Friday, January 29, 2016

Zika Virus

So for the 2 people that read this, please read this first:

 For pregnant women anywhere warm, tropical, and full of mosquitos, the Zika virus is THE talk around here.  I understand the potential freak out.  I mean, what IF you get bit and that mosquito that carries Zika bites you?  You could have POTENTIALLY changed your baby's genes and they COULD develop microcephaly...

So all that said, you could also DIE in pregnancy.  I mean, that is rough, but the statistics are actually greater for women dying in childbirth. "Sadly, over 600 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications." (CDC website)


Anyway, I found this statistic.  This is an estimate of cases of microcephaly in the US:
407 per year, 33 per month, 7 per week, 1 per day, 0 per hour, 0 per minute, 0 per second. [Source statistic for calculation: "1.02 per 10,000 births in the UK 2002 for microcephaly (University of Ulster, 2003)"

For a country the size of Brazil (200 million), they only had 150 cases reported last year of microcephaly.  Okay, that seems small for a country with the same total fertility rate as the US. (1.86 births/woman.)

I know this is a lot of numbers.

Brazil births: 2,830,458 (2012)
US births: 3,958,000 (2012)

With just those UK average numbers, the estimates for REPORTED (now this is important because there are A LOT of births in Brazil that go unreported due to geographical area):

Brazil : 288.7 cases/year of microcephaly.  That is significantly lower than the thousands of cases they are seeing now.
US: 403

The most interesting part of all this is how the demographics, politics, economic shift (from not traveling to those regions) and eventual shift in birth rates (due to some countries asking women not to get pregnant for two years).

Also, I wonder if many of these cases could have been prevented with mosquito spray and bug repellent.  A lot of these areas that cases are being reported in high numbers are areas where those may not be able to afford bug repellent.  There is so much that we don't know, I am trying to be level headed about it and not go overboard.

I hope and pray that while we're here we avoid Zika, Dengue, and Chikagunya.  All are nasty viruses. Our non-deet bug repellent works great and it's safe for babies too.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Nana

This sweet baby that continues to grow and kick in my womb (or her womb...?) is named after both her Great grandmothers and another great, great, great grandmother. This little girl that kicks like a maniac will have a name that carries a great honor.  For the two women: one I didn't know and one that I knew and she knew me well. And if history repeats itself from the lives both women lived, she's going to be one stubborn, opinionated, self-reliant, and compassionate girl.  I can't wait to meet her.

Several weeks ago, I had an incredible experience. It was an ordinary night, doing the dishes with my two daughters and talking about their interests and such.  I mean, the conversation wasn't earth shattering.  It was just normal conversation I'd expect to have with my children.

Then I stopped drying the dish I was drying.  It was a feeling so overwhelming and warm, it caught me offguard. I tried to explain this to my husband, but at the time, I just couldn't describe it. I just knew at that moment it was someone.  Someone that loved me, loved us, immensely. They knew me really well. Which is why when I recognized who it was, the tears streamed down my face (as they are now).

It was my Nana.

My Nana committed suicide several years before I was born. I never knew her in this life.

Her warmth overwhelmed me and she gave me the intense feeling of how proud she was of me, of my husband and I, for what we are building and trying to create in our family and the world around us.

There are no words to describe that tender mercy.

I bring this up because I was reading a sweet post someone, who I don't know, posted about and I recognized those similar feelings. Beware, you'll cry.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Update on PP

So after observation this week, I noticed a couple things:

1) My 10 year old is super social.
2) She has one girl her age who isn't nearly as social.
3) The girls mentioned are a year or two younger than her.
4) There is another set of girls a year older than her.

So, just with those observations, I realized that she is sandwiched between both sets.  It puts her in an awkward situation, but temporary.

Monday, January 11, 2016


Our oldest daughter is 10.

Today, two girls around her age knocked on our front door and hid.  I answered (of course), but didn't realize they were hiding, and thought it was weird.

Then about 15 minutes later, they rolled by yelling her name. I saw two of them, told her to hurry outside because these girls were out on their longboards.

She moved quickly to only have the girls board or run away as she went after them.  She came to the house in tears asking,

"Mom, why did they run away from me when I was calling their name? Don't they want to play with me?"

My poor heart broke for her.

She isn't "in" with this set of girls her age in the neighborhood. I came to this conclusion over the last few weeks.  I have been watching them all interact together when all the Moms get together.  She was on the perimeter looking in and I was secretly hoping I was wrong and making a big deal of nothing.

Today just hurt me to watch it. 

Now I will never say my child is perfect. I am not perfect and I am the one RAISING her. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree sometimes. She likes to run the show, she can get snappy, many would call her bossy (I call it "potential leadership skills"), and she is a tad bit of a perfectionist.

But never does that mean it is okay to make someone cry.

I can't believe it has started so early.

I think I have empathy for her though.  I was never fully "in" the with all the girls at school or church.  I seemed to be on the perimeter and the focus of bullying. What am I kidding?  I still am on the perimeter. I am really good with it but only as a grown woman because eventually, I realized those people don't change who I am.

I hope this situation helps her.  I hope it helps her to make friends with people that make you feel good about yourself and that you want to help feel good about themselves.

I just hope she learns that much, much earlier that I did.