12 Things

10170737_10151962442902653_7163878646663327259_nIt’s my middle daughter’s birthday today.  She’s 12 years old.  Hard to believe this is the last year she’ll officially be a kid.  Next year I will have two teenagers.  But it has become a thing with me to write some things about my kids on their birthday.  To be exact, I write the number of things as they are years.  So here are 12 things about my pre-teen daughter.

12 Things About My 12 Year Old

  1. She is very matter of fact.  She knows what she knows and doesn’t suggest she knows otherwise.
  2. She pushes herself and sets very lofty goals for herself none the less.  You will never see someone work as hard as she does.
  3. Her favorite color is green although, she is starting to get into pink.  Apparently yellow has been overdone as that used to be one of her favorite colors.  Times, they are a changin’.
  4. She wants to be a hairdresser when she grows up, or a teacher like her big sister, or a chef like her daddy wants to be.
  5. She is really good at math.
  6. Her favorite Disney character is Tinkerbell.
  7. She has a hard time throwing things away, but she has a plan for everything she keeps.
  8. She loves art.  She’s often in her room making something.
  9. She is very giving, always wants to get gifts for people and she very carefully thinks about exactly what they would like.
  10. She usually likes to help out with things.
  11. She’s very agreeable, most of the time.
  12. She talks, a lot.

And that is my newly turned 12 year old.  I hope you’ll wish her a happy birthday today.

The Feminist Breeder Calls Loss Mom Nuts!

Marybeth

Image courtesy of Bambi, Mary Beth’s mother.

I have been trying to write this post all weekend long.  Maybe I was clouded by anger, or my own raw feelings on the loss of a child, or the fact that this happened to someone I consider a friend.  Probably a combination of all of that, but it’s something that has got to be written.  We need to stop burying babies in homebirth over and over again.

The women who speak out against the negligent actions of their homebirth midwife need to be allowed and we have got to stop attacking these women.  I don’t care how great you think homebirth is.  I personally think hospital birth is the greatest place to give birth and if I heard about the negligent actions of a doctor that caused a baby to die I would never ever dream of telling anyone that the mother was nuts for sharing her story and baby.  If a doctor was negligent of course there would be consequences for his actions, but none the less if a mother wanted to share her story and her baby, then I would welcome it.  Even if I completely disagreed with her.  But then again maybe that’s because I also know what it’s like to lose a baby.

I know what it’s like to be told I’m making things up or am over dramatizing things.  I know what it’s like to be told that I’m a liar and my baby didn’t exist.  I know what it’s like to be told I’m not grieving her loss right.  I know what it’s like to have her forgotten by people who are supposed to love me and my children.  It hurts, a lot.

What I don’t know what it’s like is to have a child die due to someone’s negligent actions.  To then have that person walk away and move on with her life never having to answer to what she did while I’m left with a gravestone I get to visit every time I miss my child.  I don’t know what it’s like to share my story of negligence and share pictures of my beautiful daughter only to have people say that I’m nuts for sharing that and fear mongering a certain agenda and slandering homebirth midwives.  And then to be called a snotty bitch for doing that.  But I can put myself into the shoes of someone who has had that happen to her, just this weekend no less, and I can completely sympathize with her.

I am furious in fact.  My blood pressure has been skyrocketing a thousand times this weekend because of statements made about a woman I count amongst my friends.  I am angry, this has to stop.  And on top of it all my friend’s photo was reported to Facebook as graphic violence.

Mary Beth’s Story

Back in June 2008 my friend Bambi was planning a homebirth for her daughter.  She went into labor one June day and called her midwife who didn’t end up showing up until after Mary Beth was born.  When she got there along with the EMT’s they checked over Mary Beth.  The EMT’s not being experts on babies deferred to the midwife who gave little Mary Beth a clean bill of health.

