Friday, September 22, 2017

My birth story : Part 2 : Labor and Delivery

I'm not particularly excited to write about this part. As I said in my first post, I wanted to have a positive attitude about my labor. I wanted to focus on what my body was capable of. I wanted to entertain the possibility that everything would happen as I envisioned. That positive attitude about the possibility of a straight forward, easy labor, was bullshit.

I knew things were not going to go well right from the start. I was past my due date, which was fine. I was in that waiting period where nothing is happening and the doctor wants to induce. But I was just waiting for my body to get shit going, and so on Friday, I decided to go for a short walk at a local park. Not too long into my walk, my water broke. I didn't know for sure that's what it was. I was fairly certain though, as liquid continued to leak out of me, because the only other alternative was that I had become suddenly incontinent. (A possibility, but unlikely.)

Premature rupture of membranes is one complication that often leads to a c-section, so my anxiety started as soon as my labor started.

I went home and went to the bathroom where I found that my mucus plug had finally decided to come out. I was able to confirm that my water broke, because the fluid was definitely not urine. I texted my doula and called the nurse hotline and I was working hard not to feel discouraged. Premature rupture of the membranes is a pretty uncommon complication...though it's what the movies love to show as the way labor happens. The reality is that the amniotic sac should stay in place for most of the labor, it's the cushion against the contractions. Because it's uncommon, I didn't even consider it a possibility and never talked to my doctor about it. The problem is that once your water breaks, and the longer it's broken during labor, the higher the risk of infection. How much? I wouldn't know, because I didn't research it. So I knew when I called the nurse hotline that they would tell me to go to the hospital. I didn't want to go this early.

Going to the hospital before transition (dilation of 6cm) is another complication that tends to lead to a c-section.

So when I called the nurse hotline and they told me to come in, I wasn't surprised.

I decided to wait a few hours, but I knew I'd have to go in. I wanted to wait longer, but again, I had no idea how my doctor felt about it and had not discussed this possibility. I felt dumb about that, but honestly, there is only so much a person can anticipate, you know? So I packed up and went in and was super annoyed about the whole situation. They did a quick pelvic exam (something I had wanted to avoid but couldn't justify refusing) and found out that I was leaking amniotic fluid and I was only 3cm dilated. Much to my dismay, I had to be checked in.

From then, my labor just descended into everything I didn't want. I stalled at 3cm, for HOURS, and so the doctors told me I had to have pitocin...of course, first they ignored me for five hours, not examining me or discussing what was happening. They claimed it's because my birth preferences said no pitocin. But honestly, that's some bullshit. What a patient wants and what a patient needs are two different things. It's the doctor's job to communicate to the patient in order to bridge the gap between those two things. These doctors didn't care though and just ignored me. When the doctor finally came in, he didn't even touch me. He didn't examine me. He just told me I needed pitocin and that they had waited HOURS beyond when they would normally administer it.

So, pitocin it was...yet another complication that often leads to a c-section.

The pitocin made my contractions bearable but VERY painful. It also made my anxiety go through the roof. I had been holding my anxiety at bay, trying to maintain a positive attitude while being stuck in the hospital for hours, enduring the commentary of the nurses who wondered why I'd come to the hospital at 3cm. As if I'm an idiot who WANTED to be there and didn't have a fucking chart they could read that told them why I was there. I knew that I could mitigate either the painful contractions OR my anxiety, but not both.

And so, I decided to have an epidural...yet another complication that often leads to a c-section.

By the time I had the epidural, I had been in labor for over twelve hours. The epidural was AWFUL. It caused a precipitous drop in my blood pressure, a DANGEROUS blood pressure was something crazy like 55/64 (I know the top number was 55, can't remember the bottom). The room felt weird, they had to lay my bed flat and start pumping me with fluids and some other medicine. It took them over an hour to get my blood pressure to a reasonable level. The doctors LOVE to ask if a patient has a history of high blood pressure or a family history of it, but they never ask about low blood pressure. They wouldn't have been able to prevent it, but still, it'd be nice if they were thorough in their questioning. The epidural required a catheter, but at least I couldn't feel it. They ran the epidural pretty fucking high, so one of my legs became totally immobile and I couldn't feel the baby move. Eventually, I asked them to turn it down. With the epidural in, all I could do was lie in bed, immobile, and just hope that my contractions were doing their job. Also, I was now on constant monitoring of everything, but still totally ignored by all the doctors.

