Oh the dreaded H1N1 also known as Swine Flu. I managed to contract it at 19 weeks of pregnancy. Let me tell you it was no picnic. I flew to Belfast, Northern Ireland and I got it there. I’m not blaming Northern Ireland, but the hotel is where I believe I contracted it. The back ache was terrible, and that cough oh my! I think what scared me the most was the rattling in my chest that I had from the secondary chest infection. A lovely complication of my brush with Swine Flu.
It was so terrible because I was hearing all kinds of statistics, “One in 25 pregnant women die from Swine Flu.” I was so scared I was going to be that “one”. I went to the ER twice, they really wouldn’t do anything for me because I am pregnant. My OB understandably wouldn’t let me near his office.
I was terribly frightened. My son who was 16 months old at the time, the day my symptoms started we had shared a water bottle along with a bowl of cereal with me. He surprisingly never was infected with H1N1. He is a completely unvaccinated child. Coincidence?
About a week and a half into the swine flu, I developed the secondary chest infection. When I would breathe, all you could hear was rattling. I went to my family doctor, who was much more helpful than my OBGYN and he prescribed me antibiotics. That cleared up the chest infection right away. I felt secure with my family doctor since he was an “OB Gynie” as he puts it in the Philipines.
The swine flu (brace yourselves for this one) was not really all that bad! What is worse is the H1N1 Vaccine. The Vaccination is full of Thermosol. The reason the vaccinations contain Thermosol is to keep it from getting contaminated from each injection. Thermosol or no Thermosol the vaccination still is not proven safe for pregnant women. Read the ominous warning label on the vaccine itself.
HERE is a link to Organic Health Magazine with many horror stories of women having miscarriages due to H1N1 Vaccination. I never want anyone to blindly take my advice, I prefer you to research it for yourself. But, I have had the Swine Flu while pregnant and I’m here to tell you it’s not that bad. What makes it bad is when you are first vaccinated and then contract it. The reason for this is because the way vaccinations work is they infect you with a sickness or disease. That infection compromises your otherwise healthy immune system while it is fighting the invasion. If you contract something with your compromised immune system you are not as capable of fighting off the disease as you would have been had you not been vaccinated.
The most important thing we Mothers have in our lives is our children. Please research all of your options fully.
When a woman is pregnant it’s customary to keep it a secret until you have past the first trimester. The reason for this is because many pregnancies don’t make it that far, and it’s difficult to tell someone that you are no longer pregnant. Trust me on that one.
I have a problem keeping my mouth shut when something is such good news. I was pregnant two years ago and then at 11 weeks I suffered a miscarriage. At the time of the pregnancy I never expected that I would lose the baby. I told everyone the day after I got a positive reading on my pregnancy test. I told everyone for two reasons, one I was so excited, and two with the way I suffer from morning sickness and teaching children, it’s just easier to tell the truth. No, it’s not contagious, yes I only FEEL like I’m dying but I’m really not. So after the entire world knew I was pregnant, I had to then retract my story and tell them the baby had died. That was rough, but was it really any worse than suffering in silence would have been?
Not only does it feel horrible to experience the death of your child, and all the hopes and dreams that go along with being pregnant, but it’s scary to know that the fetus is still inside of you. I actually do not mind telling this story anymore. I’m still a little sad at the life that was lost, but I marvel at the miracle that is the human body.
I went in for a routine ultrasound at 12 weeks of pregnancy. I believe the ultrasound was scheduled at that time to date the pregnancy. I remember being so excited, my husband came along to the appointment and we brought along our daughter. I laid on the table with my bare belly exposed. As the ultrasound tech put the gel on my belly I could hardly contain my excitement. Then she kept moving the transducer around to find the heart beat. My smile turned to horror. She wouldn’t tell me anything! I had to wait for the doctor to come in and have a look for himself.
The doctor came in the room, checked my belly and in exactly 30 seconds said five words I never expected to hear, “You have had a miscarriage.” I broke down in tears, I was devastated. Every question I could think of went through my head “How could this happen? Why me? What have I done to cause this? Is this real?”
Next, the doctor said I needed to decide on a plan for evacuation. Evacuation! Evacuation! The only plan I was prepared to deal with was writing my birth plan! He told me I could take the evening to think about it and give him a call in the morning with my decision. So my two choices were either I could have the doctor remove the fetus or I could allow my body to deal with it. The most discomforting thought was that the baby had passed away inside me a week prior. I thought, “How could I be so out of tune with my body that my baby has been dead for one week and I had no earthly idea! What kind of Mother was I?” Of course these were the most irrational thoughts of a grieving Mother.
