Friday, September 10, 2010

Not Your Mother's Nursing Bra

I recently discovered (thanks to Moms Milk Boutique) HOTmilk nursing bras. They are functional but gorgeous. And best of all, they come in large cup sizes. I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for almost 3 years now and I am so happy to find sexy bras that are comfortable for nursing mothers to use. Moms Milk Boutique is currently having a giveaway. Go here to enter.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Keeping the Future Generation Informed

I just realized that I'm raising an activist.

It's not intentional but everyone knows how vocal I am about my views. When I think that something is wrong I speak up about it.

This morning Walter said we should go to Venice Beach. There's going to be a topless protest over the fact that men can be topless but women can't. That was all it took to get me started. Men have nipples. If the argument is breast size then I see plenty of men that have large breasts, and there are many women with very small breasts. Personally, I don't want to walk around topless; I'm not that comfortable with my after baby belly. But if a women wants to go topless she should have the right. Any law that punishes a woman for something that a man is allowed to do is sexist and should be unconstitutional. I say "should be" because the Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified. You would assume that in 2010 women's right would be constitutionally protected.

Sorry. This is what tends to happen when one of the topics I'm passionate about gets brought up.

Not that women's rights is the only one that gets me going. The recent instances of religious discrimination also get me heated up. A friend asked me why I had written about how a person's religious views don't dictate whether or not they're a good person. Instead of explaining again I'll just include what I told her.
"I was reading an article on the Islamic cultural center that's going to be built in lower Manhattan, the one that people are calling the 'Ground Zero Mosque'. There's a Christian church that's organizing a Qu'ran burning and saying Muslims are the devil. It's disgusting how so many people are prejudiced against different religions. The vast majority of politicians are various denominations of Christian and plenty of them have their share (and more) of faults. Yet people talk as if Christians haven't done horrible things too. Just because a fraction of a percentage of Muslims are terrorists doesn't mean they all are. Now I'm hearing how Obama supports the "Mosque" when actually what he said was that they have the right to build it, but he won't comment on whether or not he believes they should. Being raised in a Jewish family (on Larry's side) it's frustrating to see my own country so openly discriminating against an entire religion. People have been committing attacks on Muslims and Islamic centers around the country all the while saying that Islam is a religion of violence and that they (the Christian attackers) are peaceful people."

Then there's breastfeeding rights, gay rights, reproductive rights, the war, the American prison system, healthcare (and our lack of a single payer system such as in England and France), a pathetic paid maternity leave system (we have one of the worst in the world), a high rate of maternal and newborn injury and death, 1 in 3 women are having c-sections, physicians ignoring pregnant patient's right to informed refusal, and on.

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Modest" vs "Discreet"

The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones, and Missteps: The Semantics of Breastfeeding: Why "Discreet" and "Nursing" Don't Belong in the Same Sentence

This is a wonderful post I just found. It's part of the Nursing In Public Carnival and she wonderfully reiterated everything I've said time and time again when the issue of discreetly nursing is brought up.
There is a vast difference between being modest and being discreet. I am modest when I breastfeed in public. I don't use a nursing cover (I don't want to eat under a cover, why should my child have to?) but I keep what doesn't have to be accessible covered up. But I will not be discreet; I won't go hide in the bathroom or in the car to nurse simply because some ppl are uncomfortable seeing breasts used to feed children.
It's appalling that people find it acceptable to tell a nursing mother to go elsewhere because they don't want to see her nurse. Some people are made uncomfortable by same sex couples, mixed race couples, people of other sizes or ethnicities. But no one tells them to leave because they are making them uncomfortable. So why is it that in our society people think it's ok to harass a mother for feeding her child because they are uncomfortable with it?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Birth Story

I was going to an ob clinic who was pressuring me to get a c-section because of the huge baby I was going to have. When I said no they made me sign papers saying that I understood all the dangers of vaginal delivery. They then told me I needed to schedule an induction for 39 weeks. When I brought in my birth plan the ob yelled at me. He said I might as well have a homebirth and that if I came in while he was on duty at the hospital he wouldn't deliver my son. He yelled at me because I wanted to be able to walk around, eat and drink, I didn't want Pitocin, and I wanted a saline lock instead of an IV. He left the room and walked across the hall the the office, loudly complained to one of the other doctors, then came back to yell at me more.

I left (in tears) and went straight to a midwife. I went into labor a few days before my due date. I was having contractions 4-5 minutes apart from the beginning but they were painless. My water broke the next morning at 7am. I kept moving around, walking and sitting on my birth ball. At 3:30 I went to The Birth Center and one of the midwives said I was 2 cm. The head midwife came in around 4-4:30 and checked me again. She also and stripped my membranes and stretched me from 2cm to 4cm, without asking if this was ok first. It hurt!

