Hard to believe, or perhaps not, that these very life-like fetuses are being placed in the show bags of young children at an American State Fair, because apparently, it’s never too early to be thinking about abortion and anti-abortion propaganda! That the results of this intervention by pro-lifers falls on parents and other adults to deal with, is irresponsible and abusive. Just like other abuses of children, it robs them of their innocence, forces on them questions they may not be ready for and knowledge they may not be emotionally mature enough to handle. Those who advocate for this sort of propaganda are not there to handle the fall out, the hard questions and the heart-breaking revelations about the realities of life for some and the complexities even adults are sometimes not able to deal with effectively. Do they even care? One can only hope that a way is found to protect children from the loose cannon actions of adults in this particular case and soon!
As many of us who are adoptees are painfully aware, adoptees suffer many autoimmune diseases; our systems having been damaged from our time in the womb and from our early months of life after birth. It seems sometimes that by the time we discover what ails us, it is too late and that prior knowledge may at least have helped us to make wise decisions and take preventative action where we could. Of course those adoptees who are prevented from having access to their medical history are the most vulnerable, as are those who have no medical history because it was not recorded. Adoptees like me who went into reunion late are unlikely to discover anything useful that can help avoid conditions, diseases and illnesses. It may be too late and it may simple be a matter of time before the hereditary catches up with us.
When we put the two vulnerabilities together, it seems we have a much higher degree of likelihood of illness than the general population. I cannot back that up with any research findings or test results, it comes from my observations of many, many adoptees and their health problems.
Looking back over my life I see that I have an extensive history of health difficulties which possibly could have been handled differently if ‘the adopted condition’ was taken into consideration as a factor. Can it be healthy to allow a tiny baby to cry in fear and hunger because the clock does not say it’s feeding time and time for comfort never arrives? The cruelty of the imposed regimes of the male medical ‘experts’ was beyond belief! Today it would be considered abuse and they would be charged for advocating such regimes! However they got away with it and that cruelty bred a generation of adults who were not just adoptees but raised by their own mothers, who believed what they were told and did not dare disobey their doctors. Had they listened to their own mothers we might have had a better chance of a healthy life. It seems we may be in danger of going there again!
The most guilty party in this was Frederick Truby King – It is the establishment of the Plunket Society on 14 May 1907 for which Truby King is best known. Set up to apply scientific principles to nutrition of babies, and strongly rooted in eugenics and patriotism, its 1917 “Save the Babies” Week had the slogan “The Race marches forward on the feet of Little Children”.
Truby King’s methods to teach mothers domestic hygiene and childcare were strongly promoted through his first book on mothercare, Feeding and Care of Baby, and via a network of specially trained Karitane Nurses and a widely syndicated newspaper column, Our babies, written by King’s wife Isabella. Apart from nutrition, Truby King’s methods specifically emphasised regularity of feeding, sleeping and bowel movements, within a generally strict regimen supposed to build character by avoiding cuddling and other attention.
His methods were controversial. In 1914 the physician Agnes Elizabeth Lloyd Bennett publicly opposed his stance that higher education for women was detrimental to their maternal functions and hence to the human race. He also excited controversy during his efforts to export his methods to Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, with particular debate associated with his views on infant feeding formulas. He believed in “humanized” milk with the protein reduced to 1.4% to match breast milk, against the general paediatric consensus at the time in favour of high protein feeds.
I have spoken to many mothers who raised their children according to these dictats and the ideas were still prevalent in the time in the Orphanage, where my poor mother was subject to them. I have known well, men in their 80’s, still having tantrums, suffering severe anxiety over things like parking spaces and other trivialities, due to the adherence of the mother to ‘the rules’, which in this case demanded breast feeding be stopped at eight weeks. Mothers thought they were doing the right thing, although they had their doubts, but were not able to voice them until many decades later.
Dr Davis said: “I was struck by the cyclical nature of these childcare bibles, we start out with quite strict rules laid down by Frederick Truby King, whose influence is very much evident in the 1940s and following decades. The principal thread running through his books are that babies need strict routines. We then find the advice becomes less authoritarian and regimented as we go through the decades and the influences of Bowlby, Winnicott, Spock and Leach.
“However, when we reach the 1990s when Gina Ford came to prominence, we come back to the strict regimented approach of Frederick Truby King several decades earlier. More than 50 years on and experts still cannot agree on the best way to approach motherhood, and all this conflicting advice just leaves women feeling confused and disillusioned.”
Personally I don’t think you can beat making it up as you go along to suit your own individual baby with her/his own, individual needs! As long as there is kindness, love, gentleness, sensitivity and the setting of boundaries, with flexibility, you can’t go too far wrong. That of course incudes sensitivity towards others and self-care, so that you can be the best you can be and that usually means tired for the first year whatever happens! I guess we just need to decide whether we want to be a Gwyneth Paltrow Gina Ford follower look-alike or a version of ourselves with porridge stains but fulfilled and hopefully happy, if stretched. And one last thought – no Nanny however good at her job, will ever replace a mother who is good at hers, or ever understand the role until she has been in it. Nannyhood is not motherhood and advice from an experienced Nanny may be useful for Nannies but not for real mothers.
Do check this gem! –
For adoptees, there are many additional difficulties, apart from parenting. In my particular case, I have had many manifestations of auto-immune dysfunction, now lasting for decades, the latest being the inability of my system to deal with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Both of those have had severe implications for my health, fitness and abilities. Had I know my susceptibility, I would have taken more care with my diet, which is healthy, but could have been adjusted and with my exposure to sunshine. Fortunately I have never been a user of sunscreen, preferring to keep out of the sun at certain times or to cover up rather than expose myself to the carcinogens in sunscreens. During the last two years I would have made sure I had exposure for 20 minutes daily and maybe prevented my extreme deficiency which has painful and hard to repair symptoms. Today, this minute I am suffering bone pain which is nagging and will not go away despite my best efforts. My hands and feet are swollen, painful, burning and sensitive with nerve pain. I’m not telling you this to elicit sympathy but to warn you that we adoptees cannot pay attention to our state of health too early, need to take precautionary measures and care for ourselves better than others may have done……
It’s time we had a conversation about sensible sunlight exposure of our otherwise hidden bodies; particularly since this potential antidote to the epidemic of autoimmune diseases of various types raging in our community is so readily available and inexpensive