December 2005 Archives

I like the way this woman thinks

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The Well-Connected Mother
The Centrality of Motherhood Is Not Just an Idea

by Juli Loesch Wiley

We get mothering wrong sometimes. We get it wrong with sexism and with feminism. We get it wrong with sentimentality and utopianism and cruelty. And when we get it wrong, a conversation about one good mother can help us get it right again: a conversation about the Mother of God—she who is more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim, as the ancient hymn put it—as a pattern and prescription for all human motherhood. (Entire article here)

Milk of Kindness
If God Almighty came to you and said, “I myself have designed a special food that will strengthen your baby’s body and develop his brain, which will comfort him and cheer his heart, and lay the foundation for his lifetime health and well-being. I have given this food into your keeping; I have placed it in your body; it is my loving provision for your child”—who would reply, “No thanks, no divine gifts, I’d rather give him a can of Similac”?
Juli Loesch Wiley

just click on the comments box -


to this from dawn -
Post mortem, but make sure that your mouth and bladder are both empty.

I warned you!!!!!!!!

I sure hope Dawn finishes her book soon. I miss her.

search and destroy?

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35 and Pregnant? Assessing Risk Becomes Easier - New York Times
I've long been concerned about the general acceptance of prenatal euthanasia. Prenatal diagnosis can be useful when deciding on the place of birth - if you know that the baby has specific problems you might choose to birth in a high tech setting. But more commonly, the conditions that can be diagnosed will offer only very limited choices. There can be an enormous pressure on families to abort known 'defectives'.

A remarkable history lesson


or, how the Democratic and Republican parties in the USA totally switched sides on family issues.
Read it.
The Family Factors pulls together many trends that I have long suspected to be connected......

birth announcement!

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Word of the Day for Thursday December 29, 2005

I subscribe to this but usually already know the word - however here is something new to me (and it looks like a great Scrabble word!)

Guest post from a midwife friend

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Just to give you an idea of how crazy things can get in the hospital based CNM line of work - a 12 hour shift from a friend of mine, a great guy, father of 6, who is also a CNM. Oh, he's also an IBCLC. Here it is, just as it appeared in my inbox.


Here’s a post for your blog.

I had a crazy morning today. Yesterday I was on a 24, 8 in the clinic, four hours of admin time and a 12 hour shift on L&D. When I came on there were three women on midwifery service being induced, one was oligo, one was PROM 12 hours previously, and the third, now get this, was a 42 year old G3P2 with GDM a2 (who refused insulin but accepted glyburide in pregnancy) with chronic HTN who weighed 350 lbs. Obviously that last one was way out of my scope, but the kicker is she refused OB care because she refused to have a male care provider. That night the OB was male, and then there was me. It was not a big problem however, as I went in to talk to her for a bit and explained what was going on then said that while both of the staff were male, we did have two family practice interns who were female, but they both need to be directly supervised. It could have been quite a pickle, but the situation was completely defused by the way I presented myself, so it turned out not to be a problem. The big problem was that I was out of my scope, so I spent a lot of time working directly with the OB to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

So I began with the inductions and things went fairly smooth throughout the night until about 0500. I was pushing with my PROM patient who, after almost 18 hours of active labor was trying to avoid a c/s for arrest of decent. The kiddo would simply not move, after two hours of pushing I called in the OB to assess and he agreed to let me have another 30 minutes before we called a c/s. Slowly things began to move a little but the kiddo was still not coming. I decided the baby may come if I give him a little more room, so I cut an episiotomy (only my second) and that did the trick, he quickly moved down and three contractions later he came out, direct OP with no head flexion ( I don't know if you can call it a military presentation, but it was close). As a result she had a partial third degree. I called the OB to close the capsule when the CRNA poked his head in and told me my diabetic was delivering and the OB was in another delivery.

