Breast milk contains stem cells

Breast milk contains stem cells – Monday, 11 February 2008 – By Catherine Madden

mammary_stem_cells_smThe Perth scientist who made the world-first discovery that human breast milk contains stem cells is confident that within five years scientists will be harvesting them to research treatment for conditions as far-reaching as spinal injuries, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

But what Dr Mark Cregan is excited about right now is the promise that his discovery could be the start of many more exciting revelations about the potency of breast milk.

He believes that it not only meets all the nutritional needs of a growing infant but contains key markers that guide his or her development into adulthood.

I was already glad we are breastfeeding Poppy… but here’s some science to drop!

And Poppy is born, and there was much Rejoiceing… (yay)

1-28-2008 4-00-16 pmMy life has shifted. If my perspective on the world were comprised of tectonic plates – it’s as if a new continent has formed, replete with earthquakes, tsunamis, and the readjustment of every other piece of the former world. That analogy is poor, because in my case, all these changes are great. Great is an understatement; magnificent is an understatement.

So – here’s the short story for those who haven’t heard it yet.

Anita labored for ~25 hours and gave birth to Penelope Lou Blount at 13:33 EDT on Thursday, Jan 24 2008. Both Anita’s mother and I were there for the labor and delivery; and we can vouch for the heroic efforts of Anita – it is easily the strongest I’ve ever seen anybody. The birth was absolutely the most miraculous thing I’ve ever been a part of, specifically the moment when Poppy’s blue/purple body first clicked on – like the finger of god animating Adam in the Sistine chapel… Zap, she’s alive… (ha – kind of like Frankenstein’s monster in that respect, I suppose… but so much more cute)

Poppy was born at 8 pounds 9 ounces, 21 inches long, 10 fingers, 10 toes, and absolutely perfect. Every parent says that about their child… I’m sorry to have to prove all you other parents wrong.

Both of Anita and I stayed in the hospital with Poppy in the room, until she was about 52 hours old. We were visited by a ton of family and friends, and kept in luxurious comfort by the support of Anita’s sisters and family (big thanks to April, Billy, and Virginia). We got home Saturday evening and have been fed food and given baby-holding-breaks daily from our ongoing family support. We get to sleep for a couple of hours at a time these days, but Penelope is so good I feel like we’re doing better than most. Perhaps we’re still in the honeymoon phase.

Update: 2008.01.29

We went to Poppy’s first pediatrician appointment and she’s now 9 pounds and 7 ounces. That’s right, she’s gained a pound since birth… in fact more than that, as she lost weight down to 8#2oz when she left the hospital. She seems to be perfectly healthy and happy. We are ecstatic!

And some photos:

And here are a couple of videos:

And a Poppy age counter (always updating, not point-in-time):

Baby Watch Update: 2008.01.23 @ 4pm

Baby Watch Update: 2008.01.23 @ 4pm
Anita’s been having some serious contraction for a while… it could be early labor or it could be pre-labor. Even if this isn’t it, we have an appointment tomorrow morning for induction since Penelope is probably pretty big, and Anita is not (relatively speaking).

So – tonight or tomorrow.

We’re at home now and likely to remain here until we’re convinced she’s in labor (contractions ~5 min apart for an hour, with a change in activity in between)… or until tomorrow morning at 9am. If she waits till tomorrow, they’re going to induce with a small amount of pitocin for a couple hours and see how that goes… then a larger dose. Earlier that scared us, because we didn’t want to force her body to do something it wasn’t ready to do, but as things stand now – she’s ready – things are happening – we’re happy/excited/nervous/eager.

I’ll take a laptop + camera to the hospital and if I end up with any down time, I’ll post/email updates… If not – you’ll just have to wait for the aftermath.


Emilyn Parker, born

Anita and Alan and Cathy (Alan’s mom) visit Chris and Jenny Parker in the hospital ~2 days after the birth of Emmalynn Parker.

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This was a “scary” birth story.  After 7-8 hours of early/active labor, everything normal and in the Hospital… the baby monitor showed significantly decreasing heartrate.  Chris hit the “call nurse” button about the same time as 4 nurses ran into the room and moved Jenny around.  The changed position got the heartrate up some, but not enough… so an emergency cessarian was preformed.  Apparently all went well – 10 fingers, 10 toes, healthy mom. 

It severed as a good reminder of why we want to be at the hospital for Anita and me.  We’ve been exposed to a lot of “hospital bad” stories from Bradley classes… nice to see why western medicine is useful.

Anita’s Baby Shower: codename pre-penelope (2007.12.09)

Everyone seems to be gearing up for the baby-shower.  I’m sure its going to be rife with “ooohh” and “awww” and “isn’t that
cute”.  Typically I’m pretty easygoing about such things, but in this
case, I’m glad it’s a woman-only-affair. 

That said, Anita is surprising herself with how into the whole affair she is becoming.  Those hormones are potent, it seems.

To all friends who were not invited… guess what… no friends were.  Anita decided it would be less stressful if she didn’t feel like she had to hostess family and friends at the same time – so this is a family only affair.  With the size of Anita’s family, that’s still quite large.

I’ll be posting some new photos soon, and certainly some from the shower.

Photos of anita and penelope @ 7 month (t – ~3 months)

Here are some fun pictures of Anita and Penelope. She’s now 7 months pregnant and starting to get a bit un-comfortably pregnant. Parts of her fall asleep without reasonable cause. Getting up is more of a challenge than it’s ever been before. Penelope is kicking most of the time, sometime flipping around and keeping things interesting… occasionally kicking down – apparently very painful, that.

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Anita’s growing a kidney bean with a 142 beats/min heartrate

The “lil’ nug” inside Anita is currently the size of a kidney bean.  The organs have all begun developing and the heart is beating strong, at 142 beats/min.  Bloodwork and whatnot seem fine.  We’ve got very uninformative ultrasound images which I may get scanned and post sometime…

We’re still both pretty attached to the name “Ruby” for a girl.  Not sure about a boys name.