Anus to Armpit?

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What does it mean? Where did it come from?

I had made a promise to explain the origin of the name Anus to Armpit since I knew it would come up at some point, so this one’s for you Carol!

I am what some may describe as a tad bit crunchy, somewhat liberal and minutely hippyish. You will never get a whiff of patchouli (the signature smell of the hippie community) off of me but I more often than not will turn to alternative options and my goal is usually to find the most effective natural solution for myself and my family members. They’ve got prescriptions, I’ve got homeopathics. Haaazaa!

At the end of my last pregnancy my midwife Jessica and I were sitting on my couch having an open discussion about what I did and did not want to happen to my baby after he was born. This birth was all about what I wanted and that extended to my child as well, what a novel idea. Questions such as would he be receiving the Vitamin K shot, the Hepatitis B shot, the antibiotic eye cream or the PKU tests were covered and decisions were made. Which lead the conversation towards the topic of germs and immune systems.

During the birthing process, the child will take a big gulp which will then create the babies specific balance of gut flora for the remainder of his or her life. Jessica in turn added that she found it quite interesting that when a baby is born naturally as opposed to surgically, their faces pass by the dirtiest part of our bodies; the anus and are immediately delivered to the second dirtiest parts of our bodies; the armpit, where they will latch on and nurse for the first time if you are a breastfeeding mommy. The breast milk then helps propagate the beneficial microbes and protects the baby from the not so desirable ones.

From Anus to Armpit: it is a description of birth and a metaphor for life. Labor and delivery is a dirty, messy process as is life. We can never expect to be germ free as we are brought into the world in way which makes us able to withstand all the dirt and grime life has to throw at us. The more that we attempt to fight the mess of life the more we put ourselves in jeopardy of creating something very powerful that we can not fight.

When a baby is born surgically they miss out on some very important steps in the birthing process, perhaps that is why my cesarean sectioned son is so severely allergic to the protein in dairy that the littlest bit will cause his eyes to swell and his personality to change until it leaves his weakened system. It’s a theory. Does anyone know for sure? Absolutely not or if they do, they are not willing to commit to an idea that might be detrimental to their business.

Do we choose to believe in the natural evolutionary process of life or do we defy nature and elect science? Are we better than mother nature or than God, if you believe in that sort of thing? In most cases I would guess the answer is No. However, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, without the science of the cesarean section my eldest and I would not have survived. So by this train of thought we live in defiance and I am A Okay with that. I am by no means against the C-section itself but I am against the dramatic rise in unnecessary surgical intervention on scared, vulnerable, trusting women.

So the next time you find yourself in hyper sterilization mode just remember the anus to armpit metaphor. The path to life is a messy one and it is that way for a reason. Life can be downright filthy at times and unless you start drinking that antibacterial soap (which I do not recommend) there is no escape. In that light I propose we embrace the beneficial microbes and start strengthening our immune systems and a good way to start is with lots of probiotics and less Lysol.

Although I didn’t have kids to win any science fair projects, I will be very interested to see how my surgical baby and my natural baby fair in this world of ever evolving pathogens.

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About The Author

I am a food allergy mama of 4 boys, a former fashion designer, and a master of the five point palm exploding heart technique, keeping it Fantastico.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Love this. Love this. Love this.

    Crunchy Mama Michele MM

    Ps. I totally didn't think this was your meaning! I thought it had something to do with living in NJ. Lol.

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