sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist, an unschooler, and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Archive for March, 2016

Warning: “Problematic Practices” Part 1: Homebirth

 Warning: I am going to share my personal experiences with immunity, natural birth, breastfeeding, natural health and unschooling.  Who knows, maybe I will get really crazy and talk about mental health issues, or more aptly described as brain disorders. Because the last time I looked in the mirror, my brain was attached to my body.

Why? Because I am “that person”, the one who speaks up and thinks for herself.  The person who has  chosen to stop living in fear of what other people will think of me and chosen to stop worrying about offending someone because to not speak my truth is to keep myself in a bubble of fear and invisibility. I lived that life for far too long.

 When I turned 45, a year and a half ago, I told myself no more.  No more worrying about what other people think and trying to be a nice person all the time.  Life has taught me that no matter how nice I am, there will be people who don’t like me and that is ok.  I am not here on this earth to get people to like me.  (I have had to learn this the hard way, you know because I attended public school for 13 years.) I am here to  speak my truth and be who the person I am deep down in my soul.  I am a spiritual being having a human experience.  It’s time my spiritual self emerges from the confines of my human body. 

On my usual early morning wake up, I was scrolling Facebook and found this post:

Pediatrics Journal says to stop calling breastfeeding natural

I had to respond, because, well, I am Gina. Here is my response:

Holy cow. Can you say big pharma $ runs the pediatric journal?
How scary- my last child was born at home and we homeschool all our kids- even worse, we Unschool and we use homeopathy. Have you met my children? They are a threat to humanity… At least a threat to the stays quo and listening to agencies run by big pharma like the AMA.
Let me tell you a story about how our immune systems are supposed to work: when my older children were age 2 and 6, we went to a “chicken poxparty” – it was 2 good friends of mine. My 2 year old got chicken pox, the mild childhood disease that it is and was sad when her “dots” we’re gone. My 6 year old never showed any clinical signs of chicken pox. We had him tested years later when he was a pre- teen and guess what people: he had immunity to chicken pox! he was also nursed until natural weaning at age 6, as did my other children nurse until natural weaning at ages 6 and 5 1/2. FACT: breastmilk has benefits for as long as they continue to nurse.

Then I realized that my Facebook response was not enough. It is time I stop just responding on Facebook and focus on my blogs. If I am going to wake up in the wee morning hours not able to fall back asleep, I might as well get my lap top and write, really write. 

I am going to copy most of the article here because you are not going to believe some of the things they said. I have enlarged the text from the article (because I can’t figure out how to change the font here in WordPress) to differentiate it from my comments:

“A new article in the journal Pediatrics is calling on health professionals to stop saying that breastfeeding is natural, arguing that doing so gives the impression that natural parenting practices are healthier. The authors have started a public campaign to end the positive use of the word natural, claiming that it is associated with such “problematic” practices as home birth, homeschooling and the rejection of GMO foods, and that natural parenting movements are interfering with vaccination efforts.”

Where do I begin with this paragraph?

When I read it, I just shake my head and say, “are you serious?”

Since you, my dear reader, don’t live in my head, I will share a piece of my world with you.

“Problematic Practices” Part I: Homebirth

My first child was born in the hospital with an OB/ GYN doctor.  It was 1997.  I had a slow high leak ,which is something me and the nurse learned after she inserted the internal monitor on my in- utero son’s head and fully ruptured my water, unexpectedly showering herself; and the leak was on just the outer sac; did you know there were two layers?  I did not until after I went to Bradley classes for my second child.

Because I described “water breaking” over the phone to the doctor on call, I was put on the time clock of you must deliver in 24 hours.  Yet, I remember telling them “I think it broke but it is trickling out. Not big gush of water.”  I bet that nurse who got flooded wish they had listened to me better.

Because I was put in bed with many monitors, I never went into active labor on  my own, and so they insisted on pitocin because, you know, the clock: if your water breaks you have 24 hours to give birth or its “dangerous”.  I had gone into this birth, wanting a natural birth and certainly wanting to avoid a c-section unless it was necessary for the life of my baby.  I was on a pitocin drip for many hours (or that is how I remember it) and then I got up to go the bathroom and Baam!- contractions!

Instant labor:  0-60 in less than a minute with severe contractions that had me doubled over barely able to breathe.  I said no to the epidural at first, but 5 minutes later was agreeing to it because, the intensity of the contractions was unbearable.

It was around 10pm when my third nurse of this experience that had begun about 3am, told me she overheard the doctor talking about prepping for a c-section.  Hell, no! I thought quietly to myself because even in labor, I was too nice to speak  up.  I was 28 years old.

