75 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-6-18

  1. And a good morning to you.
    You’re up mighty early Kim.

    Silly bird perched upside down.
    I got an e-mail sign that said “I thought growing old would take longer”.

    But?
    IT’S FRIDAY.
    You know what that means?
    I’m still sleepy. I lolled around in bed a couple of hours and got up and read for another couple.
    Now I’m sleepy.
    But she’s up and hungry and I need to fix breakfast.
    She just walked in naked. I had to stop to find something for her to wear.

    It was 6:55 when I started this. Just after Kim popped up.

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  2. And so everyone knows, Peter’s “Read the funnies” is the link to click to read the funnies. Why it suddenly chose green for links, I’ve no idea. Changing the blog color and backgrounds didn’t change it. :(.

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  3. I post this from Google::

    “”A Spanish Fork man died Wednesday after he caught fire during a family barbecue Sunday.
    Larry Webster, 73, fought for his life for nearly three days before succumbing to his injuries Wednesday afternoon at 2:32 p.m.
    Late Sunday afternoon, Larry Webster and his family were gathered for their annual family Easter barbecue. As he lit the barbecue outside his home, his polyester shirt caught fire.”

    To say this:
    I had a friend in Falls Church (he’s dead now) years ago who had a son (now a grown man).
    This son was filling a lawn mower and spilled some gasoline on his pants leg.
    No problem. He let the gasoline dry and kept wearing his pants.

    Much later that evening, they were having a cookout. The pants ignited.
    Fortunately, dad put it out immediately. No harm done.
    But it tells what can happen if you aren’t careful,

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  4. Kim, your 7:26 requires a person to subscribe to read it. Now, a subscription is free, but I’m probably not the only one who doesn’t want to subscribe and all that without even knowing the theme of the article and whether or not it is something that might be of interest.

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  5. Hmmm. I Googled skin on skin contact for newborns and it let me read the whole article. It talks about how for the first several hours after birth the baby needs to have skin on skin contact with its mother. It is also good for it to have that same contact with the father.

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  6. Good morning!

    When Connor Matthew was born, they had just started the skin on skin thing at our hospital. After about 30 min of that, I told the nurse that it was unfair, as I should have been holding the baby by then.

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  7. Maddie is a cute name. She sounds like an achiever already.

    I was up early to get a couple extra bags of yard trash out to the curb for pickup this morning. Now I’m fighting the urge to go back to bed for another 30 minutes. Earlier I was having a dream that a girlfriend and I (teenagers again) stole a car and I was plagued with guilt. We gave the car back but it didn’t really matter, of course. The owners were pretty furious. But, but … It was my girlfriend’s idea and thus her fault, I kept thinking.

    “Hey,” she’d said as we spotted the car in a parking lot. “Let’s …” So her fault. Then I’d think, no, I was all on board. And I drove. What was I thinking?? My girlfriend also had a baby in her arms during part of the dream so I suppose we kidnapped someone, too. Trouble, we were in big trouble. Helicopters over our houses trouble.

    Maybe I had the dream because I’d run into this friend (although the friend changed a couple times during the dream) when I was out running errands at lunch yesterday. I often have strange dreams.

    Well. Back to dreaming about other things — like my future log cabin in Winchester and what I’ll mount over my fireplace

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  8. Oh my goodness. We have a windchill of -29C this morning. And it was a windchill of -25C all day yesterday. I’m so cold. When will winter end?!!

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  9. My SIL and grandson and daughter (up from TN) were thrilled to be able to ski this late in the season. Today may be a bit too cold with that wind even for them.

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  10. I finally caught up on the blog yesterday. I may have missed it, but how is Michelle’s expected grandchild? Did the placenta get better, and start doing its job?

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  11. We had 60Β° yesterday, normal for this time of year. But today we are supposed to get up to 2″ of snow, then more on Sunday. Another average Spring in Missouri.

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  12. Regarding Kim’s skin-to-skin-contact link, she copied the address from the top of her browser after she was already on that page. I got the same login window Cheryl did.

    However that address is different from the link in the Google search results. If you click the Google link, you’ll go straight to the article without logging in. Try this: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjJj_G-8qXaAhUI24MKHUrYA4UQFghVMAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.medscape.com%2Fviewarticle%2F806325&usg=AOvVaw32h7QmeK24tHWNCicLj4Bi

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  13. I see that lets you read only the “abstract” at the beginning of the article. You still have to log in or register to see the whole thing.

