A mom who likes to live outside the norm

Archive for the category “Controversial?”

Why I Choose Not to Vaccinate

All of her listed reasons are my reasons for not vaccinating.  And she has A TON of research and information to back up her reasons.  Read if you need support for your decisions, if this is something you’ve been questioning, or if you think that people should vaccinate so you understand our argument.

Why I Choose Not to Vaccinate-Amy Goalen Whittam.

My take on the whole Chick-fil-A thing.

I need to start this post by saying 1) I believe every word the Bible says.  While I may not like everything, it’s there and said for a reason.  2) I am a former Chick-fil-A employee.  I worked there for over 7 years and was actually turned down twice for owning a franchise.  I know many of the people who work for Chick-fil-A all over the country and have even personally met Truett and Dan Cathy.  3) I was at Chick-fil-A on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”.  But not to make a statement, I value my sanity too much.  I was there to win free chicken for a year at their First 100 event.  Read about my experience here.

So, my biggest peeve about the whole controversy is that it should have totally been a non-issue.  A Christian business owner who runs a business on Biblical principles and is closed on Sunday was asked on his views on marriage.  He answered honestly, that he holds a traditional view of marriage and is married to his first wife.  In that context, those who are divorced should have issues too…where’s their outrage?!?

Then, when the controversy grew, Chick-fil-A made the statement that they value all people.  They don’t discriminate.  Yes, they’re human, and people need to remember that their 1600+ restaurants are run by individual franchise owners so there will be some issues at the restaurant level.  But this company has to run by our country’s anti-discrimination laws and I think they not only uphold the letter of the law, but they take it a step further and because of their biblical beliefs and follow it at the spirit of the law as well.

And there are many groups losing during in this whole debate/debacle.

One group is the church.  Instead of showing love for all people, they are looking hateful.  What does wrapping around a Chick-fil-A on appreciation day say to those who are gay?  It’s not support for a good business and free speech they see, it’s perceived as hate against them.  Not saying that even half of the people who went feel that way, but there are always the vocal few like the people in news stories I’ve been reading who are spewing hate speech against gay people.  Not even intentionally, not even realizing it.  Just saying things like “I’m so glad Chick-fil-A supports traditional marriage” to a random employee…this has happened to several gay employees who just have to smile and scream on the inside.

Another group are those who’ve never experienced eating at Chick-fil-A.  Who wants to go to a place filled with such controversy?  Lost is the appeal of eating real food in a fast food environment (yes they have fries, but let me tell you, most of the food is made with real ingredients).  And, Chick-fil-A’s service is amazing.  Even on bad days it’s better than anywhere else.  Their food prices seem expensive, but that’s because there’s no $1 menu.  With the quality and preparation level of their chicken, the prices should be more comparable to a sit-down place, not fast food, and yet their average meal price is $6.

But who’s really losing in this whole debate are the employees.  The people who just want to go to work, enjoy the environment, earn competitive wages and have a guaranteed day off.  The people who are valued employees and not just clock-punchers.  The people who don’t share the values of Chick-fil-A and have never had to care about it before because it was just another place to work.

And the gay people who work there.  Yes, the gay people who work there!  At every Chick-fil-A restaurant I’ve worked at, there have been gay employees and managers.  There are gay people who work at the headquarters.  Now they feel afraid about being open about who they are.  They also are hearing hate speech by the wackos who are visiting the restaurants and feel that it’s okay to say things like: ‘I’m so glad you don’t support the queers, I can eat in peace,’.  WHAT?!?  Or from other people calling them “gay-haters” because they work for a Christian company.

This whole thing is hard for me, because I do boycott some companies and support others for their beliefs.  And I will share my beliefs on these issues with others, but I try to limit that to people who have similar beliefs to mine.  But I should never spread lies and hate about these companies or yell and use vulgarities at the people who work there.

Some people need these jobs, and I’m sure most of the 8+% of people unemployed right now would like any job.  Some people like these jobs.  I can tell you truthfully that even the worst Chick-fil-A I worked at with a lousy boss was still better than all but one other job I’ve had (other than staying home with my kids of course!).

