Friday, September 1, 2006

September 2006

  • Addiction

    Current mood:happy
    Okay, I am going to admit it.....I have an Grey's Anatomy!  I only started watching the show this summer while it was being re-aired during the off season because Dan and I always watched CSI on Thursdays, and I have this thing where if I don't start watching a show from the beginning, I just can't seem to get into it mid season.  Well, I have rented season 1 and 2 of Grey's Anatomy and am all caught up and have thus started my addiction.  We now have a DVR because we have a baby and can't always watch our shows when they are on, and so far I have watched last nights episode of Grey's Anatomy twice and that probably won't be it.  I love the characters, I love the story lines and I feel like these people are my friends, I know, I'm a weirdo....I have not been as "into" a show as Grey's Anatomy since my girls from Sex and the City.  Okay, that's all.  Just thought I needed to admit to my addiction!
  • Breastfeeding in whose public?

    Current mood:frustrated
    I was shopping in Wal-Mart yesterday with Dan and Madeline looking for nursing bras.  Maddie had been asleep up until the end of the shopping when she woke up and was hungry.  I got her out of her car seat and walked over to the dressing rooms and asked the girl working the dressing rooms if I could go into one of the rooms to nurse my baby.  The girl (who was approx. 23-24) looked at me weirdly and said that she didn't know if it was okay for me to nurse in the dresing room.  I told her that I could either walk around the store with my boob hanging out, or I could modestly nurse my baby in a private dressing room.  She told me that so many people go in and out of the dressing rooms and implied that it wasn't the cleanest place for me to nurse Maddie and that if I were her, I would go into the Wal-Mart bathroom and nurse in the handicapped stall.  I looked at her like she was crazy....she thought it was a better idea for me to take my 2 week old into the nasty public restroom and sit on the toilet to nurse her.  I told her to call a manager and ask permission for me to nurse in the dressing room.  She made the call and over the phone the manager apparently told her that I could use the dressing room because she said yes, and then got another phone call and told me to wait while she talked to someone else on the phone all the while Maddie is getting more and more upset and starting to holler.  I took the matter into my own hands and broke the Wal-Mart law.....I let myself in the dressing room!!
    I holed up in the dressing room and fed my child, but am still reeling from the experience.  I can not believe how ignorant society is on breastfeeding and that I have to battle to be able to hide in a dressing room and breastfeed.  Next time I may just throw my own modesty to the wind and whip it out in the store and make everyone uncomfortable.  We need some kind of education program for this!
    Breastfeeding in Whose Public?by Peggy O'Mara
    It is unnecessary to defend breastfeeding in public. To me, it's like walking in public. It's a basic human right. For others, however "those who live in a bottle-feeding culture with little or no apparent exposure to breastfeeding" the act is a private matter. How little they understand breastfeeding.

    In the last month I have heard of four dramatic incidents involving breastfeeding in public, and the frequency of such reports makes me realize that the subject strikes a deep chord with the American public. I am hopeful that the retuning of this deep chord means that we are actually on the verge of becoming a breastfeeding culture.

    In June, reported on a demonstration by breastfeeding moms outside ABC headquarters in New York City. The lactivists were protesting comments by Barbara Walters that she and others felt "very uncomfortable" when they saw a mother breastfeeding her baby next to them on a plane.

    Later that month, Seattle's ABC news commentator Ken Schram defended Walters when he compared public breastfeeding to public urinating, saying, "Now, I know we're supposed to be living in an enlightened society and all, but I'll tell you what: when some woman sitting next to you pops it out and starts suckling little Johnny or Suzie, I think it makes most people uncomfortable! Yeah, I know. It's natural. Well, so is urinating, but most folks don't up and pee in a glass jar in the middle of the mall." In response to this outrageous comment, 150 Mothering readers and other breastfeeding supporters gathered at the Seattle Center on June 27. Schram not only failed to apologize, he implied that brazen breastfeeding mothers were the problem. "A little modesty goes a long way," he said patronizingly.

    A couple of weeks ago, I heard from a mother in Albuquerque whose friend had been asked to leave an amusement park because she was breastfeeding in public. Just this last weekend, there was actually a television debate about breastfeeding in public in which CNN commentator Tucker Carlson said he opposed it. 