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  14. Morning! It is sun shiny and 40 degrees here…that will be our high for the day. By noon the temps plummet and the snow begins!! I am sorry but I a sooo happy about it all!! Hope ya’ll get your Spring but I am happy to get a winter!
    When I gave gave birth for the first time 42 years ago, I was in a community hospital in Myrtle Beach. There was no maternity ward and I was a roommate with an 88 year old grouchy lady. If you wanted to see your baby you had to walk down the corridor and enter the nursery. I was deathly ill for the first 3 days after giving birth….high fever and would faint every time they lifted my head. The nurse was so concerned about bonding with the baby and she had to get special permission for my husband to come into the nursery after hours to hold our son. It was a rough start but I am so thankful our nurse saw the need for parental bonding with our boy…..

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  15. Yay, the state income tax return arrived in my bank account overnight. The federal one should be in by Monday. My bank account is looking so much healthier. whew.

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  16. Yeah, I’ll register to read that, since that subject interests me. I wrote my freshman term paper on the importance of touch in an infant’s development, how hospitals had learned that babies left in incubators and not touched would die even if they seemed physically to be doing well.

    I suspect the skin-to-skin contact is useful for newborns . . . but I can’t imagine it makes a significant difference from clothed contact, and I also would think that including grandparents in the “family circle” of who holds the infant wouldn’t be detrimental to the little one.

    I believe I “roomed in” with my sister at the hospital when her second baby was born, allowing her husband and two-year-old son to sleep at home in their own beds and allowing my sister to sleep a bit. I was included in that close family circle right up front, holding the baby when my sister desperately needed sleep but passing him off to her if he needed to be fed. I may (or may not) do the same sort of thing when our grandchild is born this summer–it will depend totally on the parents’ comfort level and the need involved. I held my first grandniece within one to two hours of her birth. (Her grandparents had told me Mama might or might not allow me to, and I said that was her choice. But I had driven my brother to the house, and waited in the living room with him while the baby was born and while they handled some medical issues over the next hour or so. The baby’s father and grandmother–my late sister-in-law–were in and out of the bedroom where the mother and the midwives were. Anyway, they allowed me to hold the baby after the grandparents had done so, and I also got some priceless photos.

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  17. Ah, that link promotes skin-to-skin contact with Mama for the first hour after birth. Yes, that is realistic. I somehow had it in my mind they meant the first 24 hours, and that would require parents staying awake (and not accepting the help of family or nurses) and that seems unrealistic and unnecessary. But an hour, yes, families can choose to commit to that.

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  18. I went and found it through google, but still had to register to read the last few pages. Fascinating, and I have already passed it on to two parents-to-be and a few other people.

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  19. Cheryl, I have more than made up for not being able to hold Connor immediately after birth. I am his favorite person in the entire world.

    I stayed with my girls the first week, and let them sleep at night. I would get up with the baby, change diaper and put them back to bed. If they needed to nurse, I would take baby to her. I was blessed to be able to that. I did not have anyone to help when my girls were born, as my husband went right back to work.

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  20. I thought I would be doing that when daughter had her first but she said I was done as soon as delivery was over. We came home the next day. But she wants me again this time, for the same space of time. Not before, not after, just during the delivery. I figure the doc and nurses and her husband can handle that. If we get there fine, if not, fine.

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  21. Skin-to-contact actually increases the oxygen saturation levels in a newborn – hence, it is very good for preemies whose lungs are still immature. In addition, the newborn’s body temperature, their heart and breathing rate, and their metabolism rate can all be better regulated with skin-to-skin contact. Those are all very important things that the baby has to adjust when he or she enters the world. I remember reading literature on how a country in South America, who did not have enough incubators and whose incubators were causing infection in newborns, began treating premature babies using skin-to-skin contact and actually had better success at keeping them alive. That brings up another aspect that helps the baby; being against the mother’s skin, the baby, who is born without any bacteria on his or her skin, is vulnerable to infections; but the mother has developed over her life a healthy blend of colonizing bacteria on her skin (everyone has bacteria colonizing their skin), so the baby will be exposed first to the beneficial bacteria that his or her mother has, rather than a possible hospital superbug that has survived the disinfectants that are used to clean incubators. Not only is touch vital for the emotional development of a newborn, it is also very beneficial for their physical development.