She left and this new family settled into life.  Bambi went to take a nap and was awoken shortly after by her husband who said their new baby wasn’t breathing.  She was rushed to the hospital where they worked on her, but where unable to save her.  She was in respiratory distress.  And what was even worse is Bambi had drawn her midwife’s attention to many things that concerned her, all of which was explained away by her midwife and seemed reasonable to her, but all things that any medical professional would have recognized as respiratory distress.  And before anyone says how can we know it was the midwives fault, the coroners report said, “Cause of death: homebirth.”  That’s pretty clear cut.

Mary Beth died and her midwife went on to practice.  And Mary Beth’s mother is angry and concerned for other women and has been fighting ever since to save more family’s from experiencing what she has experienced.  The problem is, it has come at a price.  She has been dismissed and called a monster.  People who were once her friends have turned on her.

Why?  Because she stood up to her homebirth midwife in the only way she could.  And sadly it doesn’t end there.

The Feminist Breeder Strikes Again

On Friday Gina of The Feminist Breeder posted about a Facebook group that I belong to and so does Bambi called Fed Up With Natural Childbirth.  First of all let me explain, I’m not fed up with the actual process of natural childbirth.  I have birthed two of my children naturally.  And everyone who belongs to that group has no problem with women birthing naturally.  What they have a problem with is people like Gina who tell women it’s the best and safest way to give birth.  That women who do are just superior for having done it and that all hospitals and doctors just want to cut you open so they can get more money or leave sooner.  It just really shows a basic lack of understanding of how doctors and hospitals work and it sets women up for failure.  Those who don’t get that perfect natural birth often end up with postpartum depression and feelings of failure.

So Gina hates this group because well it threatens everything she believes.  She calls the group hateful and thinks the person who started the group is going after her fans and paying for them to join.  Can we say paranoid?

Anyway, since so many of Gina’s fans were checking out the page that Gina herself told them existed as a group we were explaining our feelings about birth and Gina.  Remember this: Gina told her fans about the Fed Up page, she called everyone on there a bunch of haters and then expects people to not be talking about it.

People came from Gina’s page and saw many things including a picture Bambi shared of her beautiful daughter, Mary Beth, explaining what she is fighting for.  And then she was told that her daughter’s picture was the epitome of negativity.  How nice it must be to live your life never having to know such grief as the loss of a child.  At the loss of a child to a negligent homebirth midwife none the less.  Somehow I doubt she could be the epitome of positiveness if she had walked a mile in Bambi’s shoes.

It got worse from there though.  That above was just said by one of Gina’s followers, Gina had much worse to say.  Which included calling Bambi nuts, that she was slandering homebirth midwives, she has an evil agenda to prevent women from having choice, and finally that she is a snotty bitch.  And this is how Gina and others like her show support to other women.

TFB nutsTFB dead babyTFB snotty bitches

And to add insult to injury, this picture was reported on FB for graphic violence.  Thankfully FB knew enough not to actually remove it, but wow!  Lets just completely erase Mary Beth’s existence because it’s too negative and we don’t want to see that.  I’m just sickened by all of this.

1669898_10152311066105266_1300509473_o

Please tell me, how was Bambi stalking and harassing?  She posted a picture of her daughter on a page that she belongs to.  She did not go to someone elses page and post this picture.  She did not hunt anyone down and say hey look at my dead daughter!  She posted it in a place where she knew there were like minded people.  And then Gina’s fans went to that page and reported this picture.  So Bambi is in the wrong here?  She did what exactly?

Can You Blame Me For Being Mad?

This is the problem with so much of the homebirth community. Aside from the idea that they are superior they also dismiss and bury babies that die during homebirth. If a woman speaks out against her homebirth this is how she is treated.  It’s so unfair.  Do you see why people get fed up?  I was banned a while ago from Gina’s page so I couldn’t comment, for all the good it would have done.  All I can do is come to my blog and hope that someone reads this and understands how dire of a situation this is.  And understand that Gina is the hateful one.  Look at that picture above and tell me, what exactly is graphically violent about that?  It would be like me reporting pictures of everyone’s sleeping child as graphically violent.  It’s outrageous!  Women who speak out against homebirth are not doing it to take away your choice, they are doing it to help prevent more Mary Beth’s from happening.