I remember at some point earlier, the nurses having a conversation about how if you don’t feel the urge to push then it is not time to push or worthless to try pushing.  Somewhere around 10:30 the doctor told me I was “9 cm dilated and it was time to push”.  They had stopped the pitocin but I still had no feeling and no sensation to push.  And continued to have no sensation or urge to push throughout the birth, thus Harrison was sucked out of me with a vacuum suction at 11:10pm. A baby boy!  The doctor went off shift at midnight.  I must say I am glad he was born before midnight because the doctor from the practice who came on duty at midnight was the one doctor in the practice who I really disliked.

I also remember the nurse leaving the room and telling me to put my nursing bra on to nurse my baby.  I was like, seriously?  I am a size “nearly B”- why the hell to I need a bra on to nurse my baby?  I may have said something like that to my husband, but not to the nurse, because I am too nice to be rude to a health care professional even just after giving birth.

So it was not easy to get my son to latch on to nurse and when I finally did, the nurse came in and told me I had to move rooms or be charged more money.  Back then, you labored and delivered in one room, then moved to another for recovery.  I was mad. My baby had just latched on and they wanted me to move.  did I speak up? To my husband only.  Later, I wished I could go back in time and tell them: “charge me extra, I am fine with that! My baby just latched on to nurse and this is more important than moving rooms”

I did as I was told, I was a new mom and wanted what was best for my baby and trusting the health care professionals who specialize in birth.  They took my baby from me to bring him to the nursery to get cleaned up because babies are in need of a both when they are born- did you know that? They live in a sterile environment for 9 months and come out into the world and must be subject to chemicals like soap and city water because somehow they are in need of a bath.   Then they weighed him and we watched through the window, video tapping, because we had forgotten to take out the video camera until that point. We watched our son scream and cry as he was handled gently but more like a glass football then a baby.  They shipped me off to my room, promising to bring him to me as soon as he woke to nurse.  They brought him like 4 hours later.  Maybe he did sleep that long from trauma of birth, or maybe they just felt my sleep was more important than my baby nursing.  All I know, is when I looked back on it after we got home, it all felt so wrong.

My second child was born after attending Bradley Natural Child-Birth classes with my husband. I switched to a practice with nurse midwives, one recommended by my NP who I saw at my OB\/ GYN office, a woman I trusted but a woman who couldn’t attend deliveries because she was just a Nurse Practioner. I later switched to the other practice with nurse midwives, also recommended by my NP, because I found out the other hospital where only this other practice went to, was the better more natural place to give birth. The place where the room is a labor, delivery and recovery room all in one. And where they have a nursery for only when necessary but babies do not have to go to the nursery but can remain in the room with mom and even be bathed and seen by the Pediatrician in the room with mom (if the pediatrician agrees to that.

I had a written birth plan, something also encouraged by this hospital and my nurse midwives.

I woke up about 2am on February 6, 2002 with some mild contractions.  I went downstairs and finished my paperwork for my part-time job as a Home Health Occupational Therapist.I also got something to eat.  (one thing that I remember most from my first birth was how incredibly hungry I was after giving birth and because it was after 11pm when he was born, there were only silly little snacks for me to eat!)  If my memory serves me right, I then went back to bed.  I believe it was about 4am that I awoke with stronger contractions and went in the shower to see if it would slow them.  I did not wake my husband for at least an hour, the contractions were maybe 10 minutes apart by this time.  I knew from my new education and prior experience, that I wanted to labor at home as long as possible. I found leaning over a stack of pillows brought me much relief from the contractions.  I was calm and the contractions were doable when I could lean forward on my pillows.

I had met people who had home births before my second child was born and was immersed in the natural patenting community. But because I did not know what normal labor felt like, I did not know what normal contractions felt like and the urge to push, I felt more comfortable having my natural birth in the hospital.  Deep inside, there was a part of me that really wanted a home birth.  We got to the hospital about 6am, meeting a good friend whose job was to stay with our 4-year-old son and then my parents arrived as well because I had invited them to attend my daughter’s birth. Why? Because my father had never been allowed to attend his children’s births in the 1960s in NJ and 1972 in Canton, Ohio.  I knew that birth is a beautiful miracle and something amazing to witness! I also choose to have my 4 year old son present for the birth.  Our good friend, his godmother, kept him busy outside my room until it was time for me to push.

I got checked into my room and because I had a birth plan, I told them I did not want to be hooked to a monitor that would keep me in bed and I choose to first labor standing next to and leaning over the bed.  At about 8am, things got very uncomfortable and so the nurse midwife suggested I lay on my side. At this point, I went into transition, when you are fully dilated and it is almost time to push.  this was the only painful part of my labor. And it was 8am and the nurse midwives were changing shifts and I remember then standing in my room talking about traffic while I lay on my side thinking, this is not comfortable and I want to be out of this bed! But, once again, at age 32, I was too nice to say that to them. I did finally say, I can’t push on my side because that just felt all wrong and they had me turn over into the usual stir up position propped up like in a chair but still dealing with gravity.  I had no pain medications in me, no epidural this time. I vividly remember that last half hour and thinking to myself, “there is no way this baby is coming out of there!”  Then they told me to look because the baby had a lot of hair” and somehow I remembered there was a baby inside me and I pushed through.

