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Ever hear of a Lotus Birth? Don’t eat while you read this blog post!

photo of newborn with intact umbilicus, one ho...

photo of newborn with intact umbilicus, one hour postpartm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

* Edit – these thoughts are just why I PERSONALLY wouldn’t choose to do this. I can only write what I know, and what I feel. If anyone has any information on the benefits to a Lotus Birth, and a link as to why it should be considered, feel free to leave it in the comments section and I will gladly edit my post to include it and have both perspectives.

Have you ever heard of a Lotus birth? This rather new parenting trend was recently brought to my attention, and my first instinct was to barf all over my keyboard as I read about it.

Before I start with MY TAKE on just how messed up I think a Lotus Birth is, let me fill you in on what it’s all about.  

After a baby is born, the conventional medical thing to do is to clamp and cut the umbilical cord right after birth. Some people do a delayed cord cutting (an hour or two tops) as they wait for the cord to stop pulsing which allows the last of the cord blood to enter the baby’s blood stream. I can completely get behind that concept, and think there are great benefits to the practice of delayed cord cutting.

HOWEVER, with a Lotus birth, you don’t cut the umbilical cord at all. You leave the cord attached to the baby AND to the placenta. You bathe your placenta in a salt bath (to apparently aid in reducing the STENCH, and you can also “scent” your placenta if you wish), place the placenta into a little cotton carrying bag – design of your choosing – and bring home baby, placenta and the attached umbilical cord as a package deal. Then, you wait for the umbilical cord to naturally fall away from the baby – a process which can take anywhere from 3-10 DAYS!

So let’s start with the benefits of a Lotus Birth. Apparently babies who remain attached to their placentas after birth are more content and relaxed as the placenta is comforting to them. They can be less affected by jaundice, lose less weight, and apparently continue to get nutrients from the placenta while it dries up. (** I’ve also since been told that it is often a spiritual/cultural thing, where people believe the spirit/chi/soul of the baby is in the placenta and that if you leave all attached, the soul will be able to fully enter the baby’s body without being severed. I wasn’t aware of this, and think that is actually a pretty cool concept! Also, in these cultures the mother often goes nowhere for 40 days, and has mothers/aunts etc. help take care of her.She is simply expected to rest. Still not for me, but at least now I have been enlightened as to why it is done). All ok points, but for me the negatives outweigh the postives.

Here’s my take on this:

1) I get it. The placenta is the new “in thing” for birthing mama’s. First there were placenta pills, then placenta jewelry (yes, that’s a real thing – not on my Christmas list!), and now you get to spend a crap ton of money on a cotton bag to carry around a rotting flesh organ for up to 10 days. That’s right, days. I just don’t think I’ll ever relate to the placenta loving Mama’s. Just not my thing. These bags aren’t cheap either! Here’s one I found here on etsy, and it costs $95.55! http://www.etsy.com/shop/LotusBorn

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2) If this becomes mainstream, you can be sure that some hippie granola celebrity Mom is going to have a custom designed Balenciaga placenta bag. Or Louis Vuitton. Or Prada. Prada Placenta bags. Oh the possibilities (and increased profit margins) are endless.

3) Wait a minute. If you have all of these design choices for placenta bags, and people are charging $100 bucks for a cotton sack, doesn’t the whole thing become “designer” and “mainstream”? Would that not be exactly what an au natural granola Mom would be against?

4) If you delay cutting the umbilical cord until the pulse stops, you’re not looking at more than one day (let alone a few hours). With this process, it can be 3-10 days. Could you imagine?!? “Awww can I hold the baby? She’s so adorable!” Ahhh sure you can, but you also have to drape the cord over your arm and hold this bag of decaying flesh as well. Oh don’t mind the smell, I’ll just spritz it. BARF!

5) Heaven forbid you have to go to the grocery store. How do you manage the baby, a shopping cart, and a placenta bag? It’s hard enough with just the baby! Oh, and what about the poor people who work at the store and have to check all outside bags for shoplifting? “Excuse me Ma’am, you can’t carry your own shopping bags around the store. Please use the designated shopping cart only. Do you mind if I search your bag?”. That’s going to be a shocker!

6) You thought Baby-wearing was a trend! You obviously haven’t tried PLACENTA WEARING! If feeling so close to your baby feels that good, imagine what it feels like to feel that close to a piece of your very own insides! There’s no love like self-love, baby!

7) So it’s bath time. Yay! Where do you put the placenta? Make sure you don’t get it wet. The only thing worse than the smell of slowly decaying organ in a bag, is WET AND MILDEWY slowly decaying organ in a bag. BARF, BARF, BARF! Oh and make sure you manoeuver that bag carefully. You don’t want to accidentally kneel on it when you’re bathing dear baby. SQUISH – BARF!

8) Just how often do you have to give your placenta a salt bath? Because let’s face it, as a new Mom you barely have time to bathe yourself, let alone something that’s dying in an overpriced bag.