Both extremes of the debate are hurting these people.  Blocking a Chick-fil-A from opening is hurting the people who would be gaining those jobs and also hurting the local economy from the money that would be generated in profit, wages and taxes.  Spewing hate is hurting the morale and consciences of the people who work there by causing polarity.  Spreading lies is hurting the character of the man whose words were taken out of context.  Going to appreciation day is hurting the feelings of people who are gay and are only seeing hate for them, not support for free speech.  To those going to kiss-ins, how is this making those who don’t agree with you come to your side?  It is only validating their beliefs and making others uncomfortable (this is why I also don’t agree with nurse-ins).

Addition 8/7:  What has really maddened me is all the vandalism that is happening.  My local Chick-fil-A where several friends and former co-workers are employed, was recently spray painted with “don’t hate” and “tastes like hate”.  Isn’t vandalism pretty much the definition of hate?  Thankfully everyone there is working hard to keep it “business as usual”.

And to those using this as a springboard for anti-gay speech, it is NEVER okay to use hateful words against a fellow human being.  How is this sharing God’s love and a desire for them to come to know Him and His saving grace and mercy?  No matter what our sins are, they are abominable in God’s sight.  I struggle with overeating, laziness and anger, does this give you the right to yell at me or call me names?  No.  Does this mean we should legislate and tax junk food, mandate activity levels, or penalize those with a temper?  NO!  Or does this give you are right to think it’s okay to overeat, be lazy or be angry?  An even bigger NO!

But you should share with me that God wants me to change who I am through the power of the Holy Spirit and that every failure on my part can be cleansed by Jesus’ sacrifice.  I shouldn’t be afraid to walk into a church because people will look at me differently than the skinny supermom who is always patient with her kids.  I shouldn’t be told that I have to be cured from my sin nature, that will only happen when Jesus returns or I’m brought home.

I should be told that God desires a change in me.  That I should be striving to live the way God tells me to in His Word.  That I will fail, but Jesus’ sacrifice covers it all.  That I should do all I can through Jesus’ power that He’s given me through His Holy Spirit to turn away from my sin and live more like Jesus every day.

This Chick-fil-A debate does nothing to further God’s Word and his desire for people to come to His saving grace and forgiveness.  It only drives a wedge between those of opposing sides, making it even more difficult to share the Gospel and healing.

(Most of these opinions have been shaped over the past 24 hours of reading all different sides of this.  Sadly, I probably did more to further some of the dissension a few days ago.  It’s really hard for me as an opinionated individual, especially as a Chick-fil-A lover, to not share my opinion.   I probably didn’t think out my responses very well, and hope that this shares more clearly my thoughts on the whole debacle.)

Thoughts From an Extended Breastfeeder

This is good.…thoughts from an extended breastfeeder.

What’s the right thing to do?

So, I’ve been reading more about vaccines, and doctors, and nutrition.  I’m still happy with the decisions I’ve made so far, and am considering more “crazy” ones.  The more out of the mainstream I go, the more I see to change.  But this has opened a whole new set of questions for me.

Mainly: Why am I bringing my healthy kids to the doctor?

But there’s a whole lot of questions and things to consider with this question.  First, if I’m not vaccinating, why am I risking my kids getting sick at the doctors office just to turn down vax and to see how big they’re getting?  I can weight and measure them myself to ensure they’re growing.  I’m already doing so much for them by providing good nutrition…

Also, by not bringing my healthy kids to the doctor, I’m giving the office more time with kids who need it.

Why not bring my healthy kids to the doctor?  “Well-care” visits are free!  But then, isn’t that part of what’s driving up the cost of healthcare?  Labeling well-care as free, when the main purpose is to monitor what parents are doing and vaccinating kids?  And of course, it’s not free.  Taxpayers are paying for it.  I’m paying for it with my premiums…

Then the foster parent in me comes out, and I realize that especially for kids who aren’t in school, well care visits are often when abuse and neglect is noticed.  But, in all honesty, people like me who are stirring the pot by not vaccinating their kids are more at risk for getting Children’s Services called on them for neglect than the parent who is abusing their child or not feeding them properly.

Then alternative parent in me comes out and I realize that doctors are so busy, they barely have the time to come in and check the majors than to notice malnutrition or abuse.  Heck, the neglecters and abusers are the ones not bringing their kids to the doctor in the first place (along with crazy alternative parents that is).

There are so many kids who instead of a proper diagnosis and treatment are prescribed a myriad of psychotropic drugs and other meds.  Sadly, some of my foster kids will be and I’ll have no say in the matter…

Parents, trusting their doctor, don’t know that they can treat these things through proper nutrition, elimination of triggers, and exercise.  Or in extreme cases, find out what is really to blame and eliminate it.

