Tuesday, July 24, 2007

going "OT"--risky stuff!

The homeschooling list that I belong to locally has got some issues. It seems that in the summer especially, the posts have been wavering into the "OT" area--that is, "Off Topic", and for the most part, it has been not a big deal. Moms asking each other about sales on glue sticks and crayons, a few recipe swaps, and the occasional post-dates woman lamenting the normal suckiness of being really really pregnant and "should I do castor oil?" types of things come up. I usually do not touch this stuff with a ten foot pole. Retarded advice swirls around and then settles down, and then ITS A BOY! comes through and we move on.

Recently we have had this one Mama who really wants to stay "OT" and I have been wondering when it would become an issue. First she was upset when she was pregnant, then she hated her OB, then she was overdue, then she had her baby but it had jaundice, then her mean pediatrician was suggesting formula for the jaundice....lots of moms joined in, offering good encouragement such as "Don't give the baby formula! Nurse more! Try my doctor, he/she is really crunchy", an so on. Well, this started a little off-shoot in the form of someone saying some stuff about how her doc is so MegaCool because they don't push vaccines, are supportive of extended (hate that phrase) breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and so on. OH BOY the sparks started to fly. People started to go off about why they HAD to vax, then people started to go off about how their little girl would have died if it werent for the hospital/the doctor/the soy formula...

I remained silent/bemused/frustrated
Then one Mama offered up that she doesn't participate in "Well Visits", and I had to jump in! I have wanted to blog about this for some time, and so I wrote a GENTLE, non-offensive (ok, probably not true but I really meant to!) post giving MY two cent's worth about well baby visits.
Here is what I said:

I would also like to chime in that we do not go to "Well Visits", either. Would you like to know my reasons why? :)
It exposes you and your healthy kids and baby to sick people. It exposes you to all the realm of pressures for shots, pressures that your child is "too" plump, "too" thin, and those rediculous hand outs about Whatyour 6 month old should be doing/eating/sleeping.
In my experience, even the coolest doctors blankly hand me these wierd things about sleeping through the night and eating creamed beef and weighing 15 to 16.5pounds........phooey

It is just a total scam to get your money and keep you dependant on Institutions to make you feel like you dont know anything about what is best for your child.
When we take even a modicum of control back of our familes, it creates a dynamic that fosters free thinking and instinctual parentingthat is frowned upon, (which tends to make me like it more!)
I didnt used to be this way! I was a really good little compliant mommy until I got more experienced. I look back upon the days that I saved and clutched those little hand-outs for my first child with a funky smile. But when I stopped second guessing myself and started looking at the motives behind so many of the common practices of what we are told we have to do, I started feeling like I was the Mother and not the passive consumer, and for me, it was a positve change for my family! I had been bullied and stressed and wronged too many times by "the system" and this is why I am who I am today.
I have lots of stories about the craziness that the doctor did and said when Greta was a new baby that made me for the first time in my life, think, hey, maybe these doctors are not so awesome anymore, 'cuz that just AIN'T right!
Obviously I have been blessed enough to have children of relative good health and have decided to take a great deal of our family's health issues into my own hands.

I do not advocate for the cessation of well-child visits, nor the closing of doctors anymore than I do the closing of schools---lots of folks need these places, I just happen to be ecstatic that we, for the most part, do not participate in any of that anymore and wanted you all to get to know why!

Can I say that so many people wigged? People left the group, people wrote me off list to tell me yay or boo, and it keeps on going! I have not done what I would have in the past which was to back pedal or re explain myself, but I was really surprised! These are a group of parents who share something in common, homeschooling, and whose overwhelming majority of voices have expressed that they are strong breastfeeding advocates. Doesnt that make them at least very likely to be people who have either heard of this type of opinion or even share it?

I stand by our decision to not do the pediatrician boogie. When Casey was born at home, we asked the midwife on one of her last home-visits "Don't we have to like, take him to the doctor or anything?" and she was kind and gentle when she smiled and asked us "Do you think that he ill?" and that was that. Control handed back to us. Remaining wth us. Our baby.

We have a family doc who gives us our amoxicillin a few times a winter. She's cool and loves us. Works for me!


Louisa said...

Well child visits ARE a scam. We don't do 'em either. :)

Stacey said...

YAY!! A lot of my friends think I live in a cave. My brother, in particular, has started collecting covered wagon things and bringing them to me. I keep telling him I'm not in to homesteading! :) I am a lazy mom that would rather roll over in the middle of the night and latch baby on than get up to get him or make a bottle, I hate the leaving of the baby in the bucket (car seat carrier),I wear my kids, I don't make my babies wear paper on their butts, I nurse until they say no and walk away, I homeschool, I don't vax or do "regularly scheduled visits".... my 3yo has only been to the dr once since he was 3 months old, and that was the ER at that, for a bad cough. The 7 year old has not been to the dr since she was 3. And the baby, now 16 months? I delivered him myself in the front seat of our van while my husband raced down the highway to the hospital, as my then-5yo watched her brother born and the 22 month old slept. And that was the only time he was ever at the doctor. And I am amazed at the amount of people I meet that think it is all just horrible. Thanks for the cool read!!

Housefairy said...

Awesome to hear that this is not just me. Super cool about the van-birth, so many People magazines with "SHE DIDNT MAKE IT TO THE HOSPITAL!!!" on the cover...I always thought those Mamas were lucky and smart, lol

I have alot of people who think we are horrible...but it is lessening as they see the children flourishing. it does help :)

Kelley said...

I absolutely agree with your stance. I do not like doctors, and we even have a legitimate need for them in our family. My oldest son has siezures - lots of them - and he is on medication for them, but I HATE to go to the doctor with him. My other kids have hardly gone to the doctor at all, especially since we moved across the country 2 years ago. They've been to one well-child visit in that time, and to the ER once when they tried to share a bottle of Tylenol. I did freak out then. But over-all I think doctors are a waste of time and money. We only go when we have to. I think you are right on the money.

Kelly said...

I'm a latecomer to this topic but when our first two joined our family, I tried pedi after pedi thinking I just hadn't found a good "fit," and not until our third was born did I realize that there just wasn't going to be a good "fit." I am a square peg staring at the round holes of the medical establishment, it's just not gonna happen (at least in this town). We were treated horribly by the entire pediatric department when we expressed our intention to only selectively vax our son, and only after he was two. I didn't realize how far off the mainstream I'd gone, but I guess I am (babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth, homeschooling, delayed/selective vax, no well visits, soon to be homebirther!).

So yeah, be encouraged, it's not just you. :)

Rixa said...

Just reading through your archives and enjoying myself thoroughly. I don't get the freakout attitude when, for goodness' sakes, your kids aren't even sick! "Oh no! Your child is perfectly healthy and happy and growing well and HE HASN'T GONE TO THE DOCTOR?"