Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: In Honor of LM's Half-Birthday Tomorrow

Tomorrow LM will be six months old. Holy crap, when did that happen. In honor of his half-birthday, my very first Wordless Wednesday post is about the six months he's been earthside with us. 

And I apparently hit the photo bomb limit because it won't let me upload more! So, this was my 1st Wordless Wednesday Post: The 1st Six Months of LM!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


     LM pooped in the toilet!!! Twice now! And peed!

I can't believe I just typed those sentences to post publicly. Or at all. Oh, how motherhood changes you.

I've known about EC vaguely since before LM was born. But I had very little interest in then, and knew NO one that did it. Then the founder of one of my favorite angel/rainbow mommy facebook groups announced no only was she attempting it..... but her son was now "potty trained" for solid elimination completely! She started trying with him when he was 5months. It's what her mom did with all of her children. Not normal for Americans. But VERY normal for MANY other parts of the world. She inspired at least one other mom in the group to try it, who soon also reported having success. I don't think either of them have actually used the words elimination communication when talking about this, at least not to me. I think it's a very new and not very wide-spread term for a very old practice. I know several other moms where intrigued at hearing about this but so far no one else has reported attempting or success either way.

Both these moms got me very curious about it..... They're friends of mine and both somewhere on the crunchy-spectrum. Their enthusiasm more than anything made me think about it. I care for LM's needs in every other way as quickly as possible. His elimination is the only thing that I don't help him with. Oh, of course I clean him afterwards but I'm usually holding him or within a few feet of him and know he is trying.... then I just wait for him to get it all over himself and only then help. This doesn't feel quite right. Still, I was kind of intimidated by the idea of EC taking a lot of time. LM is a very attached child and I don't have as much time as I feel like I need for house chores often. I don't want less LM time, just more kitchen-scrubbing time. Basically, I'm asking to add some hours to the day. Get right on that for me, thanks.

When I checked the local library system and found out that they have one copy of The Diaper Free Baby, I had to read it. But I had to wait for it to be returned, which seemed to take forever. If I ever win the lottery, one thing I will be doing is donating tons of great parenting books to libraries. Hubs finally picked it up on Monday and it is a great little book (a little over 200 pages). Not a hard or long read by any means. It's divided into sections based on ages (newborn, middle infancy and mobile infancy) and then has other chapters for different situations. Well, half-way into it, I was reading while LM slept. When he woke, I wanted to change his diaper for freshness anyway and decided why not give it a try just to see what he thinks of it.

He thought it was hilarious sitting there naked-butt and then he started pooping. I almost fell over I was so surprised, I was really doing it for the heck of it and certainly didn't expect a catch on the 1st try. He sat there for several minutes slowly doing his business and then got fussy, so I took him to his changing table to wipe him up. Much less mess on him that's for sure. We tried a couple more times the first day but no more catches. Teething ramped back up and I let it go because he was less than content.

Day two, on the first try, we caught a poop again, and pee. It's now Day three and so far none. I think the toilet is uncomfortable for him. Once Hubs gets paid, we're ordering him his very own potty. Actually, it's the Baby Bjorn Potty Chair that The Diaper Free Baby encourages.

Hubs totally disappointed me when I randomly told him LM needed a potty. We haven't talked about EC hardly at all, so i was expecting some sort of reaction. Yea, none. He was just like "k, I get paid this week" and kept cooking. I suspect he's getting used to unusual requests from me. Which takes a little fun out to be honest. My mother did her nervous little giggle like WTF and my grandmother was just surprised he didn't have his own potty yet. Which means I totally didn't reaction I was looking for from anybody. My not even six month old is pooping in the toilet, people! Show some surprise or excitement :P

Whatevs, I'm surprised and excited enough for all of them. LM mostly enjoys playing with the empty toilet paper holder thing. For now, we're going to be working on EC part-time. There's not a chance in this world of me interrupting our twelve-hour overnight sleep for potty breaks. No way am I giving that up. And until his potty arrives, I'm just going to try and catch his solid elimination while at home.

Now, for those with EC experience, anyone want to help me out:

1) LM likes to nurse while pooping. I don't think it's physically possible to do so while he's sitting on a potty. Any advice?

2) Nasty public bathrooms.... what do you do about EC in public?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Day In The Life of Us: Valentine's Day

    Oh Valentine's Day. St. Valentine. The day of love and romance. Cupid with his bow and arrows. Chocolate and flowers and cards. Materialism, greed and cliches.

Three years ago on Valentine's Day, it was our first most-romantic-holiday together. We'd been living together for several months by then. I had to spend the day running around to my sister's birthday party and shopping etc so it was very low-key.

Two years ago on Valentine's Day, Hubs and I got married. We where also expecting Ember, who we called our little Valentine. It was our last time before finding out about a late total placenta previa, which began the worrying period of her life. We got married in the botanical gardens in Florida. It was cool but sunny, and we wondered around the gardens holding hands before the ceremony. It was basically an elopement and there are no pictures- the only flaw of the whole day but a bad one for me who loves photos.

Last year on Valentine's Day, we had found only we where expecting LM only days before. It was a very bittersweet day (as basically everything is post-Ember's death) but we where nervous and excited about LM.

