Posts Tagged ‘Motherhood’

Being Fully Present with our Children

Misha Seger Photography

Facebook. Cell Phones. Internet. Texting, Television. Blogs. Email. Pinterest.

We have so many social outlets available to us in our day and age.  And through many of them we can communicate with hundreds of people any time any place, without even leaving the comfort of our home.

I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom.  But lately, I am becoming increasingly aware of how easy it can be to be technically home, but not really be home.  From the moment I awaken to the moment I drop into bed at night, there is a constant pull on my time and emotions to keep up with everything that is going on in the world.  Whether it is checking my email, replying to text messages, catching up with 15 people on Facebook, or making a dozen phone calls, there is a constant source of need and information at my very fingertips.  I could literally spend every waking hour on social media or researching topics of interest in the internet.

But there is a world of entertainment and imagination and exploration within arms reach of me every day, and their names are Jeshuah and Eliana, God’s precious gifts to me. My little ones are growing up before my eyes, and I am missing it by being distracted by the latest piece of news or information.

How did checking social media replace the joys of laughing and learning with our children?  How did browsing a long-lost acquaintance’s profile page online become more interesting than sitting down face-to-face with our little ones for completely devoted, undistracted attention to them?  How have we begun to allow instantly responding to every text message to have precedence over the real-time conversation we are having with our children?

I understand.  Our children are not always a delight to be around.  Being at home with small children can become very lonely.  Our household tasks can become drudgery as we do the same thing day in and day out, wondering if anything we are doing is even making a difference.  Believe me, I know! I know the temptation to escape the mundane and enter a world where there is constantly something new and exciting going on.  I know the desire to feel efficient by multi-tasking and checking email while everyone at the table eats lunch.  I know the longing to be appreciated for more than just wiping snotty noses and dirty bottoms (oh wait, they don’t even appreciate that??) I know the loneliness and irritation of spending all day every day with children whose only language is whining, fussing, and tantrums.

But what I also know is that when I am with my kids, I want to be really with them.  I don’t want to be distracted by texting while I am helping my two-year-old go to the bathroom.  I don’t want to be surfing the web, casually responding with “uh huh” to his questions as he eats his lunch.  I don’t want to be on the phone the whole time we are on a nature walk. I want to be with my kids, in body, mind, and spirit.  I do not want my kids to grow up thinking a screen is more interesting than they are.  Technology is good and can be used tremendously to build God’s Kingdom, but we must learn to be disciplined in our use of it.

So that is why sometimes I intentionally leave my cell phone at home while we go outside.  That is why I make it my goal to limit my internet/computer time to when the kids are napping.  That is why I do not always let myself turn on talk radio to have on in the background while I am playing with my kids. That is why I constantly reassess what I am doing and why I am doing it. Ultimately, I want to be a stay-at-home mom and really be present with my children, despite the plethora of possible distractions available in our own homes now.  I want to play with, teach, love on, and truly engage with my children.

I hear a little voice calling for his mama:-) Naptime is over. Lord, give me grace to practice what I preach!

Jeshuah, You are Two-Years Old! (A Little Late:-)

(Forgive the spacing…I am having internet issues)

Dear Jeshuah,
It is April 3, and I am finally sitting down to write you your birthday letter. Not only does you birthday fall at a busy time of year, being December 22, but December 22, 2011 was particularly eventful! I was 34 weeks pregnant with your little sister, Eliana, and had been put on bedrest because she kept wanting to be born too early. Nana drove over to pick you up for a whole entire week so that I could rest better, because, let’s face it–no one gets much rest with you running around! A week was a long time to be apart from you, but you had a blast at Poppa and Nana’s farm.

On your second birthday, they brought you home. I had planned a low-key birthday party with all the grandparents, but you were so exhausted by the time you got home that you went to bed without any cake!

Of course, you had time for presents!

Two weeks later, you became a big brother, and you love every minute of it! When Eliana first came home and cried, you would burst into tears with her, your sensitive little heart breaking for her. But as the days passed and you became more accustomed to her crying (what little she did), you would say “uh oh!” and go try to shove her paci in her mouth or give her kisses and hugs to console her. One of the first things you ask for every morning is “bebe!” and there have been many times when I have lost track of you and found you leaning over her in her bed as she sleeps.