    Chas, one of the topics we studied in pathophysiology this semester was burns and the multi organ failure that can result from the burns. Basically, it is not just the burned area which is impacted – the regulation of the whole body is sent out of balance from burns. There is only so much even modern medicine can do to try to control the downward spiral into shock that results.

    I remember, in one of my first aid courses, the instructor mentioned how dangerous polyester garments were, because of the rapidity with which they burnt and because of the fact the polyester would melt into the burning skin, further trapping the heat and causing greater damage. Polyester clothes are now supposed to be manufactured with flame retardants so that at least they won’t burst into flame – although they will still melt, but it is a long lasting fabric, so many people still have clothing from before flame retardants were mandatory. The flammability of polyester was another reason to be uneasy at how cheap polyester prints from China were squeezing out the regional cotton fabric manufacturers in West Africa – they still cooked over open fires, so polyester clothing could present an added risk. I treated second and third degree burns more than once – from house fires that had caught from burning coals or small children falling into cooking fires, and there was one villager I met who had scarring over half their face and upper body from a lantern that exploded. Fire was already a continual hazard without adding clothing that increased the danger.

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  22. We’ve had monsoon-type rain since midnight. They’re concerned about flooding and mudslides–particularly since all the lots have been scraped clear.

    In similar news, they’re reporting 1.4 million tons of debris has been scraped away as of today. The final day for everyone to have their lots clear is Monday.

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  23. I am finished all my classes. Although I had five courses, I only have three exams, since one class required a big assignment to be completed instead, and the other was pass or fail (I passed, thankfully). Pathophysiology is the first exam on the schedule, so I am in the process of studying for it.

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  24. RKessler, my Eldest sibling had an another member of her family there to help her out for every birth, in addition to her husband. Second sibling was there for Eldest’s first two, Youngest was there for the third, I was there for the fourth [I recall when I was there helping that Mumsee suggested that I should have come to see her instead – that was when we were still on Whirled Views and I had not yet made the pilgrimage to Idaho]. I was in West Africa when Eldest’s youngest was born, Youngest was married and pregnant (she had her first two months after Eldest had her youngest), and Second was working, so my parents went down to help Eldest. I helped Second sibling both during and after the birth of her first, and she had her second after she moved to my parents’ house, and my mother is content to either play with the toddler or hold the baby when needed. Only Youngest never seems to have that level of support – her parents, myself, and her in-laws have all helped out as much as possible (I was present for the delivery of her second) after she has another, but we are usually only there for a period of time during the day. I would say Youngest is the one I feel for the most, as she has had four children within less than 6 years of marriage. Eldest’s five were spaced out over eleven years.

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  25. Maybe they should have warning tags on polyester clothes.
    I hate to appear ignorant, but I don’t know what polyester is. Many artificial coverings?

    I would think “many girls named Esther”. πŸ˜‰

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  26. My husband didn’t want anyone (besides necessary hospital staff) at the births of our children, not his parents or mine, not our own older children at the births of their younger siblings, no one. (He didn’t want home births, either, where the observing children could be in a more natural setting.)

    When the older children were born, he routinely took a week off of work to help me. He was also adamant about having no one be at our home for an extended stay to help us. Overnight guests, or especially for longer periods of time, is not his thing. (Except now, when 1st Arrow or 2nd Arrow comes home on occasion and stays a night or three.)

    We had a sticky situation a few months before 1st Arrow was born. The Christmas before, when I was in my sixth month, my mom wrote in her Christmas card to us that she would be coming down for a few days after the birth to help us. (We’d not asked if she could, but she was clearly very excited about the prospect, as she was about to become a grandmother for the first time.)

    Well, my husband, in no uncertain terms, told me she would not be coming to stay with us for any length of time beyond a daytime visit. So guess who got to break the bad news to her?

    Yep, and I didn’t do it very well, either. I was on board with my husband, also wanting that quiet, week-long time of bonding in our transition from a couple to a family of three. If that had been all I’d said, things probably would have been fine. Mom would have been disappointed, but she’d have gotten over it pretty quickly. (And I also let her know that this was an across-the-board decision; no one was chosen instead of her. In other words, it wasn’t meant to be personal.)

    Instead of simply writing that in my reply letter to her, though, I poured out years of frustration about similar matters in which I’d never before expressed my boundaries. What irked me the most about her “I’m coming down to help with the baby” was that she didn’t ask, she told us what her plans were for our family transition.

