Monday, October 24, 2011

DD#3 History repeats itself.. (a birth story)

If you know me, or have stumbled unto my previous birth stories you know that  birthing my first daughter wasn't what I had hoped for. It was a birth center transfer to a hospital your typical:  membranes ruptured,  labor didn't start right away, 24 hours passed so here comes the hospital!!,  got pitocin and an epidural as well as a baby in the special care unit for 3 days with an IV of antibiotics :(  Boo!!  anyway...

I had a healing birth with my second daughter, a long homebirth that was amazing and empowering, everything I had hoped it would be and nearly perfect.  I always thought It was like I had my "do over"  like this birth made up for my first...  boy..... was I wrong!!

It was early morning Friday 4am more or less (the day after my "due date") .. my 18 month old had a cold so she woke up in the middle of the night to nurse,  (I nursed through my pregnancy)  She snuggled next to me nursed, rolled over and went back to sleep she had me at the edge of the bed but as bed sharing families know it's something you get used to.  I was trying to fall back asleep when I felt that familiar gush, ahhh! my water had broken! what are the odds of that happening again!! I was very calm as I knew what this meant, labor was imminent but given my last experience with membranes rupturing before active labor started I also knew it could mean I would still have to wait.. although part of me didn't want to believe that.. I mean./. what are the odds of my body doing the same thing it did 5 and a half years ago right?

I woke up my husband who helped me out of the bed and handed me towels to help me get to the bathroom..   We both went back to the bedroom to try to go back to sleep until labor started or the sun came up, whichever came first.  I couldn't sleep though I was starving and excited,  I ate a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich and some soy milk, went of facebook and then thought; what if labor starts now?  So I called the midwife to give her a "heads up"  I did not go back to sleep due to the excitement..

finally everyone was awake and so we cleaned the house, ate breakfast etc and nothing was happening, evening came and so we walked around the beach, walked around the block and nothing was happening.. I was having sporadic contractions but nothing too strong and nothing to indicate labor had begun I was getting VERY frustrated... I knew it could even take a couple of days before labor started and that as long as I got nothing going up my risk for infection was low..   this reminded me soo much of my first birth.. why couldn't I have labor after my water broke I felt for a moment like I wasn't normal!  I started to wonder if I was going to end up at the hospital again I was very frustrated and angry but my midwife assured me that labor would come..

the whole day I tried to rest but laying down would bring contractions.. at some points I would lay down on purpose to see if this would kick start labor but once I would stand up .. nothing!   Resting or sleeping? forget about it!  as soon as I would drift I would get woken up by a contraction as well..  night time came and contractions started picking up but they were not regular.. at around 11pm I told everyone to go to sleep  no sense in having them be tired for when I really needed them (my mom and hubby)  I did however tell my husband to stay in the livingroom with me and sleep on the futon that we use as a couch,  I did not want to be by myself in the livingroom..  there is something so depressing and scary about being in pain and alone while everyone sleeps.  I've had to do that twice before.. once with a tooth ache and another time with a bad UTI,  it horrifies me.  He managed to sleep,  I don't know exactly when but sometime after that contractions started coming hard..

I was sitting on a glider chair, watching TV and I would feel a contraction.  I went from taking them silently to feeling the need to vocalize with them..  I would close my eyes and let go a long "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm"  The "ah" peaking at the most painful and the "mm" becoming silent as the contraction  disappeared. I spend a good amount of time like this.. from the chair to the bathroom to relieve my bladder..  all the while being scared to get a contraction on the toilet.. there is something about contractions on the toilet F*ck! they hurt!

at about 3am  all of this had exhausted me.. I had not slept in almost 24 hours and the night before I had only slept 4!  as a matter of fact I had slept horrible the past few nights.. heartburn, movement, full bladder, prodromal labor.. exhausted was an understatement  at 3:30am my hubby woke up because  I had a very strong contraction which made me louder.. he stayed up after that.. at about 3:45am I started crying  I told him I was so tired and maybe we should throw in the towel and go to the hospital maybe I could get an epidural and some pitocin to  get my labor going (when I think back I realize I must have been delirious with lack of sleep to think I wasn't already in labor)  See I wasn't crying because of the pain I cried because I wanted to sleep but it was impossible at that point.

at around 4am I started getting more painful and more constant contractions, I  had downloaded one of those timer apps on my phone but I never got the famous "5 mins apart" deal.. which was frustrating at this point I was sure they HAD to be 5 mins apart..  they just HAD to.. I was not going to listen to anything telling me otherwise..  SO I called the midwife.  (poor midwives get woken up at all kinds of crazy hours if you see a midwife hug her! lol)  She got to my house in 15 minutes!!!! turns out she was sleeping at a her SO's house nearby,  she assessed me,  baby was good (what a relief as I was also worried about that) I was good, and she checked my progress.. she did tell me thought that once I got that pelvic I had to have that baby as she was introducing bacteria, I was 3-4cm  70% effaced and baby was engaged CRAP!!!! only 3-4 cm??? WTF??  I was thinking of how long my last labor was and thought at this rate I was in it for the long haul.. not something I wanted to think about or was willing to deal with ....... but I had to.  While she was there she was trying to time my contractions but lo and behold they stopped! It was like a I got labor stage fright, I was so embarrassed and angry at myself, but she said no big deal.. take your time I'll be close by.  She left again and told me to call her when they became 4 minutes apart and were like that for a while.

