pail book club

We’ve had some requests for an extension to our deadline for our PAIL book club, “Simplicity Parenting,” posts. So we have extended the deadline to this Monday at 9am. If you are still wanting to get your post in take the weekend to write and we’ll put all the posts up Monday afternoon. Click here for a link to the book club suggested questions.

*Stay tuned tomorrow for a fun surprise and chance to get to know members of the blogroll a little better!*

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news item: “Breast is Best” unless…

“you have to work.” Is the title of the article I saw a Facebook friend post the other day. The CDC (Center for Disease Control in America) has released its latest round of statistics on breast-feeding and overall the news is good. More women than ever are attempting to breastfeed:

“Over 75 percent of both white and Latino infants who were born in 2008 were breast-fed, while the number of black infants breast-fed the same year was under 60 percent.”

This is great, right? It is, it means that most women are at least attempting to breastfeed. But, the CDC followed up with those women at 6 months after birth and 9 months after birth and found that:

“ of 2008, the overall percentage of babies still being breast-fed at six months was less than 45 percent. (Six months is the American Association of Pediatrics’ recommendation for duration of exclusive breast-feeding.)”

Why the drop off? For myself, breastfeeding got SO much easier about 4-5 months. We got our “groove” going and my Stella was going longer stretches between feedings. The author of the article says she knows why:

“Breast-feeding after you return to work is a tremendous pain in the ass for even the most privileged women…”

We all agree that rasing a child is the most important ‘job’ in the world. We have all sorts of laws that supposedly ‘protect’ the right of working women to pump in a secure environment without facing penalties, either explicit or the more sinister penalty, being quietly ‘mommy-tracked’, passed up for promotions, given less important files, cases,work, etc. The laws are good, but enforcement, and actually embracing them and supporting working mothers is not what is happening in most situations in this country.

This article is short, but speaks to a number of issues, breastfeeding rates in America, the disparity of those rates among women of different races, the issue of maternity leave, ways the CDC tries to encourage breastfeeding, access to lactation consultants, and issues with the WIC program (Women Infants and Children) that provides formula and food for low-income families. I hope you’ll read the article and chime in with your thoughts. I will chime in more in the comments, especially as I have worked with the WIC program through our foster care experience and can speak more on that issue as the article leaves a few details out. So, please read: “Breast is Best – Unless You Have to Work” and please comment with your thoughts and personal experience.


Some thoughts/questions for you to consider:

If you are nursing and back to work, how is it going? Do you feel truly supported?

Do you have adequate access to a room to pump in, is it comfortable, clean, secure?

Did you give up nursing because it was too hard to work and pump?

Did you have access to a Lactation Consultant in the hospital? Did you have access after you left the hospital?

Have you ever felt ‘penalized’ in your job because you chose to pump milk for your child while at work?


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featured post: “Some news from Ms. J” by Weathering Storms

Rain is a Mom who blogs about life with her husband, MrRuger, and their son, Cadet. They have an open adoption with Mrs. J, Cadet’s birth Mom, and Rain’s most recent post is an extremely interesting read about that dynamic. Beyond the fact that Ms. J is currently incarcerated (and considering starting her own blog about that experience – how interesting would that be?!), it’s just awesome to read about how the relationship between them all has evolved into a truly familial relationship.

In Ms J’s words: “No one has the right to take issue with my choice to place Cadet for adoption. I did it for (him). In this adoption you have become family to me. You have supported me when my own family didn’t. Family isn’t about just about blood, it’s about who stands up for you. I stood up for Cadet and you have stood up for me even when you didn’t need to. That’s family. And who ever doesn’t agree with that is just crazy.”  (Take that adoption critics!)

She also talks about the work they are doing to make this a truly open adoption for Cadet:

…we also want to start establishing a healthy relationship between her and Cadet. We don’t want Cadet to remember a time when Ms J is not in his life. We want him to always know that she is important to us, and their relationship is something we’ll always encourage. What better way to do that, then start establishing visits? Provided that Ms J wants visits, of course.

People obviously choose different types of adoption for many different reasons…international vs. domestic, open vs. closed, or somewhere in between. It’s just so interesting to me to read about how each family works to make the decisions that work best for them and their child(ren).

As always, comments here are closed so you can go visit Rain at her own site. Please head over and read her original post and share your thoughts there!


