Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What NOT to Say to Pregnant Women--About Labor

Oh, labor.

So it was pointed out to me yesterday that I left out a key element of what people try to tell you about when you're pregnant, which is, of course, labor.

Everyone has an opinion about it.

I, of course, wanted an all-natural childbirth. I took Bradley classes, I worked on my breathing, I practiced relaxation...

So guess what everyone said to me about that?

"You know, giving birth HURTS, right?"
"Oh, you say that now, but after a couple hours you'll be begging for that epidural."
"Wow! Since when did you become so granola?"

On the flip side, some of my friends knew that they wanted no part of the whole pain thing, and they said they were getting epidurals. Guess what people said to them?

"You know that you're probably going to have to have a C-section, right?" (For the record, yes, sometimes getting an epidural slows down labor, and it does lead to an increase in C-sections, but really?)
"Well, if you really want to do that to your baby, I guess it's your choice."

Why is it, exactly, that we as women can't win? We want to do it like our ancestors have done for how many thousands of years, and we're nuts. We want to use the pain medication that modern science has provided, and we're selfish. It just boggles the mind why we can't be more supportive of each other.

As for me, I guess I am more granola than most, but ultimately, I feel it's the woman's choice as to what kind of birth experience she wants.

For the record, I didn't exactly get what I wanted, because my water broke. Then I had to have pitocin. Then the back labor got really, really bad and after I labored for about twenty-four hours, I realized that since I was only 5 centimeters dilated, and the contractions were pretty bad with the whole baby's head grinding against my spine since he was posterior thing, that maybe getting an epidural wasn't the worst thing in the world. I remember my husband and the nurses reassuring me that I was going to feel better after I got it.

I also remember the moment that I realized it wasn't doing ANYTHING for my pain, and I started screaming at Jon and the nurses about how they had all lied to me, and how bad it hurt, and how I was probably paralyzed.

Not that I'm dramatic, or anything.

Ultimately, though, even though my birth experience didn't go exactly the way I wanted, it all worked out in the end. I do look pretty happy here.

But let me just say that after I gave that final push and that baby came out, I felt pretty darn good about EVERYTHING.


Aww, look at him and his little puckered lips and his chubby bubby cheeks...and me! Not bad for the whole 28 hours of labor thing, huh?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Etiquette Lesson: What NOT to Say to Pregnant Women

Ah, pregnancy. That wonderful time of joy and excitement, before your child is born and refuses to let you sleep.

Oh wait, that's just me.

And to be fair, after he hit two months, Bug slept great until 9 months. So I guess I can't complain too much.

But (as usual!) I digress.

So my buddy Chad and his wife are expecting a baby, and Becki is due in October. Clearly, this baby MUST be born on my birthday. But anyway, yesterday Chad seemed to be out of sorts because apparently everyone has been telling him how tough it's going to be once this little angel pops out.

Well, duh.

But it made me think back to when I was pregnant, and all of the wonderful things people said to me. And because I was pregnant at the same time as a lot of my friends, I asked them for help while writing this blog post, because I do remember more than one person being fairly hysterical over something someone said.

So, dear readers, here's what you should NEVER, EVER, say to a pregnant woman:

1. Comments about how much weight she's gained.
When I was pregnant, I gained 34 pounds. I gained about 20 of it from the time I was 14 weeks to 29 weeks, and then I didn't gain any more weight. Bug was gaining, I was losing, it was all good. But I felt like a whale. I actually remember waking up in the middle of the night to pee one night and seriously considering asking Jon to help me up.
I gained what is considered a healthy amount of weight: my doctor had actually predicted I would gain about 35 pounds. But this isn't the case with everyone. Some of my friends only gained about 15 pounds; others gained closer to 50. A lot of it depends on your starting weight, etc.
But you know what? No woman wants to gain weight, no matter how noble the cause is (such as carrying a new life). And we don't want to hear your comments about it. Please don't say things like, "Wow, you've kind of exploded, haven't you?" (oh yes, someone said that to me), or the much more blunt "Wow. You sure got fat." (thanks for sharing that gem, Jen!). Please also don't say things like, "What? You mean there AREN'T twins in there?" (That's rough, Elizabeth).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the women who are tinier don't really appreciate being told how they either haven't gained enough weight, or how something must be wrong because their bellies aren't that big. My friend Bianca, who is rather petite to begin with, was apparently asked if she was carrying a dwarf baby, since her belly was rather little. Really? Really, people?