And Gina might have won this round.  Bambi has had to take a break from everything.  Gina however is still spouting off at the mouth about how much she hates hearing women say that their doctors told them they can’t vbac after all because their baby is too big.  She’s telling people about how hateful the rest of us are.  She’s going on and on and on about stuff which she knows nothing about while claiming expertise.  Lets make one thing clear though, Gina is no victim!  She creates all of her own problems.  Remember, she sent people to this page that she thinks is so hateful.  She sent them there and they didn’t like what they saw.  And rather than blame the person who told them about the group, or themselves for looking at it, they are blaming the people on that page for what they saw.  I have news for everyone who thinks we invited you there, trust me we did not.  No one paid for advertising.  Facebook makes recommendations based on what they THINK you want to see.  It’s an imperfect system I suppose, but Facebook invited you there and Gina told you about the page and you went looking.  No one asked you to come look.  But if you’re going to look, then we’re going to give you something to look at.  And if it bothers you to see that “dead baby” on the page, then think about how the mother must feel.  Then think about why it happened and why she’s so angry and try to come up with a way to change that and prevent it from happening to other women.  I sure would hate if it were my grandchild, so you better believe I’m fighting to make sure there’s accountability in homebirth for my daughters and future daughter in law.  That’s what you should be seeing when you look at that picture, not graphic violence!

This has to stop.  Mothers who speak out against their midwife need to be listened to.  And since Gina believes that there wouldn’t be the same outrage for a doctor, she is absolutely wrong.  But since doctors and hospitals have a review process of all negative outcomes unlike in homebirth midwifery the chances that a doctor is not help accountable for negligent actions are slim to none.  I do not support doctors blindly.  No one should.  But considering there is a certain standard they must meat in their training unlike homebirth midwives I think it’s safe to say your chances of finding a good one are better than your chances with a homebirth midwife.

What do you think about what The Feminist Breeder did to this loss mom?

Menu Plan Sunday: April 6 – April 12

We are solidly into April and I am already feeling my typical April pressure with two of my kids birthdays, Easter, and just everything else that happens. So not having to do the what’s for dinner dance every night will be nice.

Won’t you join me? Grab my button, write up your own menu and link it up below. I don’t think you’ll regret doing this.

Monica's Mom Musings

Monica’s Menu For April 6 – April 12

Sunday: Chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, and broccoli and cauliflower.
Monday: Homemade macaroni and cheese with ham.
Tuesday: Another school fundraiser, eating out to support the school.
Wednesday: Ranch chicken with broccoli and egg noodles.
Thursday: Quesadillas with carrot sticks.
Friday: Lasagna for the birthday girl.
Saturday: Fend for yourself.

Now it’s your turn, what’s cooking in your kitchen?

Midlife Crisis Or Teenage Rebellion?

984056_10151932260957653_1473761948_nDo women go through a midlife crisis, and if they do what does it look like?  I don’t know, 35 seems too young for a midlife crisis, but I might just be having one, or it’s just really late teenage rebellion.

But can you have teenage rebellion when there’s no one to rebel against?  I mean sure my parents disapprove of many things I do and what I have done of late I am very well aware of the fact that my parents would disapprove, but it’s not like they can ground me anymore.  So is it rebellion if you can’t be punished for your behavior?

Well, whatever I am going through right now, midlife crisis or teen rebellion, I am really going wild. Of course I shaved my head 4 months ago, but that was for a good cause. It was definitely drastic and life changing though. A few weeks ago I got a tattoo. Well, it was my 3rd, so not unheard of for me although it is my largest.

And now that my hair is growing back I decided to dye it. I have dyed my hair before or done highlights, but I went really bold. Blonde bombshell bold! I warned my family before hand that there was a good possibility I would be a blonde and they all objected. Maybe it is rebellion, I am rebelling against my husband and kids, ha. Because I did it anyways. After much discussion with my hairdresser I made the choice to go blonde. I considered red, but it was just going to be too close to what I already have and I felt that if I was going to do this, then I needed to go all out.

