I Need Your Love & Friendship

Friendship may be said to require natures so rare and costly, each so well tempered and so happily adapted, and withal so circumstanced, (for even in that particular, a poet says, love demands that the parties be altogether paired,) that its satisfaction can very seldom be assured. It cannot subsist in its perfection, say some of those who are learned in this warm lore of the heart, betwixt more than two. I am not quite so strict in my terms, perhaps because I have never known so high a fellowship as others. I please my imagination more with a circle of godlike men and women variously related to each other, and between whom subsists a lofty intelligence. But I find this law of _one to one_ peremptory for conversation, which is the practice and consummation of friendship. Do not mix waters too much. The best mix as ill as good and bad. You shall have very useful and cheering discourse at several times with two several men, but let all three of you come together, and you shall not have one new and hearty word. Two may talk and one may hear, but three cannot take part in a conversation of the most sincere and searching sort. In good company there is never such discourse between two, across the table, as takes place when you leave them alone. In good company, the individuals merge their egotism into a social soul exactly co-extensive with the several consciousnesses there present. No partialities of friend to friend, no fondnesses of brother to sister, of wife to husband, are there pertinent, but quite otherwise. Only he may then speak who can sail on the common thought of the party, and not poorly limited to his own. Now this convention, which good sense demands, destroys the high freedom of great conversation, which requires an absolute running of two souls into one. Imagine peace in the world in our life time!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012




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Thursday, April 26, 2012



Hello Happy Birth Chef Lina Azman, wish you happiness and good health. How are you? Apa khabar you disana? Teman baru dan keluarga baru ku dari Facebook kita bertemu ya, terima kasih ku uchapkan pada mu yang jauh disana.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

The Early Signs of Pregnancy Symptoms Checklist

The Early Signs of Pregnancy Symptoms Checklist
The following are common early signs of pregnancy. However, symptoms of pregnancy are not the same for every woman. In fact, your own symptoms may actually be different from one pregnancy to another.

Pregnancy symptoms can also vary in their intensity, frequency and duration. The following early signs and symptoms of pregnancy checklist is only a guideline.

Also keep in mind that many of the earliest pregnancy symptoms can appear similar to routine pre-menstrual discomforts.

If you are not trying to conceive, you might think it is just your period coming on again, when in reality you may be experiencing very early signs of pregnancy.

If you are trying to conceive, you may be frustrated when you think you may be experiencing early symptoms of pregnancy but they are only pre-menstrual symptoms.

You will experience a wide variety of physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. These may include any or all of the pregnancy symptoms listed below.

Although each of these are considered typical early symptoms of pregnancy, they may happen earlier or later than the order in which they appear on the following list.

Remember, some of the earliest signs of pregancy may be subtle, not obvious. Whenever there is any question that you might be experiencing early signs of pregnancy, do a home pregnancy test.

Early signs of pregnancy: #1

Missed Period

Perhaps the most obvious early symptom of pregnancy is when you've missed your period. This possible sign of pregnancy is often what causes women to search for more details about the other pregnancy symptoms.

Some women might only experience a much lighter period compared to their usual. You might not experience any of the pregnancy signs listed below until around the time you notice you've missed your monthly cycle.

Early signs of pregnancy: #2

Just "Feeling" Pregnant

This early pregnancy symptom may be the reason why you are checking this list right now. Many women believe they have an intuition about pregnancy signs. Their intuition is often proven correct.

Maybe you just feel different; tired, moody, queasy, lightheaded. You may also have heartburn, constipation, or find yourself making more frequent trips to the restroom. Perhaps you feel a dull ache or stiffness in your lower back, you have sore breasts or they seem overly sensitive, or you are simply not feeling like your usual self.

Early signs of pregnancy: #3

Breast Tenderness

One of the very noticeable early signs of pregnancy is tender, swollen, somewhat sore breasts. You may notice this pregnancy sign at bedtime when you are trying to get comfortable and go to sleep, when exercising or showering, or when getting dressed.

When you become pregnant, your body begins preparing your breasts for producing milk and breastfeeding. Hormones start increasing. In addition to breast tenderness and swelling, your nipples may feel sore or extra sensitive. Some women notice their nipples darken in color.

Your breasts play an important role in childbirth. They are naturally sensitive and become far more so when pregnant. This is one of the most obvious early symptoms of pregnancy.

Early signs of pregnancy: #4


One of the earliest pregnancy signs for some women may be fatigue and exhaustion. You may start going to bed sooner, or find it harder than usual to get out of bed in the morning. If you are working, by noon you may feel like you need to lie down. Exercising seems like too much effort. A simple activity like shopping may leave you feeling wiped out and lightheaded. This early pregnancy symptom is caused by all of the changes that your body is going through, plus the increasing levels of hormones.

If you know you are pregnant, try to take frequent rests or naps of 15 minutes to a half-hour whenever possible. Explain to your family, friends and coworkers that you need these naps. Ask for their help in blocking out rest times for you.

Early signs of pregnancy: #5

Frequent Urination

An early symptom of pregnancy that others may notice you experiencing is frequent trips to the restroom. Your family or friends may comment that you seem to be going off to the ladies room quite often lately. One cause of this pregnancy symptom is that the swelling uterus can put pressure on your bladder.

Also, pregnancy causes extra body fluids to be processed by your kidneys and bladder. That means more trips to the restroom. Sorry to have to say this, but this symptom of pregnancy may remain constant for nine months.

Early signs of pregnancy: #6


One of these pregnancy signs of queasiness, nausea and vomiting can take you by surprise when you least expect it. These early pregnancy symptoms may come as soon as a week into the pregnancy. Many women experience nausea in the morning when they have coffee and/or eat something on an empty stomach. This is known as morning sickness (see below). Other women notice nausea in the afternoon or evening. Others feel queasy all day.

This pregnancy symptom may often be helped by eating smaller, more frequent snack size meals. Many women say saltine crackers and milk seem to be helpful. This is an early symptom of pregnancy that seems to show up about a month after pregnancy has begun. It tends to level off once you are into your second trimester and your body adjusts to all the many changes it is going through.

Early signs of pregnancy: #7

Dizziness and/or Fainting

One of the more surprising pregnancy signs is dizziness and/or fainting. Going up stairs, standing up suddenly after sitting for a time, or just having to stand in line at the grocery store can make you feel light headed. You might even faint. As the uterus swells it compresses arteries in your legs. This can drop your blood pressure and make you dizzy.

A common early sign of pregnancy is that you may feel faint when you have gone a while without eating. This is due to low blood sugar, because that is your baby's main source of food. You want to eat frequent, healthy snacks to keep your blood sugar up. Stock up on portable lunch box foods you can take with you. Such as apples, bananas, grapes, yogurt cups, carrots and celery, cheese and crackers, small cartons of milk, juice boxes, granola bars, boxes of raisins, etc.

Early signs of pregnancy: #8

Food Cravings, or Aversions to Foods

A well-known cliché is the pregnancy sign-symptom of craving certain foods or unusual combinations of foods. For example, one woman said she craved midnight snacks of warm peach pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Everyone has a funny story about food cravings.

Taking a good pre-natal vitamin supplement and a pure fish oil capsule may ease some cravings and help prevent extra weight gain ... and of course prenatal vitamins and fish oil are often doctor recommended for the health of your baby.

Less well known but equally common pregnancy signs are aversions to certain foods. You may find that some foods you previously enjoyed are no longer appetizing. One woman told us she had always liked pizza, but couldn't stand it at all while she was expecting. Just the smell of it made her feel nausea. This problem may come and go for some women. For others it could last throughout pregnancy.

