Thursday, October 25, 2012

"I'm pro-life, except..."

Oh, boy, sometimes I get myself in trouble. I'm probably going to lose a FB friend over this, but a recent post sparked a debate.

The post was about the recent comments made by Richard Mourdock, Indiana senate candidate. In a recent debate, Mourdock declared, "I came to realize is that life is a gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.

I seriously wonder how any person could construe his comment to mean that rape was intended by God - yet clearly this is how many, including my friend, took it.

In complete honesty, in high school I wrote a paper on abortion for a history class. It was in defense of life. I can remember talking to a woman at church though about the paper and saying I was pro-life... except... yes.... in the instances of rape, incest and the life of the mother. It truly pains me to admit that I once thought this way.

What a slippery slope it is!!!

In college, one of the first verses I memorized in my bible was Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."

So the question is, how is a child conceived in rape or incest any less of a child in the eyes of God?

Have any of you heard of Rebecca Kiessling? What a beautiful woman... she was adopted nearly from birth and learned at age 18 that she had been conceived out of a brutal rape. Her birthmother planned twice to abort her, but because of the back-alley conditions and because it was illegal, she chose not to abort her daughter. Yes, because abortion was illegal.

She says this on her website:
The fact that I’m alive today has to do with choices that were made by our society at large, people who fought to ensure abortion was illegal in Michigan at the time -- even in cases of rape, people who argued to protect my life, and people who voted pro-life.  I wasn’t lucky.  I was protected.  And would you really rationalize that our brothers and sisters who are being aborted every day are just somehow "unlucky"?!!
One of the greatest things I’ve learned is that the rapist is NOT my creator, as some people would have me believe.  My value and identity are not established as a “product of rape,” but as a child of God.
If you really want to know what your value is, all you have to do is look to the Cross --because that’s the price that was paid for your life!
Other statistics she quotes in one of the interviews:
Most people would assume that children conceived in rape are aborted 90-95% of the time. Actually, those victims chose abortion 15-25% of the time, which is less than the 50% rate for unplanned pregnancies. The majority of those women who chose life, raise their child. 25% of those women choose adoption.

Yes, rape is an atrocity, and it's a horrible, horrible thing for any woman to have to endure. But again, the quote from Jeremiah is pretty clear. God is the one who creates life. And I believe what Mourdock and those who are pro-life with no exceptions are trying to say is that evil can be drowned with an abundance of good.

6 months ago today...

We met and brought this little man home!!!! C, Daddy and I love you so much!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Homemade Baby Formula

I've been making C's formula for about two months now so this is long overdue! It's going really well! Let me back up a bit though...

C began with Enfamil Newborn formula in the hospital - the 2 ounce bottles. We stuck with that since we didn't want to change right away. When you consider that they come in a 6-pack, at around $9 per pack, you realize quickly that this will start to add up! He usually ate every 2 hours or so... which meant we were spending a TON on formula. After about 2 months, since we couldn't buy the Newborn formula in quarts, we ended up switching to Similac. He switched with no noticeable trouble, other than his poo changed. It didn't seem to bother him. We continued using only liquid formula because I never wanted to use powdered formula due to concerns that my lactation consultant shared with me on the safety.

And since I don't know that I ever really elaborated on inducing lactation... a side note...

My milk came in about 2 weeks after beginning the drug protocol and 1-2 weeks later the pumping. I was able to pump anywhere from 5-8 times a day (it was supposed to be 8), but C never really latched on well. I HATED forcing him. I really needed someone else with me to coordinate everything and while DH was completely supportive, he had to be at work during the day! C more often than not, when I used the SNS, ended up with a finger feeding. Either he'd pull the tubes off me (I must have a very short torso because the bottle was practically in his face - either that or choking me so that I had it out of his face. It was just extremely inconvenient. Since we didn't start trying to breastfeed until he was about 2 weeks old, he would latch on and fall off, latch on and fall off and scream in frustration and hunger. It was so NOT what I envisioned for bonding with my son! I initially just tried by using the SNS and the drugs to induce, but it wasn't enough - I knew I'd never get a supply in that way. I ended up starting to pump. My sister (the nurse) encouraged me to give him whatever I could get, even if it was just a few drops. And again, since I wasn't that consistent with trying to get him to use the SNS, or the pumping as much (remember those 3 weddings out of town when he was not even 2 months? Yeah, that interfered slightly!), I finally decided enough was enough - I just didn't have the energy to keep pumping when there was really no bonding. More often than not, since he usually slept in the Ergo carrier at that point, I would end up pumping while feeding him with him propped up on my knees. Yes, he was able to look at me, but it was just weird. It was not the sweet snuggling I wanted while he was feeding. So while I was really happy I was able to produce milk, the timing just stunk. 18 hours to prepare to be a mom, and the timing of everything going on during that time (teaching, a recital and year-end adjudication for my students, my sister's bridal shower and wedding, 2 other weddings and trips out of town), it just became very stressful. I might consider doing it again - if we had more advanced notice (I could stimulate lactation before the baby was born) and if I could start with breastfeeding in the hospital before the baby was fed with a bottle.