    It was the last straw with me, because she had so frequently in the past tried to make my big, adult decisions for me.

    – Go to college in my hometown. (So I did.) And don’t apply to any others outside of driving distance from home. (So I didn’t.)

    – Live at home because it’s cheaper. (I did, until my last year of college, when I became engaged and decided I wanted experience living out from under my parents’ roof before getting married.)

    – “This is the guy (said about my now-current hubby). Marry him.” I just about dumped him precisely because my parents wanted me to marry him. I’d had enough of them telling me what to do when I was already an adult. I didn’t dump him, though, and eventually decided for myself that I would indeed marry him, but not because that’s what they wanted.

    So…anyway…fast forward to 27-year-old me, preparing for her first child, and here is Mom telling me what’s going to be happening in our household when I first reach the new motherhood milestone.

    I had never gone against my parents’ wishes for my adult life (other than that act of defiance in moving out of their home when I was 22, still in college, still not married). So establishing boundaries with Mom almost 10 years into adulthood, in keeping with my husband’s and my wishes, turned out to be a messy, emotional affair, with anger and hurt and pregnancy hormones and dashed dreams for new-grandparenthood, and inexperience stating boundaries, all wrapped up in there.

    Which led to Mom’s stopping speaking to me for the rest of the pregnancy.

    Everything was OK, though, when 1st Arrow came along four months later. Mom and I patched things up, and both learned important lessons through the experience.

    And we both get along very well with each other now. πŸ™‚

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  27. Chas, as you would say, “Booooo!”

    As for what polyester is, it is an fabric woven from synthetic, i.e. chemically compounded, fibres. Cotton, linen, and wool, in contrast, are woven from naturally occurring fibres. I looked it up and the word polyester is a shortened form of polyethylene terephthalate, which is a compound of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Polyester is what is called a polymer by chemists like my eldest sibling-in-law, or a plastic by us lay people.

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  28. 6, Eldest sibling had her first two in the hospital under physician supervision. Then, the Medicaid stopped because her husband was no longer a student, having earned his Ph.D., and with his employment health insurance deductible, having a home delivery with midwife costs half as much as a hospital delivery (Eldest is the one who lives in the U.S.). Her next two were home births, so I have been present for a home delivery (that ain’t nothin’ as I have since attended a delivery on the back of a two-wheeled horse cart πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› ). Her last delivery was to have been a home birth, but complications resulted in a hospital birth. Both Second and Youngest went to midwives for their prenatal care. All of Youngest’s were hospital births, because of a birth defect that has appeared more than once in her husband’s family, one that would require immediate intervention should one of her children be born with it. Second has also only had hospital deliveries, for one because living in the apartment they were before they moved, in which both the smells and sounds of their neighbours were noticeable, a home delivery would not have been comfortable, and also because she is at higher risk of complications because she is an older mother. The midwives had hospital privileges, so they were able to attend both my siblings there.

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  29. Roscuro, I’ve had friends who have had home births, and most prefer them to the hospital births they also had. One friend, though, said that, with her one home birth, her husband got pretty nervous during the birth, compared to when she’d delivered in the hospital, and she decided to go back to hospital births after that.

    I had an OB for my first three births, then, after turning 35, I switched to midwives. I am glad I did, as I found their style of care more in tune with my own wishes.

    I’ve never attended a birth. A couple of mine I watched in a mirror, though. πŸ˜‰

    All these labor stories lately remind me of my favorite labor story — not one of mine.

    Back in the day when I was still teaching school, a friend of mine who worked at the same two schools I did (she was the band director, and I the general music teacher) had a wild experience delivering her second child.

    She and her almost-five-year-old son were home alone when her water broke, a week and a half before her due date. Her husband was at work three hours away, on the 10th day of his usual 10-days-on-four-days-off work routine. At the conclusion of that 10-day shift, he planned to come home and not go back to work again until after the second baby was born.

    Second baby wasn’t waiting that long to make his arrival, though. πŸ˜‰

    My friend’s water broke at ten minutes after midnight, after which she started rushing around, trying to call her husband (they’d recently switched the phone numbers at his workplace, so that took a while to reach him); trying to pack her hospital bag (she thought she’d be overdue again); trying to call her neighbor Becky, looking under “B” in the phone book… πŸ˜‰

    Finally, she sat down on the kitchen floor, and in walks her 4-year-old just as his brother is emerging from the womb…

    at 12:47 a.m.

