Friday, May 11, 2012

NSTTN Support Group

Let's start an online support group for moms with children who don't sleep through the night yet, no matter what age they are. Ok? Problem is I have no idea how to do this. I suppose we could do an email group or something, and just email each other. I don't know how to start an online forum. Anyone know how? Anyone want to help me make this happen? Pretty please...

Seriously though. We are in a decent phase right now which is great (you kinda forget how traumatic the sleep regressions were when you're not in one) but I think it would be awesome to have some kind of support in place when things go awry and I feel like I want to jump off a bridge. Ya know? Email me at if you feel like joining up.

Another rant...

It’s all very clever and all to come up with anti c-section slogans (like “the uneccesarean”) but unfortunately I think it demonizes the women who elect to have them and the doctors that perform them. Why do we care so much about what a woman does with her own body? I know, I know, there’s a baby involved. But why do we seek to control, even as we are “trying to help”? I am with you’all- I agree that c-sections are performed too often and that it can make the birth experience traumatic and full of regrets for the mom. But one of the side effects of anti-c-section-ism is that the mother who had one now has regrets because supposedly she wasn’t supposed to get one! Or all the backlash against epidurals and pain medications during labor. Why do we have to make it out that the woman was weak to have accepted the offer of pain meds, or even worse, if she asked for them!

We MUST learn to respect the laboring woman, both during labor, and for the entire lifetime afterwards! Labor isn’t a one time thing, oh 24 hours and it’s over. Labor is just the climax, then there’s the afterwards, the afterbirth, the PARENTING the child for the rest of its life, the new roles to adjust to, the physical healing. Once you have a baby you are never the same again as you were before you got pregnant. You start to feel like yourself again at some point, but it’s a new you, a new and improved you! I don’t care if you never felt a single contraction, etc. you GAVE BIRTH, regardless of how. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you didn’t. Heck I had a vaginal birth but I still feel regret because I read all these natural childbirth stories, and I think to myself, I was weak, I shouldn’t have asked for pain medication, I shouldn’t have let them “sleep me,” etc. BUT the reality is that everything happened the way it was supposed to. And I did a great job. I had a herniated disc at the time, I was in excrutiating pain 24 hours a day for 3 months before I gave birth. I couldn’t walk around during labor. I couldn’t even sit up or squat. I basically ended up in the traditional position, legs up on a bar, on my back, etc. I literally couldn’t stand up. And I had back labor. And I pushed for 1 minute shy of 3 hours. And I had Pitocin towards the end of the birth. Pretty much all the things I didn’t want to happen, happened. I mean WTF- there are many many of us who have health problems, etc. that prevent us from having “natural childbirth,” from breastfeeding, etc. I’m sick of the judgement. It needs to end because it’s getting us nowhere. All it's doing is alienating us from each other at a time when we need each other the most.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Random rant, sorry

A few months ago a friend who has very different political views than me started going off that Obama supports partial birth abortion. "They deliver a baby and then puncture the back of it's skull to kill it!!!! It's horrible!" etc etc. I was completely caught off guard because I felt like I couldn't say that she was wrong. I didn't know what the heck she was talking about. Why would that ever happen? Why would Obama think it's OK? So I did some research on the good ole internet. I typed in "Obama and partial birth abortion" and up came a ton of propagandistic right wing sites. Finally I said screw this and went to What I read there was that Obama voted against a ban of partial birth abortion for 2 reasons: one is that rarely partial birth abortion is medically necessary, and the second reason is that the language in the bill was murky and could lead to undermining a woman's right to choose. It doesn't mean that Obama thinks partial birth abortion is great or even OK. It's a horrible thing. Rarely it is medically necessary. When I was reading about it, and of course there were horrible pictures and drawings, I felt sick. As a mom to an infant (well, almost-toddler), I can't even *think* about anything happening to a baby cuz my heart skips a beat and I feel nauseous and it's awful.... BUT I believe in a woman's right to choose.

TANGENT ALERT: How many times have I heard of men who don't want to get vasectomies because they don't want anyone messing with their junk. Hello? It's quite noninvasive day surgery. Not like ANY of the procedures/pills/etc. that women have to deal with in order to prevent pregnancy. "OMG, wear a condom? No way. I'd prefer that you get a copper thingie inserted into your uterus for the next 10 years so I can do whatever I want. Oh and by the way you'll probably have heavier periods and more cramping. Or you can get the one that has hormones and have like no period but possibly slip into depression." WTF?

I think it's particularly sad when women listen to right-wing propaganda and spread it around as if it's truth. If only we could stop judging each other. Yes there are women who abuse the use of abortion. There are people who abuse everything, who break the rules, who mess things up for other upstanding citizens. There are WAY MORE women who have abortions because they feel they have to for their own safety and sanity. We can never fully understand the choices another person makes because we can't walk in their shoes.

Upper-Lower Class

This one has been rolling around in my brain for awhile now. On the internets all I can find is something about white trash... which is not quite what I'm thinking of. I'm thinking of people like me, who on the outside might appear to be middle class but if you looked at my actual income/expenses/debt you would think otherwise. I'm not below poverty level, but hovering above it.

I don't mean to offend anyone but here I go anyways.

I think a lot of the mommy bloggers here on the web are if not wealthy then at least middle class. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just think that the perspective of those with limited or low income is not very well represented in this sphere. When I read discussions of many issues that new moms and moms in general have, they are often skewed in the general direction of money is not an object. I guess the presumption here (which can be true, don't get me wrong) is that people who don't have much money/low income are consumed with thinking about meeting their basic needs and don't have the time/energy/resources to think about broader social issues. Like a Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs type thingie.

"Baby should sleep in his/her own room, in his/her own bed." Do we see the expectation here? What if you live in a 1-bedroom (like we did until our son was about 6 months old)? What if you can't afford to drop $100 or $200 for a nice, safe crib?

Honestly I don't know how we would have gotten by if we'd had to buy formula. Luckily I was able to breastfeed and fulfill my son's needs that way for quite a while (also he was late with starting to really eat solids). Breastfeeding is free (except for the EXTRA gobs of food you need to eat in order to avoid growly belly at 3am after your child has been nursing every hour since you both went to bed at 9pm and dinner was early at 6pm... but I digress)

There are many who probably judge me thinking, well if you couldn't afford to take care of yourself, then you went ahead and had a kid, whose fault is that? I'm not blaming anyone. I don't think it's right however to say that unless you are middle class and financially "comfortable" that you are not allowed to have children!

I don't necessarily feel comfortable representing any type of class or population of people. But I also feel like my situation does not fit in either lower or middle class. My and my husband's annual gross income might put us into the middle class, but when you subtract out all of our expenses and our debt, and if you take out taxes (which you should when you're analyzing cost of living/applications for assistance, etc. You never see your gross income, you see your net, that is your REAL income, the actual money that you get in your bank account that you can spend) then we're looking not so great. Like "how exactly are these people getting by?" Which we are, but barely.

I'm sure I have more to say on this subject but my break is over so back to the grind.