2. Please don't tell us how tired we look.
Carrying a baby is rough work. I would sleep for about ten hours every night and sometimes take a nap in the afternoon and still feel utterly exhausted. My first trimester was particularly rough. Even though I never threw up in the mornings, I did have a fair amount of nausea and would often be confined to my bed at times. So yes, we're tired. We don't want to be told that. As my friend Ana commented, "It gets really old after awhile." And it does! We're already sensitive about our weight, please don't add our appearance into the mix.

3. Don't give us your lame parenting advice.
Okay, this is a toughie. Jon and I haven't gone out alone much since Bug was born, but a lot of that is our choice. And on one hand, some advice is good! But please don't tell expecting mothers things like, "Make sure you do (x, y, and z) now, because you will never have fun, ever again, after the baby is born! First off, this is simply not true. I mean, yes, you will wind up foregoing certain things that you did before. But you have a wonderful new world of experiences and moments that completely make up for it. I always joke that I don't remember life before Bug, and in a lot of ways, I don't. But I can't picture my life without him now, and I'm completely cool with the fact that he has invade the bulk of the me time. I know that before long, he won't want anything to do with me, and so I'm cherishing these moments while I have them.
Also, don't tell new moms to sleep when the baby sleeps (thanks for this one, Emilie!). It's the biggest load of BS. In the beginning, baby sleeps like, what, 16 hours a day? So if I'm sleeping when he's sleeping, when am I going to shower? Take a sanity break? Definitely sleep when you can, but make sure to make some moments for yourself. Giving birth is an intense experience, and it takes a toll on your body.

And finally, I want to share this simply because it affected me rather greatly. And I really want to drive the point home here, so let me be as clear as I possibly can be:

IF A COUPLE DOESN'T HAVE CHILDREN RIGHT AWAY, IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE HAVING PROBLEMS CONCEIVING.

I say this because Jon and I had been married for about four years when we announced to the world that we had a baby on the way, and we had been getting a fair amount of comments for the previous two about when we were having kids, whether or not we were having trouble producing them, etc. And it was really, really hurtful. First off, we were way too poor to even consider having children in the beginning, as we got married fresh out of college and were living in an expensive area on not great of salaries. Secondly, we weren't sure if we could have kids. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, when the pregnancy test said "Pregnant" I fell off the toilet in shock.

Now I'm being asked when we're going for Number Two, because apparently the only thing that matters is whether or not I'm popping out more spawn. The answer is I don't know. I love my son, but he's a handful, and before I can even think about having another baby he needs to at the very least be walking.

Well, that's my rant for the day. Tune in for the next etiquette lesson, which is "Things NOT to Say to a New Mother."

Monday, March 28, 2011

"But why would I sleep, Mommy?"

I love my child, I love my child, I love my child.

BUT.

These past couple nights have been ROUGH.

So, on Saturday night, Bug went to bed at his usual time, which is 6 pm. He woke up an hour later screaming bloody murder. And I do mean bloody murder. I don't know if he had a nightmare, or what, but this was a completely distressed cry.

So, Jon and I went and got him, and we tried to get him back down, and we almost succeeded, when he went and pooped himself (Someday, I will write a blog post that doesn't involve feces in some fashion. I promise). And after Jon had begrudgingly changed his diaper, Bug suddenly lost interest in sleeping.

Now it's 9 pm. We've been dealing with this child for two straight hours now in which we were supposed to be having grown up time. Neither of us is very happy at the moment.

So Bug winds up in our bed, but he doesn't want to lay down with us. No, he wants to stand up and reach for the window blinds.