Two years and three months with you have flown past in a flurry of more fun than I could ever have imagined! You are truly the joy of our hearts, filling our home with laughter and much silliness! One of your favorite things to do is run around the house dancing a little jig (either to real music or the music that seems to be constantly playing in your head). When Daddy is home, you love to be chased in circles around the main living area shouting “peh-peh” (pizza) and repeating any other words Daddy yells as he chases you.
You are growing very opinionated in your taste for music and stories. Your favorite music is anything by Owl City, and if you want to listen to music, you say “Owl!” When we drive in the car, we love to listen to Steve Green’s “Hide ’em in Your Heart,” and Sovereign Grace’s “Awesome God” and “To Be Like Jesus.” You know your favorite songs and shake your head, saying “no” until I land upon one of your favorites, at which point you smile hugely, and begin bobbing your head and slapping your leg in time to the music.
I love watching your imagination work. You are so playful and creative. You love to build things, like train tracks or Duplo towers. You love driving your cars up and down hills. You love playing in water, dumping it from one cup to the next. You love to draw, and every time you see a pen or pencil, you shout “ga-ga?” looking for any paper to draw circles on. Unfortunately, if there is no paper available, you may draw your ga-gas on whatever surface is nearest, including the couch cover, and your arms and legs.
Your favorite thing in the whole world is to be outside. I love walking down into the woods behind our house with you. You find the biggest logs to climb over or sit on, and you love finding acorns to toss into the ravine, excitedly clapping after each splash and shouting, “oh, mah!!” for more. You pick up leaves and examine them contemplatively, and you gasp in delight when you see ants or other bugs crawling around the forest floor.

Searching for ants


You are definitely the most agreeable two-year-old I have ever encountered, as your favorite answer to almost any question is a profound “yeah!” We laugh as we recount the evolution of your affirmative. It has changed from “haaa?” to “yah” to “ya’am” and back again to “yeah.”
Shortly after your second birthday, you began wearing big boy underwear full-time during the day, and now you are staying dry most nights. You love going to the bathroom on the big potty while reading your favorite “put-put” (tractor),”poe pow” (snow plow) and “Kck” (truck) books.


Your vocabulary is daily increasing, though it is still mostly unintelligible to anyone but Daddy and me. Besides the common “mama” and “dada,” you like to say “bee-bee” for Ellie, and cousin Coralynne is “Coco.” “Peh-peh” can mean pizza, popcorn, or–most recently–puppets, due to the Hands Toward Heaven Puppet show we went to at church last week. You LOVED it. You kept yelling, “mah peh-peh!!” for more when they were all done. Somehow chocolate is “ka-cheese” and raisins are “oy,”  but you say “cheese” very decidedly. When it becomes “gar” (dark), you love to look for the “moo,” though sometimes it disappoints us by hiding behind the “cows.” Speaking of cows, you still ask almost daily to go see “Poppa cow” and feed them hay. When asked what a cow says, you respond with “Mmmmmm,” followed by a triumphant smile.
And you are learning your colors now! At first everything was “boo,” but you can now identify “yeyow,” “gwee,” “puhpuh” and “reh.” You are eager to learn new things all the time, and it usually only takes us telling you a new thing once before you have a handle on it. Last week we played with play-doh and (between me pulling it out of your mouth), I showed you how to make big and little circles. You now love to identify big and little, but most of all, “ga-gas.”

I’m writing this as you drive all your toy cars around the driveway, finding any slope big or small to race them down, giggling gleefully at their speed and flapping your arms in excitement. We love watching you grow, and each new day is a brand new adventure with you. We are continually thankful to the Lord for giving us our sweet boy.

We love you forever,

Daddy and Mama

Preparing for Childbirth

With the birth of our second little one only a few weeks away, I am beginning all of my final preparations for bringing another baby into our home.  Some of the most important preparations this time around have been actually preparing for labor itself.  While I had a vague idea of the importance of preparation for labor the first time around, I had no idea the magnitude of its significance.  Now that I have been through it once, I am excited to do all I can to ease the way for the second time around.

One of the most profound truths I learned the first time around is that giving birth can be so much more than just something our bodies do after we have been pregnant for nine months.  We can either view labor and childbirth passively as something that simply happens to us, or we can see it as something intensely spiritual and even miraculous, with the God-given ability to sanctify us and make us more like Christ through the process.

In light of that fact, here are some of the practical ways in which I am preparing body, soul and spirit to give birth.

1.  Prepare Physically

Physical Exercises.  Giving birth is a massive physical effort.  Our bodies need to be toned and ready for this incredible feat.  But preparing physically does not have to be a task of insurmountable proportion!  Simply taking a daily walk is extremely beneficial.  Most childbirth books will recommend at least a few stretches and toning exercises to prepare for labor.  What to Expect When You are Expecting has some helpful exercises.  Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor, wall-squats tone leg muscles for giving birth while squatting, the dromedary droop aids in relieving back pain and pressure, just to name a few.  I have also done German Stabilization core strengthening (similar to Pilates) throughout my whole pregnancies and felt the positive effects daily.  Find a routine that is helpful to you and build these exercises into your morning routine just as you do with washing your face and brushing your teeth. You will find yourself feeling better during pregnancy, throughout labor and following birth if you do! You will not regret it!