Early signs of pregnancy: #9

Sensitivity to Aromas

Another related early symptom of pregnancy is a heightened sensitivity to aromas. Even a favorite aroma, such as the smell of a food or perfume, can make you gag. The smell of fresh mowed grass, the smell of a gas station, smells of various foods, household cleaners, perfumes, cigarette smoke, etc., can all cause you to feel nauseated (see nausea symptom above). This is thought to be yet another side effect of the estrogen that is flooding your body.

Early signs of pregnancy: #10

Morning Sickness

This pregnancy symptom is well known, and it is related to the nausea symptom. It can be caused by a variety of factors. Your body is craving food and you have not eaten all night so your tummy feels queasy. Your body has way more hormones coursing through it than normal and this can . You are sensitive to aromas and foods, so your morning coffee may not agree with you. The usual breakfast you typically have may not settle well in your stomach during this time. One woman usually had a scone along with a coffee late' for breakfast, but found that during pregnancy it made her feel sick. She changed to tea and toast and that worked well for her. Each woman is different and will have different foods that may or may not contribute to morning sickness.

Early signs of pregnancy: #11

Heartburn and/or Constipation

This pregnancy symptom is caused by the uterus starting to swell and pushing against the stomach and other organs as it grows. Also, increasing levels of hormones may slow down digestion and bowel functions to allow the body to absorb as much vitamins, minerals and nutrients as possible from foods. Taking a quality prenatal multi-vitamin-mineral supplement is important to help your body get the nutrients it needs for your growing baby.

The slower emptying of the stomach may also cause the release of increased stomach acid to aid digestion, leading to a feeling of heartburn. Soda crackers and sparkling water can help. Smaller more frequent meals are easier to digest. Drink plenty of water and eat fruits, vegetables and perhaps some raisin and bran cereal to help regularity. Some daily vitamin formulas also contain digestive enzymes (from pineapple and papaya fruits). These can help with digestion.

Ask your doctor before taking any kind of antacids as some contain aluminum and should be avoided. These two pregnancy symptoms can last throughout your term.

Early signs of pregnancy: #12

Mood Swings and Irritability

With all of these symptoms of pregnancy to deal with, along with raging hormones, is it any wonder you may experience some mood swings and irritability? There is also the emotional adjustment period to your new responsibility. Your world has changed. Even when your pregnancy is carefully planned, it is normal for your mind to suddenly be filled with questions about the timing, your career, finances, insurance, labor and delivery, motherhood, even the future costs of college.

It is perfectly normal to feel mixed emotions, excitement and depression, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears. Your partner may be very confused by this and may not seem to be supportive. Explain that your mood swings are very normal signs of pregnancy and that you need support and understanding.

You are the one doing all the hard work here and it is not asking too much for your partner to be patient, loving and to have plenty of hugs and kind words of support ready when you need them. Most fathers-to-be want very much to be supportive, they just need instructions. No one has ever told them anything about pregnancy symptoms. It is all a mystery to them.

We encourage you to email or print-out this early symptom of pregnancy checklist so your partner can read it too.

This early symptom of pregnancy may decrease in the second trimester. Meanwhile get plenty of sleep, eat right, take your prenatal vitamins and fish oil (fish oil is known as "good mood food") and get some moderate exercise by taking short walks.

Early signs of pregnancy: #13

Higher body temperature

One of the pregnancy symptoms that takes a while to gauge is higher than usual body temperature. You may have been feeling a little bit warm lately and wondered if you are coming down with a cold or something. Take your temperature and see if it is higher than it normally would be.

If you've been trying to conceive and hoping to get pregnant (it's a tough job but somebody has to do it), your doctor may already have suggested that you keep a record of your body temperature every day. If your temperature is higher than usual and it stays high for two weeks in a row, something is obviously going on with your body. You may be pregnant (or you may have a low grade fever). Prolonged periods of increased temperature are a cause to seek your doctor's opinion.

Early signs of pregnancy: #14

Low Back Pain

Early pregnancy symptoms of low back pain can be “a real pain,” literally. This low back pain is caused by several factors. First is your weight change. You gain some weight because you are pregnant, your uterus gets bigger, and your baby grows larger every week. Next, your posture and torso are thrown out of alignment. This weight is mostly in the front of your torso, which pulls on your back. It is like wearing a backpack on your front instead of your back. This changes your posture and puts a strain on your back.

Lack of your typical night’s sleep is another factor. You may be laying on your side and trying to get comfortable. The weight of your womb is pulling on your back muscles as you lay there too. Get a maternity pillow as that can help make you more comfortable.

Finally, your hormones and body changes have some effect too. Your body is getting ready for birth and so some of your joints and ligaments are loosening up to make delivery possible. All of these changes added together can cause the early pregnancy symptoms of low back pain. It is estimated that about half of all women will experience this pregnancy symptom.

Early signs of pregnancy: #15

Implantation Bleeding

One of the less known pregnancy symptoms is the slight bleeding and spotting that can be caused when the fertilized egg begins to implant itself into the uterus. This is known as "implantation bleeding" and it usually takes place between 3 to 6 days after fertilization.

Once the egg becomes implanted in the uterus - congratulations, you are no longer wondering about pregnancy symptoms, you are indeed pregnant. At this point you might notice a little bit of red or pink spotting. Not all women experience implantation bleeding so it is not considered one of the most obvious pregnancy signs.

Early signs of pregnancy: #16

A Positive Pregnancy Test

If you are worrying about possible early symptoms of pregnancy, you can put your mind at ease with a pregnancy test. More than just a pregnancy symptom, this is scientific proof positive of whether you are expecting a baby or not.

Pregnancy tests work best if you wait to take them until at least a day or two after you miss your period. Even if the pregnancy test result is negative you should try it again a few days later to be sure. The best pregnancy tests are the ones done by your doctor or medical clinic. However there are some very high quality at home tests available too.

Early signs of pregnancy symptoms: #17

Bloating and Weight Gain

Yes some unavoidable weight gain is also a sign. Your clothes are getting tighter, you are feeling bloated, the weight showing on the scale is going up... you are getting bigger and that is simply part of being pregnant.

You want to keep your weight gain to the normal amount for a healthy pregnancy, and not let it get out of hand to where you pack on a lot of unnecessary pounds that will be hard to lose later. Some tips on weight control can be found on this Pregnancy Without Pounds page.

Also, your odd food cravings may not be as strong if you are taking your prenatal vitamins and fish oil capsules. The cravings may be due to your body's need for special nutrition. The importance of pre-natal vitamins and fish oil capsules

Your doctor will tell you that if you are trying to conceive, or you believe you may be experiencing early pregnancy symptoms, you should be taking daily pre-natal vitamins. Vitamin supplements offer support for women trying to conceive, for your health and for the health of your baby.

Your body is under great nutritional demands to feed the growing little person inside you. For example, the March of Dimes encourages women to take a multi-vitamin containing folic acid, (a B vitamin).

Folic acid can help prevent birth defects. Help your body and your baby's body get the nutrition it needs. Take a quality pre-natal vitamin with folic acid just as soon as you notice the first common early pregnancy sign.

Many pregnant women are now also taking a high quality pharmaceutical grade pure fish oil supplement. This gives you the important nutrients of DHA and omega-3 for healthy babies.

It has been shown in clinical studies that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil which provides DHA, will help to provide nutritional support to a baby's visual, nerve and brain function.

Fish oil capsules vary in quality. Distilled pharmaceutical grade fish oil is thought by many to be the very best quality. Don't take any chances on the quality of some "mystery fish" oil ... the very best kind we've ever found in our endless research is this amazing best quality fish oil

Warning: Your doctor will probably tell you, do not take flaxseed oil during pregnancy. Don't try to get omega-3 that way. Get it from fish oil instead. Flaxseed oil can have an effect upon estrogen and hormones, like soy can. It is for postmenopausal women, not pregnant women!

