Monday, February 23, 2009

OMG!!111!!!! Octuplets!

Though I would post some thoughts I had on a forum about the "OMG Octuplets". Though Twisty's post said it with style here: exerpt below - read the rest at I Blame the Patriarchy

All this shit about whether it is “ethical” for poor, single women to have litters of babies is a red herring. What’s really going on here is “Hey, let’s rip on this mentally ill woman because she has appropriated her personal uterus to flout social convention!”


Whether it’s one kid or eight, once the placenta is buried (or eaten — yipes!) women are reviled. They get isolated in nuclear family situations. They suffer postpartum depression. Child-rearing is unpaid, low-status work. They can’t advance in the workplace. They are denigrated as “soccer moms” or MILFs. It’s a crap deal.

But I digress again. The conditions under which a woman may become pregnant and undergo childbirth are rigidly monitored by the megatheocorporatocracy; these conditions are entirely rooted in keeping a firm hand on the sex class. You must be married to a man, have money and religion, and submit to medical authority. Also, you may only spawn one or at the most two babies at a time, and you must stop spawning when you’ve reached your community’s ick-saturation point — any more than three or four, for example, begins to make you look weird. The slightest deviation is aberrant — for instance, if you’re a pregnant teen slut, or you want to bring an “abnormal” fetus to term, or you want an abortion, or you have a glass of wine while pregnant, or you want to eat your placenta with fava beans and a nice chianti, or you’re a single woman seeking in vitro, or you’re on the dole, or you’re queer, or you already have 6 kids, or you have no money, or you’re a single woman with 6 kids and no money having wine and octuplets — bada-boom! The cold claw of community censure claps you upside the head, and people write blog posts on whether you should be allowed to mingle in polite society.

Whatever we may individually feel is "right" or "wrong" about this, the main furore about it is because she's a woman who did something out of the normal rules the partriarchy lays down for us womenfolk. Sure, there are ethical issues, but good luck separating them from the "OMG!!!!11!! Woman does something different!!111!! Man didn't tell her it was ok!!!!11!! And there's no man in sight to help her make it right!!!!!" And so on....signed, the patriarchy.

I also find the debate around the ethics of the doctor problematic. The whole discourse around the doctor's actions in implanting them smacks of it being HIS problem, as a representation of the patriarchy. The woman herself is disappeared, AGAIN, while everyone focusses on the RESPONSIBLE MAN who SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER because the CRAZY WOMAN was CLEARLY INSANE FOR WANTING ALL THOSE BABIES. Women can't regulate themselves, men have to do it for them. The mother's agency is taken away by removing the debate to the DOCTOR/MAN. Can you even imagine if the specialist had been a WOMAN!

I'm not saying here that there are no problems with what was done by either party in all this. What I am saying is that in very few places has the debate been really about what actually happened, and it effects. It's all patriarchal bullshit about who's allowed to do what with the uteruses of the world.

And the media blow up and calls for OMG regulation!!111!! annoys me. It implies that all the stupid WOMEN, now that they KNOW they can have OMG 8 babies at once!!111!!! will rush out to get them implanted. FFS.

In a sane world, the very few women who might choose to have multiple births of this kind would be fully supported in that DECISION by the people in that society, and by the the systems of that society.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baby-wearing, a history of our travels in carrying our Lolly

I've just joined the Babywearing Bloggers list, a great idea that you can find out more about at the link (there are also great links to some lovely blogs). It's reminded me to post more about my babywearing adventures, as I do tend to forget that babywearing is still a little unusual. So I thought I'd give a history of our baby-wearing, and talk a bit about what our family use, and the what, whys and wheres of our baby-carrying adventures with Lolly.

Lolly has had a carrier since she was only a few weeks old, she was around three months when I got sick of the Baby Bjorn (gasp!), it was killing my back, and I was worried about the spine issues that it may cause, and not being able to comfortably use the Peanut Sling. So I did a heap of reading (once I had a chance!) and decided to try a BabyHawk, after much research online for the best carrier for our needs at the time. The Baby Wearer forum, and the Baby-carriers Down Under group were fantastic resources for anyone wanting more information.

Lolly froggy-legged in the BabyHawk, which is a mei-tai style of carrier.

This is a super-comfy carrier, but I've actually not used the BabyHawk that much, as I find the long straps too much for ease when out and about. I do use it a bit at home in really hot weather, it's slightly cooler than the Ergo. So, the BabyHawk is about to be moved to the car for those couple of times I've forgotten the Ergo and swore a lot.