    The breastfeeding-advocacy community has used these outrages as opportunities for education. At one demonstration, participants handed out copies of the recent American Academy of Pediatrics statement on breastfeeding, which lists lack of support in society as one of the obstacles to breastfeeding success. With a national goal of 75 percent breastfeeding initiation by the year 2010, we still have a long way to go in helping mothers feel comfortable breastfeeding in public.

    I take issue with those who suggest that breastfeeding mothers just stay home. First, the suggestion is patently misogynist. Second, it is impossible for a mother to control her baby's need to nurse. If a mother brings a breastfeeding baby into public, the baby will inevitably need to nurse. Nursing cannot be put off because it is inconvenient. The woman has the choice between feeding her baby in public and letting him or her cry. The mother cannot run blocks through the parking lot to nurse her baby in the car. She can't find a quiet place in a public bathroom because few exist.

    In fact, our public spaces lack private places, and not many public places accommodate nursing a baby or changing a diaper. It is cruelly paradoxical that new mothers are encouraged to breastfeed without any idea of how much society and other people will undermine them. When it comes to going out in public to do what everyone else does, only clothing-store dressing rooms and bathroom stalls are spaces predictably private enough for mothers and infants. This is not good enough. Breastfed babies normally nurse almost continuously during the first few weeks and months as they build up the milk supply. Infant humans cannot simply be stashed at home while mommy runs off for her errands. Baby needs to be carried around so that breastfeeding is readily available, as breastmilk is low in fat and babies must feed often. 

    It's not a simple matter or advisable practice for mom to leave her breastfed baby at home with a bottle while she shops. Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are not simply interchangeable, and there are distinct disadvantages to a bottle for a breastfed baby. Even more important, it is elitist to assume that everyone has someone to watch her baby.

    And what about the baby? Doesn't the baby have nutritional rights? Does the baby have a right to breastmilk? If so, how absurd to limit the places where a baby can breastfeed because of unreasonable projections and ignorance about how breastfeeding works.

    Barbara Walters says that breastfeeding in public makes her "uncomfortable." I think a lot of people feel this way, but it's not a legitimate reason for limiting breastfeeding in public. In fact, it's all the more reason to encourage it. I suspect that people feel uncomfortable when they see breastfeeding in public because they can't stop staring, and they interpret this as prurient interest. I believe that they can't take their eyes off breastfeeding simply because they have not seen it before. It is a natural human instinct to want to see the feeding of our species. It does not mean that we see the breast as sexual. It simply means that breastfeeding is naturally fascinating. You simply cannot expect to refrain from staring at something you have never seen before. For those in a breastfeeding culture, however, it becomes commonplace.

    Ken Schram equates breastfeeding with public urinating, implying that breastfeeding is both a private affair and a part of our animal nature that should be hidden away. This reveals a great deal about our cultural biases. I have already argued that it is impossible to keep breastfeeding private if the human rights of women and infants are to be respected. It is precisely because of its animal nature that breastfeeding should be embraced rather than avoided in public. It is only through making breastfeeding common in the public sphere that we will become a breastfeeding culture. And it is impossible for us to reach our health goals as a nation if we do not become a breastfeeding culture.

    The fact that someone would actually debate the question of breastfeeding in public as if it were simply a lifestyle choice, like walking your dog without a leash or skateboarding on the sidewalk, reveals a gross ignorance of human anatomy and physiology. One must know nothing about breastfeeding to assume that one could simply feed one's baby at home in order not to have to bother with feeding in public. There is simply no argument against such ignorance, which points to the logical conclusion that more education is needed. I'm glad that most groups that have demonstrated against these absurd remarks have used them as educational opportunities.

    Some of the press about women who have demonstrated against these insulting comments has been dismissive to lactivists. In fact, one website, The Bitch Girls (, agrees with Tucker Carlson that "the lactivists seem to go out of their way to attract more attention to their naked breasts. The site recommends sending breastfeeding moms to the bathroom. Lactivist, on the contrary, is a respected label that has been used proudly for years by breastfeeding advocates, many of whom have been instrumental in improving breastfeeding policy internationally. I take offense when sincere demonstrators are dismissed and marginalized by labels. But I also realize that strong opposing emotions must be aired in order for breastfeeding to become assimilated into the culture.

