Monday, October 31, 2011

25 and 26 weeks

my mom took these pictures, of various family member's hands, feeling Ellie's kicks and punches

I have been awful about keeping up with changes and taking pictures these past two weeks! I have taken a ton of pictures at several events, but I was always behind the lens, and don't have any good belly shots. 

Pregnancy Facts and Figures:

Size of baby: Elliott Faith is the size of a an English Cucumber, ~14-15" long.Weighing in at ~ 1 2/3-2lbs

Total Weight Gain: haven't been keeping up with my weekly weigh-ins as regularly as I had been. I think I am up 12 lbs.

Clothes: Maternity jeans, regular yoga or athletic pants. Combination of maternity and regular shirts.

Gender: It's a girl! Elliott Faith Ross. We will probably start out calling her either Ellie or Elle

Movement: She has definitely been growing a TON these past two weeks, so her movements are more cramped but have a lot more oomph behind them! :)

Sleep: Back in touch with my one and only talent - my ability to sleep!

Cravings: still, HONEY CRISP APPLES! Can NOT get enough of these yummy things!!! And CHEESE!

Symptoms: Weeks 24-26 have been my best so far. I think mainly I am just getting used to the stretching ligaments, pulling muscles, and exhaustion... its becoming my new normal.

Highlight and Lowlight: This one is combined this post. Week 26 brought the biggest growth spurt yet! I swear my abdomen doubled in size from Monday-Friday. A fact my co-workers have confirmed. There is no denying I am definitely pregnant now, no matter what I wear. I am still carrying her really low, and by the end of the day, there is so much  pressure down there, all I want to do is curl up in a ball. At least, she isn't up under my ribs, making it hard to breathe... yet. Also, I was ran a few errands this week, and every time was asked if my due date was November-Decemberish? Ha! Nope, end of January, and I am just hoping she is here by Valentine's day! Which of course then brings the inevitable comment, "you sure there is just one in there?"

Fun Fact: We back to the doctor this week for my glucose tolerance test (ok that part is NOT so fun) but we also get a little 3D/4D ultrasound sneak peek,  just cause... my new doctor, midwives,  and their staff are just that awesome !:) My mom might even be in town for the preview! Oh, and next weekend, our college students are hosting our first baby shower!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Alive and Kicking!

Hello Friends!

We have been on the goGoGO lately, especially on the weekends! Weekends are usually the time I plan out/put together my posts of the week, along with all the housework, errands, and bill paying I have neglected throughout the week. As much as I love the life documenting that comes through blogging... it definitely takes a back seat when life gets busy.

Two weeks ago, I traveled back home for a quick 24 hour trip, for a former co-workers wedding. Jared had already missed the first two games of Football season due to weddings in Nashville, and since UT was playing LSU the weekend of my friend's wedding, I figured this trip would NOT be high on his list of fun things he wanted to do. So one of my brothers and I swapped places - Daniel drove up Friday night and used my ticket to the game, while I drove down to Springhill and used his bedroom for the night.:) It was a beautiful day to travel, but traffic was horrendous!!!

Oh, and quick story about the trip down, before I continue about what we have been up to lately. Jared and I realized we were going to be passing each other on the interstate on his way home, and my way out of town. We hadn't seen a whole lot of each other that week already, so we decided to make a quick stop off and exit for a quick hug Hello, and Kiss Good-bye. Aw, I know - aren't we just tooo cute!  Jared picked Crab Orchard as the perfect meeting spot. Of course, I had no idea where this was (I have only traveled this stretch of I40 my entire life... however I have the inability to know the names of any exits, anywhere!) He told me it was right by the limestone mines off the interstate. Give me land marks, and I am golden!

Me: Oh yeah, I know exactly where that is! Where to do you want to meet? Preferably somewhere with a bathroom.
Jared: Uh, I really don't think you are going to want to use the restroom off of this exit, but let's meet at the BP.
Me: Preggo's can't be chooser's when it comes to restroom facilities... I'll be fine. See you in a few minutes.

