misterdoctorbeckymark2

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Guestpost by Kathrine aka mummypinkwellies: Awkward Moments

Recently we’ve had a number of “awkward moments” with our daughter Littlebit and the assumptions people make about premature babies.

When Markus asked me to guest post over here for him I thought this would be the prime place to have a rant about what not to say to the parent of a toddler who was born prematurely. All of the thoughts listed below have actually been said to me in the last 6 months, yes really!?

I wrote a similar post over on my own blog, which you can find here: http://www.mummypinkwellies.com/2011/08/what-not-to-sa…preemie-parent

this was written when Littlebit was just shy of 1 year old and we’ve had some absolute corkers since. So here goes. Here’s what not to say to the parent of a child who was born prematurely:

1. I know someone who was born 10 weeks early and he’s got all sorts of problems. Which problems do you think she’ll have?
Don’t assume that my child has problems, and even if she does is it really any of your business?

2. So, does she have cerebral palsy?
Take a look at her, what do you think?

3. Oh, her eyes do look really bad. She’ll get teased in school because of that. What a shame!
Yes, yes it’s a shame she has a bit of a squint but you know she’s alive and well. I’ll take a squint any day!

4. Well, at least you got to bring your baby home. Some people aren’t that lucky.
Do you seriously think I don’t know that? Really?

5. I know she was born early and you were really quite poorly but I do think you’re being a bit selfish not giving her a brother or sister.
No comment!

6. But she seems so clever and ahead of her peers. How is that possible when she should be so behind?
I don’t know, but shouldn’t we all just be proud of her achievements rather than dwell on what might have been?

7. When will you know if she has learning difficulties like most preemies?
Well, she’s showing no signs of it yet so I dunno. But so what if she has? Again is it really any of your business?

8. I know a boy who was born 15 weeks early and he’s huge now. He plays Rugby for the Borough. She’ll be fine.
Brilliant, good for him. Stop generalising though.

9. It must be awful having a premature baby?
Well yes, of course it was awful at the start. But actually no, we’ve learned so much through this experience. Met some amazing people who we wouldn’t otherwise have met. It’s not all rainclouds and storms actually. There are some amazing rainbows we have seen as well.

10. Does that mean she won’t be able to have children?
What? Why?

11. But she’s so normal looking?
Speechless.

And I’ve saved the best for last…
12. Does that mean she’ll die prematurely as well?
Do you know when you’re going to die. No! I can’t predict her death either but no, being born early doesn’t mean she’s fated to an early death too!

What senseless things have you heard said about children who were born prematurely?

This is my girl now:

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So, I’m Katherine, known as K to my friends and online as pinkwellies79 or Mummypinkwellies.

My daughter, known online as Littlebit was born 10 weeks prematurely back in September 2010 and weighed just 2lb 4.5oz at birth. A lot of my blog is about her. She is my life!

I blog about:
* bringing up a 30 week preemie turned feisty toddler
* life in a small market town
* campaign and fundraising work for Bliss – for babies born too soon, too small, too sick and Tommy’s – researching problems in pregnancy amongst other charities close to my heart
* the things that I love
* baking and cooking
* shopping
amongst other stuff and probably a fair bit of fluff

You can find my blog at http://www.mummypinkwellies.com

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Guestpost by DorkyMum: Accupunture and me

The wonderful, multi talented Ruth D. of DorkySon agreed kindly to do a guest post for my blog. In this post she talks about her own experiences with Accupuncture:

You know those annoying people who get something in their head and they go on and on about it, using any and every opportunity to bring it up in discussion?

I’m afraid I’ve turned into one of those people. And my obsession is, of all things, acupuncture.

A friend will post on Facebook that she’s suffering terrible morning sickness in pregnancy….

“Oooh!” I’ll say. “Have you tried acupuncture?”

Another friend will tweet about her bad back…

“Have you tried acupuncture for that?” I ask her.

I realised I might have taken it a little far when I intervened in a conversation between two women in front of me in the supermarket queue, who were debating the merits of various migraine treatments.

“You might want to try acupuncture for that,” I whispered. “It can be very effective.”

I don’t know if either of them ever tried it, but at least it made them pack up their shopping a little faster and finally move on.

Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine which is based on traditions that go back two thousand years, although there is currently a growing body of evidence-based clinical research proving that it is an effective and safe way of tackling a range of health issues, from back pain to fertility issues.

I first had acupuncture when I was pregnant, and suffering from severe morning sickness. Despite the reassurances of my midwives, the vomiting and constant nausea didn’t stop at twelve weeks, and I was starting to feel a bit desperate. When a friend recommended trying acupuncture I was fairly sceptical, but decided to give it a shot.

I was shocked by the results. After spending the previous three months unable to keep food down – existing mainly on a diet of Schweppes Bitter Lemon and fizzy Haribo – I came out of my first appointment and walked straight across the street to a Mexican restaurant, where I sat down and ate a big plate of enchiladas. I wasn’t sick again for the remaining six months of my pregnancy.

Over the next year I went back to the same acupuncturist on two different occasions, and on both occasions, it helped me out where conventional medicine had failed.

The first time was to induce labour when I went two weeks overdue and was truly feeling like my pregnancy was never going to end. Pineapple hadn’t worked. Curries hadn’t worked. Long walks hadn’t worked. Several attempts at that delightful procedure known as a sweep hadn’t worked. It was worth a shot, right? I had an appointment at lunchtime on a Monday, and was in labour by 7pm that evening. I couldn’t believe acupuncture had worked so well for me again.

The second time was several months after the birth of my son, when I had been struggling with postnatal depression. Given my previous successes with acupuncture, it’s probably what I should have tried first, but in an exhausted and emotional fog I just didn’t think of it. I went to my GP and was prescribed with antidepressants, but it became obvious fairly quickly that they weren’t the solution and actually made things worse rather than better. Two sessions of acupuncture were all I needed to lift the terrible black cloud that I’d had hanging over me since having my son, and after that, everything about motherhood clicked into place.

Acupuncture may not be the right treatment for every person or every medical condition, but it is now almost always my first point of call. It is not prohibitively expensive, and I always feel like I am getting my money’s worth. Rather than rushing in and out in ten minutes like you have to with your GP, you can sit down for forty minutes or an hour and talk in detail about how you are feeling. Acupuncturists see connections – between your physical, emotional and mental health – that a GP may not. They look for the causes of problems, rather than just trying to treat the symptoms.

Recently I’ve had a run of colds and been feeling quite run down. With a young son in nursery and a husband who commutes on a crowded train every day, there have been far too many sniffles and sneezes in this house, and my immune system has been suffering. A year after moving house, I finally made the effort to track down a new acupuncturist in the area where we now live.

After just a couple of sessions I’ve been feeling much more full of energy, I’ve shaken off my colds, I’m sleeping well, and I’m feeling ready to get outside and take full advantage of spring.

Having friends and family roll their eyes at me when I bring ‘the A word’ up for discussion yet again feels like a small price to pay.

If you’d like to find out more about acupuncture, visit http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/

Here are some links where you can find out more about DorkyMum:

Blog: http://dorkymum.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dorkymum
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dorkymum

I’m glad that Ruth had such a positive experience with Accupuncture. It certainly is an interesting and well written opinion. Being married to a GP I am perhaps a bit more skeptical about the true efficacy of Accupuncture, but we should always keep an open mind!