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Wednesday
Oct062010

To Induce or Not to Induce – That is the Question.

It’s 10:20 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5. A typical evening of yummy dinner, good conversation, a little work and some glee. Nothing out of the ordinary except that it’s my baby girl’s DUE DATE. Over dinner tonight my husband and I talked about induction, pondering the cons of the process.

We decided that if it wasn’t harmful for the baby or me then we’d give it a try after speaking with our doctor. Then, I looked up some possible side effects/outcomes from induction and decided to put that on hold.

Curious to hear your points of view – is there anything wrong with giving the baby a little push if you know she’s at a healthy weight and has served her time? I’m feeling patient, but I’m also super excited to meet our new little addition. Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday
Oct052010

More Body Shots

I knew that immunizations were controversial but wow, I hit a nerve with my last post. That is a new thing for me. I usually try to keep my controversial opinions to myself but I am quickly learning that that does not work with parenting. Everything is controversial when it comes to parenting and it seems you have to assert yourself and stick to your guns. I do think we could be a little nicer to each other when it comes to controversial topics but that is the subject of a different post. 

I want to provide an update to my post yesterday about vaccinating my son. Today I got a flu/H1N1 shot myself because I don't want to risk catching something I could spread to Baby Mo. The flu shot is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding mommies but since I have decided on a delayed vaccine schedule for my child, he won't be fully immunized as quickly as other children. For this reason, I wanted to make sure that we are keeping our household as virus free as possible. 

The comments on yesterday's post were both encouraging and discouraging. Just to reiterate my position on vaccinations once again: I do believe in vaccinations. My son WILL be fully vaccinated. I just don't want to expose him to all of those foreign chemicals at once in the off chance that the dosage is harmful or toxic. Also, if he were to have had a reaction to his vaccines yesterday, I would have known what he was reacting to. If he had the full cocktail, how would I know what was causing the contraindication?

I do not begrudge any parent who chooses otherwise but I happen to believe it is a social responsibility to vaccinate. Diseases like polio are eradicated for a reason. It is because we have vaccinated. But I maintain that pumping my child full of so many dead viruses at once is not worth the risk, no matter how minuscule. I don't even plan to allow him to drink soda. Why wouldn't I think twice about something else so foreign in his new little body? 

For my flu shot, I paid just under $30 at Duane Reade. It did not hurt at all, although I am told that your tolerance for pain goes up after child birth. I am trying to think of ways to incent Mo's Daddy to get a flu shot too. He is being a scaredy cat. Men! 

Monday
Oct042010

Body Shots

Baby Mo was scheduled for his 2 month shots today. According to the suggested schedule of the American Academy of Pediatrics, he should have received vaccinations for Rotavirus, DTaP (which is Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis), HIB, Pneumococcal, and Polio. Instead, he only had vaccinations for Rotavirus and DTaP and here is why. 

On Saturday, Mo's Daddy came home from work with The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert W. Sears. I was grateful that this book found me just three days before Mo's first big round of vaccinations. 

This book is refreshingly lacking in quackery. Dr. Sears never says that vaccinations are definitively dangerous. He is simply cautious about the effects of giving small children such aggressive dosages of medicine. He recommends spacing out the vaccinations instead of giving them all at once. I decided to go this route. To be clear: My son will be fully vaccinated. We will just do it more intermittently than is typical. 

The most contentious ingredient in vaccinations is aluminum. While there are not many conclusive studies about the effect of aluminum on a baby, the FDA requires the aluminum content of IV feeding solutions be limited to 25 micrograms per liter. That is a small amount. Especially when you consider that the HIB vaccine alone has 225 micrograms of aluminum. Further FDA studies show that a 22-pound baby can safely handle 50 micrograms if they have healthy kidneys. 

Baby Mo wouldn't be getting 25 or even 225 micrograms of aluminum per day but if he got the full cocktail of vaccines today, he would have received approximately 1,225 micrograms of aluminum. That is a lot for a little guy! These vaccines also contain trace amounts of mercury, formaldehyde, and MSG. 

My pediatrician pushed back a little on spacing out the vaccinations. She pointed out that breast milk has trace amounts of aluminum too. Key phrase: trace amounts. Not 1,225 micrograms. Ultimately, she said she was okay with the alternate schedule as long as we did not fall too far behind on vaccinations. 