    The Bitch Girls site echoes the concern expressed most often by those who oppose public breastfeeding: modesty. In many ways, it is ludicrous to even discuss modesty in the context of breastfeeding when scanty women's clothing is so well tolerated in the media, at the workplace, and in public on most other occasions. It is obvious, then, that this argument is a foil for those who are uncomfortable seeing a woman breastfeed in public because they are underexposed to breastfeeding in general. And it is further evidence of prejudice toward women even, unfortunately, among women.

    Do we breastfeeding moms have any responsibility to be discreet when we breastfeed? I was active in La Leche League in the 1970s, when directives came out from headquarters before conferences urging us to be considerate of others when we breastfed in the hotel and to do so discreetly. There were those who took umbrage at this well-intentioned advice, but in fact most of us are discreet in public simply because of our own modesty and the fact that no one enjoys being stared at. However, the baby is an active participant in nursing and sometimes can make it difficult if not impossible to be discreet. Also, some moms are insulted by the suggestion that they should cover up while breastfeeding simply because others are uncomfortable with something totally natural. 

    It's important that we take the higher road and not polarize ourselves with such ridiculous posturing. Let's not knock heads with those who appear to denigrate breastfeeding. Let's educate them. The cover of the January-February 2004 issue of Mothering showed an infant breastfeeding. It was very artistic and tasteful, but the nipple was visible. If you visit a store that carries magazines today, you will see that one can be almost totally naked on the cover of a magazine on the newsstand as long as the nipple is hidden.

    We at Mothering did not even consider that the cover would be controversial because we are so accustomed to witnessing breastfeeding. However, others did not see it the same way, and in one local store the issue in question was covered up. They put a blank piece of paper over the image, with only the logo showing. This was done by a store clerk, at the request of a customer who was offended by the nipple cover. Our local newspaper, the Santa Fe New Mexican, did a front-page story on the covering of the cover, and local media followed the story closely and incredulously. As it turned out, the owner of the store was a reader of Mothering, and was mortified that her clerk had covered the magazine. The problem was that she had no store policy for this kind of situation, only a policy for pornography. Simply creating a store policy so future employees know what to do with a breastfeeding cover would help tremendously.

    Soon after this incident, a natural-foods grocery on the East Coast sent back their copies of the same issue, then had to go to another local store to buy more when local breastfeeding moms questioned their decision and wanted their Mothering magazines. The moms were cordially accommodated by the store when they came for their nurse-in, and everyone learned a lot.

    I find that in most cases the public is supportive of breastfeeding and understands its importance. That was not so when I was a young mom, and we have surely made progress. It is often lack of a store policy, intimidation or sensationalism by an extreme individual, or simple ignorance that causes people to object to breastfeeding in public or images of breastfeeding. They are simply afraid of the natural world and, hopefully, can be gently reminded of it. Nurse on, you lactivists. We're almost there.

  • Week 2

    Current mood:hungry
    September 26, 2006

    My Maddie Girl,

    We have officially made it through week number two and not only are you still alive, but you are thriving!  Daddy and I have actually been left alone with you for 4 whole days this week and we have done quite well if I do say so myself.  You are still eating wonderfully and have really gotten the hang of breast feeding.  You pull yourself off and re-latch yourself when you decide that you want more and often times you finish a feeding with a look of contentment and milk running down your cheeks…'s really very cute!  I also love when you play with your hands while you are nursing, you clasp them together and touch your face and sometimes even grab mommy's bra. 

    Your cheeks are filling in and your arms and legs look a little meatier.  You are looking more like a chubby baby and less like a teeny tiny infant and although it lets me know that you are getting enough nourishment it makes me sad that you are already changing.  I wish that I could package up what it feels like to hold you while you are so little….you are only 2 weeks old, but already you are not the same as you were last week and I am already having a hard time remembering what it was like cradling you when you were just born.  If I could package up that feeling I would love to open the package every now and then and vividly remember what you felt like.  Hopefully the pictures I have will be reminder enough. 