The following discussion ensues:

Jon: I say we throw him in his crib and turn the monitor off.
Me: We're not doing that.
Jon: Well, what do you propose we do?
Me: He's got to go to sleep at some point.

So Jon, in a lack of display of camaraderie, went to go sleep in the nice, cozy, baby-less study. And left me to deal with Psychobaby.

The following discussion then ensued:

Me: Bug, you're going to sleep.
Bug: Gum?
Me: NO! NO GUM! SLEEP!
Bug: Haha GUM. (Gum is his new favorite word. We don't know what it means)
Me: Bug ::wails:: Don't you love Mommy?
Bug: Yeah!
Me: So...sleep?
Bug: ::very solemnly:: Gum.

Anyway, he eventually went to sleep, and so did I, but AAARRRRGGGGHHHH. Somehow, someway, this has got to stop.

He's asleep now, for which I am supremely thankful. If only he would do this at night. For oh, say, twelve hours straight. And another hour in the afternoon.

Wishful thinking? Probably.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weight Loss Update #3

Well, I gained a pound back this week.

::hangs head in shame::

But, I had a very stressful week, and even though I tried my best, sometimes being stressed takes its toll on your body. So, I'm not going to worry about it, and press on, knowing I will do better this week.

Total weight loss: 5.4 pounds

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can't I Just Get Him Dentures?

When Bug was four months old, we went for his pediatrician visit and the doctor gave me a handout on teething.

It contained the following phrase: "Teething is not painful."

I thought the biggest lie I had ever been told about babies was that they will stop eating when they're full. But this? Teething is not painful? PUH-LEASE!

By his first birthday, Bug had 8 teeth through the gumline. He actually didn't get any teeth until he was 9 months, and ever since then they've just been coming, and coming, and coming. This morning, I was massaging his gums for him and I made a startling discovery: he now has his two top molars through the gumline. And the bottom two are just below the surface.

No wonder he's been such a crank. He seriously is one unhappy child at the moment. And I feel horrible, because since he's been in such a foul mood I've been fairly short-tempered with him. Last night we had a pretty intense thunderstorm which woke him up and I wound up letting him sleep in our bed, because the night prior I hadn't slept well, and I need some rest. Like whoa.

Not a lot seems to help him, unfortunately. He's content to gnaw on Sophie the giraffe (or anything else, really), but he still winds up crying and I feel awful. I am contemplating trying the amber necklaces everyone keeps mentioning to me, but I am just not sure about that one.

Today's fairly gloomy, too. I hope the sun comes out so we can get out of the house!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

HEMP WORKS! Part II

I realized I left out some essential information in my post yesterday. I think it was due to my excitement over my little boy sleeping in his bed ALL NIGHT LONG and having him not pee himself.

Plus I had been up since 5:30. Such a martyr, Amanda.

So, a couple notes about the hemp inserts. I got the size Large, as my son is a copious wetter. I also put them in a sized Fuzzi Bunz. Bug wears the larges in those, too! I hope he doesn't outgrow them ::gulp::

I bought three of them. I think I will probably buy three more. Last night I put one hemp insert in along with one regular Fuzzi Bunz insert, and there was no leakage, but I want to err on the side of caution and put two in. Also, the hemp inserts take a really long time to air dry. I did diaper laundry yesterday morning and this morning when I checked my drying rack, they still weren't completely dry. I may wind up tossing them in the dryer to expedite the drying process if they aren't ready for tonight.

I haven't been blogging regularly lately, and I will try and get better about that, but I have a lot going on, personally and in my writing life. But don't worry. I know everyone wants to hear about my crazy adventures with Bug. He's 13 months old today!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

HEMP WORKS!

I am not a morning person. I never have been. But I've always been surrounded by morning people. My father, who used to drive me to the bus stop at the ungodly hour of 6:00 am, was a morning person. My husband is a morning person.

And now, it seems, I have been blessed with a son who wakes up with a gigantic smile on his face--which is fine, except when he wakes up at 5:30 am, like he did today.

