Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Two years ago today I woke up with my eyes swelled shut. The inflammation in my face had been so bad, the pressure made my eyes bloodshot. We guessed it was our house making me, and some of my kids, very sick. We were right. We didn't want to be right.
I wake today grateful for the journey. I learned so much during our 3 months of homelessness. I learned that God is in control, and He will supply all my needs, according to His plan, not mine. I learned that bitterness only hurts me. I learned that people are flawed, and forgivable. I learned it is ok if they choose to walk away when you need them most, because God will never, ever, leave you.
I also learned that God's help comes through people. I learned to accept help from strangers. I learned what it's like to live in a shelter apartment, to glean fields, and how generous strangers can be. I learned that joyful moments can be had in the midst of intense physical and emotional pain. I learned that prayer is what really helps the most.
I learned what it's like to live in a house I don't own. I learned what it's like to watch your children lose everything, and emerge strong and wise way beyond their years. I learned what it was like to be stared at and talked about by strangers. I learned doctors don't really know a whole lot about certain diseases, unfortunately, but some try really hard, and despite the framework they must dance through, help a great many people. I learned what it's like to have nearly crippling fatigue lift, burning skin inflammation heal, and memory return. I learned what it's like for my kids to fear me dying and leaving them behind, and what it's like to cry out in prayer asking for more time.
Despite these challenges, I miss our old neighborhood terribly. My children learned things there that I wish I had known at their age. They learned that the color of your skin doesn't determine what an awesome friend you can be. They learned that some kids didn't have what they did, and the adults around them worked to make that matter less. I will never regret the journey, because we are forever changed by the people we met there, the strangers who helped us, and the friends and family who stepped in when they saw a need they could fill.
My prayers of thanks for bringing those people into our lives, the healing, the help, the hope, and even the pain, are lifted high today.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Breastfeeding Music

People are uptight.

About what? You got it, BREASTFEEDING!

All over the place you got people telling us why we shouldn't, why it's disgusting, how long we should, where we should and how we should.

To them I say, CHILL.

Grab your phones, put on some hip music and calm it. Let that babe and mama enjoy their bonding time.

I can even suggest the perfect selection.

Thanks to Meghan Trainor for providing the music and awesomly chill beat that is so so great to parody, and Lori Burke for her smooth lyrics.

Now, don't you feel better?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Time for an Overhaul

Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

Out with the old and in with the new!

In the coming weeks I am going to tear down and rebuild this dated looking blog.  It's been 5 years since I started That's What Breasts are For and it is showing it's age. A new banner is in order and so is some updated fonts! Can you believe I am still using Times New Roman!!

I am still finishing up the school year and other family biz, but once I get that done, it will be no holds barred. I can't wait to see what you think. Thank you all for reading and most of all letting me know you like what I am writing. If you'd like to get a glimpse of everything, like me on Facebook.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Surprised by Grief - Pregnancy Loss at 6 Years

This morning I was surprised by the key to the old farmhouse in my sewing-table drawer. As I looked at the address, a flood of regret and grief poured out. I lost my baby there, a baby I would never get to hold this side of heaven.

At first I wanted to stuff the feelings, find a way to ignore them. It's been 6 whole years since we lost our 10 week old pregnancy. Why am I crying? Haven't I got over this?

Layers of Grief  - By Christine Emmick
I ran to the kitchen to make myself some breakfast. Maybe my blood sugar was low. Yes, sure, that must be why I am so weepy.

I stopped myself. No, I will not run to food again for comfort. With my hands on the counter I began to cry out great sobs of unmitigated grief.

It's been 6 years. Six whole years since the bewilderment of an ultrasound tech's silent treatment. Six years since the very difficult task of telling my 4 year old that the baby in my tummy no longer had a beating heart. Six years since burying the discharge that held my little one underneath our redbud tree, the 3-year-old tree I had planted when we moved in to our farmhouse as a 3 year anniversary gift to my husband.

The one that was ripped out of the ground to make room for a barn when the farmhouse was sold. It was the same age as our marriage, and since that time, our marriage has not been the same. Was it the loss of a child? Was it a loss of the family history that the farmhouse held? Was it the ruthless ripping up of the redbud tree?

This story is one of grief, and regret. I am so sorry I sold that little farmhouse and allowed our child's memory to be ripped out of the ground like the roots of our tree. If I could have stopped it from happening I would have.

I tell this story not to cause guilt or point blame. I tell it to fully mourn the loss of our child, and of our marriage. Life's changes, change lives. We are no longer blissfully ignorant of child loss. We now know that the delicate beating heart can stop. We know the sorrow of mourning a child.

To those who share this experience, I hope you find peace and healing. For me, there is healing in the telling. Let's not be silent. Silence tends to sharpen our grief, even the well hidden sorrow.