I quickly covered that patient and ran to the other room where I came upon a baby out to the ears and white as a ghost. He had a tight double nucal cord with a true knot in the cord that began to tighten as I tried to deliver through, so I did a somersault maneuver and when he came out he was white and floppy and apneic. I clamped and cut, and took him to the warmer to start NRP while I waited for the NICU team. He took a few breaths of PPV but was still not breathing when the team arrived and I could step back and take care of my other patient.

In the end he was okay but things were very tense for about ten minutes. She had a first degree, so I went to find my OB to figure out a plan for getting both of these repairs done in a timely manner and found him finishing a delivery in another room and just starting to do his repair. Now it was about 0630 and while we were planning what to do next I was called to another room where mom said her baby was in her bed. I ran in there to find the little guy squirming and mom lying back semi-responsive. I clamped and cut and passed him to the nurse and checked on mom. It turns out she had just had Nubain and phenergan and was still out of it, but at least she was stable. I took care of the placenta there was a bit more bleeding than I would like, but still okay. Luckily for the other three women, this patient did not need a repair and was okay for me to move on.

No Kidding, as I left the room I heard screaming coming from the hallway and found a cluster of nurses frantically trying to move a woman from triage to a labor room, with them was a terrified family practice intern. I followed into the room where I was quickly joined by anesthesia. In the confusion I heard three things, G2P1, scheduled C/S today, and "lets get her to the OR for a stat section" But there was no way she was going there, I grabbed gloves and went to check her when I saw her membranes bulging out of her introitus. Mom was screaming, anesthesia was yelling, the nurses were buzzing, and dad was white in the corner. From her perineum I called out for everyone to be calm, I explained to mom that there was no way she would make it to the operating room and that this baby was going to be born in next contraction. I used my tissue forceps to pop her bag and with the next contraction she crowned and screamed and scooted up in the bed. In the next lull between contractions I explained to mom that the burning was normal and that she needed to try not to be afraid, listen to my voice and push through the burn. She seemed to calm down a bit and pushed well with the next contraction. She delivered a healthy baby with a compound posterior hand, over a first degree with a 2 cm sub-urethral laceration. I set up the intern to do the repair and told her not to start until staff came to help her with the repair. As it turned out this mom was a scheduled section because she had a fourth degree with a recto-vaginal fistula after her first baby and was afraid of a repeat nightmare. I'm glad I could help her avoid both the nightmare and the extra hole in her uterus. What a waste, to do a section for a prior fourth degree, there are just too many variables in play for me to consider a section to avoid a fourth. But no matter, it worked out well.

I left that room to tend to my repairs that were beginning to pile up. The OB went to close the capsule on my partial third, and I went back to my diabetic to finish her repair. By now it was 0730 and the day crew were coming in for report, so I asked the day staff to help the intern with the almost c/s patient. After finishing my first repair I went in to finish closing the third degree, by now she was beginning to get some serious swelling so I asked a nursing student to help by retracting while I closed. Just as I finished there the day shift midwife came and told me that my oligo family that I had worked with all night was complete and +2 and asked, if I was still around would I please come join them for the delivery. I was honored, so of course I did. She pushed well and things moved fast. The baby had light mec, so NICU was there, but then the baby's heart rate dropped to the sixties and wouldn't come back up. I encouraged mom to give a big hard push while I used the Ritgen maneuver to milk the head through the last turn. He came out well after about four minutes in the sixties. I delee'd and passed him to the NICU team who took care of him well and he did great. That was at about 0810.

What a morning! Five deliveries in three hours! Three of them precips and the other two tricky. As it turns out, the reason I rarely saw the OB during this time was that he took three or four deliveries himself in that same time. All told I think our total in that baby boom was nine births in four hours. It took almost three more hours to clean up all the paperwork and make sure I had all my notes in order. I got home just in time for lunch and two hour nap before Elizabeth had to go to sleep for her night shift tonight. Well, such is life.

