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Bringing back diapers

November 22, 2009 19 comments

I wish I didn’t have to write this.  I am so upset and disappointed in myself.  If you read my last post you already know the back story to our toilet learning process with M.  It has been very frustrating because we have gotten mixed signals.  He will work with his preschool teacher on sitting on the potty, but not us.  He likes wearing big boy underwear, but won’t potty in the potty or anything else, including diapers at school.  And finally, he ended up hitting a wall on Friday.  It was like the holding it in thing at school was just physical training for the main event.

On Friday, as I mentioned in the last post, he had an accident at school at about 9am and then didn’t go the rest of the day even though he had a diaper on.  Well, here is the kicker… he went to bed that night without going potty, woke up dry, and was dry the whole next day.  Friday night he woke up at 1:30am wiggling and whining.  I tried to tell him to just go in his diapers, let it out.  I tried rubbing his tummy, etc.  He fell back to sleep, but did the same thing at 2:45am, 4:30am, and 6:00am.  Between him and A’s snoring, I only managed 4 hours of sleep.  I had to be up for a work retreat that morning so I headed out.  I was stunned when I got a call from A asking if I had changed M’s diaper before I left because it was still dry.  We agreed to have A talk to M and tell him that we are not going to work on the potty stuff for a while and that it is totally fine for him to use his diaper.

My mom picked him up later and brought him to Brown County where I was so they could spend the day and then stay the night at the hotel with me.  I kept calling to see if he would finally let loose.  By 4 pm he still hadn’t and I was freaked out.  He was still begging to change his diaper even if he was dry and would sometimes do the pee pee dance.  At this point I asked A to call our doctor and see what we should do.  His text back made my heart sink!

“Not good baby.  We need to take him to the ER.  He said it is unheard of that a 3year old could hold it for close to 24 hours.  It doesn’t happen.  If he hasn’t had a wet diaper then something else is up. It’s not a UTI either.  He said, with a UTI he would automatically have spasms and it would be coming out even if it hurt when it did.  He said we need to get him to the ER to have an ultrasound done.”

Now, please keep in mind that by this point it had actually been 33 hours since he had peed!  And a full 2 days since a bowel movement.  I read this in my retreat and was instantly in tears.  Being me, I had been talking to everyone about him so they all knew what was going on when they saw my face and heard me say ER.  I remember hearing one person say “Hold it together Crystal cause it won’t do him any good”.  I gathered my composure, grabbed my mom and M and we set out for the ER in Bloomington.

I was very thankful that it was a slow night there.  We got right in and they started gathering information.  They took us to a room and brought in a special bladder ultrasound to measure the amount of urine in his bladder.  We had to restrain him for this because he wouldn’t lay still.  I felt so horrible just because I knew he was scared.  At least I knew they weren’t hurting him.  After it was done, which was very quick, I picked him up.  Suddenly I felt warmth radiating from his diaper and I shouted “He’s peeing he’s peeing!!!”  Sure enough, he let totally loose as we all (even the Nurse Practitioner) did the pee pee dance.  I think it was a mixture of the relief of not being restrained and the slight vibration of the ultrasound tool that did it.  I was so relieved.  It was a miracle.  They basically laughed and said he should be fine.  The doctor that came to see us just before we left said that there is always one that will prove you wrong (about the other doc saying he couldn’t be holding it) and that that was some determination (you’re telling me!!).  He also mentioned that his own grandson is 4 and just became daytime potty trained.  I got what he was saying… don’t worry about backing off, it will happen.

When we got back to the hotel he began insisting that I change his diaper even though it was dry.  After 3 hours of this, (at 1am!) I decided to make the 2 hour drive home, just to change the scene if nothing else.  I am glad I followed my gut.  About 30 minutes into the trip he peed and pooped.  He then slept the rest of the night.  He did the same thing in the morning, but each time the insisting was for shorter amounts of time before he produced something.  So, I feel we are on the right track now.