And I’m not trying to shrink illness or disease. I have a family history of mental illness, but I’d rather find out what is really going on and try out nutrition and eliminating triggers than have my kids on a medication cocktail.  And I’ve dealt with depression for most of my adult life, but over the last year and a half when I’ve cut out all the medications, processed foods, and as many of the triggers as I find, I’ve had no instances of “the blues”, even in the postpartum period when I experienced it in the past.

But back on topic.  As a person who was home schooled as a child and plan on homeschooling my children into the future, there’s another problem.  Most homeschooling families are honestly doing the best they can for their kids, providing them with a great and personalized education.  But I know through the experience of friends that there are many kids that are in a cycle of neglect and abuse.  While those friends think there should be much more regulation on homeschooling families (which I honestly think will regulate some great parents out of HSing and scare off even more), they bring up a valid point of requiring annual visits to the doctor as part of their oversight.

While part of me on the inside screams “this is just more useless government regulation!”, part of me agrees that this is protecting kids that can’t speak up for themselves.  My friend as a teenager almost died from neglect because her mother wouldn’t bring her to the doctor because she didn’t want to be forced into vaccination and thought the whole medical establishment was corrupt.  Do I have the potential to turn into that?  I sure hope not.  So while part of me is seriously thinking about not bringing my kids to the doctor unless they are actually sick and natural remedies aren’t working, the other part of me realizes that my sinful human nature can take over.

So what’s the right thing to do?  In a time of insanely rising healthcare costs and doctors not having the time to consult with parents and discuss options and alternative care, skipping “well” visits and researching on my own seems like a great idea.

But then I think about the bad side, and how it could seem like I’m trying to hide something.  Or there might be a parent who has no idea what they’re doing, and take my advice either under the assumption that they’ve done due diligence.  And then the parents that simply don’t care for their children properly.  And the abuser and neglecters.   There are kids that suffer.

But when is oversight too much?  When is enough enough?  Abusers will abuse, and those who neglect will continue.  Is it worth it for good parents to jump through more hoops to prove they’re doing the best for their kids to catch a few more bad parents?  Or will good parents be hurt because those overseeing don’t agree with them and take away perfectly healthy and loved kids and scar them by taking them away?

It’s a topic very close to my heart and it just gives me more questions instead of giving me any answers.

For more reading on nutrition, health, and the medical establishment, a good read is: Why do Pediatricians Deny the Obvious?.

Now I’m angry at Hallmark

Who would have thought a greeting card would make me this angry?

Today, I received a card from Hallmark and Missouri’s Bureau of Immunizations.  The card tells me that “Every Missouri child is precious to us.  Please remember that your baby needs to begin his or her shots by two months of age.”  I received this within an hour of reading this disturbing article: Isn’t your baby’s life worth more than $250,000?  Basically, it talks about how most cases of SIDS are within days of the 2 and 4 month “well baby” vaccinations, and how if you can prove that your baby died of a vaccination, the most you can receive for malpractice is $250,000.  Now I’m not big on malpractice payouts, but $250,000 doesn’t seem like much considering that you have to pay for a funeral and take time off of work to grieve for your lost baby.

Also included on the card is a little immunization record on which I can write down the dates for the 27 individual injections my baby is expected to receive by 24 months.  (plus there’s a little * saying that there are additional vaccines recommended after the age of 2).  I mean seriously, look at all of these: 

And that’s just the injections.  So many are for combined illnesses (MMR) or have many different strains (I believe the rotavirus one has 5).

I think that the pharmaceutical industry is doing an amazing job pushing vaccines.  They have state governments spending our tax dollars.  They have greeting card companies sending out immunization records.  They don’t spend money doing real research on the safety of these vaccines, and they try their darndest to suppress those who have had problems with them.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think vaccines cause autism.  But I sure as heck think they can trigger it if your baby is a carrier for it.  I don’t think all vaccines are bad in all cases.  I just think there should be real safety studies, they shouldn’t all be pushed in all cases on every child, there should be true informed consent, and information on a natural immune system should be given!

