In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, July 30, 2007

In the News July 30, 2007

Infant Car Seats May Increase Risk of SIDS
Placing newborns in a sittng position in car seats, infant carriers, or infant seats may increase the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS), according to a study published online by Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Baby's Brainpower Boosted by Prenatal Omega-3
Researchers found that nine-month-olds whose mothers had eaten snackbars fortified with one of the major omega-3 fatty acids performed better at problem-solving than infants whose mothers had not added the fatty acid to their diets.

Alternative Therapy No Real Help for Infertile Women
Infertile women who use alternative treatments are about 20% more likely to experience persistent reproductive problem than non-users, according to investigators.

Autism Diagnosis Can Be Made Earlier
About half of the children who develop autism might be diagnosed by 14 months of age, according to a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Umbilical Abnormalities Increase with Increased Complexity of Assisted Reproduction Techniques
As assisted reproduction techniques (ART) get more complex, the frequency of umbilical abnormalities increases, according to researchers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mother Doesn't Always Know Best

It was well past time for the training wheels to come off Christa's bike.

She was riding so fast and was so well-balanced that she wasn't really using them anymore--she just didn't realize that. And the truth was, the training wheels were starting to be a hazard, hence the nasty scrape on her arm accompanied by much wailing and sobbing.

Rob convinced Christa that she'd be better off without the training wheels. So after dinner, we went out to the garage and helped her suit up. On went a pair of pink and purple knee pads. Then a coordinating pair of pink and purple elbow pads. Then the matching bike helmet.

Rob had her take a few warm-up spins around the cul-de-sac before he removed the training wheels. Rob's job: to hold on to the back of the bike and run alongside it. My job: to man the camera.

Within seconds, Christa was biking on her own.

"Hold on to her! Hold on to her!" (I'm screaming this at Rob as I'm trying to focus the camera on my daughter balancing and pedaling around the cul-de-sac.)

"Let go! Let go!" (Christa's screaming this at her dad as she's enjoying a sense of profound six-year-old accomplishment.)

Rob held on for a few seconds--and then he let go.

It was the right thing to do.

I've raised three kiddos--and this letting go requirement of motherhood is no easier with my fourth than it was with the first three. I know I've got to do it--but I tend to want to do it slowly.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just to let go.

Sure enough, Christa took a spill--but only a minor one. She'll take more. But that's no reason to hold on to her. That's no reason to put the training wheels back on her bike. She doesn't need them anymore. And she doesn't need me or her dad hanging on to the back of her bike either.

We'd just slow her down.

In the News July 25, 2007

Here's the latest news of interest to mommies-come-lately:

Study Suggests Fertility Clinics Overuse Lab Technique

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that fertility clinics are overusing a lab technique that costs infertile couples and some insurers hundreds of extra dollars.

Children Conceived by IVF May be Taller than Those Conceived Naturally

Researchers find that children born as a result of in vitro fertilization (IVF) appear to be slightly taller than children conceived naturally.

Secondhand Smoke a Danger for Unborn Children

Chronic fetal exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke may affect a child's physical and psychological health, according to a recent study.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

An Alternative Treatment for Postpartum Depression?

The latest alternative treatment for postpartum depression?

Ingesting your placenta.

Surely I jest.


Here is not one, but two headlines on the topic:

Ingesting the Placenta: Is it Healthy for New Moms?

Placenta Returned to Mother on Judge's Orders

According to the first article, which was in USA Today, the practice of ingesting the placenta is called placentophagy. The placenta is saved, dried, emulsifed and then placed in gelatin capsules so that the mother can take them. Proponents of placentophagy say that the placenta contains nutrients that helps mitigate the hormonal fluctuations believed to cause postpartum depression.

The second article details a Las Vegas woman's fight to keep her placenta after her daughter's birth. She planned to ingest the placenta to help prevent postpartum depression, but the hospital refused to give her the placenta because it contained biohazardous waste.

I did a little bit of research on the topic and found two websites that offer recipes for placenta.


I also ran the idea past my physician-husband; we had an interesting discussion about the topic. Then I talked with my neighbor, who has had three home-births. She said her midwife did mention the option--but she declined. Another mommy-come-lately friend said she knew of women who practiced placentophagy.