    You have started showing us a little bit of your personality through grunting.  You grunt all the time and for many different reasons, and it's so much fun to watch you and listen to your grunting.  It actually makes Mommy laugh out loud quite often and I've nick named you the grunter.  You are also doing this funny thing with your head where you shake it from side to side quickly with your mouth open and its cute most of the time, unless you are angry and crying and we are trying to put a pacifier in and can't get you to stop shaking your head. 

    We had a big milestone this week…..your belly button stump fell off!  Hooray you are a big girl now.  Grandma was visiting us for the weekend and we went out to run some errands and when we got back to the house Mommy went to change you and noticed that your black belly button stump was gone.  Mommy and Daddy had to search through your clothes to try and find it and finally found it up near your right arm.  Daddy was really cute and was worried that maybe the stump fell off too soon and that we did something to make it come off early and might have hurt you…..he freaked out a little bit.  Mommy explained to him that the stump is supposed to fall off between 7 and 14 days and yours fell off at 10 days which is perfectly normal.  But it was cute seeing Daddy so concerned for you…..he sure does love you a lot.  Your belly button looks like it is an innie, but when you get mad and cry, or when you are trying to poop, the belly button pops out a bit, so you may have a half innie half outtie.

    Things are going okay with the sleeping.  You are on your own schedule and we work around that.  Some nights you sleep really well and only wake up to nurse once and some nights you wake up every 2 hours.  Sometimes it is really hard and Mommy wishes that you could sleep through the night, but I realize that your little tummy can not hold enough food to get you though an entire night and that breast milk does not fill you up as much as formula might but to me it's not an option to feed you formula when I can provide the perfect food for you myself.  And EVERY time I get up with you in the middle of the night to nurse you, I find myself staring at you in awe and loving that we have these beautiful times to bond!   I just need a minute or 2 to wake up first. 

    Week 2 was perfect and I really enjoyed spending it with you.  Everyday that goes by I find myself amazed by something else that you have done.  I am glad that you are healthy and perfect and I look forward to week 3.

    Hugs and Kisses,

  • Stuff

    Current mood:happy
    We had Dan's friends John and Vikka from Missouri stay over with us while they were on vacation.  We hadn't seen them for about two years and it was really nice to get the chance to catch up.  We didn't really get to do anything though becaus Maddie is still pretty little and I am still getting the hang of breast feeding and am trying not to be out of the house for too lonfg in case I leak, or Maddie needs to unfortunately it was probably a boring visit for them!  But they did bring us a present that really's a warm cover to go over the car seat so the baby can stay warm during the winter months.  Vikka is a pattern maker and creates samples for designers.  This particular sample is going to be made for a certain line at Nordstrom and possibly Target.  There are covers like this on the market, but none exactly like it and mine is the very first one.....technically it's stolen because Vikka made it for me, and not the woman who created the idea, but don't tell anyone!!  lol.  Here is a picture below....notice the know......Madeline Rose.  Very cute!
    Other big news.....I got a new cell phone.  It was time for Dan and I to upgrade our phone on our family plan with Cingular and I got this really cute teeny tiny phone.  I don't really know how to use it yet, but I really like it and it seems to get better reception/coverage than my last phone.  I'm just a little nervous that I am going to lose it in my purse on a regular's that small......picture below, and keep in mind that a nail polish bottle is really small.

    Cheri my mother in law was here with us this weekend and it was nice having her here.  She took us grocery shopping and stocked our fridge which was soo wonderful.....she also cooked and cooked and stocked our freezer with caseroles and other yummy things that can be eaten in the future.  We won't need to cook for a very long time!  We also went to the Smithfield outlets and got Maddie a pretty party dress for our friend Ivy's wedding on October 7th....she is going to look so beautiful in the dress, it's super cute.  At this point pretty much everyone has come to see our precious girl so that just leaves the three of us to start getting used to each other and our routines.  Dan went back to work today.....although very late, and I feel pretty good about being alone with Maddie during the day.....I don't think that I can ruin her!  lol.  So, I guess that's it for now.  My pretty girl needs to be changed and I have some cleaning up to do.  Ciao.
  • Week 1

    Current mood:ecstatic
    September 19, 2006

    My Darling Madeline,

    One week ago today I was in the hospital bringing you into this world.  It was the most amazing experience I have ever been through!  While I was pregnant with you I dreamed about what you would look like and how it would feel to finally hold you in my arms, and on September 12th I finally got to see you and hold you.  You were so beautiful and perfect and you fit into my arms like you had always been there.  I was in love with you at first sight.

