Monday, January 29, 2007

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Mama # 2 had her baby yesterday! This has been a week of new births in this small area of CT by all accounts. So on getting back on Friday night, I was called away again on Sunday evening. My client's water had broken and they were all set on staying home (I was rooting for this choice to be made) however, within 10 mins they had rung again to say that there was some blood in the water and they were nervous, would I meet them at the hospital?

Nights when I am called away always fill me with such mixed feelings. Of course there is the initial excitement of a new baby, a new labour and birth and new opportunities to help a mother achieve a great birth experience, then intrepidation, for their health and then for staying on the right side of interventions etc etc, then also, that real niggling, sarcastic feeling that I can never get rid of these days of " how long before the epidural, how long before they wave the white flag at me and tell me they no longer want to stick to their original ideals"? I know, I know, I was the same with my first, so were many of my friends, it was then we discovered there was so much more to the birth experience than watching it from the outside. We became so much more aware of how to work with the contractions and embrace them really deep (in a literal sense too!) rather than fighting it because it hurt.

Anyway........this birth I remembered to pack my Yoga mat - yuhuh, not to actually practise!! but because most times I end up sleeping on the grimy hospital floor while the parents try to get rest. i cannot sleep in a chair, I have to be flat and after the birth in September where I slept on a cold tile floor and woke up freezing and in shock, I decided that my yoga mat would be anotehr prop I would add to my bag of goodies!

However, this birth has left me more troubled than most. These clients were already under more stress than many of my clients, their child was conceived with IVF, they had been told that she may have androplaysia dwarfism and the mom had not had an easy pregnancy, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of P-E and prematurity.
When their daughter was born, she didn't appear to be out of proportion in anyway. She appeared healthy, muscle tone and colour all good and great Apgars. But to me, her protruding tongue and almondy looking eyes were suggesting she may have Down Syndrome. This was not noticed or said by the paediatrician, so I hope to god I am totally wrong and she was just small and these were regular features. I keep looking at the photos I took, in many, her tongue is out, not just a little, but a long pointed protrusion. I am sure (and I really really hope) I am wrong. i said nothing and intend to say nothing to the parents. it isn't my place, I am no expert suffice to say that my instinct is bugging me. I sincerely hope I never mention this again.

Well, time to hit the sack. My eyes are so heavy that my head keeps toppling backwards, if the boys were awake they would call me a bobble head!


Saturday, January 27, 2007


We have a standing joke that I am sure many family's have and this is particularly apparent with Little Mr Beehive! When he is on top form, he is obviously my son, when feeling particularly mischeveous, he is most certainly his father's!! - funnily enough, the same rules apply for the dog too!! but that is another day!

One of Little Mr Beehive's particular similarities to his father, rather than my Monica-ness about things, is his disdain of tidying up. LMrB could live days, maybe even months or years, I break out in goosebumps just thinking about it, under piles of worn clothing, with books all over the place, tripping over shoes and toys etc.
As a family, we all chip in to lay and clear the table at meal of LMrB's pet hates. Often when asked to help out he starts up what is slowly becoming his signature - It starts with a hopping, then clutching at his groin, then more hopping which intensifies and becomes a frenetic jump, then a mad dash to the bathroom and wails of "I need to peeeeeeeeeeeee!".

Well today we are all sitting, waiting patiently for him to return, which he starts to do...arriving at the kitchen door, he notices, perhaps, his yogurt pot still sitting where it was left waiting for him to put it in the trash and announces with a big grin - "oh no, now I have to go pooh!"

The usual round of raised eyebrows pass the table, even Little Miss Beehive has caught onto this, speaking of whom was trying desperately to get me to feed her my strawberries "me try one?" she asked hopefully (oh, she had already had her own bowl so please don't feel too concerned for her!). I looked at her and she tried again "just a liddle one okay mama?" she asked with fluttering eyelashes and her twitchy fingers already in my bowl - we are in fits of giggles about her already demure and "girlie" pleading techniques, so when LMrB decides that his bathroom business is taking a little long (his father is more of a book man, but we never really started that routine with the children) we are entertained with a hearty and loud rendition of the Village People, which interspersed with grunts and splashes makes for a great Saturday lunch!!

