The Silent Struggle…Our Story of Miscarriage

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December 19, 2016 we saw those 2 life changing lines on a $10 stick. We found out the week of Christmas that we were pregnant with baby #2 and couldn’t be more excited! Our son just turned one and we knew we wanted to have two kids closer together in age. The plans began, we started envisioning 2017 and all the excitement it would hold. August would be our due date and I would be that miserable ginormous pregnant woman at the end of summer.

On Christmas morning we broke the news to our family with a wrapped picture frame that read, “We know you don’t like it when we buy you presents, so this year, we made you one. Arriving August 2017.” Tears were flowing, smiles were abundant. Plans of the next Christmas with our two babies filled the room.

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The pregnancy symptoms were in full force from the beginning…the nausea, extreme fatigue, food cravings & aversions, mood swings (It was the HORMONES not ME! HAHA…), increased hunger…just ask my husband. 🙂 Everything seemed to be going just perfectly.

Then the light spotting happened. No cramping, no bright red blood or clots, just some spotting one time. My midwife was notified and I knew this could be completely normal, so I took it easy and we waited to make sure it didn’t get worse. We prayed. We waited.

The next week we had our first prenatal appointment with our amazing midwife. I am still night nursing our one year old, and only had one cycle before we got pregnant, so we were unsure of how far along we were supposed to be, but we were somewhere between 7.5-9 weeks. My fundal height felt a little under the projected time frame, but it was close. Next came the Doppler to try and find a heartbeat. We had no luck but we thought it may just be too early. While we told ourselves all the encouraging optimistic words, my mama heart sank a bit. I knew the possibilities and I began preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. The next morning we had a scheduled ultrasound and we knew we would know one way or another.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I woke up with a fake smile and anxious heart. My chest felt tight with anxiety that I tried to keep under the surface. I got ready for work as I was planning on going straight there after my ultrasound. My husband and I drove separately. The silence spoke for itself. Holding hands, we walked into that cold ultrasound room, hearts half full of hope, excited for the possibility of getting a glimpse of our baby.

The Ultrasound tech did her thing without saying a word. When she was done she went to speak with the doctor before returning. The 20 minutes she was gone felt like an eternity. Being a nurse myself, I tend to read other medical professional’s facial expressions and actions. I knew when she was doing the ultrasound that there wasn’t a beautifully formed tiny human in what she was looking at.

She came back into the room to inform us that the gestational sac was the size equivalent of a pregnancy just under 6 weeks. No heartbeat was found, but they usually can’t find a heartbeat before 6 weeks. She couldn’t tell us much more. Looking back…my heart knew. I called my midwife to inform her. She ordered some HCG blood tests for that morning and again in 2 days. It was the only way we would know for sure one way or another. If my HCG levels were raising, we would wait a few weeks and do another ultrasound. If my HCG levels were falling, our fears were confirmed that baby stopped growing between 5-6 weeks and this pregnancy was not viable.

I had my blood drawn right after the ultrasound, and as soon as I walked through those double doors into the parking lot, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. My husband held me as I sobbed into his shoulder. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. I take good care of myself! I’m so careful with what I put in my body! WHY us?! Jesus…you think I’m stronger than I really am. I don’t know if I can carry this burden.

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My husband and I decided to go home after our appointment. There was no way I could go to work and slap on a fake smile with such a broken heart. I couldn’t even start grieving because we didn’t know 100% for sure. I had no cramping, no real miscarriage symptoms and I had to wait another 2 days for the blood work to confirm.

As we all do, I scoured the internet for stories…I found equal amount of stories of hope and tragedy with the same exact situation I was going through. Maybe it was because I have a tilted uterus…maybe that’s why they couldn’t see the baby that good. I have to believe…but I knew what might be…I have to prepare myself. I felt like my heart was in a tug-o-war of emotions.

Friday morning, I had my labs drawn again and hours later saw the numbers I was praying weren’t true. My HCG levels had dropped 1,000 in only 48 hours. It was confirmed. There was no longer a baby growing in my womb. I felt numb. I felt broken. I felt un-womanly.  I felt like a failure. I felt guilty. Then…I felt like a bad Christian for feeling all those things and doubting God’s ultimate plan.

I told my husband over and over, “I know the right things to say and feel, I know God can work through the deepest tragedies because I’ve seen and experienced it. I know He knows best. I KNOW all these things….but I FEEL so broken. I don’t understand. This was so perfect. This baby girl (I knew from the beginning this baby would be a girl) could grow to be a strong and courageous world changer. Why would He let her be taken before she had a chance?

My husband reminded me…it’s ok to have a broken heart. It’s ok to feel pain and be honest and real in grieving this death. “Jesus will give you the strength you need. He wouldn’t put you through anything you couldn’t handle.” My husband’s words echoed in my mind. I knew he was right. We weren’t meant to go through these rough spots alone, that is why we have each other and our relationship with the Creator of Life.

There are two songs that have helped us through this time, that have shifted our perspectives and given us strength. Listen to the words…


This all happened within the past few days. My husband and I went on a date night last night. We wanted to celebrate the short month of life our baby had. These days have been filled with so much pain, we wanted to take a moment to breathe and enjoy each other. While at dinner, we talked about our story. We talked about all the pain we have walked through individually in our past and how the Lord has used our hardships to create so much beauty in our lives together. Our previous hardships…our story, has helped us relate to, connect with, and have compassion for others going through similar situations that we’ve been through. We know that this painful experience is no different. It is now a part of our story. A story we must share with the world. A life and a death we must acknowledge and share.

We both have realized, in the midst of all the other hardships we have gone through, miscarriage seems to be a silent struggle. It’s not one many people talk about. There really are no words. Because there are no words…because it can be so difficult to process, many people pretend it never happened and brush it under the rug all together because in the moment it is easier. We knew we couldn’t do that. Our broken roads were brought together a few years ago to be a message of hope. Heartbreak is real. Pain is real. We all have our stories. We all go through the struggle. How we get through this struggle, how we choose to perceive it, and how we choose to react to these situations is our choice and it’s what dictates our futures.

While our hearts are still broken, while my body is still processing that the baby inside of my womb is no longer living, as hard as it may be, we wanted to share our story with you. We want you to know if you are in pain, if you are struggling, you are not alone. Allow yourself to grieve. Listen to the two songs above and let your heart cry and heal. The truth is, there IS hope. No testimony is formed without a testing period. Your pain is part of your story. It is a part of what makes you…YOU. God will bring you through this if you trust in Him. Rest in Him. He hears your heart. He cries with you. He will bring you through it and you will one day be a source of strength and hope for the people who you will meet along your journey who need you to get through their tough time.

We hope our story in some way helps you. We know on Social Media and on the surface, many times, everything looks “perfect”. Know behind our professionally taken profile pictures filled with smiles, our hearts have many scars. Scars that are left from life’s cuts and wounds. Scars that are proof of both pain and healing. Scars that prove you can have life bigger than you imagined beyond your current pain.

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The Mom Bod

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40 weeks +2 pregnant…D-Day

One of THE biggest fears in our society surrounding pregnancy, is “The Mom Bod”…stretch marks, extra weight that hangs on for days… I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about that too!

My fears got even bigger when at 28 weeks pregnant I was put on bed rest because of preterm labor concerns. That meant all my exercising had to stop…I was NOT excited about that, but of course I’d do anything to keep my baby boy cooking full term. My entire pregnancy, optimal nutrition and exercise were a priority for me, not just in attempts to avoid excess weight gain, but because my goal was to grow a super baby! With clean eating habits, I gained about 28 lbs with my pregnancy. I was very happy with that. My body responded great to pregnancy, which I am SO thankful for! The human body, you guys, is UH-MAZE-ING!!!! It seriously blows me away that a woman’s body can grow a tiny human and return back to relatively normal afterwards!

