Fear and Anger

Fear and anger go hand in hand. The Talmud says that fear and anger shut down the mind and it is so. They destroy invention, daring, creativity, self-esteem and relationships. And they have huge damaging consequences on the body.  When we are angry, shoulders hunch and our breathing is braced and therefore only upper chest and shallow.  This means the lungs are not exhaling fully and they are storing Carbon Dioxide.  Not a good thing.  Think of the body as a fragile system of pressures and treat it kindly and with gentleness. If we love life at 35, it’s nothing to the loving of life at 75 when you are healthy. It just keeps getting better.

Effects of Stress on the Body

Stress instantly burns up all Vitamin B reserves, causing ‘Fight or Flight’ symptoms. Fight or Flight raises blood pressure, speeds up the heart, makes one distracted, agitated, gives an awful feeling of fullness in the chest, sometimes painful heart beats, narrows focus, turns off the reproductive systems, the gastro-intestinal systems and eventually gives a sense of doom. The body is ready for only basic survival and the physical toll is sweeping… effecting heart, hormone balance, all pressures, lung pressures, blood vessel pressures.

How to Tell Your Intrathoracic Pressures

Learned this trick from a Viet Nam transport nurse. Let your hand hang down to the side until the veins fill, then, slowly raise it.. they should empty at the level of your heart. If they are still full above your heart your stress level is high and if they are still full with your hand over your head, your pressures are extremely high and need to be tended to. Wikipedia has a list of the intra thoracic pressures and they are all in symbiotic relationship. Fascinating. A deep breath will begin to reduce them. PACIFE and a quiet room will return them to normal. Wikipedia also lists some of the pressures inside of the chest effected by stress. Makes your eyes roll. Sidebar has links.

Identical Twins

It became fascinating to me to watch twins in NICU, usually  side by side in their own isolettes.  The Oxygen sat monitor would alarm on one for low sats and instantly the other would alarm for the same low sat.  So I’d sit and watch them. Heart rate monitors, respirations and sats would be within a point of each other.  How did they do that?

With mirror twins, one will put his left arm over his head and the other will do it with his right arm.  One would bend his left leg and the other his right leg.

If you doubt me, watch identical twins in the stroller at a shopping mall.  Fascinating.

Very Right Brain behavior.

Life is Good.  Life is Great.

Co-bedding Twins

Two of the smallest twins and the first we ever co-bedded. I took their clothes off and we put them face to face, they looked at each other and began touching each other… faces, bodies. They had thought they lost their other. After that, I began to tell parents of twins to bring a video camera before they co-bedded the first time.
Thanks Amy. They are lucky to have you for mother. Beautiful.


Grade 2 Bleeds -IVH

Success stories from our NICU:

26 week twins,  fragile and sick, one with a grade 2 bleed are now 13 and full of it, perfect, in robust good health and both A students.

One of our 24 weekers had two grade 4 bleeds and she was High School Valedictorian.

About the IVH… this small bleed does not displace ventricular fluid and when the baby is adult size, if it’s still there, it’ll be a harmless little tag the size of a tiny pea.

Flying With Babies

Babies cry on long flights for various reasons:

  • Ears hurt on take-off and landing.  This is fixed by making the baby swallow so give him a pacifier.  Give older children gum to chew.
  • For everything else, put the very special PACIFE Music to Calm on your iPod, attach a good little speaker to it and play it for him.  The best speaker I’ve found, after trying everything out there, is the Gigaware from          Radio Shack.

Soothing a Preemie

The main thing parents can do to soothe their preemie is give them that comfort that only they can give. They know your voices. When you are there talk to your babies. Tell them about the people in your family. Read little books to them. Look deeply into your baby’s eyes and tell him he is beautiful and strong and will be a tall, handsome man, tell that you will take good care of him and he will have fun and run like the wind. Tell the girls that they are beautiful and will have babies of their own some day.

Science has recently learned that the fetus has a third language center in the brain… it’s function is to learn  language. This area begins to shrink at the age of about 7 but is now one of the most active parts of his brain. Therefore he knows your voices, he heard them in utero and recognizes them instantly. Reconstructing the comfort of the uterus soothes him.

The other thing is touch. The inclination of every adult with an infant is to touch with feather-light strokes… something that irritates most adults  and certainly irritates babies.  I’d put my hand firmly on the parent’s arm and say, touch him like this and they’d look at me in shock. I reminded them that the baby was packed into a very tight, confined space with firm pressures everywhere and that he likes that. Firm pressure, without moving the hand comforts.  Tickling feathery movements on the baby’s skin is irritating.  And never, never tickle the feet.

And, of course the music of PACIFE. There are no unexpected changes in this music. PACIFE was composed on a keyboard and then reworked to fit the 60 rules learned from watching babies monitors as they reacted to the sounds. Then adding some of the mathematical characteristics of Bach and the primal tunes idea of Bernstein gives babies comfort.

And wait until you and your baby get to do ‘Kangaroo Care’. Bliss for him. Bliss for you.

Preemies are survivors, they are very smart and sure of themselves. As children they are brave and daring. They are great with strangers, happy and excited about every little thing.
Remember that for them, everything just keeps getting better.