Use Herbal Teas and Supplements.  Herbs have been used for thousands of years in the physical and emotional preparation for childbirth.  Some of the most widely used herbs are red raspberry leaf and nettles.  Red raspberry leaf is believed to relieve leg cramps, diarrhea, and morning sickness in pregnant women, as well as tone the uterus, reduce the risk of hemorrhage, ease pain in labor and post-partum recovery and increase breast milk. Nettle leaf is excellent to add to a tea around four weeks before delivery to aid in postpartum milk production. I enjoy Traditional Medicinals pregnancy teas.  My two favorite for preparing for labor are their Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and their Organic Pregnancy Tea.    Mountain Rose Herbs offers a wonderful variety of organic herbs to brew your own tea at a fraction of the cost.  Be sure to check with your midwife before drinking these teas, though, as red raspberry leaf in particular (depending on how strongly it is brewed) can cause contractions and even induce labor.  I have been drinking Traditional Medicinals throughout my entire pregnancy with no increased contractions, but as I am at risk for pre-term labor, I am holding off on brewing my own raspberry leaf tea until closer to my due date.’

Visit a Chiropractor.  Since our experience with upper cervical chiropractic care dramatically altered our son’s life, we are new “believers” in the amazing benefits of chiropractic care.  As there are many different forms of chiropractic–many of them not beneficial–I recommend finding a certified upper cervical chiropractor in your area.  Our wonderful chiropractor is Dr. Newhouse of Newhouse Health Solutions, and if you live in our area, we cannot recommend him highly enough!  Chiropractic care has been proven to decrease pain and duration of childbirth, can help align the baby for a safe and quick exit (using the Webster Technique), and can help keep your whole body aligned as your ligaments loosen up during pregnancy. For further information on the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy, visit here.

2.  Prepare Emotionally

Studying the process of childbirth as God designed it has been one of the most amazing, rewarding, awe-inspiring things I have ever done! Preparing my mind for what to expect during labor and delivery, how the body works and functions, what problems can arise, and how to work through them, has been eye-opening and empowering.  I cannot recommend enough that each woman study this amazing process before they go through it! With my first, as excited as I was to experience giving birth, I didn’t feel the need to learn much about the process myself.  I expected the doctors to handle that department.  And I figured my body would just kick itself into gear and do what it was supposed to do whether I informed myself on the process or not.  After all, women have been giving birth for thousands of years, right? What’s to know? I actually found that informing myself on the process has helped immensely in relieving fear and anxiety, as well as giving me tools to cope with labor.

Two Excellent Natural Childbirth Resources:

The Christian Childbirth Handbook. I have been so     blessed by reading this book! Obviously coming from a Christian perspective, this book details not only the body’s physical process of giving birth, but weaves in Scripture and God’s good design to offer comfort for anxiety and fear during labor.  I also love the balanced approach to a desire for natural childbirth and the reality of complications or medical emergency making that impossible.  The wealth of information on how God designed our bodies to work in giving birth caused me to stand in awe of our Creator and fall in love with His design.  The knowledge it afforded me has increased my excitement and given me tools to cope with the fear and pain involved.  It also addresses issues at the heart level and encourages belief in God’s goodness and sovereignty no matter how labor and delivery may differ from what you had planned.

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth is an excellent tool for informing yourself about the process of birth, as well as what to expect in a normal birth, variations, possible complications, the risks and benefits involved in each medical intervention, etc.  A wonderful resource for understanding all that is happening and could be suggested to aid the labor process.

Take a Childbirth Class

Most hospitals offer childbirth or Lamaaze classes for their patients before they give birth.  These can be a one day class or a multiple week course, depending on where you go.  You can also take more advanced courses on natural childbirth like Bradley offers.  These can be pricey, but they are well worth the investment!

3.  Prepare Spiritually

Labor is, for most people, intense, painful, and exhausting.  No matter how prepared you are for childbirth, the experience can throw curves you did not expect and test even the most educated laborer.  Childbirth brings with it not only physical pain, but emotional fear of the process itself.  Labor can try your patience, perseverance, and pain tolerance!  All of these things can either cause a person to spiral out of control into panic, or you can ask the Lord to give you the presence of mind to allow all of these things to sanctify you and draw you into deeper relationship with Him.  Childbirth can be a miraculously spiritual experience of crying out to the Lord and finding his grace and strength is sufficient when you are at the end of your own.

