Sunday, February 27, 2011
Still, those two groups aside, it is Christians where the puzzlement ultimately lies, as it circumcision is expressly spoken against in the New Testament and the Bible couldn't be more clear:
"Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you be circumcised, Christ will be of no advantage to you." – Gal 5:2
"And even those who advocate circumcision don’t really keep the whole law. They only want you to be circumcised so they can brag about it and claim you as their disciples." – Gal 6:13
"For there are many who rebel against right teaching; they engage in useless talk and deceive people. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. They must be silenced. By their wrong teaching, they have already turned whole families away from the truth. Such teachers only want your money" – Titus 1:10-11
"Watch out for those wicked men – dangerous dogs, I call them – who say you must be circumcised. Beware of the evil doers. Beware of the mutilation. For it isn’t the cutting of our bodies that makes us children of God; it is worshiping him with our spirits." – Phil 3:2-3
"And I testify again to every male who receives circumcision, that he is in debt to keep the whole Law. You who do so have been severed from Christ...you have fallen from grace." - Gal 5:3
"As God has called each man, in this manner let him walk. And thus I command in all the churches. Was any man called in the circumcision [Old Covenant]? Let him not try to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in the uncircumcision [New Covenant in Christ]? Let him not be circumcised! Circumcision is nothing. And uncircumcision is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let each man remain in that condition in which he was called." - 1 Cor. 7:17
"And some men came and were teaching the brethren, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.' But Paul and Barnabas together had great dissension and disputing with these men. . . Then Peter stood up and said to them 'Why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?" - Acts 15:1-2, 7, 10
"But if I still proclaim circumcision. . . then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished." - Gal 5:11
"I wish that those who are pushing you to do so would mutilate themselves!" - Gal 5:12
Just food for thought. According to the New Testament, you are not a Christian if you are circumcised unless you become 'uncircumcised'. It's not cleaner. It doesn't prevent HIV. It does cut down on UTIs... for 12 months in a population that suffers few to no UTIs (little girls get FAR more). No baby is born with a full grown man penis, so he'll never look like his father (especially since he has mom's dad's genes in there, too) and men don't actually compare penises that much anyway. A little boy is going to care more about the hair than if the tip is pointy or round. It's not even the majority--80% of the world is intact. And finally, just because he doesn't consciously remember it, doesn't mean he doesn't remember at all.
Finally, I know this is a sensitive topic. I am not criticizing anyone's choices, I am simply providing a short bit of information that, on top of my belief that everyone should have a say in their own body regarding cosmetic surgery as well as the fact that the adult penis is easier and safer to alter (and the men get better drugs to kill the pain after, while infants in the first 7 days have less natural pain relief). I have no issue with circumcisions, mine is an issue of consent. I don't agree with infant ear piercing, either.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
First, we have menses. That's your period. It lasts 2-5 days in the average woman and your cycle starts on the first day that you bleed--not the first day that you spot. That's Cycle Day 1 or CD1.
On CD 1, your temperature will be a little above its lowest and cervical fluid (also known as cervical mucus or CM, but fluid sounds better, doesn't it?) will be obviously hard to determine. Your cervix will be hard, like the tip of a nose, high up in your body and closed.
The next phase of your cycle is called the follicular phase. That's when your follicles are maturing and growing eggs to be released in the next phase. You grow 5-7 eggs and release FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) that causes the follicles to mature your eggs. They start producing estrogen that, when it peaks, stimulates the release of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) that is detectable by ovulation predictor kits (OPKs). The reason that they require a dark line to be positive is because when the LH peaks, that's when you release your egg(s). The LH surge (the highest concentration of LH) occurs 12-24 hours prior to ovulation but LH begins to rise about 36 hours before ovulation. Your temperature may go up and down a little, but it will stay in the same vicinity during these two weeks (approx).
Next is ovulation. In a woman with a textbook cycle, this happens on CD 14. This happens when the biggest, most mature egg is released at the peak of your FSH release. Sometimes two or even three mature enough to release. This is what causes fraternal multiples. The rest of the follicles and developing eggs die around CD7 or so.