5am came and I tried eating but I only felt like barfing...  so my hubby put "caprica" on netflix and we started watching I would drift off to sleep on the glider and wake up to another contraction... drift off and wake up again, the next 3 hours included a lot of trips to the bathroom and more dozing off and what became my best friend.. a rice pack I would microwave to place on my lower back.  at around 8am I got stronger, closer and constant contractions.. at one point I cried "I can't do this fuck!! fuck!! I can't" and hubby replied "We can call the midwife now"  not only were they close enough together but those were what we were looking for.,

I had him call her as I was "in the zone" and could not deal with being on the phone at that moment.. she gave him instructions to have me go into the bathroom tub to slow things a bit and help me labor until I could transfer to the big tub.  at this point time was not something that seemed to matter or exist.. I had no idea how long of a time frame it was.. I only know from reading my records.

I got into the bathtub and it helped a great deal, I kept getting 4-3 minute apart waves... and in between them I started blacking out..  I was so exhausted my body apparently did what you do to a cell phone when you need it and the battery is about to die and you're nowhere near a charger.  You know what I mean?  you try to prolong the life of it by turning it off and turning it on only to check voice mails or make a quick call.  That's what my body was doing to me.. I would black out and fall asleep  my husband said my eyes were rolling to the back of my head,  and I would wake up with each contraction.  this part is such a blur.. if you were to look at it from my angle you would see black then tile... then black.. then tile... over and over again. Midwife got there and started setting up and my hubby went to finish filling the big tub I kept blacking out and having contractions and all of a sudden ..

I got one then another then another.. 3 in a row! my hubby walked in and said "do you want to wait until after the next contraction to move to the big tub?"  My brain immediately turned back on and I realized this was it.. the break you get before you start pushing a small period where you don't get a contraction at all.. so I told him no! We have to go NOW!  I got out and into the big tub... oh my goodness it was bliss! I got 2 contractions that made me feel like pushing  I got scared for a second.. at that point your body is taking over the pushing and you can't control it.. and it's scary.. but if you let it happen it'll be much better and faster and so I gave in right away.. the feeling was familiar.. I let go of my body and in return I got peace.

I always wondered why some women in birthing videos were so quiet when pushing the baby out.. did it not hurt for them? I didn't get it.. but this time around i did..  once I let go and let my body do its things I got peace the pain stopped completely.. I got really quiet, I got on all fours as I remembered from my last birth that this position was comfortable for pushing and I pushed  half of it was my body and the other half my efforts.. and baby crowned..  I told my midwife and husband "she's coming"  and indeed she was..  my husband reached in and I pushed one more time and out she came.. it was over!  I immediately felt relief, and joy.

They put her on my chest and she didn't breathe right away but no one really panicked well at least I didn't feel like anyone was, I felt calm.. she wasn't purple and the cord was still providing oxygen, we stimulated her and our midwife blew some oxygen in her face, finally she had to take out some mucus out with an aspirator but even then it was through the nose and gently not shoved down her throat like all hospitals seem to like doing to poor little babies.

We hung out there but I wasn't delivering the placenta so I  got out and I nursed her on the futon in our living room right alongside my 18 month old.. and that brought the contractions needed to deliver a perfect 40 week placenta and an almost perfectly whole bag of waters that had one hole in it, it was quite amazing. (if you're into that kind of thing lol)

Overall I think this birth was PERFECT!  slow start but once it got started it was fast paced, the pain was not overwhelming, I didn't tear,  I loved that for the most part it was just my husband and I ..  very little intervention from our awesome midwife  just as I wanted.  Just 3 days post partum I felt great!!! I still do!  by far the easiest birth ever and..... believe it or not... I can't wait to do it again!  well.. maybe... ask me again in at least 2 years lol....  Once again I didn't get many pictures of the birth.. I realized that having someone snap pictures of me while in labor is not my thing.. I can't have too many people at my side when I'm in labor the less the better in my case but it's ok  that's just the way I am.

this is how birth should be!  Intimate, empowering, exhilarating, healing!  Birth is awesome! :)

So here's my little one.. Baby Briar, Born 10-15-2011  9:33am  8lbs 2oz  

DD#3 with DD#1 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday and Happy Blogaversary to me! :)

*WARNING: A couple of F bombs and realness from me..  if you don't like it  you can save your time and go read something educational cuz this sure isn't. tee hee!

Alright.. I am done working for the day... I have taken a nice shower with the tot.. and now I sit here on my last day as a 30 yr old  about to type some awesomeness I even have myself a nice glass of  Celebratory chardonnay next to me..   Yes I am 33 weeks pregnant, yes I still nurse and yes I am drinking a glass of wine.. *GASP!  not for you? kudos.. cuz it's definitely is for me.. ahh yeah.. *sip.

So I missed my blogaversary day.. but a year ago I started rambling about parenting.. why?  Because just like many other people out there I like expressing myself, I found writing somewhat therapeutic (until the negative nancy's and the asshats rain on my parade) and well I write about what I feel and what I know..

now do I know parenting? fuck no!  as good old Socrates said:

"I know that I know nothing!"   it's true! 

The impreciseness of the paraphrase of this as "I know that I know nothing" stems from the fact that the author is not saying that he does not know anything but means instead that one cannot know anything with absolute certainty but can feel confident about certain things.[2] *wikipedia (fuck yeah I like wikipedia sue me!)

AHH  let's repeat that.. in case some of you missed it.

"the author is not saying that he does not know anything but means instead that one cannot know anything with absolute certainty but can feel confident about certain things."

I don't know about any of the parenting choices I have made, am making and will make with absolute certainty but do I feel confident? Fuck yeah!

and that my friends is what I have learned in the past year.. 

