Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Shape of a Mother

This site has helped so many, many of us overcome anxieties about our shapes and, like all imagery, the more of this real stuff you get in to your mind, the more ok reality becomes!

You may need to go into the archives but once you get a hang of the site, there are more pics than you can ever possibly view.

The idea that people are coming out of the closet and showing the SECRET that is the tummies of reproductive women, is so silly to me, that it is secret, I mean, but man o man I do know that it is.

Even though I am the proud bearer of just such a tummy, of course, my first thoughts were "eww" and "I cant believe someone would post that"
That was my own self-hate coming out.

I would say it took about 15 minutes of reading over and over and over how beautiful everyone kept telling one another their bellies were, how pleasantly jovial and self-effacing the mamas were with and towards one another, joking about "Where DONT I have stretchmarks?", etc....for me to feel a definite shift in my own feelings about myself. Not too bad--15 minutes undoing 10 years?

I really hope people look and look and look at this site. It started out as a blog but got so hugely popular that it is now a dot-com.

tell me what you thought!

Monday, February 19, 2007

School and Hospital, ahhhh smell the lysol---and the eerie similarities..

Hospitals, like schools, do what they can. They base what they do on money, trends, fads, outdated theory, convenience, crowd control, defensive practices, and ummm money.

Most people think of them as the greatest institutions we have, pillars of trust and knowledge and safety. The Teacher and the Doctor, our most trusted icons.

They do not practice Evidence-Based Care, and if and when they do practice "care", it would be much more appropriately named Outcome-Based Care, often if not always at the expense of the customers.

The integrity/wholeness of the student/patient becomes the lowest priority out of sheer necessity.

They are way way too busy to be worried about your personal set of circumstances. There are charts to fill out and quotas to fill. ---What was your name again?

They are both relatively new ideas, birthing in a hospital and being educated in a school. Society has suffered tremendously from the resultant mismanagement. But by society I mean women and children, and so the change that needs to come will most likely be a slow one.

Behind the burocracy, the nurses and nurses aides, the teachers aides, and many many doctors and teachers are the ones who work the hardest, who try their damndest, and who went into the profession with the best of intentions--to help people. These are the ones who we pay the least amount of money to and who never get to sign the certificates or go on the business trips, the ones whose names are forgotten and who do not have any say in the way The System works. They will have to accomodate, assimilate, or get out.

Since the 1990's both the schoolrooms AND the hospital birthing suites have upped their image---Now it is en vogue to try and appear more home-like and many now hang little colored pictures, have replaced the old lightbulbs with warm-glow, lace curtains now adorn the windows...but I still smell decay, fear, lawsuits and impersonal Rich Old White Men. It smells alot like lysol.

oh and I almost forgot--

People who don't worship these institutions are considered to be wackos.

There really truly is more to birth than escaping with A Live Baby.
There really, truly is more to childhood than an A+ on your ditto.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Anna Nicole.

Check out more perfect wisdom from my favorite blog:

I liked her always and I feel that this is the closest thing to the real story as we are going to get.
Rest in peace, poor beautiful goofy Anna.

Sunday, February 11, 2007



and P.S. I think he is diggin the more milk, he hasn't just layed there and glugged like this since he was much younger. So sweet.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Mama, heal that baby

My Charlie is sick. Still. Again. Who even knows anymore. He has been on and off antibiotics since October. Its all a charade. So I am going back to the way that I used to heal and treat my children, back when I, somehow, did alot more things that were natural. I am going to heal him through me.

I am going on a hardcore regime of onions and garlic, of water and vitamins, I am taking HerbPharm's tinctures Echinacea/Goldenseal and Mother's Lactation Tonic five times daily. I am taking 2 fishoil capsules a day, and I am resting. Because I think Charlie really needs me to flood him with super enriched milk, and not more sticky pink and white chalky gloop. After so many weeks of me squirting baby motrin, baby tylenol and 3 antibiotics down his throat, he really doesnt want to deal with squirters anymore, and who can blame him?