This year we where certainly busy.... but not exactly in the classic- dinner, wine, movie etc way lol. Hubs cooked salmon and homemade mac-n-(not)cheese the night before and his present to me is a large picture frame for the end of our hallway. But then we spent the night with him sleeping on the couch because neither LM or I got really much sleep at all. We where roaming around trying to get tired for most of the night. Once the sun finally came up, LM of course fell asleep. I hated having to wake him up, as I had to do several times today. Not a very amused baby. We started our day with LM and I going to the monthly La Leche League meeting. I <3 these meetings, wish they where every week instead of just monthly. I know most of the women from our local online groups on Facebook, so it's basically a face-to-face chat group. I don't drive (because I'm a sucky driver and not going to drive with LM in the car) so Hubs hung out in the car watching movies, went to get something to eat etc. Actually, I really don't know what he does during the meetings. Maybe he just sits there and enjoys the blessed and rare quiet.

After LLL, we went over to Starbucks to show our support of their open-carry policy. I love their frap's and cake pops but we don't often go because it gets pricey. Three of the other moms from LLL joined us. We took over the main corner of the store with all the comfy chairs and basically had our own little private nurse-in. One of the moms is a regular at that store and none of the staff so much as looked surprised. Somehow all the babes (from two months to toddler) timed their hungry and got their lunch on at the same time. One big brother, and of course Hubs where hanging out too. Nursing in public in groups always amuses me. Power in numbers after all ;)

                                                 LM and I at Starbucks on Valentine's Day

I had to drag myself (and Hubs and LM) away from the chatting and coffee for us to head over a couple streets to Get Off My Nerves chiropractor practice. LM's reflux has been flaring so we decided to go see Dr. Cathy. We didn't have an appt, instead we just dropped in. They fit us in within a couple minutes since it was a slow day. As usual LM loved his adjustment, and Dr Cathy's silly talking to him during. We where in and out in under ten minutes.

We came home for LM and I to crawl into bed for a way-too-long nap, and for Hubs to head to school. LM got to try out his new big-boy bath ring (Leahco Bather-go-round?). He's not ready for it really developmentally, but with Hubs supporting him while I watched/photographed/supervised he really enjoyed it. For now, until he's sitting better, it's just going to be an occasional treat when Hubs is home to help.

So certainly not the super-cliche romantic day, just another day in the life of us. Another good day that is.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's Personal

   You're standing in the grocery line, one child in tow, just wanting to hurry up, pay and get out. Not a bad day, not a bad mood, just in the perceptual busyness of a mom. The woman behind you smiles at your child and opens her mouth to ask "Is he your only one?".

There are plenty of variations to this question- but they all come down to "has your uterus produced anyone else?"

 Who hasn't had said someone ask that? And who hasn't asked that at least once before?

But if you're one of the 1 in 4 women that have (or will) lose a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death, this question might wreck your smile, your mood, your afternoon, your day, your weekend.. Because the answer to that question isn't as easy and pleasant as the person who asked wants it to be. Because you know once you answer it (if you do answer it truthfully) that person is going to stop smiling and do that weird, awkward grimace and try to change the subject. In case you don't know, that hurts like hell.

Now, for me personally, answering isn't the problem. I have no issue with saying that no, he's not my only child., that my first child, my daughter died during labor 19 months ago and that this child you see here is my rainbow baby. What makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide from the world is THE LOOK. That horrible mix of awkwardness, pity and distaste. It's the look that every. single. random. stranger. who has ever asked me that gives me.

I don't mean in the get to you know situations, like in the circle at a La Leche League meeting or playgroup. I mean those random, you are never going to see this person again (unless Fate is screwing with you) encounters. Those times where you are just making small talk, where there's not time to go into a true discussion of ANYTHING.

This isn't a small-talk question. This isn't always an easy question to answer. It's personal, sometimes painful and society needs to realized this.

1 in 4 women is a lot. It's a quarter of the adult female population. That's a lot of people being hurt by this during random encounters way too often.

Thanks to the internet, I know lotsss of angel moms. I'll never have to go out of state without having someone to meet for coffee at every stop on the way. There are 200 friends on my personal facebook list, most of which are angel moms, most of which I only know thanks to the internet. Then there are all various groups I'm in. One group, the first I joined, has over a 1,000 members. You get the picture. And many of these moms are expecting a rainbow baby or already have their rainbow earthside. Not a week goes by without me hearing about someone being asked that question, and that horrible look they got in return. The almost unintelligible mumbles that come after it. And it's usually it's more like several women complaining about it every week. Or day.

I'm not saying you're not "allowed" to ask this. That's not the point at all. We don't want this to be taboo. Babies die. Children die. But they are still our children. We still love them. We're still proud of them. But be thoughtful. Remember that "shit happens". That not everyone gets the positive pee stick and a baby to bring home and keep. If you ask and the answer isn't what you expected- don't look away and pretend you never said anything. Don't act like child loss might be contagious. Don't treat us like pariahs. We are 1 in 4, and we are all around you.

If you ask about the reproductivity of someone's uterus, don't assume the answer is going to be all positive. That's not reality for 1 in 4 women.

 Pregnant with my firstborn. She died during labor and was stillborn on July 7th 2010. She was real, she lived and I'm proud to be her mommy.
Share your thoughts on this with me. I know where my friends stand on this, but like I said- 1 in 4 is a lot of women, so I'd love to hear other's opinions. You don't need to be an angel mom to share your thoughts, hearing from "the rest of you" is just as important.