I have not blogged as much lately and frankly it is because of the "know it alls" and the "tell you to's" out there.. who are they to tell me how to raise my children? 

One thing is informing about breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccines, birth..  INFORMING not pushing.. and even so whatever the hell someone chooses to do after being informed it's their freaking prerogative just be comfortable with your choice I have ALWAYS said that.. don't be whining about me making you feel guilty when it was clearly your choice, to do, not do, feed, not feed, cut not cut.. etc etc..

Another thing is telling people not to praise your kids or tell your daughter's their beautiful.( I love how my friend Christy Wrote about that.. I couldn't have said it better myself!) .., what gender neutral colors to put on your child.. how Disney characters are so evil...  to all those people  HA!  MY children are not YOUR social experiment.. yours are mine are not..  you have the right to say what ever you want and you might find some crazies out there that believe what you do but is your asexual, only wears white mystery child named  "Y" better than mine? I don't know man.. let's talk about it in 20 years if your kid is well rounded, and doesn't hate you or have issues then I'll eat my words meanwhile I laugh.

So anyway.. what was my point..  oh yeah.. I have not blogged because I don't want to be that person..
I don't want to tell you what to do..  I don't know any better.. I am not an expert and I am too fickle and change my mind often.  who cares what I say!

In the grand scheme of things..  I want to be remembered as the mother who enjoyed her children and loved them and squeezed the and played with them.. not just one who sat in front of a computer and wrote about how you should to the same...

Peace, Love and Happiness to all!

what a year!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

are you a Negative Nancy?

This isn't a positive post.. nor informative.. I wanted to write something nice and witty but all that came out was this bitter rant...  was this specific to a person? Oh goodness no... I know LOTS of negative Nancy's unfortunately...  but in the past week I have found one too many... and thus this rant... enjoy.. or not...  P.S blogger doesn't let me comment on my own posts so boo! .. 

I'm gonna get straight to the point here..

In the age where humans interact via means like facebook there are certain things we need to keep in mind.

1. Not every post that offends you was meant to offend you..
2. You are not exempt from offending people either
3. You never really know the whole story behind someone's vent, rant, opinion
4. Just because Jane manages to get your panties in a bunch doesn't mean they are a horrible person.
5. The world doesn't revolve around you so stop taking things so personally.

Here is where I'm getting at..

We all have them.. the "friend" or "liker" who 90% of the time is MIA, yet when you manage to say the wrong thing or post the wrong picture or article they are the very first to jump on the boat and criticize, throw a tantrum, point fingers, call names, cry foul and whine about how you royally pissed them off, offended them and how you are so horrible. (sometimes they get a gang of friends to come back them up)

Half the time I don't care.. If someone is never around and they pop their head out just to complain I shrug them off, their opinion doesn't matter to me sad but why should I care when their interaction is not there for when I really do need it?   coming up for air just to complain makes you look like a total asshat!

And this is sad when the person has an actual point or constructive criticism..  because I would be more inclined to acknowledge them if they put a bit more effort into interacting and being there..  I would be more inclined to care about the person's feelings thus accommodating them and apologizing for my douchebaggery..  I know I'm wrong sometimes (Sometimes! Don't get too excited hahahaha)  but I will be more willing to take the blow if I cared two ships about you.

So think about this when you go around interacting with people everyday...  are you only popping out to complain? if so... maybe try to comment here and there and say something nice... then when you do complain.. people might actually care :P

The end.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Breast milk... The Original Soul food!

I never knew.. That one of the things I would consider to be of immense beauty was nursing a toddler.
I never knew it was in the cards for me to nurse a 16 month old while 7 months pregnant.
I never knew that I would want to keep nursing past a year..
I never knew that sometimes I would hate it but the thought of weaning makes me as anxious as it makes my daughter.
I never knew I would want to take so many pictures of my daughter nursing because I'm trying to capture the tenderness and beauty behind the eyes that look up at me while we sit together.
I never knew nursing a toddler though challenging is way more awesome than nursing a floppy newborn lol..

I now know...

It makes me angry that the nursing relationship with my first daughter was sabotaged from day one..  It makes me more adamant to get information out there to anyone I know that is pregnant..  I don't mean being pushy.. I just want you to know how awesome this is.. I wouldn't want anyone who means to breastfeed to miss this because outside sources are doing everything possible to sabotage women and their efforts. Sounds extreme but it's true.

Sometimes it's hard sure...  My little chubster comes up to me (She's actually up on my lap as of right now coincidentally asking for Bah bah? as she calls it tugging on my shirt)  and here she is  I had to take a pic of course... notice the growing belly lol and blogger on my laptop tee hee Boppy's hold laptops pretty well.

Sometimes she comes up to me at times where I don't feel like it but she quickly reminds me how I can't stand the sad baby face and I let her.. and I quickly melt. Other days it makes my skin crawl.. but  then I see this..

and it makes it all worth while..

Nursing her is a joy, a gift and something I don't think anyone but another nursing mother could understand.. so if you don't understand.. don't try.. and keep comments like are you still nursing? When are you going to  wean? you are spoiling your child!  to yourself.. this is not about you.. not about me.. it's about taking advantage of a great gift we were given.. our brains! We are mammals, we have breasts to feed our young but we also have brains that tell us this is more than nutrition.. this is comfort, bonding, the original Soul food!

People do many things in the world that are bad and hurtful to other people.. breastfeeding is not one of them..  you know the commercial "I'd like to buy the world a coke"  Well... I'd like for every baby out there to get some mommy milk!  I can't buy it.. I can't force it.. but I can try to facilitate it.