Day One with Smashface

Six hours after the epidural, I was stalled at 5cm. I was not really progressing. Also, by this time, my water had been broken for almost 24 hours, so it was time to start IV antibiotics. I continued to wait. My labor progressed very slowly, each centimeter taking hours. After more than 30 hours in labor, I had only progressed to 8cm. Also, by this time, my OB had become the house doctor, which was great for me. He didn't ignore me AND he was nice and not bossy and didn't fail to communicate with me until the very last minute. He kept me abreast of everything that wasn't happening and he was totally respectful of watching me go through a labor that was the exact opposite of everything I wanted.

I made it to 8cm and stalled for four hours. At this point, my doctor was talking c-section. He had explained to me that labor was all about progression and progression had a specific time table. I knew this and I knew I wasn't progressing. At this time, he mentioned that Smashface was positioned "asynclitic," this means he wasn't positioned going straight into my pelvis and instead was coming in at an angle.

Asynclitic is not a great position for a baby, but it's not necessarily hopeless. With a willing midwife (or doctor), a woman has options for trying to reposition the fetus. Usually, this means holding a position for 40 minutes that is meant to use the contractions to pull the fetus out of the pelvis so that it might straighten out and head in properly. Of course, by the time I knew this, it was too late. I had an epidural which meant I couldn't move, even if I wanted. Maybe if any doctor had bothered to examine me and communicate with me, I could've done SOMETHING...but instead, I was ignored. So my doctor mentioned Smashface's positioning and also that I had been stalled for four hours at 8cm. I asked him for one last chance and he allowed me to position myself so that my bottom half was twisted over and one leg was in a stirrup. Apparently, this sometimes works, but not for me.

After six hours of labor at 8cm, he wanted to talk c-section. At this time, it wasn't an emergency. I was fine, Smashface was fine, and I probably could've pushed to stay in labor...and maybe I could've tried to move around. But by this time, I was tired. I had been in labor for 40 hours. While most of it was not particularly painful, it was still exhausting. The nurses were nice but the sensory overload was constant. I couldn't move. All I could do was lie in bed, watch movies, and contemplate the inevitable. I had no hope of a natural birth by this point and I just didn't want to be stuck anymore. Also, my doctor would only be there until 9a, and then who knows what asshole I'd have to deal with.

I didn't want to see any other doctors, so I agreed to a c-section.

Day 2 with Smashface

The operation was terrifying and one of the worst things I have ever experienced. Everyone in the operating room was happy as motherfucking clams. They were loud as fuck and there were too many of them. The operating room was the brightest room I've ever been in, all white and sterile and fucking awful. They strapped me down like fucking Jesus, with my arms outstretched, and they numbed the shit out of my lower half, so much that I couldn't feel anything and had a hard time breathing. Despite the numbing, I could still feel their hands inside my abdominal cavity. It was a nightmare and all I wanted was for it to be over. So I kept my eyes shut the entire time and tried to pretend I was somewhere else.

At 5:40a, Dr. Ballas pulled Smashface from my abdominal cavity and everyone in the operating room, except me, was super fucking exciting about it. They all wanted to know the sex of the baby, but I just wanted to know what hair color it had. It turns out Smashface is a boy and his hair is red (no surprise). The doctor told me he had my ears and offered me to hold him, but I didn't want to. I didn't want to experience any part of my child in that awful fucking operating room. I just wanted to get the fuck out of there. So they sewed me up and wheeled me into the postpartum room...a tiny piece of hell chock full of too much fucking furniture and one window. That's where I held my son for the first time.

It turns out that what everyone said was true; my labor was nothing like I wanted and absolutely everything went wrong. However, given how much I was completely ignored by the doctors at the hospital, and how no one bothered to give me a physical exam to determine the position of Smashface, I have to wonder if it could've gone differently. I managed to keep calm and to keep my cool throughout the entire process, though every single thing went wrong. I wanted to try to have a positive experience despite all the negative aspects of the experience, and I did manage to stay relatively happy the entire time. Eventually, I had to succumb to the inevitable conclusion that I would not have a baby vaginally...and while I'm supposed to be ok with this, especially since me and the baby were healthy and survived fine...the truth is, I'm not ok with it at all.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

101 Things Final Update

Technically, my 101 Things to do in 1001 Days isn't actually done until September 28. However, I've been going over the list and I know there isn't anything on it that I'm going to finish in the next ten days. This time around, I really felt like I had accomplished a lot...but I just counted what I'd completed, and it doesn't even appear to be half. I've been doing 101 Things for ... since it was created, I think. It grew from a blog post in 2003, which means I've done five lists so far. And now I'm going to start on my sixth.

