthesia and said she wanted to be awake (haven’t all of us so-called “emergency” C/S moms been there? HERE’S A HINT: If they have time to give you an epidural or spinal, it probably wasn’t a true emergency)- and I was relieved when they gave her a spinal instead of putting he under. But when the OB said, “Opening the uterus”…I couldn’t breathe.

The surgery was very realistic. While they didn’t exactly show the exact moment of extraction, they came close. The most real moment for me was after the baby was stabilized and Abby was hemorrhaging, and Kovac wanted to stay with her but she yelled “SHUT UP SHUT SHUT SHUT UP!!!! Go with the baby…I don’t want him to be alone.”

We lay down, perhaps to die, for our babies. Our partners, whose first loyalty to us, do not understand why we always put the baby first. But the simple reason is that we are mothers. If pressed, if we had to choose, most of us would choose our children over our partners. Feel free to comment if you are an exception to this genetic rule- but for me, it is simply a primal thing that I cannot control. Baby/kid first, then me. Husband third (or now, fourth). I am the mom who would die for her kids, and would want DH to remarry.

 But with surgery…I firmly affirm the woman’s right to choose. Period. Pregnancy or not. Mag or not. Cesarean or not. Hysterectomy or not. Life or not. These matters of life or death are far more complicated than TV drama can do justice but I respect the writer of ER for making a valiant attempt. The masses need to see that the Cesarean issue isn’t an easy yes/no button, and that it’s wired into a lot more than “just what’s best for baby”.

Now, why do I keep getting back on this roller coaster of birth trauma whenever I know it is gonna make me sick? It happens every. single. time. that I hear or read about or see a birth- Cesarean or vaginal, complications or not, baby lives or not.

I really need to get a life. 



et cetera