Monday, October 16, 2017

Me too.

When I first saw the post on Facebook about sexual harassment and sexual assault, I froze.  
Me too.

Throughout the day I saw more and more 'me too' posts.  SO MANY people have experienced either sexual harassment or sexual assault or both.  But we are not talking about it.  It's not coming up in conversation.  It's all pushed aside.  

I have barely talked about my sexual assault in it's entirety.  My husband knows the entire story.  I think that's it.  Until now.  Over 15 years later it is so far in the past that I am more emotionally removed from it and can write about it.  

When I told my husband about this, I described it as an incident in which I was almost raped.  For some reason I didn't want to label it as sexual assault.  If you are assaulted, you are a victim of assault.  

I was 20 years old.  It was spring time. My friend and I were enjoying the nice weather.  We had been drinking and playing basketball at her boyfriends house.  Her boyfriend invited some people over to hang out.  There were probably about 10-12 people there.  We played flip cup which was getting me more and more drunk.  I was starting to get to the point of knowing I had way too much so I told her boyfriend I needed to lay down.  He showed me to a room and I laid down.

The next thing I can remember is someone groping me and kissing me even though I was saying no repeatedly.  
It was her boyfriend's 'friend'.  A guy I didn't know and barely interacted with.  I probably spoke 2 words to this guy. But here he was trying to take advantage of me. He locked the door.  I don't know how long he assaulted me for but when it was happening it seemed like forever.  This guy was strong and I was powerless.  

Somehow my friend and her boyfriend got in the room.  Since it was a small party I am assuming they figured out that the dude was not around and wondered where he could be. I remember them shouting and knocking on the door telling him to open it.  To this day I don't know if the guy opened the door or if my friend and her boyfriend managed to get in on their own. 
Regardless, they saved me from being raped. 

Here I was, 20 years old, having a good time with my friends and enjoying myself at a small gathering.  I thought that was a safe environment. There was so little interaction with this guy that there were no warning signs.
It just happened.  

I have no doubt in my mind that he would have raped me if it wasn't for my friend and her boyfriend looking out for me.
Thank you if you're reading this. 

After it happened, I felt embarrassed and ashamed.  I have no idea why.  I did nothing wrong.  The guy was a sleaze bag piece of shit and he sexually assaulted me.  I consider myself lucky because I wasn't raped (that statement is a sad reflection of our society). I had people looking out for me.  Many others aren't lucky. 

Look around.  Most likely someone you know and love has been sexually assaulted.  

so, yea, me too. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Why Our Son is Wearing a Helmet

Technically, it's NOT a helmet.  It just looks like a helmet.  

It's a cranial band called DOC Band.  It treats Plagiocephaly (pronounced play-jee-oh-sef-uh-lee) which is a fancy word for flat head syndrome.  

Alexander has a flat spot on the back of his head on the right.  

Alexander's head is on the right.  

The DOC Band weighs less than 6oz.  Since he's young, he should only have to wear it 6-9 weeks.  He wears it 23 hours a day.  

What causes this?  A lot of factors can cause flat spots.  Back sleeping often cases flat spots but they typically round out after time. My older son, Jayden, had a flat spot directly on the back of his from back sleeping but as he grew the flat spot got smaller. 

In Alexander's case, most likely his flat spot was from being breech.  He was breech until 38 weeks so he spent a good bit of time in my ribs.

Another likely cause is torticollis.  The term torticollis means twist neck.  In babies, its the tightening of neck muscles which makes the baby turn their head to one side, favoring a particular side, which a lot of times leads to having a flat spot on one side.  Alexander has discomfort turning his head to the left so he favors looking to the right which is why the flat spot is on the right.  

Torticollis can be caused by positioning in womb or a traumatic delivery.  I wouldn't say he had a traumatic delivery but he did come rather quickly after starting to push (less than 5 minutes) and the cord was wrapped around his neck.  He was also shifted from breech to head down position a week before delivery. Maybe his neck twisted a bit when he was turned around.  We don't have definite answers.  The important thing is treatment.  
Alexander goes to physical therapy once a week to help stretch his neck and work on his neck and trunk strength.  He's improving everyday and getting stronger.

Don't panic parents.  Most of the companies that make these bands provide a free evaluation and you must be intermediate to severe for them to recommend the band.  Alexander was in the severe category.  

This does not cause any brain damage.  Once this is corrected, he should not have any long term effects from it.  

In general, one thing that helps flat spots is tummy time. 
LOTS of it.  
Tips for Tummy Time: don't start with the baby flat on tummy on the floor.  That is the most difficult tummy time position.  Instead, try putting baby on a boppy pillow on the couch beside you (supervised of course).  This way your baby is eye level with you and can continue to look around at his familiar environment, including mommy and daddy's face.   

Also, using a mirror like this in front of baby encourages him to lift his head.

You can also do tummy time on an exercise ball.  There are a lot of youtube videos that show how to position baby on the exercise ball. 

-Nate and Dana Show