    A 37-minute labor!

    Boy, was the school ever abuzz with that news the next morning!

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  30. I got my deep freeze defrosted. Have been meaning to do it for about 6 weeks. I did not realize I had so many chicken feet in there. We need to eat soup more often.

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  31. It is still soup weather here. Today’s daytime temps never got above the twenties; tonight’s low will be in the teens, possibly less. Oh, spring, where art thou?

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  32. I was born at home. It was 3 a.m.
    My grandmother wrapped me in a blanket until the doctor came.
    My mother got mad when the doctor called me a “little resect”.
    Leastwise, that’s the way I remember it. It was so long ago.
    I don’t think people went to hospitals to have babies in those days.

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  33. My dad was born in a hospital in 1929, but I’m pretty sure his brother (born in 1925) was born at home. I think in the late 1920s / early 1930s, hospital births were becoming in vogue. Maybe more of a geographical thing than a country-wide phenomenon, though. (My dad being born in a northern state. I’m guessing you were born in a southern state, Chas?)

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  34. My father and mother were both born in the hospital the decade after yours, Chas, my father the year after WWII ended and my mother two years later. My father was from a very rural farming community and my mother was from a bustling manufacturing town. A lot seems to have changed in a decade.

    It was snowing this morning as I made my way to class, a very wet snow – my hair was dripping from the flakes melting on it.

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  35. My dad was the first and only one of his siblings born in Canada. He was born in a wood granary which they were using as a home on their sponsor’s farm. Many Mennonites sponsored other Mennonite refugees from Ukraine/Soviet Union. In the winter they would pile a wagon full of tumbleweeds and ‘park’ it on the windy side of the building to help cut the wind since there was no insulation in a granary.

    Chas, my husband loved your joke – he’s going to use it next week in one of the classes he will be teaching for the warden recruits.

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  36. I FINALLY got to hold a baby. I didn’t get to rock her, but I made sure she knew Mimi has a rocker and she will rock you when you come to her house. So tiny and makes the cutest little faces.
    Government interference. They go back to the hospital tomorrow to have her checked. The have to keep a log of diaper contents and number of each to report tomorrow. She is being nursed. K is looking like she is going to be a terrific mother.
    I also told Maddie that Mimi has access to Grandpa’s money and we are going to need some jewelry. Most especially a baby locket with an M and 4-4-18 engraved on it.

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  37. Our daughters are both fairly private people (only in different ones, one an extrovert who will talk and talk but she won’t tell you what is happening in her own life until she is well into making the decision, such as telling you as catalogs are due any day that she has applied to a bunch of colleges in such and such a state; the other an introvert who doesn’t talk as much but is more likely to tell you her secrets fairly early). I didn’t want to assume that introverted elder daughter wanted my help with baby, or that her husband would, but she has had virtually no experience with babies and I’ve already done the newborn help with all five of my sister’s, so I simply told her I was available and she does want my help.

    It was a precious thing to help with my sister’s little ones. The first one was the hardest–I didn’t live close enough to jump in the car and head over for either of her first two. (I was in Chicago and she was still in S.C.) So for the first one we planned on my flying there for a week when the baby was about two weeks old; for the second, since she planned to induce for a bunch of different reasons (among them her husband having one of those “multiple days on / a few days off” schedules), we decided I would fly in about two days before the induction and stay a full two weeks. I took my whole vacation time that year, and they paid for my plane ticket (they said they would pay for it if I could come for two weeks). But for the first one, she was getting used to this motherhood thing and just before the trip I got exposed to two different people who had the same unusual cold (mucus coming out of one’s eyes–someone at work insisted on coming in even if she was sick, and she had it, and my plane was delayed and I stayed at a brother’s house for one night on an extended layover, finding out only after they picked me up that his wife had that same bad cold). Well, I don’t get sick very often, generally about once a year do I get a cold, and only every three or four do I get one that is bad, but this one was bad. And since it had unusual characteristics, I was afraid it might not be a good one to pass on to a baby. So I tried to avoid holding him for the first few days, and when my sister asked me to bring him to her, I would keep his face turned away from me. And because I was sick and really needed my sleep, I tried to sleep through the night, but she got upset with me for not getting up every time she nursed. (She was sleeping in the bedroom with her husband, but making her way to the nursery when he needed to be fed, so for me to go to them I had to stay alert enough to wake up when he cried–not conducive to the good sleep one needs to get over being sick.) I did end up getting up most of the time she did, though I was afraid of passing on my germs and I did need my sleep.Two or three years later I found out she was seriously anemic after that first birth, but didn’t know it at the time, so she and I were both probably really fighting to get some sleep that week.