Can you believe this?  A 3.5 year old so persistent and stubborn that he would withhold urinating for 34 hours!?!?!?!  I told you he is MORE!  During all of this I was a mess of guilt and frustration.  I was crying to my mother that I felt so bad but was doing all I could do.  There are just no books for a kid like him.  The only books that talk about strong-willed kids talk about discipline or just living with them and understanding them.  No one talks about the other things, like the weaning off things, toilet learning, sleeping alone, etc.  There are no guides for parents like me.  I looked at her and said “They don’t make a book for him!”.  She looked at me and said “Maybe you are supposed to write it”.  Wow… what an amazing and scary thought.  So, maybe I will one day.  Until then, I will share these experiences as openly and honestly as I can here.

We have decided to remove the underwear (unless he requests them) and just stick with diapers, forget the potty, and just let him be.  We told him that he can tell us if he ever wants to try, and after a few weeks will begin the discussion again.  But for now, we are taking a total break.  There is nothing like the ER for a wake up call.  It doesn’t matter when he does it, just that he does it in a way that builds him up as a person.  It has to be on his schedule and his pace.  No one else matters.  And until he is done, when people ask us if he is potty trained, I will be confident in saying that a trip to the ER puts it all in perspective so no, not just yet.

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EDIT: This post has been featured by Annie from PhDinParenting and Jennifer from Blogging ’bout Boys
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A whole new weaning… Diapers be gone!

November 21, 2009 12 comments

Oh where do I begin?  I just posted this to my twitter: “i have no idea what I am doing with this potty learning with my STUBBORN 3.5 boy. this is such a battle and I don’t want it to be.”  “NOTHING is working!!! He is so ready, but it is a power struggle. I am just done! My gentle parenting side isn’t finding anything works”  “Even “No Cry Potty Solution” says “sometimes you just have do it” just like when he used to fight teeth brushing and I had to hold him down”  “I hate hate hate that I can’t be the mommy I want to be!!!”  Can you sense my desperation??  Within moments I had 17 responses (can I tell you how much I LOVE my tweeps!? A shout out to them at the end…)

In order to really understand and offer advice, I need to give you the whole story since every kid is different.  So, get ready to know M better than you ever thought you would.

M is amazing!  I am about to talk about a lot of things that might seem negative and that is hard for a mommy to do, so I want to say that first.  I love and adore him and I am constantly amazed by him.  (here it is…) Buuuuttttttt, there are many parts of his personality that make him VERY difficult to parent.  Everything with him is an extreme.  M is just MORE.  He is MORE persistent, MORE stubborn, MORE independent, MORE active, MORE whiny, MORE clingy, MORE needy.  He is the poster child for “strong willed”.  I LOVE Dr. Sears, but I have a hard time when he talks about working with your child’s natural desire to please, because that part seems to be missing with M.  He is fairly defiant.  If you want him to do something, he is VERY likely to do the opposite even if he KNOWS he will receive a negative reaction.  Discipline with him has been just as difficult as potty learning because of these traits.  He seems to LOVE negative attention!  You can’t bribe him usually, everything just has to be on his terms.  He is also a perfectionist!  He wouldn’t let anyone but me, (not even A) see him on his new tricycle when he was 2.5 until he knew he had it down pat.

I learned VERY early that, because of these traits, potty learning would need to be handled carefully.  We did everything we could to make this an easy experience for him.  We have talked about what our bodies do, what our pee and poop are, how bathrooms work, etc.  We have allowed him in the room while we go, read many books, we have potty seats and a chair that he picked out.  We have sticker boards in each bathroom.  We have gently offered to take him to the bathroom and made it very non-pressure.  This has all been over the last year and a half.

He knows what he is supposed to do completely, so his issue isn’t preparedness with that. We have also had his friend from next door potty in front of him and encourage him (she is 6 months older).  He does say he is scared of the potty.  I don’t know why or where it came from.  He has never been afraid of the flush (still isn’t).  He told me one time about alligators in it.  So A got a book M has that shows how things work (love Usborne books!) and showed him how it worked.  We even took off the back of the toilet and showed him and we showed him how no alligator would fit in there.  He hasn’t said any more about that but still says he is scared.  I think he uses that sometimes as a resistance.

There have been a few short spurts (the most recent back in July) when he showed interest.  We would embrace it and encourage him gently.   In July, he would sit on the potty while I read book after book.  He never made any “deposits” and after a few days lost interest.  We took it as a sign he wasn’t ready and backed off to avoid any power struggle.