So, I went to and searched “for america’s babies” and I contacted them, letting them know how upset I was that they were aiding the pharmaceutical industry in pushing vaccines.  I asked them to instead spend their donations providing breastfeeding awareness and support, which is actually proven to boost immunity and also decrease the chances of SIDS.  If this is something important to you, I encourage you to do the same thing.

Addition:  This page is difficult to access.  Here is a link to Hallmark’s FB page, you can contact them there!  Another great idea is to contact your local governor’s office.  It is actually your state that is paying for this, and they need to know their constituents are not happy with the way tax dollars are being spent! 

And, if you would like to learn more about vaccines, here is a great series from a mommy blogger who did a ton of research on the actual illnesses, their side effects and risks, and info on the vaccines.  It’s a lot of reading but it’s so worth it, she also provides where she got her information.  Modern Alternative Mama vaccine series.  And here is an article interviewing a pediatrician who is an expert in vaccines.

But overall, in anything recommended for your kids, be informed!  Read warning labels.  Research online.  Get your doctors to actually talk to you about stuff!  Yes, diseases are scary, but there are so many things that the pharmaceutical industry is hiding or not researching, like the SIDS link to vaccinations!

Addition: I don’t think this is a reason to boycott Hallmark or anything.  It’s just frustrating that there are so many ways that businesses can donate, and this one decides to jump onto the bandwagon that already does a great job of making alternative parents seem even more abnormal.  I’ll still buy Hallmark cards!

If I was Mrs. Noah

So, over the last few weeks I’ve gone to a few Answers in Genesis conferences (, and been reading about the flood.  People always say there couldn’t be a global flood because how would all the different types of animals fit, how would they eat, wouldn’t the animals eat each other, etc.

Well, I guess you need to be reading the Bible literally to even start having a belief in this, but a couple of points from the Bible:

1) We always see pictures like this, but in reality, the ark was huge!  Noah was told to make the ark: “the length of 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits”.  A cubit can be anywhere from 18 to 24 inches (depending on either who was king or who was measuring), so at a minimum, the ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.  So, that’s over 3 stories high and one deck would be the size of at least 20 basketball courts.  And being a 6:1 ratio, it was extremely stable.

2) People, and probably animals as well, were not told they could eat meat until after the flood (Genesis 3:3 says “Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.  Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything”).  Animals and people were created before sin, therefore there was no death, so they all ate plants.  The taste for meat came through time…even lions can eat plants.

3) The flood was more than just a rain storm.  It was earthquakes and volcanic eruptions which also brought on tsunamis and a rush of water.  Plus, there’s plenty of water on earth.  There are basins in the ocean that are deeper than the tallest mountains.  If everything was more flat the water would easily cover everything and the subsequent churning, volcanoes, and earthquakes would easily make the mountains we know today.

4) And God SENT 2 of every KIND of animals.  Wolves, foxes and dogs are all one KIND of animal.  They can all interbreed, but through natural selection and being separated over time produced all the varieties we know today.  This goes for birds, mammals, insects, reptiles…dinosaurs!  And there would be plenty of room.  Most animals are the size of sheep or smaller.  Of course there are big dinosaurs, mammals, etc, but there really aren’t that many huge animals, they’re just the more well known types.

5) These people were very intelligent.  People lived for hundreds of years then.  Before the flood, people were working in iron, making musical instruments…I’m sure they were engineers as well.  It wasn’t until the 1900s until people were able to make a ship to the size of the ark of the Bible.

But this isn’t really a post trying to prove the flood, this is about what I would do if I was Mrs. Noah or one of her daughter in laws.  (This is all in my imagination…not saying this actually happened!)

So, God said that he’s sending a flood to destroy the earth, and my husband is charged with making a huge vessel to save 2 of each kind of animal  (or 7 “clean”).  He and his sons are busy over 100 years building the ark, making preparations, welcoming the animals that God is sending.

Well, I would be busy too.  I would be making sure that my husband built me some huge raised garden beds on the upper deck of the ark.  I would be making pottery containers of all sizes to plant herbs, vegetables, and fruits.  I would be spending the decades learning all I can about all the different varieties of plants good for eating and healing and making sure I bring samples of everything so that these plants survive along with all the animals.

As I saw the ark was reaching completion, I would start planting in those beds he built.  I would plant as many varieties of fruit trees as possible, as well as trees that provide nuts, basically anything good for food.  I would also plant lots of grains and grasses so that we would have fresh food for the animals.  I would also be busy harvesting and drying food to bring on the ark for when fresh food isn’t available.