Read our information about flaxseed oil and pregnancy before taking any flax seed oil.

Talk to your doctor. Be very careful to avoid most herbs and supplements when pregnant or nursing. Most Moms only take prenatal supplements and the best quality fish oil pills. Always get the advice and approval of your doctor before taking any supplement during pregnancy, breastfeeding or when experiencing pregnancy symptoms.

The Facts About Twin Pregnancy

The Facts About Twin Pregnancy

Most people believe that multiple pregnancies, of which a twin pregnancy is the most common, carry with them a host of symptoms and complications that is twice or thrice the amount of severity compared to the typical child birth of one baby.

While its true that some people have related experiences about such, most do actually experience similar symptoms that can be compared to an average pregnant women of one.

Symptoms including morning sickness, fatigue or exhaustion, dizzyness and nausea, can’t be as intensified as those who are carrying single babies inside their womb. In other words, if you have a twin pregnancy you won't be twice as exhausted, have twice as much morning sickness or feel twice as dizzy.

The fact is that, most pregnant women who carry twins may not even be aware it for some time, and may even experience the same discomfort similar to when they previously carried on baby.

Perhaps, the fear in people’s minds is that the carrying capacity of the woman’s womb may not be enough to carry more than one baby. The successful birth of so many twins demonstrates that twin pregnancy does not create more strain than an average woman could bear. As you will read along the lines below, you will be able to recognize some of the most common symptoms and inside facts related to multiple pregnancies, especially a twin pregnancy.

How Does It Happen?

There are specifically two types of twin pregnancies: fraternal and identical. The process of producing identical and fraternal twins differs during embryological development and each are discussed below.

1. Identical Twins – In identical twins, a single egg cell fertilized by a viable sperm cell splits into two identical embryos during development. These two egg cells (a product of single fertilized egg cell) develop simultaneously sharing identical features such as sex and looks.

2. Fraternal Twins – For this kind of twins, two viable egg cells fertilized by two individual sperm cells develops simultaneously inside the womb. Due to the individualization of fertilization process, the likelihood that both might be of the same sex or of different sex would be made possible.

Current research indicates that the likelihood of carrying out multiple pregnancies is increased should any one in the family, specifically anyone within your extended family, were born twins. It also shows that the likelihood of carrying multiple pregnancies is increased with age.

Symptoms of Twin Pregnacy

As discussed above, while some of the pregnancy symptoms experienced by parents of twins are not any different than the early signs of pregnancy of those who carry a single baby, the following would interest you:

A. Weight Gain – parents who are pregnant of twins might experience unusual weight gain. The first semester of pregnancy would show a dramatic weight gain where the last semester would show more than 5 pounds difference compared to single pregnancies.

B. Severity of Symptoms – symptoms of pregnancy would sometimes double for multiple pregnancies. There were also reports of severing on several symptoms that usually are non-existent for singles while some would report none.

Nevertheless, it is important to recognize the fact that the type of pregnancy and the host of symptoms related to them will depend on a larger extent on the particular body of the person experiencing the gestation condition.

C. Early Movement of the Fetus – it shows that early fetal movement is the first sign of having twins. Reports on research on medical professionals would disagree on such information for these signs are not medically confirmed and no established facts were recorded to support such claim.

In the same incident, parents who have previously had multiple pregnancies on the first try and have singles on subsequent try would most likely be able to compare the early movement exhibited by twin fetus.

D. Unusual Alphafetoprotein Tests- The Alphafetoprotein tests or commonly known as AFP test is a test carried out among women to detect a suspected pregnancy. AFP is secreted by the liver of the fetus during pregnancy and is mixed up to the mother’s blood and thereby indicates a developing fetus.

This test is also used to detect errors in development and provides clues to the overall condition of the fetus and detects certain genetic abnormalities such as Turner syndrome, Down syndrome among others.

E. Severed veins and Other problems – Do to the increased size of the tummy and weight, the troubles of developing varicose veins and hemorrhoids (piles) are increased by half. The veins located in the opening or wall of the vagina are also usually severed to the point of experiencing irritable and burning sensation around the area.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Stroller

Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Stroller

See Details

Elegant yet sporty, the Fisher Price Infant To Toddler stroller maintains the optimal balance of strength, weight and mobility while retaining a super small profile when folded!

Pregnancy & Childbirth Spotlight

Baby Kicking Pregnant Belly

This is typically a favorite milestone in pregnancy - fetal movement. As a pregnant mom, you wait for it and then you worry over it. Enough movement? Too much movement? When can you share this feeling? Here are answers to your questions.
Read more
Further Reading

* When Will Others Feel Baby Move?
* Fetal Kick Counts
* How Baby Movements Feel

Pregnancy & Childbirth Spotlight10
Robin's Pregnancy / Birth Blog
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How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Monday August 16, 2010

Stretch Marks photo

Stretch marks are something most pregnant women fear. While a majority of women will see a telltale mark or two, many are relieved to find that stretch marks are not nearly as awful as they had once believed. I know my big concern was stretch marks on my abdomen. I hadn't even considered finding them elsewhere. Did you know that you can get stretch marks in other places?

Learn what you can about stretch marks and Realize that if you do get stretch marks, there are things that you can do to get rid of stretch marks or at least treat them and make them much less visible.


* How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
* Stretch Mark Photo Gallery
* Add Your Stretch Mark Photos
* 6 Unexpected Places to Find Stretch Marks
* What will stretch marks look like after I give birth?
* Pregnancy Skin Care Guide

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Due in April 2011?
Sunday August 15, 2010

Just wanted to let everyone know that the April 2011 Due Date Forum is now up and running! It's a great place to meet others who are due near your due date and to chat about what's going on in your pregnancy right now. There is also the main pregnancy forum and the baby names forum for more pregnancy fun. If you're due in another month, I have a due date forum for that too!

I'll see you there!

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Three Trimesters of Pregnancy
Saturday August 14, 2010

Everyone probably knows that there are three trimesters of pregnancy. What you may not know is that each trimester is vastly different in terms of what you need to know about daily life, pregnancy testing and just getting around. Here I've broken down the trimesters for you and placed the relevant information inside:

* First Trimester
* Second Trimester
* Third Trimester


* Due Date Calculator
* Due Date Forums
* Pregnancy Calendar
* Belly Gallery

Photo © J. Reid

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Why have a doula?
Friday August 13, 2010

As Noa's second birthday approaches later this month, I can't help but go over her birth in my mind. I remember fondly the days leading up to her birth. I was surrounded by friends and family after a loss and they really kept me bolstered and focused on the baby. My husband was great with the kids, getting them up and ready and out the door in the morning. But one of the things that really stands out were my doulas. (Yes, I had more than one.) Once our call came that we were ready, they came quickly and quietly. They assessed the situation and seamlessly integrated and started doing things. They brought us snacks, rubbed my back, brought cold clothes, entertained my older kids and took photos. The entire time the worked behind the scenes to ensure that my birth would be as close to my ideal as possible, which included my husband playing a large role. My husband was able to focus solely on me and my needs and this is why I have a doula at my birth. What reasons would you hire a doula?

new baby information

Most new parents agree that gathering up new baby information to help support their growing knowledge of newborns is difficult and often stressful.

Oh the joy!
and oh the stress!
of being a new parent.......

It means searching through the enormous amount of books and parenting articles which have been written on infant baby parenting.

Your family and friends will all add their advice to this copious collection of knowledge on new baby information. First time parents often feel completely bombarded by the unsolicited advice coming at them from all directions.

This is when the lifelong task begins of sorting the wood from the trees and of developing your own parenting style based on your own experience.