Fastforward 3 months, and my body is starting to bounce back, but not as fast as I’d hoped. Guys, I feel weak. Super weak… My back is NOT happy with me due to a weak core. Everything feels out of shape, and I’m ready to feel STRONG again.

While breastfeeding, it’s SUPER important to keep calories and nutrition up. This is NOT a time to have a super low caloric intake. Baby will suffer, so that is not going to be my avenue of choice. BUT I will tell you what I’m about to do, and why I’m SO excited about it!

Let’s be real, going to the gym is NOT a possibility for me right now. Unless, I put my baby in my Tula Carrier to lift weights and jump on the eliptical, only to be interrupted by cries and poopy dipers and hunger pains…ha! Could you imagine walking into a gym and seeing a crazy lady breast feeding and doing shoulder lifts with the other arm?? Haha…that actually would be awesome, but I don’t have the lady balls to do that. But, I so badly want to get strong again for me and my family! This is why I’m SO excited to share with you guys the challenge group I’m about to enter for a 22 Minute military-style workout AT HOME!

Check this out…

INTRIGUED??? IF you want to join and become a stronger, leaner, healthier you in 8 weeks all by working out only 22 minutes a day, I want you to join me in this adventure!! We’re going to do this together and keep eachother accountable! BUT! We start in 1 week!!! So I need you to email me ASAP if you’re interested! Email me at TheHealthPatriot@gmail.com

Here were my coach Elizabeth Hartke’s AMAZING results!

Read more on her story here- http://www.dropthecookie.com/22-minute-hard-corps-challenge-pack/

What is 22 Minute Hard Corps

Legendary trainer Tony Horton has created a challenging but simple-to-follow workout program inspired by training techniques used by the military. Each workout in 22 MINUTE HARD CORPS is a quick—and intense—calorie-blasting drill designed to get you “boot camp fit” in just 8 weeks. You just show up, keep up, and get in shape!

22 Minute Hard Corps Challenge Pack- $140

  • 22 Minute Hard Corps 8-weekout Workout DVD’s & Meal Plans
  • 1 military-style sandbag to workout with
  • 1 bag of Shakeology flavor of your choice
    • Café Latte, Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Greenberry, Tropical Strawberry Vegan, or Chocolate Vegan
  • 1 Month FREE Premium Beachbody membership (with free online access to various meal plans and workouts) *
  • A Discount Coach -OR- Active coach membership! (This means you will receive 25% OFF any future orders from Beachbody, including all workouts, shakeology, cleanses, or supplements) This membership usually costs $40 to sign up, but it’s free with this challenge pack!**You can cancel these at ANY time- no questions asked*

Guys, this is a MASSIVE discount! 1 regular priced bag of Shakeology alone is usually $130!

Time is of the essence, if you’d like to join me and my accountability team, PLEASE email me asap! TheHealthPatriot@gmail.com.

Don’t want to be a coach, but still want to join our challenge group? Click the link below!

<—OR REGISTER NOW —>

It is my goal for my “Post Babe Bod” to be even BETTER than my “Pre Babe Bod”. And let me clarify, this is NOT a vanity issue… I want to be strong for my son. I want to be confident in my health and my body, and live to my FULLEST potential in the woman that God created me to be. Wanna join me?

LETS DO THIS!

 

Our Birth Story

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Our little love is here… he came into the world fast, furious and perfect. Everyone’s birth story is uniquely beautiful, and I’d love to share our story with you.

Our due date, December 12, 2015 came and went. With me being put on bedrest at week 30, due to the start of preterm labor, I was more than anxious for our little man to come out and play. It seemed like time went by that much slower because with every day we were told that he could come for 10 weeks! Subconsciously, I thought if I stood too long or walked too much that he would just fall out! At week 37, I was dilated to 4 and 90% effaced. Since I was taken off bedrest at 37 weeks, I did EVERYTHING I could to start labor, but he turned stubborn on us, and decided despite our efforts, that he was going to come on his own time, and that he did.

I had an interesting last trimester. Apparently I was having contractions, but I didn’t feel or notice them. In my last week of pregnancy I tried to pay extra attention to when my belly would tighten up, because at that point, I only felt slight cramps, which to be honest, barely caught my attention. Apparently the contractions were working though because my cervix was slowly opening and thinning out. When my due date hit, I noticed my braxton hicks contractions picked up as did the cramping, but still…I never felt uncomfortable enough to feel like I was in labor.

Every pregnant woman wonders what that moment will feel like when their water breaks, or when they go into labor. We all see horror stories of a huge gush of water in the middle of a store or driving in a car. Some people experience these situations, some women’s water don’t break until they’re in active labor in the hospital. Mine broke on December 14th at 0100 am after I got up to go pee for the hundredth time. I was walking back to my bed to get back into bed and all of a sudden there was a puddle of water under me. That moment was surreal! I was a mixture of asleep, panicked, excited, confused, and ready to go! All of a sudden my husband woke out of a dead sleep and saw me out of bed and immediately asked if my water broke and felt the bed, confused that it was dry. I laughed and smiled and nodded my head. He quickly jumped out of bed and got dressed. I laughed again, “Honey, we won’t be going anywhere for a while, I’m not having contractions, you can stay in your pj’s”. I texted my midwife and doula who both happened to get my message immediately, and since I wasn’t in labor, we went back to sleep, waiting to be awoken by contractions.

Baby Logan’s Birthday

 

There are 2 homeopathic remedies known to help stimulate labor. I took those remedies at about noon, and by 1pm, I started to feel the roll of cramps stronger and stronger and stronger. They started at 1 minute long and every 5-10 minutes. They quickly progressed to 1.5-2 minutes and every 5-7 minutes and I had to close my eyes and deep breathe through them. My husband was trying to be productive and didn’t know what else to do, so he was outside hanging christmas lights and blowing leaves off our driveway. I called him and told him it was time to head to the birth center. I knew since I was already dilated to 4 and nearly 100% effaced, that labor might be quick for me.

Lunges uphill to get baby out…

The drive to the birth center was long. My eyes were closed nearly the entire time. I grasped my husbands hand as he coached me through breathing and did all he could to drive fast and smooth to get us there. Thankfully, we only had a 10 minute drive to our birth center where our midwife greeted us with a big smile, warm arms, and a happy birthday welcome. I remember arriving, and trying to smile, but quickly changing my smile to deep breathing. Wow those contractions got intense fast! Shortly after our birth photographer and sweet friend arrived along with our doula. I knew I needed a strategy to get through the pain, so they put a smaller birthing ball ontop of the bed, which I leaned over, still holding my husbands hand. My doula was ontop of it and quickly got a hot pack to hold to my back and front to help get me through contractions. That helped more than I thought it would.

I knew that I couldn’t get into the hot water until I was at least 7cm dilated, or the water could slow down my labor. My midwife also didn’t want to check my cervix just yet because of the increased risk of infection. She quickly changed her mind about 30 minutes after my arrival, as we all realized that my labor was farther along than we all had thought. They started the hot water in the tub, and she quickly checked me, surprised to find that I was at least 7cm dilated and 100% effaced. Into the tub I went.

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From that moment on, I was in a different zone. I knew going into labor that I needed to have a strategy to get through the pain. I knew my body could get through labor and delivery, it was created to do so. The challenge was getting my mind focused in a way where I could handle and breathe through the pain. A week before labor, I found an amazing album by Lauren Daigle, “How Can It Be”. This album played from my iPhone over and over and over as I was in labor. I focused on the words, I prayed through the contractions, and it was as if my physical pain was a separate entity from the calm state of my mind. In my mind, I was in a field, arms wide open singing the words out loud as I worshiped the Lord and praised Him for bringing me through this experience.I held onto his promises and gave thanks as I prayed for strength, and it filled me with every contraction.