It seems a bit extreme to me.

Thoughts, anyone?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Faux Only Child Syndrome

Ran away for a few days of vacation last week and I'm still trying to get back into my normal routine this week. I haven't done my laundry and there is still one suitcase that isn't unpacked--the one I loaded up with books and magazines that I intended to read and then never looked at.
And I haven't blogged this week, either. Didja' miss me?

Christa, Rob and I headed north for South Dakota. Why South Dakota? I wanted to see Mount Rushmore--have wanted to see it for years and years. It was time to make good on that "One day we'll go to . . ." dream.

After Mount Rushmore, we headed east to De Smet, South Dakota to experience Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. We're reading The Little House on the Prairie book series with Christa, just like we did with her older siblings. It was fun to see the little one-room schoolhouse that Laura attended and to visit the Ingalls homestead. Christa now has a matching bonnet and apron a la Laura too.

While Rob and Christa and I vacationed, I'd watched people watching us (like the woman who sold Christa her prairie ensemble)--and I knew what they were thinking. They were thinking Christa was our first and only child.

It happens a lot.

I told Rob I need a t-shirt with this message emblazoned across the back: Actually I have four children.

At times I feel like a fraud--I feel like I masquerade as the mom of an only, that I almost live the life of a mom with an only child, thanks to Christa's arrival 12 years after Amy was born. Rob and I have done vacations with lots of kiddos eating off the children's menu. Now we're taking vacations with one child. We've got lots more years ahead of us where it's just Rob, Christa and me.

It may take me a while to get used to the "only child" experience. And I think I may need more than one of those "Actually I have four children" t-shirts.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's a Book

I held a copy of my book BABY CHANGES EVERYTHING: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35 in my hands yesterday.

So, what did that feel like?

It surpassed feeling actually.

Overwhelmed me so that I didn't feel anything--and then I realized I was crying--those wondeful happy tears that you cry sometimes.
Then Rob and I sat down on the couch and we read the dedication page together. It reads:

To my husband Rob,
the words "I couldn't have done this without you"
have never been truer

To Josh, Katie Beth, and Amy,
who wholeheartedly love their youngest sister

And to Christa,
the reason I embraced late-in-life motherhood

That was the first time Rob read the dedication.
I had the most fun writing the dedication--and keeping it a secret from my family.

They knew the rest of the story.

Right now I only have one copy of my book. I'll get more copies, of course, but the editor at Baker Publishing Group was nice to overnight me one copy. The people at Baker have been more than wonderful through this entire process.

So, there you have it.

Now if I can just get the nerve to read the book. I'm scared I'm going find a typo, which will make me crazy after all the proofreaders ran their editorial fingers through this book. When I told my husband I couldn't read my book he just looked at me. Then he said, "You wrote a book and now you can't read it?"

Probably only another writer can understand.

Monday, July 09, 2007

All By Myself

I enjoyed a rare moment of privacy the other night. Rob and I went to dinner with another couple and when I excused myself to go to the Ladies room, I went there all by myself.

This is a rare treat these days.

Usually I am accompanied by Christa, my rambunctious, talkative six-year-old daughter. Christa also likes to sing in the stalls of the Ladies room. I have never felt the need to sing in a public restroom. Never ever.

I am required to share the same stall with Christa because I have a vital duty to perform. I must block the little sensor that tells the toilet to flush. Christa hates automatic toilets. Can't blame her. They are loud and overly-sensitive and have been known to go off prematurely--which is quite upsetting to a preschooler, let me tell you. The first time this happened Christa hurtled off the seat and wrapped her partially-undressed self around my legs and wouldn't let go. I thought I was doomed to spend the rest of my life in the Ladies room in Wal-Mart.

So when I walked into the restroom and realized it was just me, myself and I--I was momentarily at a loss. I almost felt like I needed to ask someone to join me--but then I figured I'd get kicked out of the restaurant. I decided to just enjoy this all-too-rare moment of privacy and quiet.