Fun and interesting Baby Facts

* Babies are born with very poor vision but can recognize their mothers almost right away.
* Babies are born before the skulls of the head are complete joined together.
* Babies are born with a swimming reflex and can naturally hold there breath. But they short lose this instinct.
* Babies are always born with blue eyes, within a few moments of delivery their eye color can change.
* Newborns usually double their weight by six months.
* By the end of the first year, a newborn normally will triple their weight.
* Playing classical music, especially Mozart, will increase their intelligence.
* Reading to your child (at ANY age) will increase their knowledge.
* Babies can communicate physically before they can verbally. Subliminally, parents teach their babies some gestures like 'bye' waves, hugs, pointing and so forth. Research shows that children and infants who use sign language show stronger lingual development.
* Puzzles are not only fun, but they promote your child's development in a variety of ways.

"Newborn Sleep"


"Newborn Sleep"

Newborn sleep differs from that of older babies.
Photo © Jane
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Congratulations on the birth of your new baby. This is a glorious time in your life. Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, you will find this a time of recovery, adjustment, sometimes confusion and frustration, but -- most wonderfully -- of falling in love.

Babies younger than four months old have very different sleep needs than older babies. This article will help you understand your newborn baby's developing sleep patterns, and will help you develop reasonable expectations when it comes to your baby and sleep.
Read, Learn, and Beware of Bad Advice

Absolutely everyone has an opinion about how you should handle sleep issues with your new baby. The danger to a new parent is that these tidbits of misguided advice (no matter how well-intentioned) can truly have a negative effect on our parenting skills and, by extension, our babies' development -- if we are not aware of the facts. The more knowledge you have the less likely that other people will make you doubt your parenting decisions.

When you have your facts straight, and when you have a parenting plan, you will be able to respond with confidence to those who are well-meaning but offering contrary or incorrect advice. So, your first step is to get smart! Know what you are doing, and know why you are doing it. Read books and magazines, attend classes or support groups -- it all helps.
The Biology of Newborn Sleep

During the early months of your baby's life, he sleeps when he is tired, it's really that simple. You can do very little to force a new baby to sleep when he doesn't want to sleep, and conversely, you can do little to wake him up when he is sleeping soundly.

A very important point to understand about newborn babies is that they have very, very tiny tummies. New babies grow rapidly, their diet is liquid, and it digests quickly. Formula digests quickly and breast milk digests even more rapidly. Although it would be nice to lay your little bundle down at a predetermined bedtime and not hear a peep from him until morning, even the most naive among us know that this is not a realistic goal for a tiny baby. Newborns need to be fed every two to four hours -- and sometimes more.

During those early months, your baby will have tremendous growth spurts that affect not only daytime, but also nighttime feeding as well, sometimes pushing that two- to four-hour schedule to a one- to two-hour schedule around the clock.
Sleeping "Through the Night"

You have probably heard that babies should start "sleeping through the night" at about 2 to 4 months of age. What you must understand is that, for a new baby, a five-hour stretch is a full night. Many (but nowhere near all) babies at this age can sleep uninterrupted from midnight to 5 a.m. (Not that they always do.) A far cry from what you may have thought "sleeping through the night" meant!

What's more, while the scientific definition of "sleeping through the night" is five hours, most of us wouldn't consider that anywhere near a full night's sleep for ourselves. Also, some of these sleep-through-the-nighters will suddenly begin waking more frequently, and it's often a full year or even two until your little one will settle into a mature, all-night, every night sleep pattern.
Take the Poll: When did your child(ren) start sleeping through the night regularly?
Falling Asleep at the Breast or Bottle

It is very natural for a newborn to fall asleep while sucking at the breast, a bottle, or a pacifier. When a baby always falls asleep this way, he learns to associate sucking with falling asleep; over time, he cannot fall asleep any other way. I have heard a number of sleep experts refer to this as a "negative sleep association." I certainly disagree, and so would my baby. It is probably the most positive, natural, pleasant sleep association a baby can have. However, a large percentage of parents who are struggling with older babies who cannot fall asleep or stay asleep are fighting this natural and powerful sucking-to-sleep association.

Therefore, if you want your baby to be able to fall asleep without your help, it is essential that you sometimes let your newborn baby suck until he is sleepy, but not totally asleep. When you can, remove the breast, bottle, or pacifier from his mouth and let him finish falling asleep without something in his mouth. When you do this, your baby may resist, root, and fuss to regain the nipple. It's perfectly okay to give him back the breast, bottle, or pacifier and start over a few minutes later. If you do this often enough, he will eventually learn how to fall asleep without sucking.

what is hari raya....

Hari Raya Puasa is a very important occasion that is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. It is also known as the festival that marks the end of one month of fasting. The words ‘Hari Raya’ mean 'day of celebration.' Many mistake Hari Raya Puasa for the Muslim New Year but it is not.


What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the name of the one-month fasting period when Muslims fast for a period of almost 12 hours. They fast from dawn till sunset. It is a known fact that during the period of fasting, apart from eating and drinking Muslims are also forbidden from smoking and having sexual relations. Only the sick are excused from fasting during this month. Muslims are expected to avoid lying, breaking promise or cheating during the month of Ramadan. The primary purpose of fasting during Ramadan is to remind all Muslims of self-control and submitting to Allah, the holy one. Even young kids are taught to fast when they are young.


In a country like Singapore where there are a number of Muslims, Hari Raya preparations can be seen at least one month before the festival. Geylang Serai, the place that is known for the Muslims to gather, is always filled with large crowds during Ramadan. Bazaars would be set up and they would be selling numerous festive items for Muslims. Carpets, clothes, bags, food, music CDs, household items and VCDs would also be sold at Geylang. At night the place is lit up with glittering lights. There would also be a wide variety of food which would be sold at the fairs and they include kuehs, otah-otah, cakes, buns, breads, curry, noodles and even curry puffs. Most of the Muslims shop here to get the food to bring home to eat when they are breaking the fast. The time when the Muslims break the fast is usually around 7:15pm.


Celebration for Hari Raya Puasa starts at least a month ahead, during the fasting period of Ramadan. Women start to sew beautiful curtains and buy new clothes for the family. Some families also do renovation for the house so that the house would look better when the guests visit it during the festival. After fulfilling their one-month of fasting, the Muslims would be joyful to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa. On the morning of the festival, the Muslims would wear their new clothes and go to the mosque to pray. They offer their thanks to God and after that they would ask for forgiveness from their elders. This is an important custom followed by the Muslims.

They feel that the young ones asking forgiveness from their elders is very essential. On the day, they also visit their relatives and friends to celebrate the happy occasion. If you visit Muslims' homes on Hari Raya Puasa you can expect to taste a wide variety of delicious spicy dishes. Some favorite dishes that can be found in Muslims homes on this special occasion are ketupat, lontong, nasi padang and beef rendang. The Muslims also have the habit of giving packets of money to kids when they go visiting. The packets are usually be in green color and children often look forward to getting these money tokens on Hari Raya Puasa. Overall, Hari Raya Puasa is a delightful festival for the Muslims.

Hari Raya Puasa

Hari Raya Puasa

Muslims celebrate the festival of Aidilfitri – popularly known as Hari Raya Puasa, or simply Hari Raya (Day of Celebration) in Malaysia – to mark the culmination of Ramadhan, the holy month of fasting.

It is a joyous occasion for Muslims, as it signifies a personal triumph, a victory of self-restraint and abstinence, symbolising purification and renewal.
Prayers at the National Mosque during Ramadan

Fasting during the month of Ramadhan is compulsory or wajib, whereby Muslims are required to abstain from satisfying their most basic needs and urges, daily, between sunrise and sunset. It is one of the five tenets of Islam; as is the paying of zakat (alms tax for the poor), which must be tithed by the end of Ramadhan.