I am also giving him a chewable probiotic supplement for little kids everyday to help heal and balance his body after all the antibiotics.
. We have been staying home out of necessity (our car died and we have not gotten a replacement yet) and just trying to heal heal rest and heal.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

follow this one...!


in snagging that picture of the model and her baby, I got turned on to this whole insane debate. wow wow wow. it makes me pissed and sad. and embarassed to be American, which is nothing new.

I guess I have been living in such an Actively Chosen Bubble lately, meaning for the past, say, 6 years or more, that I kinda forgot that people still feel this way about moms and babies. Truly. It throws me back to all the old crazy emotions that I sort of buried and forgot from my days as a new Mama...all nervous and self righteous and defensive and alone...my only (imaginary) friends were the ladies quoted in the margins in the expensive Motherwear nursing clothes catalog talking about how they nursed in public with such freedom since they had the Motherwear clothes. When I finally ordered one of their hideous wide and short shirts, I hated the thing so much I cried. thankfully they have a great return policy and I used it right away. Apparantly you are not allowed to be tall and nursing a baby. i didnt know. somehow, ever since then my babies somehow got their milk without the use of clever boob-holes cut into ugly blouses. but I digress.

So there I was COMPLETLY alone in nursing my first baby, our friends werent even married yet alone having kids yet...I am sad to say that I would hide in filthy bathroom stalls, gagging sitting next to the people inches away from us who were doing what people in bathroom stalls are suppossed to be doing (poo, pee, ya know...) just to spare some imagined onlookers from seeing less flesh than most girls show on a summer day. I didnt know any better, and yet I did.

I knew at 22 that I wanted to nurse Greta, and that there was no way that I was going to have any part of the purchasing preparing or dealing with smelly cow's milk powders, bottles, nipples, warmers, sterile waters or whatever that was all about. I had two breasts, now was their time to do what they were meant to do, why on Earth would I not breastfeed the baby?

But it never got too Rock n Roll about it until I had my second baby, Mickey. He wanted nothing to do with Greta's perfect every hour and a half, 15 minutes, burp, and gurgle happily schedule. no. He wanted it all and then some. He wanted to sip and snooze and peek and cry and spit up and fart and poop and do it all over again, continuosly, for at least the first 8 weeks. There was NO WAY POSSIBLE for me to do anything BUT nurse him, and I had to tell our friends (almost exclusively single guys, who, when I would nurse Greta, would go outside and smoke, etc) "look, this baby isnt about to come up for air anytime soon, so basically, youre gonna see something along the way and so lets just get over it now." There was a good natured laughter amongst us all and there hasnt been an INKLING of discomfort ever since. We have a great group of mostly guy friends that come over several times a week for boardgames, movies, music, cameraderie and I am so glad they are the cool people that they are.

So, what is up with the whole Nursing in Public? Public? As Peggy O'Mara putit, WHOSE PUBLIC? Isnt public by definaition, for everyone? But thats just it. in using the wording, Breastfeeding in Public it becomes abundantly clear that this is about one thing and one thing only: keeping mothers isolated, because what isnt public? their own homes, curtain drawn tightly hsut, if you will, please.




. Your baby or your "life" seems to be the underlying threat to new Moms, at a time when their baby Is their life, and rightfully so.

Faced with the idea of being locked in their homes, chained to their couches or glidey chairs from day one until___??? could make the most well-intentioned would be nursing mamas say hey....whats that formula stuff all about? I gotta get the @#$ out of this house, and I dont want to be one of those GROSS nursing moms.




I havent even thought of those words together since, like I said, I was a first time paranoid 22 year old mommy with milk stains all over my Beastie Boys t-shirt, and "I love Steve" written in pen on my Chucks.

Mamas do not want to stay home any more than anyone else does, and Moms need to get out for their sanity, their jobs, their friendships, and all the errands that any other human does along their day. Going to places. With their babies and children in tow. The big kids get sandwhiches and the baby gets his nursey. WHATS THE BIG DEAL?????????????? Its still so hard to me to go back to that whole mentality. I have not even been in the company of someone who was anti-breastfeeding (at least to my knowledge) in many many years.