He started going to a daycare/preschool 2 days a week in Oct.  He is with 7 kids (ages 3-5) and is the only one not totally potty-trained.  I thought this would offer great encouragement.  He does sit on the potty there, several times a day.  He doesn’t like it but he does and counts to 30 with the teacher.  He even takes off his own pants and everything!!!!  But, never gets anything deposited.

2 weeks ago his teacher asked us to bring underwear for him.  He had an accident the first day and cried, but was proud of himself for being in big boy underwear (he even told me “I have accident just like my potty book!”).  At this point he would be diapers with underwear over them at home and during naps at school and then just underwear the rest of the day at school.  The next day he just didn’t pee all day!  They went ahead and left him in his underwear and when we got home and he was playing he had an accident and cried.

After that he started holding it for a LONG time… even WITH his diaper on.  At home we were still doing a diaper with underwear over it since he wouldn’t sit on the potty.  Well he would constantly be asking us to change him.  We think he would feel the need to pee and then hold  it and ask us to change him.  We tried to help him identify this as the feeling that means he needs to sit on the potty but he won’t do it at home!

Then this week came along.  He is only peeing 2 times per day!!  He is just holding it for a long time diaper or no diaper, until he can’t anymore.  He even went 3 days without a poop!!  So, we feel like we need to really get moving on this at home because it scares us.  He doesn’t want to go in his pants or diaper, so we HAVE to get him started on the potty!!!  His teacher felt that Weds. might have been too much pressure (when he finally did put a few drops in) so today she went to underwear with a diaper OVER them.  She said he was a so much better and was all involved with the day.  He even went to the bathroom himself, but still no deposits.  If he is so willing there, then why not at home or grandma’s?

So, how do you get a VERY stubborn 3.5 yo boy on a potty he will run from?  Hell if I know!  I had a total break down tonight and held him there.  It was awful. I am not proud of it and hated myself for it, but I am so freaked that he won’t potty!  (He only went once today at about 9am!!!!! And he didn’t poop all day.)  Of course it didn’t end well.  After I gave myself a time out I talked to him and this is what I told him… “When you were little you didn’t want to brush your teeth, but you had to or they would hurt.  So when you wouldn’t do it, mommy had to hold you down and do it anyways.  I didn’t like to do that, but I had to until you learned that you needed to do it.  This is the same thing.  You don’t want to use the potty, but you have to or your tummy will hurt.  So, until you decide you are going to do it yourself, I will have to take you to the potty and keep you there.  I will stay with you and snuggle you, but we are doing it no matter what, even if you cry.  So, I am going to count to three and then take you in there, sit you down and count to thirty.”  Then I slowly counted to three and carried him into the bathroom. He fought at first, but then it went well and we snuggled while I counted.  Nothing happened, but at this point I just need him to get used to the potty first, right?  Once he is getting used to it, he will be more relaxed and then try letting things out.  right?  After that, we let him pick a sticker and put it up.  He seemed a lot better, but I still feel lost.

So, please, ANY advice?!  We have done all we can.  Am I doing the right thing now??  Here is a list of all the things I can think of that we have tried:

  1. The big Lego when he made his first deposit, no matter how small
  2. Putting his diaper over his underwear (he just shuts down if you take diaper totally away for a few days it seems)
  3. Being consistent with what is happening at school
  4. let him pick his potty seats
  5. I even promised an iTouch when he stays daytime dry for a week (cheaper than diapers!!!!)
  6. sticker board for any attempt
  7. lots of praise for any try
  8. cheerios in the bowl
  9. pick out his own big boy undies
  10. books and conversations that he leads
  11. Been very positive about any accidents, etc
  12. tonight I assured him that being a big boy that uses the potty doesn’t mean he can’t snuggle or sit on our laps or be carried
  13. Made a big deal out of any attempt
  14. I even called my family doctor who I trust tremendously. I spoke to his nurses and they said to take the diapers away.

So, please, if you have a VERY VERY strong-willed child, I need any advice you have about ANYTHING!  But, seriously, please help me.  I have struggled as his mother since day one because his needs do not fit well with my personality.  I don’t get to be the mommy I always thought I would be because he needs something totally different.  It is hard and there are so many times when I feel completely unprepared and unqualified.  I wouldn’t trade him for the world.  I just need to keep learning how to be his best mommy.  So, please help me with that!!!