In Malaysia, the period of fasting ends when the new moon is sighted on the evening of the last day of Ramadhan. The actual sighting is conducted by state appointed religious officials at various vantage points (usually at hilltops) throughout the country.

If the crescent is sighted, the following day is then declared the first day of Aidilfitri, which is also the beginning of the 10th month of the Muslim calendar Syawal.
A time to forgive and forget

Aidilfitri is celebrated for the whole month of Syawal, but in Malaysia, only the first two days are observed as public holidays. It is widely common however, to see Muslims taking the first week off from work.

Urbanites make their annual pilgrimage to their hometowns (this is popularly referred to as balik kampung), to be with parents, relatives and old friends. Thus, cities like Kuala Lumpur get relatively quiet during the festive season of Aidilfitri.
Balik kampung

The Muslim community ushers in the first day of Aidilfitri by congregating at mosques for morning prayers. Everyone is usually decked out in their traditional best to mark the special occasion. Men are usually dressed in Baju Melayu, while the Baju Kurung, the quintessential Malay attire for females, is the prefered choice for the fairer sex.

Then it's usually breakfast at home with the family, followed by a visit to the cemetery where deceased loved ones are remembered; graves are cleaned and cleared of overgrowth, and prayers are offered to Allah.

This is also a time to forgive and forget past quarrels. Asking for pardon is done in order of seniority. The younger members of a family approach their elders (parents, grandparents etc) to seek forgiveness, to salam (Muslim equivalent of a handshake), then kiss the hands of the older person as a sign of respect.

The usual greeting (that is uttered with the salam) during Aidilfitri is “Selamat Hari Raya”, which means “Wishing you a joyous Hari Raya”.
A family elder giving out duit raya and ketupat

Children and old folks are given duit raya or gifts of money, in small envelopes. In recent years, many givers have opted for the Chinese practice of putting the money in ang pow packets; however instead of the usual red, the packets are green in colour.

Although the first three days are celebrated on a grander scale, many Muslims hold “open house” throughout the month, where friends and neighbours of other races are invited to join in the celebrations.
Before the big day

The joy of Hari Raya Puasa actually begins before the first day. A week or so before the big day, excitement mounts as the house is readied for the celebration with new furnishing and decorations.
Children lighting kerosene lamps or 'pelita'

Of particular interest are the last 10 days of Ramadan, where many keep vigil for Lailatul Qadr (The Night of Decree), the night when the Quran was sent down. It is believed that angels descend and shower blessings on that particular night, so homes are brightly decorated with oil lamps or pelita.

Mosques, as well as government and some commercial buildings, are also decorated and brightly lit to mark the auspicious day. The most predominant colour seen in decorations during this season is green which is commonly associated with Islamic items. It is often combined with yellow or gold.
Decorations with Islamic and Malay motifs

As for motifs, by far the most frequently used symbol is that of the ketupat (rice cakes wrapped in coconut leaves); it is invariably used on Hari Raya greeting cards, hanging decorative items, and as a promotional image for the season.

The ketupat is traditional Hari Raya fare and is often served with beef rendang (beef cooked with spices and coconut milk) and/or satay (grilled meat on a skewer).

Other festive delicacies include lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo tubes), serunding (dessicated coconut fried with chilli) and curry chicken.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What is HIV?

* What is HIV?
* How is HIV diagnosed?
* How is HIV transmitted?
* How common is HIV/AIDS in women and children?
* How are most women infected?
* What women are at highest risk of getting HIV through sex?
* Who should be tested for HIV?
* What HIV/AIDS treatments should a pregnant woman get?
* Does drug treatment help prevent HIV/AIDS in babies of HIV-infected mothers?
* Does a cesarean birth reduce the risk of passing on HIV to the baby?
* What other steps can women with HIV/AIDS and their providers take to protect the baby?
* Is it safe for a woman with HIV/AIDS to breastfeed her baby?
* What are the symptoms of AIDS in babies?
* What steps can a pregnant woman take to remain uninfected?
* Where is HIV testing available?
* Where can health care professionals get more information?
* References

AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV causes AIDS. An infected woman can pass HIV on to her baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. All pregnant women should be tested for HIV because proper treatment usually can prevent HIV in the baby.

What is HIV?
HIV attacks the immune system and destroys immune-system cells called CD4 cells that the body needs to fight infections. A person infected with HIV may not develop AIDS immediately. In fact, it may take many years. As the immune system becomes weaker, the infected person becomes less able to fight off infections and certain cancers, which can be life-threatening or fatal. Powerful drugs can treat AIDS and have dramatically improved the outlook for people with HIV/AIDS.

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How is HIV diagnosed?
HIV is diagnosed with blood tests. After HIV enters the bloodstream, the body begins to produce disease-fighting antibodies. If a blood test detects these antibodies, the person is “HIV-positive” but does not necessarily have AIDS. A person who is HIV-positive can transmit the virus to others.

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How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is passed from one person to another through contact with infected body fluids. The virus is found in:

* Blood
* Semen
* Vaginal fluids
* Breastmilk

Most people get HIV through sex or sharing needles. Infected babies most often get it from exposure to their mother’s blood and vaginal secretions during labor and delivery. Less often, the virus crosses the placenta and infects the baby before birth or the mother passes the virus to the baby after birth in breastmilk.

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How common is HIV/AIDS in women and children?
In the United States, 73 percent of individuals living with HIV/AIDS are male and 27 percent are female (3). An estimated 278,400 women in the United States are living with the virus, and many do not know it (1, 2). Most of these women are of childbearing age.

Since 1985, approximately 9,200 children in the United States have contracted AIDS, and about 5,400 have died (3). More than 90 percent got the virus from their mother during pregnancy or birth (3).

A 1994 study showed that drug treatment during pregnancy greatly reduces the risk that an HIV-infected mother will pass the virus on to her baby (4). Since then, the number of babies in the United States who get the virus from their mothers has dropped dramatically, from a high of about 1,650 in 1991 to an estimated 100 to 200 in 2005 (5).

Worldwide, about 420,000 babies get HIV from their mothers each year (6). About 90 percent of cases occur in developing countries where new treatments are not widely available. Researchers are studying new approaches to preventing HIV infection in these areas. There are many initiatives to make medications available throughout the world.

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How are most women infected?
The most common way women become infected is through unprotected (without a condom) heterosexual intercourse with infected partners. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that of new infections in women in the United States (7):

* About 80 percent are contracted through heterosexual intercourse. (Women are more likely than men to become infected via heterosexual sex.)
* About 20 percent are contracted through injection drug use by needle sharing.

A small number of women have contracted HIV by receiving infected blood transfusions, blood components or transplanted tissue.

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What women are at highest risk of getting HIV through sex?
Women at highest risk include:

* Women whose heterosexual partners use intravenous (IV) drugs
* Women whose partners also have sex with men
* Adolescents and young adults with multiple sex partners
* Women with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) other than HIV

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Who should be tested for HIV?
The CDC recommends that all pregnant women be screened for HIV infection(8). The CDC advises that providers inform pregnant women that HIV testing is routinely included in the standard blood tests for all pregnant women, and that providers perform the blood test unless a woman declines it. In states that mandate pretest counseling and written informed consent before HIV testing, providers should recommend and provide testing and counseling. The CDC also recommends that the test be repeated in the third trimester for women who are at increased risk of HIV infection or who live in an area with high rates of HIV infection (8). Women who learn they carry the virus can get treatment and can help protect their babies from getting infected.

The CDC also recommends screening for all adults and adolescents between the ages of 13 and 64 as part of routine medical care (8). Ideally, all women should be aware of their HIV status before conception. The March of Dimes urges all women of childbearing age to know their HIV status by being tested before they become pregnant. All women, whether tested before pregnancy or not, should be tested for HIV during pregnancy.