I was kind of excited to see this exit. I love seeing new places, even if they are "boring." The gaping mines always played with my imagination as a kid when we would drive by on our way to East Tn to visit family, but we never stopped anywhere near them. Now I know why.

I pulled off the interstate, and headed towards the BP, and was greeted by a quaint sign "Welcome to Crab Orchard." The air was really "grainy" from the limeston mines. As I pulled into the BP, I quickly realized why my husband had discouraged me from using the restroom facilities off this exit. Evidently, this BP was the community "meetin' spot", and people were milling around hanging out carrying on small talk. All eyes turned towards me as I pulled in, somehow quickly realizing I wasn't from those parts. Luckily, Jared had already arrived. The two cars next to us I am pretty darn sure were taking part in child custody swap, and a drug deal. There was a four wheeler next to the front door being loaded up with firewood and two cases of budlight. As I got out of my car, I am pretty sure I heard the banjo's from Deliverance strike up their twangy tune.

Me: Where on earth have you brought me?
Jared: Ha ha, welcome to the Cumberland Platue baby!

We made small talk by our cars for a few minutes, but everyone just kept staring, and I was getting really self conscience/uncomfortable. I decided I needed a snack for the road, so I headed off towards the store while Jared took a business call. As I walked aross the parking lot, a car came bumping into the lot full of bags of garbage. The man and woman inside the car get out, and proceeded to place no less then 5 bags of trash into the trash cans by the gas pumps. um... ok... Another car pulled up, and a young women in holey pajama's and barefeet, got out with her barefoot son. She was no less then 8 months pregnant, and puffing away at a cigarette. The mother and child walked into the store... barefoot.

Once I made my way inside, I quickly realized, if this place did infact have an indoor bathroom, I would not be using it. I grabbed a small bag of Reese's Pieces and a granola bar, and made my way to the cashier... where I saw the barefoot pregnat woman buying more cigarettes!!! I usually have a pretty darn good poker face, however pregnancy has not done great things to my "Justice Complex." I am pretty sure I stared both "Barefoot" and the cashier down during the entire transaction, and there was no denying the thoughts flying through my head. I don't think either of them noticed, or just thought I was the plumb crazy one, being a stranger to "these here parts and all."

As I left the store, another fourwheeler pulls up and the driver is greeted by some of the fellow patrons. Evdiently, he too was, "just picking up some beer and firewood for the weekend, " too. Must be the Crab Orchard thing to do.

When I got back to Jared, the child swap-drug deal combo was still on going.

Me: forget Tennessee, are we still even in America?
Jared: Yeah, these are different parts alright. Last month, they found a naked woman murdered and raped in that plot of land right behind this BP.
Me: and this was the spot you chose to meet your wife and unborn child!?!?!?

The rest of  my drive, while full of horrendous traffic, was much less entertaining. I

It was a fast and furious trip, but I got some serious visiting time in! I stopped by Trevecca's Campus to see

my dad's new office, get a tour of the athletic department, and see a side of campus my very non-tour-guidie brother, Matthew (who played and now coaches basketball at TNU) never showed me. It was the first time I had been back on campus since my brother's graduation, and since my dad became the Athletic Director. It was great seeing what an amazing fit my dad and the job are for each other. He proudly introduced everyone to his oldest daughter, Amy, and his future grandaugher Elliott Faith!:)  We even got to sit in his office, just the two of us, and catch up with each other. All you "oldest kids" out there understand what a rare blessing this is - we rarely get that alone time with our parents.

After my visit with my dad, I proceded south a little bit further, and stopped to see my Nanny and PopPop.