So blonde it was and I think it works for me. My husband said it looks good, my son kept staring at me then said, “It looks like gold, I love it!” My oldest said I look like Pink or Miley Cyrus (which I’m not entirely sure is a seal of approval, but hey maybe I’m hip). My other two daughters haven’t had much to say about it.

I figured with my hair growing in, now is the time to have fun with this. It won’t be as hard to change back if I had it. I don’t hate it, but it is taking some getting used to. I have to go back in 6 weeks to touch up my roots. Right now I’m thinking maybe I need to make it a smidgen darker. But six weeks I just might be good with this shade.

Who knows what other wild and crazy things I’ll have up my sleeves. I think I’m good for now though.

What crazy wild things have you done lately?

Menu Plan Sunday: March 30 – April 5

I am having such a hard time doing some basic things lately. I make my menu, but it seems crazy life things are getting in the way of fulfilling it. I need to get better at this. I need to get the family more involved in actually helping me make the menu. I think that’s part of the problem is I have been deciding a lot of this on my own and then no one wants what I said we were going to have. That and I’m exhausted lately with all of the running around so cooking never appeals to me. This has to change. This might be a good week to change that because I already have a few I’m not cooking nights because of plans this week.

You can join in too and make your own menu. Just link it up on the bottom. Maybe we can get some ideas from each others menus. So grab my button and link up your menu below.

Monica's Mom Musings

Monica’s Menu Plan For March 30 – April 5, 2014

Sunday: Tacos.
Monday: School fundraiser, eating out to help the school.
Tuesday: Sausage and Meatballs with ziti.
Wednesday: Oven fried chicken with rice pilaff and corn.
Thursday: Homemade pizza.
Friday: Baseball stadium hot dogs.
Saturday: Chicken and rice casserole.

Now it’s your turn. What’s cooking in your kitchen this week?

I’m Featured On More Than Mommies Again

I almost forgot that I had signed up for this. But at the end of last year or beginning of this year the ladies over at More Than Mommies were offering blogs who had been a part of their weekly Sunday Sip a chance at a 2nd feature. It seems like eons ago and also at a time when I was far more active in my blogging. So this weekend when I got the email saying this was my Sunday I was excited. Maybe this is just what I need to get back into this. Life has been crazy of late and blogging has been put on the back burner. But now maybe there’s a new found reason to make some time for blogging.

Please head on over to More Than Mommies and learn a little more about me. That includes what has been keeping me busy of late. Tell them I said, “Hi!” What a great bunch of ladies who really give so much to the blogging community.

What do you think of More Than Mommies?

Menu Plan Sunday: March 23 – March 29

Time to start our week out right. It’s a busy one ahead for me so I’m relieved to have a menu get me through this week. Have you tried menu planning yet? If not now’s a good time. Solve that what’s for dinner problem by planning out your menu in advance for the week. Grab my button and link up at the bottom of this post with your own menu.

Monica's Mom Musings

Monica’s Menu Plan For March 23 – March 29, 2014

Sunday: Sandwiches with salad
Monday: Chicken picatta with carrots and egg noodles.
Tuesday: Homemade pizza.
Wednesday: Leftovers/Fend for yourself.
Thursday: Homemade macaroni and cheese.
Friday: Breakfast for dinner.
Saturday: Chicken and rice casserole.

Now it’s your turn. What’s cooking in your kitchen this week?

Fitness Friday: Week 63

I am so happy it’s Friday, well until I look at my calendar for next week because that means we’re that much closer to a crazy week. But I finished off my week strong. Got in all 3 thirty minute workouts this week and I feel like I am beginning to see some results. Maybe not on the scale so much as in the way my clothes fit. These workouts really kick my butt, but at the same time they are in some instances getting a little easier to do. So I feel good.

I also discovered an app that my new phone had in it over the weekend which counts your steps and counts your calories. Truth be told I used it that one day and haven’t really paid much attention to it since. I’m really going to have to start using that though because it will tell me just how many calories I’m eating a day and the step counter on it is really cool. I did reach my goal of 10,000 steps, but it meant I had to walk with the kids all over town. That included giving my 3 year old a piggy back ride up a very steep hill. I don’t think it calculated that extra cardio workout I got from that feat. But it was very exciting to reach that goal and it’s something I can get the kids involved in with me. This might be fun during the summer months.