So that is the story of the craziest day I have ever had, and I didn't even tell you about the "unplanned" home birth that came in and almost had the pediatric resident call the cops on her for wanting to leave AMA three hours later. Things are not normally like that of course, I average about 10 births each month in four 24 hours shifts. After last night I now KNOW I can handle anything.

Jamie's Christmas post


Selkie: On the Feast of Stephen

worth reading over and over again

A little known health issue


especially in young women.
There are several clotting disorders known collectively as thrombophilias. These are much more common than is usually realized. Here is a newsletter from an organization that is trying to help the public be more aware of this problem.
While both men and women can have the genetic predisposition, the problems can be much more severe for women because of the influence of the hormone estrogen. I have been astounded to hear, quite casually, from a number of young women who had abnormal blood clots related to the use of the birth control pill. This can also be a problem in pregnancy, but the pill seems to be a much bigger contributor. Recent news reports about the patch (Ortho Evra) have brought this to the public eye again, but the reality is that the estrogen containing hormonal contraceptives have ALWAYS had a known connection with strokes, heart attacks, and other thrombotic events.
If you can't read the whole newsletter, at least go to page 4. And then pray for all those involved in this story.

update to every parent's nightmare

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have a heart

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My eldest daughter just asked for prayers for a friend's grandfather. His name is John Stivala, and he is in the hospital with a heart attack - 100% blockage of two arteries, and 90% of a third. Surgery is planned.

Public Health or the Nanny state?

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Massachusetts hospitals will no longer give free formula bags

Actually, in poor families, one of the major incentives for bottle feeding is the 'free' (taxpayer provided) formula provided by WIC. And I was struck by a story from Hurricane Katrina, where a mom gave birth at home with only her boyfriend in attendance, and the boyfriend went to the hospital looking for formula.....

Another thought that came to my mind reading this was that the SCOTUS declared that advertising (at least political ads) were a protected form of free speech. I wonder what would happen if the formula companies were to appeal this legislation as a first amendment issue. The USA is one of the few countries that did not sign on to the WHO code restricting formula marketing.

I have been boycotting Nestle foods for nearly 30 years now over formula marketing issues.

prayer request


Teenage daughter in critical condition - every parent's nightmare. Christmas From the Hospital

I'm calling on St Gianna. Please, you who were a pediatric physician and mother, intercede on her behalf.

I'm assuming that the priest has been by and has anointed her.

May your Christmas be blessed in unexpected ways.

What came first?

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The pagan Roman celebration at Winter Solstice, or the Christian birthday party for Jesus?
Calculating Christmas pulled together some Biblical and historical sources and writes that, rather than our feast of Christ's mass being at attempt to baptize an existing feast, it was in fact something totally different.
Nathan wrote something in the other direction in his long and well written post Christ Be our Light.

I think that it doesn't really matter in the long run which came first - but rather that we celebrate what is truly important about this season - that God became Man, and dwelt among us - that the Word became Flesh - and that by His birth, death, and resurrection we can be re-united with the Father.

Have a blessed Christmas, all of you.

Christmas meme

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Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
hot apple cider with spices. Or better yet, mulled wine.
Turkey or Ham?
Standing rib roast.
Do you get a Fake or Real you cut it yourself Christmas tree?
Real - and usually we cut it - unless we wait so long that they've closed the cut it yourself places.
Decorations on the outside of your house?
Oh yes - and some of them stay up year round. Icicle lights are so much nicer than the standard porch light, don't you think?
Snowball fights or sledding?
Sitting inside watching the kids yet cold and wet.
Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
Favorite Christmas song?
Anything that is really about Christmas but not Santa.
How do you feel about Christmas movies?
about how I feel about movies in general. I do like some TFV specials, though (like Charlie Brown)
When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
never (in private). But the malls should at least wait until the first sunday in advent.
Stockings before or after presents?
Before, definitely. How else do parents get any sleep?
Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?
Good ones I love. We had a great group of men come to the hospital Wednesday night, they sang real religious Christmas carols in beautiful 4 part harmony. It made for a wonderful moment of peace in what had been (and continued to be) a very hectic night.
Go to someone else's house or they come to you?
whatever works. We always have done our own Christmas at home and then (when we were close enough) gone to other family.
Do you read the Christmas Story?
not usually
What do you do after presents and dinner?
What is your favorite holiday smell?
food cooking
Ice skating or walking around the mall?
Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
usually wait
Favorite Christmas memory?
First Christmas after getting married, holding my 10 day old baby at Midnight Mass.
Favorite part about winter?
when it is over
Ever been kissed under mistletoe? .
oh yes....