They are my Italian grandparents, and ya'll, they are 87 years old. My PopPop just recently stopped taking philosophy and theology courses at a local Catholic college. They are both avid golfers, and while PopPop doesn't play as much anymore, Nanny still plays 18 hols of golf numerous times a week. And she walks 2-4 miles on her treadmill 3-5 times a week. They are amazing! I can't wait to get some pictures of Ellie Faith with her great grandparents! We had a wonderful visit. There are only two of us cousins/grandkids that have moved away from middle TN, so I think Nan and Pop get especially excited when they get to spend some time with us. Again, coming from a big family, I don't alwys get to spend a lot of alone time with them, so it was a really sweet and cherrished time, just the 3 of us... and Ellie!:) I realize my days with them are limited, and I can hardly even think about that. In the mean time though, I want to make every visit and conversation count.

Finally, it was time to head towards my final destination - my parents home! They hadn't seen me since my brother's wedding back in September, so the "Ellie Belly" was very much fussed over, and photographed! My brother, Matthew, and his new wife, Jenny, were not able to come over due to my brother's coaching schedule, but I was able to visit with my two "baby siblings, Christopher and Mary Grace.

Both of who really need to stop growing! I also got to spend a little bit of alone time with my mom... again, a rarity for this oldest of 5 child. I caught my parents both looking at me differently several times during the visit. I can't imagine what it is like to see your own "baby girl" growing her own baby girl.

My friend's wedding the next day was simple, precious, and beautiful! The ceremony gave everyone present a lovely glimpse into the couple's heart and lives. It wa a beautiful Christ-centered ceremony. The weather could not have been better for the outdoor fall themed reception. It was great to see several of my former Vandy co-workers! We all had a great time catching up at the reception!

Then it was back on the road for me! I headed back to Knoxville after the reception, and made it home that evening... dead exhausted! I changed clothes and collapsed on our oversized beanbag until Jared and my brother Daniel got home from the UT-LSU game. I am pretty sure Jared's sister Brenna, and one of our college students, Whitney, came over for a rematch with Daniel and Jared in Spades... but the rest of the evening is really a blur, as I slept my way the night until Jared practically dragged me up to bed after midnight.

More to come later... lots more going on... and GROWING done! However this post is alreayd too long, and many of you are probably already asleep/bored out of your mind!:)

Friday, October 14, 2011

24 weeks!

Pregnancy Facts and Figures:

Size of baby: Elliott Faith is the size of a an ear of corn, is ~12" long, weighing in at just over a pound.

Total Weight Gain: ~10 lbs. My heart still speeds up a little every Monday morning when I step on the scale... then I remember I am "weighing for two.":)

Clothes: Still a combo of regular and maternity. I am wearing maternity more and more. I thought my maternity wardrobe was set... it definitely isn't ready for "dress up" events or cold weather.

Gender: It's a girl! Elliott Faith Ross. We will probably start out calling her either Ellie or Elle

Movement: She has settled down a little bit this week. Still moves a ton when I stop moving, or lay down. I think she went through another growth spurt, and might be a bit more cramped. :)

Sleep: Surprisingly, sleeping much better this week - way more comfortable!

Cravings: HONEY CRISP APPLES! Can NOT get enough of these yummy things!!!

Symptoms: Still recovering from being sick last week. Just really really tired all.the.time!

Highlight: Going to the Biltmore with my two babies - the one I married and the one growing inside me:) The last time we were there, I had just found out we were yet again not pregnant, and cried part of the trip up there. Its amazing what God can do in such a short period of time!

Lowlight: I am still very frustrated with not working out consistently - ugh! I did three work outs, and I am AMAZED how much muscle tone I have lost. Sad days!

Fun Fact: Heading back home for the night tonight for a friend's wedding. My family hasn't seen me since early September... a LOT has changed on the belly front since then!:)

Friday, October 7, 2011

23 weeks!

Pregnancy Facts and Figures:

Size of baby: Elliott Faith is the size of a mango, is ~12" long, weighing in at just over a pound.

Total Weight Gain: ~9 lbs. My heart still speeds up a little every Monday morning when I step on the scale... then I remember I am "weighing for two.":)

Clothes: Still a combo of regular and maternity. I am wearing maternity more and more. The Fit and Flare jeans are rapidly becoming a favorite article of clothing.