It’s a baby girl!

Abby was born at 8:30 am.  Don laughed because just like in the Bradley video we watched, my reaction to her birth was, “Oh, wow, a baby!”  and just like the video, they set her on my stomach and she crawled her way up to my breast to latch on while her unbilical cord was  still attached to the placenta, because, you know, crazy me had this radical idea that if umbilical blood is so valuable, maybe my baby needs it and maybe we should wait to cut the cord until it stops pulsing.  She nursed like a pro and to be honest, after nursing a child through age 4, her nursing felt like a fluttering butterfly.

The nurse s told me they could show me how to bathe her in the large tub in my room, but that never happened, she never left my side. Oh no!  She had no bath until she was like a week old! We went home the next day.  I can save the experience of my 4-year-old attending the birth for another post, but know this, he called her “our baby” and was sad when he had to go home and mommy had to remain in the hospital for the night but he loved his little sister so much already.

Guess where this is going? Have you figured it out?

I like to try new things and improve upon prior challenges.  The hardest part about my labor with Abby was the 30 minute drive to the hospital.

Now that I knew what natural birth felt like, with a big shout out to NURSE MIDWIVES!, I was ready for a home birth.  I was motivated to have a home birth because I was not a high risk and had no serious complications with either births in hospital.  I was looking forward to being able to stand to push so I was not fighting gravity like I felt I was doing even with my second birth.  I wanted to be home and not hve to worry about driving to the hospital nor having to stay in a hospital with food I can’t really eat anyway with my gluten and dairy issues.

I contacted my fellow radical friends in the natural parent community and found the names of two lay midwives. I interviewed both of them before making my decision. One of them was a referral from many people I knew who had used her for thier home birth and the other was newer to the area.  I also went to my family practice doctor when I first found out I was pregant and got checked out.  I had excellent prenatal care from my lay midwife.  She saw me as frequently as any doctor or nurse midwife would have and spent more time with me each visit. She did everything done in a typical


The authors are especially concerned that promoting natural practices such as breastfeeding will harm vaccination rates, since many parents who follow natural parenting practices also delay or decline vaccines for their children. Thy also cite other examples of the “fallacy” that natural choices are intrinsically better, including the rejection of GMO foods, the preference for organic over conventionally grown foods and concerns over water fluoridation.

Apparently the risk of giving the impression that natural choices can ever be positive choices is so great, that the authors conclude that the word natural should not be used in a positive context even if it means undermining breastfeeding. They wrote:”We should think twice before referencing the “natural” in breastfeeding promotion, even if it motivates women to breastfeed.”

In a separate guest commentary at Philly Voice, the authors expanded on the dangers of natural parenting choices.They wrote:

“It doesn’t take much internet digging to find some of the potentially problematic implications for a public health campaign built around an argument that ‘natural’ is better. A search for ‘natural living’ turns up a variety of sites devoted to natural parenting. Parenting blogs and natural news sites often discuss practices and ideas ranging from home-birth and consuming the placenta after birth to homeschooling, breastfeeding, and homeopathy. But these are also spaces where one might expect to run across writers and commenters expressing concerns about the necessity and safety of childhood vaccinations and the promotion of immunity through ‘natural’ disease and healing processes.”

They went on to warn:

“Studies have shown that anti-vaccination sentiment tends to overlap with reliance on and interest in complementary and alternative medicine, skepticism of institutional authority, and a strong commitment and interest in health knowledge, autonomy and healthy living practices.”




And I must add the rest of the article because even the AAP spoke out against this article:

Pediatrics’ own breastfeeding committee condemned the message of the article, however. In a commentaryon the article’s journal page, the AAP Section on Breastfeeding Leadership stated:

“Let us state clearly that breastfeeding is the normative standard for infant feeding, and other feeding methods put mothers and children at risk for both short and long-term adverse health outcomes.”

To be clear, breastfeeding is indisputably natural. The definition of natural, according to Merriam Webster is:

“: existing in nature and not made or caused by people : coming from nature

: not having any extra substances or chemicals added : not containing anything artificial

: usual or expected”

By all three counts, breastfeeding is natural. It is ludicrous to suggest otherwise. Breastfeeding is also undeniably the best food for babies.

Natural practices are often best for our children and ourselves. The authors of this paper are researchers who purport to specialize in medical ethics. To suggest that we should campaign to vilify all natural practices in an attempt to influence parents to accept vaccines or GMOs is the epitome of unethical advice.