a year after the tsunami


Fertility surgery - reconnecting severed fallopian tubes in attempt to reverse 'voluntary' sterilization.

Catholics and Evangelicals


This was sent to me by a person I consider to be a good friend and a sister in Christ. We have had several conversations about how Christ really does want us to act out our faith in the world today. I know that she has been attracted to Catholicism, but she has reservations about several points in the Catechism, and I think she believes that the Catholic Church is perilously close to espousing universalism. Any how,
this article from Christianity today about some of the Sticking Points is well worth reading.

Ten Thoughts to Ponder for 2005

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10. Life is sexually transmitted.


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I got close to no sleep Wednesday night and ended up staying late Thursday AM to finish a very nice birth. Eldest daughter is in town from Memphis and we went to the Outlet Mall last night, and today we have further excursions planned. We still need to put the lights and ornaments on the tree but at least this way the cats can't destroy too much.
In other breaking news, my new dishwasher arrived yesterday and is installed.
I may post a few links from my email but it will probably be scarce on real content for yet a while.

last week of advent

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sorry I've been scarce - I will probably continue to be scarce until after Christmas. We are having a baby boomlet this month and I am way behind in my domestic chores as well. I will try to get to my emails reasonably fast so if you have a need, that is how to reach me.
I had really wanted to do something on the O antiphons, but O well...

Think about it


Depression: A new sexually transmitted disease

The more I read Dr. Throckmorton, the more I like his thinking.

I just wish that I had a way to better communicate this to those who really need to know.

They need a midwife on every corner

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My newest niece was born yesterday, December 15, 2005. Presley Victoria Grace was born at 1103 am PST, weighing 3200 grams. It was, by all accounts, a calm and peaceful cesarean, without all the angst and drama that surrounded the births of Presley's two older brothers. When I talked to my mother yesterday, she told me that my sis couldn't come to the phone because the baby was snuggled in and nursing like a champion.
Thanks all of you who prayed.
Yesterday was also the birthday of my eldest daughter Jessica - happy belated birthday! My mom is blessed that her oldest and youngest granchildren now have the same birthday - one less date to remember.

a day with a midwife

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Faithful Guardians Midwifery Service

She happens to be an internet friend of mine, who I hope someday to meet in person.

trying to replace a lost generation

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Buying Gifts for Men

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Christmas Shopping Rules

close to the truth!

a drug for all reasons?

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MERD | Panexa (Acidachrome Promanganate)

You might have to be in health care to REALLY appreciate this one - or be the kind of person who compulsively reads package inserts down to the copyright date.

What would you do?