Ushering a new life into the world and then nurturing that life is one of the most amazing tasks the Lord has given to us.  It is one of the sweetest and most rewarding blessings.  It is also one of the most intensely challenging roles we can possibly have.  I had no idea the truth of this statement until our firstborn arrived, and I found myself sorely lacking in spiritual preparation for all that motherhood demanded of me. I have prayed ever since Jeshuah’s birth that the Lord would use the lives of our children to mold and sanctify my heart through the sacrifices required of me.  In my pursuit of holiness in the calling of motherhood, I have found a couple of books I particularly refreshing.

Calm My Anxious Heart.  Linda Dillow addresses the issue of contentment in all circumstances and its relation to anxiety.  She challenges our hearts to rest in God’s sovereignty in all things and not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with “what ifs” and “if onlys.”  As post-partum fear and anxiety was a huge struggle for me after my last birth, I am clinging to the truths of Scripture and words of wisdom found in this book.

In The Mission of Motherhood, Sally Clarkson outlines the importance of the calling of motherhood with Scriptural encouragement to not grow weary of doing good, even when we do not see the result of our labors some days! A great resource to remind us of the eternal value of our roles as mothers.

Comforts from the Cross. Elyse Fitzpatrick has a profound gift for weaving the truth of the gospel into the circumstances of everyday life. With short, almost devotional-length chapters, she addresses multiple issues that we each face daily and confronts them with the gospel.  A delightful, easy read full of long-lasting, heart penetrating truths.

Finally, as you do all you can to prepare your body, mind, and spirit for childbirth and motherhood, come before the Lord with hands open in surrender to His will in all of it.  Preparation is important and it is a wise task, but it can cause us to claim too much ownership in an area we are meant to continually surrender to God’s providence.  We can be tempted to insist that, because we have “done our part,” God owes us a labor, delivery, and baby just the way we prepared for.  But I am reminded of Psalm 84:11, “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”  However labor, delivery, and recovery progress, God is good in the midst of it all.

Ask the Lord to enable you to let go of your desire for control in the area of both childbirth and motherhood.  Entrust the process of birth and the life of your little one into his care, knowing that He knows what is best for us so much more than we do!

Further Childbirth Reading:

Embracing the Pain and Letting Go of Fear in Childbirth

Scriptural Encouragement for Preparing and Giving Birth

Preparatory Resources for a Natural Pregnancy and Childbirth

Hello, Baby Bunting!

20 week ultrasound photoshoot

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday.  I was counting up, and even though I have had six total ultrasounds, four with this baby alone, I could hardly contain my excitement for this ultrasound.  Every time I see that tiny little baby squirming around in there it fills me with such awe of God’s creation!

The ultrasound was just as exciting as I anticipated, including Grandma Lisa accompanying and seeing her grandchild in utero! Baby Bunting (as I have affectionately dubbed him or her) was wiggling around like crazy. We had an amazing technician who explained and pointed to everything we were seeing and informed us the baby is weighing in at 13 oz and a due date of January 26 looks accurate.  We maintained our resolve to keep the gender a secret until birth and left the room thrilled that we get to have that little mystery this time.

The ultrasound was followed by an appointment with my midwife, where she assured us that everything looks wonderful and healthy with the baby, but where she cautioned to continue to be careful and take it easy throughout the course of the pregnancy.  Last weekend I had such intense cramping that I couldn’t even stand, so even though I feel carefree because we haven’t had any bleeding scares in awhile, things are still a bit risky for a preterm birth.

So, here’s hoping Baby Bunting continues to incubate for another 4 months!

I discovered an amazing Scripture this morning in my reading.

Psalm 71:6 “Upon You I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.”  Whenever it is that this baby makes its entrance, it is an amazing comfort to know that it is God who will bring this baby into the world. What an awesome God we serve!

Making an Informed Decision Concerning Vaccines

CDC-AAP-Immunization-Schedule-2011

Since posting our story on Hope for Healing Autism, I have been asked a lot of questions regarding my opinion on vaccines and whether or not we would choose to vaccinate in the future.   When our son was born and the question of vaccines came up, all I knew was that it was a widely debated issue. I myself had been fully vaccinated and had no reason to question the validity of this practice.  But, with my awareness that this was a controversial topic and my “question everything” personality, I knew I needed to study this issue myself and come to my own conclusions on the matter.