I still havent gotten to the point in my Lactivism where I will wear a sassy Tshirt, but mostly because I dont usually wear phrase t shirts. I hope that someone DOES come up to me sometime and tell me that me and my baby have to sit on a toilet to feed, I hope that someone DOES come up to me and tell me to put a big blanket on my child's head, or even better to tell me to get off the plane/outta the library---because now, after 9 and 1/2 years of continuous nursing (20 total baby-years so far!) I do have a pocketful of pearls-of-wisdom to throw at them.

But I dont see it happening. If it does, you the readers will be the first to know! in the meantime, ENJOY THESE GORGEOUS MAMABABIES--- scroll and scroll and scroll down until they all blend together in one happy blur of normalcy. it isnt about misty private moments. It isnt about a special magical time. Its just what babies do!
Get over it so we can all Rock On!

He's not weaning, he's just wiggly!

So lets say you are the lucky and fabulous Mama of a nursling baby/tot/kid. You made it through the harrowing first days, the sleepless weeks and sometimes months, even the ka-chomp of tiny first razor blades--I mean teeth---and have really earned your wings as a first class MamaBaby dynamite duo.

Now before you face a bunch of crap from jealous haters about your baby being TOO OLD for health or love, you might be faced with your own curious situation, and I want you to take heart, make it through this phase and you will surely be on the path to awesomeness in Nursey Land: the seven, eight, nine- month old and his or her HYJINX at the breast!

What ever happened to your tiny swaddled beany baby? (Ya know, the one who you needed two boppys, a back pillow, a special gliding chair with water snacks footstool and little creams and pads just to feed?) Now you will find yourself on the floor in the hallway trying to fold socks, on hold with the cable company, applying chapstick and nursing a naked little upside down hooligan!

Who IS this wiggling bucking beastie and is everything still cool???

By approximately 7 months old, but certainly by ten months, many a baby will think Nurseytime is also Gymnastic time, and your special peek a boo shirt openings and lovingly placed burp cloths will be a thing of the past as you may find yourself laying on the floor, being jumped on, danced on, and having the dear little one turn to peek at every and anything, often without the courtesy of letting go of that boobie before wrenching his or her head this way and that----ouch!

Your thighs might have little (or huge!) bruises on them from baby's jumpy jump jumping, and you might have scratches all over your chest and sides from them doing little rythmic soothing things like digging and picking at your skin!

This can be all really annoying and crazy, and can lead some moms to think WRONGLY, that the baby is playing because they dont need to nurse anymore, or there isnt enough milk, or some such.

I do not blame the Mamas at all, of course, after all, it seems like everyone who makes the decision to nurse their baby is just a walking time-bomb for the inevitable When Ya Gonna Wean Police anyways....but hear me out!

Those crazy middle aged babies, with all their new-found skills and mobnilities and freedoms need you MORE THAN EVER. they need HomeBase to let them have the security and foundation to venture forth even more boldly! Do Not Wean these wiggly oh-so-inconsiderate little darlings. you DO have milk. they DO need you and nursing. probably now more than ever.

If it gets out of control, you might need to excuse yourself to a darker quieter spot on occasion. this too will pass.

For the MamaBabies that make it past this mark, they will be overjoyed to find the 13+ month olds are more apt to snuggle in again....this is model Angela Lindval with her 14 month old...looks very snuggly and quite fashionable....just in case you thought this was a picture of me.....hahahaha!

Big Baby: Big Business: Big Surprise?

As a mother of FOUR so-called "big babies", I can tell you, nothing makes the OB's start sharpening the ole' scalpel like the possibility of a more-than-puny newborn.

I have had my labor induced 2 times for a suppossed big baby, and ironically, these suppossed big babies were runts compared to my non-induced ones!