    It's amazing how fast a week can fly by, and yet it feels like such a long time ago that we were in the hospital.  You are so tiny, but have accomplished so many things in just 7 days.  We forced you into this world and you handled going through the labor process like such a champ!  You took your first breath and cried for the first time.  I was so happy when I heard your first little cry and I couldn't believe how small you looked when they put you on my chest.  You came out and immediately started sticking out your tounge and suckling and you ate for the first time within the first hour you were alive.  Mommy was so happy that she was able to feed you so early on.  You also learned how to go to the bathroom.  It wasn't until the second day, but you peed and pooped like a champ.  We even called Grammy and told her about it because we were so proud of you.  You also were a good sleeper right from the start.  It was hard work being born and you slept and slept and slept, we even had to wake you up for every feeding for a few days because you were so tired. 

    Since we've been home you have received your first flower delivery from Auntie Stephanie and your first cross country visitor when Papa took a red eye flight and showed up to surprised us.  On your 5th night home, you kept Daddy and I up all night crying because you had some fierce gas and Mommy cried along with you because it was so hard seeing you upset and not being able to do anything about it.  You peed on Mommy and Grammy for the first time and the second time and the third time….you seem to pee better when you have no diaper on, and you also had your first poopie diaper blow out where it went all the way up your back and all over the changing table.  You were really upset!

    Today was a tough day for Mommy because Grammy went back home to California and I was very sad to see her go, but your beautiful little face reminded me of all the wonderful things that I have here in North Carolina and the new family that Daddy and I have created in bringing you into our lives.  Every time I look into your eyes, or see you bring your hands to your face in an adorable pose I fall more and more in love with you and am overcome with emotion.  You are a brand new slate and the start of an amazing journey, and I am so blessed to have the honor of helping you to become the person God has planned for you to be.  My love is yours forever!!!

    Let the journey begin!


  • It's that time

    Current mood:anxious
    Dan is packing the last few items into our overnight bag and then we are heading out to the hospital.  Overall I am doing good......although I have randomly started crying multiple times today and yesterday.  I am afraid of what I don't know, and I am nervous about being a mom.  Everything that can be planned is planned and I am prepared in all of the ways that I should be, but I am still worried that my mternal instincts won't kick in and I'll want to leave her at the hospital.  Am I totally weird?  Keep us in your prayers and the next you hear from me I'll have my Madeline and hopefully some pictures for you. 
  • The plan

