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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Artificial Teets

The title is "risky," but it's what Westerly Hospital told us, or encouraged us, to avoid when attempting to soothe a crying, just-born Bubs 2. Our first night with the Bubs 2 was a sleepless one, as was the second, third, fourth and so on. Last night, I gave in and gave an artificial teet to Bubs 2. Mom needed some sleep, so the Bubs 2 and I headed downstairs where I stuck the pacifier in his mouth... I then waited for him to fall asleep.

(fast forward 2 hours later)... still waiting...

At least the binky was keeping him from crying temporarily. He was having difficulties keeping it in his mouth. I thought he had a good handle on it. He was chewing away with rhythm and this led me to attempt getting some rest on the couch. However, the binky would fall from his mouth every time and he'd cry. It was a vicious cycle for those couple hours.

Westerly hospital said that an artificial teet can create what's called "nipple confusion." Such a name makes me think of some funny comments, but I'll hold my tongue. Anyway, I don't think that Bubs 2 is experiencing nipple confusion today. He seems to know who's nipple belongs to who. This is the only pic I can find that has Bubs 2 sucking on a binky. This was taken on day two of his life... just before the nurse spotted it in his mouth and lectured us.

Mom and me nodded and went with it, but I did tell our righteous nurse that our first Bub was given a binky from the nursery at UCLA hospital and he didn't experience any nipple confusion. This didn't go over well with the nurse. She responded, "Well, they're not baby friendly." It took me a few hours to realize that this nurse was making reference to a non-profit initiative (, which is a United Nations - global initiative to encourage breastfeeding. I can respect this because the movement seems to reestablish infant nourishment with the mother - and away from the encroaching corporations selling formula, etc.

However, I wouldn't say that UCLA hospital wasn't (isn't) "baby friendly," but I guess there are just simply a lot more artificial teets in southern California.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Newer Bubs

 Bubs II arrived to us a couple days ago. He entered this world in an east coast hospital, unlike his brother who was born on the west coast. Their deliveries were as different as night and day. Bubs ll's brother, the first Bubs, arrived inside a dimly lit hospital birthing room with soothing music, a midwife and nurses waiting and coaching his mom patiently. I remember a comfortable environment inside the birthing room. There were no meds, no IV, no doctors and thankfully no pain present for the Bub's mom. Using Hypnobirthing techniques, mom was able to "breathe" him down the birth canal. She played an active role in the first Bub's birth.

By contrast, the Bubs ll was a breech baby and our new east coast hospital didn't/doesn't naturally deliver breech babies. Mom was scheduled for an "elected" surgery. Comparatively, the Bubs ll arrived in a very bright room with sounds of vacuums and suction echoing throughout. Mom said she felt like she was on a lift inside a auto mechanic's garage. There were no tranquil sounds waving through this room. Instead of coaching mom, the dr's and nurses held their own conversations. From an observational position, I couldn't identify who the main character of this room was, but I knew it was supposed to be mom. Only the anesthesiologist spoke with mom and he basically was telling her what the dr's were going to do next. An almost scripted process and opposite from anything natural.

 Mom, a.k.a. "the patient" was essentially removed from this birth and the recovery time is tripled. This delivery, i.e. surgery, made me realize how authentic and meaningful the first bub's delivery was.

Why is all this important? I think it's easy to miss, because the mainstream process of childbirth has been successfully relocated inside the medical industry. Don't get me wrong, I understand that there are higher levels of risk that accompany a natural breech birth and medical intervention can help dramatically reduce that risk. However, the medical industry does bring its own risks too. I now understand the anti-medical establishment side in the ongoing debate between the natural birth proponents' wishes to return power back to the mom's as they fight the medical establishment from claiming a non-medical procedure as their domain.

Bubs ll is safely with us today and his big brother loves him. The first bubs identifies the recently erected crib, inside our house, as "(bubs ll's) crib." He knows his new little brother is going to live at our house, which the first bubs refers to as the "blue house." In fact, while getting ready to leave a visit at the hospital to see Bubs ll, the first bubs says, "Come on (bubs ll), let's go to the blue house."

He said it as if they've been brothers for many years rather than just a couple days.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Bus Stop

 The Bubs has to be outside and ready to board his school bus at 8:30am. He knows to get ready and meet Mr Roland (bus driver) each morning. The Bubs mom and I are amazed that this little guy (at 3 years old) looks forward (as much as he does) to getting on the bus. He's all smiles when the yellow coach rolls down the hill towards the bus stop. He's a social creature who is fast absorbing his surrounding knowledge.

Here's a picture (bottom, left) of the Bubs, and the Bubs' mom and me, all waiting for Mr Roland to arrive at the Bubs' bus stop last week. We had fun hanging out and anticipating the big yellow bus' arrival. It's a good time for us to tell the Bubs what he's going to expect for the day, i.e. Mr Roland is coming to pick you up and then you're going to go to school and Ms Crocker's room, etc.). Having a plan for the day makes the day more meaningful.

The other picture (top, right) is of my bus stop when I was a kid. This is where I began my relationship with school - on the corners of Highland Lakes and Canadawa roads. Unlike the Bubs, I didn't start boarding a school bus until I was 5 years old. Just as the research suggests, kids who attend pre-school exhibit greater academic benefits later on in their academic careers. I "missed the bus" on attending pre-school (pun intended). My grandmother said that I was a "late bloomer" (just as many of the males in my family were), but I think it had more to do with me having less-access to educational resources early in life (combined with an unstable family later on). Perhaps even some public-school-tracking played a small part in there too. At the end of the day, the Bubs' mom and I are already offering more educational access for the little guy (and his soon-to-be-brother too!).

Since family stability and access to resources are available to the Bubs, we're planning on a meaningful academic experience for him... and this is what it looks like.
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