Spiritual Connections

When my husband was in the hospital after his massive heart attack, I had many spiritual experiences.  My husband experienced  near death as he went into cardiac arrest in our living room on May 4, 2011. He left the house in ventricular tachycardia, a fatal heart rhythm.  The medics had used the defibrillator several times before they wheeled him out of the house on the gurney. I remember his dark blue face as they took him.  I am forever grateful to the wonderful medics from Mint Hill Fire Department and Robinson Fire Department who took care of my husband and then stayed with me to help make a plan to get to the hospital.  And Lia Schwinghammer who came to my rescue and drove us to the hospital and stayed with us until I got to see Don like 4 hours later. She was one of my many angels and I had many, so I will just thank all my family and friends here.    I am also thankful for the cath lab at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte and the entire team who fixed his occluded arteries with stints allowing him to be with my here today, nearly 5 years later.

He spent 4 days in the CCU and then 8 more days in the step down unit.  I had family helping my kids at home and I would wake up usually before 4 am and head to the hospital each morning and spend the entire day with him and come home in time to put my 2-year-old to bed.  It was a crazy time and yet my priorities have never been so focused in my life as they were for those 12 days.  My husband was disappointed that he did not remember experiencing “seeing the light”.  I told him that I saw it for him.  I really do believe that.

I don’t even know how to begin to explain the spiritual experiences.There were many.  The first one was at home. I called 911 and 5 minutes after the medic arrived, my husband went into cardiac arrest.  The medics immediately moved me and my three children out of our living room.  I vividly recall taking the children to the stairs off our kitchen and sitting down with them and tapping.  I have since decided that the only way I was able to calmly sit with them and use EFT, was because Don’s soul guided us.  Later, when he was recovering in the hospital, I vividly recall being in the cafeteria getting food and hearing a song being piped into the cafeteria and I knew it was Don speaking to me.

The biggest experience was around day 8 or 9 after going with only 3 hours of sleep each night.  Because, the first night at home after his heart attack, I awoke after 3 hours with a horrible dream reliving the experience and I told myself I wasn’t going to do that again.  I did not consciously choose to not sleep more than 3 hours but that is what then happened. So by day 8,  I was very sleep deprived and living on adrenaline, and maybe even having blood sugar issues or just panic attacks.

 I had this one night at home where I  felt panicked and scared and I called my good friend and EFT mentor and therapist, Jan Luther. It was very early in the morning, too early to make a phone call, yet I decided to call her.  I heard the line pick up yet there was no one there on the other side, I began talking. I have no memory of what I said but all I know is there was silence, no dial tone, no one talking, just silence.  I think I tapped and talked.  Later, I talked to Jan about it and she told me the phone rang, she picked up and no one was there and so she hung up the phone and began tapping, because she knew someone needed her to do that.  She hung up the phone, yet I heard no dial tone.  We both knew that was spirit at work.

Just last month, my father had back surgery for his spinal stenosis.  He had the surgery on a Friday and I showed up at the hospital at 5:30 am to meet my parents to help my mom navigate the hospital system.  Surgery went well, took a little longer than expected because it was worse than the doctor had thought from the MRI and he took longer in recovery because of breathing issues. We got to see him for a few minutes in recovery area  but he was in a lot of pain but they couldn’t give him too much pain medication because they needed his breathing to improve.   An hour later, he was in his room and we went to visit with him.  He did well that day, he had to lay flat for 24 hours as a precaution but then the next day even got up with the nurse and walked to the bathroom.  I left after dinner Saturday night, with the plan to return in the morning again.  I woke up at 3:45am.  I have been waking up early for many weeks, most like from peri-menopause but usually after at least 5 hours of sleep.  I woke up and looked at the clock and said, “Why am I waking up now?”  I  had been asleep for like 3 or 4 hours.  I knew it was strange.  I should have gotten up.  I went on my phone like I usually do when i wake up early, using it in the dark in my room.   I got a text from my mom who had seen my posting on Facebook and so she texted me. It was 4:11am: 

 I’m in the family waiting room while they put restraints on Dad. Med Dr saw him then They gave him something for hallucinations and for blood pressure. Thought he finally fell asleep  when he awoke and starting lashing out violently. He is having some kind of psychotic meltdown. REally scary to see him like this.  

I immediately replied to my mom

Oh mom.  I’m so sorry.  I’m awake. I’ll just shower and come in.  It’s going to take time for the meds to clear out of his system. (We new he was reacting to anesthesia and/or medications.)