Women who have not been tested during pregnancy can be tested during labor and delivery with tests that produce results quickly. This allows treatment, when necessary, to help protect the baby.

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What HIV/AIDS treatments should a pregnant woman get?
People with HIV/AIDS generally are treated with combinations of HIV-fighting drugs. These drug combinations often slow the spread of HIV in the body, keep blood levels of the virus low (or even undetectable), and help prevent AIDS-related infections. The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that an HIV-infected pregnant woman receive treatment with these drugs throughout pregnancy (9). Medications may need to be modified as pregnancy progresses.

If a woman learns she has HIV in her first trimester and she has not yet been treated with any HIV-fighting drugs, she should be evaluated and decide about treatment with her provider. An infected pregnant woman who is already taking HIV-fighting drugs should continue to take them throughout pregnancy. However, her provider may recommend adjusting or changing medications.

Since HIV-fighting drugs are new, it is not yet known whether they pose a risk to the fetus. But these drugs do not appear to pose a significant risk to the fetus when they are used during pregnancy. However, a few of the newer drugs, including efavirenz (Sustiva) and delavirdine (Rescriptor), generally are not recommended in pregnancy because they may pose a risk of birth defects (9).

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Does drug treatment help prevent HIV/AIDS in babies of HIV-infected mothers?
Treatment with a combination of HIV-fighting drugs, along with use of cesarean section in certain circumstances, can reduce the risk of a mother passing HIV on to her baby to 2 percent or less, compared to 25 percent for untreated women (9). Infected pregnant women should take HIV-fighting drugs starting in the early second trimester and continue taking them throughout pregnancy, labor and birth. Babies born to an infected mother should be treated for the first 6 weeks of life to prevent transmission of the virus (9).

HIV-infected women who have not received any drug treatment before labor should be treated with HIV-fighting drugs during labor and delivery. Their babies should be treated with oral medicine for 6 weeks after birth (9). Even this short duration of treatment may reduce the risk of passing the infection on to the baby by about 60 percent (9).

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Does a cesarean birth reduce the risk of passing on HIV to the baby?
Studies show that some HIV-infected women can reduce their risk of passing the virus on to their baby by having a cesarean birth before labor begins and their membranes have ruptured. The U.S. Public Health Service and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend that HIV-infected women be offered a cesarean delivery at 38 completed weeks of pregnancy to further reduce the risk of passing HIV to their baby, unless they have very low (less than 1,000 copies/mL) or undetectable amounts of the virus in their blood (9, 10). It is unclear whether a cesarean birth further reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to the baby when a woman has very low or undetectable amounts of the virus in her blood as a result of drug treatment (9, 10).

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What other steps can women with HIV/AIDS and their providers take to protect the baby?
Health care providers can recommend other precautions to help protect the baby. A provider who knows that a woman is HIV-positive can avoid using procedures that could increase the exposure of the baby to the mother’s blood during pregnancy or labor, such as amniocentesis, fetal-scalp blood sampling or rupturing the membranes.

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Is it safe for a woman with HIV/AIDS to breastfeed her baby?
A woman with HIV/AIDS in the United States should not breastfeed her baby because breastfeeding can transmit the virus to the baby. This recommendation may differ in developing countries.

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What are the symptoms of AIDS in babies?
HIV-infected babies appear normal at birth, but about 15 percent of untreated babies develop serious symptoms and may die in the first year of life (11). Before combination drug treatment, about half of HIV-infected children died by age 9 (12). Now more than 95 percent of treated children survive, and most are free of serious symptoms much of the time (12).

Babies of women with HIV should be tested for the virus at 14 to 21 days, 1 to 2 months, and 4 to 6 months (11). Some providers also test babies within 48 hours of birth (11). These early tests, which detect the virus itself instead of the antibodies, can identify most infected babies by 1 month and virtually all by 4 months (11).

The HIV antibody test is not reliable for an infant born to an infected mother. This is because the mother’s antibodies may be present in her baby’s blood for up to 18 months, even if the baby has not been infected.

The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that all infants with HIV be treated with a combination of HIV-fighting drugs because the disease tends to progress more rapidly in infants than in older children and adults (11). Studies show that combination therapy slows the progress of the disease and improves survival in infected babies and children, as it does in adults.

Most adults with AIDS suffer opportunistic infections, which rarely occur in people whose immune systems are not weakened. A child with AIDS is at special risk of serious illness from common bacteria. But early diagnosis of HIV infection and frequent follow-up can help prevent or reduce the severity of these infections.

Babies with HIV infection generally should receive all routine childhood immunizations, plus some additional ones. Babies with HIV/AIDS should be vaccinated yearly against influenza starting at 6 months of age. Some children with serious symptoms should not receive live-virus vaccines, such as chickenpox, rotavirus and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) (9, 12, 13).

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What steps can a pregnant woman take to remain uninfected?
Women should avoid all possible sources of infection before and throughout pregnancy, including:

* Using needles, razors or other items possibly contaminated with the blood of an infected person
* Having sexual contact with someone who is infected; using condoms helps protect against HIV and other STIs

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Where is HIV testing available?
Health care providers, local health departments, hospitals, clinics and special testing sites all offer HIV testing. The CDC provides information and referrals to local testing sites, including free and anonymous testing. Women can access this information:

* Through a toll-free telephone hotline at (800) CDC-INFO begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) CDC-INFO end_of_the_skype_highlighting (232-4636)
* On the Web at http://www.hivtest.org/

State and some local governments and health departments also provide hotlines for information about HIV/AIDS services.

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Where can health care professionals get more information?
ACOG offers information on perinatal HIV on its Web site.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers information on pediatric HIV at its Web site.

The National Perinatal HIV Consultation and Referral Service at (888) 448-8765 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (888) 448-8765 end_of_the_skype_highlighting and through its Web site provides free, 24-hour clinical consultation and advice on:

* Treatment of HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants
* Indications and interpretations of rapid and standard HIV testing in pregnancy

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1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIV Prevalence Estimates–United States, 2006, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, volume 57, number 39, October 2, 2008, pages 1073-1076.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Questions and Answers: HIV Prevalence Estimates–United States, 2006. October 2, 2008.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2007, volume 19, February 2009.
4. Connor, E.M., et al. Reduction of Maternal-Infant Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 With Zidovudine Treatment. New England Journal of Medicine, volume 333, number 18, 1994, pages 1173-1180.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mother-to-Child (Perinatal) HIV Transmission and Prevention. October 2007.
6. World Health Organization (WHO). Children and AIDS: Second Stocktaking Report. 2007.
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIV/AIDS Among Women, CDC, August 2008.
8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Revised Recommendation for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, September 22, 2006, volume 55, No. RR-14.
9. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service Task Force Recommendations for Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant HIV-Infected Women for Maternal Health and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States. July 8, 2008.
10. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Scheduled Cesarean Delivery and the Prevention of Vertical Transmission of HIV Infection. ACOG Committee Opinion, number 234, May 2000, reaffirmed 2008.
11. Working Group on Antiretroviral Therapy and Medical Management of HIV-Infected Children. Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection. February 23, 2009, www.aidsinfo.nih.gov.
12. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection. Red Book: 2006 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 27th edition. Elk Grove, IL, 2006.
13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Gastroenteritis Among Infants and Children: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, volume 58, number RR-2, February 6, 2009

Mother's Poetry

Mother's Poetry


This morning
in the car
Scott asked
if Spring
would come.

I said, though
now I wonder
what he meant.

Below the surface
of his question
a tender shoot
lies waiting.

Knowing and
not knowing,
tentative yet


pokes her
head up
the frozen

bloom . . .

LBM 2/25/03

Lori McCray

HE and SHE
By Mandy Howard

He laid quietly, softly breathing, warm and safe.