Be joyful ALWAYS, pray continually, give thanks in ALL THINGS. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16

I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to the Lord. And the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. -Philippians 4:6-7

My Jesus music and my husband by my side were my source of strength. I needed my husbands hand to hold onto the entire time. He was a source of strength for me through the entire process. He made me feel safe and when he sensed the pain was getting to be too strong, he leaned over and whispered prayers into my ears. I immediately felt a new found strength in those moments. Despite the pain, I could smile.

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Time seemed to drift away and before I knew it, my midwife told me I could push when I felt the urge! I remember feeling excited, surprised, nervous about what was about to happen…a huge mix of feelings. All of a sudden, this wave of muscle contractions hit me and rolled from the top of my abdomen, down.

Woah! What a strong, crazy sensation! Whether my mind was ready for it or not, my body was ready to push, and I did. To be honest, I don’t know how long I pushed for, I believe it was around 20 minutes. Towards the end, my birthing coaches were amazing and told me it was time to push through that burning “ring of fire” sensation and that baby was right there! I was told exactly what to do, to listen to my body, and what was about to happen. The urges got stronger, the sensation got stronger, all of a sudden the pressure and pain didn’t go away, baby was crowning and just needed one more push. Seconds later, every ounce of pain disappeared, and the biggest rush of excitement, love, and happiness flooded over me as my baby boy was pulled up onto my chest. What a crazy feeling!!!

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I remember my brain being split between new mom brain and nurse brain. Half of me was soaking in what my body just did and the beautiful creation on my bare chest, and the other half of me was going through a checklist…

  • He’s crying…check
  • He’s pink….check
  • I heard the cord was really short, so I knew I couldn’t pull him up very far, which would risk tearing the placenta. So, baby stayed low on my abdomen.
  • Cord was pulsing still…waiting for it to stop to clamp and cut it.
  • I was feeling fine…no dizziness, I wasn’t bleeding uncontrollably. Thanks to my amazing midwife Ellie, she coached me through pushing without even one tiny tear! Praisealuyah!!!

It’s crazy looking back at all my brain was processing in that moment. I did it! WE did it! Thank you Jesus!

Sweet Baby Logan James LaNier

born 12/14/15 @6:05pm

Weight- 7lbs 6oz

Length- 20 1/8 inches

My husband, midwives, doula, family, photographer….everyone was amazing! It was the most crazy amazing experience of my life. The human body, the female body, is AMAZING! It is perfectly created for this. I am so blessed to have been able to have a water birth  at a natural birth center exactly how I had wanted it, free of drugs and interventions, just listening to my body and going with it. I know not every woman is able to experience this kind of birth, and I am so very thankful that I could. It was such an amazing experience for our entire family.

 

Baby Logan…your dad and I love you with all of our hearts. You have brought so much joy to our lives. Thank you for changing our world for forever in the most amazing way!

 

 

Birth Center- Sierra Natural Birth Center

Midwife- Ellie Jasmer, CNM

Assistant Midwife- Dody Rogers, LM

Doula- Hana Sloan

Photographer- Apryle Rivera

Thank you all for such an amazing experience!

Natural Birth Plan- Hospital Edition

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We made it to 37 weeks!!! Woohoo!!! 7 weeks of bedrest was harder than I thought it would be! I am so thankful to have made it this far and am now ready for baby boy to come out and play!

As you may have read, we are using a midwife, doula, and birthing at a local natural birth center, outside of a hospital, and are SO excited about it!! Before we finally reached 37 weeks pregnant, however, the hospital would have been our birthing place if I went into labor because legally, a midwife cannot be the main provider in a pre-term labor situation. That being said, being on bedrest gave me PLENTY of time to do research, start this blog, and come up with a few back up plans if we needed to deliver in a hospital. In my research, I developed a family-centered, more natural birth plan to use if in a hospital. Thankfully, I won’t need this with using my midwife, because many of these things are standard practice in the birth center.

I’m hoping this birth plan could help some of you come up with your version of your dream labor and delivery. Remember though, a plan…is a plan. Things don’t always go as planned. Be like the willow and go with the flow of things during your labor.


 

-Our Birth Plan: Hospital Edition-

LABOR

  • Call midwife as soon as contractions and labor begin for guidance. Leave for hospital as directed by midwife. If labor is allowed to progress the following will take place.
  • IV access allowed but nothing allowed to be infused unless absolutely necessary with permission of birthing mom and/or husband.
  • Eat, drink, and move freely during labor as desired
  • As few internal checks as possible
  • Intermittent fetal monitoring only as truly needed
  • All interventions should be explained and we should be given time to discuss together
  • Available to labor in tub, on birth ball, birth stool, shower, toilet, outside as desired
  • Music played as needed for distraction.

PAIN MANAGEMENT

  • NO PAIN MEDICATION WILL BE GIVEN.
  • Natural pain management to be utilized as needed: essential oils, massage, hot towels, homeopathics, tub, husband/doula applying back pressure if in back labor.

DELIVERY

  • Push in whatever position is comfortable, not on back.
  • Push with body’s prompting and with coach of midwife, not to timing
  • Free to deliver in water if desired
  • Perineal counter pressure, heat, oils- episiotomy only in absolutely emergent situation

POSTPARTUM

  • Immediate skin to skin for at least one consecutive hour, as long as baby and mom are stable. Well checks done on mother.
  • No erythromycin or silver nitrate ointment on eyes or vaccinations will be given at any time.
  • Vit K injection will NOT be given. Instead, Oral Vit K will be given by mother.
  • No baby bath given in hospital for at least 24 hours. Preferably baby’s first bath will be at home- wipe off face and yucky bits, rub in vernix. If bath is necessary for whatever reason, only organic baby products brought by parents are to be used on baby’s skin.
  • No hat put on baby unless necessary due to emergency situation where skin-to-skin with mom isn’t possible.
  • Breastfeeding as soon as baby is ready
  • Cord allowed to finish pulsing (minimum of 10 min) before being clamped, then be cut by dad
  • Placenta delivered naturally without Pitocin unless emergent. Placenta inspected by midwife/doctor to ensure full placenta was delivered without complications.
  • Circumcision will NOT be done in hospital.
  • Sitz bath as soon as possible with sitz bath herbs brought in by mom.
  • Baby will use cloth diapers (with liner) or organic disposable diapers & wipes only- all brought with us.
  • Baby will be swaddled in muslin swaddles brought by parents, not hospital blankets.
  • Family allowed to return home as soon as possible

WISHES IN CASE OF C-SECTION (IF POSSIBLE)

  • Shield lowered to see baby delivered
  • Baby is pulled out of the uterus slowly to mimic “squeezing” of birth canal.
  • Cord allowed to stop pulsing before clamping or cutting, if possible and dad cut’s cord.
  • No erythromycin, silver nitrate, vaccinations. Vit K injection only if deemed immediately necessary, otherwise oral Vit K will be given.
  • Baby goes straight to mama’s chest for skin to skin with warm blanket over baby
  • Well checks are done on mom’s chest.
  • Baby stays in mom or dad’s arms the entire time.
  • Room in with baby at all times

SICK BABY

  • Breastfeed baby as soon and as much as possible. Pump breast milk if necessary.
  • Free visitation by mother and father
  • Skin to skin as much as possible with mom and dad
  • Parents handle as much of care as possible

 

What plans do you have for your labor & delivery? Obviously, this process is a very personal and intimate experience. If you go in with some sort of plan before the process begins, you can have some sense of control over your labor and delivery experience. Know circumstances may arise that require different interventions and be ok with that. The more educated you are about the process, the safer and more relaxed you, your partner, and baby will be when D-Day arrives. 🙂

To circumcise or not…that is the question

Congratulations! You’re having a baby boy! With having a new baby comes with what seems like a thousand important decisions you will have to make throughout your pregnancy and especially on “D” Day (Yes…Delivery Day). Vaccines…erythromycin ointment in the eyes, formula vs breast feeding, cloth or disposable diapers, soaps, lotions…the list goes on. For baby boys, you’ll have one more decision to make: whether or not you will have him circumcised.