I would be preparing and packaging seeds and cuttings of all types to be ready to plant after we get off the ark.  I would also be writing down everything I’ve learned (or at least storing it up in my mind) about the healing properties of all the plants to pass down to my daughter in laws so that the knowledge goes on.

Basically, with all I’ve personally learned over the last few years about being self-sufficient, herbs and natural medicine, imagine if I had 100 years and a mission ahead of me!

FYI, my beef is with the medical establishment

Okay, so I’ve gotten some women mad at me.  They want their epidurals, etc.  I understand that, I’ve had 2!  I’m not judging you for having the birth you want, I’m mad at the medical community for making the birth I want seem strange, abnormal, not safe even!  You can read my previous posts on my views of interventions as a whole and hear my personal experience with the establishment.  I don’t need to beat on that anymore.  I just figured, since I keep getting told that I’m attacking women who disagree with me, then I should focus a little attention on the real problem instead of trying to help women be presented with a different voice than the establishment.  Again, not saying its for all women, but all the options should be available and easy to access or dare I say PRESENTED to all women when they go in for their prenatal care and birth.

Shouldn’t all women have their pregnancy and birth treated as a beautiful process to be assisted and encouraged, not a medical condition to be treated and managed?  Shouldn’t we get all the information about all of our birth options and be supported for the decisions we make.  And shouldn’t all options be safe and legal?

But no, if it doesn’t make money for doctors and hospitals it’s not presented to women.  If we want a home birth, heck even a natural birth IN A HOSPITAL, we’re told how unsafe it is and scare tactics are used to bully us.  In many states it’s even illegal to have a midwife attend your birth.  Of course it can be unsafe to have a home birth if your midwife is having to work covertly and is afraid to come with you to the hospital if there are any complications on fear of prosecution!

Okay, I’m not going to even try to find statistics on a lot of this stuff, because there aren’t good, solid, accurate statistics out there.  But the US is one of the only countries where doctors do most of the prenatal care for births.  Even in most developed countries, midwives provide well over 3/4s of prenatal care and births.  And why do women who don’t want or need to labor in a hospital, a place where diseases are treated, have that as the only “safe” option to deliver their baby?  Why aren’t there birth centers all over our country where women can labor in a peaceful and homelike environment which will help her stay calm and ease the labor process.  Heck, why can’t we labor and deliver at home where we’re completely comfortable and be surrounded by the people we love?

I’m not saying it’s for everyone.  But if it were “normal”, wouldn’t more women consider it?  If we weren’t basically forced to deliver in a bright, stark hospital room with people we don’t know in and out with beeping and cables and monitors surrounding us, don’t you think it would be a little more peaceful and we’d have more relaxed and quick deliveries?

We’re not really told, but we sure feel the pressure of the second we reach 40 weeks we’re late!  Full term is 38-42 weeks.  42w1d is late.  Doesn’t mean unsafe for mom or baby, just fully baked and time to observe.  The stress of thinking we have a late baby will cause problems of their own.  So far, I’ve avoided to comparison of human birth to that of other mammals, but that’s what we are.  Farmers and veterinarians know that if you interfere or stress a laboring animal that the mother will hold on to her baby and delay delivery.  It’s been observed in prey animals that they can be pushing out their baby and a predator comes and their bodies physically pull the baby back in so that they can safely get away.  Are we really so different when it comes to stress and hormones, the factors that drive labor and delivery?

And then to the interventions.  What ever happened to informed consent?  On TV commercials drug companies are forced to list all the possible side effects that go along with that medicine.  When we’re offered our pitocin, are we told that it will make the contractions harder, less effective, and harsher on the baby then natural ones?  And that just by using pitocin we’ve greatly increased our risk for having a c-section?  When we’re offered our epidural early, are we told that it will slow down labor and make it harder to deliver because we will now be restricted to our bed?  And that 1/5 of women who’ve had an epidural will have lasting back pain?  Yes, they are wonderful options for those who need it, and many women have wonderful experiences using them, but should it be PUSHED on everyone?