After that contractions were one on top of the other and unbearable. She then hooked me up to an electric breastpump; I'm not sure why since my contractions were plenty strong. All it did was make my nipples hurt so bad that I cried. This was all too much when I wanted quiet and relaxing so we decided to go home. I went home but all I could do was try to catch my breath. Contractions continued one after another with only enough time in between to take a breath. At 8 I decided I couldn't take it anymore. The midwife said it might be transition so I went back to see her and she checked me again; I was still 4cm. I went to a hospital and asked for an epidural.

The nurse said everyone had to leave while she asked me some questions. since my birth plan was to be in a birthing center and here I was in the hospital very little of my birth plan applied to my new situation. But I made sure to make sure the nurse knew the important points: immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeeding, don't wash him off before you give him to me, and no Pitocin. Then when she was done she gave me a narcotic because the anesthesiologist wasn't going to be able to see me for a while. It knocked me out, but that was all it did. Unfortunately I woke up every time I had a contraction. Walter walked in while I was passed out but he was sitting behind me (I was laying on my side) so I didn't know. I only remember waking up in intense pain, crying and thinking I was alone. It seemed to go on like that forever but I know it was only about 3 hours.

When the anesthesiologist finally came in it was around midnight. Being in the hospital and having an epidural was the last thing I wanted but at that point I was so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted that I was grateful. I got the epidural and was finally able to rest. I'd wake up when the nurse came to check how dilated I was and then fall back to sleep. After I had slept for about 3 hours I felt better and sat up to talk with Walter and my mom. The nurse came in and she mentioned that my contraction slowed down a little so she gave me some Pitocin while I was sleeping. I couldn't believe it. She put it in my IV while I was sleeping so I couldn't refuse.

About 5am I started feeling this uncomfortable pressure in my hips so the nurse checked me. I was fully dilated. She had me start pushing but he didn't need much encouragement. Even when she said to stop pushing so she could get the doctor I could still feel him coming on his own. Thinking back now I wish I had've let him take the slow pace he was setting instead of pushing so hard when they told me to. The cord was wrapped around hid neck so Walter didn't get to cut the cord but Dorian was fine. I got a second degree tear from listening to the hospital staff telling me when to push. Despite my original doctor's office telling me I couldn't do it I pushed out a 9lb 10oz baby in under 20 minutes.

There are a few things that upset me about what happened during my labor. The first and, in my opinion, worst is definately my midwife deciding to help me along by stretching my cervix and then putting me on the electric breastpump. My body was going at it's own pace, I was working through the contractions, and everything was fine. But she broke the trust I had in her as a midwife to listen to watch and wait. That's why women go to midwives. If I wanted someone who thought my body didn't know what it was doing I would've stayed with the ob's I was seeing before. I found out too late that my trust was misplaced. I just want to share my experience to show others that just because you're going with a midwife doesn't mean she doesn't follow the ob model of care. Be careful.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Talk to Me After You Have Kids

Because I just LOVE it when a 20-something and childless woman critiques my parenting style. Or when people who can't keep a hamster alive or can't manage to clean up after themselves take it upon themselves to complain about how I'm raising my son.
He's a well-behaved, sensitive, and smart 17 month old. But apparently some people think that by asking him not to do something and explaining why we don't do it, insteading of jumping up and grabbing him away, I "don't do anything". To those barely out of high school but think they're all grown up out there, I have one thing to say: Come talk to me after you've had kids.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who I am

I'm mom to an adorable, smart, and active 17 month old son, Dorian, and wife to a great guy, Walter, who's working to become a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy. I've been a stay at home mom but am currently working on my Labor Doula Certification. I'm a feminist, lactivist, and vbactivist. I believe all women should be given all support they need to establish painless breastfeeding, without having formula and bottle feeding pushed on them. Don't get me wrong, if a mom chooses to formula feed I fully support her. But I hate hearing how someone couldn't breastfeed because they couldn't make milk and knowing that if they were given more help in the hospital and after they got home they (9 times out of 10) would've made more than enough milk. I also believe that a woman shouldn't be bullied or lied to to make her think she needs a c-section. It's disgusting that America has such a high maternal death rate. One thing we can do to lower this is to stop unnecessary and unwanted c-sections. Another is to make it easier for uninsured women to get prenatal care.

In high school I learned to crochet from my mom and when I was in college I taught myself for to knit. My love of knitting led to my love of spinning, which I've been doing for about a year now. Unfortunately my hubby tripped and smashed my ball winder so I haven't been able to spin for a couple months. Now that the weather has warmed up I'm attempting to weave a fishing creel.

We have a small garden that I hope to expand soon. Dorian loves eating peas and tomatoes fresh off of the plant. In a couple months our chickens will start giving us fresh eggs (they're only 3 weeks old now). For now they just give us free pest control in the yard and endless entertainment. I'll be posting our chinchillas up for sale as soon as I find my camera. They turned 5 weeks old yesterday so they'll be weaned in about a week.

That's all for now,