Thanks everyone!  And a special thanks to @jet_set @butterflysnbees @StayAtHomeMaven @Crunchynurse @LLeighMartin @Momalom @arlenetorres for your support and thoughts on Twitter!  If you are not following these folks, you should be!!

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Response to PhD in Parenting about Nestle

November 18, 2009 6 comments

A blogger that I really admire and many of you follow too, Annie at PhD in Parenting, played a major role in the Twitter storm surrounding the Nestle Family blogger event.  How did one woman make such a big splash?  By standing up and asking her fellow bloggers one question really.  She asked them how they “feel about supporting a company that puts profits ahead of the lives and health of babies.
What followed was a fantastic series of questions presented to Nestle, which they, in turn, “answered”.  I use quotations because I can’t really say that double-speak is an answer.  She has provided the full text of this conversation on her blog and is finally nearing the end.  As she prepares to respond to their final message she is seeking comments from her fellow bloggers and I decided to offer my thoughts here.  Here is what she posted:

As a follow-up to the Nestle Family event and a lot of the misinformation and doublespeak that Nestle passed along to the bloggers, I decided to send them some follow-up questions.
The last question on the list was:

Moving forward, what steps do you plan to take to use social media and engagement with bloggers to get input into corporate policies and practices? Or are you looking to social media simply as a cost effective marketing tool?

Nestle’s answer to this question was:

We are always looking for ways to engage in meaningful dialogue with consumers and others interested in Nestlé. Certainly, engaging in social media will continue to be one of many ways we try to do that. We welcome ideas from you and your readers. We hope you’ll visit us at http://creatingsharedvalue.org to share your comments, opinions and questions.

I should also add, for context, that Nestle deleted its @NestleFamily twitter account and has directed people to send their questions to @nestlecsv instead.

What do you think?

What do you think of Nestle’s answer? What do you think of its track record surrounding the Nestle Family event? How do you think Nestle should be using social media?

So what do I think?  Is it possible for a company that has made no real attempt to offer true, honest, and verifiable answers to make any positive use of social media?  Is it reasonable for me to even think they could or should?

It is obvious to me that any corporation worries first about their bottom line.  If it hurts the stock or value, it isn’t good for the company.  But shouldn’t we be holding corporations to the same ethical standards that we hold individuals to in this world?  If a doctor or any person knowingly manipulated another human being in a way that caused them death or serious illness there would be an outcry against them.  We have become more upset as a nation about a man stealing life savings from people than we have about a corporation peddling formula to women who can’t afford it and can’t prepare it safely, knowing that after the free trials are gone, so is their own milk supply.  So, is it realistic to think they will change?  The skeptic in me says no.  But, is it OK to sit by and not say anything?  My whole heart says, NO!

I think that Nestle has proven through their interactions with this blogger that they are not interested in any form of “meaningful dialogue with consumers and others interested in Nestlé”.  Actions speak louder than words!  They are very willing to assign someone to communicate their talking points and attempt to save face, but not to have a true dialogue.  If they were really willing to sample the blogging community for input, they would have taken this opportunity and run with it. Instead they pulled the @nestlefamily  twitter account, as it was overrun with negative comments.  I truly believe that their involvement in social media will continue to be a safe and protected display of their company.  They will not ask difficult questions or offer real insight.  They will continue to spin the realities of what they are doing and pass blame and responsibility elsewhere.  And all the while, children will continue to die.  It will require governments to step up and create meaningful and supported legislation to get this company to do what they should be doing in the first place.

So, Annie, to answer your questions… Will Nestle use social media the way I think they should?  No, not at all.  They have proven that.  I think this event was evidence that Nestle is only interested in their bottom line, not in the lives of their consumers or the world they have such a large impact on.  I think that their answers were contrived and I agree that they were mostly double-speak and missed the heart of most of the questions.  I think that they will continue to use social media as only a marketing tool, not a platform for effective dialogue.  I think that they will continue to pretend that this unrest and boycott don’t truly exist.  And the saddest part for me, is that I don’t know how to change any of it.  I can choose not to support their company (which is very difficult when they own so much) and encourage others to do the same.  However, for me, the biggest change I can make is working towards a movement in our world that empowers women so that they do not need Nestle to do for them what they can naturally do themselves.  By supporting breastfeeding worldwide, by giving to causes that raise awareness and provide resources, I can make a difference.  The fewer women that use the formula that is pushed on them, the fewer babies that die.