So Lactivists! Keep fighting the good fight!  I have mentioned it before and it was a lactivist that helped me get where I am today in the breastfeeding journey.. so keep doing your thing!

Get some babies their soul food!

One mom in awe of the beauty that is nursing.
and one happy baby in awe of how good mommy can make her feel instantly.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I need your help.

This is one of those "I have a picky eater" cries for help.

Now,  before you formulate an answer for me please take this into consideration:

If You have been blessed with a child who eats a big variety of foods YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHERE I'M COMING FROM! So though your input is appreciated It wont do much. You can also assume why my child is picky and you can boast about how your child is an adventurous eater because he was exposed to healthy foods since day 1. umm nope... sorry to break it to you but though congratulations on your parenting you only have about as much to do with it as you do with the color of his/her eyes.  My husband and I love a variety of fruits and are big fans of vegetables.. we can be picky ourselves but never to this extent. and yes we were picky eaters as children.

My children once ate vegetables and  fruits and grains and yogurts and they cried for more artichokes and preferred carrots over chocolate.

Now I am not saying I am not at fault here... I have slowly given up hope thus reinforcing their (especially the 5 yr old's) unusual eating habits. I am a short order cook who only makes her perennial favorites in order to just get her to eat something! 

I also say both my children because my 15 month old the one who I made sure to feed as much as a variety as possible, the one who would eat all kinds of squashes and table foods and loved everything we would eat at the table is starting to mimic her sister and refuse to eat anything unless it's what her sister is having. 

This is where I draw the line.. this is where I need to ask for help as I feel this is a parenting issue where I don't feel in control anymore.. if that is the right word for it.

OK, let me explain my 5 yr old's pickyness.

Her pickyness stems from visual/texture  she definitely eats with her eyes first, and it has to be a certain texture or she will not eat it.. for example she likes cheese however she will not eat it if it is melted, she likes chicken but it can only be in the form of  chicken dinos (she will not eat any other kind) or it has to be grilled chicken breast  heck let me just give you the least of what she will eat since it's not even that long.

Drinks:  Milk, Soy Milk, cranberry, grape, apple juice. (sometimes orange)
Meats:  Chicken (dinos or grilled breast) Bacon (If it's super cooked she hates soft parts)  She used to eat red meat but now refuses it.  Hot dogs (Hebrew nationals are the ones we give her though she would eat any well we tried soy once and she spit them out)  Eggs (sometimes hit or miss, If they have chorizo in them which is a Mexican sausage then she will almost always eat them)
Cheese:  mild cheddar or string cheese only (as a snack with mustard yeah daddy's weird snack she likes)
Pasta:  pretty much any pasta as long as it has tomato sauce.  But only tomato sauce, no tomato chunks, no cheese, no meats. She HATES mac and cheese.
Bread: She has no problem with.
Fruits: Apples.  (yup only apples)
Vegetables: corn (only grilled) and potatoes as french fries (though I don't consider that a vegetable) 
Nuts:  cashews. peanuts. sunflower.

oh and of course.... Pizza but even then it has to be a certain kind from a certain place or she will not eat it.

What happens when I sneak food, or try to make her eat something? She gets disgusted, gags, and has even thrown up and gotten ill after oh and of course the crying on the floor..

Does she know when I sneak stuff in or substitute? The majority of times yes.. though sometimes it's been successful to lets say hide squash in pasta sauce.

What if I don't give in and give what we have as the only option? She wont eat.. she will go all day without eating.. which is why often I just give in and have her eat something... ANYTHING!

So my call for help is for those who have had experience with picky eaters... PLEASE HELP!!!  What can I do? What can I cook?  I am loosing the battle with my 15 month old and that is what is killing me the most!

I'm at a loss please steer me in the right direction...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A tale of the recurring "3 lines" ..

When I was pregnant with my first I was very excited of course,  If you asked me what I wanted I would have given you the cliche "whatever baby is, as long as it's healthy" answer (I know would change that just plain and simply "a baby" because of course I would not "not want" a baby if he/she wasn't healthy We love our children as they are).

I secretly hoped for a boy though, I was just barely becoming content with people my gender and barely embracing all things "girly". You see I spent most my teens and early 20's in a somewhat gender stereotype limbo. I was too "girly" to be a tomboy and too awkward to pull off being "girly".  My mother embraced the society rule of what a woman of the 80's should be .. heels, make up, dresses, fashion trends, perms, shoulder pads, floppy bow ties.. She never did teach me how to "be a girl" though.  I don't blame her, she didn't grow up with a mother as hers passed away when she was a toddler, whatever she learned she learned from TV, her peers etc.,  and she must have figured I would learn the same way.  Too bad I also grew up with an interesting contrast of an anti-social paranoid father who never wanted us to be sheeple and who threatened to beat me up if I became a whore or  beat me up if I became a lesbian.  I couldn't be girly and I couldn't be a tomboy. I didn't know who I could be if that makes sense..  I couldn't be like my peers so I was a bit confused until I moved away from them.

I was always the girl who had many male friends because I couldn't relate to girls, Back then I blamed it on them being drama now I admit I just felt awkward around them.  So  fast forward to my first child..  I secretly wanted a boy!  I wanted to dress him up in little punk rock clothing, I wanted to roughhouse, I wanted to give him a little Mohawk. I wanted trucks and Dinos and all those stereotypical boy things..  I wanted to teach him to be a good man! week 20th came along and when the sonographer said  See those 3 little lines? "it's a girl" My heart Sunk to dephts unimaginable!  I felt very deep disappointment and sadness, then I felt overjoyed and elated and happy and looking forward to the future all in the time frame of 5 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am sure some of you understand that feeling.

