Formula, Breast…Just Knock Off the Shaming

Posted October 4, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 3 Comments

Last week, I wrote a post about formula “shamers”, people who shame formula-feeding mothers for not breastfeeding their child. If you missed it, you can read it here. To compliment it, I’d like to submit this video on breast-feeding in public, produced by a friend of mine from back home. Derek offers a unique male perspective, emphasizing that it’s time to free the nipple!

The point is, ladies: just knock off the shaming, period. We’re all in this together, and as far as nutrition goes, our kids will inevitably eat their own boogers anyway.

Follow Derek on Facebook here. You can also get in on his latest awesomeness, Kiss a Ginger Day!

Baby G and XXXXY Syndrome Part III

Posted October 3, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Baby G and XXXXY Syndrome / 5 Comments

I’m excited to report that Baby G’s progress and my research have come a long way since my last post on this topic. But, if you’ve missed my posts on 49, XXXXY Syndrome, you can catch up here and here.

Baby G is now ten months old and is as happy as ever.

He’s reached the lower 15th percentile for weight at 16 lbs,12oz, and as usual, is coasting along the very bottom of the length curve. I registered him to have an Infant Development Specialist come to the house to see how he’s progressing. This is a service provided by public health in my area, so if you’re in a similar situation, explore every option you can. You might be amazed at what you can find that’s at no cost to you. Baby G is progressing well, and the nurse and I both agree that he is behind, but only borderline. Aspects of his development that lead us to this conclusion are things like sitting up unassisted, self feeding, fine motor skills and stands with help. However, that he’s still not yet crawling, doesn’t have any teeth and only just has begun making consonant sounds are aspects that pull his development down on the curve.

Again, it’s all relative. I know of children who bypassed crawling completely and went straight to walking. It’s still too early to decide if these things are because of the abnormality, or because he’s just a baby, and all babies are different.

The nurse also suggested we refer him to a local centre for special needs children for an assessment.

I heartily agreed. While he really is quite young, at the very least he’ll be in the system as diagnosed and as being assessed. This centre will offer any therapies he might need: cognitive, speech, what have you. They will offer service into the first year of school, at which point the school would assign someone to be with him throughout his academic years. The assessment should take place sometime in the new year. I was able to find a suitable care provider for him, and as a bonus, she has tons of special needs experience. I’m feeling confident in our discussions as far as his care, what we might find through the assessment, and how delays might pan out.

As I mention in Part I and II, I’m reading up on all of this when I get a chance, including on whether we might qualify for any government funding for his care over the next few years.  I was able to speak on the phone with the nurse that had approached us after Baby G was born. I discovered that Baby G might qualify for some of the same opportunities she’s uncovered for her son.

She also recommended AXYS, a US-based website for more information and support. I’ll be sure to post any more links as I come across them, as well as the development activities Baby G and I work on together. But for now I’m loving working with the Infant Development Specialist. She’s so great with him and is full of great ideas on how to keep him moving along in his development. It also doesn’t hurt that he could be the cutest lil’ guppy she ever did see!

Formula Shamers, I Have One Thing To Say… 

Posted September 25, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 0 Comments

I read an article last night about how a particular celebrity was verbally attacked for formula feeding her infant. It inspired me to write about this particular issue.

In today’s world, a new mother can count on hearing several voices in her head with regards to the health and nutrition of her child.

People like her obstetrician/midwife, her partner, her parents, friends, co-workers, the list could go on and on. With all these opinions flying around, it’s a wonder she can hear her own voice at all, especially when it comes to deciding whether to breastfeed or not.

In today’s world, this new mom will become well-informed through the media, signage, prenatal groups, mom and baby groups how breast is best. She’ll even read formula labels that outline that breast milk is always the ideal choice.

And with all this knowledge that breast milk is definitely best for baby, it makes sense that should said mom not be able to nurse, that she might feel guilty about it.

Maybe even more than guilt, maybe flat-out grief.

Ok, so let’s say said new mom decides she will breastfeed, but when the time comes, it’s not what she expected. Maybe, she’s had a c-section and needs to supplement. Maybe she was formula fed and changes her mind to follow that path instead? What if she doesn’t enjoy it? What if her milk dries up? What if she makes the best decision for both her and her child to switch to formula?

Will the mommy club ostracize her?

I’d like to think not.

The fact is, there are so many issues that can arise both prenatal and postpartum that can prevent a mom from nursing. Why is it an open forum on how a mom decides to sustain the life she’s grown inside her own body? I find it decidedly appalling to hear of fellow moms shaming each other for making different choices for different babies. The point is to be the best mother you can be, whatever that means for you, isn’t it?

Aren’t we all in this together?

So, to the formula shamers out there:

It’s absolutely wonderful that you’ve decided to give your baby the best you can for as long as you can. It’s fantastic that you enjoy it as a calm bonding experience with your baby. I feel proud to be a woman when I see you feeding in public, covered or uncovered. I think it’s an incredible gift we’re given, one of the most special things we can share with our babies, but in the end:




Rockstar Mom Moment #3: Rockstar Dads We Salute You!