So, I may not be able to change the culture of a company, but I CAN and WILL play a part in changing the culture of the world!

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Response to a Weaning “Guide”

November 13, 2009 11 comments

I was monitoring my twitter account today and kblogger posted this: “Hi Sofia, Quite a bit of misinformation in that article. 😦 @ssofia: just wrote: When & How 2 Stop Breastfeeding http://cli.gs/2sYaH”  I took a look at the article and was stunned.  So, I had to share my thoughts with the author.  I just couldn’t let this type of information go without speaking up.  Here is what I submitted, in case it is not approved as a comment.  Please share your thoughts on the article, and also here to ensure they are posted.  I would  love to hear what you think of the article and what I wrote in response.  Thank you all!


Submitted as a comment to http://momsnbabies.com/when-and-how-to-stop-breastfeeding-2/ on November 13, 2009 at 11:28pm EST

 

After reading this article I have several items to comment on.  First of all, it is unclear who wrote this.  At the top it states that it was written by Sofia S, but the bottom states that it is by Alan Murray.  What are the credentials of the person who wrote this?  I ask these questions for several reasons as stated below.

I feel that every person that writes about breastfeeding has an obligation to be informed about the facts because breastfeeding is closely tied to the health of a baby/toddler. Yes, breast milk is necessary for optimal health of toddlers too.  Unfortunately, your author is misinformed about the benefits and necessity of extended nursing.  La Leche League International, an organization that disperses widely used and valued information on breastfeeding, states “All the benefits of human milk—including nutritional and health—continue for as long as your baby receives your milk. In fact, as your baby takes less human milk, these advantages are condensed into what milk is produced. Many of the health benefits of human milk are dose related, that is, the longer the baby receives human milk, the greater are the benefits.” http://www.llli.org/FAQ/bflength.html The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child.” http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/feb05breastfeeding.htm The World Health Organization recommends “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.” http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/
You will notice that no one recommends weaning due to breast milk eventually getting ” to a point in which is does not matter whether or not the child takes breast milk or regular milk.”  This is a complete fallacy and goes against all scientific studies.

I also have a very big issue with any article about babies and toddlers which refer to the child as “it”.  These children are people and not things.  This shows a level of respect for the child missing in the article.

I do appreciate the attention to weaning slowly, as it IS very important for a mother to wean in a gentle and slow manner, preferable led by the child.

It is also not very helpful to encourage women to wean to a bottle, requiring them to wean yet again.  Since the author is talking about weaning to “regular milk” (by the way, human milk would be the “regular” milk of a human being, but I understand that in this article the author is referring to  cow’s milk as “regular milk”) I can assume that the author is talking about children over the age of 1 year since it is widely accepted that cow’s milk should not be introduced before the age of 1.  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002448.htm It is also recommended that bottle use be discontinued by 12-18 months of age, so this is again, poor guidance.  http://www.ucsfchildrenshospital.org/education/baby_bottle_weaning/#2 And it is also worth pointing out that many pediatricians will tell you that your toddler does not need cow’s milk at all.  http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/fn1.asp

I believe that by providing inaccurate information regarding breast milk the author of this article is doing a great disservice to the mothers and babies he or she is reaching.  Inaccurate breastfeeding and breast milk information can easily equate to shorter lengths of breastfeeding and, in turn, higher risks of health issues for the child.  I hope that in the future the author will take their responsibility to mothers and babies personally and research thoroughly before providing advice or any type of “guide”.

Thank you.
Crystal Gold
TheVervePath.com

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A mother’s ability to heal

August 21, 2009 4 comments

 

I read this article today. http://babywhys.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/mothers-last-skin-to-skin-… 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.

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Saying goodbye

July 26, 2009 5 comments

On Saturday morning, I received a phone call from Dr. Henry. Let me emphasize 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 chromosome screening. They found that it was an abnormal pregnancy. Something in the splitting of all the chromosomes didn’t go as it should. He said it is a very common cause of miscarriage. 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.

To Facebook with Love

May 6, 2009 5 comments

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 judgment 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.