A mom takes her good times whenever--and wherever--she can get them.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Grateful Day

All that stuff--it's not yours. And you know something else about all that stuff? It's not you.
"Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot." Luke 12:15 The Message

It's Friday. Time to pause, take a deep breath, and be thankful for things big and small. Today I am grateful for:

  • Breakfast with my six-year-old. We enjoyed pancakes (her's) and biscuits (mine) at Cracker Barrel, as well as figuring out the riddles and mazes on the kid's menu and chatting about our day. Cracker Barrel is a Vogt Family tradition. We always stop there whenever we take a vacation trip.

  • A mostly-put-back-together office. Yep, I managed to get all the stuff back into the closet-nice, neat, and organized. My favorite pictures are up on my freshly painted walls. Favorite quotes are taped on the closet doors and Christa's coloring pages are taped to the back of my office doors. I still have some filing to do--don't I always?

  • Getting a virtual sneek peak of my book on and having the chance to read through a few pages of the first chapter. I confess I stopped reading because I was afraid I'd find a typo!

  • The chance to tell my daughter Amy that I admire her. It's one thing to love your child. It's something else altogether to realize you admire her.

May your day be anchored in gratefulness.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

In the News July 5, 2007: Research on Genetic Diagnosis of Embryos

Genetic Diagnosis of Embryos Found Bad IVF Medicine
A report in the July 5th issue of The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that women of Advanced Maternal Age (defined in this study as 35 to 41 years old) who are interested in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) should not pursue preimplantation genetic diagnosis--taking cells from an embryo for genetic screening.
The report states the procedure worsens the odds of IVF resulting in a pregnancy or live birth for these women.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Some More Thoughts on Being the Mother of the Groom

Yes, I know that my son Josh and his wife Jenelle have been married for almost two months now. But I still treasure the memories of their May 6th wedding day--snowflakes and sunshine all mixed together with the smiles and the (happy) tears.

I also treasure the memory of dancing with my son.

A few days before the wedding, Jenelle confided that Josh was having a hard time finding a suitable song for the "Mother of the Groom" dance. Not wanting to be a control freak--I was really still too worn out from my recent illness to do too much of that--I spent a bit of time trying to find a song or two to suggest.

I googled the phrase "mother son dance songs" and came up with a slew of web sites--but very few decent songs. Some enterprising folks have written songs just for the occasion, with titles like Song for Mama--I am not "Mama"--and A Song for My Son and I.O.U. (Ode of Thanks to Mother.) I don't know. It just felt like they were trying too hard, you know?

And songs like The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face or I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song were love songs when I was a teenager. Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion? No. Edelweiss? Huh? I'm still trying to figure out the mother-son-wedding connection there.

I finally suggested My Wish by Rascal Flatts--after dancing to it with my husband in the kitchen. I then asked Josh to listen to it, saying, "This is just a suggestion. If you don't like it, we can dance to something else."

Honestly, I didn't care if we hummed to ourselves while we danced. I just wanted to share that traditional moment with my son.

Dance we did--to My Wish. The chorus goes like this:
But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

And while we danced, I told my son that I loved him. That I was proud of him. That I knew he would be a good husband.
And I shed some tears.

Now when I hear that song, sometimes I smile and sometimes I cry. It will always take me back to a beautiful spring day in Colorado when I danced with Josh--held him close--and let him go.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Bit More News July 3, 2007

Late-in-life motherhood is a hot topic in Britain too--and the British have their own special brand of celebrities: the royal family. Covering two topics in one news story:

Royal couple expecting a second child
The Queen's son,Prince Edward, 43, and his wife, Princess Sophie, 42, have a three-year-old daughter (also a late-in-life baby.) Their second child is due in December.

British scientists developing a pill to delay menopause
If successful, the new drug could lead to a "fertility revolution" that allows women to wait longer to have a child.

Monday, July 02, 2007

In the News July 2, 2007

News of interest for mommies-come-lately:

Low birth defect risk from antidepressents
Two new studies show that, while there is an increased risk of birth defects with newer antidepressents, the risk remains very remote.

Less-used drug for preterm labor might be better option
Stanford University researchers reported that the drug used most often to stop preterm labor has more side effects--and more serious ones--than alternatives that may be more effective.

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