Uggh. I could go on and on and on about how much I really am not into this idea, but I have to stop before I get even more nauseated. I’m sure there are some who will completely disagree with me, and I’m sure there are some who will send me hate mail. That’s fine, we are all entitled to our opinions, this is simply mine. That’s the wonderful thing about giving birth. You have the choice to do it your way with whatever method you feel is best for you and your baby. But no matter what you say, I’m sure as hell going to stick to doing it my way!

21

What the “Jeopardy debate” says about the standards we hold our children to.

I may get flack for this blog post, but I really don’t care. It is my opinion, and I am sticking to it.

In case you haven’t heard, there is a debate going around the internet about how Jeopardy (Alex Trebek in particular) handled an incorrect answer given by a young 12 year old boy named Thomas Hurley during “Kids Week” on the show. He made it to final Jeopardy, misspelled the answer, and as a result lost what he had wagered, leaving him in second place. I feel it is of particular importance to note that whether they had given him credit or not, he still would not have overcome the winner to attain first place, so it’s not as if this debate could even change the results.

Here is a link to the article from the Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/12-year-old-boy-embarrassed-on-jeopardy-after-one-letter-typo/article13608916/

It comes down to a spelling error that cost him a correct answer. Even if he spelled it correctly, he still would have been in second place, with a total of $2000 awarded.

web-jeopardy

The internet is abuzz with people saying that they shouldn’t have let a mistake in spelling cost him his answer, since he obviously knew what the correct response was. People are chastising Alex Trebek, for saying “You misspelled it badly”, saying he was insensitive. People are saying they will never watch the show again, and that Trebek was too hard on him. The young boy himself is quoted as having said “It’s just upsetting to have lost that way. I don’t know why it would have counted as the wrong answer”.

Woah, woah, woah. Hold the phone.

He thinks that’s the reason he lost? Even if they counted it as correct, he wouldn’t have overcome the total of the winner, and would have still landed in second place. His lack of spelling skills is not the reason he is in second place. It is because he didn’t have enough correct answers throughout the entirety of the game to overcome the other player, no matter how much he decided to wager. The kids and teens who are on Jeopardy know how the game works, and are held to the same rules of the game as adult players are. Sadly for young Thomas, an adult who misspelled an answer would be held to the same result.

Secondly, the article is misleading. In its title, it calls the error a typo. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he wasn’t typing. He was writing. A typo occurs when you are typing and a finger mistakenly hits a key that is adjacent to the one you intended to push. It is a mistake in the writing/spelling process of printed material. He was writing by hand, so adding in an extra letter is not a typo. It is perhaps a lack of focus. It could even be put down to nerves. It isn’t, however a typo. In the end, it comes down to the fact that he spelled it wrong. If they allowed everyone who spelled answers incorrectly in final Jeopardy to be awarded for trying, where do you draw the line? If the answer were Bill Clinton, and I wrote Bil Cantin, and I claimed to have obviously meant Bill Clinton, it is unfair to the other contestants who have spelled it correctly.

Am I finished my rant? Hell no.

We are coddling our children in today’s society. Kids these days are growing up with computers, spell check, and grammar check. They don’t have to learn how to spell because a computer tells them how to do it. They are growing up without learning how to write cursive or sign their own name. Teenagers now have handwriting that resembles those in the 2nd grade. For shame.

A famous example of how handwriting skills have deteriorated. Written by Justin Bieber, who is 19 years old.

A famous example of how handwriting skills have deteriorated. Written by Justin Bieber, who is 19 years old. Had I just looked at the printing, and not known who wrote it, I would have assumed it was printed by a student in elementary school.

The thing is, we can’t blame just teachers for this. It falls on the parents, too. Parents who don’t hold their kids accountable for their poor grades. Parents who call up an employer after their child has a job interview to try and “help them secure the position”. Parents who call their children’s University professors to explain that “Sally was busy with basketball and didn’t get to study as much as she should. Could you please reconsider her grade of ‘C’ or give her another chance?”. We are not raising kids who learn to overcome failure and adversity. We are not raising kids who will be self-sufficient and able to take on the world on their own. We are raising kids who feel entitled.

unknauthor_problem-cartoon

We are raising little boys like poor Thomas Hurley, who is obviously an amazingly intelligent kid, but who feels slighted by “the man” because he doesn’t want to be held accountable for his own mistake. And that’s all it was – a mistake. Was it an unfortunate one? Of course it was! Did it severely change the course of the rest of his life. Of course it didn’t. He still got second place and ended up learning an important lesson. Double checking your work is important. His Mom and Dad won’t be able to secure everything for him for the rest of his life. It sucks. It’s embarrassing. It’s life.

Now do I feel that Trebek was slightly harsh by saying that it was badly misspelled? Of course I do. It wasn’t BADLY misspelled. It was one extra letter. It might have been more fitting to say “It’s regrettable that you didn’t double check your spelling. Unfortunately you did spell your answer incorrectly, therefore it cannot be counted as correct”.

Is all of this enough to make me stop watching Jeopardy? No. Life is hard, and the lessons we learn are hard.

Hopefully this boy will eventually look back on this event as simply that – a lesson learned.

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