At first I was overwhelmed by the mixed reviews and conflicting reports. I became so frustrated with the fact that everything I read seemed to come to a different conclusion on which vaccines were safe, if any. My doctors urged me to vaccinate for the wellbeing of my child and the world at large.  Parenting magazines stated that there is no validity to the claims that autism is linked with vaccines. Friends urged me that this was not true and that vaccinations were dangerous. Other friends argued the exact opposite.

In the end, it was largely my research into the autoimmune disorder epidemic that heightened my awareness that there is more to all of this than meets the eye. After much reading and studying, we have come to the conclusion that we feel it is safest not to vaccinate.  I know that statement will turn some people off instantly, but I have compiled a list of facts I wish I had known when I began researching this issue in the first place.  It is my desire that these facts will help you better understand the debate, become more accurately informed, and most of all, will help you to be comfortable with whatever choice you make in this area for your own family. Feel free to disagree with or disregard any or all of this information.  To the best of my knowledge, it is accurate, but as with anything, it may have its flaws.

I do not want to convince anyone of anything.  I do not want to cause arguments or debates. I simply want parents to be able to make more accurately informed decisions concerning vaccines.

Interesting Facts Regarding Vaccines and Disease[1]

  • A two month old baby can receive as many as 8 vaccines on a single day. At age 15 to 18 months, a child can receive as many as 12 vaccines on a single day. 
  • During the past quarter century, the number of children with learning disabilities, ADHD, asthma and diabetes has more than tripled.
  • An epidemic of chronic disease and disability is plaguing America. Our children are the most highly vaccinated children in the world and they are among the most chronically ill and disabled.
  • More than twice as many children have chronic brain and immune system dysfunction today than did in the 1970’s when half as many vaccines were given to children.

Factors that Weighed into our Decision on Vaccinations:

  • It is a common misnomer that when children aren’t vaccinated, they are at risk for life threatening diseases.  It is widely believed that vaccines have saved our world from all sorts of diseases.  However, health statistics show that there was a steady decline of infectious diseases in developing countries whether they had vaccines or not.   There was also a decline in infectious disease for which there were no vaccineIt is believed that this decline is due to improved sanitation, hygiene and better nutrition.[2]
  • By 1850-1940, instances of infectious diseases were down by 90%.  This was long before we began introducing most vaccines.  In a study done by John and Sonja McKinlay in St. Martin’s Press, New York, it was stated that “it is estimated that at most, 3.5% of the total decline in mortality since 1900 could be ascribed to medical measures introduced for the diseases considered.  Furthermore, medical measures were introduced several decades after marked decline had already set in and having no detectable influences in most instances.”[3] Only 10% of the world got the smallpox vaccine.  Yet we hear that this vaccine eradicated smallpox.  According to Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, “Smallpox would have died out anyway regardless of the vaccine.”[4]  This is also the case with Polio.  The disease was already dying out before the vaccine was introduced.[5]
  • But if you don’t vaccinate, your kids could get meningitis, etc.!”  Statistics actually show that the majority of people who report getting these infectious diseases are, by far, the ones who were vaccinated. 80% of people who get the flu have been vaccinated against it.[6] Multiple studies show that more children who have been fully vaccinated get measles than those who are unvaccinated.
  • The amount of required vaccinations has more than doubled in the last twenty years, bringing the grand total recommended vaccinations to 49 within the first 6 years of a child’s life.[7]
  • The FDA wants to add even more vaccines into these tiny baby’s bodies almost as soon as they are born, including a flu shot twice a year for the first two years followed by an annual flu shot for life.
  • Most of these vaccines are given before the age of five.  Yet the majority of the brain’s development is in the first five years of life.  The toxins in the vaccines inhibit the brain’s ability to develop properly.
  • It is a common misnomer that a student is required to be vaccinated in order to attend school. However, each state has exemptions.  Find out how you can be exempt in your state.
  • The things that fill vaccines are known neurotoxins (e.g. formaldehyde, thimerosol (mercury), aluminum, ammonium sulfate, aborted fetal tissue, antibiotics, MSG)[8], meaning they are literally poison to the brain. Our bodies cannot detoxify these substances, and therefore, they hide away in our brains and bodies creating new diseases.[9]
  • Each vaccine has been tested individually.  However, they have not been tested together.[10]  And now that so many vaccines are required, they developed “cocktails” so that our little ones only have to receive one or two pricks instead of five or six.  This sounds appealing to the mother concerned about the pain involved in getting shots, but can these little bodies handle this many toxins at once?  Once again, studies have not been done to show the safety of these vaccines given in numerous doses, nor have there been long term studies on the affects of all of these new vaccines being given to our little ones at a younger and younger age.
  • Vaccines artificially expose the body with these viruses in a way the body was not meant to defend against. God made our bodies with the amazing ability to heal and protect itself. Babies are exposed to germs in the air, and their bodies are constantly learning to detoxify them and strengthen them. But only when they are introduced in this natural way, by breathing them in etc. are their immune systems able to build up a defense against them.  When they are injected directly into the bloodstream, the body’s natural defense mechanisms are not triggered properly.[11] As one researcher said, our bodies never grow stronger by taking the easy way out. It is only through the difficult way, that is, being exposed to and fighting the germs the way God intended that our bodies can build up that lifelong immunity to the much scarier adult forms of the diseases (shingles from chicken pox for example). Vaccines do not trigger the lifelong immunity that actually catching the disease does. This is why you have to be re-vaccinated every 5-7 years.
  • Many of these vaccines, like the Hep B vaccine, were never tested on newborns for safety–only 5-6 years olds.[12] Yet new moms are told to give their babies this vaccine moments after it enters the world!
  • Most of the vaccines–like the one for pertussis–are not even given until after two months of age, and yet an infant’s greatest risk is before they are two months old.[13]
  • Statistically, infectious diseases such as influenza and pertussis are rarely fatal.   When these diseases prove fatal, it is in those who are autoimmune compromised, such as the very young, the autoimmune disordered, and the elderly.  However, because of the nature of vaccines introducing disease into the body, autoimmune disordered children are recommended not to receive any further vaccinations.  And yet they are the ones with the highest risk for fatality if they catch the disease.
  • We are not taking into account the cost at which we are attempting to “save” our children from illness. We will vaccinate in hopes of preventing them getting polio and tuberculosis, but at what point do we say, “Which is worse? The threat of an illness that has all but been eradicated? or the new childhood epidemics autism, asthma, ADHD and allergies that are paralyzing people and are called “living death” that are strongly linked with receiving vaccines?”
  • Much of what drives the vaccine issue is fear. We are so afraid we will harm our children we will do anything to help them! And most people think this IS helping them. Fear is the big motivator. We are running to get these vaccines because we are afraid.  But the more we inform ourselves, the less we realize we need to fear.