Gender: It's a girl! Elliott Faith Ross. We will probably start out calling her either Ellie or Elle

Movement: This week Ellie has decided Mommy should not, at any time, have more then 1/4 cup of urine in her bladder. She will kick, kick, KICK directly on my bladder... until I empty said bladder, and she immediately quiets down. Her kicks are becoming quite a bit stronger, and down right painful at times! She kicked so hard in church this week, I about jumped out of the pew! She also has started getting hiccups! My belly jumps like crazy when this happens. Tried to record it for my mom last night, but of course, as soon as I started, her hiccups went away.

Sleep: Ugh... I sleep like a log until 4-6 am, then I start tossing and turning, and can not get comfortable. I keep adding more and more pillows! :)  I am haivng some crazy early morning dreams! They wake me up around 5-6 o'clock, which leaves me just dozing until my alarm rudely makes me get up.

Cravings: Pretty quiet on the cravings front

Symptoms: Reflux and exhaustion. Pain from PT is better this week, but still there.

Highlight: Meeting my new medical OB-GYN physician and midwife team! As stressful as it was having to switch again for the third time this pregnancy, I am so thankful we did. God definitely lead us to the perfect practice for us!

Lowlight: not enough time in the day to get as much sleep, house cleaning, errand running, exercising, socializing, college ministry working, oh yeah... and I need to get accomplished! Also, I have been sick the last two days. Being sick is no fun... being pregnant has its no-fun parts... being sick and pregnant adds a whole new dimension to both experiences. It is down right rough!

Fun Fact: We "took" Ellie to her first UT football game, and the VOLs won! Sitting in the bleacher for 4+ hours is definitely different pregnant, but wasn't too bad over all. Ellie loves music. Anytime she is aware of beat, she immediately starts going crazy inside me. However, she didn't move at all during any of the many renditions of Rock Top. She did however, greatly enjoy the Disney themed half-time show. I say its because she is like her mama, and just doesn't "get" the big deal about all things orange and/or Rocky Top. Her daddy says she just respects "the Rocky Top" so much she stills to listen intently. We shall see how is right...

Daddy waiting to feel a celebratory kick... that never came.

First time in Neyland Stadium

Belly Collage (taken today)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

These are a Few of My Favorite (Pregnancy) Things

I have said it before - I must spread some sort of baby making dust. Everyone around us had baby (or two) while we were trying, got pregnant around the time we did, or recently discovered they were pregnant!! So many babies!!!

As a currently pregnant person and a nurse, I get asked a lot of questions about what I think about certain aspects of pregnancy, as well as what did and did not work for us, so far... Here are some of my top recommendations.

Food: (especially during those first 16 weeks) if it sounds good, eat it. If it doesn't, don't. If nothing sounds good, choose foods based on how you will feel with it coming back up. I mean spaghetti with meatballs and applesauce do not return in the same manner.:) Try to make whatever you do eat count. Not empty calories, processed foods, or foods high in processed sugar. Stick with fruits, whole grains, and simple proteins. Keep unhealthy snacks out of the house. This is especially important mid way through your 2nd trimester, until the finish line. You are hungry constantly. Unhealthy foods are usually faster, more convenient, a more appealing (especially late at night). Trust me, you will thank me for this the next time you step on the scale at your doctor's office and see that the scale has only gone up 4-6 lbs over the last month, as opposed to 10-15 lbs.

Medications and Vitamins: Follow your doctors recommendations - they really have you and your baby's best interest in mind.

I faithfully took my prenatals, omega 3 (not fish based), and cal-mag horse pills for the entire first trimester, even though they made incredibly ill. I took them at night, with yogurt, right before going to bed, in hopes that I would sleep through most of the nausea. As the pregnancy went on, even this did not work. So I divided up the vitamins over the day, making sure I took the prenatals once I was home for the evening. Eventually it got to the point that they all made me throw up immediately after taking any of them. Once I was fairly confident most the most important cell work foundation had been laid for Ellie, coupled with the fact that I had been taking these supplements for the 2 years prior to conceiving, I quit taking them. I figured it was better for me to be getting calories, which included many components of supplements, and not throwing them up. Again, this is when/why healthy eating is very important. Once my nausea and vomitting began to improve, I have slowly been adding the supplements back into my daily routine.

