Two articles – Breastfeeding and Epidurals

Here are two totally unrelated articles, but both seem worth sharing. It’s been a while since I shared much in the birth or breastfeeding realm, so here ya go. :)

The first is about breastfeeding and feminism and covers such topics as:
-Scant support for breastfeeding in the medical community
-Low U.S. breastfeeding rates
-Human milk and long-term human health
-History of infant feeding practices in the United States
-La Leche League steps in
-Formula companies convince HHS and AAP to alter breastfeeding campaign
-The question of guilt
-What feminists can do

It’s a very long article, but contains a lot of good information. I’d love to see feminists take on the breastfeeding cause for the numerous benefits it would have for both mothers and babies.
What Feminists Can Do for Breastfeeding and What Breastfeeding Can Do for Feminists

This second article is a story aired on Dateline on Sunday about how a routine epidural turned deadly for a new mom. It is scary that something like this could happen and that the medical community seemed to ignore all the signs that something was wrong with this poor woman until it was too late.

I know that serious complications such as death are very rare with epidurals (though epidurals are not without risks), but it certainly strengthens my resolve to avoid one if at all possible. It’s interesting because two of my friends who just had the VBACs ended up having epidurals in order to avoid repeat c-sections and it made me start to think, “well, maybe I could have an epidural too if I really wanted it.” I know there are situations where it is beneficial to have an epidural, but it still bothers me that they are so widely accepted as the norm and routine procedure in the U.S.

After reading such statistics as “— Infections contracted in hospitals are the fourth largest killer in the United States, causing as many deaths as AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.
— One out of every 20 hospital patients gets an infection. That’s 2 million Americans a year, and an estimated 103,000 of them die.”, this story also makes me wonder if a hospital birth is really the best option for me. Decisions, decisions.
A routine epidural turns deadly

The audacity of those critters, party planning and more

Mice have returned to our garage. What are they thinking? Don’t they know we had to kill all of their friends? :oP Ugh. Jody went out the day after discovering them and bought more of the poison food so hopefully they won’t last long or have the chance to reproduce as much as they did last time. They are such dirty critters. We’re going to leave the poison stuff out there on a regular basis now to hopefully deter a new crowd from repopulating the space every month or so.

We had a really hot weekend here and it doesn’t look like we’ll see a break anytime this week either. It’s in the 90s outside and feels almost as hot (since we don’t have A/C) inside.

These past few days have been really good productivity-wise for us, despite the high temps. Jody got a bunch of things (yard stuff) done this weekend that were on our “list” and I got more stuff (cleaning up the house) taken care of today.

My parents and sister will be here in a little over two weeks to celebrate Ava’s 2nd birthday with us, so we’re trying to get the house in order, plus prepare for Ava’s party.

I got the party invitations printed this weekend, but still need to do a little more work on them because I’m not happy with part of how they turned out. I also need to draw up a map with directions to the park we’ll be having the party at. I decided to go with a low-key Sesame Street theme. I figure I’ll have some Sesame Street stuff on the invitations, I’ll buy a few Sesame Street accent items – like napkins and goody bags – and then some Sesame Street helium balloons. I’m not really keen on commercializing her birthday as it is (not to mention how expensive all that stuff can get), so I’m trying to just add some accents and otherwise just have lots of primary colored stuff. But I figure Sesame Street is one thing that she really, really likes, and it’s her birthday, so I think this will be fun. :)

(By the way, if your kids are into Sesame Street, I discovered today that there are coloring book pages you can print, games, music, and other fun activities online at Sesame Workshop. That image above is something I made using pictures from the site that I will incorporate into Ava’s invitations.)

We’re not inviting as many people this year as we did last year, so I’m also planning on serving more food – brunch and then cake or cupcakes. I just need to get started making the mini quiches and breads and freezing them now so I don’t have to bust my butt the day or two before the party.

Ava got her first pair of Crocs this weekend. They are bright pink just like mommy’s, but they look so much cuter on her feet than mine do on mine. ;) She loves them and I figure they are great shoes for her to wear this summer.

Oh, I got to meet my friend Brandy’s new baby Trajan this weekend. :) He’s a little doll. (It turns out he was 8 lbs., 10 oz. at birth after all – not 9 lbs., 10 oz., but either way, she’s still my hero.) I forgot how squirmy newborns can be though and I felt all awkward holding him. Ava was very sweet with him – touching his hair and his ear and foot softly. She’s a nurturer and I think she’ll slip into the big sister roll with ease.

Hope you all have a nice week and find ways to beat the heat if you are having record highs too!

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that we had a power outage on Sunday. It fried the power supply in my computer (and I was so scared it had damaged much more because you could smell something had burned in the computer), so we had to drop $60 to buy a new one. Jody installed it Sunday night and everything was fine on the computer. What a relief!! I need to get my butt in gear and backup all of my photos and other things that are important to me before I end up losing it all. Gulp.

16 weeks today :)

16 weeks pregnant today! I’m feeling great! I don’t really have a need to nap every day like I did during the first trimester, which is great because I can get caught up on other things (like proofing pics) that I didn’t have time for before.

I’ve scheduled my ultrasound for when I’ll be 19 weeks. Only 3 weeks away! It’s crazy how fast this pregnancy is going.

With Ava, I felt like she was a girl and it was no surprise to me when the ultrasound tech announced that she was. With this baby, I’m really not sure. Part of me wants to say it’s a boy just because this pregnancy feels so different from my last. But I also know from a few friends who thought they were having the opposite gender of their first baby because their pregnancies were so different and ended up having the same gender both times, that that doesn’t always mean a darn thing. The other part of me just feels like it’s another girl. I guess we will hopefully (if baby cooperates) find out in a few more weeks.

Jody and I have been talking a lot about names lately. I think we have tentative names picked out for both a boy and a girl, but those will be kept under wraps until baby arrives. :)

Ava and I just took a mile and a half walk (each way) to that park/lake we picnicked at this weekend. I’m going to try to do that walk with her more regularly because I know the exercise would be good for me. We’ve done it once before as well. Just packed some PBJ sandwiches, fruit and water and made an afternoon of it.

I’ll leave you with a few belly pics from this pregnancy. I haven’t been nearly as good about taking them this time around, but you can still see a big difference from 7 weeks to 15 weeks (taken last week).

And one of me and Ava (showing off her baby belly too):