Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Birthday, by Burtons (Guest Photo)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What We Do With Vaccines, and Why

I would list us under "moderate" in terms of our stance on vaccinations.

For the most part, in my opinion, most vaccines are harmless for most kids, and mostly protect most of us from most of the deadliest and most crippling diseases!

However . . . some vaccines are also deadly for some kids some of the time. Some of the ingredients in vaccines are "poisonous" to the body some of the time. Some vaccines are also unnecessary for some kids in some situations. In fact, some vaccines are unnecessary for most kids in most situations!

And some of the diseases we are mostly protected against? Are mostly harmless to most people most of the time. But, some of the diseases we are mostly protected against are really awful for most kids most of the time, too!

So, James and I make the following decision about vaccines: One at a time. We do not make broad statements like:

-Let's receive all vaccines blindly without researching.
-We will not receive any vaccines on principle.
-All vaccines are important and necessary.
-All vaccines are poisonous, harmful, and dangerous.

For what it's worth, we have done the following so far:

-Chosen not to get Hep B at Birth or One month. There is no reason why he would get this, and at such a young age, we had no reason to put those chemicals in his body without a real risk.

The reason Hep B is given to infants is if the Mom has it already, could have gotten it during her pregnancy because one of the parents is cheating, or if the infant needs a blood tranfusion, it can sneak through a screen 1 in 65,000 times.

However, if there is any risk that the infant could catch it, it is worth getting . . . 90% of infants who catch it during birth have it forever.

-At 2 months received Pneumoccal--Pc (common, deadly 20-30% of the time for infants) and Hib (Used to be common, deadly to 5%, disabling to 25%).

Both these diseases can lead to meningitis, one of the top killers of newborns. Furthermore, James' family has a history of weakness to meningitis. It was a priority for us to protect him against this. When he was 2 months old he was 12.5 lbs! We decided he was ready to handle the side effects and risks because the risks of not doing it were higher at that point.

Furthermore, both of these vaccines have been around for along time, and the amount of times it has led to serious complications in a small child is extremely rare.

-At 4 months received a combo shot of Dtap and Polio. There is evidence that a combo shot means that less ("poisonous") ingredients are needed with the vaccines.

DTap is protection against Diphtheria (rare, but deadly to 10%, but also treatable), Tetanus (rare, but deadly to 15%, and really severely awful to recover from), Pertussis (Whooping Cough, common, occasionally deadly--to 1% under 6 months).

We also received a 2nd dose of Hib.

-At 6 months we decided to receive nothing because James had not been feeling well (I forget if it was a cold or fever, teething related or not, but he had been sick the previous week). Commonly when reactions to vaccines occur, it is if the vaccine is given while the immune system is compromised, IE, when the child is sick or has recently been sick.

-But we rescheduled for 7 months, and then received a second dose of Pc and a third dose of Hib.

-We have chosen not to get Rotavirus . . . but now in researching to write this, LOL, I think I might reconsider . . .

Well, it is originally given at 2, 4, 6, months but it was totally un-necessary then (for us). While Rotavirus is a common disease that can lead to a somewhat serious risk of dehydration often needing a hospital stay to recover from . . . the risk of a baby who is not in daycare catching it is pretty low. And when James was that little I was barely even leaving the house, so there was no reason to get it then.

Plus, he was allergic to everything then and this is an oral vaccine, so he was at somewhat of a risk for developing a reaction because of that.

But now that his system is stronger, he's bigger, and we are being more social with other kids, he's at a SLIGHTLY higher risk of catching it. Though, then again, the odds of a tot who is still breastfeeding getting dehydrated and more seriously sick is fairly low . . .

I guess I'm still deciding! But this is a good example of what we try to consider when making each decision about each vaccine for each of our children at each visit.

Obviously there is a lot more to the full vaccine series but this is just what we've done so far. Who knows what we'll end up doing, we haven't really researched the rest yet, hehe. However, I will say without adding any more detail that we will put off the MMR for his 12 month visit, and probably just catch him up on one of the other ones instead.

A few more important things to add . . .

I believe it is a parent's right, for whatever reason, to decide that no vaccines are right for her/his child for some reason. But with this said. There is one more important point that I must add:

It is very important for most of the people to get vaccinated against some of the deadliest diseases, most of the time. Otherwise we face a situation where most of the people are somewhat at risk, and that isn't fair to anyone.

*We got most of our information from the Dr. Sears Vaccine Book. I would consider it to be a very fair and balanced book that presents all the information without telling you what to think or adding unnecessary fear-mongering. Unfortunately, it is one of few resources that I can say this about! I would highly recommend it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hi to Another Kid

Sometimes I think you read this, and this is what I always wanted to tell you.

I hate that I couldn't keep my promise to be there for you no matter what.
I still think often about this and feel very regretful. You did not need another broken promise in your life--I am so sorry.

What happened with me was NOT your fault. If you have any guilt about this . . . the idea that you might have any guilt about this is one of the hardest things for me, so hopefully you don't.

I fell into a trap that many young and inexperienced people in my position fall into--to become friends. I needed training on how to set proper boundaries and I didn't get it. It has taken a lot of therapy to realize I was not entirely to blame for my misjudgments, just as a teenager who does not get the right support is not entirely to blame for their misjudgments...

I really, really, hope that . . . I helped you. It's all I wanted to do, even though I might not have been smart enough about it.