Just before and during ovulation, your fluid will become watery or like the consistency of egg whites. That's fertile fluid and yes, the most fertile is called EWCM (egg white cervical mucus). It gives sperm the ideal environment to reach the egg (and facilitates sex). Your cervix moves down and opens, becoming soft, like lips. Your temperature may plummet or it may not move at all.
Sperm can live up to five days in a woman's body, so if you have unprotected sex as close as that, you have a chance at having a baby--and probably a girl. It's not very likely, though--sperm rarely lives more than three days and it depends on how 'hospitable' your body is to it.
The final phase is called the luteal phase. The corpus luteum is the dominant follicle, that is transformed by LH and starts producing progesterone. The day after you ovulate, your temperature jumps. In the space of three days, it can rise as much as a whole degree.
Now, all of this temperature stuff can only be monitored first thing in the morning. Basically, you set an alarm that lets you have had at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep (mine's set for 9:30am, but I woke up every day for the last two weeks at 8-something and temped--it's important to temp when you first wake up, before you do anything else, to be the most accurate) and take your temp. Write it down or memorize it (or use a thermometer that remembers) and go back to sleep or get up for the day.
The luteal phase ideally lasts 14 days (the 'two week wait' is what it's referred to by women waiting to see if they are pregnant for any reason). Few things are ideal, however, and it can last 12-16 days and be perfectly healthy. 10 days is considered the minimum length of a LP to last and still be able to become pregnant. Now, it ends on the day your period starts, so that's why it's important to last long enough for a baby to implant. I had a 7 day LP and still managed to get pregnant, but I lost the baby. A LP that short is defective. My first baby was conceived with a 10 day LP (approx, as I wasn't temping).
The luteal phase is largely the reason for variations in cycle. If you ovulate on CD 16, you might have a 30 day cycle. If you ovulate on CD 12, you might have a 26 day cycle, so on and so forth.
The cervix closes and rises back up into the body at this point. It becomes firm again and fluid can vary from this point and doesn't matter much. You can start producing 'fertile' looking fluid as your menses approaches or when you become pregnant.
If you are not pregnant, the corpus luteum dies, your temperature drops and within a day or so, you begin menses.
If you are pregnant, your temperature stays up (but can fall after a couple weeks, so it's important to stop temping so you don't become frightened if it drops--it becomes useless after you're already confirmed pregnant).
You can read more about the phases of your cycle here if you like or in the book Taking Charge Of Your Fertility, which is the highest rated book for learning about how your fertility works. I prefer Fertility Friend myself, as it's basically the Cliff's Notes version, but I haven't read TCOYF to say for sure. You can sign up for an account to track your cycle at Fertility Friend, too!
If you want to chart your temperatures, it's important to use a BBT thermometer (I do not recommend Walgreens Brand--while I have successfully used it to chart for the last two months, it is horribly inaccurate in that it seems to have preset temperatures that it is unable to vary from.. my old one from Wal-Mart was slow and the kids lost it, but it worked much better... most drug stores carry them) as it measures to the hundredth of a degree and not just a tenth. Speaking from experience, yes, this matters.
An interesting thing about pregnancy tests and ovulation predictor kits (or ovulation tests) is that the hormones they detect are similar. You can use an OPK to detect pregnancy! The POAS lady describes it this way: Think of them as identical twins, where hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin--or pregnancy hormone) is wearing a hat. Now, an OPK can only look at the face of the twins, while the HPT (home pregnancy test) looks for a hat.
So, an HPT cannot see LH (what the OPK looks for) and can only see hCG, while the OPK detects both. Since hCG is only present in detectable levels during pregnancy, a line is a line on the test, no matter how faint, as long as it shows up in the test time. Anything after 10 minutes is an evaporation line (which can still show the pregnancy line, but if it wasn't there a minute before, it's not a positive test). With LH, it's a surge that triggers ovulation, so only a nice, dark, clear line counts.