Y..........grrr...........M.......ggggrrrrrrr......C...............A SPLASH!!! aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh*sigh*

A tale of two births

So this week has strangely brought about the kinds of births that many of us could only dream about.

Firstly, on Sunday, my friend Cari and her husband, Rob, birthed their second child on the floor of their bathroom! They were all set to go to the birthing centre but their son had other plans. Cari is a wonderful, calm woman and took all of this in her stride. She would have certainly relished the intimacy of birthing her baby at home (something that so many women are not able to do here in CT. for issues of insurance, lack of HB midwives etc) and it had been her secret longing all the way.

Keep this image in your minds readers, because shrouding this beautiful story was the one that then followed when they did what any person would have done and is legally meant to do (I think!) and they called 911. What followed was a horrific pre- judgement of them as mad renegade hippies and thus were treated like second class citizens. Their healthy 9lb+ son was taken from them into the NICU, fed formula and Rob was unable to hold him until the next day, that and they were threatened with legal action if they did not comply!!

Yesterday Cari's pain was intense to say the least. No-one heard her, that all she wanted to do at the hospital was stay with her son, nurse him herself to get his sugar up and be his mother!!

If there is ever a number 4 in the Beehive.............s/he will be birthed at home IN ENGLAND!

Birth number two was my clients, due last Wednesday. Again this couple were due to be birthing at the same birthing centre and were driving down from about 45 miles north in NY state! Her first labour had been fast for a P.G and so we were expecting this to be about a 4-5 hour birth. Her cervix had already been partly dilated and effaced and she had mild, inconsistent, occasional contractions. She rang me at 3.20 yesterday afternoon to say her water had gone and they were going to drive in. I sorted out my childcare, and left my house by 4.30. Traffic aside..........I still wouldn't have made it!!! They walked in the birth centre door at about 4.30, Baby Auden was born just 20 mins later. My arrival at 5.06 was just too darned late!! I did remain with them however, as they had another child whom I was going to sit with for a while.

Ironically (is it??), despite this being a MUCH different scenario to the one Cari went through at the hospital and my client enjoying just "being" with her family, one of the nurses at the centre was desperate to push them to go home. She hinted about the weather getting much worse (cold, not snow) and how she would be far happier in the lounge of the birthing centre rather than in the bedroom bonding with the baby and enjoying some alone time...........Funny, it really is a game of two halves!!

Today is "Primary Mom's Day" at school. So W. has been up since the crack asking if it is time to go yet. He has chosen to wear a shirt and tie (!!) so I feel incredibly underdressed in comparison. I have had half the contents of my wardrobe on at one point this morning, do I do:

1. Sensible mother: nice smart brown trousers and shirt and boots (with heels)?

2. Warm and cuddly mummy - comfy trousers and a big warm sweater and sneakers?

3. Posh mom, smart pencil skirt, neat blouse, jacket, pantyhose (ha, just put that in cos I LOVE the word!! so stupid!) and heels

4. Normal me, but slightly off the cuff earth mama - Empire style patterned loud shirt and short, cropped cardi with jeans....................

Believe it or not, I do own an assemble of the above in some form or other, but........well, I wouldn't be W's mama if I tried to be anything but number 4!!

Okay, my other half is back from the gym - yes, he scoots out on a Saturday morning, (like all the other days in the week!) leaving me with Saturday chaos of children, dishwashers, breakfasts, bed making, dressing children, showering, walking and feeding he hasn't even brought me a coffee!!!!

Oh well!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Four legs good, Two legs bad!!!

I cannot be the only one in the world who wonders sometimes who on earth writes the news scripts?