I can't tell you how proud it makes me to see that you have held down the same job for quite awhile now, that you have a real girlfriend--that you are smiling, that you seem happy, as much as I can tell from cyberspace . . .

I wish the world was a different place where people who felt like family could just be family . . . in my heart you will always be my kid. My son who I am SO proud of, for whom I have SUCH high hopes. You can do anything you set your mind to--so pick something good that makes you happy and do it--do it every day so that the joy of it sings through your soul.

I have thought and thought these things for so long . . . so I'm just saying them, here, and hoping the message finds your ear along the winds somewhere in time.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Might As Well Talk about Religion Too...for Thanksgiving!

We are quasi religious I guess.

Our family does believe in God. I was raised Catholic, James was "raised" Protestant. We have both always been deeply spiritual but never quite connected with our religions. We have studied a lot and taken a lot of lessons from Buddism, Taoism, Judiasm, and Christianity, as well.

However nothing felt right. I do not like the concept of religion because of a Buddist lesson/saying--"the moon that can be named is not the true moon". Or in Catholic terms--man cannot explain God, ever changing, ever reactive, unknowable, unfathomable. I have only (and just a small one, at that) a personal sense for what God is which I could never force upon someone else. A force, the goodness, an entity (and of what form)? I know none of these.

My opinions of the Bible, Torah, Quran, etc, is that they contain some of the true "qi", the original energy from the Teachers--Jesus, Buddah, Moses, Muhammed, Da Mo, Gwan Yin, Lao Tzu, etc . . . but it can be very difficult to access, learn from, use effectively . . . furthermore, the true teachings are watered down, filtered through a screen of time, power, priorities, of language, mistranslation, editing . . . hence the difficulty in learning--the ease in twisting messages so that people can claim to kill for God or war for Peace. Soooo, I believe you should only take positive messages from things written by humans. Jesus taught us that humans erred. The Bible, Torah, and Quran are as flawed as their writers/recorders, unfortunately--humans, many of them politically motivated, who lived long ago and not only in one period of time but continually changing, editing, twisting, translating. Therefore, any negative messages that get twisted into these texts should be ignored. Like those that make terrorists think God is on their side, or those who inspire our young homosexual boys and girls to commit suicide because they think God/the religious masses hates them.

However, there are also excellent messages in these texts. Like that forgiveness is a way to heaven/enlightenment. Or that honoring your mother and father is a requirement. Or that all people deserve freedom and the opportunity to work and live.

James and I are very lucky to have found a way to learn from these excellent messages, as well, through Yan Xin Qigong. James started practicing in 1998, when he was a freshman in college. I started in 2003, when I was a sophomore.

It is not a religion, but I would consider my Teacher, Dr. Yan Xin, to be a true Teacher or more traditionally called "Master". I don't believe Jesus was the "son of God" in a more specific way than Buddah, Moses, Muhammed, Da Mo, Gwan Yin, or Lao Tzu. I believe that people who attain far along the path of enlightenment become closer to God in, through, and by way of the process/journey. I believe all of these Teachers went far along the path of enlightenment, and that many fully achieved it. As far as my OWN teacher? Well, who am I to judge my own Teacher other than to say he is my true Master. Through his teaching I am able to learn from all the Masters, all the Teachers . . . It is a Thanksgiving Topic for sure.

On this Thanksgiving in particular I wanted to be Thankful for the blessings Yan Xin Qigong has brought to my life. For my family, my husband, my baby, my life . . . I do have so much to be Thankful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Which my Baby Turns a Year Old and I Emerge out of a Hormonal Fog World . . .

So I guess I got hit with post-partum depression when James started crawling and my life as I knew it truly ended. But it was sort of hard to see what was going on, I suppose. When I went back to my therapist several months ago, I said to myself that it was because I was protecting myself from depression--dealing with the things I was feeling/thinking before it turned into something worse, before it turned into a depression. It was only about a month ago that I realized I was actually, had been for all this time, depressed already! For me I seem to only realize it as I am starting to recover.

Anyway, WHEN I went back to my therapist several months ago, she said: "Women are allowed to be crazy for TWELVE MONTHS after they have a baby. One year for your hormones to be insane and totally out of wack. After that you have to pull yourself together but until then all bets are off." As I seem to do, I sort of dismissed this advice without appreciating it's true significance.

And yet . . . 11.5 months rolls around. My baby starts to nurse a lot less, only ONCE over the whole night sometimes . . . and suddenly, I swear to God, I have emerged into a new world. I can't quite describe what changed or how--I started to look at my baby without any resentment--something I had been doing, I suppose, mostly unconsciously--I started to feel more free . . . nursing is different now, has changed--he's finally to the point with food now where he COULD be okay if I stopped nursing altogether. I don't WANT to do that at ALL but for me it has always made a huge difference when I'm doing something because I WANT to, not because I have to . . .

But really it's hard to say what's changed, what is different. But it really feels like I was stuck in a tall dark maze and have suddenly emerged--into the sun or perhaps clear warm night, starry sky--the air seems to smell more fresh, the world seems more bright. All of a sudden, as if I suddenly passed through a curtain, things are different. I have perspective on my life, my situation, my child, my past . . . I'm starting to heal from things that were hurt, and undone, and left too long, and not left long enough . . .

And it feels really good.
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