One of the very common, and often over looked, causes of nausea, especially early on in pregnancy, is constipation. All the progesterone, and soon to be arriving relaxin, slow those bowel right on down to a near complete hault. I was fortunate, and only experienced this for about a week. Phillips Milk of Magnesia is the perfect solution for this. It is completely safe for you and your baby (according to all my docs!), isn't habit forming, and doesn't cause intestinal cramping. Get the strawberry flavored - it isn't exactly appettizing, but it is the best tasting one in my opinion.

I started getting horrible reflux/heart burn in the 12 week, again thanks that lovely relaxin. And it doesn't/didn't matter what I ate. Tums Smoothies are a lifesaver!!! No other Tums will do the job better. They are the only ones that don't make me gag.

Books and Reading: Here is a list of my favorite reads, so far.
What to Expect When You're Expecting
A Child is Born
Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy (including the journal)
The Baby Whisperer
Happiest Baby on the Block (the DVD is great for dads!)
Moms on call website. I recently learned about these women on twitter, and they are brilliant! I have already signed up for their newsletters, liked their facebook page, followed them on twitter, and am reading all their stuff. I will start watching their seminars once Ellie's arrival gets a little closer. These women are both moms and pediatric nurses/LPN's - lots of experience between them! They are an incredible resource for seasoned moms as well as new moms. We will definitely be using their schedule for Ellie Faith!!! I love that their schedule is so structured, yet trains your child for flexibilty. Do yourself a favor, and follow them! Your future sanity will thank you (and me!):)

Social media, apps, and websites
One of the best things I did for us when we found out we were expecting was to sign us both up for several emails updates from reputable resources. We get daily-weekly updates on Ellie's development, my pregnancy progression, pregnancy considerations, and advice for daddies. Especially early on, Jared had trouble keep up with this new journey we were on. I could tell him stuff all day long, but it didn't compute. However, getting frequent emails that he could read himself, with illustrations, were constant reminders, and much better explanations then my HCG addled mind could come up with.:) Some even provide info you can share on your blog, facebook, or twitter to keep your friends and family up todate with your baby's development. Most have apps you can load, for FREE, on your cell phones. Our favorites are:
What to Expect
Baby Center
The Bump
You can set up accounts specific to you and your baby-daddy:)
I just recently came across this site, Bar Bellies thanks to Erin. I can't wait to start utilizing their great in-home work outs, designed for pregnant women! GENIUS!This girl needs to really start getting consistent with her exercises!

Clothes and Comfort:
I am still figuring this category out, but here is what I know so far.

  • The rubber band trick in your jeans/pants is a lifesaver (I am still using it with my pre-preggo jeans!)

  • I also LOVE my Bella Bands! They are great for hiding the rubber band trick, and for hiding the zipper slippage that tends to happend with the rubber band trick. Also, it provides a great layered look, if you wear them right, which I think helps provide a slimming effect.:)
  •  Shirts - good luck!:) I have found Old Navy and Target to be the best for basic long sleeve shirts. The ones with the ruching at the sides are my favorites. Regular shirts no longer cover my belly appropriately, and maternity shirts with the ties swallow me! Ruching provides a happy medium. As for jeans, Old Navy Skinny jeans and/or jeggies are great, along with Motherhood Maternity's Fit and Flare and Gap Maternity 1969s (they are pricey, but I got mine on major sale!)
  •  lounge clothes/pajamas : I haven't purchased any maternity options of either of these. My regulars still fit just fine and comfortably.
  • Final clothing thoughts: Jeggings and cardigans are a pregnant girls BEST friends! I think they will be great post partum too!
  • Body pillow: these are a must! Esepcially once you hit 16-18 weeks and can't/aren't supposed to lay on your back anymore. Also a big pillow between your legs will help support your hips and back, as you hips begin spread like the freaking parting of the Red Sea.