Around month 3, still considering the cost of commercial formula, knowing I didn't have the energy to keep pumping without being able to actually breastfeed, and getting concerned with feeding my baby not only a product that had a significant shelf-life but also that contained soy, I began looking into alternate options. I read several blogs - Lauren and CallMeMama and these ladies inspired me to consider making my own formula.

Being the type-A that I am, I called the Weston A Price foundation to ask a few questions. I read through the testimonials as well as the directions on making the formula on their site. I watched this video as well. It didn't look as challenging as I thought it would be.

I order all the ingredients through Radiant Life Catalog. The kit is was the easiest way. (If you are going to do this, go all out and order a few months supply. I wish I had done that because it significantly saves on cost).

In my state, I can't buy raw milk unless I actually own the cow... hence, DH & I now own a cow share. :) We call our cow Petunia in case anyone wants to know. I don't know her real name... we could be getting milk from a number of cows. So anyway, our share in Petunia allows us one gallon of milk per week, delivered to a local drop-off point (the farm we order from is outside Richmond).

The video I mentioned really is the best, but here are some photos of how I do it:

I store all the dry ingredients in this container. It makes getting all of them out of the pantry easy.

I labeled all the ingredient containers with the quantity I need. It helped tremendously at first, 
but now I've got them memorized. 

I use a 1 tsp. measuring spoon for all these oils - the fish oil is 1/2 tsp. so I fill it half up.

I put the 2 tsp. of coconut oil in the remaining half of distilled water. (The other half is heated in the pan with the gelatin and lactose.) Once the lactose & gelatin are dissolved, I add the hot water back to the measuring cup. It's not boiling, but it melts the coconut oil which is still slightly solid at room temperature.

These are the refrigerated products. I was able to find liquid whey from grass-fed cows at 
a local health store. Apparently you can buy it for cats, no questions asked. Meow. 
I add all these products to the blender when I am about ready to blend it.

After I'd been doing the standard recipe for a month, I added in the egg yolk that is recommended as well (C was 5 months at this point). I cook it until it's slightly past soft-boiled (4 minutes on my stove)- enough so I can remove the egg white. C hasn't had any problem with the egg yolk thankfully. I haven't yet added the raw liver flakes (you grate them from frozen. I'm thinking about adding that soon, since he'll hopefully be starting solids later this week.)

We have a Vitamix blender that I use to blend the formula. I blend it slightly longer than the video recommends because I found that the powdered ingredients weren't mixing in well. I blend it about 10 seconds.

C LOVES this formula! And it really is super easy now - all it takes it getting into a new routine. :)

Please feel free to ask any questions! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

HWFD? Chicken & Avocado Salad

I could eat chicken salad every day. This one, DH & I ate for lunch most days this past week! I found a similar salad on Pinterest, and tweaked it a bit.

Here was the picture - doesn't it look yummy? :)

What I did...

1 large package of spinach (I used a pound)
1 package of cherry tomatoes
8 ounces of crumbled feta cheese (optional - we went with it, DH always says fe-taaah makes it bet-taah! *Note: I buy a chunk of feta and crumble it myself - it's usually a little cheaper)
1 avocado, sliced (or 2 if you want!)
2 pounds chicken (I used this much because I wanted a lot of leftovers)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to lightly coat the pan and the chicken

Salt & pepper to taste
Spicy Brown Mustard - to taste (I used between 2-4 tsp)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Balsamic vinegar (for drizzling on salad)
Slivered almonds

Rinse your chicken breasts and using kitchen shears, cut them into bite-size pieces. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it lightly coats the bottom of the pan. Add your chicken, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. After 3-4 minutes, drain excess liquid from pan if necessary. Add the spicy brown mustard and stir to distribute evenly.

While chicken cooks, wash the spinach, and place in a large serving bowl. Add cherry tomatoes (sliced in half if you wish), crumbled feta cheese, sliced avocado and slivered almonds. Sometimes I toast the almonds on a sheet of aluminum foil in the toaster oven, but watch carefully so they don't burn. It really brings out the flavor. When the chicken is finished, add it to your salad, then top with the slivered almonds. Drizzle with desired amount of EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

*Note: With 2 pounds of chicken, you should get about 8 servings

Monday, October 1, 2012

Belly sleeper

Two? An excellent idea, Pooh.

We still put him down on his back, but he almost immediately rolls to his belly. Just like his mama! :)

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