gaudete sunday

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Friday we had a relatively short but horribly intense snowstorm. For whatever reasons, my workplace decided to open as usual, so I fought my way the 42 miles to work (it took 2+ hours) and then, a few hours later (we closed at noon) I took 3 hours to go back home. It was exhausting and scary and I must confess that I was rather angry about the whole thing. I was not looking forward to driving back Saturday morning for my 24 hour call.
Saturday morning bright and early I groaned my way out of bed and shrugged into warm clothing. I fed the cats and made tea, grumbling at myself for not having done the dishes and hence, not having my favorite travel mug available. John came downstairs just as I was getting ready to walk out the door and reminded me to drive safely. Yeah, yeh. What made it worse in some ways was that I was not originally supposed to be working that date, but I had traded in order to be able to attend a Christmas party next weekend. I was so not into heading to work in the cold.
Get in the car (thank God that it heats quickly!) and stop twice before exiting the driveway to knock ice off the wipers and to wipe down the side view mirrors. Once I'm on the road, there really aren't many places to stop safely without adding considerable time. Drive down State street and see, once again, the burned out house across the street from the state prison. Wonder about the story here, say a brief prayer for any injured in what was obviously a fast and hot fire. Make my way through town and get on the interstate headed south. There's an uphill stretch just out of town, traveling from one valley to another. I start up the hill and I can see, in the morning sky, that God has graced me with advent colours of indigo and violet with the warm candle yellow of the sun just beneath the horizon. On the radio, still tuned to the local Evangelical Christian station, the Moody Broadcasting System is running highlights from the week, and they front announce "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus". It's a brief moment of grace and my heart just melts.
Cresting the top of the hill, I realize that the melody to which "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" is being sung is not the familiar Stuttgart but rather Hyfrodol, that wonderful workhouse of a hymn tune. Hmmm, I wonder if it would work with Picardy (better known for "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence") I turn off the radio and start singing
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Picardy doesn't quite scan right, but I'm getting into it, and regretting that I haven't moved my Advent/Christmas CDs into the car. Oh well, with the sky like an Advent Wreath and the roads clear, I can provide my own music, and so I move into Steeleye Span's version of Gaudete.
Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!

Tempus adest gratiae, Hoc quod optabamus;
Carmina laeticiae Devote redamus.

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!

Deus homo factus est, Natura mirante;
Mundus renovatus est, A Christo regnante.

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!

Ezechiellis porta Clausa pertransitur;
Unde lux est orta, Salus invenitur.

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!

Ergo nostra concito Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino: Salus Regi nostro.

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!
(english translation at end)
May your gaudete sunday have been blessed!

another great conversion story


John C. Wright on becoming a Christian

I do so love to read conversion stories!

A timely reminder

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Waiting in Joyful Hope

You know, Steven told me that he wishes that he could write the way I do. Well, I wish that I could write about some of this as well as he does.

Isn't it wonderful that we have more than one kind of flower in our gardens? I was recently thinking about the true blessing of diversity (and not the politically correct version) and was reminded of a part in the classic Madeleine L'Engel book "A Wrinkle in Time". Pardon me if I am a little off here, I am working from memory as my copy is not close to hand right now.
The characters are on the planet Camazotz, where the powers that be have decreed that perfection in happiness comes from being totally identical. So at a given time, all the children come out of their houses and 'play' with a ball, all in perfect simultaneous rhythm - except for one little boy. And this little boy is sent for a re-adjustment to make him another 'perfect' and identical member of that soi-disant utopian society.

An Advent Examination of Conscience


on this marian feast day

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could you pray for several pregnant moms in my life?
One is my youngest sister. She is 37 weeks, her baby has been showing signs of stress, and they may need to deliver early. The baby's lungs aren't mature yet or they would have delivered her today. This will be my sister's third cesarean - 1st was a true emergency (I was there and it really was - the baby was almost dead when he came out and was in the NICU for 5 days despite being full-term) her second was an attempted VBAC that turned into another full-on emergency cesarean. She just prays that this will be a calm and managed cesarean, not another emergency.

Another prayer request - a young woman of my acquaintance, nearly 20 weeks pregnant with her second child, seriously considering abortion.

One of my readers who sent me an email about a surprise pregnancy, asking that prayers be offered that she can become grateful to God for the gift of this new life instead of resentful and scared. Also that God help her to figure out the best way to present this news to other family members.

I am also asking that prayers be said for a colleague who is being induced now with her first baby. She is in a high-stress field (OB etc) and has developed signs of pre-eclampsia. Pray that she will have a straightforward labor and birth, and not a medical nightmare. Unfortunately, working in the field does not immunize one from having obstetrical complications.