We are listening to 80s music in the hopes that I can wake up. We just heard "The Heat of the Moment" by Asia and have moved onto "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol.

...but, as I just remembered, my laments about my lack of sleep are not the reason why I am posting today!

So, last night Jon couldn't find Bug's disposables, so I suggested that we bust out the hemp inserts that I mentioned about a month ago and see how they worked.

Bug slept from 7 pm to 5:30 am in them, with NO LEAKS!

::considers doing a jig::

::thinks better of it::

I got my hemp inserts from Kelly's Closet. They are the Joey Bunz Babykicks Hemp Inserts. I had to use two, but they kept Bug dry all night long. WOOT!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weight Loss Update #2

I have lost five pounds!

Yay!

I am doing this early because this weekend is going to be PSYCHOTIC.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh right, I have a spouse

Jon and I have been married for almost six years, which is just crazy to me. It seems like just yesterday he and I had just started a friendship in college, which had seemed unlikely at the time, as I thought Jon was a huge jerk the first time I met him.

In fact, as this is a good story, I think I'll share it.

So, my second semester of my freshman year of college, I was taking a Spanish class with a friend of mine from high school. Jon was sitting behind me, and I heard him make a remark which, although I can't remember exactly what it was, basically made me feel like he was a huge misogynist and it offended my delicate nineteen year old sensibilities. I was so annoyed by it, in fact, that after class, I stomped all the way from Anderson Hall to my dorm at Beaty Towers East (Go Gators! FLORIDA REPRESENT), only to find that the elevators were out (yet again. I was in fantastic shape my freshman year thanks to those elevators). So, I stormed up the eight flights of stairs to my dorm room, threw down my backpack in disgust, and flopped into my chair.

"What is wrong with you?" my roommate asked.

I sighed dramatically. "Ugh! There's this guy in my Spanish class, and he is such a jerk. He's the kind of guy I could never date!"

Life is funny, huh? As it turned out, Jon wasn't all that bad, and he and I became good friends. But, he had a girlfriend and I kind of hated the male half of the species at the time, so things didn't look good for us. However, one thing led to another, and he and I started dating the summer before our junior year, and we got married in July of 2005. I love Jon very much, and he is an amazing husband and father. How much he loves our little boy is one of my favorite things about him.

Anyway, the point of this is that having a kid can take a toll on your marriage, and it's important to nurture your relationship with your significant other. Jon and I went through some tough times at the beginning of Bug's life--since he was early we were thrown slightly off guard, and we didn't always handle the changes to our lives with grace. Luckily, we found better ways to communicate, and things have gone a lot smoother since. I have been thinking about this issue recently because he and I have been through a bit of a rough patch lately, but we got through it and our marriage is stronger than ever. So I wanted to share an article that I really liked today, and I hope you enjoy!

Why You Should Speak Well Of Your Spouse
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Can Somebody Explain to Me...


...why naptime has become such an anathema?

Over to your right, you will see a picture of Bug, taken around 8 in the morning. This is when he is at his best. (You can tell this is an old picture because Bug is toothless in it. This picture was taken on his 9 month birthday. But I needed an image that really captured the amount of joy he expresses in the morning).

He typically wakes up between 6:20-7:30. He awakens with a gigantic grin on his face and immediately tries to get into things. I have the happiest baby on the block...

...until naptime rolls around.

That's when this sweet, lovable, adorable child goes away.

I don't really have an image of Bug having a meltdown, although let me just say, it sort of disturbs me when my friends on Facebook put pictures of their crying children up as their profile pictures. WHY? WHY DO YOU DO THIS? Do you think your child appreciates having pictures of them sobbing up on your Facebook? Why is what is clearly upsetting them funny to you?

But I digress. I know, totally unlike me.