Understanding the Immune Response to Infectious Disease vs. the Immune Response to Immunization[14]

What is the difference between normal immune system response to illness and vaccination?  If we do not inform ourselves, we live in fear.  When our babies are born, everything in their body is underdeveloped except their brain stem.  This is a time when they need to be protected from toxins, not assaulted with them.  What is the process?  When the body is exposed to an infectious illness, the body identifies it and begins detoxifying to fight against it.  It initiates white blood cells and T cells which attack the invader directly.  When the THi cell gets involved, your  body develops lifelong immunity.  A fever (up to a certain point) plays a critical role in fighting off the infection in the body.  There is no system in the human body which is strenghtened by avoiding challenges, but only through overcoming them. The medical model does the opposite of what the body is doing.  If you challenge the immune system and it overcomes, it is healthier.  If children are not well, there are so many things you can do to proactively help their bodies respond better.

Let us look at the way our body responds to food poisoning for instance. When we eat bad food, we vomit.  Is this unpleasant? Yes.  But it is actually our body ridding itself of the poisons.  The body goes through a similar process when it is exposed to infectious illnesses.  However, there are some major differences in the body’s response to an encountered illness and an injected illness. First, when an unvaccinated child is walking around the world, they are being exposed to infectious diseases slowly.  A child is not going to be exposed to eight different diseases all at once.  When we are injected with a vaccine, we are not only changing the timing of exposure, but the method. When we vaccinate, we bypass the normal method and inject it straight into the muscle (also all the toxins).  If it goes into the blood, that disease can go into all the vital organs of the body and wreak havoc. TH2 cells are stimulated, and they do not have lifelong immunity, which is why you have to be continuously re-vacccinated for the rest of their lives to maintain “immunity.”

Hep B vaccine was designed for the prostitutes and drug users.   Hep B is passed by having multiple sexual partners or by dirty needles. Now they are giving it to babies within the first few hours of their birth.

Being informed on the facts of how rarely anyone actually dies from these illnesses, we realize we do not have to live in fear to do whatever it takes to prevent it—even exposing ourselves and our children to even more harmful toxins to avoid them getting the actual disease.

A bit about mercury content in vaccines[15]

The FDA has stated “lead, cadmium, and mercury are examples of toxic elements that are toxic even when present at relatively low levels…”  Mercury is the most poisonous neurotoxin on this earth.