Wanting something that was a little easier to get on and off in a hurry, we got an Ergo when Lolly was around 4 months, and it has been fantastic! This was when I started going to the baby-wearing meet-ups in Brisvegas and met lots of other lovely babywearers, and got lots of really great advice and help. The Ergo is a semi-structured carrier that has a great supportive hip strap, and does up with buckles rather than ties. It has a pocket on the front that zips up and can hold a wallet or nappies. I also got the small bag that velcros round the strap, which holds a nappy and some wipes. Super handy. Ours is this one, black with retro lining. I majorly love my Ergo!

Here is a little Lolly in the Ergo, shortly after we got it, nearly 4 months.

The Ergo is so easy to use, comfy, and fits both DinnerDad and I. I use mostly a front carry, I can do a back carry (thanks to sling_dad, who taught me!), but find at shops and walks that I want to be able to see Lolly, and to pop a boob in if necessary. I get nervous with her on my back if DinnerDad isn't with me to check on her head, or pull up the hood if she goes to sleep. I figure as she gets bigger I'll be more comfortable with it, and she'll be more able to tell me if something has gone wrong back there.

Here she is more recently, asleep in the Ergo.

Back carry on DinnerDad, 10 months.

I almost forgot that I had a Peanut Sling for a while, I actually bought it before Lolly was born, but it never fit me very well, and I didn't find it comfy. Here is Lolly in it at around 5 months in a hip carry, I never got the hang of a cradle carry, so didn't use it much before this. I sold it shortly after this.

Instead, I got a Maya Wrap ring sling when Lolly was around 6 months, to have something easy to pop her in hip carries. I use this a fair bit at home for chores, feeding the pets and chooks, hanging washing, etc etc.

Lolly in the ring sling at 6 months.

View from a sling, at 9 months.

I've never got the hang of a wrap. A lovely woman lent me a Hug-a-Bub when Lolly was only round 8 weeks old, but Lolly didn't seem to like it, arched her back heaps, and it was quite hard to get used to. If I had my time over, I'd pop Lolly in one as soon as she was born! Wraps are so comfy, and so easy once you've got the hang of it, I do wish I'd known how to do them when Lolly was tiny.

We do own a pram/stroller, though I hadn't actually used the pram with Lolly until she was nearly 10 months (except for when I had to go for a check up at 6 weeks after the c-section, sigh, and one time as an experiment at around 4 weeks old for a walk, when she screamed so I carried her), and DinnerDad thought she'd like a go in it while we went walking. She did! Here she is in her first real go in the stroller.

I love this shot, she looks singularly unimpressed by this new mode of transport! Though her babylegs and her itti bitti d'lish are super funky!

She has never fallen asleep in the pram though, and if it's a long walk, she wants the Ergo for naps. I've used the stroller a couple of times at the shops now, too, but only if Lolly is not tired, and up for adventures. Otherwise she prefers to be strapped to the mumma, and rightly so! It's comfy, cosy, and reassuring, and she can have a boob when she needs one. She sleeps very well in there, too. I always have the Ergo with me, and have ended up pushing an empty stroller. With a baby-carrier with you, you always have a comfy way of carrying your bub!

Lolly is 11 months now, and I mostly use the Ergo in a front carry when we're out, and the same at home for some naps when I need to be moving around. Lolly is an in-arms bub, and sleeps on me for all her naps. If I have the kidlets here too, I will often pop her in the Ergo for a sleep as it's easier for me. Lolly will sometimes sleep way longer in the Ergo, too! I use the ring sling for quick chores, but don't find this comfortable for longer wears. It's great for pop-ability though! I use the stroller more when out, as Lolly seems to enjoy looking at the world now. Any sign she is unhappy, I pop on the Ergo and wear her. The stroller is then handy for holding groceries! Also, taking the stroller AND a wheelchair is basically impossible. Here's the back of our car on one such outing to the Art Gallery!

If we're going shopping, we don't have enough hands, so it is the Ergo all the way.

If you're looking for more info, try the info pages here, or the baby carriers Down-under group, which is fantastic! They list local groups on their site, and on their Google group. See us on facebook, too! Thanks, sling_dad! Brisbane babywearers has meetings each month, and other outings too.