So far, every time I've done this, I've never been able to finish more than 49 items. It kind of bums me out that I keep making these lists and keep failing pretty massively. Certainly, my completion rate, were it a test, would not warrant a passing grade. The thing is, I LOVE this list, and I constantly put travel goals on it that I can never fucking afford to do. So, I'm just going to keep doing what I do...roll over some items from this list to the next, add more, and keep writing about it in my blog!!!

This is the final update of my most recent list, and I'll be posting my next list sometime this week. Also, if you're interested, you can learn more about it here...that's also a site that is a social networking thing for the list, if you want that action. If you DO try this out, then please let me know! I'd love to read other lists!


So, here is my COMPLETED list :
001. Paint Bedroom
002. Refinish floors
003. Paint studio
004. Build shelves in bathroom
005. Build shelves in bedroom
006. Build shelves in studio
007. Refinish director's chair
008. Refinish buffet
009. Find/Create matching book shelf for Adam
010. Frame and hang Adam's Romania posters
011. Move more of Adam's stuff to my place
012. Create corner for Adam in my bedroom
013. Hang hammock
017. Create Store Envy
018. Fill with inventory
019. Create line of dolls
020. Make hedgehog
032. Get passport
034. Take Adam to the desert
039. Build a Website (did this with Facebook)
042. Put together ideal equipment situation
045. Finish Renaissance Costume
049. Enroll in college
050. Complete Community college
059. Get second camera tattoo
060. Pay off credit cards
063. Maintain blog
066. Hike every trail in CVNP
070. Run two half marathons
081. Look into that race across Scotland
087 - 099 PRIVATE (but finished)


Here is everything NOT COMPLETED :
Items I knew I wasn't going to do and removed from the list:
014. Make a vegetable garden
015. Redo landscaping around house
016. Remove stump and pave area in front of steps
021. Find shows in other cities
022. Pursue consignment in other cities
024. Sell cloth diaper start-up kit
025. Make a second sling
026. Make baby blanket/snuggy/thing
027. Make cloth wings
028. Sell cloth wings
037. Visit Steph
041. Do shoot with Heather
044. Finish Quilt
052. Try out reselling business
062. Get a dog
069. Run one more marathon
072. Grow hair out
073. Donate hair
100. Create album of first year for Adam
101. Make family trees for Murphy

Items I just didn't finish
023. Make cloth diaper start-up kit
029. See Lake Superior
030. Travel to remaining five states
031. Travel to one new foreign country
033. See the Northern Lights
035. Road trip Hwy 1
036. Visit Bryan
038. Go to Puerto Rico
040. Submit to three blogs (maybe)
043. Do at least one stop-motion wedding video
046. Attend another Renaissance Festival
047. Attend another Comic-Con
048. Attend a tattoo convention
051. Read 50% of personal library
053. Find management position
054. Camp for at least three days
055. Go on backpacking trip (3 or more days)
056. Go fishing
057. Ride a horse
058. Go rock climbing (outside or inside)
061. Take first steps to creating scholarship fund for animal hospital
064. Try one monetizing option
065. Hike all the trails in all the Metroparks of Cleveland and Summit County
067. Go kayaking
068. Ride bike 100 miles
071. Go to Muster on the Maumee
074. Create European Tour albums
075. Print European Tour albums
076. Begin Project Life for yourself (or Blurb)
077. Make high-waisted panties
078. Make a bra
079. Make a jacket with buttons
080. Make pants with fly
082. Begin training to hike the Appalachian Trail
083. Buy new cowboy boots
084. Make family trees for me
085. Create coat of arms for me
086. Lie under the stars with Adam
091. Replace bathroom sink/vanity

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Baby Boy

Dear Baby Boy,

Well, I think we got off to a fairly rocky start, didn't we? 40 hours of labor followed by a c-section were NOT what I wanted. An improper latch, your declining health due to my ignorance about how to feed you, and over a week of struggling to breast feed were NOT what I wanted. Paralyzing anxiety, a trip to the ER, debilitating loneliness, and an inability to function were NOT what I wanted. Constant fighting at the boob, feeling completely inadequate, feeling like I fucked up absolutely everything, constantly wondering how the hell we would make it through one day let alone one week, were NOT what I wanted.