    Current mood:sleepy
    I went to my Dr. on Friday and had an ultrasound.  The baby is looking good and has an appropriate amount of amniotic fluid to live in.....other than her running out of room, she appears content.  She also appears to be big......remember late pregnancy ultrasounds are approx. 20% incorrect, but they are saying she looks to be about 9 pounds!  That sounds big, but I feel like I can handle, there are smaller women than me who give birth to bigger babies than that, so I am feeling confident.  My Dr. also did another exam on me and although I was not very happy about going through it all again, it wasn't as bad as the first exam just because I knew what to expect.......don't get me wrong, it HURT, but I didn't moan and yell this time......I think they should hand out lolli pops after making their patients go through things like that......I mean you get one at the doctor after a shot and that is no where near as bad!!!!  Anyway, I had no change from Tuesday.....3 days had gone by and I was still 1 centimeter dilated and 80% effaced.  I was pretty bummed, I thought I'd have progressed at least a little bit, but nada.  So, we came up with a plan.  Finally a plan!  The plan is based on me not going into labor on my own before Monday at 4:00.  If no baby arrives before then, I am to check into the hospital on Monday afternoon at 4:00 and get a balloon inserted into my don't get confused, it's not like a fun party balloon, it is a not so fun help me dilate and thin out labor balloon.  It is supposed to bring me to 4-5 centimeters by slowly opening.  What my Dr. told me though, is that I will be sleeping while this dilation is happening and it should not hurt!!  How cool is that?  I'll be halfway there and won't have to feel anything.  Anyway, Tuesday morning I should be further dilated and they will then start me on pitocin to get my contractions going, and from there it's all down hill......or up hill depending on how you're looking at it. lol.  I didn't want to get induced and I still would rather have things happen naturally in the next 2 days, but as I will soon be 4 days past my due date, I am kinda happy that there is an end in sight......that there is a plan and I will be seeing my baby on Tuesday at the latest.  It makes me feel settled and calm.  God is watching over me and Madeline and this whole delivery is in his will turn out the way that it is supposed to because he has the plans for my life already layed out.  I feel good.  I'll update ya'll as soon as we have breaking news......because the changes with my cervix/uterus are news worthy events ya know!  hahaha.  peanut butter snack and bed.  Goodnight.
  • My due date

    Current mood:tired
    Today is my due date!  Hooray I've made it to my due date!!  At this point though, it means nothing.  I got my weekly pregnancy e-mail from and it indicated that since I am now 40 weeks pregnant, I should have my baby.....but I don't.  They obviously don't have an update for the "in limbo" period after your due date arrives and passes by.  I feel okay though, my mom arrived yesterday from Califronia and today we went shopping at the Smithfield outlets and got a couple of baby outfits and a couple of nursing shirts for me.....we walked around from 12:00 till 5:00 hoping that it would help my labor start......nothing yet!  I am feeling uncomfortable and tired, but other than that not many signs that there is going to be a baby coming today.  I have my ultrasound tomorrow and don't really expect to discover anything other than another view into my womb.  I think that we are going to go out to dinner tonight.....maybe I'll eat something spicy to kick start labor......more than likely it won't work.  Oh well.  My bags are packed and I'm ready to go.....insert John Denver.....all I need now is to start feeling some pain.....I think this is the first time in my life I am wishing for pain, go figure.  Well, I guess that's it for now.  Not very exciting. 
  • good news.....bad news

    Current mood:optimistic
    The good news is that things are progressing.....the bad news is that they are not progressing very quickly.  I had my Dr. appt. this morning and may I say that it HURT!!  I was never a sick kid, I've never broken anything the worst of the painful things that I have been through was a sprained ankle in 8th grade and that didn't hurt as much as my Dr's hand pushing up inside my cervix.  Anyway, now for the stats:  I am officially 1 centimeter dialated and 80% effaced.  He said that Madeline has dropped so low that she is practically at my knees.....which I am taking as a good thing and not bad, and he touched her head while he was up inspecting my special places.....which is kinda weird and kinda cool at the same time.  He also dislodged my mucous plug so I have been having crampy feelings and discharge all day.
    So, here is the plan.....we are going to wait until Friday (past my due date...blehh) and if I have not gone into labor on my own, I am going to the office to have an ultra sound.  I think it's more because I told him that I wanted one rather than there being any medical reason for having one because this late in pregnancy ultra sounds are approx. 20% inaccurate which equals more than a pound off....but I want one anyway......I'm a picture freak.  Then, if I do not go into labor naturally over this weekend, they are going to induce me on Monday.  I basically have 6 days to coax my baby out of my uterus or they are gonna pump me full of hormones and force her out.  I'm kinda hoping that because things are progressing on their own with my big whopping 1 centimeter and 80% effacement that they will continue to do so and maybe getting my mocous plug messed with will help too! 
    On a positive note, my doctor told me today that unless my baby is the size of the freaks they write about in the National 15 pounds.....I should have no problem having a vaginal birth!!  I guess my large hips are useful after all.....I'll have to stop berating  them.  lol.  Please keep me in your thoughts!  I really don't want to get cut open and would like as natural a birth as possible.  That's all for now.  xxooxxoo

County McCounterson