6-9-97 Greta--8lb 12 oz induced for being so huge, 39 weeks
6-13-00 Mickey--8lb 11 oz induced for being so huge, 39 weeks--c-section, big surprise, right?
8-3-03 Casey--11 lbs born smoothly onto the living room floor thank you very much. Nary a tear.
11-1-05 Charlie--12 lbs c-section for Failure To Stay Home and birth upright (my opinion in retrospect)

I am a six foot one 200 pound + woman. By the tenth month of pregnancy, I have been known to be closer to the 300 side of 200, and I ain't ashmed to say it loudly. For me to have a seven pound baby would only be a sign of dreadful malnutrition, and nothing else. But ask an OB about nutrition and a pregnant Mama is lucky to get some xerox of a food pyramid along with a sample powder packet of Similac and a coupon for some constipating iron drops.

I did not have the (fake) Gestational Diabetes nor were my babies suffering any signs of anything other than being second generation fabulous large people. Caseys head was 15 inches around and his chest was 17. did I mention not a tear?

People: do not let your doctors or anyone else carve you up because you have a hearty healthy child inside of you. The last thing you want if you do have a nice fat baby in there is to agree to a flat on your back all strapped to the monitors and iv poles kind of a labor, because you might as well just have the section and spare yourself the charades.
Big Babies, like all babies, need Mama rockin and Rollin, movin and shakin, and certainly NOT laying supine to come on down and meet the light! No baby benefits from the motionless scary stress of the hospital induction and all its inherent dangers...but Big Babies dont stand a chance to come out that way. TRUST ME I know.

My latest accquaintance to give birth is another bigger Mama, whose baby was being threatened to be induced for possibly being over miniature size....but 2 days past 40 weeks, her water broke, and you how that one plays out....she goes to the hospital, they slap the arbitrary timetables on her to perform, she doesnt meet the deadlines, c-section....every one applaud....he was so HUGE....9 pounds. Yawn. They slapped a failure-to-progress on her faster than anyone I have ever known before---less than half a day! Not a single sign of distress in the fetus. Just a bad case of being a primip whose body was taking its time slowly opening up under the stresses of pitocin and strangers and everything else.

Our population is growing, babies are getting bigger. The measurements taken on ultrasound are NOTORIOUSLY wrong, with a error rate of FOUR POUNDS, either way! With outdated baby growth charts still being used from the 1940's, even post partum moms are being tsk tsked when their BREASTFED babies are growing up fast and furious---the way that breastfed babies do---and even being encouraged to offer THRIVING babies rice mixtures, formulas, timed feedings, sugar water, and even plain water---to newborn babies.

the first time in my young life that I EVER did not follow a doctor's advice (started me on a new lifestyle thats for sure!!!!!) was when I dragged my swollen bloody exhausted little self to the "Well Baby Check Up" (more on that malarchy soon) at 10 days postpartum with my little nursling, Greta.
How tenaciously I handed her over to the nurse to see what she weighed, having had nothing but breastmilk, and being my first baby, I didnt know what to expect....she weighed 10 pounds, even.
The joy and pride that swelled in my chest was just beginning to rise and bloom into full color, when the Doc informed that that was way too fat, and recommended feeding her every four hours (preposterous even for a formula fed older baby) and to give glucose water in between feedings. I smiled and said "ok" and nursed her in the car and when we got home and every 90 minutes or so for many many months. She never had that glucose water in between feedings unless you count KoolAid she had when she was a nursing toddler/preschooler : )

What good can come of this bad advice, wrong advice, fear-mongering and lies? More money for the mulitple doctors visits for the ear infections, breast infections, gastointestinal upsets, PPDepression and more that can all be exacerbated by this UNsound advice? $$$$$$$$$$$$ thats what.

If we are NOT afraid of health and our bodies and our babies, then we will be strong and autonomous and then we wont need them hardly at all.