I would venture to guess they were not what you wanted either.


In a perfect world, maybe everything would've worked out "naturally," and I'd be sitting here, having had a natural child birth, you nursing until you're full, and never experiencing the struggles of our first few weeks together. But we don't live in a perfect world, do we? I've never been delusional about that.

I suppose this is the time that I tell you, despite our struggles, that YOU are perfect. But that's a little glib for me. The truth is, I do believe you are perfect, just like I believe I am perfect. I believe that perfection doesn't exist without flaws. I believe that everything is perfect already, and that things can be "miserable and magical" and that's ok. That's life, even.

I can't rewind the clock, change the way you decided to position yourself in my uterus, read about how to get a better latch BEFORE having you, and change the way things were. I guess I wouldn't want to anyway. We're here, getting through week three, so much happier than weeks one and two allowed us to be, and we're doing ok. As I keep telling you, we're a team. I'm always gonna have your back. And now, instead of wishing I could just fast forward through this awful time, I'm feeling like we finally got a really good thing going and I'm looking forward to all we're going to experience together. I can't wait to see you grow and discover who you're going to become.

I love you.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Very little to do...

Smashface was due Saturday, and it's Monday...this is not a big surprise at all. Babies come sort of whenever and due dates are little more than guesses, honestly. I'm basically straight chilling. Walking gets me sore pretty quickly. Swimming means changing into a swimsuit, which I don't wanna do anymore. Sitting in one spot for too long is uncomfortable. My whole goal in life is to do little tasks at a time and then take a break! LOTS of breaks, very little work...and just...WAIT...WAIT...WAIT...WAIT...

But I still have some tasks to do, so I still have a list. Everything is clean and ready to go, just one or two little things here and there...and staying on top of longer term long as they are not too physically intensive. I also have a small list of things to buy that I'm going to put at the end of the list. 'Cause at least one of them, I'm still trying to find on eBay or Facebook Marketplace or something. And the others, it's just down to budget!


This week :

01. Walk, do yoga
02. Scan poster board photos and save on hard drives
03. Price frames for unframed artwork
04. Look up folds for newborns
05. Blog posts
06. Sanitize and organize bottles
07. Travel blog posts
08. Install car seat
09. Rip some more CDs
10. Continue organizing music folder
11. Post more albums to Facebook

To Buy at some point :

01. Size 2 Thirsties (at least three, ideally not full price)
02. Teepee Play Center
03. Passion Planner : Academic Edition
04. Pay off Torrid

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Maternity Retrospective

Since my due date was yesterday (not that due dates are appointments anyway), and I had already been thinking about this, I figured it was time to post the retrospective of all of my naked frolics during my pregnancy! Conception was probably mid-November, so I'm including photos from November 26 up until the week before last, when I did maternity pics with Adam. (Which I might post later.) I had a TON more in the beginning than the end, which is probably more unusual. Lots of women record their "bumps" week by week and I didn't really care to do that. I was happy to get to the point where I could feel Smashface, because then I could forget about what week it was. Prior to that, I felt like I HAD to keep track and HAD to KNOW...but once I could feel Smashface, that was all I needed to know. Also, since Adam went to the island, I did fewer naked frolic shoots, in general.

Being pregnant has been an interesting journey. My main fear was that people would want to touch me and ask invasive questions and be in my business...which hasn't really happened. If anything, I've really reached out more than I expected because medical care has been so fucking atrocious. The fact that I haven't really engaged in social activity has probably helped. Only a few people have been a little too nosy for my tastes...and really, they've acted totally normal. Mostly, people just ask, "How are you feeling," like a lot. I wasn't really nervous about what would happen with my body. Despite the medical community trying to shame me and scare me into believing I'd get some awful complication of pregnancy due to being fat, I knew that wouldn't happen. I kept running until I finished a half marathon at 13 weeks. When I had to stop running, a little earlier than I wanted, but I stayed active. I ate well, and I trusted my body. In some ways, my body has changed more than I expected, and in some ways, it's changed less than I've expected.

Sometimes, being pregnant feels like the most normal thing ever. Like, it just happens, you can't really stop it (unless you wanted to), and it just keeps going. You just do what you do. I don't know if women with "complicated" pregnancies would feel the same way. In some ways, it feels really cool and special. I mean, at least half of the population can never get pregnant, ever. It's not possible for them, and it's cool that it's possible for us. In some ways, it's been really hard. Hormones change shit up on the regular and nothing has been "normal" for a while. Now, I feel like the scariest and most exciting part is coming up and I'm just waiting...a lot of waiting.