Hope this helps! What are some of your "Pregnancy Favorites?"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Rants of a Pediatric Nurse

I totally realize that I am just in the very beginning stages of parenthood. Long before we ever conceived Ellie Faith... long before I  thought of being pregnant... even before I ever thought of getting married... I have cared for 100's, if not 1,000's of pediatric patients. I have learned so many valuable lessons from many of the parents of those little patients of mine. I have also learned many lessons of how I don't want to parent.

It will forever amaze me that one of life's most precious and valuable gifts, children, can be obtained by just about anyone, as long as their reproductive systems are all functioning semi-normally. No tests, no pre-requisites, no requirements. Just the universal language that all humans at some point seem to understand, and often abuse - the act of procreation. Plain ol' s.e.x.

I have taken care of patients born to parents where one spoke english, and one spoke another language... neither spoke the language of the other... this has happened on several occasions. Another situation was a precious family (and I mean that in all sincerity) from Africa, where each parent spoke their own tribal dialect, but their "common language" was supposedly english... however, we could only understand one out of every, oh ten words, they would say. HA!:)

I have taken care of several children whose parents had I.Q's that were documented at retardation levels, yet they loved and cared for the children to the absolute best of their ability.

Children are incredibly resilient! It amazes me daily the inner strength I see them portray despite the obstacles life has thrown their way. They haven't asked for it, they don't deserve it, yet they fight, survive, and often times overcome their life's hardships. Just the other day, we had a highschool senior in our office who had been raised in and out of the foster care system her entire life. Her future career goal is to be a nuclear physicist. Her 4.1 GPA and amazing ACT score indicate she is well on her way. Seeing kids in the midst of their struggles makes me want to go all "Abilene" on them with hugs, followed by the words, "you is kind, you is smart, and you is important."

I tell all my employees to be their absolute best for our patients and their families, because we might be the best example that pediatric patients encounters that day, week, or even month.

Moving on to the rant...

I will never understand parents who appear to have no idea what goes on in their children's every day lives - aspects of their nutrition, what medications they are on, how to spell their child's name, etc...

Names. I have ranted on this a bit before. I have some new names and rules to add.
- Shithead, while a very popular muslim name, will not be pronounced "Shat-heed" here in America, especially when your child is clearly not of muslim descent! It will get pronounced phonetically, and I just think that has to set your child up for near failure in life.
- Diarrhea is a condition very few people on the planet enjoy - a name for your child. Few of us will realize  this word, when used as a name, is supposed to be pronounced Dee-ar-e-ah. Again, I can only imagine the injustice this child will experience on the school play ground!
- When you call to make your child's first appointment with their pediatrician, and after your third attempt at spelling your 3 day old's name and have to yell,"Hey Mama, how we decide to spell junior's name again?" this should your last and final sign you have no business attempting to be creative in naming your offspring. I would even recommend considering never procreating again.

How can parents not know what medications they give their children daily? Now, I realize medications are not the easiest names to remember, and switching back and forth from generic to non-generic, based on your insurance's whim of the month, can make remembering exact names difficult. But come on - put some sort of effort into it. I can not tell you how many times we have patients come in for "medication rechecks," primarily for renewal of their ADHD medications, and when asked what medication is being taken, the parent or patient (many of whom are in highschool) have what medication they are being "rechecked" for.  Depending on my mood, how many of these "uh, I don't know, isn't it in the chart" responses I have gotten that day, and how late in the day these responses occur, I might be known to go "Momma" on these unsuspecting individuals. A lecture on the importance of knowing the exact medications you are on, ways to keep track of said meds, and what could happen if incorrect information is given (always in worst case scenario mode) might ensue.