Picture from Second Sono Yeah this time I was happy to hear she was "still a girl" ! :)

My little princess!
I had my second daughter in 2010,  When we got pregnant with her I knew she would be a girl.. I just had that feeling.  The day of the ultrasound came and I was 1% hoping they would say boy and alas.. those 3 lines again..  This time though.. I was not disappointed, I was super excited that my daughter would have a sister, something I didn't have and always wondered what it would be like.  I was excited to use the baby clothes I had saved from my first daughter and I wanted everything pink and girlie!

This time around?
Well  I didn't want to find out the gender, I didn't want to think of the possibility of a 3rd girl.. I didn't want to deal with the insensitive comments .. I already had gotten plenty from announcing that I was pregnant again just 10 months after giving birth to my second.  My husband wanted to find out though and curiosity got the best of me. I swore up and down it was a boy because this pregnancy has been so different from my last two..  I wasn't going to announce the gender because I wanted to avoid stupid comments like "your poor husband" or "wait til they're teenagers"  "better luck next time" etc..  but I think by not announcing it I am making it seem like we are disappointed and we're not.. we're elated to say  the 3 lines came back! It's  a girl!! 

Prior to finding out we started panicking at the possibility of this baby being a boy,  what on earth would we do?  When we go to grocery stores all we see are whiny crying boys! (I am sure there's whiny crying girls too but our biased view only lets us notice the boys hehe)   My oldest daughter didn't want a "little bother" (Thank you Olivia the pig for coining the phrase) so when the 3 lines came up on the screen we all literally clapped and cheered. "A girl! YAAAAAAYYYYYY"

I asked over at the Instinctual mamas page about other families with children of the same gender and your answers were so varied and yet so alike because the children we all have are loved no matter what! So here are my answers to the questions I asked.

Where you disappointed to find out your latest was of the same gender as his/her siblings?
Absolutely not! I was very relieved and excited!

Did you get insensitive comments from family and friends? How did you handle it?
Though I have been avoiding them I have gotten a couple from some.. to which I jokingly reply "Not my fault Hubby doesn't make boy sperm" lol..

Do you feel like you are not done ? If you are ...Do you ever wish you weren't?
No, I am not done I want 1 more though I actually want another girl just so people wont assume I am "trying for a boy"

Do you feel jealousy when someone has a baby the opposite gender?
Sometimes!  I think it's natural.. I sometimes feel like I am inadequate for not being able to get pregnant with a boy then I remember I am not in the middle ages.. I'll leave raising boys to someone else! Plus if it's the last name? My girls can always keep theirs! We live in the 21st century after all!

When did you feel at peace with your family as is? (if you were ever not at peace)
I felt at peace after my second daughter, after finding out just how awesome girls are!

Is the amount of children you have the result of seeking for a specific gender?

What is the most awesome thing about having all boys/girls?
That they are mine!! and best of all.. that when they have babies of their own I wont have to walk on eggshells with a daughter in law.. Well I know not exactly like that but I am sure the children of your daughters are less off limits than the children of your sons <3

What are you most looking forward to?
Seeing them grow into women!, Grandbabies, perhaps attending their births if they want me to.

What do you wish people knew about having all boys/girls.
That you don't have to have "one of each" to enjoy your children, proof of that is people with big families of different genders, and sometimes.. having just a girl and a boy can still be lonely for the kids. I have a brother whom I love dearly but I always wished I had a sister too!

and with that said, I leave you with this...

"You can't always get what you want.... And if you try sometime you find...You get what you need"
Rolling Stones.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Happy Ending, thanks to online efforts!

Rough translation by Rockin' Momma blog,  Source: "El Mundo"

CAM gives the baby back to the Moroccan mother who refused to wean.

Pedro Simon/Madrid.

Three weeks after the abrupt weaning caused by the Administration, Habiba once again is able to hug her 15 month old. The Ward Commission of the Instituto Madrileno del Menor y la familia (IMMF) decided yesterday to release custody to a woman Habiba, that by priory  had all the 3 defeat cards.  Immigrant (from Morocco) Poor and abused.  The case is that David has won the battle and Goliath has had to rectify. On the 30th of May the Madrid Community took the custody away of a 15 month old to a woman dependant on social services for lacking "economic resources" and "refusing to submit to a parenting class" (which implied to wean the child)  and yesterday it gave it back.

Never has custody been given back so quickly and that is due to something. The Official explanation is that Habiba now has an "employment offer" in the past couple of days she has "secured a place of residence" and she will initiate "psychological treatment". The unofficial story is that the matter was on fire in social networks and on pro breastfeeding forums, there were 20,000 protest signatures. The state Ombudsman, the prosecutor, and even the Spanish Association of Pediatrics were looking into the matter: the hypothetical case that custody had been taken from a low income woman for the simple fact of refusing to wean. 

Lourdes Reyzabal President of  "fundacion Raices" the organization responsible for bringing the case to light commented, "What happened deserves some serious though, You need a court order to tow a car from a garage  but not to take custody of a child, You should see the child as soon as she came out she has not let go of her mother: You have to see them they glow like never before!"

Who would have thought but the fact that the mom can hug this child is because Facebook exists the case came to light, she needed a job offer and now she has several, she has an offer to be a child care provider, to give Arabic classes, to be a lactation consultant, to cook Moroccan recipes...

A happy Ending!   One thing she has clear... Habiba will only work where they will let her be with her daughter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Querida Habiba: Dear Habiba:

Querida Habiba:

Queria escribir un poco sobre como has conmovido a una parte del mundo que aunque pequena se sentia enorme el amor y la pasion con la que peleaban por ti.

