Monday, July 26, 2010

Charlie's Birthday Playlist

Canon in D major- Bach
All You Need is Love- The Beatles
Baby You're a Rich Man- The Beatles
I Wanna Hold Your Hand- The Beatles
Baby Boy- Beyonce
No Woman No Cry- Bob Marley
The Little Birds- Bob Marley
Close to You- Carpenters
Angel of the Morning- Carpenters
Here Comes My Baby- Cat Stevens
Father and Son- Cat Stevens
Nocturne Op. 9, No.2- Chopin
Prelude for piano No. 4 in E minor- Chopin
Baby Blue- Dave Mathews Band
One Sweet World- Dave Mathews Band
American Baby- Dave Mathews Band
Your Song- Elton John
100 Years- Five for Fighting
Sweet Child of Mine- Guns N Roses
Doing It All for My Baby- Huey Lewis & the News
To Zion- Lauryn Hill
What a Wonderful World- Louis Armstrong
This Woman's Work- Maxwell
Fade Into You- Mazy Star
Can't Help Falling In Love- Michael Buble
Feeling Good- Michael Buble
Ave Maria- Mozart
L-O-V-E- Nat King Cole
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major- Beethoven
Hey Baby- No Doubt
The Prettiest Thing- Norah Jones
At Last- Norah Jones
Come Away with Me- Norah Jones
Thinking About You- Norah Jones
These Arms of Mine- Otis Redding
Just Breathe- Pearl Jam
Amongst the Waves- Pearl Jam
Comfortably Numb- Pink Floyd
Snow (Hey Oh)- Red Hot Chili Peppers
By Your Side- Sade
The Sweetest Gift- Sade
It's Only Love That Gets You Through- Sade
Push It- Salt-N-Pepper
Joy to the World- Three Dog Night
Baby Baby Baby- TLC
Beautiful Day- U2
Sweetest Thing- U2
Bittersweet Symphony- The Verve
The Swan from the Carnival of Animals

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Week 27- In the Weeds

I don't know if 'in the weeds' is a phrase used elsewhere but as a former waitress, it means being overwhelmed. Too many tables, too close together and not enough time to stop and figure out what the hell is going on. Just run your ass off and hope for the best. If pregnancy had weeds, I'd be in them or at least that's how I feel.

In addition to feeling like I need to do a ton in order to be ready for the baby, who's ETA is in about 2 1/2 months, I'm not sure how to prepare for the actual arrival. I really, really want a natural labor and delivery this time but I'm totally afraid it's going to hurt like hell. I've never even had so much as a broken bone or even a minor surgery. Ok, it's going to hurt and I just have to come to terms with that so how do I get through it? There's a virtual ton of information about how to ease labor. Drinking rasberry leaf tea, chiropractic care, classes, Kegels, exercises designed to help 'open' the pelvic floor, meditation, hypnosis and on and on and on. Which books should I read? Does any of this stuff really work?!? There's probably a marketing genius in Malibu driving a Maserati GranTurismo S paid for by millions of terrified women like me spending a small fortune on these methods.

On a completely different note, I waddle. Not because I'm very big mind you, but because my hip joints are so stiff it hurts to walk. Oh and to the cranky refridgerator repair man who came to my house complaining about how hot and tired he was, STFU! Like I don't know how hot it is, I'm the one with out ice, dude! I guess I could use the butternut squash that froze in my crisper to cool my drink. Jerk!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Re-Normalize breastfeeding: A first step for life-long health.

Sadly, the United States has become known for being one of the fastest nations in the world. "During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2008, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%" ( Most of us are aware that obesity contributes to a number of other health problems ranging from added stress on bones and joints to type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Now more than ever, good nutrition has become the focus of attention for many Americans, including First Lady Michelle Obama. Good nutrition for each of us starts in the womb. So much of our development in those nine months depends upon the good eating habits of our mothers but what happens beyond that? Formula manufacturer's would have us believe that they have come up with a solution for all of us who have to return to work, hate pumping or simply struggle with the natural act of breastfeeding but is it really the perfect solution or a slippery slope? If what they are selling is good nutrition, then why is it chocolate flavored?

There are numerous reasons to breastfeed ranging from emotional connectivity to health benefits for the mother. This is a look solely at the nutritional benefits as they relate to the infant.  Formula is food made with science therefore; it is not natural to an infant's diet. Infants, just like adults, can have difficulty digesting ingredients that are unfamiliar to the body (remember 'Trans fats'?). The proteins in formula are made from cow's milk, easily digested by calves, but human infants' stomach's take time to adjust.

Breast milk is perfectly formulated for infants. There are over 150 ingredients in breast milk that cannot be produced synthetically. Of these 150 ingredients, some of the most important are the mother's antibodies. These antibodies become the infants' defense against disease while the immune system is still developing. Breast milk has been shown to protect infants against illnesses such as rotavirus infections, ear infections, and upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Breast milk also has amazing transformative properties. It actually changes over time to suit the needs of the infant as s/he grows. This is something formula cannot do. As many lactivists describe it, breast milk is 'live' while formula is...well...not. Research shows that breastfeeding saves on health care costs. Breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations than formula fed infants. Breast feeding mother's also miss less work. Their infants are sick less often so medical costs are lower and employees are more productive. The conclusion one can draw from this information: Breastfed infants are healthier, in general, than formula fed infants.