He lay close enough to her to feel the warmth of her breath.

With his eyes closed he thought of her, and tried to understand her. She was like the whole world.

When he came from the darkness she was the only one he knew.

He recognized her smell, and her voice, and even the way she moved, he was safe with her. She was always nearby, all he ever had to do was call, and she would come, she would hold him close, and kiss him she would make the world feel right.

She rarely went away, for very long, and always came back, so glad to see him.

He lay there quietly and she was so close just the way he liked it. She began to roll away, he called for her, and she smiled.

She rolled back and kissed his forehead softly, "I'll be right back," she promised.

He laid and watched for her return, after a moment he got frightened and almost called for her. Then she returned, and leaned over him, She again kissed his forehead, and smiling she whispered, "It's ok baby boy, Mommy is
here, and she loves you"

He wanted to answer, to tell her his feeling, but he couldn't make himself
understood. He softly curled the corners of his lips and smiled as he struggled for the words. He wanted to make them as sweet and soft as her words, but all that came out was a tiny noise that meant nothing. He wanted to cry out; no matter how he tried he couldn't tell her his feelings.

How would she ever know how he loved her, he tried once more in vain to make the words come out. It was only then that he noticed her smile, at each soft noise he failed to make into a word and each tiny smile he gave her she smiled.

His heart grew warm, and he slowly drifted off to sleep knowing that she
knew what he meant.

“Beyond Skin Deep”

As a snake is bound to slither
Every rose will some day whither
But take away foolish pride
And look way down deep inside
It’s where the greater meaning lies
I’m after no trophy, looking for no prize
They say beauty is only skin deep
But I believe this analogy is cheap
When I look deep within you
Your colors really shine through
An unimaginable beauty lies there
And it is for this that I care
As a snake is bound to slither
Every rose will some day whither
I pay no attention to that which is shallow
Only to that which lies below
Because when we are old and gray
I’ll still love you then as I do today
You’re outer beauty may have faded then
It all does, it’s just a matter of when
But it won’t mean a thing to me
In true love we’ll always be
If you happen to find me attractive
I should hope it’s for as long as I live
Because as a snake is bound to slither
Every rose will some day whither
And on that day when we’re old and gray
I’ll still love you then as I do today

Scott M. Lindberg
February 16, 2001
Email: scottcoli@msn.com
Mother's Love

These are the days
of laughter and love
smiling faced cherubim
sent from above
snuggled at my breast
full of warmth and rest
brings meaning and purpose
fulfilling destiny
creating, nurturing
the solar plexus
of radiant energy
in your smile

~ Charisse Goodyear

My Cesarean Poem

I had a cesarean
I didn't want one
I wanted a baby
All wet and messy
Plopped onto my bare chest
To comfort in his first moment
By the stroke of my hand
And a nuzzle at my breast

I had a cesarean
All betadine and beeping machines
And anonymous blue masks
Seeing my insides
And me- numb to my toes
With no feeling

Except heartbreak

My plans
And my dreams
Were betrayed
By the orange label
Attached to my chart
Code for "high risk"

I didn't feel high risk
I hated that label

Who are these people
Did you start?
I'm here! I'm here! Why is
No one talking to me?
I hear my baby cry, my baby cry
But can't see MY BABY
My baby, my baby, someone bring me
My baby
No answers
No explanation
I am alone
Except for the blue masks
Putting my insides back in.

He was brought to me
Already clean and wrapped
And frantic
I couldn't even hold him
I'm sure it is not what he expected

Then the blood
Then the pain
My belly no longer full of baby
Grew distended with air

"It doesn't matter now" Woman #1 said
"I had three cesareans, they are no big deal" bitch #2 said
"Your sister sprang right back" My mother said
(My sister was 19)

I have flashbacks
Like a war vet
And a sadness that
No one wants to hear about
And pain.

I does matter
It is a big deal
It is a mourning
I had a cesarean
I didn't want one.

~Barbara Stratton

Mother, Can you Hear Me
A Chance

I was born of a young mother
Only 16 years of age
She was like not other
Overflowing with courage

She chose not to take
The shortest or easiest road
For my good and my sake
Alone she carried the load

She easily could have decided
That she should go and abort
Instead she had confided
And didn't settle or resort

Thanks to my young mother
I get the chance to exist
She was like no other
My life took a twist

She gave me up for adoption
Doing what was best for me
Thank you for choosing this option
Giving me a chance to be happy

~ Scott Lindberg

Email: scotcoli@msn.com

If I Knew

If I knew it would be the last time that I'd see you fall asleep, I
would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time that I get to see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time I'd hear your voice lifted up to praise, I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time, I could spare an extra minute or two to stop and say "I love you," instead of assuming that you KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day, instead of thinking, "Oh, well, I'm sure we'll have so many more, so I can let this one slip away."

For surely there's always tomorrow to make up for an oversight, and we always get a second chance to make everything all right. There will always be another day to say " I love you," and certainly there's always another chance.

But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get, I'd like
to say how much I love you and hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is never promised to anyone, young or old alike, and today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight. So, if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today? For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day that you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or kiss, and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their last wish.

So, hold your loved ones close today, whisper in their ear. Tell
them how much you love them, and that you'll always hold them dear. Take the time to say " I'm sorry," "please forgive me," "thank you," or "it's ok." And if tomorrow never comes, you'll have no regrets about today.

Author Unknown

Lara's Birth (for Patty, my stepmother)
by Shannon Mitchell

Sometimes our footsteps lead us
where we never thought we'd go...
Sometimes experiences left behind us
are ones God chooses to show...
As we get older and think
that everything has been seen...
Our Lord allows a miracle to show us
we don't know anything...

Sometimes the deepest agony
can bring the greatest joy...
Sometimes the journey is arduous
that takes us where we need to go...
At times we may wonder
was it really worth the wait?
But love is the greatest outcome
And Love never comes too late...
So sometimes when you may wonder
if all the patience is worthwhile...
There is nothing more rewarding
Than a Newborn Baby's Smile.


Nutrition Facts For Pregnant Women

Nutrition Facts For Pregnant Women

All through her pregnancy, a woman needs to take proper care of her diet and nutrition, as it has a direct influence on the normal fetal development. At the same time, it has a bearing on the course of the pregnancy and the long-term health of the mother as well as her child. In the initial months of pregnancy, quality of the nutrition is much more important. However, as the time increases, quantity also needs to be taken into consideration. In case you want to explore some more nutrition facts for pregnant women, the following lines will surely come handy.

Pregnancy Nutrition Guide

Energy & Nutritional Requirements
A woman needs to understand the fact that during pregnancy, her body is faced with great nutrition demands, in order to ensure proper development of the fetus. Then, she also needs extra nutrients to supply energy for growth, health and functioning of the uterus, placenta and amniotic fluid. This is the reason why women are advised to increase their daily calorie consumption by 150 calories in the early days of pregnancy and with time, increase it to an extra 250 calories a day, by the end of pregnancy. However, she doesn't need to double her diet.

The increase in calories should be in a healthy form, for instance an additional glass of milk in the first trimester, which can be combined with an additional piece of fruit or slice of bread during the final six months. A pregnant woman also has to increase her protein intake, by 10 g (1/3 ounce) a day (apart from the usual 70 g daily). Then, there is a need to enhance carbohydrate as well as fat intake (along with essential fatty acids). The average weight gain by a woman in pregnancy is between 9 and 12 kg (20 to 26 lbs).

Minerals & Vitamins
When talking about increase in the vitamins and minerals consumed by a woman, when she becomes pregnant, more attention needs to be paid to folic acid, calcium, and iron in particular. This is because of the reason that more often than not, pregnant women are found to be deficient in them. Let us know about the nutrients in detail.

