Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Different Way to Talk About Issues

I just do not understand how somebody gives up so easily without ever trying to take another step forward. Some hurdles one cannot get over without some kind of assist. Standing on the other side of the wall and complaining about it being too tall only to walk away from something beautiful on the other side is just plain lazy and giving into fear. Try to get past the obstacle, if the method one is using is ineffective then one should choose another tool. It is not in a Warrior's being to give up on a challenge.

One could say that change has happened on their part. Yes, change has happened and it is not a good feeling when it appears that the same effort to change has not been met by their counterparts. Even so, one cannot rely on the changes that one has made if they do not continue to progress one into the direction they would like to go. It bothers me when people say that they have done this and that, but what have you done? Instead, ask oneself what needs to be done. Do not just complain about the situation, offer solutions.

Solutions come from all kinds of places. It could be reading a book or some articles together. Following reading, the people involved should then discuss what they like or dislike about the material. Once that has been done then the parties could address what they would like to implement. I like consistency, so I appreciate when it is all written down. Everyone can see what is written and have involvement in making changes or defining what something means. Then to formalize it all an option is to create a contract. Everyone would know and understand what is expected and what would happen if those expectations were not met. I also believe that the contract should be revisited at least once a month. This meeting should be at a time and place that is accessible to all the parties involved. In smaller groups, this works so much better than something like a town meeting. It works especially well in a family, if people are all on board with the idea and are consistent with its implementation.

Involving people in the solutions is key to success. Giving others the power to resolve issues and offer solutions makes it so the feeling of helplessness is not a major factor in decision making. I take pleasure in honesty. When honesty hurts I cry, when I am upset I cry, but when I feel like I am involved and people are trying to come to a positive place then I may cry but I feel empowered. Empowerment means less anger, less frustration.

I implore you to look for tools before deciding a challenge is not worth taking. People can overcome many challenges, but what we most often fail at are challenges that will further our relationships with people we expect to "just get it right." If expecting is not doing it for you, then create something everyone can rely on, do not just give up on those people you once held dear in your heart.

As my dear friend recently reminded me of my favorite quote, "We must be the change we wish to see in this World. - Ghandi" I reflect on my personal mis-doings. I have hurt so many and little have I chosen a path that I know will be successful. When will I, when will you, be the change we want to see in this world. Take charge of your destiny. If you love someone, maybe the best thing is not to always let the bird fly free, maybe it is to create a more loving place for the bird to spend time with you.

I apologize for hurting others that I care about. I love you and I want to embrace your shortfalls next to mine.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Our Experience: Extended Breastfeeding and Healthcare Providers

Yesterday, DD2 had a high temperature and required a visit to the pediatrician. I realized that with all the information out there about breastfeeding many healthcare providers are still ignorant to the facts. How do we get that information to them? I worry that their discouraging words could scare women, with less support or knowledge, from breastfeeding. The last thing our sisterhood needs are women attacking eachother.

We went to the pediatrician, mostly to humor our pediatrician. She had previously told us that if DD2 ever had a high fever then we should come in because she has not had her immunizations. With the onset of a 102 degrees farenheit temperature, I called the doctor's office. Her regular pediatrician, who is not pushy but informative, was out of town. We were told to come in and see the other woman in the office. They "squeezed" us in. Squeezing us in actually meant sitting in the waiting room for 45 minutes, then sitting in the examination room for another 30+ minutes. With a fussy, tired, hot toddler not a horrible experience but definately not a great one. Luckily, I brought my breasts.

When the pediatrician came in, we were breastfeeding. DD2 was sitting on the examination table and I was standing in front of her breastfeeding in the upright position. DD2 stopped breastfeeding and I reclipped my nursing tank. The first thing the doctor asks is "Are you her mother?" I almost asked, would I be breastfeeding if I were not? Then I remembered that it could be possible that somebody has a wet-nurse who breastfeeds their toddler and takes them to the doctor with their older sibling, or maybe she did not notice the breastfeeding. It could happen, so I refrained from shooting an attitude in her direction and simply answered, "Yes." We went through the typical questions. When she asked if DD2 was getting enough fluids I answered that she had been drinking water and juice and was still breastfeeding, so I was pretty sure she was hydrated. She asked the then typical questions about the extent of breastfeeding. She was amazed that DD2 breastfed so often and through the night. Then like every other doctor or dentist she told me about tooth decay...I agreed (even though I know it is a case by case scenario) and showed her DD2's teeth. I told her we were working on night time weaning, but that it has been hard and that DD2 will cry for hours if I let her. She said, "Well that's weaning." I was starting to really not like this woman.  After the examination, DD2 was fairly upset about being undressed probed and redressed, so we breastfed. The doctor looked up from the charts and said "Wow, she is actually breastfeeding." Umm, what does that mean? Really, weird. I felt the doctor's discomfort at seeing us breastfeed. Then of course I got the talk about the risks of not immunizing and that we would need to have DD2's blood drawn and get a urine sample since there were no other factors such as a rash or vomiting. I reminded the doctor that DD2 has never been sick before (beyond a runny nose once last year). DD2 has never had antibiotics. She is a really healthy kid. After that "great and supportive" experience we went to the lab to get DD2's blood drawn. She was a complete champ, did not freak out or cry. Fearless Dad would have been extremely proud had he been there.