This week's corker has to go to the radio news reader (shamefully I can't remember what station as I was just flicking to find news of any sort) who came up with this faux pas after an emergency landing by an aircraft due to the death of the pilot in transit:

" the plane landed safely at x airport. No-one was hurt in the emergency landing...........(pause)........except the pilot of course."

At bookclub this month we have just discussed "The Spirit Catches you and you fall down". If you haven't read it, it is well worth the read. A book written by a journalist who followed the life of a little Hmong girl with epilepsy and her family. They move from Laos to the US whereupon it is discovered that this little girl has epilepsy. In the Hmong culture, epilepsy is seen as a gift, it is described as the title. Many shamen have this gift. Anyway in America epilepsy is seen as a medical condition that is treatable. However, neither her parents speak English or read Hmong nor at the time were there interpreters. There is a real cross fire of culture and in the end, by whatever means, the little girl eventually becomes so sick that she doesn't recover and remains from this day forth, in a vegetative state. I shan't give too much more of the book away, suffice to say that I found it very impressionable. Whereas initially it is so easy to "judge" from a western stance, ie: were the Hmong stupid not to take the tablets, surely they must know that medicine was the only help for her, of course the doctors were right; in more depth it is actually incomprehensible to really understand HOW the Hmong felt about this and why. This culture is so far removed from any of our pre-conceived ideas of technology, medicine, illness and even hierarchy, that it became a book that certainly I (not sure any of my fellow bookclubbers remained with my by this point!!) started seeing from, if you like, a levitational view. I really knew that I could never understand why this happened and to be honest, I don't think I was meant to, but it really helped me open my eyes. It was well written, the author had certainly got to a certain degree of intimacy with the Hmong, and reported the history and the facts as such, but had she understood them, no, absolutely not, and she won't, just as had a Hmong written the book they would never have understood it from a Western POV.

That said, if you like books that make you think outside the box, ie: this is not a particularly easy read, it is also written in a very journalistic way too, then try it.

The other "bee" in my bonnet this week is an article in the in the UK about the call to scrap catchment areas for schools and basically to draw names out of a hat for intake for schools. I can see what they are trying to achieve by doing this: ie a mixed intake so that lower socio-economic areas are not necessarily going to be the lower achieving schools, house prices remaining more constant because there will be less desire to move to a good school catchment area etc but my problems with it are thus:

1. A good school is not solely down to the area. A good school comprises, in my opinion, of a good strong headteacher, motivated staff, funding, a mix of pupils who are inspired.

2. What about people who do live, and have always lived, within walking distances of local schools that they are more than happy and expect their children to attend, they have to get into cars, add to the pollution and traffic and parking problems to drive 4 - 5 miles across town to a school where their child's name HAS been drawn.

3. Private schools are going to be oversubscribed and thus this will eventually have a knock on effect for funding for state schools ie: less pupils= less capital = not achieving #1 in my list!!

4. People are always going to "change religion", move to a good catchment area or bend the rules to ensure as much as possible that their child gets the best possible education.

It's crazy. I am sure my parents never had the problems that my generation are now facing. Our house in the UK backs onto a school, currently we will presume that our younger two will be offered places there. We hope T will, but as his entry will be to Y5 it may be harder and he doesn't really fit into this argument, he is a different case. That said, if either of the others don't get in, we are lucky as the next options locally are also excellent schools but I will be fulfulling #2 and driving 3 miles to a different school - madness! In our area in the UK a lot of the problem is down to the fact that they are building more and more houses and not keeping the amenities up so that everyone is accomodated. Before we left for overseas, they had already knocked down one house three doors down and built three teeny tiny postage stamp sized town houses in it's place, so now as a minimum there are three (but probably 6 or more) people living in the same sized plot as 1 or maybe 2 were before!! There are or maybe have been 60 houses built on wooded area all of which are "family" houses so that is another 240 people to get into the already oversubscribed doctor's surgery and 120 more children probably to get into the local school that attaches to my house...........