    When I was there for the second baby, the two-year-old knew me (the babe was born in the first half of February, and I had just been there for Christmas, so when they picked me up at the airport from his carseat he said a soft, happy “Cheryl,” and his mom reminded him “Aunt Cheryl”). I was there for two days helping them all get ready, and then in the hospital to watch the birth while the grandparents watched the toddler at home, and then in the home for another 12 days or so.

    The evening before I was leaving, my sister said to the two-year-old, “Kiss Aunt Cheryl goodbye. You might not be awake when she leaves in the morning, and she is going back to Chicago.” I knew immediately what his next words would be, and he said them. “Baby go too?” My sister looked at me in shock, since it hadn’t occurred to her that he would associate my coming with the baby coming . . . and as much as he loved his aunt and the baby, he figured it made sense that we had been there long enough and we were now leaving!

    Well, her youngest is now ten, so it has been a lot of years since I have had newborn duty, and I’m ready to do it again!

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  38. Going over my taxes is interesting. I found an error. But now I am looking more closely and my W2 seems wrong. They held out more than the totals say and that is why I owe. Interesting. I am trying not to tear my hair out. Am I right or are they? I at least want to ask the question.

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  39. Calling Janice.

    Who’s probably collapsed by now.

    More progress on the house, tomorrow may be furniture moving day — to reclaim the “dining” area.

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  40. BTW, when I said that I wasn’t sure how much more useful skin-to-skin than holding itself, I wasn’t doubting its benefit, especially immediately after birth–I had heard some of that info, like a newborn’s ability to make his own way to the breast. It’s just that not that many years ago, “rooming in” with the baby was seen as kind of an odd exception to the norm of having neonates stay in the nursery for most of the time, with nurses caring for the babies, bathing them, changing their diapers . . . but mama getting her infant only when he needed to nurse or got his bottle. I suspect that the extra “jump” in quality from rooming in to extended skin-to-skin contact isn’t as big as the jump from nursery care, bottle-fed baby, baby in a crib in the nursery except for short periods every day to rooming in, with mother holding her baby, cooing at him, changing his diaper, offering him the breast. And having the father, the grandmother, or an aunt present to watch the little family while mother and baby doze is so much better than sending him off to the nursery in such times, too, if the hospital (or birthing center) allows it.

    The article confirmed that, too. It is a positive good to have the skin-to-skin contact–but it is a very strong negative to put the baby in a different room, one of several different babies cared for by a stranger. Getting the baby in his mother’s arms and in a bassinet by her side is getting him 90% of the way to an ideal first week; adding the skin-to-skin contact and a more attentive mom is making it the rest of the way there, but the rooming in is the biggest jump in quality.

    As I read the article, I couldn’t help but think that the skin-to-skin time is pretty much incompatible with putting the baby in daycare from the age of six weeks. If you’ve taken that much time and care to get to know your babe, you just aren’t going to want to hand him off to a stranger who may actively dislike babies and who can’t in the very best scenario spend one on one time with yours, and you’re leaving him to be fed a bottle by someone who is likely just to prop it and not to coo and cuddle your child at all.

    My sister has a little mental game she plays where she watches a woman in the store, a stranger, interacting with her (the woman’s) children, and she decides whether or not these children are in daycare based on how much connection there seems to be between mother and child. Once she has made her guess, she strikes up a conversation, and generally it comes up pretty soon what kind of care the child is in (maternal care or stranger care). She said that in all the times she has done it, she has only been wrong a couple of times, and I know one of those cases was a woman who had only recently returned to work, against her own desires, because her husband was unemployed, and the bond was clearly there with her little one. I think she said a different woman had her children in the care of their grandmother during the day, and she had guessed maternal care, but all her other guesses have been correct. She said that her hunch is that if the mom is going to put the baby in daycare, she seems to protect herself a bit, harden her heart to this child a bit, so that she can handle the separation that otherwise would be too painful. That’s her own theory, but it would seem to have some validity.