I’ve been told “anyone can find anything on Google, anyone can find the information they want in a blog or study and skew it how they want.  These are medical professionals, we can trust them!”  Or my favorite, “So you’ve watched The Business of Being Born, so you’re an expert now, right?”  Yes that movie got me started, but why should I have to search to find information that my DOCTOR should be presenting me?  Why are services that most women around the world use regularly so rare and hard to find, or even illegal in the United States of America?  We talk about the cost of healthcare being so outrageous in our country, listen to these statistics from 2007 (that’s right, I am using statistics, but these were easy to find!):
The average cost of a birth center birth: $1872
The average cost of a vaginal delivery with no complications in a hospital: $8316
The average cost of a vaginal delivery WITH complications in a hospital: $10690
The average cost of a cesarean delivery with no complications in a hospital: $14843
The average cost of a cesarean delivery WITH complications in a hospital: $18915

That’s just for the birth ladies!  Not for the prenatal care.  Part of what was making me consider a home birth this time around was even after insurance, the out of pocket cost for my kids’ births were over $2000 4 and 6 years ago.  When I was researching for options this time around, I found I could get an experienced midwife to do all my prenatal, birth and postpartum care in my own home for an average of $3000.  Why isn’t this presented as an option, especially with the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing in our country?  Again, not saying it’s for everyone, but if it was a normal option in our country and we all knew women who’d had one and could readily find information, and midwives were supported by doctors, wouldn’t it be a safe and cost effective option?

We live in the information age.  We have informed consent with over the counter medication, why not for a major life event?  We’re not being presented with valid information and research studies and the basic facts and risks for an event that not only brings a life into the world but also we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.  The information is not only hard to come by but withheld and we have to search and sort through all kinds of stuff on our own and push for what we want.  Thank God we’re still not pushed twilight birth is all I can say.

There’s nothing worse than laying awake with your brain running…

So part of this is in response to some people not understanding some of the big changes I’ve decided to make.  By no means am I trying to say what I did in the past was WRONG, but I do feel like when you have more information, you should use it.  And, just because you can learn from your mistakes doesn’t mean what you get out of it was a mistake.

Let me start out by saying that I LOVE MY KIDS.  I’m so thankful for them, and thankful for everything that shapes who they are.  But I really wish that I’d been given the information THEN that I have researched and have NOW.  I wish I had the Dr with them that I have now.  To go through the same motions now when I have more information and better resources just seems wrong.  Plus, there is added risk to me and my baby by repeating the same thing again.

So I’ve laid the foundation, now to explain and build on that.  To start with a little background.  I’m not a historian, a doctor or a scientist, but thankfully with the internet I can research what people who know these fields have studied and found.  And I’m just touching the surface of things here.

The woman’s movement of the early 20th century brought us many wonderful things: the right to vote, access to better jobs, and access to safer childbirth.  But there were many problems that came out of this too.  In the cause of woman’s rights, children’s value has decreased.  A child in the womb is not viewed as a person.  And while a career can be a wonderful thing, in some cases it is put at a higher value than one’s marriage, children, and family (I am guilty of this!).

One of the worst results of the woman’s movement (after the devaluing of the life of a child) that I have seen is how it has affected childbirth in the western world, the devaluing of natural birth.  In Genesis, Eve was “cursed” with pain in childbirth.  One of the goals of the women’s movement was “undo” this curse.  Early results were techniques like twilight birth, which in reality took away all control and power of a woman during childbirth.  The whole process is just sad and scary!

Don’t get me wrong, I love medical technology.  Safe c-sections are a great medical advancement.  There are truly a small number of women who have a very small pelvis and have difficult and very hard labors while everything moves to make room for the baby.  There are babies that are facing the wrong way.  There are medical emergencies like placenta detachment that can cause the baby to suffocate and you can’t wait to deliver the baby vaginally.  But the sad thing, is these cases are not the norm.  Plus, skills that used to be common like getting a baby to change positions or safely deliver a breech baby have been lost in western medicine due to the ease of c-section.  Again, this is a wonderful skill for Doctorrs to have, it saves the lives of mothers and babies.  But according to the World Health Organization, the safe c-section rate of a country should be between 5-10%, not the over 1/3 of births like the current rate in the US.

I can say with all honesty that my first c-section possibly saved my son’s life.  The part I struggle with, is that in my Dr’s desire for a quicker delivery (and mine too), we rushed the natural progression of labor.  The added pain that resulted caused me to rush into an epidural that not only made it impossible for me to feel the natural cues of labor, but also required me to labor in a position that decreased my labor’s effectiveness.  The medications that were used to start my labor, continue it, and counteract the effects of the previous interventions put unnecessary stress on my baby.  And when I was unable to get him out due to a 30% smaller pelvic opening from being on my back and all the stress on his little body from hard but ineffective contractions, a c-section was necessary to have him delivered safely.