In honor of the last few days (or weeks) of waiting, here is a photo from every naked frolic I've had throughout the pregnancy. They're in chronological order. Not all of them feature the belly, because there was a lot of time in the beginning when there was no belly...and then it was like, IMPORTANT to feature the belly!














Thursday, August 17, 2017


A note before we begin : I'm not a doctor, but doctors don't always give you the fullest and best information. As I discuss my journey with learning about and making decisions on vaccines, I am going to give you some excellent information. I will be sourcing the American Academy of Pediatrics, The World Health Organization, and The Center for Disease Control. In America, the AAP and the CDC are the ultimate resources, you cannot find information that is more respected or used outside of those sources. Worldwide, the CDC and the WHO are the most respected health organization that set the standard for governmental policies of public health. Any other source I provide should be compared against the WHO or the CDC. So while I'm not a doctor, and you should probably run your thoughts by your own doctor, I will be giving you the most reputable resources. HOWEVER, you should not use this blog post as a medical resource. This is just my experience and journey to coming to the decisions I made that felt right for myself, my husband, and my child.

Vaccinations are QUITE the issue in America, right? Whether or not you've had kids, you've probably heard about the Anti-Vaccination Movement, maybe seen a lot of judgment on anti-vaxxers, read about the Disneyland Measles Outbreak, read about Jenny McCarthy, heard that some people think vaccines are linked to autism, and of course, heard that all of those people who choose not to vaccinate for whatever reason are just crazy...and not always protected by law anymore.

Despite this large body of work about those who oppose vaccines, for any number of reasons, the fact of the matter is, there isn't good or thorough information on vaccines that is easy to find. For starters, the immunization home page for the AAP, CDC, and WHO are complicated and hard to read, full of tons of links. Most of these links, if followed, lead to more links, and many of the sites include FAQs that say the same thing over and over, vaccines are safe because they are safe. However, if you're not great with a Google search, you might not even find the sites of the AAP, CDC, and WHO. Instead you might find, which gives VERY little information, no links, and no clues on how to find better information. You might find, which is unbiased and not really helpful. Or you might stumble on any manner of blogs or forums written by parents or doctors, many of which SEEM, reputable, but aren't. If you've never taken a class on how to verify a source, you might not know what sources are reputable and what sources are not. You might trust anyone with Dr. before his or her name or any mom blogger of any of the many parenting sites out there, ESPECIALLY if they include links to what seem like reputable sources. It's only with very direct and specific search terms that you might stumble on the AAP's helpful FAQ, but what if that STILL leaves you with questions?

Yesterday, I had an appointment with a pediatrician whom I was considering using as my pediatrician. I had already met him and his colleagues in a largely useless and overwhelming meet and greet (and yes, I'll have a blog post on choosing a pediatrician up at some point). Nevertheless, he stood out as communicating well. He seemed thoughtful, like he listened to me, and I liked him. Plus, he's one of the doctors that works with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, so I thought that he had the skills to communicate effectively with me. In my first meeting, I told all of the doctors why I was there; because I have autism and I have differing needs from most parents. He knew this about me and he remembered me when he sat down with me a second time.

I had been going through the ringer on vaccines. I found one article on the history of vaccines that clarified a lot of thoughts and made me feel perfectly fine about every vaccine I had ever received. The history was there, the evidence was clear, the evidence of what happens when people choose not to vaccinate is abundant in our news media outlets, and the length of time using these vaccines with great success made it easy for me to understand them and why they were beneficial. Nevertheless, I had some questions about three vaccines for which I could not find adequate answers. What I had found was a lot of scare tactics about how, if you don't do the vaccinations at the recommended time, you ARE RISKING THE DEATH OF YOUR CHILD. Scare tactics and circular logic don't work for me, they motivate me to find out more. So I met with this doctor, armed with a folder full of the research I had done, ready to take notes, and several questions regarding vaccinations and the routine visits mandated by the schedule provided for me from his office.