It struck me that this woman, with a degree in medicine, was clearly not educated on the normal aspects of raising a child. What is not normal is giving a child dead cows milk to replace living human milk. What is not normal is injecting a child with dead viruses, bacteria, and other stabilizers. These things weaken our children's natural ability to connect and live within the world around them. My breast milk is full of antibodies, easily consumed proteins, and changes to my child's needs. My breastmilk, does not have an acceptable amount of rat hair in it either.

The truth of the matter is, putting manufactured stuff into a devolping body is scary for me. I do not trust our standards in the USA for food and medicine. I have read about the horrible things that formula has caused in other countries less fortunate than the USA and seen how it sabotages breastfeeding relationships in the USA. I have read about the risks immediately after an innoculation and the risks years later. With the hype of new viruses and immunizations, I am continuously reminded that our government is funded by corporate money. There is a thin line between doing what is best for the majority of the population and what is best for those that keep us running.

So, how do I get the information that supports breastfeeding to a doctor's office that is clearly not baby friendly? Should I send them a packet of information, Email them a hazards of not breastfeeding slide show from my CLEC class? I took a little pleasure in giving the doctor a little shock factor. Our family is one of the very few in the USA who continue to breastfeed past 6 months, let alone the first year.

We are not ready to wean, we are not even ready for night time weaning. If we were ready then DD2 would not want to breastfeed anymore. She needs the breast for whatever reason she cannot truely explain with her limited vocabulary, but I see that it comforts her and she loves me for sharing my breast milk with her. We can deal with some tooth decay, some minor dental work, scared doctors, unsure spouses and in-laws, but how many other women would continue to breastfeed when it seems like everyone in their community wants them to stop?

**Note: Part of DD2's blood work came back and her white blood cells are normal, so, probably just a virus we are dealing with.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Few Steps Forward

Life does not come pre-packaged with easy to follow instructions. I have failed in many aspects of being a good friend to myself and to others. For years, I have lamented in personal growth only to find myself staring at the same failures over and over again. Once again, I have decided to take a step back in order to be able to move forward in my emotional growth. It is time to re-evaluate my path.

This blog entry is dedicated to a few steps in the right direction towards better emotional health.

One of the steps I have chosen to take, an old time somewhat reliable method, is to return to counseling. It is not because I am crazy. It is because it will give me a place to share my feelings under the guidance of a trained professional. I need to personally figure out why I keep falling back into unhealthy emotional habits and finally grow out of this stage of life. I am an adult, dang it.

Another thing I have chosen to do for myself is to attend some local meetings. One of the meetings is a La Leche League (LLL) meeting. It would be nice to have a group of women I can come face to face with and find support. Issues around partner support and resentment of extended breasfeeding and personally supporting the secure independence of DD2 are some of my concerns. Another type of meeting I would like to go to is a co-dependents anonymous meeting. I am not defining myself as a co-dependent, I would just like to explore different support networks.

I am going to make an effort to get out of the house more. I get so wound up in household tasks, taking care of DD2, schoolwork, etc, that I hardly ever get out. Some places I would like to visit more are the farmer's market, library at storytime, local parks & beaches....

I am also lacking in my knowledge of what it takes to be a military spouse. Not much can prepare one for the stresses of an Army lifestyle or a spouse that is definately not an underachiever. Thus, I have started exploring daily the online resources that Military One Source has available. I am amazed at the abundance of information they have out there.

Every night I have decided to write 5 things that I feel gratitude for having or experiencing. When I do so, I will try to feel the gratitude and let it fill me up. I will do this for at least a month since most habits take a month to form. Maybe each morning after will seem a bit more bright and welcoming.

I want to be a good friend, move away from past issues, look forward to tomorrow, be secure in my self and my relationship, and show my children that people are capable of growing.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Response to Dr. Hale's take on Hemp Seed Oil and Breastfeeding

I was casually going down the list on Dr. Tom Hale's forum on herbal remedies and lactation, clicking on anything that caught my attention. First off, Dr. Hale gives some good information, yet some of it seems to be forced and leaves one with a negative feeling. On many of the responses Dr. Hale states that there are no reasons to take certain herbal remedies or that the mother should find another alternative without stating legit data to support his answer.

One such thread is as follows and is copied and pasted directly from here:


"Lllmojca posted on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - 05:21 am
A mother is asking if it's safe to regularly use hemp seed oil while breastfeeding.
There's a lot of advertising about hemp being a superfood.
I also noticed reservations regarding possible THC in those oils, althow many experts claim there's absolutelly no TCH in modern products.
Is it safe to use?

Thx! "


"Tom posted on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - 02:40 pm


As for the safety of hemp seed oil, no one really knows for sure if it is safe during breastfeeding, much less worth taking in the first place.
In these cases I suggest to mom to simply not take these herbal preparations unless someone can prove they are safe.

Tom Hale Ph.D."

My Response:

Without adding or researching completely, I can tell you that Dr. Hale's response is invalid. There is plenty of information about the health benefits of using Industrial Hemp Seed Oil, both internally and topically. There is little to no THC in hemp seed oil. Although, Industrial Hemp is related to the stigmatized medicinal plant it has very low amounts of THC in the seed and flower. Industrial Hemp is the plant grown in most of the world for hemp seed and fiber. If you use the common Hemp oil on the market today there is little to no chance one would be able to find  measurable amounts of THC. Therefore, I would say, with no medical background, that there is no risk of taking Hemp Oil as a dietary supplement when in combination with other sources of Omegas. It is high in Omega 3,6,9 and actually could benefit a pregnant or breastfeeding mother.

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is a wonderful source to explore.

Dr. Mercola shares his take on the importance of Omega 3's.