This is 100% a personal decision and either decision is great for your family. As I was going through information researching for our little one, I realized how much information and misinformation is out there. Hence this article, that will hopefully help you and your partner come to the best educated decision possible for your little man.

6 Points to think about when considering circumcision

  1. Vitamin K & blood clotting of infants

If you weren’t aware, it is standard practice in hospital births for every newborn to receive a vitamin k injection within hours after birth. There are also risks involved in this shot. To read more, please refer to my previous article- Should My Newborn Get a Vitamin K Shot?

When considering circumcision, you are obviously cutting the body, therefor causing bleeding to naturally occur. It is very hard to find a pediatrician who will perform a circumcision without the child first having the vitamin K injection. Most do not consider oral vitamin K sufficient before performing this procedure, putting parents in a situation where they are forced to choose the vitamin k injection, even if they don’t feel comfortable with it.

2. When to do a circumcision

Most doctor’s have stopped doing this, thankfully, but for a while, many circumcisions were down within the first 24 hours after birth, which is the most dangerous time to perform this procedure. The reason being that the baby’s blood clotting factors are not properly activated yet so soon after birth, significantly increasing the risk of bleeding complications. There have also been studies done on the potential long term effects of trauma on a new born so soon after entering the world. If you choose to circumcise, the BEST time to do it is 8 days after delivery, as the Bible recommends. Not a religious person? Even though the Bible is the one who recommends the perfect timing for circumcision, science backs these directions. Each baby has their highest prothrombin (clotting factor) levels on the 8th day and then they decrease. It is perfectly set up for this day .

3. Risks & statistics of circumcision

To be honest, I had no idea the reality of the risks and statistics involved in modern day circumcision.

  • The CDC data, reported by the New York Times, showed that the incidence of circumcision declined from 56 percent in 2006 to 32.5 percent in 2009. Needless to say, it’s becoming much less popular these days. Circumcision used to be a decision parents made for their son to avoid them being teased when they got older. Fact is, just as many boys are uncircumcised these days as circumcised, and numbers are dropping of circumcised boys. As they grow up together, the discrimination factor won’t be there.
  • Up to 55% of circumcisions result in some sort of complication ranging from mild to serious.
  • Approximately 117 baby boys die in America each year due to circumcision. This breaks down to 1 of every 77 neonatal deaths. Read more here- http://www.circinfo.org/USA_deaths.html
  • For more facts, read more here- http://circumcisiondecisionmaker.com/circumcision-facts/

4. Today’s circumcision techniques VS. Bible days

Circumcision has been performed for centuries related to religious rituals. When reading the Bible, we read all about the circumcised vs the uncircumcised. If you are a Christian and trying to figure out where you stand on circumcision related to Christianity, it’s important to acknowledge that when Jesus came to the world and died for our sins (which one believes when claiming to be Christian), Jesus spoke many times about the important of the “circumcised heart”. He made a way for both Jew and Gentile to have a relationship with God and because of His ultimate sacrifice, it doesn’t matter anymore if one is circumcised physically or not. God looks at the heart.

Now that we have that part out of the way, it was interesting to me to find that circumcision in Bible days was actually much different than it is today. The Hebrew words used for the practice of circumcision are “namal” and “muwl”. In Hebrew, namal means ‘to clip’ – like one would clip the ends of our fingernails. Muwl means ‘to curtail, to blunt.’ Neither of these words mean “to cut” “to amputate” “to remove” “to cut off,” etc. There were very different words in Hebrew to represent ‘the cutting off’ or ‘the removal of.’

Back in the day, circumcision was ceremonial performed as”cutting of the blessing” – a very small slit made at the end of the penis to allow a few drops of blood to shed (or, actually, be sucked out by the mouth of the boy’s father or a Rabbi) as the blood sacrifice of the covenant. This small slit is of course very different from today in modern U.S. culture where we amputate the entire prepuce organ. For more resources and reading on this topic, visit http://www.drmomma.org/2010/07/biblical-circumcision-information.html.

 

5. The 3 circumcision techniques

The three most common are the Gomco clamp, the Mogen clamp, and the Plastibell. Here is a great video of a pediatrician explaining these techniques and what to expect- https://youtu.be/IF0_QBm7Qo0

6. Pain factor

It used to be believed that infants didn’t feel any pain. Sounds kinda crazy to me, but they also used to use leeches to suck out illness…I digress. Infants definitely do feel pain, and the procedure of circumcision is a painful one. Recent studies have proved that infants feel pain as early as the second-trimester of pregnancy. As adults, when we choose to do something we know is going to cause pain, we can prepare for it and get over it. When infants experience pain, it is a new sensation for them, and one some argue that can be brain altering. Physiologic studies indicate significant and long-lasting physiological consequences may follow painful insults in the very young, including changes in the central nervous system and changes in responsiveness of the neuroendocrine and immune systems to stress at maturity. Read more on this study here- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595204/


Oh my goodness gracious, what is a parent to do??? It’s a lot of information I know… I know many people who were circumcised with no apparent complications, and I know people who did have complications. Ultimately, this comes down to each parent’s individual decision. I hope this resource helps you and your partner make the best educated decision for your baby boy. Now you can be confident that you did your homework and made the best possible decision you could. I would recommend watching a video of an actual infant circumcision before you watch your son’s be performed just to be prepared as it can be scary for parent’s to watch. 🙂

Happy Baby Growing!!!

 

 

Plan B: Including C-Section in your Birth Plan

In the US, Cesarean Sections (C-Sections) are increasingly popular. Maybe you’ve had one, maybe you’d do anything to avoid having one, either way, it’s smart to include a c-section portion in creating your birth plan.

If you’re planning on having a natural delivery, like I am, there can be a lot of fear and anxiety with the thought of needing a c-section. There are risks involved obviously, with having your abdomen cut open after all. The beauty of c-sections and modern medicine is that they can truly save mom and baby’s life when needed. There are life or death situations in childbirth where both mom and baby would have died centuries ago without the option of c-sections. So, as “un-ideal” as a c-section may be for multiple reasons, it is still a realistic possibility. Instead of panicking when your doctor tells you that your dreams of having a natural birth aren’t going to be a reality because medical intervention is necessary, it would be much better to have a “Plan B” written out beforehand.

Thankfully, there are options that you should be aware of. When I was creating my birth plan, I came across a wonderful resource online- http://gratefulforgrace.com/. Author, Melinda Brouse, created an E-book titled, “Make the Most of Your C-Section: Prepare for a More Natural & Personalized Birth”. I was SO excited when I found this resource, because I never thought the words “Natural” “Personalized” and “C-Section” could ever go together. Her experiences and resources prove differently. It’s a wonderful resource that I recommend everyone looking into to know what your options are, even if you’re planning a natural birth. To learn more about this resource, visit Melinda’s site here- http://gratefulforgrace.com/2012/06/make-the-most-of-your-c-section/.

To give you an idea of how your c-section could be personalized, here are some bullet points I’ve put together from my own research and preferences that will be included in my birth plan in the case of c-section…

WISHES IN CASE OF C-SECTION (IF POSSIBLE)

  • Shield lowered to see baby delivered
  • Mom’s arms will not be strapped down
  • Only spinal medication will be given to numb mother for surgery.
  • Baby is pulled out of the uterus slowly to mimic “squeezing” of birth canal.
  • Cord allowed to stop pulsing before clamping or cutting, if possible and dad cut’s cord.
  • No erythromycin, silver nitrate, vaccinations. Vit K injection only if deemed immediately necessary, otherwise oral Vit K will be given.
  • Baby goes straight to mama’s chest for skin to skin with warm blanket over baby
  • Well checks are done on mom’s chest.
  • Vernix rubbed in baby’s skin instead of washed off
  • Baby stays in mom or dad’s arms the entire time.
  • Room in with baby at all times

It’s important to remember that a birth plan is just that…a plan. Plan’s don’t always go perfectly, and sometimes an emergency arises, where you will need to trust the doctors and nurses to do their job in order to do what’s best for you and baby. If you go in for an uncomplicated c-section, however, many if not most of these requests should be met with no problem. This is referred to as a family-centered c-section. Just remember to be nice with your medical staff and not to come across as demanding. This will go a long way.