When women become pregnant, one of the first things they are warned not to eat is any type of fish. Why is this? Because of the mercury contained in fish.  Even a nursing mother is told to avoid fish due to the mercury content.

Thimerosol is a form of inorganic mercury.  It has long been associated with serious neurological disorders.

While thimerosol has been largely removed from vaccines, there are many concerns about the legitimacy of this claim.  First, if it is not an active ingredient, manufacturers do not have to list it in the ingredients. So you may ask for thimerosol free and think you are getting it, but it may still be in there. Also, they have been gradually weeding out the thimerosol over the past few years, and when tested, trace amounts still exist within the vaccines. It is kind of like a food that has been manufactured on equipment that had previously been used to produce peanuts.  They list that fact on the side because even trace amounts of peanuts can be fatal to those with an allergy.  And remember what the FDA said about even trace amounts of mercury—it is toxic. And then there is the question of what they replaced the thimerosol with—are there studies on their safety?

In the 1950’s, the amount of thimerosol that five year old children were exposed to via vaccines was 50 micrograms.  By the year 2003, children were receiving 212.5 mcg of thimerosol by the age of 5.  According to the EPA Safety recommendation, infants should receive no more than .01mcg-4 mcg a day.  However, in one round of vaccines, an infant will receive 41-60 times the amount of recommended thimerosol (FDACenterfor Biologics Evaluation and Research).  These neurotoxins do not get eliminated.  They are absorbed into the brain like water in a sponge, causing long term damage.

Rhogam still contains full level of mercury-25 mcg.  It is possible, though very difficult, to find Rhogam shots that do not have thimerosol in them. If you are pregnant and have the Rh factor, ask for a specific list of ingredients and ensure you are receiving the vaccine without rhogam.

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I have done my best to gather reliable information in my research on vaccines.  I would have liked to footnote more thoroughly, but it was rather overwhelming since a lot of the information was gleaned from multiple sources and can be found at numerous locations.  I have listed below many of my sources so you can seek out further information for yourself. Please do not fault my improper citation below. I did not list every publishing detail, etc. I mostly just linked to websites or articles. It is not my mom’s fault. She taught me better. Really.

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, Dr. Kenneth Bock

Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Natasha Campbell

The Vaccine Book, Dr. Bob Sears

Thinktwice.com


Infant Potty Training: 20 month update

Reading "Pooh" while going poo:-)

I figure it’s about time for another update on how the infant potty training (aka Elimination Communication, aka EC) is going. Jeshuah is now twenty months old, and at 18 months, I was despairing that he would be out of diapers any sooner than your average kid.  However, I reminded myself that no matter how soon I could call him wholly and completely Officially Potty Trained, choosing to EC has been one of the most rewarding practices we have chosen as parents.  Even if it isn’t every single time, I am thankful to wash less diapers–and definitely thankful to rarely ever have to deal with a poopy diaper!

However, last month, we had a breakthrough.  When Jeshuah was 18 months, I realized I was being lazy with his training and ought to just put him in his undies on a regular basis, since I knew he was capable of staying dry and telling me when he needed to go.  But because I didn’t want to have to deal with accidents and being concientious all day long of whether or not he may need to go to the bathroom, I just kept him in diapers.  And I noticed a significant regression in his training from 12 months (when he was nearly completely potty trained) to 18 months (when I found his diapers nearly always wet, even if he did also use the toilet).  I knew this was due to my lack of consistency, and determined to do better.

For the first couple of weeks, Jeshuah had multiple accidents a day and rarely made it to the toilet. I definitely felt like a failure at EC! Thankfully, my SIL has been doing EC with her two year old and we encourage each other in the rough times.  We both switched our babies to underwear at the same time, and within days, her son was consistently dry–even at naps and nights! This gave me hope that we would reach that point soon, too, so I kept persevering.  Three or four weeks ago, I started putting Jeshuah in undies nearly all day every day, even on outings of 3 or 4 hours.  He not only stays dry, but he often lets me know when he needs to use the toilet while we are out.  While he is almost always dry when he wakes up from naps, I still have not made the jump to undies for naps.  That is my next goal.

I honestly was nervous about putting him in undies all the time, and even more nervous about going out in undies.  But after the first couple of days, I realized an occasional wet outfit is really not that big of a deal, and seeing the fruit of my labor is very rewarding.  I love seeing him without the bulk of his diaper. I love knowing he is cool and dry in this heat. And I still love our toilet time–when his favorite activities are either reading stories or driving his toy cars around on my legs as I sit across from him on the tub.