With my second birth, my daughter was breech at the beginning on my third trimester, so my Dr recommended scheduling a c-section.  Even though she turned on her own, and even though I desperately wanted a VBAC, I let my Dr talk me into keeping the section scheduled at 39 weeks.  And while this one was so much easier than the “emergency” c-section I experienced before, I regret knowing how much easier it would have been to heal without surgery having a toddler and a baby.  Also, 39 weeks?  A baby is considered full-term in the US at 40 weeks, but in the rest of the world a baby is considered full term at 41 weeks.  Thankfully I gave birth to a healthy 8 lb 8 ozer, but what if we’d been off on my dating and we unknowingly caused my baby girl to be born too early?

So, I already wasn’t happy with my first birth experience and I really regretted my decisions with my second.  Does this mean that I don’t love my kids?  No way.  But I decided before I ever got pregnant again that I was going to learn as much as I could so I would have no regrets in future pregnancies.  While researching ways to avoid c-sections I discovered all kinds of wonderful things about the way God designed the female body, and about all the hormones involved in labor and delivery.  By trying to avoid the pain, we as women are selling ourselves short in the level of bonding we can have with our new babies, we make nursing more difficult, and we increase our chances of experiencing post partum depression.  But my goal in this is not to provide all the information I found, but to share why I have made the decisions to change that I have.

We have lost so much with modern technology.  God really does have a reason for why he made things the way he did.  He created plants that help labor naturally progress, but we use synthetic medications that are so much harsher on our bodies.  We are so afraid of pain that we look past or ignore many of the reasons for that pain.  It lets us know that our bodies are working hard for something.  It lets us know if something is actually wrong.  It causes hormones to release in our bodies that will help us bond with our new babies.  Believe me, I KNOW that it’s going to hurt.  But isn’t that something I should be willing to deal with to do what I think is BEST for my baby?

To some it may look like I’m risking a lot, attempting a VBA2C.  But the risk of multiple c-sections is a whole lot more daunting to me.  I don’t know if I’m done having kids after this one.  I know I want at least one more biological child.  The risks of uterine rupture, placental detachment, and other complications increases with each added c-section.  I’m doing everything as safely as I can.  I’ve had several medical professionals tell me that I am an ideal candidate for a VBAC.  By doing it naturally, my body will be able to tell me something is wrong long before a fetal monitor would show fetal distress.  I’m using a Dr that is experienced in VBAC and supports it fully as he’s seen firsthand a baby die as a result of multiple c-sections.  I’m using a doula to help me cope with the pain while also having experience staying through full labors and knowing what is normal and what is not.

I’m doing this naturally, not only do what’s best for the baby I’m carrying, but also because it’s best for my other 2 children.  I want to be able to heal faster then after having a major surgery.  I want to be home with them sooner.  I don’t want to have doubts that I did the wrong thing…I already know that I struggle with depression at times, I don’t want to increase the chances of that.  I also want to teach my children that we can grow and learn and make changes.  I want to empower my daughter to do what’s best for her future children and have sons that can help their future wives by knowing my experiences.  I want them to be as involved with the birth of their new brother as they want.  They shouldn’t see me hooked up to tubes and monitors.  They shouldn’t be afraid.  If they want to come in and give me a hug, I should do as much as I can to make it comfortable for them.  I want them to be able to come in right away and meet their baby brother and begin bonding with him.  And they deserve to have a mom that did everything she could to heal quickly and be able to focus on them too.

And I know I may end up with another c-section.  But I’ll go into it with no regrets.  I’ll know I tried.  And I can still ensure that even if I do have another c-section, that doesn’t mean that I need to be separated for hours from my baby like what happened with the first 2.  I have more information that will make nursing easier.  I will know that it was actually necessary, and not easier, more convenient, or because I chickened out.