I hope this resource eases your mind and helps you be better prepared for anything that could happen on your D-day, ensuring your birthing process is as personal and powerful as possible. 🙂

Should My Newborn Get a Vitamin K Shot?

Going through nursing school, in my OB rotation, there were some things we learned that were routine and done for every newborn. A hepatitis B shot and Vitamin K shot were two of them. Today I wanted to lay out some information on the Vitamin K shot to help you and your partner make an informed decision on whether or not you would like to go through with this for your newborn.

I’m not going to lie, this is a tough one. There is fear as a new parent, where we don’t want to do anything that could put our new, precious, innocent little baby in danger. As with any medical procedure, there are ALWAYS risks, however low they may be, which is why it is important that you have all the facts.

Why is Vitamin K important?

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin needed for blood clotting. One of it’s primary functions is to activate clotting factors in the body. Vitamin K’s other job is to put calcium in the right places (bones and blood) and keep it from being deposited in the wrong places (calcification of the blood vessels, bone spurs and calcification of soft tissues). We do not make our own vitamin K. 90% of our vitamin K (vitamin K1) levels comes from plants such as green leafy vegetables and about 10% (vitamin K2) comes from fermented foods, some animal fats, and bacteria production in the gut.

Why does every newborn routinely get a vitamin k shot?

When babies are born, they are ALL born with low vitamin K levels, and regular “clotting factors”. Even with low vitamin K levels, our bodies can still clot, however, if levels get too low, the infant can be at increased risk for bleeding complications. Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB) is very rare, however, it occurs with unknown cause and the signs are not easy to detect until the baby is in trouble. One in 20,000 babies will suffer from Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN), where internal bleeding can cause brain damage or death. In attempts to prevent that 1 baby in 20,000 from suffering from these complications, medical policy began integrating vitamin K shots into the plan of care for every newborn.

In 1944, a definitive Swedish study was published including more than 13,000 infants who were given 0.5 mg of Vitamin K (either oral or injection) on the first day of life. The researcher found that infants who received Vitamin K experienced a 5-fold reduction in the risk of bleeding to death during the first week of life. It was estimated that for every 100,000 full-term infants who were born, Vitamin K would save the lives of 160 infants per year (Lehmann 1944). In 1961, it became recommended for all newborns to get a vitamin K injection after birth.

Why are babies born with low Vitamin k?

That’s a great question, my friend. This is where I have a tough time because this question doesn’t have any clear answers found yet by science. For an excellent alternative view on vitamin K deficiency, please check out this article here. It would seem to be that there is a reason 100% of babies are born with low levels. It should be acknowledged as well that because 100% of babies are born with lower levels of vitamin K than the average adult, no baby is actually deficient, because they are similar across the board. Does that make sense? Studies have shown that fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) do not transfer as easily across the placenta from mom to baby. Vitamin K is also not transferred in high amounts via breast milk from mom to baby.

There are 3 different types of VKDB:

  1. Early VKDB- Onset within 24 hours after birth and is almost exclusively seen in infants of mothers taking drugs which inhibit vitamin K. These drugs include anticonvulsants (carbamazepine, phenytoin and barbiturates), antituberculosis drugs (isoniazid, rifampicin), some antibiotics (cephalosporins) and vitamin K antagonists (coumarin, warfarin).
  2. Classic VKDB- Onset between 24 hours and 7 days after birth and is associated with delayed or insufficient feeding.
  3. Late VKDB- Onset between 2-12 weeks of age and is exclusively associated with breast fed only babies. In fully breast-fed infants who did not receive vitamin K at birth, the incidence is between 1/15,000 and 1/20,000. Babies with gall bladder, liver, or malabsorption disorders are at particular risk.

Although in the above statistics, Late VKDB is associated only with breastfed infants, studies have also shown the following regarding breastfeeding & VKDB:
• Breast fed babies whose mothers ate leafy green vegetables while pregnant, did not get VKDB
• Breast fed babies whose mothers were supplemented with vitamin K tablets while pregnant did not get VKDB
• There are higher levels of vitamin K in colostrum, the baby’s first milk, so it is really important that he gets to drink colostrum as soon as possible. A study in the British Medical Journal in 1992 showed that babies who had unrestricted access to the breast immediately after birth, and who had breast fed before they were 24 hours old, did not get VKDB.

What is in the Vitamin K injection?

If the injected vitamin K was from a natural source with no potentially hazerdous added ingredients, I wouldn’t have any reservations about this shot. That, however, isn’t the case. The Vitamin K used in the injection is a synthetic Vitamin K form, known as vitamin K3 or PHYTONDIONE. The dosage is also incredibly high at almost 9,000 times the adult level of vitamin k. According to Archives of Disease in Childhood, 1997, a baby given a vitamin K injection receives 300 times more vitamin than is recommended for an adult and has a 9000 times higher blood plasma level. It should be noted that your tiny baby has to process all of that excess vitamin K in addition to all of the additives through it’s liver, which is why there is an increased risk of jaundice with the vit K injection. Different brands of vitamin k shots vary slightly in their ingredients, but for the most part they include the following:

– Phenol (carbolic acid – a poisonous substance derived from coal tar)
– Benzyl alcohol (preservative)
– Propylene glycol (better known as antifreeze and a hydraulic in brake fluid)
– Acetic acid (astringent, antimicrobial agent)
– Hydrochloric acid
– Lecithin
– Castor oil

As you can see, there is more than a decision of whether or not to supplement your newborn with extra vitamin K when it comes to the shot. There are quite a few additional ingredients being injected into your newborn, which always brings question to it’s immediate and long term effects.

Pro’s Vs. Con’s of the Vitamin K Shot

Pro’s:

  • Going off the current studies on vitamin K injections in newborns, your infant’s risk of suffering from VKDB is significantly decreased with the injection. It should be kept in mind that only 1 in 20,000 infants suffer from VKDB, and this isn’t including factors such as medication of the mother, nutrition of the mother, health of the baby, pregnancy complications, etc.

Con’s:

  • A synthetic version of vitamin k is used. Synthetic vitamins should be avoided as they can cause imbalances in the body and have unintended consequences. For example, synthetic vitamin A actually causes the type of birth defects that natural vitamin A prevents!
  • Increased risk of jaundice and liver problems in the newborn
  • The fact is that medical science still does not know that much about the metabolic fate of vitamin K. Little to no unmetabolized vitamin K shows up in urine or bile. This is disturbing given the fact that vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin and therefore has the potential to accumulate in body tissues. More disturbing is that the liver of a newborn does not begin to fully function until 3 or 4 days after birth. As a result, this little being has very limited to no ability to detoxify the large dose of synthetic vitamin K and all other the ingredients in the injection cocktail.
  • Midwifery Digest, Vol 2 #3, September 1992 estimated that the chance of your child developing leukemia from the vitamin K shot is about one in 500! This means that the risk of developing leukemia from the vitamin K shot is much higher than the risk of bleeding on the brain which the vitamin K shot is supposed to prevent!** There have been additional studies that have supposedly disproven this study, however, this study was still done, and I believe should still be in the back of parent’s minds. It wouldn’t be the first time man-made medicine made the human body sicker instead of healthier.
  • Although uncommon, reported infant anaphylactic shock has occured due to the vitamin K injection (source).
  • Pain in the newborn immediately after birth. This may be a bigger deal than you may think. Dr. David B. Chamberlain, psychologist and co-founder of the Association of Pre-and Perinatal Psychology and Health, wrote in his article “Babies Don’t Feel Pain: A Century of Denial in Medicine”:The earlier an infant is subjected to pain, the greater the potential for harm.” A 2004 studyvii found that very early pain or stress experiences have long-lasting adverse consequences for newborns, including changes in the central nervous system and changes in responsiveness of the neuroendocrine and immune systems at maturity.
  • An injection creates an additional opportunity for infection in an environment that contains some of the most dangerous germs, at a time when your baby’s immune system is still immature.