Formula isn't inferior for lack of trying. Formula makers have been attempting to improve their product since development began in the 1860's. Most recently, DHA and ARA have been added. DHA is believed to be an important component in brain and nerve development. DHA deficiencies are associated with cognitive decline, which occurs in people with diseases like Alzheimer's. Additionally, severely depressed individuals show a depleted level of DHA in the cerebral cortex. As a result of these findings, DHA is being added to many foods and a supplement is recommended for pregnant and nursing women. Adding DHA to infant formula would seem like a good idea however; once again it is synthetically derived and therefore difficult to digest. Cornucopia, a watchdog group, upon request for information from the FDA, found a number of adverse reaction reports concerning formula with the DHA additive. Severe gastrointestinal problems were reported. These problems resulted in 'failure to thrive', acute dehydration from diarrhea and other symptoms including emotion distress for both the infants and their families. Symptoms resulted in highly-invasive medical testing and procedures and hospitalizations. Upon switching to formulas without the DHA additive, the problems (in most cases) were resolved. As long as a breastfeeding mother is eating a diet containing DHA rich foods or is taking a supplement, her infant will get all the DHA his or her body needs for healthy development. To read more about Cornucopia and their findings about breastfeeding, formula and DHA go to

An additional benefit to breastfeeding is the frequency of feeding. Breastfed infants need to eat more frequently than formula fed infants. This may not seem like a benefit if you are a sleep deprived mother but, more frequent feedings through the night translate into a decreased risk of SIDS. Scientists also know that IgA, found in breast milk, has a binding affect on bacterial toxins, such as staphylococcal enterotoxin C and Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin A, which have both been implicated in SIDS. Breast milk is also rich in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients, which promotes faster development of the central nervous system of the infants. This could be another explanation for why breastfeeding helps prevent SIDS. (South Med J 94(7):704-71, 2001. © 2001 Southern Medical Association) Frequent feedings also affect metabolism. Any one who has ever been on a 'diet' has been instructed to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. A healthy metabolic rate in infancy may translate into a healthier metabolic rate in childhood and on into adulthood.

About 2% of mothers are physiologically unable to breastfeed, yet only about 77% of infants are ever breastfed and only 50% are still breastfed at the age of 6 months. This means about 20% of new mothers never try to breastfeed and roughly another 30% give it up before their child reaches 6 months. Young mothers (particularly under the age of 20) and those in low-income households were most likely to formula feed, rather than breastfeed. ( Sadly, these are also the individuals who have the least access to adequate health care and information regarding nutrition and wellness. The cycle of poor education, poor nutrition, poor health continues from generation to generation and our society never gets any healthier. For the first time in history, future generations will actually have shorter life expectancies than the proceeding generations. This is why re-normalizing breastfeeding in the United States is of critical importance. Formula should not be the first choice but rather, the last resort. Not only do health care providers and government aid resources need to educate and promote breastfeeding as the the healthy, normal way to feed an infant but communities at large need support breastfeeding mothers, regardless of their socioeconomic demograph. Breastfeeding is an infants very first step towards life-long health.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Week 26- About as warm and fuzzy as a fish

I'm feeling rather uninspired lately. This has been the first week, since those really early weeks, that I've really felt 'hormonal'. No, I haven't been crying inexplicably or flying into frenzied fits, I'm just 'blue'. It might be because this is my first full week back after the babymoon and I hate my job. Whatever the reason I'm hoping the upcoming holiday and the prospect of QT with some girlfriends will help improve my disposition. The bright spot for the week was seeing 'belly rolls' for the first time. Charlie moves All. The. Time., especially in the evenings now (which makes it difficult to sleep, another contributing factor to my mood). The other night, Micha and I were laying in bed reading (how lame and 'married couple' do we sound?!) and my book 'jumped'. I pulled my shirt up to watch the action and pretty soon so was Micha. He was feeling the baby and saying to my stomach "Hey Baby, do something cool" and there it was, a foot or a hand pushing up just beside where Micha's hand was.

Aside from uninspired and cranky, I've been feeling under the gun. Being 26 weeks along means that in 11 to 14 weeks Charlie will be here. Holy shit! Even though I know it is irrational, I feel like there's a ton to do and we're running out of time. There isn't even paint on the walls in the baby's room (well there is, but not the paint I want.) We don't have enough money in the bank, we don't have all the 'stuff', we haven't talked about the birth plan or taken any classes or made any arrangements for Mumbles. I know that my usual obsessiveness coupled with the normal feelings we have as expectant mothers is the reason for my sudden sense of urgency, but I still feel rushed. I'm anxious for Charlie to get here but I'm even more anxious to be ready for Charlie to get here.

One thing I have done that was on my list of 'to-do's' was watch the Business of Being Born. It's a documentary style film done by Ricki Lake and her friend about child birth in America. It certainly explained, for me at least, why a growing number of women are choosing Midwives or Unassisted Home Births instead of the traditional OBGYN/Hospital route. I found that every time they showed a woman giving birth, I teared up a little. I think because my own first birth experience was not the experience I wanted to have or even knew I could have. Just goes to show; you don't know what you don't know. I don't know if I would ever choose to have a Midwife over an OBGYN but I do know that if we aren't proactive about pregnancy/labor/delivery it becomes something that happens to us instead of something we are apart of.

Cool stuff from the womb: Charlie is about 2 lbs and about 9 in. long. He's probably starting to look less 'lanky' and fill out a bit. Also, this week, his eyes will start to open.