I've said this a million times, a million ways, but there is NO BIG MONEY in fresh air, fresh water, exercise, meditation, healthy whole foods, birthing at home, nursing our babies, wrapping their bottoms in cotton, sleeping when we are tired, healing ourselves from our gardens. SO DO NOT EXPECT YOUR DOCTOR TO EVER RECOMMENED THIS STUFF. IT DOESNT MEAN IT ISNT BEST. IT JUST MEANS YOU HAVE TO GROW UP AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR BABY.

Why cant they leave us mothers and babies alone in beautiful glorious rightous natural unhindered PEACE?
or more honestly: Why cant the majority of us seem to be able to turn at least one deaf ear to all the bullshit they sell us until we can find our own 2 strong legs to stand on and quit them altogether?

off your backs!

Here is a great explanation of why birthing on your back is way not good:
(courtesy of a fantastic website from an Oregon midwife that I totally worship)


house of babies opinion

I have been watching and TiVo ing more episodes of House of Babies lately, ostensibly for my friend Amanda, who is TTC soon, and for my own enjoyment and study of free non-medicalized birth video.

I like this show very much, and enjoy the head midwife a great deal. Her strong warm spirit NEVER wavers and her personality jumps off the screen at me everytime I watch the show.

I am beginning to be surprised, however, at how many (near 100%) of the women "choose" to labor in a semi-lithotomy position in the birth pool. It never wavers, they are all laying back into their partners' chests, legs pulled back, and it is beginning to grate on me, just a little. I know TV is edited all to bits, and I know there have got to be some episodes where someone (anyone!?) flips over into the also very common (certainly the only one bearable for me) position of belly down, more like a leaning over, hands and knees.

And so I am posing this question, as I mull over my thought on freebirth, waterbirth, midwives, both "hands off" and "hands on", is this idea of a televised birth in a possibly non-optional, non-optimal, non-voluntary positioning, really very morally sound? Is this show as cool as I once thought?

What would these mothers do natuarally, instinctively, to best birth their babies? If the TV crew wasn't there, if 4 apprentices werent there, if the lights were much lower, too low for TV, would they really all choose to half-lay on their backs? Would the husbands really do and say almost nothing to their wives, if they were in a more private space? I know with all my heart that it would be different.

Is it enough that natural(er) childbirth is on TV now, cant I just be happy about that?

I love to think about what differences could this show have made in my own life, if I had had IT to watch over and over rather than the despicable A Baby Story or even worse, Maternity Ward or any of those other emergi-dramas on TLC?

Oh, how my blood boils to think of expectant families having that garbage pounded and pounded into their imagery....the blur of lights and sterile blue fabrics, the wires, tubes, and sinister music.....

IS House of Babies as good as were are going to get on TV? Probably, and it really does serve a great purpose and fill a huge gap in the birth-shows market. I really do like it. I like the vibes, I like the liberal use of homeopathy, massage, exercise, and chiropractic in the prenatal care. I like the 100% breatsfeeding rate, I like the staff, and the emphasis on emotions and nutrition as number one. I like the idea of the public seeing waterbirth after waterbirth, moan after moan, woman after woman going to 42 weeks, no episiotomies ever, over and over seeing the babies got right to mamas breast, cord intact, and only ONE hopital transfer for a mom whose baby was a breech heavy meconium staining----and of course the midwives came with her to the hospital and never left her side.

I just still wonder about the almost cookie-cutter pushing positions, and the VERY invasive/intrusive exrtaneous chitter-chatter that surrounds the mother. They talk and talk during the entire second stage, and do not seem to respect the traditiional Birth Bubble time, instead too much banter about The Baby has Your Nose, etc.

I still will TiVo it for my friend, and it is still the best thing on TV (as far as I know!) for unmedicated birth. I worry that it will eventually be off the air.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

holy moley art

This took me back. Sometimes art is so much better than words. So I sit here (slightly hunched over in dull-pinchy pain as I have been since june 13 2000) and press my face about 6 inches from my computer monitor and stare into the mirror that this anonymous woman has somehow, some way, painted just for me.