Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Some thoughts about those that came before

So, as noted, the Critter has arrived into the world. We're still very much wiped out because things have not gone particularly smoothly. We mentioned that Critter had been tongue tied, and we thought it had been resolved, but it turns out it isn't entirely resolved. We're spending a huge amount of time trying to help keep him fed, specifically the Lady of the House, and it is very wearing.  But as promised, here are photos of the Critter, Left is a photo of him in a great blanket Margot that comments on the blog made for him. The nice thing is that when he isn't desperately trying to feed he sleeps quite well. I know that sleeping like a baby shouldn't be the good thing that some people make it out to be, but when he sleeps, man does he sleep. It's a skill he is very good at, and we're glad of that in the 3 - 4 hour chunks he does sleep in. The thing is, if we were homesteading 100 years ago, he would be dead by now, and any future children we had would die in birth, and/or kill the Lady of the House in process. For him being alive and the opportunity for more children we have to thank modern science.

See, if he hadn't been seen by a doctor promptly who knew what was going on with tongue tie, he wouldn't have just had problems feeding day one.  Well, to be fair he's still having feeding problems leading to the marathon 12 hour feeding sessions the Lady of the House has been enduring. But if the tongue hadn't been corrected as much as it was he would have been entirely unable to feed instead of bad at it, and causing severe pain to the Lady of the House and a lot of damage to her as she feeds him. Instead over the week he'd have faded, cried a lot, slowly slept more and more, and would have died of being unable to eat. Through extraordinary efforts he might have been able to limp on for a while, but it would have been unlikely and difficult. As it is the efforts the Lady of the House is going to in order for him to eat are exhausting both of us, and non stop beyond even what can be expected for a new infant.
The other problem is that I am RH positive and the Lady of the House is RH negative. The Critter is also RH Positive, so if the Lady of the House had further children they'd probably be stillborn, or miscarriage. Thanks to the miracles of two simple shots, not only is everything ok this time, if we want to have future children it is going to be possible. Kind of amazing. Seems like such a small thing that we now take for granted, but 100 years ago it would have been one of those quiet things that just didn't work, and could have been fatal to the Lady of the House.

It's just a nice thing to look back and realize the big advantages we have over those that came before us that are so easy to take for granted.

The thing that is also something to remember though is, having children used to be a community thing in a much larger way than it is today, and in many cultures it still is. Today in the USA at least women usually are just at home trying to take care of things at home while also trying to take care of a child, and often expected to be back at work within 6 weeks. Given that I barely had any time to take off, and I used most of it going to be at the hospital with her, we are very fortunate that my mother and stepfather came out to help clean and cook for the week, and that where we are has the Hilltown Families to help with resources for new parents including It Takes a Village which sends out volunteers to help for a few hours a week. We also have had local friends who have been able to help us out here and there which has made a huge difference each time. Having a child future and strongly reinforces the need for strong community when trying to live in general, and when trying to homestead in specific. Hopefully next time I post the Critter will be doing much better and feeding will no longer be a nightmare!

The thing I do want to note is that we are very happy, and when Critter isn't crazy trying to eat and struggling to get by he is a very happy child. We look forward to seeing him as he is when he isn't struggling to eat.


  1. I also went to high school with you. (laughs). I'm glad you are getting some help; all the new parents I know say that's a big factor. That's why I'm always knitting things for people, because I can't physically be there to help out.

    I must say, that is a *lot* of side-eye for someone who isn't a month old!

  2. Thanks for the updates.... is there anything I can do? Keep up the good work mom and dad :)