    In my late twenties or so, I had a housemate for a year who was a few years younger. For a few weeks of that time, she worked at a daycare. But she considered the children dirty and didn’t like babies, so she would deliberately pick them up with their backs to her, avoiding letting the children touch her with their hands but also of course avoiding eye contact. I really should have said something, and I don’t remember if I did, but my heart about fell into my shoes over that one. Here is this baby whose own mom chooses not to take care of him, or who would give her life to take care of her own child but his daddy is in prison and she has no family, so he is going into the care of strangers for multiple hours per week. Imagine the tedium of a long school day in the care of an unpleasant teacher, and multiply that tenfold because this baby is so much younger than the school child and because at least the schoolday has a purpose for being in the teacher’s care. But here we have five or six or eight children in the care of one or two adults who don’t love them, in a cramped little room, probably getting sick every few weeks since so many germs are going around, and the caregivers aren’t even present enough weeks or months for the infants and toddlers to form any kind of relationship with them. Take all of that . . . and have the caregiver be a young Christian woman who dislikes children enough she intentionally limits contact with them to the bare minimum . . . and then tell me that this young woman is the rare exception, that most daycare workers are doing their job because they dearly love children and want to love them well. Perhaps that is the case. I do know one young woman who worked in a daycare for a few months, until one family hired her as their live-in nanny because she had such a good bond with their son and they were expecting a second baby and wanted the children cared for at home. Once those boys were in school, she nannied (again live-in nannying) for a pair of twins, and once those twins were about three years old she married and she now is birthing her own children, which had been her dream all along. But I suspect she is a somewhat rare exception among daycare workers.

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  41. Interesting how ‘baby fever’ hits some and not others. My mom told me once she never had it, I haven’t either, I say this with apologies and some (female) guilt I suppose — I baby-sat infants but … meh.

    I think my mom was drawn to little kids and older people, similar to me. Older youngsters & teens (I almost said kids) draw others (I’m thinking mumsee).

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  42. Babies and teens for me – did not really enjoy the in between ages.

    I didn’t care about babies at all until I fell in love with my first one and then the second. Now I just love holding them and giving a frazzled exhausted momma a nice break.

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  43. I come from a fairly small family of origin, also (as did my mom, she only had 1 sister), so that might explain some of it.

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  44. I only have one sister – no exposure to babies (not even babysitting) until my first baby. To be honest, I was terrified and husband had to do a lot of the care, like bathing baby, at first.

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  45. If you have read “The Hiding Place”, skin to skin (or close to it) was what kept Corrie Ten Boom alive. She was born quite premature, and her mother was ill. Her aunt bound her to her body under her dress, and would only take her out for mother to feed.

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  46. I enjoy holding infants, but after a while it feels a little boring. I think it would have been different for my own. My daughter who is pregnant was asked a couple of years ago to babysit her cousin’s baby girl, who was at the time four or five months old. She declined because she didn’t know anything about babies, and my thought (if she had asked for it rather than simply saying no) was that there is no better age to learn on, when the babe isn’t a “I might break it” newborn but isn’t yet mobile! That’s why I was happy that Grandma is indeed welcome, and happy I can reassure her that even thought I haven’t had my own babies I’ve done the “mama’s helper” role several times.

    My own favorite ages are four and second grade. (Second grade because they know how to read, so I enjoy that age when I’m teaching, but I love babysitting fours. They are real “little people” and very talkative and affectionate.) Teens are harder for me because I’ve had so little experience with them–we were living in a community without other teenagers when I was one myself, and I naturally gravitated toward people much older. The girls were 17 and 19 when we married, but that first year was a very hard one for them and I gave them a lot of space. The younger one, the one who was home and not away at college, didn’t even touch Misten that first year (though eventually she loved her and was always calling her “baby”); I had privately determined it would be awkward for them if I said “I love you” in person, because there is some pressure to say it back, so I said it in notes and cards but not in person. Just before we were taking younger girl off to college (she went out of state for a year and then both ended up living at home for two years before older married, and younger was here another year but is now preparing to resume college), I decided it was time to say it in person, and we’ve been comfortably saying it ever since. At any rate, I do best with teens when I knew them as children, because I am not good at finding an entry point with them. Now that I’m older and no one expects me to be their “buddy,” it’s easier, and there comes a time for most of them when it gets a whole lot easier to converse than when they were children. But overall I’d take the four-year-old.

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