Rain @ Weathering Storms in her own words:

Hello, I am Rain (age: 35). I am married to McRuger (age: 33). Our son, Cadet, joined our family in September of 2011 through domestic adoption. We have a nutty little dog named Em, who is an expert at sleeping and running. We live in sunny California and have a passion for cooking (and eating).

Why a blog? Well, I love to write, I adore connecting with others, and I feel the need to share my experience.

And why did I choose “Rain” as a theme to my blog? To me, rain brings all good things. It encourages growth, feeds our rivers and oceans, and makes me feel happy. I have always loved rain more than sun. So, when I came up with a blog name, I wanted it to reflect something I love. Rain seemed to be the perfect choice.

Sit down, browse a bit, and enjoy the show. It will never be too boring, I promise.


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the monday snapshot – Em

Em from Teach me to Braid is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the The Monday Snapshot – an evolution of the MMM feature, meant to bring the PAIL blogroll to life by giving its members a chance to feature themselves and make new connections. 

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!


I just finished a blog post about weaning, so I was looking through my photos for images of Harriet and I snuggled up together in our favorite nursing chair. I found what I was looking for, but I also found this picture and I couldn’t stop staring at it. I couldn’t believe how grown-up my baby girl looked, walking…running around outside in her jeans and pea coat. And here’s the kicker – I snapped this pic last fall…before she had any teeth, before she could climb stuff, before she learned to give hugs and kisses, before she fell in love with books. I’m struck by the way time is literally streaking by and I’m so grateful for those moments when it seems to stand still so that I can celebrate her, and memorize her, and just let her soak deeper into my heart.

Monday snapshot


Now, get to know a little more about Em with her answers to the Monday Snapshot “5 Questions”:

1) How long have you been blogging and how did you get started?

I started blogging in July of 2012. My mom had been encouraging me to start a blog for years and I finally decided to go for it.

2) Tell us a little about your ALI journey and your family (3-4 sentences):

I have PCOS. It took us two and a half years, two losses (one at 19 weeks and one chemical pregnancy) and IVF to get pregnant with our daughter who was one in December. We will be starting fertility treatments again when she is fully weaned.

3) What makes you unique in the blogging world? (e.g. special talent, rare diagnosis, life experience)?

I think my blog stands out because I write with the non-ALI person in mind. I don’t use any abbreviations and I try to fully explain all medical terminology and procedures. On one hand, I think the abbreviations and all of that is great because it helps us develop a sense of community with one another. But I often hear ALI-ers complain that nobody “gets” what we’re going through and that fertile people can be so out of touch with our struggle. My hope is that my blog can help fertile folks understand our hearts a bit better. Avoiding infertility jargon is one of the ways I’m trying to do that.

4) One word to describe yourself: 


5) What blog or website (IF or not) would you recommend to others? Why?

Lately, I’ve really been enjoying Wegen Tales. Shayla seems very wise and humble, a great combination for a writer.


As always, we want to see your Monday Snapshot as well, so please comment below with a link to your post– and of course, go visit  Em at Teach me to braid.

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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weekly summary, vol. 37

PAIL Special Announcements & Reminders:

  • Don’t forget to sign up for our next book club! We are reading “Simplicity Parenting.” Sign up here! Posts are due on February 27th. Chandra published the discussion questions list last week. They are meant to help you think more in-depth about the book, but feel free to write on any aspect of the book at all.

PAIL Posts This Week:

  • Traathy started the week by featuring Al, of Mellow in the Midwest, in the Monday Snapshot! Al shared a darling picture of her son Leopold sharing a morning shower with Daddy Carlos.
    • Also please note, if you have signed up for the Snapshot, please make sure you update us if your contact info changes. We have had some issues contacting people who sign up. Also, please Sign Up if you have yet to be featured for the snapshot yet!
  • Chandra shared our news item this week looking at the recent negative-media trend on the subject of infertility. See how you, yes all of you, are helping to kick this trend to the curb by reading, “ bucking the trend of bad infertility news.”
  • Jules posted the responses to the monthly theme post on planning ahead in regards to living wills, trusts, and deciding care for your children should something occur. For such a heavy topic we had a great response. Check out all the posts and feel free to add yours into the comments.

PAIL Featured Post:

  • Josey shared our PAIL Blogger Featured Post this week, I became a mother and died to live, by Janelle of Renegade Mothering. Janelle talks about the huge transition that motherhood is and how looking back and seeing the total identity change that came with it can evoke a sense of loss. And that is OK. We hope you’ll visit Janelle’s blog and share your thoughts!

Stay Connected:


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