The point, though, is once naptime rolls around, Bug (who is clearly tired, and has red eyes, and is yawning and can barely keep said red eyes open) turns into a Kung Fu Fighter and resists my attempts to peacefully get him to go to sleep. And I just don't understand why! Dude, if I had two scheduled naps every day, can you imagine how much happier I would be? I would get absolutely nothing done, but I would be ridiculously well rested.

Anyway, our routine, up until a few weeks ago, was go down for a nap between 9-10, and then again between 1-2. And it worked really well. Bug would get up between six and seven and then go down for the night around 6 pm. I thought that maybe he was trying to move down to one nap, but he's so tired that he clearly needs it. So if you're wondering what I do, well, I give him a small snack and a cup of milk, and then I take him upstairs to his room and change his diaper and put him in naptime clothing. Then I would normally rock him for a couple minutes to help him get groggy, and then I would lay him down in his crib and rub his head and belly until he fell asleep.

I mean, it doesn't get much better than that.

But now, there are always tears. There is always a struggle. Some days I wind up rocking him to sleep, just so I can be sure that he will rest and I can take a shower. But the worst part is, some days I can only get him to take his MORNING nap.

You can imagine how frazzled I am by the time Jon gets home if that's all he's done.

I tried moving him to one nap a day, but if I put him down at, say, eleven, he will only sleep for maybe an hour and a half, and that's it. And he needs more rest. But he fights it so hard, and I simply do not understand.

GAAHHHH! Okay, well he is currently napping at the moment, so I should probably get dressed and enjoy the time that I do have, since I don't know what the rest of the day has in store.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weight Loss Update

Every Saturday I will be posting my weight loss updates. This is to hold me accountable so I actually stick to program, and so I can share with you that baby weight loss is possible as a very busy, psychotic mother.

Like I may have mentioned, I have done Weight Watchers before, and I had a lot of success with it--around the range of losing 45 pounds. So I have really buckled down and am going to lose this baby weight, darn it!

This week I lost 3.2 pounds!

Amount left to get to pre-pregnancy weight: 10 pounds

Amount to goal weight: 27 pounds

Let's do it, woman!

Friday, March 11, 2011

But just in case...

So, as I have previously mentioned, I cloth diaper Bug. And I totally love it, wouldn't change it, am thrilled that it works as well as it does. It's also done with pretty much no inconvenience to me--I do so much laundry anyway that an extra load every other day doesn't really faze me.

But that doesn't mean I don't keep a stash of disposable diapers on hand.

First off, we still have Bug in a disposable at night. I bought some hemp inserts to try at night but you have to wash them 6-10 times to get them to their full absorbency and I'm still doing that!

So aside from nighttime, why do I keep the dreaded "sposies" around?

Well, it's really quite simple. Sometimes you just need them.

If the power were to go out, or we were to have water issues, disposables are rather necessary. And with the crazy weather we've been having lately (first it's nice, then it's cold, then there's a monsoon, and then there's snow!), it never hurts to have an emergency stash.

Secondly, when we travel, we do not cloth diaper Bug. He spends his days out of the diaper as much as possible, and when he's in it, a fair amount of ointment slapped on his bottom to prevent rash. I actually have found a brand of diaper that doesn't irritate him like the other kinds did--Huggies Pure and Natural--so if we go somewhere for a few days, that's what we do.

I know that there are other moms who make it work with travel, but I can't figure it out. I have a small SUV, and cloth is bulky, so if we go away to somewhere like Virginia Beach, I may not have room for my diapers. And washing them! Where am I going to do that?

And then, there are mornings like today. I'm not going to lie, I feel like a bit of a slacker--but we've had a rough week and I'm trying to get laundry done and--oh, enough excuses, Amanda. Bug was making poop faces, and I was changing his diaper because he had just peed, so I put him in a disposable. Five minutes later, that thing was out--and it was a doozy--and it was sort of nice to just throw it in the trash:)

On that note, I will just admit I can't have a conversation without it leading back to poop. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Forward facing, rear facing...

Bug has been in a convertible car seat since he was 5 months old, because, like everyone else in my family, he's tall. He outgrew his infant seat at 5 months, and we moved him to a Graco MyRide 65.