In pregnancy, a large amount of calcium is transferred from a woman's body, to the fetus, in order to provide for bone as well as teeth formation of the baby. However, in the first six months, the calcium is stored by the woman in her own bones. It is only from the seventh month onwards that fetus draws on the mother's store, since at this stage; the skeletal growth reaches its peak. At this point of time, mother should increase the consumption of high calcium-containing foods. Otherwise, her own teeth and bones might suffer and become brittle.

Iron, the nutrient which holds an important place in the process of blood formation, is required in greater quantities during pregnancy. This is because during this time not only are the fetal red blood cells being developed, but even the blood volume of the mother increases. So, there is a need for greater iron consumption, mainly through meat, fish, egg yolk, vegetables and whole-grain products. Though iron from animal origin is better assimilated than plant origin, you can have vitamin C with the latter, to absorb it better.

Folic Acid
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 or folacin, is yet another nutrient whose consumption needs to be increased during pregnancy. This is because it is required for the proper development of the fetal central nervous system and also helps prevent developmental defects of the neural tube (spina bifida). Though folic acid is found in routine vegetables, wheat germ, tropical fruits and eggs, additional consumption is required in the months before pregnancy (if you have planned it) as well during the first trimester.

Smoking Facts Pregnant Mothers Should Know

5 Smoking Facts Pregnant Mothers Should Know
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By cold turkey

Smoking has been known to affect the unborn children of pregnant mothers. It is popular knowledge that women who are with child should not smoke. However, the reasons for this have not been explained well. Also, not a lot of studies have been done on the effects of cigarette smoking on unborn children. Here are some smoking facts pregnant women should consider before lighting a cigarette.

1.) Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can cause health problems to the born child.

One of the reasons why pregnant women should not smoke during pregnancy is that it can cause premature birth. It also has a direct link to children's susceptibility to respiratory diseases. Also, it has been observed that babies of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are lighter than the babies of non-smokers. It was also proven that the the heart rate of infants of mothers who smoked during pregnancy have a heart rate that is 30% higher than those with non-smoking mothers. These are the primary smoking facts pregnant women must consider before lighting a cigarette.

2.) Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can cause ADHD.

Apparently, the effects of cigarette smoking on children during pregnancy are not limited to a child's physical qualities. It can also affect a child's mental health. According to a medical study, mothers who smoked an average of 14 cigarettes during pregnancy tend to give birth to "hyperkinetic" children. This effect is dosage-dependent, meaning mothers who smoke an average of 6 cigarettes have a higher chance of giving birth to normal children. The researchers speculated that this was caused by the pile up of carbon monoxide in the fetal blood stream that lead to a significant decrease in the oxygen brought to the developing infant. As a matter of fact, the infant is exposed to a higher level of carboxyhemoglobin, the substance that depletes the oxygen in the body and has caused deaths to people who have inhaled too much carbon monoxide. As a matter of fact, this has been used as a method of suicide by some people.

3.) Cigarette smoking during can affect a child's future academic performance.

Although it may seem like something that is impossible at the moment, pregnant mothers have to take note of this smoking fact. Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can affect the child's academic performance in the future. In this study, over 9,000 children were given some tests to evaluate their math ability and reading ability. According to the results of the study, children of mothers who smoked 10 or more cigarettes a day during pregnancy had lower scores in these tests as compared to children whose mothers didn't smoke any cigarettes while they were pregnant.

4.) Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can cause behavior problems.

Another smoking fact to think about is that severe child behavior problems is one of the effects of cigarette smoking. In a study conducted in California, it was shown how the number of cigarettes a pregnant mother smokes each day can affect the behavior of her child when he or she becomes older. The children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy tend to exhibit disobedience and have a higher tendency to have conflicts with others as compared to children of non-smokers.

5.) Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can cause complications during birth.

Not only does smoking during pregnancy cause problems in the unborn child's physical or mental health, it can also cause some complications during the birth of the baby as well as the development of the fetus. Pregnant smokers have a huge risk of having an ectopic pregnancy wherein the embryo becomes implanted in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. It can also double the risk of placental complications which can also endanger the mother during birth.

With these smoking facts to consider, mothers should start thinking about stopping smoking for a while. Perhaps, the nine months of cigarette-free lifestyle will even help them quit smoking for good.

Puasa wajib bulan Ramadhan

( Sekecil apapun kebaikan yang ditebarkan, maka itu tetap bernilai ibadah )

Puasa wajib bulan Ramadhan yang dijalani umat muslim di seluruh dunia itu bisa menjadi benteng pertahanan diri. Karena tujuan dari puasa itu tak lain adalah demi meningkatkan ketaqwaan dan keimanan. Disisi lain di bulan Ramadhan itu pula Allah berjanji akan memberikan pahala yang besar kepada siapa saja yang berbuat kebajikan dan kebaikan.

Wajar jika Ramadhan adalah peluang emas bagi setiap muslim untuk menambah ’tabungan’ pahala disisi Allah. Dalam hadist (yang diriwayatkan Ibnu Khuzaimah dan Baihaqi) dijelaskan bahwa amalan-amalan sunnah pada bulan suci Ramadhan bisa bernilai seperti amalan wajib; dan amalan wajib senilai 70 amalan wajib di luar bulan Ramadhan. Untuk itu, bulan Ramadhan menjadi peluang untuk berbuat kebaikan. Sekecil apapun kebaikan yang ditebarkan, maka itu tetap bernil;ai ibadah. Seuntai senyum pun, misalnya mengandung sedekah dan sarat pahala.

Setidaknya, ada beberapa amalan yang di sunnahkan pada bulan penuh maghfirah ini, diantaranya :

1. Mengkhatamkan Al-Qur’an

Dengan mengingat Ramadhan sebagai bulan Al-Qur’an, umat muslim sangat disunnahkan untuk mengkhatamkan Al-Qur’an. Dalam sebuah hadist diceritakan Jibril mendatangi Rasulullah SAW pada tiap malam bulan Ramadhan dan mengajarkannya Al-Qur’an. (HR.Bukhari dan Muslim)

2 . Shalat Tarawih

Selain mengkhatamkan Al-Qur’an, amalan sunnah lain adalah shalat Tarawih.

3. Memberi panganan berbuka

Sepanjang bulan Ramadhan, umat muslim dianjurkan untuk selalu memberikan ifthar (berbuka) bagi mereka yang berpuasa walaupun hanya seteguk air ataupun sebutir kurma.

4 Bersedekah

Termasuk amalan sunnah yang dianjurkan sepanjang bulan Ramadhan adalah memperbanyak sedekah. ”Sebaik-baiknya sedekahadalah sedekah pada bulan Ramadhan. (HR Tirmidzi)

5 I’tikaf

I’tikaf adalah berdiam diri di mesjid untuk beribadah kepada Allah. I’tikaf di sunnahkan bagi laki-laki dan perempuan, karena Rasulullah SAW selalu beri’tikaf terutama pada sepuluh malam terakhir. Aisyah ra berkata, ”Bila telah memasuki 10 malam terakhir di bulan Ramadhan, Nabi menghidupkan malam, membangunkan keluarganya (istrinya) dan meninggalkan istrinya (tidak berhubungan suami isteri). (HR Bukhari dan Muslim)

6. Umrah

Ramadhan adalah waktu terbaik untuk melaksanakan ibadah umrah, lantaran umrah di bulan Ramadhan itu memiliki pahala, seperti pahala haji bahkan pahala haji bersama Rasulullah SAW.

7. Memperbanyak Doa

Doa seseorang ketika berbuka termasuk salah satu orang yang doanya mustajab. Dari Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Ash berkata bahwa Rasulullah SAW bersabda, ”Bagi orang yang berpuasa ketika sedang berbuka, ada doa yang tidak akan ditolak.” (HR Tirmidzi)