What transpired was not an educated conversation that alleviated my worries. Instead, I was lectured, yelled at, and treated very badly. First, the receptionist attempted to make me meet everyone, despite my telling her I had and despite my telling her I was there to see one doctor. She started with the, "just so you know," kiss of death for every customer service person. (NEVER say those words. It makes you sound condescending and like your entire goal is to provide customer disservice.) I had to walk away from her. Then the doctor answered my first question with an edict that assured I would never see him again, "I don't care if you're a pediatrician, if I am providing care for your child..." No thanks, dude. The meeting further deteriorated into him practically shouting, "But what if you're WRONG and your child DIES!? Also, no thanks, and not helpful. He provided the same pro-vaccination rhetoric you can find EVERYWHERE online, "Well, so what? What is the harm in giving vaccinations?" And he didn't care about my response to that. Then, things got really bad. He said (this is not a direct quote) :

He asserted that should I continue to waste this much time and energy on thorough research, essentially nitpicking every aspect of every decision I would ever make for my child, not only was I definitely wasting time and energy, but I was doing so at the detriment of my child. That, in fact, it is bad parenting to do research and ask questions and I would be neglecting all of the special time and bonding I could have in building a relationship with my child.

Yes, the dude told me that doing this research, setting up this interview, and asking these questions MADE ME A BAD PARENT. Clearly, I would not be using him.

(I would like to note, that he ended the meeting by giving me the number of a Cleveland Clinic immunologist who could answer my in depth questions about the rates of infection and complication and mortality for the diseases in question. He also apologized for losing his temper, AFTER I had made him aware that this was how I operated and this is how I would proceed with care. He did compliment me for being so thorough. However, some apologies, no matter how immediate, are too little too late for me. I can't use someone who would bring me to tears in his office because he was offended that I asked legitimate questions and because he was incapable of maintaining his temper when pressed for the actual answers to the questions I asked, instead of spewing more rhetoric that is easily found online.)

Maybe you've figured out by now, but I am not easily deterred by mistreatment. In fact, the more names you call me, the more likely I am to go find the exact information I wanted to be secure in the knowledge that I was asking the right questions and getting the right information.

So, between bouts of crying at being called a bad parent when all I was trying to do was get information from a professional, I did another four hours of research last night and was able to find the definitive information I wanted.

The problem with the conversation regarding vaccinations, is that it's not a conversation. There is a definite script and the only line is, "What kind of idiot are you who wants to argue the safety and efficacy of vaccines because you are clearly a neglectful and stupid parent, SO JUST TAKE THE FUCKING VACCINES AND SHUT THE HELL UP!"

As I was doing all of my research and asking all my questions, even Adam threw out the "anti-vaxxer" term. I knew how much he judged them, 'cause I follow him on Facebook. I also knew that Adam was swayed by "public health concerns," that never fucking swayed me. My brain is not wired to give a shit about your problems, because that is an illogical solution. It is logical for me to care for myself and, maybe, it is logical for me to extend my help to someone else, but it is not logical for me to be concerned with your health, well-being, and safety. I know, that's not a very "American" sentiment (or is it the most American?) and it's not popular, but it's true. This is just how my brain is wired. You can't argue with it, and I really, really can't change it. I'm wired differently, that's all. So when Adam threw out that term, I scolded hum for his judgment and he couched it with, "but you're educated," implying these other parents aren't. The problem, though, is not that these other parents aren't educated. The problem is twofold, 1. The conversation is NOT OK and is ALWAYS met with condescension and judgment and 2. The most accurate and thorough information from the best resources, is either hard to find, hard to decipher, or both. So parents CANNOT get the accurate information from pediatricians who go on and on with "vaccines are safe because they are safe and DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT THE HEALTH OF YOUR CHILD!???" Meanwhile, the internet is a massive hay stack with a tiny needle of truth buried in there somewhere. Many people are not equipped with the same wherewithal with which I am equipped and many parents aren't as adept or determined at research as I am.

When you put these things together, you have parents who are not comfortable with the information they receive and are trying to make the best decision they can despite the judgment...which, by the way, often leads them to get together in groups of like-minded individuals where misinformation spreads like the measles at Disneyland.

Furthermore, if you're like me, you're looking at vaccinations like this : I was vaccinated more than my mom who contracted some of the illnesses I was vaccinated against and she did just fine. My child will be vaccinated more than me, and I contracted some of the illnesses that he or she won't contract, and I did just fine. Or maybe even, My mom and I were never vaccinated against these things, never contracted these infections, and neither did anyone else we know. Not everyone is talking to the same generation, and it can be hard to understand why EVEN MORE vaccinations are needed. (Y'all, it's a fucking lot of vaccinations now.)

What I'm saying is, The information is cloudy and the resources are super fucking judgy.