This is one of my own charts (when I got pregnant with Naomi) to show you how temperature charting works (note the dip at CD7--that's an implantation dip; unconnected dots were artificially high temperatures from illness; the - test lines were confirming that my early loss pregnancy had passed):
So, I hope that you now have a better understanding of how your cycle (and your body) works!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Disclaimer: I do not believe that there is a "right" answer for every family. Feel free to use the following information how you like. This does not substitute for research, either, but is a sample of a lot of research put into one article. That said, this article is far from neutral and has a clear bias against routine vaccination.
The simplest arguments for & against that I have seen to date.
The incidence of many childhood diseases have declined due to the widespread use of vaccines.
The morbidity and mortality from childhood diseases had declined by up to 90% prior to the mass use of vaccines due to improved hygiene (eg. public sanitation, purified drinking water), reduced crowding and better nutrition. The decline in incidence continued at much the same rate after immunisation was introduced.
Diseases like bubonic plague and scarlet fever all but disappeared without any vaccination program at all.
Countries that do not vaccinate against whooping cough have a similar incidence of the disease when compared with countries with almost complete pertussis vaccination cover.
Diseases may have natural cycles.
Credit given to vaccinations for our current disease incidence has been grossly exaggerated
The diseases of the 19th century that had the highest fatality rates were smallpox, measles, TB, typhoid, diphtheria and influenza. The diseases for which vaccinations are given today can cause illness, injury or death in susceptible, less healthy infants and children.
The vast majority of the time, childhood infectious diseases are benign and self-limiting and give life-long immunity.
Some of the childhood diseases, if postponed until adulthood, can become much more serious illnesses.
Infectious diseases are seen only as disadvantageous to society and allopathic medicine has the goal of eradicating infectious diseases.
Infectious diseases play an important role in the maturation of the immune system of children, as described in The Hygiene Hypothesis. The immune system must be challenged and primed so that it can protect individuals against severe diseases such as auto-immune disease and cancer. Allopathy also tends to suppress natural healing processes such as fever. This tends to drive the disease-state deeper.
Vaccines provide artificial immunity to an infectious disease by introducing a small amount of the viral or bacterial antigen or toxin into the body. Specific antibodies or antitoxins are developed by the immune system to provide protection from that disease.
Vaccines via injection use an unnatural route of antigen presentation. The normal route of entry of antigens is via the mucous membranes of the GIT, respiratory and genitourinary systems where IgA initiates the natural immune response. The mucous membranes is where 80% of our immune system resides.
The effectiveness of vaccines, as assessed by allopathic medicine, centres around the production of antibodies, especially IgG. However, this represents only one part of our very complex immune system. For example, nasal antibody plays a significantly more important role than serum antibody in prevention of influenza.
Natural immunity cannot be completely replicated by artificial stimulation of antibodies.
Vaccines are effective in preventing contraction of the specific disease.
Vaccines offer only short-term protection. Natural immunity is achieved by contracting the disease and this immunity is lifelong.
In epidemic situations, both vaccinated children and unvaccinated children contract the disease. In some reported outbreaks of smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles and polio, significantly more vaccinated than non-vaccinated people contracted the diseases.
In South Australia in 1997 there were 1,094 cases of whooping cough – 89% were fully vaccinated.
The Hib vaccination used prior to 1993 in Australia was withdrawn as it was ineffective.
Mass vaccinations for diphtheria between 1932 – 1940 resulted in unprecedented diphtheria epidemics in fully vaccinated subjects.
Jonas Salk, the developer of the oral polio vaccine testified in the US Senate that nearly all cases of polio since 1961, apart from those contracted in Third World countries, were caused by the vaccine itself.
During vaccine trials, many children contracted the diseases against which they were vaccinated.
In 1979, Sweden ceased vaccination with whole-cell whooping cough due to its ineffectiveness (84% of children with pertussis had been fully vaccinated) and adverse events which far exceeded the disease itself.
Vaccinated individuals who still contract the disease have less severe cases.