Again, there are no studies that link these dosages to autism or SIDS but these things have been reported after vaccines. They may be spurious but why wouldn't I limit my baby's exposure to all of these vaccines at once? Why not spread them out? I don't mind taking him back to the doctor in a few weeks for a few more shots. 

Dr. Sears says that pediatricians do the full cocktail of vaccinations at once because there is a better chance that parents will complete the vaccine schedule if it is done this way. It may be true, parents may not bring their children in for more shots more frequently but I will. We use Google Health to track Baby Mo's vaccinations and have already scheduled his next round of shots in early November. 

It could be that the cumulation of all of these shots is harmless but why risk it? Why not space them out over a few weeks so that the baby can process these foreign chemicals through his system safely? Worst case scenario: What if we discover that aluminum is toxic in large doses? Isn't it better to be safe than sorry? 

Dr. Sears' suggested alternate schedule for vaccinations can be found here. He suggests going back for HIB and Pneumococcal in a month and waiting on Polio until Baby Mo is 9 months old, if at all since Polio is virtually unheard of here in the U.S. 

I'd love to hear what fellow parents think of this schedule and how they made their decisions for their own children's vaccinations. 

Side note: Baby Mo was a total champ! I fed him while he was getting his shot and he didn't notice it at all. Not even a flinch! It hurt Mommy WAY more than it hurt him! He is my hero! 

Saturday
Oct022010

My Mommy Role Models

A while back Nathalee wrote about how important it is for mommies (and daddies) to have a solid support system and I couldn’t agree more. What’s also important is having that support along the way in your pregnancy.

Over the past year, I’ve watched a number of my closest friends gracefully enter motherhood, embrace it and not look back. I’m sure many of them are shaking their heads reading this thinking “graceful” is definitely not the right word. I very much disagree.

I’ve learned so much from watching them and have a newfound respect for mothers and the transitions our lives take with the entrance of a baby. Their strength is unbelievable – I hope I can make the leap as well as they have. I know each have their own challenges, but they don’t back down from them and persevere.

It’s so inspiring to watch the girls I’ve grown up with over the years building up their successful careers, partying the night away, taking fun trips and just being girls become loving mommies. So a big hug and thank you to all of you! Ready or not, we’re headed to parenthood too!



Saturday
Oct022010

Wanted: Stories About Bringing Home Your Baby

When I first arrived home with Reese my world was flipped upside down. I'm still trying to piece things together. :) But every day gets better and better and more fun! I just love her to pieces!!

That said, there are sooo many things that I wish I had known about what the first few weeks/months of having a baby could really look like. Even just a "heads up" would have been nice. I had no idea I'd cry for the first couple weeks of Reese's life due to hormones and lack of sleep. I had romanticized bringing home a happy cooing baby that only cried when hungry or when she needed a diaper change. While some moms get this right away, many moms also don't. And for this group of moms, the first few months are really challenging.

Luckily I had a great support network with my fellow bloggers on Mommy Beta and friends and family. I'm collecting stories with plans for publication highlighting what life is really like when arriving home with a new baby.

I don't want to make the first few months seem awful. I just want to shed some light on the matter so that expectant Moms have a glimpse as to what bringing home a baby could be like. Again, all babies are different and if you're lucky you've brought home or will bring home a well tempered happy baby :) If not, I just want to show that you're not alone, that there are challenges and things do get better!

I'm currently collecting stories for consideration. If you would like to share your story please email me at alexaranoff@gmail.com by November 15, 2010. Once I review content I'll determine how/if I can use. I'm happy to keep your story anonymous if you prefer, just let me know.

Name
Age
Occupation
Baby's Age
Marital Status

Please tell me what the first few weeks or months of bringing home your baby was really like? Be sure to talk about the parts that were the worst for you and include what you wish you had known before hand. Also, I'd like to hear how and when things got better for you. If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

Ideas for content could include --

  • Overall summary of what the first few weeks or months of bringing home your baby was like
  • How was your breastfeeding experience? 
  • Feelings about being a mother?
  • What one thing do you wish you had known beforehand?
  • How has the baby changed your relationship with your spouse? Positive experiences/negative?
  • Ill feelings toward the baby
  • How did your experience progress? When did things get noticeably better?
  • Other