I stopped over at my Midwife’s office to tell her the sad news. She consoled me and my husband, and then we went home to let the news sink in of what just happened. I decided on the car ride home that I didn’t want to let anyone poke around inside me and to trust my body to take care of the miscarriage on it’s own. Never did I make a better medical decision in my life.
Three days later I was lying in bed around 11:30 at night. I began to feel contractions. I had started bleeding earlier in the day so I knew something was going to be happening soon. No one had prepared me for what would happen if I let my body take care of the evacuation on it’s own. So my instinct kicked in, and I decided to listen as closely as I could to my body. When the contractions began, they weren’t terribly painful, they came in waves and felt like I remembered labor to feel only on a much smaller scale. I decided I didn’t want to wake my husband because I felt I was not alone. I was with an expert, my body. It was like my body took on a life of it’s own, it was driven by some other force and it was not my own. I was in awe of what was happening. It was the first time throughout this ordeal that I had not felt emotion. I was too much in awe of the process to be sad. As time progressed the contractions became stronger, I was rocking back in forth in pain. At one point the pain became so strong I fell out of the bed and onto my knees on the floor. I still did not wish to wake my husband because I felt like I was the strongest most amazing woman. It really wasn’t me, but it was my body that had taken charge. All of a sudden, I instinctively went to the bathroom to sit on the toilet. Within about two minutes of that, I passed the baby. I couldn’t see the fetus, it was just a ball of dark matter.
The most amazing thing to come out of this whole horrible situation was that I learned to trust my body. My body was not defective, I did nothing wrong, sometimes these things just happen and it’s OK.
After everything was over, I woke up my husband to tell him what had happened. I don’t know that he ever grasped the magnitude of the event, but he was relieved that for the first time since we had gotten the bad news I was just fine. I would not have felt the same way about the miscarriage if a doctor had done the procedure. I would have continued to feel like a failure as opposed to feeling like a super woman.
I called my midwives the next morning, and they then told me, it is a lot better for your body to not have a D and C or a D and E. That those procedures were invasive and it is much better to deal with it naturally. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why didn’t they tell me that in the first place?”. When you find out you’ve had a miscarriage, you certainly cannot think clearly. I believe my God given intuition led me down the correct path.
I went back four weeks after that and they told me that I was in such great shape I could immediately begin trying for another baby. We got pregnant on the first try, and the rest is history.
So if any of you super women out there end up with a miscarriage, and I hope to God that you don’t. Try and allow your body to do it’s job instead of the doctors. I truly believe that helped me with the grieving process. It also helped me trust my body during the next pregnancy. It’s difficult not to be afraid of losing a baby after suffering a miscarriage. It wasn’t your fault, or your body’s. Your body is a super human elite piece of machinery.
In Hawaii a baby’s first birthday is a monumental event. It’s not unheard of for people to spend thousands of dollars on the celebration. In ancient Hawaiian times, Babies didn’t usually make it to their first birthday so this is an event worth celebrating!
We just had our son’s Baby’s First Luau. For us it was also signifigant because we had a miscarriage just before I got pregnant with him, and we know how fortunate we are to be celebrating this first birthday. We are not living in Hawaii at the moment, so we planned his birth to be at the end of Spring so that his Luau could be during great weather. We also wanted to have a newborn that we didn’t have to schlep to doctor appointments in the cold. It was a win win situation. We had also just returned from taking our boy on his first trip home to Hawaii three days prior. Our celebration was almost two weeks long. Or should I say two weeks short?
The preparations began with custom invitations with a photo of the Birthday Boy to let everyone know this wasn’t an ordinary birthday party but a Luau with lots of Aloha. I’m a die hard vegetarian, but my husband loves the Hawaiian Barbeque so we compromised on the menu.
- Vegetarian Enchilada’s with all the fixings, green onions, cilantro, sour cream, avocado’s, my DH home made Salsa and radishes for garnish.
- Barbequed Spare Ribs
- White Rice
- Hot Dogs
- Macaroni Salad
- Tossed Salad with Red Leaf Lettuce
- Tortilla Chips and more of that home made Salsa
- Tiki Torches
- Lei’s given to guests upon arrival with a big Aloha
- Raffia Table Skirts
- Hawaii Decorations
- Tiki Totem’s
- Hula Girls
- Basketball Hoop
- Giant Legos
- Tiki Pinata
- Sliding Board
- Ball Pit
- Grab Bags with prizes completely filling a baby pool
I think the biggest hit was between the Pinata, the Trampoline and the Ball Pit. The kids loved it.
We went with an Ice Cream Cake. Those are always my favorite. The baby had his own little cake with the number 1 on it. The large sheet cake, (Which I can’t believe it but I didn’t get a picture of it!) said Hau`Oli La Hanau in rainbow colors which means Happy Birthday in Hawaiian.