A particularly virulent and severe form of measles, called atypical measles, has a considerable mortality rate (12-15%) and only affects vaccinated children.
Whooping cough has become a more mild disease in countries that do not vaccinate eg. Sweden, West Germany, Italy.
In comparison to the risks of the infectious illnesses, it is commonly believed that vaccines are relatively harmless and pose very little risk. Adverse reactions are extremely rare, with the benefits outweighing the risks.
Only the risks to society are considered, not the risks to individuals. It is assumed that all individuals will react the same to a vaccine, regardless of race, culture, diet etc. A full medical assessment is not undertaken before vaccines are administered.
Bias in the data collection
There is almost certain under-reporting of adverse reactions to vaccines. In America, the FDA has estimated that only about 10% of adverse reactions are reported. Prior to 1990, doctors in America were not required to report adverse events.
Reporting of adverse events are subject to the biases and beliefs of individual doctors. There is immense pressure on doctors to be pro-vaccination with a tendency to downplay the risks of vaccinations and deny connections of adverse reactions to vaccines.
In Australia, there are two systems for reporting adverse events, run by the Commonwealth Health Department. The data collected is not integrated or coordinated. Reporting relies on voluntary notification by parents and doctors. This is not an active system and cannot truly give an accurate representation of the risks of vaccinations.
The solvents, containing potentially toxic chemicals, are often used as “placebo” in vaccine trials. Consequently, there will be less likelihood of a significant difference in adverse events between the active and placebo groups.
Reactions that occur more than 72 hours post-vaccination are generally not included in the adverse reactions statistics. They are merely considered coincidental rather than a causal relationship.
Symptoms such as irritability, excessive drowsiness, fever and screaming in pain may in an adult be described as encephalitis or encephalopathy, but the same set of symptoms in a baby, who is unable to speak, tends to be dismissed and remain unreported.
Many adverse events are ignored or diagnosed as other diseases (eg. SIDS)
The long-term effects of vaccines are not known.
No double-blind placebo controlled studies have been done on vaccinations in babies.
No studies have been conducted on vaccines for carcinogenic or mutagenic effects or effects on fertility.
There has been little or no research on the adverse effects of combined vaccinations versus single vaccines.
Components of Vaccines
The main antigenic component can be live, attenuated or killed, yet even killed micro-organisms contain foreign DNA and RNA which can incorporate itself into the host’s cells. The risk of this recombination of genetic material increases with the number of vaccinations administered. This constant source of antigenic material may over-stimulate and provoke the immune system, weakening it over time. Production of anti-DNA antibodies may result in autoimmune disease. The vaccine does not eradicate the disease, but provides a chronic source of infestation, driving the disease deeper.
Many vaccinations contain (or did contain) potentially toxic chemicals such as:
Aluminium hydroxide & aluminium phosphate are known carcinogens. Aluminium is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and seizures.
Formaldehyde (Schedule 6 Poison) – a known carcinogen. According to toxicologists there is no safe level of formaldehyde when injected into the body.
Phenol (carbolic acid) – corrosive & toxic substance that affects the CNS and can cause liver and kidney damage.
There is a risk of contamination of vaccines that are derived from animal cell cultures.
Polio vaccines obtained from monkey kidneys have been contaminated with Simian Virus 40 (SV40), Simian Immuno-deficiency Virus (SIV) and bovine retrovirus. These are AIDS-related viruses and were widely used by the WHO in eradication programs in Africa. Immune incompetence or immuno-suppression has also developed in babies receiving these vaccines. The chimpanzee coryza virus causes persistent upper and lower respiratory tract diseases in babies.
Vaccines from chicken embryos (eg. MMR) have been contaminated with avian leukosis virus (ALV).
Treatment with formaldehyde does not kill all of the micro-organisms.
Vaccinations can lead to a non-infectious inflammatory reaction involving the nervous system.
Many researches believe that the massive increase in incidence of allergic disease, asthma, behavioural and learning disorders, and autoimmune disease can be directly linked to widespread immunisation programs.