How to naturally decrease your baby’s risk of VKDB without the vitamin K shot-

  • If circumcising your son, WAIT until day 8 after birth, do NOT do it sooner. Day 8 is said to be the only time in a baby’s life when his prothrombin level will naturally exceed 100 percent of normal. As it turns out, Genesis 17:12 of the Bible mandates the circumcision of infant boys on the eighth day after birth—a recommendation pronounced long before we had the science to back it up. Cool, huh?
  • Vernix, the milky white substance covering baby at birth, is also high in vitamin K, so parents may want to consider allowing this substance to be absorbed by their baby rather than washed off, allowing for all the nutrients to absorb into baby’s blood stream.
  • Immediate clamping or cutting of the umbilical cord results in a loss of up to 40% of the baby`s blood volume. Valuable platelets and coagulation factors are also lost. While some studies have shown only a minimal amount of vitamin K in the cord blood, it is always a good idea to let your baby keep all of it’s nutrients from the womb before clamping or cutting the cord.
  • Mom, it’s a GREAT idea for you to consume a plethora of green veggies during pregnancy, especially towards the end to increase your vitamin k levels. You could also find a natural vitamin k supplement if you would like. Since part of our vitamin K levels come from fermented foods and healthy gut bacteria, I would also like to think that a mother who consumes daily probiotic foods will birth a child with higher friendly bacteria counts in their gut, therefore naturally increasing vitamin k levels in baby. That would make sense, wouldn’t it?  🙂 Down that sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir!

Oral vitamin K supplementation option-

For those of you who aren’t aware, across the world, OB caregivers also give the option of oral vitamin K supplementation. With this option, you can naturally supplement vitamin K levels in the newborn without the pain and extra additives. There is a wonderful supplement by Biotech’s Research Corporation which you can find on amazon here.

Dosing varies slightly depending on practitioners. Ultimately, you should consult with your pediatrician or midwife.

The Cochrane Collaboration has determined the following dosing schedule, which results in very similar rates of protection from HDN:ix

  • 1 milligram liquid vitamin K weekly, OR
  • 0.25 milligram liquid vitamin K daily

Here is a study of oral vitamin K given to infants and the incidence of VKDB…which was zero- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12892158

Ok, my friends, now you should have a well rounded view of the vitamin K in newborns debate. Hopefully you can now make an informed decision on what will be the best route to take for you and your baby. Either way, have grace with yourself, knowing you are making the best informed decision you can for your little one. Be an advocate for your baby.

Resources:

The Downside of Newborn Hats

Newborn babies are just so yummy! Their smell, their teeny tiny features, their sound, their innocence….(sigh)…they are so mesmerizing! The classic picture of a newborn baby is of them all cleaned up, swaddled, with the blue and pink striped hospital beanie on. Everything newborn is cute, maybe because it’s so little? I don’t know, but I had to buy my son-to-be some super cute baby beanies because I remembered learning in nursing school how important it was to put a hat on the baby almost as soon as it was born. We were taught that babies lose heat from their head the fastest, so in order to regulate their temperature, they needed to be swaddled and their heads covered immediately and at all times.

It wasn’t until I started looking at other people’s birthing plans that I found there is actually a negative side to putting a hat on a newborn, and a rather significant one! As I continue to learn about pregnancy, labor, and all that happens in the mom and baby’s body through this process, I am blown away! There is such an evident, perfect, and intricate process created for reproduction! Ok…let’s get to the facts of how newborn hats can significantly get in the way of baby and mom’s healing process after birth.

  1. It covers up the “new baby smell” (& it’s a bigger deal than you might have thought!)

Ok, THIS. IS. AMAZING. Most of you know, newborns have this amazingly sweet, fresh scent when they’re born. It turns out smell is one of the first senses that bonds baby to mom and dad. Baby recognizes your scent as soon as they are put on your chest. Mom is also biologically primed to recognize the scent of her baby. As soon as mom gets a good whiff of that delicious baby smell immediately after birth, biologically things start happening in mom’s body.

3rd Stage of Labor- Baby smell is one of the cues that triggers the third stage of labor, which is delivering the placenta. Mom gets a huge rush of oxytocin hormone to the brain triggered by this smell, which causes the uterus to contract and safely expel the placenta and encouraging constriction of blood vessles. Proper placenta delivery and constriction of the blood vessels is critical to ensure mom stops bleeding and starts healing. Every mom and dad is scared of birthing complications. Making sure you snuggle up to your naked baby on your chest is nature’s powerful way of finishing labor and advancing healing.

Bonding- This intoxicating baby smell is one of the most important bonding cues in a baby and mother’s brain due to the hormone production in the brain. This is where your magical relationship ignites on a chemical, biological, emotional, physical, and spiritual level. All, which is triggered by baby smelling mom and mom smelling baby.

Research has demonstrated that the changes to the olfactory bulb and main olfactory system following birth are extremely important and influential for maternal behavior. Mammalian olfactory cues play an important role in the coordination of the mother infant bond, and the following normal development of the offspring. Maternal breast odors are individually distinctive, and provide a basis for recognition of the mother by her offspring”.

Isn’t it amazing this critical piece of bonding could be interrupted by a baby hat?

2. Impaired temperature regulation

It has long been believed that we lose most of our heat from our heads. This myth was debunked in a study which was published in the British Medical Journal in 2008 and by another study in 2006 (Pretorius).

Newborn hats not only are ineffective at temperature regulation, they can actually do more harm than good. Hats on newborns may actually cause an infant’s head to overheat. So, what’s the best way to keep your baby warm? YOU! Research has proven that the best way to keep baby at the perfect temperature is by skin-to-skin contact with mom. But, wait! It get’s even better!

Studies have shown that when a newborn and mother are skin-to-skin, the mother’s body actually changes temperature dependent on what the baby needs! If the baby is too cool, mom’s body will warm up a degree. If the baby is too warm, mom’s body will cool down a degree. In fact, you not only keep your baby’s temperature regulated, you also regulate your baby’s breathing pattern, heart rate, and even blood sugar levels (Ludington-Hoe, 2006). How amazing is that?!

This kind of stuff leaves me in awe. I LOVE learning about the human body and how we were created to sustain life. Our bodies were intelligently designed so intricately, that the smartest scientist in the world can’t even fully comprehend it. I love it! So, now that I have learned about the importance of my baby going hatless, that will definitely be something added onto our birthplan. Of course, when you’re outside or in a very cold environment, feel free to put those cute little baby hats on your little one. Hopefully, what you took away from this information is the vital importance of baby’s first hours in this world and why your bonding time skin-to-skin is so crucial for mom and baby.

For more amazing info please check out the following resources:

https://i0.wp.com/choosehopetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/baby-psalm-139.jpg

WTH is Vernix and why shouldn’t I wash it off my baby???

We are putting together our birthing plan, and along my research, I started reading all about Vernix Caseosa. It intrigued me so much that I thought I would share the research with all of you.

What is Vernix Caseosa?

Vernix is a very not-cute (in my opinion), white cheese-like substance that covers your baby’s skin in the womb and is present upon delivery. I don’t know about you, but thinking about my baby covered in cheese is not the most ideal situation I could think of, but before you rush your baby to the bath, learn about how AMAZING it is!!!