What is your favourite carrier, and how did you get into babywearing!?

A Photo a Day Challenge - More Pics

Short on the ability to type today, with 2 sick girls at home, so here are a few photos from the last few days...

48/365: Baby Port?

47/365: 36!

46/365: A Cat, Alia!

Click on the photos to go to the album.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Great breastfeeding links

I've been reading about the traps, and found a few fab bloggers writing about breastfeeding. It's something near and dear to my (and Lolly's!) heart. There is nothing like feeding your child from your breast, it has been one of the great joys of parenthood for me so far. Lolly and I hope to continue our breastfeeding relationship well into the future!

Look Left of the Pleiades on Breastfeeding "discretely"

From the f-word: The F-Word - Breastfeeding: radical, feminist and good for you, Kate Joester explains how breastfeeding helped her understand ‘the personal is political’

Breastfeeding on Children's Television at PhD in Parenting.

Read more on the International Breastfeeding Symbol here (or get one for your blog/website).

Illythia Inspired is a great site, and has more than one fab breastfeeding article on it. I like the Lactophobia piece in particular here.

The Hoydens About Town are fanbloodytastic, and have several good posts on breastfeeding. I like their coverage of the Salma Hayek "OMG STILL breastfeeding" stuff here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Plague...well - a Cold

We are all sickies here with a cold - except DinnerDad, who has put his neck out! Here is sickly bub with facewasher...

Happy birthday to my Mum, it was yesterday! Much love and birthday hugs!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lolly update

Well, Lolly is talking! She says "dadda" and points to DinnerDad, and says "booba" and pokes me - sometimes she says "mumumumum" and means me too. We take her out at night to look around and she said "star" (like "sssaaahhh") and points up into the sky. This is adorability in the extreme. Last night she said star a lot, and pointed up, apparently you have to say "star" in a whisper, my theory is (other than cutosity maxing out) that this is how she can make the sound. She's also making a "at" sound that is pretty reliable, to mean "cat."

So there you go! She has been saying star for a few days, and dadda pretty well for a week or two. 10 months and talking!

Still not crawling, but she has a lovely 'bum shuffle' that gets her a couple of feet, very slowly indeed. Perhaps she's been observing Snail. :-)

She loves music, and dances by bouncing herself up and down and grinning at you. Her little flowers play two tunes that she very much enjoys, and she gets them going and then dances. She has also been bashing her animal keyboard and getting it to "go" and dancing.

She is such a keen observer, she looks hard at things to comprehend them, and points with her finger. Her favourite things to point at are my bellybutton, which she has pointed into a raw kind of state!, and my nose ring, which she hooks out at least 20 times a day with much evident enjoyment.

Lolly is loving her brother and sister, she plays with Snail, and loves to see Smash and giggle at him. He likes to entertain her with silly faces, and she cracks up everytime! Bathtime with the Snail is also lots of splashy fun, even if Mumma or Dadda have to sit with their legs in between the girls in case of Snail-y flailing around with those long strong leggies.

Here is Lolly and Snail looking at Smash being funny - "you're hilarious, Smash!"

Lolly loves the pets, and does a leg wiggle and giggle whenever she sees them. She loves to pat the cat, and the dogs when she can get em. Pippin is a week and a half out from her knee surgery, so is shut into the Lolly room, and is not to come out and hurt herself, but old Mr Bajak potters about to amuse the Lolly. You have to be careful of his head end though as he often thinks anything coming towards him is food. And the other end also requires some caution...

Here are the girls 'busted' getting the cat!

Oh, and Lolly does this hilarious thing we taught her one night. She was clutching her head and whinging a bit, and we were mimicking her going "owwww" and throwing our hand up on our heads all melodramatic, which she thought was very amusing. Now she is doing this "ohhhh owwwww ohhhhh" and clutching her head with her little hands! Sometimes she pulls her hair, I think she has only recently discovered her hair, as she does it. It is a very melodramatic performance baby! She finds it very funny, and sometimes all of us are doing it at once, what a lot of artistes. Tre tragic indeed.

Lolly is up late and sleeps late, we're back to 10am for getting up now, which is a bit better than midday! She is up until at least 12.30 at nights, hanging with the mumma.

Reading a book, "I'm not sure I like the way the plot is heading, Mumma!"

And here is a lovely shot of the Snail!

Smash is in grade 9 this year! Only back at school a week and already studying...