As you can see, he's still rear-facing.

A few of my mom friends and I were talking about this the other day, as most of us have children who have already turned one, or are near that exciting milestone. They were all saying how excited they were to turn the car seat around so that their child would be forward facing. I heard a lot of comments on how their kids don't like being rear facing, how much more convenient it is, and while I understood what they said, it doesn't change how I feel one bit.

That kid is going to be rear-facing until he positively doesn't fit that way.

There is, apparently, a HUGE difference between forward and rear facing. I had no idea. I knew that there were some moms who were extremely passionate about extended rear facing (keeping their babies rear facing past the minimum requirements of one year and twenty pounds), but I had absolutely no idea why.

So, if you're like me and don't know, here's why.

Apparently, there are SIGNIFICANT benefits for extended rear facing. If you're in a car crash, the most significant injuries (assuming you're in a harnessed seat) are always to the head and neck. I have mercifully only been in one accident (which, by the way, wasn't my fault--my brakes failed and I tapped the guy in front of me), and I had a lot of inflammation in my neck--and my car was barely going ten miles an hour when I hit the guy! The chiropractor had to work on me that day. And my head is only about 6% of my body mass.

Well, for a baby/toddler, the head accounts for about 25% of their body mass. So in the event of a car accident, the baby can sustain all sorts of injury to their head and neck, including stretching, stressing, or even--and this is horrible--breaking the spinal cord. This is apparently because, especially in a forward facing seat, the child's head is thrown forward while the rest of his body is restrained. This can cause permanent damage--or even death.

However, in a rear-facing seat, the head, neck, and spine are all kept in alignment, and the child will receive little to no stress to the head or neck, especially in a front or side impact crash. The head is also way less likely to come in contact with debris or any other flying objects that may cause injury.

My pediatrician's current recommendation is to keep Bug rear-facing until age two. I am hopeful we'll be able to do that--his car seat rear-faces up until 40 pounds. While he weighs somewhere around 27 now, growth apparently slows between ages 1-2 so I hope that he will make it to two. Otherwise, it will be until he reaches the maximum height and weight requirements!

Researching this reminded me of when I was pregnant and we took Bug's baby seat to get inspected. In Virginia, the local police stations offer free car seat checks. They will make sure that you have installed the seat correctly, and if you haven't, they will fix it for you. There is actually a website called Seatcheck.org where you can go to find a car seat inspection station near you. While we were there, we were lectured on making sure that everything in the car was properly restrained while driving. I have an SUV, and I use a net to cover groceries or my stroller or any other objects that could potentially fly over the seat in a crash.

So, that's what I learned about extended rear facing. For more information, be sure to check out www.cpsafety.com.

New Logo!

Do you like it?:)

My friend Chad, who is a writer, doodler, and all around fun (yet crazy) person, designed it. He was rather captivated by my story about Bug eating foil. He actually had me write a post for his blog about it, AND it even inspired him to make me a logo for my website.

My first response was, "Bug looks like the Brain."

His reply? "That's the idea, Pinky." (Okay he didn't actually say that. But he should have.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To cut or not to cut?

The other night I was talking to my pal Chad (who, incidentally, I am writing a book with--but more on that later) and we were talking about when I found out that I was having a boy.

I had had my suspicions. First off, this kid was totally into Poison and David Bowie while in utero. When I first found out I was pregnant I totally thought I was having a girl, but when I was about six weeks along I thought to myself, "No, it's totally a boy." And even though everyone kept telling me I was having a girl, I was stubborn and thought, "No, it's a boy."

And let's just say when we saw the ultrasound, any doubt as to Bug's gender flew out the window:)

As it turns out, the day I found out I was having a boy was the day that I found out I was completely against having him circumcised. I was a little nervous about this sentiment, because my husband had previously mentioned that he wanted to get him cut if we were having a boy. So, I wasn't sure how to broach the subject--but luckily I didn't have to.