Purpose & Function of Vernix Caseosa-

I used to think Vernix was left over amniotic fluid or “stuff” from the birth sack or birth canal, but infact, it starts being produced in the 3rd trimester for some very important purposes:

  1. Waterproof coating- Vernix acts as a waterproof coating on the baby’s skin to protect the baby from the watery environment baby’s live in while in utero. According to Cosmetics & Toiletries Sciences Applied, the prenatal functions of vernix include: ”waterproofing, since due to the low surface energy, vernix caseosa is highly unwettable; the facilitation of the skin formation in utero; and protection of the fetus from acute or sub-acute chorioamnionitis (an inflammation of the outer (chorion) and inner (amnion) fetal membranes due to a bacterial infection). During delivery, vernix caseosa acts as a lubricant while postnatally, it exhibits antioxidant, skin cleansing, temperature-regulating and antibacterial properties.”
  2. Lubricant- During delivery, the more lubricant to get that baby out, the better! Can I get an “Amen” ladies?? Vernix acts as a slippery lubricant to help baby slide out as easy as possible considering the circumstances of baby being the size of a watermelon with the exit door being as big as a lemon.
  3. Temperature regulator- Vernix has been shown to help baby maintain a healthy temperature once he is born and prevent too much heat loss. Fascinating.
  4. Antibacterial & Antimicrobial properties- THIS is the part that fascinates me the most! We all know babies have low immune systems when they’re first born into this world, but did you know that they are born with a super (cheesy) shield to protect them from some of the most harmful bacteria?? A study regarding the significance of vernix was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 191 (6), 2090-2096, titled: Antimocrobial Properties of Amniotic Fluid and Vernix Caseosa are Similar to Those Found in Breast Milk. This study revealed that a number of immune substances were present in both amniotic fluid and vernix samples. Tests using antimicrobial growth inhibition essays show these substances are effective at deterring  the growth of common perinatal pathogens— group B. Streptococcus,     K. pneumoniae, L. monocytogenes, C. albicans and E. coli! That’s amazing!

What should I do about Vernix Caseosa?

That is completely and entirely up to you my friend. That being said, The study mentioned above suggests that baby’s first bath should be delayed until at least twenty-four hours after birth. Did you know that  The Department of Health in conjunction with the World Health Association set a protocol for newborns including what they recommended on the vernix topic? In the section regarding thorough immediate drying of the baby (0-3 minutes after birth), it says “Do not wipe off vernix,” and “Do not bathe the newborn.”  The protocol later states that you should wait at least six hours to wash the baby. It’s interesting that these studies and this science with protocols are out there, but so many newborns are rushed off to have a bath right after their delivery. We’re such silly gooses, us humans. Due to our phobia of bacteria and “dirty” things, we usually go way over kill and make things much worse trying to sterilize and overkill. Hello superbugs!

All this being said, our birth plan will indicate that we would like the vernix rubbed in instead of all washed off. Rubbing in the vernix acts as nature’s best moisturizer for baby and will keep him extra healthy in our unhealthy world he arrives in. He has the rest of his life to be super cute, so a few extra hours of goop will be a quality, humbling experience for him I think. 😉 We will have the icky bits of goo and his face wiped off, but that will be it for the first day. Ideally, we’ll be able to give him his first bath at home.

For more information on Vernix Caseosa check out these links-

https://birthbliss.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/benefits-of-vernix-its-amazing-stuff/

http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/tag/benefits-of-vernix/

Why Don’t You Vaccinate?

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First, I want to make sure and be clear that I DID NOT WRITE THIS ARTICLE. I am sharing it on my blog because it is so excellently written. Please read this mom’s original post on – www.dinnerforthought.com/blog/why-dont-you-vaccinate.

It is never my intention to offend anyone, although I know I will. Everyone must choose what is best for their family, and that decision, whether it’s to fully vaccinate, partially vaccinate, or forgo vaccinations all together, should be respected.I share this information to encourage research and critical thinking on this important issue, and most importantly emphasize how unconstitutional it is for the right for parent’s to choose to vaccinate their children or not, to be taken away as it has in SB 277.

I’ve copied her article for your reading pleasure below…

———————————-

I was asked recently what my reason for not vaccinating my children was.

I’ve been asked this many times. It’s an understandable question, coming from those who are shocked to learn that people even consider bucking the medical system and their infamous childhood vaccine schedule. To some, I may seem like some sort of modern day renegade; some kind of rogue in a vast wilderness of pharmaceutical influence. I suppose I am different, although I don’t feel that way most of the time. What may set me(and millions of others) apart is how I reached this decision.

There is not one sole reason that I’ve stopped vaccinating my kids; there are many reasons.
I’ve been researching this topic in depth for quite a while now(spurred on by an adverse reaction my second child had to her twelve month round of shots), and I’ve come to the eye opening realization that the rabbit hole is much deeper than most people realize. I have many reasons for not trusting common vaccine science, but there are ten reasons that I feel compelled to specifically address whenever the topic comes up.

                                        “Why don’t you vaccinate?”

10. Vaccine manufacturers are immune from any and all liability.

This means that they cannot be held responsible for vaccines that cause damage to the recipient, or if a fully vaccinated person still gets a disease they thought they were protected from. If your child’s car seat failed, you’d own a lawsuit and get thoroughly compensated. Not so with vaccines.
See, back in 1986, vaccine makers actually threatened to stop making them because of all the lawsuits they were losing. Kids and adults both were getting injured and dying, and pharma was paying for it. So they struck a deal with the government. They would be exempt from product liability. The government then set up “Vaccine Court”, which really isn’t a court at all, and became not only extremely difficult to get into, but also extremely difficult to “win”. Even with strict rules for entry consideration in place, well over three billion dollars has been paid out to numerous families of vaccine disabled/dead children. The following graph breaks down exactly how much has been paid out since 1989. Find more info at:

http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/statisticsreport.pdf 

9. Financial incentives and conflicts of interest turn me off.

In the case of vaccine manufacturers, who make billions annually from vaccines, and the CDC/WHO, who make an astronomical amount themselves for researching and supporting them, it really turns me off. I would think that most people, without much effort or research, could see that there’s a big time conflict of interest that lies beneath the surface of today’s medical system. The government(CDC), with shoddy research, bias, sugar coated statistics, and all out lies, backs the pharmaceutical companies, who in turn reward them for it. Doctors get their running orders from the government, who of course recommends a ridiculous childhood vaccine schedule, despite the lack of disease outbreaks to begin justifying it, and despite a severe drought of legitimate safety and efficacy studies. Doctors are given a pharma-sponsored education on vaccines; in other words a heavily biased one with little to no education on the risks and dangers. Doctors are also heavily pushed and incentivized to administer vaccines on schedule. Many are so cognitively dissonant by the time they have their own practice that it’s nearly impossible to convince them that what they’re participating in is so dangerous. The fourth aspect of this vaccine paradigm we find ourselves in is the media. They are paid boku bucks to advertise vaccines in accordance to pharma regulations and health department/CDC specifications. All you’ve ever seen on vaccines in the media has been paid for by an entity with a clear agenda. Please research this in depth before blatantly labeling me a conspiracy theorist or something equally as silly.
8. The vaccines aren’t as effective as you’re led to believe.

Some, like the pertussis, influenza, mumps, and meningitis vaccines, are easy to observe with the failing rates, by simply looking at a large percentage of vaccinated people that still contract these diseases. Even the CDC hesitantly admits some of them aren’t as effective as advertised.
Others are a little more difficult to observe, because disease outbreaks in the US have become so rare. In the case of polio, measles, diphtheria, and tetanus, we can see clearly that cases were already declining before vaccine introduction, so it’s almost impossible to prove that the vaccines are what saved us from outbreaks.
While I do believe that vaccines can work to a certain degree in generating an antibody response to a targeted disease(for some people), therefor rendering reactive vaccinees “immune”, it isn’t accurate to say that vaccines save us from disease. Vaccines only target one part of the immune system(antibody stimulation), and bypass two other very important aspects of it.