My mom was surprised how quickly I arrived, less than an hour after her message.  I showered and gathered my things for the day and drove to the hospital. It was 4:45 am, no traffic, easy drive and plenty of parking. I walked into the lobby at 5:13am.   She didn’t realize I had experience with this from the 12 days I spent going to the hospital to be with my husband.  I also had the strong feeling through my dads 5 day hospital stay that this was in part the reason that I became an Occupational Therapist.

It helps that I texted all of this on my iPhone and therefore have all the times of our conversation including the when she texted me, and I let her know when I got in the car to head to hospital and again when I arrived in the lobby.  As I read these posts, I see that she had also contacted me at 12:27am via text because my dad was asking for me. I was asleep and didn’t see those texts until morning.  I can share that in another post.  I talked to my dad tonight to get his permission to share this story and he is happy to sit with me and tell me more so I can share more of it. He believes he was talking to God and telling God to decide about leaving his body or staying.  I believe that he did experience that as well.  More on that for another post.

My dad slept all morning. They had to put him in 4 point restrains and  give him Haldol which is an injectable antipsychotic.  He had kicked a nurse.  It was weird seeing my dad in his hospital bed in restraints.  AFter talking to my mom when I got to the hospital, I had told her to get some rest. The waiting room had a couch.  I went to sit with my dad to be there when he woke up.  I was able to explain to dad as he was waking up that he was in restraints and he was calm.  Later when he was fully awake, he shared the experience with us.  He actually remembered the psychotic episode and described what he experienced. he also appologized to all the nursing staff that saw him for the next few days.   I will just summarize: he explained feeling like he was in a box and there were bad guys trying to hurt him and he had to get away.  He explained it with much more detail but I don’t want to misquote him. But he also told me he heard me laughing. He couldn’t see me or get to me but he heard me laughing.  As the day progressed, he continues sharing about what he remembered in detail from his Psychotic episode.  I wondered if some of what he was sharing was also from when he was under anesthesia for his back surgery (3 hours) as well as the 3 hours he spend in recovery getting his breathing back to normal before he could be moved to a room.

It didn’t occur to me right away, but then I realized some things. I woke at 3:45 am which is when my dad had his psychotic episode and I knew it was odd that I woke up.  Looking back, I should have realized it was my dad.  But then I got ready quickly and grabbed my things and headed out in the car at 4:45 am. I turned on the radio and “Crazy Train” was playing on the radio.  I laughed out loud.  I switched stations and heard, “Take a Walk on the Wild side”.  I had the instant feeling like I did when Don was in the hospital, that my dad’s spirit was speaking to me.  Hearing these two songs both playing at the same time on 2 different local stations tickled me.  I talked to my dad out loud in the car, laughing as I did.  And sending positive energy and love to my dad.  Cause, I am weird like that and I talk out loud in the car.  I really do, all the time.  My favorite thing to do is scan stations to find a song that fits my mood.  I never listen to commercials, ask my kids and Don, I am always scanning for a song, a good song.

Wow!  I was laughing out loud in the car and my dad heard me! 

Some would call this coincidence yet as a student of Unity, Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God books,  and just my own personal spiritual beliefs, I don’t believe in coincidences.  It all has meaning, at least the meaning we give it.  I believe on a spiritual level, we are creating our reality, all of it.

 Creation is energy and all of life is energy.  

March 21, 2016


Writing is my passion. It is who I am.

I remember getting my first diary. It was a gift from my sister for my 10th birthday.  I remember because I have this diary and every diary and journal after that first one. When I have read through the entries of my childhood diaries, I have realized that I remember the events described in the pages because I wrote them down.

Parenting and Work

When my oldest son was born, November 10, 1997, we had a plan in place.  I would return to work full-time after a 12 week maternity leave and my husband would stay at home with him while he grew his business.  I was able to return to work at 32 hours a week and remain fulltime.  Before my son was born, this plan sounded great.  I remember telling my co-workers that the father could be the primary caregiver as well as the mother.  My plan was that once my husband’s business grew enough,  I would reduce to part-time hours.  In 1997, I could work “prn” and earn double my full-time hourly rate. It sounded so easy, I could work 20 hours per week (without benefits) and make same amount of money as I did working 40 hours. 

Birth and Bonding

I had hoped for a natural birth but only took the hospital birth class and one offered by my NP at my OB-GYN office.  I wound up being induced with an epidural but was so glad he was born without a c-section.  I intended to nurse for 6 months because that was what was recommended by the AAP at the time.  I was very happy to have a healthy baby boy yet boding with him took time.  Parenting was a whole new experience for me. When he was 12 weeks old, I had to return to work. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. 