1995 JAMA (Journal of American Medical association) paper stated causal links with:
DT vaccine; oral polio vaccine Guillain-Barre syndrome
MMR; DT; Tetanus Anaphylaxis
Measles (MMR) Thrombocytopenia
- Polio oral vaccine Polio
- Possible link between MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism.
- Association of MMR with Crohn’s Disease.
- Febrile seizures following DTP or MMR vaccines
- Possible link of hepatitis B vaccine and DTP with SIDS
(There has been a virtual disappearance of SIDS and infantile convulsions in Japan since they increased the minimum age for vaccinations to two years).
The manufacturer of the MMR-II vaccine claims that women who receive this vaccine have a 23% risk of developing arthralgia and/or arthritis.
Provocation poliomyelitis is a well-known phenomenon which may follow any vaccine, but in particular, DPT, due to lowered resistance in the vaccinated individual. The majority of paralysis occurs in the inoculated limb.
Current vaccines are screened for viruses.
They can only screen for known pathogens. Pathogens currently unknown to science still have the potential for contaminating vaccines.
The scientific and medical community and Government can be trusted to always place health above all other concerns
Over the years there has been withdrawal of quite a few ‘approved’ vaccines or constituents used in them. This puts into doubt the trust in the medical establishment with regards to safety of vaccines. For example:
thimerosal has recently been removed in Australia.
live attenuated polio vaccine can cause paralysis and has been withdrawn. It has been replaced with an inactivated polio vaccine.
a vaccine against rotavirus (RotaShield) was withdrawn a year after its introduction due to numerous reports of obstructed and twisted bowel in infants, with two deaths, following vaccination. Pre-market trials had shown the increased risk of this condition, yet it still went on to the market.
In 1992 the MMR vaccine was withdrawn as it was unsal
The timing of exposure to the disease agent can be controlled as parents can choose to vaccinate at a time when their child is healthy. In contrast, virile disease tends to strike when the immune system is compromised.
- Babies and infants have immature nervous and immune systems, yet despite their vulnerability, are bombarded with a massive toxic load from multiple vaccines. The number of vaccines that are routinely used is ever-increasing. There are a projected 200 vaccines waiting to come on the medical market in the next decade. Many of these will be for infants and children.
- A two-month old baby is given the same dose as a five-year old. No other medications ignore the importance of dose.
- Severely ill, malnourished and immuno-compromised children tend to have more side effects and less benefit from vaccines. It is recommended that the vaccinations be delayed or avoided in these cases, especially in those with prior vaccination reactions.
As mothers are not contracting childhood diseases, natural immunity is decreasing with each successive generation. Consequently, passive immunity in babies is declining as fewer and fewer mothers are able to pass on antibodies via breast milk. This results in an increased risk of contracting childhood diseases.
The allopathic approach to vaccinations is to treat all children with a standardised protocol without due concern for the child’s current health status, medical history and likelihood of contracting the disease. For example, the Hep-B vaccines is given to all newborn babies even though the route of infection is via intravenous injection or unprotected sex.
There is a profound lack of knowledge of the complex nature of human health and disease and how vaccinations impact on human physiology, yet pharmaceutical companies have immense influence over medical institutions and Government alike.
However, as vaccines are unlikely to be phased out, it is important that there be further research into:
the use of non-toxic preservatives
administration of vaccines orally, intra-nasally or transdermally.
cultures being derived from synthetic sources
a better understanding of why a certain proportion of children who receive vaccines have serious side-effects.
An honest and truly scientific appraisal of adverse effects of vaccines, including the long-term consequences.
The choice made by parents on whether to vaccinate their children should be a personal decision based on informed consent. However, currently, only one side of the debate is presented to parents and there is enormous pressure, both emotional and financial, to fully vaccinate their children. There is also fear amongst scientists and doctors as they can be harassed and ostracised by their peers for questioning immunisation. The subject of immunisations is very emotive. Debate in society is very stifled with those choosing not to vaccinate being criticised and vilified, resulting in a divided society. To achieve the best health outcomes for our children what is required is a neutral forum where openness and honesty are the priority.