In peer reviewed literature, we see many cases of outbreaks in fully vaccinated communities, and people who were fully vaccinated still contracting a disease when exposed. We also know that not everyone even has an immune reaction to vaccines. It is estimated that around 50% of the population is not immune to many of the “vaccine preventable” illnesses. You can easily access the studies I’m referencing in PubMed. Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD in immunology, has some really great information on this topic if you’re interested in learning more about this aspect.

7. I don’t believe that vaccines eliminated diseases.

At least, not in the manner that we’re force-fed. It becomes quite clear from studying historical graphs of disease morbidity and mortality rates, that most of the diseases we vaccinate for today were already on a steep decline before their respective vaccines were widely introduced. While this may go against everything you’ve ever been taught to think, I’d ask you to look into this further before laughing it off. As it turns out, hygiene/sanitation has played the biggest role in reducing disease than any other factor. Again, I do believe vaccines have helped curb outbreaks in some ways, but I do not give them near the full credit as many people do without even studying the facts.

6. We’ve traded disease epidemics and natural immunity for neurological and auto-immune epidemics and artificial, temporary immunity.

Kids aren’t dying from diseases; now they’re dying from SIDS, cancer, severe seizures, and other unknown causes – at a higher rate than ever before. Many make the argument that correlation doesn’t equal causation. This is sort of a hypocritical argument, since many also give vaccines the credit for disease elimination, without sufficient proof that it was in fact vaccines that played a critical role.
While I acknowledge that vaccines aren’t the sole cause of autism, asthma, auto-immune issues, and gut complications, I’m also not stupid; neither are the hundreds of thousands of other people who watched their normal, healthy child go into a well visit and come out differently. Vaccines do cause a myriad of health issues; you cannot dispute this if you’ve really researched the topic.

5. Herd immunity does not exist.

Well, let me take that back. It does exist, when a certain percentage of the population is naturally immune; meaning a certain percentage has contracted the illness naturally, defeated it, and is now immune for life. The term “herd immunity” was coined in 1933, well before a vast majority of today’s vaccines were invented. It was scientifically observed that if over 68% of a community population was naturally immune to the measles, the outbreaks ceased and the remainder of the population was protected. Back in these days, disease immunity still worked like it had since the beginning of time. Herd immunity as we know it now(that a very high percentage of populace must be vaccinated, to protect those who can’t receive vaccines) doesn’t exist, because we already know that the majority of the population does not have the desired immune response to vaccines. Even if they do, the immunity is only temporary, and wanes at various paces depending on the individual. It is now widely believed, and admitted by the CDC, that at best, one can only retain vaccine immunity for up to ten years.
When mass vaccination campaigns first began, it was widely touted that one shot would grant you immunity for life. That has long ago been thoroughly dis-proven, which is why there’s now a sudden rush to get adults up to date on their boosters. Of course, what good are boosters if half of those adults never responded to their first round? The real question is, why are we not continuing to see disease outbreaks despite a population that is largely “unprotected”?

4. The ingredients in vaccines scare the crap out of me.

Not just because they sound scary(Mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, MSG, antifreeze, the foreign DNA mentioned earlier, and the viruses/bacteria themselves), but in researching them, you find that many of the common, necessary ingredients are labeled as toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or unavoidably dangerous in other venues. It also astounds me how many people don’t understand the difference between injection and ingestion. We are injecting these ingredients(at a much higher rate than ever before) into our babies, and not only bypassing their natural digestive systems, but assaulting their undeveloped kidneys, which of course is basically the body’s toxin filter. While a common argument is that these ingredients are only given in “trace” amounts, the truth is drastically different. For example, mercury(which is still used as a preservative for your annual multi-dose flu shot) in trace amounts had been scientifically demonstrated to destroy brain cells. Aluminum is one of the most common metals on earth, but we know it can be quite harmful if ingested in large quantities. Now consider that the hep B vaccine, administered on the first day of life, contains the FDA’s daily limit for a healthy adult(250mcg). Most other vaccines using aluminum as an adjuvant contain even more than that, including the DTaP, which is given at 2, 4, and 6 months. Many peer reviewed studies conclude that aluminum can potentially interfere with brain neurons. What are we doing to our infants?
Formaldehyde is used not only for embalming dead bodies, but also to kill the viruses or bacteria in inactivated vaccines. It has been labeled a carcinogen in other areas, yet we’re injecting it into our bodies. Sure, a pear might contain the same amount of formaldehyde as a single vaccine, but when’s the last time you injected a pear, or even fed one to your 2 month old? The bottom line is, it hasn’t been tested for safety in infants. Go ahead, check. Even the package inserts themselves state explicitly that vaccines have not been tested for carcinogenic or mutagenic effects. Have you noticed the epidemic of childhood cancer that is happening today? No, they don’t know what’s causing it.

3. Many vaccines contain foreign animal DNA.

There is no way around the fact that every vaccine contains some type of foreign DNA. Tissue from several animals is needed to cultivate viruses and bacteria. There are no safety studies on injecting foreign DNA and what it does to the body.

I’ve decided that I don’t like the thought of my children getting injected with pig, cow, monkey, mouse, rabbit, and dog DNA; I don’t care if it’s widely deemed “safe”.

With no studies on the effects, and my own common sense, this should be enough. No thanks.

2. Many vaccines are designed using aborted fetal tissue as a growth medium.

While there is no fetal tissue in vaccines(a common misconception), there are unavoidable traces of fetal cells/foreign human DNA in many of them. There are no safety studies that prove this isn’t dangerous or doesn’t cause adverse effects. There are studies, however, that do find a strong correlative link to the case spikes in autism and the introduction of vaccines containing human fetal cells.
I also have a big problem with abortion, and cannot support a medical practice that benefits from it. No matter your views on abortion, you have to admit that there’s a flaw with this practice. We know nothing about the effects of foreign DNA in the bloodstream.
1. It’s MY choice.

It’s not up to the government, the pharmaceutical giants, the health department, my doctor, or you to decide for me how to raise my kids. I’m not neglecting or abusing my kids by not having them vaccinated, despite a new push to paint this image into the minds of the public.
No, I stopped vaccinating my kids because I love them so much that I realized I really needed to be researching such an important topic; one that has destroyed the lives of many families.
I’ve already told you nine other reasons why I chose to stop vaccinating my children. I could have just said it’s none of your business, and gone about my day. I could have laughed and called you a mindless drone who only believes what their TV screen tells them. I could have called you close-minded when you rolled your eyes at various points throughout this list.
But I didn’t, and here’s why:
You need to know why I don’t vaccinate.
You need to know why more and more parents are deciding not to vaccinate.
You need to know that my unvaccinated child is much healthier and farther ahead of her vaccinated siblings.
You need to hear the hundreds of thousands of parents out there that have experienced their child having an adverse, sometimes life-long reaction to vaccines.
You need to hear that many parents have lost their dearly beloved children to “unknown” causes, days or even hours after routine vaccinations.
You need to know the risks. You need to know the dangers.
You need informed consent, because the truth is, you’re not getting it from your pediatrician like you should be.
Someone has to tell you this before universal vaccines are mandated, and it’s not your choice anymore.

Wake up. Read up. Make an informed choice.  http://www.immunize.org/packageinserts/ 

If you want to learn more about this topic, visit my Facebook group, The Vaccine Gamble. There you can easily access studies, stats, stories, and much more.

#hearthiswell
#CDCwhistleblower
#onevoiceatatime
#informedconsent
#we’renotgoingaway