Motherhood and Parenting

Going back to work was so difficult for me. I was glad he was home with my husband when I went to work and I don’t think I could have left him otherwise.   I wanted to be home full-time with my baby!  Don, my husband, told me he would get a job so I could stay home. We had a plan. He had quit his job to be in business full-time for several reasons but a big one was because he wanted to be involved in his child’s life and be there. His previous job required regular travel.  We both knew we wanted to raise our child and not have the child in day care. We shared the parenting experience and he worked when I was home.  Yet, from that moment when I returned to work, my goal became to find a way to work from home. 

Employment and Working from home

I remember researching working at home opportunities. All I remember about that is ordering some ribbons to make some bows for a company, but the ribbon was tiny and I never made any of those bows.  It was 1997 when my first child was born and we had the internet because my husband wanted it for his business but I did very little on the computer back then.

My job changed dramatically in 1999 with the many healthcare changes that happened. I no longer had a job 4 miles from home working 3 full days and 2 half days.  I had to drive to two different nursing homes, one 45 minute drive and the other a 90 minute drive and work in both each day to keep my job. My salary was cut by 15% and my benefits changed including less paid time off and higher healthcare costs.    I did that for 9 months and managed to change my hours to working just 4 days per week and remained full-time but started job hunting.  Because of the changes in healthcare, there were not many jobs to be found at the time. 

In 2000, I found a new part-time job in home health care. I had more flexible hours and could do my paperwork from home.  Moving from full-time work to part-time was a big jump. Also, having to manage my own schedule was a significant and challenging change for me.   My income was half that year being part-time compared to full-time.  (as a side note: when my husband quit his job to go full-time into his own business, ( because  I pushed him to do so saying I could support us) our combined $100,000 income went to $50,000 that was 1996.  When I returned to work in 1998 at only 32 hours per week, my income was $42,000).  I share all these figures to truly paint the picture for you.  We choose to live on less because being home with our child was more important to us than having a bigger house and a newer car. We were looking at moving to a new home in 2000 but because  our lower-income, we had to suspend that plan.  My husband’s business was slowly growing but I remained the primary breadwinner for some time.

An Idea Is Born

I attended my first LLL meeting when my oldest was 3 weeks old.  I was looking for support with breastfeeding with returning to work.  Being in the room surrounded by moms and babies and children, even nursing toddlers, was an eye-opener to me!  I swore I would never nurse my baby past age one. Yet, being surrounding by attachment parenting moms was a new world for me. I can remember  talking to a mom of a 3 month old. She worked as a nurse and worked nigh shift so she was home with her baby in the day.  I can hear here saying something to the effect of, “aren’t they wonderful “(meaning the babys).  I was still bonding with my baby and adjusting to motherhood at that stage.  I know deep inside of me, my soul knew that this was the life for me. 

My oldest, Harrison, developed a love for road signs at an early age.  You can read more about this here.  I became more involved in the attachment parenting world and learning from my son how to be a mother.  From these two aspects, an idea was born.  I envisioned a conscious parenting website and called it, “Mommy, Daddy, STOP”.  My meaning in this name was “Mommy, Daddy, stop what you are doing and pay attention to me because I will be a baby and a child for a short period of time and spending quality time and quantity time with me is important.  And stop reacting and just parenting the way you were parented, but consciously choose your words, actions and your method of parenting.” By this time, my husband’s business had morphed into a website business and he secured the domain name for me even before I started the website.  I spend time writing about parenting and created a notebook full of ideas for my website.  As I write this, I am picturing my notebook with colored pen marks and realize that I need to find this notebook!

Flash Foward to 2008

I finally created the site on the Ning platform with the help of my now 10-year-old son. And I created a homeschooling website on Ning as well.  I was motivated to finally jump in and do this  because my husband had lost his job August of 2008 when I was three months pregnant with our third child. Backing up…My husband sold his website business in summer of 2007 and then went to work full-time for the man/company he sold his business too.  This was a wonderful opportunity for our family. We had regular income for the first time in years and I was able to not work outside the home for the first time in years.  And it was what I was waiting for to even attempt to have a third child.  I had my second child in 2002 after a year of attempting and one early miscarriage.  I was working in home health care and was able to very slowly return to work when she was 8 weeks old. Literally working just 3 hours per week for several weeks before increasing to about 6 hours per week and slowly increased to an average of about 15 hours per week.

Ning Websites

In 2008, creating a website on the Ning platform was free of charge.  Ning is a platform for creating a social media website which was new and fresh at the time with the growing popularity of that big social media website, you know, Facebook.  I also found work again, prn work as an OT at a local nursing home that summer without telling them I was pregnant.  I needed to bring in some income while my husband rebuilt his business and before my new baby was born! I also poured my time into primarily my homeschool website thinking it would be the one to first bring in income, eventually.  I had no initial plans for making money, I just knew the site would benefit the homeschooling community at a time when it was difficult to find out about homeschool support groups and area resources.  I trusted in the universe that somehow over time, this pursuit would bring me income in order to be home full-time with my children.  And I began posting articles on my Parenting site; the tag line for Mommy, Daddy, Stop was : consciously parenting our children, our parents, and ourselves. 