Along the lines of medications, allergies are another piece of info I will never comprehend not remembering. This especially could have life or death consequences! More often then not when I ask "is your child allergic to any medications?" The responses I get are:
- "its in the chart, I don't remember."
- "uh... that white one."
- "whats the pink one called?"
- "Sulphur." This one I can kinda get - most people have not heard of the drug class sulphonamide, which is often shortend in converstation to "Sulpha". But really - would we really give straight up sulphur to anyone, especially a kid?:) This is also kinda like when parents tell us their kids "stats" were in the 80's when they took them to the ER for difficulty of breathing. Now statiscially speaking, stats in the 80's means your kids is doing great - well above average. However, sats, referring the amount of hemoglobin saturated with oxygen, in the 80's in another whole story. This is is a blue lipped, gasping breath, mottled story - not good.

Enough on medications. Now onto nutrition, combined with the inability to answer basic questions. After 4 months of age, if a child is bottle fed, we ask parents how many ounces a day  they feed their child. The answer 75% of the time: 4 oz. Again, my response to this depends on the moment. Sometimes I sweetly say, "Oh you mean you feed your child 4 oz a bottle. How many bottles a day does your child eat?" To which they usually say, "Uh, gosh I don't know... let me think." followed by 30-45 seconds of complete "silent thinking."  However, if I have gotten this answer too many times that day, it can go like this (with a smile of course!)
Me: you feed your child 4 ounces a day?
Parent: yes
Me: so in 24 hours you only make 4 total ounces for your child to eat?
Parent: oh, no. They usually eat 4 oz a bottle.
Me: oh ok, so many times a day do you feed them this 4 oz bottle?
Parent: about every 4 hours
Me: ok so they eat about 6 bottles a day, for a total of 24 oz a day?
Parent: oh no, only about 3-4. They usually sleep through the night.
UUGGHHH! These are also the parents who started feeding their two month old fruits, veggies, and meats three times a day!

Other examples of inability to answer simple questions:
Me: Any known family history of heart disease or high cholesterol in anyone under the age of 55?
Parent: Yes
Me: Yes to both heart disease and high cholesterol?
Parent: No, just cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis in my great grandparents.
Me: ok, did the high cholesterol start before they were 55?
Parents: Oh no, they were really old... I think.

Me: do you use city, spring, well or bottled water?
Parent: we have well water.
Me: do you drink the well water?
Parent: no, we drink bottle water.

And finally, if you decide the best thing for your family is to not follow AAP guidelines (and I give every parent this right to choose for themselves what is right for their family!) do the research and educate yourself accordingly.For example,  don't come into the office saying you are not going to follow the vaccine schedule, still want to get vaccines, just slower schedule, but not have a plan for what that schedule is. If you feel educated and well informed enough to make this decision (and again, this is every parent's right!) you need to take that next step in formulating your plan. Trust me - this will elevate you in the eyes of your physician, and most likely make them way more willing to help support you in your decision. If your physician isn't willing to discuss options or alternate plans with you, that is very good sign you are not with the right medical provider for your family.

Ok, so there is one more thing I would like to say, then I really am done... promise!:) I know there is a lot of controversy regarding vaccines these days. There some wonderful resources out there on the CDC's website as well as The Pink Book. As parents, it is your responsibilty to educate yourself appropriately and not just take your doctor's, or the latest vocal celebrity's, opinion on the subject. I have my own very definite views on immunizations, but I am not going to voice them here - they are our personal feelings for our family. I will say this though. Common childhood diseases, mainly pertussis (whooping cough) and measles are back on the rise. And while not extremely detrimental to a large portion of the population, they are highly dangerous to the younger population. The majority of us adults have already received most of the vaccines out there, and have not suffered any major side effects. As adults, it is our responsibility to protect the younger generations. So talk to your doctor about getting your Tdap booster shot and/or having your titers drawn (simple blood work) to make sure you are still immune. Most OB-GYN's now routinely test a pregnant women's MMR titers, and administer a Tdap immunization prior to discharging her home after delivering her baby. So, if you are nervous about immunizing your child, and still feel you need to do more research before committing one way or another, consider immunizing yourself, with immunization you have already received, to provide your chilld with a little extra protection.

Rant officially over... if any of you waited around long enough to finish reading!:)