- Scheibner, V., Vaccination, Australian Print Group, Victoria, 1993
- Australian Vaccination Network, Vaccination Roulette, Australian Vaccination Network, NSW, 1998
- Ada, G., Isaacs, D., Vaccination – the Facts, the Fears, the Future, Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2000
- www.bcna.ca/articles/article-vaccinations.htm, BCNA, 2003
- http://babiestoday.com/resources/articles/vaccines.htm, Dr E. Rosick, 2004
I edited this to remove thmerisol from the list of toxic ingredients, though it's a myth that it's been totally removed from vaccines. The flu vaccine, for instance, still typically contains this form of mercury, though there are a few, most notably the live virus vaccine, that do not. Also, small amounts remain in most of the remaining vaccines to date, though they're no longer considered a cause for concern, though none is allowed in animal vaccinations, indicating that dogs are more important than children.
Friday, February 4, 2011
"My ten month old has been waking frequently at night. I'm exhausted. Help! What can I do? Is this normal?"
Basically every DDC or DDG (due date club/group) gets this question. The responses are usually flooded with confused mothers agreeing that they are going through the same thing. It also seems to be forgotten, as it's not only first time moms who ask this. Probably due to that sleep deprivation. Since pediatricians only talk about physical growth spurts, this one is almost never mentioned to moms to warn them that it's going to happen, and that really sucks.
Because it's going to happen.
I've seen it mentioned only maybe once in an 'about your baby' type of publication. The ten month developmental growth spurt. At this time in baby's life she has just started walking or talking or is making the first attempts to do so. She's typically teething and noticing the world around her even more, as well. Some babies develop separation anxiety at this age that can also contribute.
Now "ten month" is the average age, however, it can happen as early as eight months or as late as fourteen to sixteen months, depending on the child. It lasts anywhere from a week to a few months--again, depending on the child.
It's normal and it does pass. Parents who used some sort of sleep training method almost universally notice it is a complete failure during this time period. It remains ineffective for weeks to months, except in some babies, who may already have medical or psychological issues.
Parents who cosleep report getting crawled on, kicked a lot, rolled over on and just a general increase in sleep activity. Often, a wide-awake baby greets them with the desire to play and or nurse at four in the morning.
Parents who do not cosleep report babies who start escaping their crib, get limbs entrapped in their sleep, cry more often, need to nurse more frequently or simply sit up and start playing at random intervals at night.
Temperament tends to dictate baby's response to this time period--fussy babies fuss, laid back babies entertain themselves, clingy babies cling, etc. All in all, it leads to the same result: tired parents!
Responsive parents seem to have the best luck with babies with shorter times in this phase, but certainly not always. Some previously laid back babies become high needs.
"...even though babies achieve this sleep maturity some time during the last half of the first year, many still wake up. The reason? Painful stimuli, such as colds and teething pain, become more frequent. Major developmental milestones, such as sitting, crawling, and walking, drive babies to "practice" their new developmental skills in their sleep. Then between one and two years of age, when baby begins to sleep through the above-mentioned wake-up stimuli, other causes of night waking occur, such as separation anxiety and nightmares. " 1
Feed the baby (hunger at night continues well into the second and even third year for most children), make sure they're safe and comfortable and try to sleep through the crazies as much as you can. Some babies will let you sleep while they play until they're ready to sleep again (my first was like that--her growth spurt lasted about a month or a month and a half) and some will be super demanding (my second, whose phase lasted about two weeks and I was about to start crying with her by the end of it) and everything in between. The only constant is that "training" is totally ineffective during this time (not that it ever achieves the desired goal of a content, sleeping baby, regardless of appearances) and is basically just torture to everyone involved.
Try to prepare with your significant other for this time period if you can and try not to plan to start any taxing activities that could be really messed up by lack of sleep if at all possible. And just remember--like any other growth spurt, it will pass!