Baby number three is born in 2009

I worked until mid December of 2008 and then went on unpaid leave. When you work prn, you don’t really “go on leave” you just don’t sign up to work any hours.    He was due January 4 but my other two children were born before their due dates: 12 days prior and 4 days prior. Jason was born on January 8, 2009 in our kitchen, an elective home birth with a lay-midwife.Yes, that story is for another post. I remember getting called from a co-worker after a few months asking if I would be coming back to work.  I told them I wasn’t ready to come back to work yet.  We managed to live from savings and eventually credit because I wanted to be home full-time with my baby for at least a year.  And I did not return to work until after he was  a year old but our financial situation was demanding it and it was a crazy hard decision for me. 

Don’t Look Back, Keep Moving Foward, Post 5

When I look back now, I can see how far I have come.  When I look back now on my life, I can see how long I was depressed as well as how significantly depressed that I was.

It is surreal. I keep having the experience of deja vu and when I  stop and think about it, I realize, I feel like I finally have my life back.  Sometimes, I even picture my life when my older two children were younger, before OCD took over our family and held it hostage and before all the serious of struggles both emotional and financial entered our lives.  I often picture when my children were ages 2 and 6 and we did a “stay-cation” where we planned a week’s vacation but did it all from home.  Positive empowering memories, memories that used to haunt me in my depression because I felt so lost and wondered “what happened to that family?”  Looking at old pictures and especially old family videos were a reminder to me of how wonderful it used to be and a sad slap of realty because the life I was living looked nothing like those memories.  Or at least, in my severe depression, I could not see that life anymore. It was my distant past, a past I yearned for and wished so dearly that I could recapture.

Here I am now, on the other side, so to speak.  Or am I?  Having a family history of Bipolar Disorder and having discussions about this illness with my brother and his treatments over the years, there is a part of me that keeps wondering, “how long will I feel this wonderful? Is this mania or hypomania?”  I am anxious about the idea of the depression coming back and most anxious about the possibility of  falling from my state of emotional high and extremely well-functioning to the depths of profound depression.  I have taken the needed steps in setting up an appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss medications and my family history which is something I am glad to do since I have been taking an SSRI for 10 months now but it was prescribed by my family nurse practitioner.

Another song arrives at just the perfect time as I write, wondering where to go next with my post.  This song is one that spoke to me in my darkest moments or maybe in the moments when I was trying to pull myself up out of the dark. I start with the chorus and share the most meaningful part of the song (for me)  There are two verses before this. .

‘Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe… just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

There’s a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout ’cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out
And these mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again
If you’d only try turning around.

2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

But you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe
woah breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe.

(Thank you Anna Nalick and
Many times as I listened to the song and sang the lyrics out loud, I was in that stuck place. Stuck in my thoughts and feeling like there was no way out, that I was trapped in this cycle of frustration, struggle, depression and anger.  I was angry at the world for our financial problems, and all the terrible things that had happened, and angry at my life for not being the life that I had imagined nor the life I had experienced when I first had children. I sang it  to express how I felt and as a way to calm myself and remember to take each day one moment at a time.  I sang it to be heard.  Even though I only sing out loud in private in my home, or when I’m driving. I think this song helped me to feel heard.  One of my core issues has always been feeling like I am invisible.  And with the thought of feeling invisible, I immediately want to share the story of my car accident in 2012.  Yet, I will save that for another post.  Instead, I will end with this thought.
Somehow, I persevered.  I went through the muck and mud and have come out on the others side.  I believe the SSRI (anti-depressant) has helped me as well as being a part of The Ego Tamer Academy with Jan Luther and my active participation in the program along with using the many tools I have learned over the years like Reike, EFT, meditation, exercise,and  Imago Relationship Therapy.  I know changing my diet and taking supplements to improve my physical health have both been very important.   I don’t know if I could have pulled myself through to the other side without my husband, best friend and soul mate, Donald Grothoff and my three greatest teachers ever: my amazing children, as well as all my family and friends.
2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a (blog)
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

But you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe
woah breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe.

Heart rate: 93 beats per minute

It’s time to write this post.  I have been waking up with all these thoughts running through my head.  I have many thoughts running through my head but I hope by sharing this, I can breathe easy knowing I’ve said my peace and when the time comes and someone posts something on facebook again, I can just post a link to my blog.