Yo solo soy una madre con una bebe de la misma edad que Alma, con las mismas maneras de criarla que de solo imaginar que algo asi le pudiera estar pasando a una madre tan intuitiva, se me quebranto el conrazon y llore lagrimas del dolor que solo una madre puede entender.

todas lloramos contigo... cada lagrima que paso por tu rostro fue acompanada por mil lagrimas mas de otras madres que pensaban en ti cuado amamantaban a sus pequenos.

todas estuvimos contigo, pensando en ti, escribiendo, gritando, peleando porque te regresaran a tu bebe.

espero que sepas que estamos felices de que finalmente tengas a tu bebe en brazos y que recuerdes que algunas veces cuando el mundo parece cruel es cuando se demuestra que todavia hay gente buena en el mundo la mayoria de ellas madres.

Gracias por ser una madre ejemplar al excuchar a tus instintos, no dejes de ser asi.

Con mucho carino

Tanya y las miles de madres que lloramos contigo.

Dear Habiba:

I wanted to write to you about how you moved a part of the world that though small, the love and passion with which they fought for you was enormous!

I am just a mom with a daughter Alma's age, with the same ways of  raising her that just imagining that something like this could happen  to such and instinctual mother broke my heart and I cried  for your pain that only another mother could understand.

We all cried with you, thought of you, wrote, shouted, fought for your baby to be back in your arms.

I hope that you know that we are joyful that you have your baby back in your arms and that you remember that though sometimes the world seems like a cruel place it is then that we get reminded that there are still good people out there.. the majority of them mothers.

Thank you for being an exceptional mother and listening to your instincts! Don't stop being like this.

With lots of love,

Tanya and the thousands of mothers who cried with you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am Habiba are you? A mother relates..

The quest is still on, we're still fighting for Habiba to regain  custody of Alma her 15 month old daughter. Our chant is that we are all Habiba.

And now with the release of the report made on her parenting I can say that really indeed we are all Habiba, at least a lot of us are.
I am guilty of all of the things that "flawed" her as a parent, things that should be considered wholesome, healthy, and in the child's best interest!

"The hours and type of food are chaotic" and " she uses breastfeeding as a pacifier and a toy, offering her breast any time the girl cries and letting her take it anywhere, no matter the time and context in which this happens (offices, corridors). "

When my daughter cries...

She gets boob....

When we're out...

She gets boob...

This is not dirty.. it's natural and I feel it is my duty as mother!

"She gives her the pureed food that is already prepared by the shelter, but also other solid foods that are inappropriate for her age (like the ones Habiba eats). Over the weekends when she needs to make the pureed fruit herself, more often she doesn’t and breastfeeds instead. "

My baby eats what I eat...

and when in doubt... I breastfeed!

"We attempted to regularize and limit breastfeeding times, but it did not seem possible, so the possibility of stopping breastfeeding was raised ...." "... she continued to breastfeed. She was given pacifiers, but she didn’t use them either

try telling that to a baby!!  "Sorry kid bureaucracy says you must stop nursies and you gotta suck on this plastic instead"

"She (Alma) does not have proper sleep patterns. From the first moment Habiba didn’t want the girl to sleep in her cot and she lies with her in her own bed. She uses the cot to drop off things and toys and on very rare occasions to leave the girl ... "

HA! this is how my baby went to sleep tonight..

And how she's been sleeping every night...

 Nap time? No crib for her!

"Habiba is very affectionate with Alma, uses physical contact and verbal expression as a means of communication. The child is constantly searching for visual reference from her mother and has been some anxious fear towards the separation. "

Everywhere I go... my baby is with me!  Why would I want her to become independent so young?

I consider my children, cared for, loved, nourished, respected...

Why has society strayed so much from this that it would even be deemed questionable?

So many children who NEED this type of parenting don't get it.. why would a mother be persecuted for this?



Sunday, June 12, 2011

When did birth become a war?

cabanel the birth of venus

I think I have been living under a rock when it comes to the subject of birth.  I have been around the block when it comes to mommy blogs and forums for the past 5 years since being pregnant with my first and I have been aware on certain touchy subjects,  I can even understand why people on either sides of a controversial subject (do I even need to name them? lol)  can be upset, but birth? really??

A while back Facebook pages that I love got into a bit of a debacle, it was tough to witness as I loved them all  for different reasons, and I got great info from all.  I am my own person and I have a mind of my own, my own expectations of birth my own vision, my own respect for it.  If one page talked about something I wasn't comfortable with I would just simply ignore it, plenty of other advice was applicable to me anyway.  If someone tells me don't seek medical attention and I am feeling ill umm I don't know about you but I am going to do what I feel is best for me and my baby who the heck cares at that point who the person at the other end is.  If someone tells me I am being "selfish" for wanting to give birth at home, I really don't care either who the other person is.. I will do what I want to do, the other person doesn't know me and I don't know them, they do not know how I came to my decision and I don't know how they came to have the viewpoint they have.  In the end.. I march by the beat of my ow damn drum!  And I would expect that most people feel the same way. Why all the fighting?

After all of that dust settled  I noticed other pages popping out.. antithesis of other pages promoting natural birth, homebirth, freebirth etc. These pages express pride in c-sections, hospital births and it's fine  that's not the issue.  What I find disturbing is that these pages seem to be created out of believing that natural birthers think that giving birth at a hospital is lazy or uneducated.  I am saddened because I myself wouldn't want that label on me. 