Would we pay privately to ensure them a good quality of education if we were in a situation where our next offering of school was crap - probably, yes, because we could if we tightened our belts but why should we? and what happens to people who can't?

Maybe all this money spent on developing lovely wooded natural land could have been spent on schools or amenities? Nah, of course not, at the end of the day, that won't line some business man or politician's pocket so s/he can continue to send his/her children to a private school away from us riff raff.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Great Hiawatha

It has been a funny kind of week this week, we have had some snow - finally (about 1/2 and inch, a sneeze in fact, hardly worth mentioning) but of course this has meant the rigmarole of snow pants and boots, gloves, hats and scarves X 3 has been part of our daily school routine. That is not to mention ensuring that all 6 gloves, 6 snow boots, 3 snow pants, scarves, hats and jackets, spare wet clothes including socks, homework, readers, and 2 lunch packs are all brought home again afterwards too!

I have been feeling somewhat displaced this week. I suppose because the week began with our realisation that we have now been here 18 months and it is possible that in the same time again, we could be moved. I suppose in my mind I always presumed we would be going home (which we still quite probably will be) but then R. brought up the topic of another international move.
We had set a time frame to ensure we would be back int he UK by T. starting at secondary school, so we still do have time to play with. But it just threw me off kilter a little.

It always seems so glamorous to live the life of an ex-pat - the exotic-ness, the new places to explore, the multicultural lifestyle, the gin brigade, the "clubs" blah blah - point is, it may be like that in many places, but for most expats, life has to continue in much the same vein as it does at home, only without the close friends and family, without the roots and security of knowing what is coming, without the choice of whether to work or not, without the familiarity and unsaid background knowledge of the country and culture.
It is a great lifestyle, I am forever grateful for our opportunities, but......there is also a loss of something, a fear that the gaps you leave behind will be filled, that you are "missing out" on the goings on back home. I suppose I didn't realise I was so much of a home bird! I have missed the births of friend's and my SISTER's babies, celebrations for events, changes and even now a funeral. Often expat wives are called "Trailing Spouses" and that is exactly sometimes how I feel.

Today has been another day for de-cluttering - I AM ON A ROLL! We have de-papered today. It began this morning when we talked about extending the house back home in a few years, turning what is currently the bathroom into a study. This room is very small and we are drowning in paper! Too much for this wee john to accomodate!

The biggest problem with being a hoarder - is being married to a financial one! My dear other half is the world's WORST for hoarding paper, receipts dating back years! Do you know, I even found an estate agent's blog thing for HIS first house in Manchester! So, once again, our house is breathing a huge sigh of relief and Ebay is heaving with Fimbles, Teletubbies (oh they're not paper I know, i moved onto the kid's rooms next!), clothes, books etc

Finally I must just leave you with W's latest little character. My younger son is great for coming up with truly hilarious names for characters. He has a wonderfully natural sense of humour and a devilishly sharp wit. He was entertaining the masses with his game of Indians, where of course, he is the chief. I asked him what his name was -

"Skumpton" he replied

I introduce to you: Indian Chief............Skumpton????!!!! Where DOES he come up with it?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Take a moment

Today is not a day for good tidings. I have just learned that my piano teacher died two days ago. He had an aneurism I think and they hadn't expected him to last very long at all, but he managed a good six months. Thing is, he wasn't very old at all. I really can't get my head around it. He taught me from the age of 7 until 18, packing me off to The London College of Music on Saturdays, taking me through my music 'A' levels (and GCSE), smiling gently as I would throw a tantrum over not getting the Khatachurian dance right again, having patience as I tripped over my fingers over and over, encouraging me all the way. He leaves a wife and three daughters
Second news was that an school friend is due with her third boy any day now and her terminally ill husband has only weeks left to live. Imagine, a widow at 34, those poor sweet boys. i don't know how I would cope. R. is not only my husband, my sounding board, my sanity, my patient, patient supporter, he is, in a literal sense, my soul mate. I know i would be flat without him. I don't know how she will be without her partner. I so desperately want to contact her again, we haven't really been in touch since 6th form, but I don't really know how appropriate it is to start digging up old contacts in this scenario. I know she needs support right now and probably has that from her family and friends and she may think that this is spectating, which it isn't from my point of view, but that may not be shared. Perhaps a card and small gift when the baby arrives is appropriate?
Thirdly, my clients who are due at the end of Jan are going to be induced on Tuesday this coming week. They have been told that their baby may well have androplasia dwarfism but the neonatolagists can't be sure. What ever, the baby is not growing as well as she should. This couple conceived with IVF after lots of trying, so this has been one hell of a rollercoaster few years for them and even now they cannot be assured of an easy birth or parenting journey.