If you are looking for a theme for your Baby’s first Birthday, a Luau is a fun theme. It has significant meaning and is steeped in tradition. Be sure and take lots of pictures. I think it would have been a better idea to have had a photographer to take pictures. My husband and I were just grabbing the camera randomly, and that didn’t work out as well as I would have liked. We didn’t get photo’s of all of the decorations or the games, or even of all of the guests. I think disposable cameras on each table would have been a nice way to document the day.
Traveling with an infant and or toddler can be difficult. There is just so much gear to take compared to when you were footloose and fancy free without a baby. It’s a different type of vacation once you have a baby, but still totally worth it. The more prepared you are, the more the family will enjoy the flight.
Pack a lunch box specifically for baby liquids. Air travel is not the way it used to be, and with all the bans on liquids you would think it would be impossible to take what you need for the baby. Not so, TSA is much more lenient on what you can take for your baby. As long as it is in one place, you can still take a bottle, cool packs, baby food, and medicine.
If it is a long flight, make sure you buy the extra seat. It’s not so bad having a lap child (children under 2 years of age are allowed to travel on the parents lap) when it’s a short flight, but when the flight is long no one is happy. The best configuration is three seats in a row with an adult on each side and baby in car seat in the middle. The car seat is also the safest place for a child to ride.
Be sure your car seat is FAA approved. If it is, you will see a label on the side of the car seat marked that the car seat is approved for aircraft.
Nurse or give the baby a bottle to drink during take off and landing. This will help the baby’s ears to equalize and pop with the change in altitude. If you are unable to do either of these, at the very least make sure the child is eating something. The chewing and swallowing will help the child’s ears to pop. Older children can chew gum to achieve the same effect.
Dress the baby comfortably and bring a change of clothes. Pajama’s are the best for a long flight. Flying is uncomfortable for children so their clothes shouldn’t be. Be prepared for the aircraft to be hot and or cold. Layer the baby and bring a blanket because you never know what the cabin temperature will be. You will probably be racing through security and the airport and become extremely hot until you board the plane. You can always add layers once you get on the plane.
For an infant, inquire about a bassinet when buying your tickets. Some aircrafts are equipped with bassinets that attach to the wall of the aircraft. It’s really nice for a baby to be able to lie flat to sleep. The area with the bassinets are also usually on the bulkhead which has the most leg room.
Bring lots of snacks! Don’t ever rely on airplane food for yourself or the kids. If the airline you are flying serves food, think of it as a bonus not a meal.
Offer the child lots of fluids, before, during and after the flight. Flying causes dehydration. It’s important to keep your baby or toddler hydrated as much as possible.
Pack wisely. Do not bring all kinds of things you may or may not need. After you finish packing go back through your bags and remove as much as possible. Keep your bags light, the baby and all of his gear is heavy enough. As a general rule, I try to remove one third of what I packed. You can always buy what you need when you reach your destination.
Bring toys, but don’t go overboard. Bring some small toys and a comfort item for the child, but don’t bring big noisy toys they will annoy the other passengers and take up too much space.
Take the red-eye. If you fly at night, your child can sleep the entire flight, hopefully you can too.
Don’t sweat it if your baby cries. Most airlines do provide in inflight entertainment, passengers have the option to wear head phones. Flying can be difficult for a child and you will need to just go with the flow.
I really like Mothers Day. It’s a good day to feel like Queen for the day. I think I’m the frugal queen though. Here is our plan for the day:
- My husband and I are taking the baby swimming at the YMCA. It’s his first time ever!
- I got a coupon for a free panty at Victoria’s Secret so I’m going to cash in on that.
- This weekend is free HBO and Cinemax weekend at DirecTV, so while baby naps hubby and I are going to laze around and watch movies. I DVR’d a few too, so we should have a pretty good assortment to choose from.
How are you going to spend your Mothers Day?
Lately Gerber has really been stepping up and adding more ways to keep our babies healthy. They now have a campaign called “I Pledge”. Two of the thing that impressed me about this is the 24/7 access to feeding and nutrition experts, and how they promise to continually improve the nutrition of their products.
When you register and sign up to make a pledge for your own child you will receive a $5 Nestle Good Start Formula Coupon and a $3 coupon for Gerber baby foods and graduates.
It’s actually a really nice thing to do even if they didn’t offer the coupons. You can upload up to five photo’s of your child along with your pledge. You then design an online book and slide show highlighting your pledges. My first pledge was “To always keep your tummy full and your diapers clean.”
If you would like to make a pledge and receive some nice money saving coupons you can check out “I Pledge” HERE.