I am a homebirther, that does not mean I am trying to be a rebel, it does not mean I am proving my womanhood, it does not mean I am a martyr, it does not mean I look down upon your c-section it does not mean I think you are uneducated, it does not mean I think all c-sections are unnecessary, It does not mean I hate hospitals or science or Drs, OB, Nurses etc.  It does not mean I preach homebirth to everyone, it does not mean I am better than anyone, nor inferior either, I do not follow a fad, I didn't educate myself on google, my midwife is not someone who is just educated online and I found off the Internet.

I love birth! I think it is miraculous, marvelous, amazing, no matter how it happens, I am happy for babies being born no matter where or how or when, Even if it's a woman wanting to schedule a c-section because she doesn't want to push I respect that as long as it was her decision to make and she wasn't tricked into it.. and even then I don't blame the women  I blame the Dr's.. I don't blame ALL Dr's I blame the status quo on birth in the U.S and I blame the fact that it has created lazy Dr's (NOT women) and it has created bad midwives as well who can take advantage of unsuspecting women who just want their picture of their "ideal birth".

There are  great Dr's out there and there are great hospitals too! and my wish is that the way they practiced was the norm in the U.S so that everyone was/felt safe  there.  Some women birth at home solely for the fear of a repeat traumatic birth, it's not even about proving anything to them it's just about avoiding being treated like Cattle about to be butchered again because this is how they felt their previous time. There is women who don't even have a choice as they cannot afford a homebirth, there are women who go to the lenghts of going unassisted even though that would have not been their ideal choice  because the thought of going to a hospital makes them panic!

There are women who have complicated pregnancies, complicated deliveries, and the only place that it's safe for them to give birth is at a hospital where the technology is readily available, there are women who just feel safer there, there are women who after much research have come to the conclusion that this is the safest way.

Birth is birth, to me if someone went through a pregnancy no matter what lenght and the end result was a baby full term, preemie or angel..  it was a birth. Vaginal, cesarean, 24 weeks  later, 42 weeks later, happy, sad, healthy baby, sick baby, angel baby. I am equally amazed by the strenght it takes for a woman to experience this life altering experience, from the moment there is a plus sign and a life is there a mother is born.   I listen to each birth story or loss story with respect, awe and intrigue. 

I love birth, I am not better than you and you are no better than me.. what matters in the end is that you feel healthy, fulfilled, satisfied, content and at ease.

So please... don't label me as a snob nor a dumb sheep doing following a flock.. because I don't label you either.

I birthed at home because this is what I felt was best for me personally. I have birthed at a hospital and the experience wasn't great and this time around.. though I plan to give birth at home again, I am fully aware on the implications and I am not blindly thinking this will go as planned.  Nature is a force to be respected and just like the second time I birthed I go into it with an open heart and an open mind. I am not afraid to seek the help of a hospital if needed, I just don't want to be there if I don't have to. But again, this is me and only me that I am speaking for.

Your birth matters! no matter how, when, where. Your baby matters and YOU matter!.

Happy Birthing to all! <3 Please know it's not  one vs the other when it comes to birthing, we are all different and we are all similar. Opening your heart to someones story without cynicism is a great opportunity to learn together, once we understand that birth isn't dictated by a mold we can then fight to keep it from becoming one. Birth comes in all forms.

An open minded birth aficionado <3

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Worldwide Mothers show they care!

2 days ago I wrote about a story I came across about a Moroccan mother in Spain whose 15 month old got taken away for failure to comply to the IMMF's rules of weaning her 15 month old daughter. because they deemed extended and on demand breastfeeding as "chaotic" and "harmful.

In 48 hours the group "worldwide mothers support Habiba" has grown to over 600!   and the original group in Spanish is over 3000! 

Habiba is not alone! We are all thinking of her and spreading the word and the longer they have their child the more the world will be fixing its eyes on just how fair the system is at the IMMF, and hopefully many institutions such as these start getting scrutinized more.

I wrote a note yesterday in the group about some of the things happening

" Some media and people linked to the IMMF have been vilifying Habiba taking advantage of the privacy that has been agreed upon. She can not defend herself so all I can ask is to give her the benefit of the doubt when you read such things, Put yourself in her shoes. If the media thinks this is about Lactivists in an uproar over nursing a 15 month old they are wrong! This is about a child, not only taken away from her mother but from her source of comfort.

We as mothers and fathers put ourselves in her shoes and her daughter's shoes.. we know this is not the first nor last time a child gets taken away from a parent's custody for X reason. It's time injustices are stopped and the psychological well being of children are considered! Why would it be so bad to have supervised visits while this is sorted? They say she can get her daughter back if she takes certain classes, why not let her be with her daughter under supervision while this happens? A psychiatrist who is not biased and is not liked to the IMFF has said she is mentally stable and is apt to be a parent.

Makes you wonder what motives these people have to institutionalize an innocent child.

It can make anyone furious!"

See this can potentially go beyond Habiba, it's about time we opened our eyes to injustice to mothers and children done all over the world.

But baby steps..  and most important right now is to get Habiba and her baby reunited! 

We need your help!

If you can translate the press release from my previous blog to other languages please feel free to do so!

Also.. If you are a blogger write about Habiba!

Write about the importance of child lead weaning
the strenght of  a nursing bond
how Habiba's story has impacted you
write if you or someone you know have gone through something similar

Help spread her story!!

Find her support pages on FB

Worldwide Mothers support Habiba

Que el IMMF permita que Habiba amamante a su hija ya!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What if you were this mother?