I feel somewhat flat this afternoon. I feel so blessed but equally so bad for these families, whose life journeys have suddenly taken such an enormous turn. Perhaps you can remember these families in your thoughts tonight?

Gratefully yours

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A story told by Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking.

“Above all, I believe there never should be any violence.”

In 1978, Astrid Lindgren received the German Book Trade Peace Prize for her literary contributions. In acceptance, she told the following story.

“When I was 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard practice at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking-the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, ‘Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.’

“All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view; that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery-one can raise children into violence. I think that too often we fail to feel situations from the child’s point of view and that failure leads us to teach our children other than what we think we’re teaching them.”

This made me weep!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"You have just realised his worst fears!!"

  • "Always treat your 'babies' as the real thing" - (number one rule of NCT props and childbirth aid dept!!)

  • "When demonstrating breastfeeding do not remove head of baby" (must be rule two)

I have now failed in two attempts. Firstly, I cannot and will not patronise my clients by treating a plastic doll as the real Mcoy......I keep them in plastic bags under a chair for goodness sake and my clients are 36 not 6!!
Secondly I have not only failed number two, but also managed to realise one of my dad's worst fears this evening.

At the start of the course we run a worry board: things that parents wanted answered, are concerned about. Very frequently "dropping the baby" or "hurting the baby accidently" are listed. My present class had listed "killing it, squashing it, dropping it, maiming it," as it's fears, which are pretty just for many new parents.

Tonight we were covering breastfeeding and I was attempting to demonstrate as to why a baby does not find it easy to feed when nestled in the crook of an arm (for the layman - it bends the neck forward and cricks the oesophagus) Normally I ask my clients to bend their own heads down to their chests and try to swallow, but tonight, I also followed up by demonstrating on my "breastfeeding baby" (some overpriced plastic doll with an open mouth AND a faulty HEAD!)..........and the head came clean off .

Sorry, I am laughing even as I type. What a sadist!

That certainly has to go down in history as the way NOT to breastfeed! I have to say, however, I am pleased that I hadn't handed Headless Harry over to my clients for them to "practise" on.......just think of that poor dad, he would have been mortified!!!

Still, I think I am forgiven, we certainly laughed about it. Baby has been reunited with his head and I am now truly on my mission to find a properly suitable demonstration model. Anyone out there a designer? I want a doll with a floppy neck and a bean bag body along with a hard plastic head and open mouth and a visual tongue.

Oh and you had better add unbreakable to my list of wants!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

2006 in review

2006 in Review

1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? Pilates, became a doula, got some writing published, went up the Empire State building on Christmas Eve.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?I don't make resolutions, I prefer the freedom of being able to change my mind and I don't like the definition of a "New Year" to be the thing that means I can strive for better things, I can do that anytime!! So part two there is no !

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? How close do you want?
Yes about 10 women all within about 1 foot of me!!!!
....friend wise, Julie, although I haven't seen him yet, she's in Spain!

4. Did anyone close to you die? No and I am grateful to be saying that

5. What countries did you visit? Jamaica, Belgium and England (that seems weird!) but we are living in the States and exploring there, does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? More time!!

