Friday, September 25, 2009

Tim McGraw & Your Banned From Baby Showers Moments

My life has been so busy -- who isn't, right? -- but every now and then, I'll find myself thinking, "This would be so great to put on the blog." There are many topics that I have written in my head, but just have not sat down to write.

If I may, I would love to tell you some of the totally unrelated things that have been happening in my life. Those of you that know me will appreciate this, and may already know all about it!

As I mention in my paragraph about the blog, I am an enthusiastic member of the Tim McGraw fanclub. I've been a member for almost 10 years, seen him 9 times live, done a Tim McGraw Cruise, etc. Well, a few weeks ago, the fanclub members were told about a taping of "CMT Invitation Only: Tim McGraw" that would be recorded in Nashville. It was very hush-hush. Needless to say, I got an invitation and flew to Nashville 10 days later! I got to see Tim perform in a studio with 99 other people. I was one of the lucky people that got to sit front row, too. It really was a blast. I was so lucky to get to go do that. My husband is the most supportive guy ever. He was picking out my dress online when I found out I got an invite! It made the whole event that much more special, especially since I went all alone. (Actually, my aunt and uncle met me there and I was so lucky to have them all to myself, without my kids fighting for their attention.)

So if you have Dish Network, it will air on October 1. Otherwise, it will air on CMT on November 6. Exciting stuff. I, assuredly, will be the overly happy fan in the front row!

OK, on to birth stuff:

I have talked with so many people lately who have told me funny stories about conversations they have with people about birth and how they just have to keep their mouths shut. When I say, "You had a banned-from-baby-showers moment," they seem to be confused. Maybe I haven't been clear about why I really don't go to baby showers. I want to keep my friends. It's a simple decision. Either give information or zip it! Since baby showers and playgroups seems to be where I hear the most absurd birth stories or "my doctor said" stories, and I just cannot keep my mouth shut, I have to stay away. This way, I keep my friends. If they want information, they know where to find me.

So, I want to hear your banned-from-baby-showers moments. Did you speak up? Did you share your experiences? Did you want to, but didn't? Have you lost friends over birth and breastfeeding issues? I have. There are people that I simply cannot have this conversation with.

Feel free to vent! I am getting more tolerant in my "old" age (tonight someone guessed I was 28!), I like to think. I actually have read so much more material over the last year or two. It helps.

If you find yourself in these situations a lot, one of the most powerful suggestions you can make to a couple is that they look into midwifery care and why you chose to use a midwife. Birth Networks are sprouting up and are also a good place for couples to seek out evidence-based information.

I look forward to hearing your stories and how you handled these delicate situations.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chicken Pox Vaccine

This has been a hot topic for me over the last few weeks. Our school district just announced that they require kindergartners to have, not only the original vaccine for chicken pox, but the booster as well.

This was a brand new vaccine the year my son was born. When he had it, they didn't know how long it would last or the severity of the chicken pox if he did get it. Not real helpful, but I dutifully got the vaccination, which was optional. My second and third children also received the vaccination.

Fast forward 4 years after more reading and knowing several children that have had chicken pox despite having the vaccine. The amount of time between boosters is getting shorter, too. We are the guinea pigs for this vaccine.

I talked with my pediatrician during the spring about this topic, before the school district made this their policy. She really wanted my oldest, 13, to have the booster because if he got chicken pox, it would likely be shingles at this point. I am probably okay with that decision.

I had been hearing so much more about shingles over the last few months, so I read up on it a bit more. I did not realize until a couple of years ago that shingles is basically chicken pox as an adult. It can be very painful and even life threatening. Chicken pox, when a child gets it, is rarely dangerous.

Years ago, as adults were around children -- and the population at large -- getting chicken pox, this was a good thing because it acted like a booster, protecting them from shingles. Now that chicken pox has been virtually removed from our US population we are seeing lots of older people having to get a shingles vaccine or actually getting shingles. We are giving a vaccine because of a vaccine! Just letting children get chicken pox would have been so much simpler.

So, now, if you decide to not have your child vaccinated against chicken pox and they are fortunate enough to actually get it, they will not have the natural booster of being around people with chicken pox throughout their life. They will eventually be forced into getting the shingles vaccine. Do you see where I am going with this? Americans have been forced into this system of vaccinations.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against all vaccinations. I think they have done some good things. This particular vaccination, however, is ridiculous. I am left with deciding, do I vaccinate my fourth child now, or in 10 years?

I live in Texas and it was incredibly simple to get the waiver for school. It is not a state law to immunize your child. The school nurse at my son's middle school recently sent home a paper that said that it was a state law that your child be current on his/her immunizations or they could not sit in the classroom. That is a false statement. Do not be bullied into immunizing your child if you do not feel good about it. Read up on it and be informed.

We will all be affected by this, not just our children. Good luck with this particular immunization -- now and throughout your life and your child's life.