Of the things on my list that I look forward to most with this new baby, potty training is right up there with snuggling, holding, and smothering with kisses.  I am so excited to learn to communicate with a new baby, to watch for cues and clues, to pick up on him/her letting me know when they need to go.  EC has never been about pressure or guilt for me, it has just been fun and extremely rewarding.  If I get in an emotional place where it is too stressful, we let it slide for a bit until I get my feet on the ground again. And I am okay with that. Would my kids be potty trained faster if I were anal about it? Yes.  But my goal with Infant Potty Training is not to get them out of diapers as soon as humanly possible, or to beat the average kid out of diapers.  My desire with infant potty training is to establish a bond of communication with my babies, to clean less diapers :-), and to give them the relief of not sitting in soggy or messy diapers.  But mostly, I do it because I enjoy it, and I know Jeshuah enjoys it.  If I didn’t like doing EC, I wouldn’t do it. But I find it intriguing and rewarding and am eager to do it all over again!

Fighting the Fury of Feelings

For the last year, I have been living with the amazing  blessing of a sense of nearly constant peace, joy, and fulfillment.  Every day I felt overwhelmed with God’s blessings on me and my family.  I felt deeply the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom and raising Jeshuah and ministering within our church.  I could hardly wait to go to sleep every night so I could jump out of bed at 5:30am to begin the day with sweet quiet time with God and then head off to my to-do list.  Sure, there were struggles in the midst of all of this, but for the most part, I was brimming with joy and excitement as I went from day to day.  And every day I woke with such delight to serve my husband and meet my son’s needs, I was keenly aware that these wonderful feelings were a gift from God that He could choose to remove at any given time.  And then the real test would be whether I would remain faithful to the call even when I didn’t feel like it.

About five weeks ago, with a swift sweep of his hand, God reached out and snatched all those good feelings away from me.  In an instant, I went from smiling at the prospect of clearing a counter full of dishes, to a despair so debilitating I simply couldn’t do it.  Upon waking every morning, I fought an inexplicable tidal wave of panic and terror at the thought of the day before me.  Every ordinary task seemed now so insurmountable, I couldn’t gather up the strength to do it. Dishes and laundry were never ending–what was the point? Cleaning was exhausting and short-lived. How depressing! Fixing food only created more dishes which I didn’t have the strength to do.  Each day simply flowed into another with more menial tasks, and what was the point of it all?

Such are the thoughts and feelings that have encompassed me over this last month.  And yet, as I battle to fight them off with truth, I have to ask myself “What on earth changed?” I have always done dishes that simply became dirty again. Never has a swept floor remained crumb free.  When one load of laundry is done, there is another pile mounting to be washed.  None of this is new.  None of this used to terrify and debilitate me as it is now.  It is simply my attitude toward it that has changed.  It is only my feelings about it that have swayed from joy-filled to despair.

And I fear I am quite a slave to my feelings.  If I do not feel like doing it, by jove, I probably won’t.  If Jeshuah is napping and there is a pile of dishes to be done, but I would rather sit on the porch and read, you can be certain that is what I will do.  I find that the only reason I have been faithful in the past is because I have felt like being faithful. I have felt the benefits of this obedience. I have been blessed with joy in my work.

But my recent plunge back into a depression that has removed all these feelings from me reminds me that I am not to live according to my feelings–ever. Even when I am feeling good.  Life is not about doing what feels right.  Life is about unquestioning, faithful obedience to God’s call on our lives, no matter how we feel about it. And praise God when the feelings follow, but we are not entitled to feeling good.  That is a gift of God which I do not take for granted. It is a sweet, sweet gift, and I would rather be back in that season of feeling the good feelings than be here in this deep pit of wrestling for every obedient act.  But I also know that it is here that God will do some of his deepest work in me.  How can I relate to and effectively pray for those who wrestle with these things if I do not know the pain involved myself?  Already I can look back and recognize a judgemental spirit towards other when I felt joy in all my household labors and they found it wearisome. Now I remember–oh yeah! It feels pretty awful, and yes it can be paralyzing and debilitating to feel this way.  But I pray for victory over that element.  Sure, I may not feel wonderful about doing the dishes or changing the sheets.  But I am still called to do it, and to choose to do it with a joyful heart.

May God give me grace as he has for each day thus far to fight the fury of these negative feelings and simply be obedient no matter what.  He is growing me to be more like his Son, he is teaching me deeper lessons, he is refining me with fire.  And, oh, how I will rejoice on the other side of it! It will all be worth it in the end, to know Christ deeper.