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Gosh that is a hard question. Nothing major happened (for once!) so I guess 2006 will go down in a history as a nice, calm year with no moves, no babies (of my own!), no new houses etc.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Is this really banal to say losing 10lbs and getting a great Yoga venue to practise at?

9. What was your biggest failure? Losing my rag sometimes, taking things on in such a personal way, getting irate about things I cannot change!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, but R. did and I hope that he remains on track this year. That doesn't want to recurr this year!

11. What was the best thing you bought? I have no idea that there is any one thing: A mattress pad for our bed - now I really can sleep, several gifts for people for Christmas from Oxfam unwrapped, a new camera, maybe my really good blender so now I make smoothies for W. and kid him into consuming veggies and fruit!!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? OMG, every day I see people on the t.v, in papers who have done selfless deeds, fostered children, helped in the developing world, saved lives............

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Where do I start? George Bush and his lack of recognition in the US's part in global warming for one small issue, many tabloids and their exploitaiton and sensationalistic stories, many OB's!! Nestle, Nestle, Nestle ......

14. Where did most of your money go? Probably on organic food, then books I expect, although I think a lot disappears into R's share scheme at work which we will one day see again I think!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My family and friends coming to visit...........oh and a takeaway - it means I don't have to cook!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2006? Jingle Bells I expect. I. sings it with such panache and T has learnt to play it on the piano!! In fact I am actually heartily SICK OF IT!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:i. happier or sadder? Neither, but I am more content and at peace with myself.
ii. thinner or fatter? Woohoo - thinner - 10lbs - did I say that?
iii. richer or poorer? Probably richer, it feels like poorer, smalls like to eat, grow and do things, but we certainly have enough.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Exploring the area and country we are currently living in, writing, taken more video of the children, breathed!

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Driving, sulking!

20. How will you be spending the Winter? Hopefully in much the same way I spend most of my time surrounded by my family, snuggled up in front of the fire or mucking around on our "ski hill" in the back yard on a sled!!

22. Did you fall in love in 2006? Not especially.

23. What was your favorite month of 2006? I don't really think I had one, each month had it's qualities

.24. What was your favorite TV program? I do like "House", but we tend to watch videos of British series' rather than channels, Spooks, Messiah, that kind of thing.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No, that is far too harsh a word. I have lower esteem for a few people I didn't this time last year, and disappointment in one friend, but equally higher esteem of a few.

26. What was the best book you read? The BEST book? Hmmmm, I liked one I read really recently "The Spirit catches you and you fall down" also "The Mind of Boys" was pretty inspiring, I don't know. Oh hang on, I really liked the book "A year by the sea".

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? That my clarinet still works and isn't full of mould - yet!!!

28. What did you want and get? More energy - sometimes, healthier - definitely,

29. What was your favorite film of this year? The Constant Gardener.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I honestly can't remember, we might have had a meal out somewhere? Isn't that dreadful! I was 34

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? That overnight my children would have developed the ability to talk to each other rather than shout at top volume, that they would never fall out or argue or at least would reason with each other and that the clothes looked as good on me as they did on the model!!!!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? A huge mix of alternative, boho, hippy look with an underlying awareness of the phrase "mutton dressed as lamb". Hopefully pretty young and funky, although it does very often consist of jeans!!!!!!!

33. What kept you sane? A nice Chardonnay and a book.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Not fancy, but I admire Angelina Jolie, not so much for her acting, more her international work, her physique and that she has snagged Mr Pitt (the bitch!) however I have the lushes for Johnny D, Orlando (of course) and Mr Aragorn - so as you can imagine, Pirates of the Carribean and LOTR are somewhat of a porn fest for me!!!