Posted September 10, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 0 Comments

 This can be one of the hardest things about parenthood, a close second to the temper tantrum of century for us. Getting your child to take their medicine can be damn near impossible.  In our case, like ripping finger nails out one by one and pouring lemon juice on them.  Hell, absolute hell.

B picked up scarlet fever when she was two. Where and how she got it is beyond me, but after a rushed trip to the clinic, it was confirmed. She had a rash ALL over her body, a huge fever, no appetite, she was throwing up on me, on the couch, in a bucket, in the toilet, it was rough. She was prescribed antibiotics. D and I knew that this would be a battle right from the start. While we would normally mix it with juice, B had already figured that one out. It was time for a new strategy.

D and I decided that we would have to force it down. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fun, but it was necessary. The first time was one of the most awful experiences of my life. She and were both crying, while I gave her little squirts of banana flavored nastiness from the plastic syringe of doom. But I did it. I was a good mom. Pfffhhh…I was a fucking mess.

With every dose, we’d give her plenty of warning, five minutes, two minutes and then we’d do it, tantrum and all. After the third dose, we were both physically and emotionally exhausted, not to mention covered in spit up banana medicine.

Then, D came up with the ultimate hack.  He put juice in one plastic syringe and medicine in another. And I was like, “Wait, didn’t we agree? Can’t we just stick to the plan? Please?” I just couldn’t take another tactic that would fail.

And then it happened. He gave her a little juice at first with one syringe, then slowly added the meds with the other. He filled up with juice again, and did another round. It worked! I couldn’t fucking believe it!!  He finished it off, and she was all done. Every single drop. Pretty soon, she started to do the juice herself. It was actually fun for her, and she had a bit of control in the process too. I think that was a big part of it. A full cup of juice that tasted like ass just didn’t cut it anymore, and while she knew she had to take it, she had no control over anything.

Now,normally this would be a Rockstar Mommy post, but I believe giving credit where credit is due. Rockstar Daddy, we love you!!!!!

How about you guys, do you have a rockstar daddy in your life? One that just puts your mommy instincts to shame?! I’d love to hear about them!

Baby G and XXXXY Syndrome: Some Research

Posted August 21, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Baby G and XXXXY Syndrome / 0 Comments

I mentioned here that I would write more on Baby G and 49, XXXXY syndrome, and now that I have a minute to myself, I can finally delve in a little deeper.

So, as I explained, Baby G has three extra X chromosomes.  Essentially, according to the information I have here, it can lead to a variety of issues, but here are some of the characteristics that I’ve observed so far in Baby G:

  • Low birth weight, he was 5lb 2oz
  • low muscle tone, causing floppiness, not a lot, but some low tone
  • unusual features of the hands and feet, club foot, overriding toes and small hands and feet.  Baby G has an overriding toe on his right foot…I am told that his great grandmother had that as well…?
  • alpha fetal protein screen was high, while the ultrasound looked normal
  • pinky finger curves inwards…so does mine, actually.
  • moving to solid foods delayed…Baby G took his sweet time getting the hang of solids, only finally picking it up at 7 1/2 months.  However, it was also at this time he was prescribed glasses for farsightedness, and could then actually see what I was shoving in his mouth, so…?
  • verbal skills delayed…Baby G doesn’t babble as much as as B did, and he did not cry at birth. He will let us know when there’s something wrong, hungry, tired, etc. but in between not a whole lot.  He’s always been extremely alert, alluding to the strong visual skills characteristic.  He’s extremely observant, especially when it comes to his big sister. Again, knowing now that he’s far sighted and has wee baby glasses to help him see things close up, I’ve noticed a marked difference in babbling, movement and eating.  He also started sitting up on his own at that time, so any delays I thought might have been delays, may not have been.
  • Speech is most likely to be affected, signing used to communicate. This one I am anticipating, as I said he doesn’t babble as much as I would hope, and his giggles aren’t really full-on baby giggles either; they sound more like “cough-laughs”. But we used basic “please” and “thank you” signs with B, as well as “all done”, so sign language will be in full swing in the coming months I think.
  • Delays in sitting, crawling, rolling, walking…sitting up took him awhile. Even now when he sits, most of the time his legs are straight out in front of him.  He doesn’t do a lot of leaning forward yet either.  Tummy time was difficult at first, but is now not really an issue.  His once stiff straight legs are now loosening and learning to bend freely without help. He’s rolling over to reach toys now and can grab different objects with different textures.  I anticipate crawling within the next two weeks.

It’s interesting to read the research I have on 49,XXXXY, and to see how each family has been affected.  Some boys have severe respiratory infections, most beginning in the second half of the first year and persisting through mid-childhood.  Some boys have minor heart issues, some only speech and behavioral difficulties.

I’m nervous, and a little excited to see exactly where Baby G will fall in among his peers. The research I’m referencing here actually comes from a nurse who had been told that a baby had been born with the same condition as her son.  And there she was with real websites, information and her home phone number if we had any questions.  I’ll forever be grateful to her, and to the universe for connecting us so fatefully.

Here are is a link to the Unique website that she provided me, for anyone out there who might be interested:

Rare Chromosome Disorder Support Group

I’ll post more links and updates on his progress in the coming weeks😊