So last night, before I cried myself to sleep over being called a bad parent for just wanting to find the answers I needed to make sure I was making decisions with the ALL of the best information available, I found the CDC Pinkbook.


My personal issues were regarding the Hib and PVC vaccines. These vaccines are meant to prevent infection from bacteria that can cause meningitis and epiglottis, which are INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS COMPLICATIONS from these infections. But the problem is, the information I found was like, "The PVC vaccine prevents the number one cause of ear infections...and also meningitis which leads to deafness, paralysis, and DEATH". Like, whoa, we went from ear infections (which my brother had a ton of) to DEATH? I mean, I never even had one ear infection. Adam and I both managed not to die from ear infections. Like, what is this vaccine and why is it necessary? Furthermore, how do you jump from a fucking ear infection TO DEATH!??

The research on meningitis isn't helpful either. It's a rare disease that doesn't infect all that many people, statistically speaking, and doesn't kill all that many people. Also, unlike with the measles outbreaks, it's unclear how many infants really do contract an ear infection that turns into meningitis and then death. I also couldn't find out exactly how meningitis is, what if I just have to take some steps to make sure my child isn't in the path of this deadly disease that definitely does kill newborns more than anyone else?

I couldn't find these answers online. The pediatrician didn't give them to me. If I hadn't spent yesterday up on the island with Adam, I would've called the Cleveland Clinic immunologist. Instead, I lay in bed last night, listening to Taylor Swift, and I googled, "Hib vaccine history". This led me to that amazing pinkbook. The page on the epidemiology of the Hib vaccine was fucking full of the information I needed! I mean, this page laid out the history and discovery of the disease as well as the history and discovery of the vaccine. It told me all about how the vaccine is made (language I don't understand) and when it started to be distributed. It tells me where Hib lives and how it's passed on and why it affects infants disproportionately to adults. AND it tells me the rates of infection before and after the vaccine. It basically answered every fucking question I ever had and made vaccination a total no brainer to me.

The Pinkbook has information on EVERY VACCINE. It's the best resource you can find to be truly educated and really have all of the information you need to make your decisions. Personally, I had no questions about polio, MMR, tetanus, and everything against which I was vaccinated. I thought the common knowledge information was clear and obvious. However, maybe that isn't the same for you. If it's not, then I suggest you look it up in the Pinkbook. It is industry standard for the medical profession. This is the vault of vaccination information. It will definitely answer any question you might have. I can't say enough about this resource and how much I wish it were made more available to everyone. Like, if I can find it at 2a, when I'm crying about what an asshole my pediatrician was and consoling myself with Taylor Swift and kitty snugglez, why the fuck didn't my doctor pull out his copy, open it to the vaccination in question, and let me read it right then and there?

But as I'm learning as I have to deal with more and more doctors, it's not always easy to get the information you want or need. Lots of people don't ask questions. Lots of people do what they're told. Lots of people lie to their doctors and ignore their doctors and do what they want. And lots of doctors don't have the time or the knowledge or the desire to really answer questions for which they think the answer is already obvious. It's a flawed fucking system, which is annoying as hell...but is not going to stop me from pursuing the kind of care I want and the answers I need.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hardcore Nesting?

Ahhhh....waiting to write a blog post until later in the day, and having a day full of errands and energy, means knocking more off my to do list!!!

I'm feeling that nesting vibe, I guess. Not really sure. Some call it nesting, but this is the kind of person I've always been. It's just that in the past, instead of knocking stuff off my to do list and NOT adding more...I've always added more. I've always added hanging out with friends and going somewhere and making something and doing something. But now, I'm just NOT doing that. Instead, I'm checking things off the list and watching it dwindle and enjoying the bliss of having nothing new to add on. Although, I supposed I could add "deliver this baby," and that would be a kind of massive item to do, right!? But I think that post-delivery, my to do list will grow again, so if I get a week or three days with NOTHING to do, then that's kind of awesome.


This week :

01. Walk four-ish times, do yoga
02. Laundry, especially bedding
03. Put animals back in chest
04. Figure out game plan for big poster boards of photos
05. Swiffer bedroom floor
06. Call Wooster doctor
07. Price frames for unframed artwork
08. Look up folds for newborns
09. Find size 2 Thirsties
10. Blog posts
11. Sanitize and organize bottles
12. Travel blog posts
13. Install car seat
14. Rip some more CDs
15. Clean off desk