35. What political issue stirred you the most? The polar icecap has rattled R's cage. The technocracies of birth in the US is what stirs me the most

.36. Who did you miss? My family and friends

37. Who was the best new person you met? I don't know, I met a bunch of new people this year who have been lots of fun to know, maybe yoga buddy and Montessori mom, probably Mary, she is my inspiration and guru.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006: Two really: Your kids are who they are - let them just be and you won't find that 26 hour day, it just ain't there.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: Hmmm still thinking.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Okay, so current mood is apparent then!!!!!!
I have days when I wonder what I am up against. This morning on the way to school I am called by a lady who is 5 days PP. She is suffering from the after effects of an epidural (swelling everywhere) a 1st degree tear (v.painful!!) and the consequences of the somewhat floppy mouth of what must can only be a lactation consultant from the hospital having a very bad day of sense of judgement. Of course, I can only take her word for it, BUT........
She has been feeding him formula since her return from the hospital and hasn't tried to latch him only to cut a VERY long rant in half, the "advice" from the hospital was that she was "so determined to feed it would be dangerous for the baby"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!&*(*)&((*&$£???? The same consultant (although I am reluctant to call her that) would not answer my client as to what exactly she meant (text book case of foot in mouth syndrome!) and recommended pumping and formula. Her diagnosis was based on the fact that the baby wouldn't latch on.......2 hours after his circumcision surgery (okay don't get me started on that subject!).

Suffice to say, she successfully latched him this morning at 9.30am when I arrived, fed him, found a comfy lying down position AND has aborted the idea to pump for at least 6 weeks.

This is not the first time I have heard this dreadful kind of story. It makes my blood boil. I want to report comments like this. I don't understand what the aim of it is. She is a LACTATION consultant for goodness sake, she is meant to be PRO breastfeeding. If she (my client) hadn't have rung me, she would be exclusively formula feeding now, that sounds really arsey and "what a saviour" I am-ish, that isn't what I mean at all, I just don't know what to do. There needs to be some kind of support (Free if possible or certainly low cost) in place that is genuine, up to date and knowledgeable where women can ring, have someone come around to help without the fear that they can't afford it, the insurance won't cover it, they don't know anyone etc. It happens in the UK with the NCT, although I am not sure that they do home visits anymore. I will get her the contact for the local La Leche league though. If women are told this kind of thing in hospital following a long arduous birth they are naturally going to doubt their ability. This consultant left my client with the understanding that she was not producing milk for her son. True it maybe that her milk supply is not yet established and she may be slower than some for the milk to come it, but meanwhile is producing just what her son needs as long as she feeds him!

So, I am on my way home, fuming, and decide to do my me tight or frugal but buying snow suits and thick coats for NEXT year in the sale has always been the way I work, saves me loads! I bought I.'s coat and the lady asked me if I had the size up from the one I need as they always come up really small.?!!! So, simple question, if that is common knowledge, why not just make them bigger???????????I don't get it!

I was reading a comment on someone's blog this week about how easy it is when someone has a problem, to feel that problem as one's own. You know, I would love to think that was always true, what a calm and peaceful place the world would be. We would be filled with compassion for each other all the time. Within hours I was reading an article in a magazine about Female Genital Mutilation and the author of the article concluded with saying that how easy people find it to read about issues such as FGM and other disturbing issues and not take on the problem as one's own. The difference tends to be if the situation affects us directly or it is on our own doorstep so to speak. I sometimes feel this conflicted about my job. How far should I go to try and change things? how much can I, one person do? Oddly enough T. is currently reading Gulliver's Travels. Look at how much those tiny Lilliputians did as a team !! Then this evening I got home to an e-mail from a client I taught a week or two ago for a short series, she said:

"....F. (her husband)remembered everything too. He was such a champ. He helped me more than I could imagine anyone could....."

I suppose the answer is that one day we will see the effects of our desire for change, one day, if we work as a team there maybe more miwife infuence, more education for OB's on the holistic model of care, but until that point we will have to continue to plug the holes in the dam, be that drop in the ocean.

Okay, so ramble over, I must go a re-do dinner, yes you read that right, re-do, as the mutt decided that it was his, admittedly R. was late home tonight but that is really taking the p**s.