This Sunday, May 3, 2015, marks the International Bereaved Mother's Day. Acknowledging the loss and sharing your story will let others know they are not alone, and also encourage us all on the road to healing. Click here to go to the Facebook event or click here to visit the Carly Marie Project Heal website.

All content is copyrighted by Christine Emmick, unless otherwise noted. Follow her on Facebook.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Vaccines and School Segregation

If you are over 40 years old, you probably remember talk of school segregation and re-integration. There were protests about this including this, now laughable, image. But a comment on a heated vaccine-debate piece written by a doctor had some gold in it.

"I think we should create schools for un-vaccinated children"

This is the first intelligent comment I've read on either side of the debate. I know it was meant to be snarky, but actually it makes a lot of sense. You have a group of kids together who are vaccinated and those who are immuno-compromised can feel safer with them, while those who are sensitive to neurological damage due to the aluminum ajuvant or trace levels of ethyl mercury, or predisposed to auto-immune disease when presented with the human components of the vaccines can safely acquire natural immunity without endangering those who may experience severe complications of the disease.

This solution is certainly not perfect, but it is a viable option. A better option is to actually make vaccines without neurotoxic chemicals and human components, but I'll leave the debating to the "experts."

Copyright 2015 Christine Emmick
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Just Trust Me, I'm the Expert" Says the Pro-Vac Doc

I recently read an opinion piece on the vaccine debate which reminded me again why I dislike many doctors. This post itself did little to convince me to immunize my kids, and it also gave me even less faith in our medical system.

vaccine debate
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
His premise is that if you don't immunize, he will not see you in his practice. Many doctors are taking this stance, and they have a right to run their practice as they wish, at least until someone sues them for lack of service like some couples are suing for cake toppers and wedding flowers.

What really bothered me was his premise of why he took this harsh stance. It was not of lack of protection of his other patients; it was one of lack of trust in his abilities.

With medical errors being the 3rd leading cause of death in this country, there is no one doctor anyone should put their trust in wholeheartedly. Doctors can, and do make mistakes, to the tune of 1,000 to 1,200 deaths per day with as many as a half million deaths attributed to preventable medical errors every year.

Your medical care should always be a partnership between you and your doctor. Any doctor that insists that his expertise supersedes your intuition is ignorant at best, and at worst, deadly.

Far from a relationship with your local florist, a doctor's changing vaccine policy can clash with a parent's personal beliefs at great cost. It's not like you can walk down the street to a new doctor for a second MRI like you can walk to the next baker to order a 3-tier cake. A doctor has access to important medical records and test results which can paint a clearer picture of the matters of life and health. Giving up on a patient after they are established in the practice is like ripping out the roots of their healthcare.

The doctor's stance on vaccines and his position of perceived infallibility actually bring about the very thing he is hoping to avoid...a lack of trust.

  I think John QuiƱones of What Would You Do? said it best when he said, "People deserve to be served regardless of personal beliefs."

Copyright 2015 Christine Emmick
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Friday, September 5, 2014

Cipro and Autism - A question that begs an answer...

In the year 2000 my daughter was in my womb, comfortably waiting to be born. It was my first pregnancy and I was extra careful, because it had taken three years to successfully conceive.

When I developed a severe chest cold in late winter in 2001, my doctor said that I needed some type of antibiotics. Cipro was category C, "but" I was late in pregnancy "and" I was allergic to so many kinds of antibiotics. I had taken the drug several times in my twenties and seemed to have no adverse health effects. I assumed since I wasn't allergic to it, it was fine.

My daughter has Aspergers, which is a form of autism.

It was not discovered right away. She taught herself how to read at 2 and a half and was reading novels by 5. We just thought she was gifted, and sensitive.

As the years passed, she was not maturing socially. She was easily overwhelmed. She was extra particular about where things went. She would fly off in a rage and tear things off the walls. Two days ago she screamed for 20 minutes because she could not find a particular pencil.

Cipro is a fluoroquinolone.

The FDA ordered a warning to be added to this class of drugs due to increasing reports of serious side effects, including liver diseasedepression, retinal detachmentkidney disease and neuropathy. It had already had a warning about increased risk of tendon rupture.

In 2004 my Achilles tendon ruptured while walking across a busy intersection. I did not associate this with Cipro use at that time, however in 2012 I was prescribed Cipro for a urinary tract infection. For a month afterward I struggled with thoughts of suicide. I did some research and found the connection.

Given that the brain is part of the nervous system, that fluoride is part of the Cipro makeup, and that fluoride is attributed by some to cause neurological damage I pose this question:

Is it possible that the use of fluoroquinolone drug during pregnancy may result in an increased risk of autism in the child?