"We are all Habiba"  Graphic Courtesy of Louma Sader Bujana

This Morning, I read a startling article about a Moroccan  mother:  Habiba, a low income woman  in a program ran by the Madrid Institute of Mothers Minors and families (IMMF), whose 15 month old daughter was taken away because of failure to comply with their wishes to wean her child, referring to this act as "chaotic" and "harmful".

The Article hit home because I have a 14 month old who still nurses, I cannot imagine someone trying to rip her from my arms and from her much needed "boo boo" I am horrified to think what this child must be feeling, surrounded by strangers, wondering where her mommy and where her milkies have gone.. no comfort in sight, feeling abandoned and this just brings me to tears to think of my daughter having to go through this..  to think of ANYONE'S daughter having to go through this.

As a mother I want to reach out to Habiba and let her know I am with her an  mothers in the U.S are with her.. I am trying to find info in English but I can't so far so I will try my best to translate what I find..

Here is one of the MANY  articles in Spanish talking about the case:

The Press Release Goes something like this: (roughly translated)

Four days ago, the Madrid Institute for Minors and Families (IMMF), decided to separate a little girl from her mother for not complying with the objectives of  a psychotherapy program and "maternal abilities" that imply to abandon  extended breastfeeding and breastfeeding on demand because it is considered "chaotic" and "harmful for every boy and girl".  With these considerations all lacking scientific or legal facts, they force mothers to take medication to cease milk production.  

According to the Spanish Association of Pediatricians, breastfeeding should be on demand and it can be extended as long as both child an mother wish.  No legal action has been taken to separate mother and child, and the mother has not been allowed to say goodbye nor has she been told where her daughter will be taken causing a grave defenselessness on both.  Habiba is engorged and on the brink of mastitis and with a broken heart with pain, with barely any sleep or bite to eat. This woman has been evaluated by a psychiatrist  and she does not show any signs of  mental illness, drug consumption or anything that would justify making her victim of such aggression.

They threw Habiba on the streets the same moment they took her daughter telling her she had no more
room there because the resources they offer are for mothers and children and she did not have a child anymore. A humanitarian foundation has decided to help this mother donating legal support as well as shelter . We are deeply concerned by Habiba's pain and it pains us to imagine the circumstances this 15 month old child might be in, separated from her mother in an abrupt fashion most likely with no one explaining anything to her.

.We consider Habiba and her child's case as a serious violation of human rights as well as children's rights. The damage is already done but if mother and child are reunited immediately it can be repaired because of this we urge you to write to write and protest to IMMF management, asking for the immediate return of the child to her mother

There is a group formed in Spanish
Que el IMMF permita que Habiba amamante a su niƱa YA with constant updates by people close to Habiba and  those familiar with the case.

I am not but a mother who was moved by this story and my plea is for you to be moved as well.. Madrid is far away but the pain  of a mother can be felt the same in any language. I created a group:
U.S mothers support Habiba! Hey IMMF Give her baby back!  To show International support for this mother in her time of need. 

If you have any articles in any language please  email them to me  tcast030406(at) or share them on the wall.  Lets show Habiba that  American  mothers feel her pain as well as other countries!
Breastfeeding is a human right!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to make Dust Bunnies out of your Facebook "friends".

I have been meaning to do this for my Facebook Challenged friends who are always finding themselves in a pickle because they can't say no and deny friend requests from not necessarily welcomed people like coworkers, family, annoying acquaintances etc.

Also this comes in Handy for people like me who have a variety of friends who are fine and dandy but are easily offended by your unconventional and radical thoughts.. for Example I have a grouped friends into a "christian" category.. nothing bad with it.. but sometimes "what is on my mind" can be a little crude for a Jesus loving person being that I am not religious, so In order to keep the peace and not offend them (though I could say I have been offended many a times by them *sigh)  I spare them from potentially seeing any heretic spewing of mine.

Anyway.. Lets say Cousin James added you simply because you are family, now cousin James is a real uptight conservative jerk who only seems to reply when you offend him with your thoughts, How dare you have any! Stick to your kids and house cleaning woman! Well instead of deleting him and making things awkward at the next family gathering, simply put him in limbo or as I call it.. put him in a dust bunny status.

Dust Bunnies.. they're there, you don't see them, they don't see you..but they're there.  Hide them, Hide yourself from them and they will still be on your friends list just not bothering you.

So here we go..

On your home page's left hand side click on "friends"

Click on "Edit Friends"
Click on "create List"

Name your list and select "friends" to add to it Once done click on Create list.. You now Have a list.

then go to your upper right hand corner and click on "account" then "privacy settings" You then click on "customize settings"
You can then Customize what the dust bunnies can see for example you can make it so the posts you make are seen by everyone except dust bunnies or friends only except dust bunnies.. they will never see your posts. (keep current with FB changes though and check once in a while to make sure this is the case still as they have been known to change it back without telling you)  You can also hide the dust bunnies from seeing other parts of your profile like pictures, info etc. You then go to a post of theirs hide them indefinitely and you wont see them either unless you look for them on their page :)
Ah and my favorite.. when I really want to write what is on my mind.. and I don't want to cause drama and "offend" people  on the same spot where you write your status, there is a lock, click on it and you can control who sees it for example I want to post about vax or something and I know Sensitive Suzie will come out from hiding and cry about it then I just click on my trusty "mainstream" list and hide them! <3  No harm no foul. 

Hope this was helpful and save you from headaches, tantrums and having to give up and delete your page because you don't feel like it's yours anymore :)  I don't see it as censoring myself I see it as excluding people who can get easily offended.. they don't wanna see it anyway right?.. and don't get me wrong some of these people I really love we just don't see eye to eye on some matters and would rather keep the peace.


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