When Jon and I got home from the ultrasound, after telling everyone to go out and buy blue, we sat down on our couch and he sighed and said, "I guess we'll have to think about getting him circumcised."

Tentatively, I said, "Well...we don't have to, you know. How about this? I'll do some research and we'll draw up a list of pros and cons and we'll go from there." Jon agreed, and, as I did with everything else in my pregnancy, I extensively researched circumcision.

Now, before I begin this, I am not trying to attack anyone who did circumcise their child. I understand there are family pressures to do so in some cases, and there are all sorts of factors involved in this decision. This isn't one of those posts (and I have seen them) which proclaim, "If you cut your baby, you are the worst parent ever!" Remember, I'm already the worst parent ever for failing at breastfeeding. I'm not judging:)

But, I get asked a lot why I didn't circumcise Bug. So here's why.

1. First off, circumcision is no longer considered a "necessary" procedure. It is considered a "cosmetic" procedure. Most insurance no longer covers it, and I think especially with the passage of the health care bill, it will turn out that all insurances will no longer cover it. So, for me, I said to myself, "Okay, so it's clearly unnecessary surgery. Strike one."

2. Dr. Sears has the following opinion of circumcision: "Do not circumcise your baby because you think there are some medical benefits. A recent review by the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at all the data from the past decades to see if there truly were any medical benefits. Their conclusion - NO. There are no significant medical benefits that make circumcision worth doing." Previously, circumcision was thought to have the following benefits:

A. Cleanliness. Supposedly circumcised penises are cleaner. That's not true. It's very easy to clean an intact penis. All ya gotta do is rinse it.

B. Prevention against penile cancer. The American Cancer Society has spoken against this, saying it doesn't really prevent it. In fact, you can get cancer in the circumcision scars!

C. Decreased risk of STDs. Sadly, this isn't true. So even if you are circumcised, keep it in your pants.

Okay, a well-respected doctor is against circumcision. Strike two.

3. "You should circumcise your kid because otherwise he'll be made fun of!" Really? I heard this a lot. But who is going to mock my kid? And why are they staring at his penis? He's already almost three feet tall. AT A YEAR. Secondly, according to current statistics, only 33% of boys were circumcised in 2009. So the number of circumcised kids is falling, not rising. Strike 3.

4. "Well, the Bible says..." Try again. While their food is amazing, I am not Jewish. So, I looked at the New Testament. And the Apostle Paul actually speaks out against circumcision in Galatians:

"Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you be circumcised, Christ will be of no advantage to you." -Gal 5:2

And again: "And even those who advocate circumcision don’t really keep the whole law. They only want you to be circumcised so they can brag about it and claim you as their disciples." – Gal 6:13

Then in Titus: "For there are many who rebel against right teaching; they engage in useless talk and deceive people. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. They must be silenced. By their wrong teaching, they have already turned whole families away from the truth. Such teachers only want your money" – Titus 1:10-11

And if there was any other doubt...

"Watch out for those wicked men – dangerous dogs, I call them – who say you must be circumcised. Beware of the evil doers. Beware of the mutilation. For it isn’t the cutting of our bodies that makes us children of God; it is worshiping him with our spirits." – Phil 3:2-3

Okay. So the Bible doesn't actually say I should cut his penis. How many strikes are we up to?

5. The reason that was the kicker, though, is the infant mortality rate from circumcision. In 2009, according to the talk show The Doctors, 266 baby boys died from circumcision. Sometimes it was because they were botched. It's a small area, after all, so it's easy to do. According to DrMomma.org, somewhere around 174 boys die every year.

Yup. I was done. Explained my position to Jon. He agreed with me something that I feel took a lot of cajones, especially since he himself is circumcised. We left Bug alone, and I am really happy that we did.

I feel that any decision involving your kid deserves research, especially one like this. So, take in my info if you like, and decide what you will. I am going to bed, because I have a one year old and a messed up foot to deal with in the morning:)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Illness

I don't feel well. My throat hurts and my foot, which I twisted last week, is still in a fair amount of pain. Plus, it's gloomy outside, so I really don't have much interest in doing anything.