And obviously from my previous post I’m making other changes.  I’m not going to go into all of those.  But when you start researching things, you find a lot more information than just what you were searching for.  I’ve found some wonderful blogs.  One site worth reading if you’re a woman at any stage in your life is  Another is  You can do random Google searches to find more information on a lot of the changes I’m making and make your own decisions on what is right for you and your family.  And again, just because I’m doing things differently doesn’t devalue my other children, it just makes me thankful that we didn’t suffer any of the risks that were involved with those decisions.  Now that I’m aware of the risks, it would be irresponsible of me to do the same thing again.  I love my kids, just the way they are.  Doesn’t mean I can’t change now, they are experiencing the benefits of most of the changes.  My responsibility is to do what I can to do the best for them now and in the future.

Warning, this one’s personal and could be taken the wrong way!

Okay, this is my blog, with my opinions, so I’m gonna share them.

Guess what, I’m planning a natural birth!  That’s right, no induction, no epidural, no laying on my back (unless that feels good at the moment), no meds, no IVs, NO NOTHING!  I have a doula.  My wonderful husband wants to “catch” our baby, and we want the kids to cut the cord after we delay clamping it for 10-20 minutes.  It’s the best option I feel comfortable with after two Dr caused cesarean sections due to interventions, impatience and convenience.  I really want a home-birth, but decided to compromise a little.  But if this one goes well and God blesses us with another one, birth at home, here I come!

And after the baby is born, he’s not leaving my side.  No going to the nursery (I was separated for 12 hours with Jeremiah and 4 hours from Maddi with no good reason given), no eye cream or shots at the hospital, no formula (I still feel guilty for Jeremiah’s first feeding being formula because he “couldn’t leave the nursery due to low temperature due to the stress of the birth, blah blah”), and dare I say it publicly on the internet (though people would find out when they change his diaper anyway) I will leave this son intact.  I respect every parents decision to do what they feel is best for their children, but after research and discussion with my husband, I am doing what I feel is best for my child.  I am so thankful for my husband who listens to my opinions and that will talk to me about it, think about it and pray about it.

And my son will at a minimum be room-sharing with me, though I do intend to fall asleep while nursing regularly!  I don’t plan on doing full bed-sharing as I am such a light sleeper I have to sleep with the TV on and still take an hour to fall asleep.  I wish I had a King-sized bed and could do it more safely and not worry.

And I’m cloth diapering!  I loved it when I practiced with my foster baby this fall. I wasn’t filling landfills.  I wasn’t buying something just to throw it away.  I felt like a good steward of the world God has given us.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t support a great company when I need to.  I don’t know if anyone has seen this video, but it makes me cry:  I take road trips.  I forget to do laundry.  I have babysitters occasionally (okay, very rarely).  You have to support a company that takes a beautiful stance on every baby being special!

And I am researching every recommended vaccine and every bit of advice I’m given.  Thankfully (and sadly at the same time) I’ve been through this a few times before.  I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve got some regrets.  I’ve learned not to believe everything a Dr tells you just because he/she has an MD.  I’ve learned that often the old advice of great grandma is better than the newest findings.

And I’m going to do everything I can to be involved in everything my kids do.  I missed way too much with my first two by working full-time, putting my dream career (that turned into a nightmare) first, and making my marriage very difficult.  I will do everything I can to make one income work, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll go back to one car, we’ll sell some stuff, I’ll do more surveys online, or I’ll babysit.

I wish I was supermom and could follow my calling of foster parenting while also homeschooling my children.  Thankfully one of the biggest lessons I learned being home schooled myself is that all children will do well as long as they have parents that are involved and supportive.  So I will continue to homeschool while they’re young to give them a strong start in school. I will continue to be excited with school projects and go to everything I can at their school.  I will do homework with them.  If in the future we realize that they’d do better at home, well then I’ll do it.  I’ve just realized that (especially while pregnant) that you have to take care of yourself too and relieve stress where you can (especially if you’re adding it to your family!).

And the best thing I can do for my kids is modeling what I expect from them.  I should treat others as I want to be treated.  I should be careful about the words I use.  I should read my Bible more.  But I’m going to make mistakes.  I’ll use the TV as a babysitter (what do you think is going on right now, lol).  And I’ll lash out in anger.  But I can also admit when I’m wrong and try to make it right.

Parenting is rough.  Thankfully we are given grace when we make mistakes.  Even though things may not be as good as they could have been, they can still be wonderful.  When things are bad, I have 2 (and soon 3) wonderful kids to give me a hug, cry on my shoulder, tell me things are okay, and make me think about someone other than myself.

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