How has your week been going? Have you been active? Eating the right things? Grab my button below and link up your own fitness post at the bottom of this post.

Monica's Mom Musings

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Miscarriage: When It’s For The Best

stillbirthAs I’m sure most of my readers know I had a 20 week miscarriage five years ago.  Quick recap of how that story goes.  In November of 2008 I found out I was pregnant for a 4th time.  My son had just turned 1 and I was already into my 2nd trimester which meant I was going to have two under two.  The timing of it all was really just awful.  We were just getting things on track for my son and we definitely did not have the room for a 4th child.  So a month later when I went in for a check up and my doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat it really almost seemed like a blessing in disguise.  And truth be told that was how I got through those first few hours.  This is for the best.  I didn’t shed a tear in the doctor’s office.  It wasn’t until that night that this whole “it’s for the best” thing became my worst nightmare.

I went through many ups and downs through my grieving process, but the whole idea of it’s for the best flew out the window completely the moment I had her.  While I felt this huge amount of relief that it was over, it really wasn’t and I have carried her with me every day for the last five years.

I have seen this a lot too.  And you know it’s so easy for people to tell a woman who’s grieving that it was for the best, but you know what?  Even what’s for the best still hurts.  My little angel was still a part of me and my husband that we had created together.  She looked like her siblings to me.

But this one “for the best” moment in our lives had a huge impact both positively and negatively on our lives.  It has been the hardest thing I have had to deal with thus far in my life.  It has had an impact on each and every one of us in some way or another.  So despite the fact that this might have been what was best for our family and without this having had happened our lives would be very different (not saying better or even worse, just different) losing a baby is still very very hard no matter how much it was for the best.

So the next time you hear a woman go through a miscarriage and you want to say it’s for the best, just don’t.  First of all she probably already thought it and second of all it’s just not helpful.  Whether it’s a young teenage girl with her life ahead of her, it still hurts.  A mother of multiple children already with her hands full with the kids she already has, it still hurts.  The single mother or soon to be single mother, it still hurts.  The woman who has raised her children and suddenly gets pregnant late in life, it still hurts.  This was a life that while it might not have been planned doesn’t mean it wasn’t loved right from the get go and so it’s hard.

Miscarriage and death are never the best answer to life’s problems.  So please, the next time you feel the urge to say, “It was for the best!” stop yourself.  No matter how you mean it, you don’t know just how much this baby was loved.  So offer your condolences, offer your love, offer a shoulder to cry on, but DO NOT offer it was for the best.

 

Where Were You Wednesday: Week 75

Where Were You Wednesday is back. I missed last week, it was a crazy week. It’s a crazy month really. Busy with work, busy with personal stuff, busy with the kids. Just busy. No excuse though, this is one of the easiest posts I do every week. So it’s back and I hope you’ll join me and link up your own picture post. Grab my button, read through the rules, see what picture folder and picture we’re looking at this week, and link up your own post at the bottom of this post.

Monica's Mom Musings

Rules

Just a reminder of the rules:

  1. Only PG-rated photos. Nothing that would be inappropriate for children to see because I often have children around.
  2. If your folder doesn’t go as high as the number picture I choose, or you don’t have a folder number then go with the last photo in the folder or the last folder.
  3. If you don’t feel comfortable posting a photo because it has children in it who aren’t your own or something, then please feel free to go onto the next photo. I’d rather have you join than not and the whole point of this is to start conversations.
  4. Please check out the other blogs on the linky. We’re not going to be able to start fun conversations about why pictures were taken if we don’t look at each others pictures.
  5. The linky will remain open for a week so you can add your link anytime within that week.

Where Were You Wednesday

This week we are in folder number 3 picture number 4. Here’s where I was:
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My son at a friend’s bowling birthday party last year.

Now it’s your turn, where were you in folder number 3 picture number 4?