So I left Bug with his dad and am laying in bed with my laptop. I feel that this is a good thing:)

Bug's not really doing too well either. He's had a runny nose for the past couple days, and I'm not sure if he's got something going on or if it's just his teeth or a combination of both. But hey, it's an excuse to be lazy, and to tell you the truth, I need it.

The past two weeks have been an absolute blur. It was so crazy getting everything ready for Bug's party and then last week I was busy pretty much every single day. Plus, I've taken on a new writing project with my friend Chad which I am REALLY excited about. But in between that, and taking care of an almost toddler, and trying to maintain my house in some semblance of cleanliness, AND trying to do playdates, Bible Study, and oh right, cook dinner, I've been running myself a little ragged.

So it really doesn't surprise me that I'm not feeling too great right now.

As a mom, it's hard to be sick. I've been fortunate to have only had two bouts where I've been really ill since Bug was born, and even though I feel kind of bleh today, I can still carry on. But I have also decided to go back on Weight Watchers to help with my health. So here goes! Today is my first day and I will get back to pre-baby weight. I have to, dude--my high school reunion is in July!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Less Cranky Post

Sorry I got a little emotional with my last post. I got so fired up, in fact, that I promised you all five pet peeves and I only made it to three! Yes, that's it! The Mommy Brain didn't kick in AT ALL.

Well hey, at least I can laugh at myself, right?

Things have been kind of crazy this past week. Bug's birthday party on Saturday has sent my house into a fine state of disarray. The thing is, the downstairs is now perfectly babyproofed and I am kind of content to just let it sit and let my child crawl around happily. But I have started spring cleaning, starting with my laundry room, which was by far the scariest room in the house.

I mean it. Even scarier than the man cave--I mean, "office."

I wanted to talk today about discipline because I am a firm believer in it, but I am also one of those hippies who doesn't really believe in spanking your child. Sorry.

My parents spanked me three times in my life. Three. That's it. I remember all of them vividly. I remember what I did to provoke them (although one time was actually undeserved, and when my mother realized it later, she apologized to me, and I was never spanked again). But I was never beaten. And I had friends who were beaten. My own husband was spanked with a belt, which I personally find appalling. As for me, yes I was spanked, and yes it stung, but it wasn't child abuse. Not like I've seen.

Maybe I will encounter a situation in which I change my mind. I'm not going to sit here and say, "I will never," because frequently, that statement makes you look foolish. I will say this, however: I don't intend to spank Bug.

My husband and I seem to differ on this, and I hope we will reach a more amicable decision in the future. He asked me what we would do if Bug hit me. "Oh right," I said, in my sweetest, non-sarcastic voice. "So we teach him not to hit with hitting?"

Hm. Maybe I was a little sarcastic there:) But we do agree that spanking should NEVER be the first course of action.

Bug and I attended a Read Across America event today with our Mommy group, and one of my friends commented that I was a strong disciplinarian with Bug. And I am. He's an enchanting child, but I used to be one of those. I know what he will try to get away with. This is a kid who, when I tell him no, shoots me that killer smile of his.
Yes, THAT smile. And that's why I know I have to be very stern with him at times.

That's not to say that we don't spend the bulk of our day cuddling, laughing, giggling, reading, and having as much fun as humanly possible. But Bug is at the age now where he has a lot of frustrations, such as teething and being unable to verbalize exactly how he feels. He's also curious about the world and is learning boundaries, and it's my job as his mom to teach him the boundaries.

Does he like that? A lot of the time, no. Does he cry when I tell him no, redirect him, or just plain old not let him do something?

You betcha.

Right now, the best discipline I can give him is positive discipline. Praising everything he does well. Guiding him when he does something wrong. Am I perfect? No! Have I raised my voice to my child? More than once. And I'm not proud of it. But every time I have done that, I have apologized and immediately comforted him (Bug does not like upset Mommy). And he's learning.

So that's really all I can ask for.