Yes, I just said politics.  I was never very involved in politics until the 2008 election. I was passionate about who I supported from the time I was 18 and voted in my first election, and my first presidential election in 1988.  I remember watching a presediental debate in college in the Gibble Auditorium at Elizabethtown College in the fall of my freshman year. I have President George W. Bush to thank for my increase interest and attention in politics.  Slowly over the years, I listened more, had discussions with friends and learned more.  My oldest son was 9 years old in the beginning of 2007.  We talked about everything in our unschooling/ child-led learning journey and so politics was part of it. He was interested and so I bought all kinds of books pertaining to American government.  We read some of them, he watched debates with us and we included him in our thought processes and our passions and beliefs about our governement. I allowed him and his sister to make up their own mind.  I still remember my 5 year old daughter declaring her support for Hillary Clinton, even though the rest of us were rallying behind Barack Obama.  I was so proud and excited that my daughter at age 5 was able to witness a woman running in the primaries for President and that she was most likely choosing her because she was a woman.  And I never tried to change her mind about who she supported. Yes, she was only 5, yet, children need the opportunity to learn about the real world from a young age.  I always enjoyed taking them to “kids voting” so they could participate in the process.  I was saddened one time to hear a mother, someone I knew personally and liked, tell her children who they should vote for in the kids vote “because this is who mommy and daddy are voting for”.

Enough back stroy.

This post is about here and now in 2016.  I am writing this because these are things I want to say and even sometimes take the time to say, usually on Facebook.  I even went to facebook page out of curiousity yesterday.  It was a page called “Conservative Country” and I went because someone posted something from the page that was making fun of a republican candidate comparing his picture to that of Granpas Munster.  I was curious who they were suppporting and  I scrolled through posts. Why?  Because I do believe all people are ultimately good people and I do respect other people’s choices and decisions and like to learn how other people think.

And then I found this post: that shared an article entitled, “Survey finds Americans Don’t Like Immigrants”.  This stirred something inside me that I feel passionately about.  I admit I didn’t read the article but felt the need to respond to this general idea that we must stop immigrants from coming to America.
My response: “We are all immigrants”

Fred responded:  “No we are all not. My family has been here since the beginning when it wasn’t immigration…it was exploration.
If you want to be a immigrant..then be one. Don’t claim that for have no right to.”

Of course after his response, I had alot more to say:

My response: “Are you Native American? The Europeans took the land from the native Americans”

So for whatever reason, depsite scanning my entire Facebook feed set on “most recent”, I can not find my remaining comments in order to copy my exact words but will share the rest of what I said to the best of my ability.

I went on to say, “My great grandparents came here in the early 1900s from Italy and their names are at listed at Ellis Island.  Do you want to kick all the Italians out of the country too?”

“We are all immigrants in this country and that is what makes this country great- it is a melting pot.”

So Fred never respoonded, but early this morning, I saw a response from someone else who stated, ” 3 generations removed is not an immigrant, that is all he was saying”.

And I replied, “Our families were all immigrants at one point and most Americans have forgotten that and most Americans have no idea what it is like to live in a country with a dictator or the like and have it so bad that they risk their life and that of their family’s to come here illegally.  Sure, illegal immigration is a problem and we need to do something about it. We need to help these people.”

I can’t recall exactly how I ended it but this is how I would finish the post now:

America is great because of our differences, people from different countries, religions, backgrounds and beleifs.  We need to remember that.

I also must add that my problem with Trump is not his political stance.  I even agree with some things he says.  The problem is how he is saying it and how he presents himself.

Someone else posted a picture of Jimmy Carter and quoted information from the Iran Contra Affair and how Jimmy Carter banned immigrants from Iran and compared it to waht Trump is saying and how JC was never called “racist”.  And I went ballistic!  Compare Jimmy Carther to Trump?  

It is about character, people.

Do we really want the leader of the “free world” to be a hateful angry man who insites fear, hate, and anger in people?  Do we really a man who presents himself as sexist, racist, ….I could go on, to be the leader of our country?  Have people become that disillusioned with goverment that they have lost all common sense? Do they not see that he is just power hungry and tells people what they want to hear and that he can not be trusted. And he is the billionaire, he is the problem in this country, poeple like him getting tax breaks while hard working Americans struggle to feed their families while working 2 jobs.

Trump has no character, or the character he has is NOT what I believe we need in a President. It is infact, the opposite of what we need.  His entire premise is hate and fear.

I choose to make my decisions based on love.  I am a humanitarian and believe all people are ultimately good.  I believe some people need a “slap in the face” wake up call at times. I know I have needed that in my life.  Maybe nobody who needs to read this post will ever read it.  Yet, I feel it must be said.  Somoene has got to.  Americans can be lazy voters.  I have been. They need to really think about who they are voting for and why.  And remember that our government was set up to represent the people.  You can say that all politicians are corrupt and it’s just voting for “the lesser of two evils” but until we stand up and speak up and do the research and vote and make our voices heard, it will never change.