And also please pray for all the unborn, and for their mothers, fathers, and care providers.

more on Mr. Last's article


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carnival's up!


Happy St. Nicholas day

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Driving home today, I hit the button on my radio for the local Evangelical Christian station. I came in on the tail end of Dr. Warren Throckmorton speaking on Saint Nicholas. I was riveted. The first phrase I heard went "In the Catholic tradition, a patron saint is one who prays to God on behalf of a petitioner." Wow. He had me at "Catholic tradition". I listened all the way through his talk, which was a wonderful exposition of the story of St. Nicholas - and much more. Let me tease you with the other phrase from his talk that stuck in my brain despite the rigors of the commute. "Viewed through the eyes of a pornographer, sex is commerce and sexual purity is restraint of trade." wow. What a concept!
I went on the web and found the text of his talk, which he titled "The Real Saint Nick". I highly recommend it to all of you. It certainly was real food for thought for me.
The other thing that I found of interest is that Dr. Throckmorton teaches as Grove City College - where Scott Hahn was a student lo these many years.....

prayers needed

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I just heard about a mom who is in ICU - she suffered a uterine rupture in labor and the baby died as well. The family has asked specifically for prayers in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I don't have much more details than that......
Another one for Saint Gianna, I think.

just found!

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It's a girl! Frances Grace Windsor, born 11:28pm 4 December.

4 pounds, 2.6 ounces
17.5 inches long
Wiggles a lot
Shocking black hair
Likes to disconnect herself from monitors

She's breathing on her own with a little oxygen, but otherwise she seems to be doing well. The doctors think she may be able to come home in 2-3 weeks. Mom's doing well too. She'll come home tomorrow.

Thanks again to everyone....especially our host, whose advice came in handy on more than one occasion.

Posted by Mark Windsor at December 5, 2005 05:21 PM

keep praying, folks!

Says G.K. Chesterton. In Permission to thrive, owen tells just what that really means.

better late than never

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from Julie D
The Anchoress asks, "what are the 5 books which have influenced you the most?" She reminds us that the Bible is a given and also mentions "even if a book is not spiritual, it can nurture parts of you so that you can be more open, in surprising ways, to the spiritual when it comes down the pike!"

Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read
I read my mom's copy when I was 10 years old. I was home sick with strep throat for a week. We lived in France at the time, did not have a TV, and I couldn't go to school or to the base library, so I read everything I could get my hands on that was in the house. (That was the week that I also read The Brothers Karamazov, because it happened to be in the Great Books of the Western World set in the living room). Grantly Dick-Read had a profoundly spiritual outlook on childbirth, and was devoutly Christian (though, like all of us, a sinner).

Thank you Dr. Lamaze by Marjorie Karmel
This book, which I read while babysitting, convinced me that there was no reason why most women, with proper training, would need major anesthesia for a normal birth. I came away from it convinced that God designed the birth process as one of hard physical labor, great emotional turmoil, tremendous spiritual growth - but not normally one of unending cruel torture.

Natural Childbirth and the Christian Family by Helen Wessel
Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila K. Kippley
These two books, together, I read from my Lamaze teacher's lending library while pregnant with my first child. Together they convinced me that God has a plan for mothering that we would do well to respect and work with.

The Time-Life series titled "Foods of the World". A cook's travelogue, with pictures and recipes. Thanks to this series (which I have read repeatedly) I can converse with just about anyone about their ethnic heritage in food. It really has helped me to work with moms and families in all sorts of settings. Talking about food and cooking is a great way to establish some kind of common ground - and it also makes it possible for me to do a good nutritional assessment on most of my patients.

I realize that this is sort of an odd list. I thought about many of the science fiction novels I have read and how they have influenced me - for better or for worse! And there are also the medical textbooks and history of medicine books, the conversion stories especially Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Shakespeare. And let me not forget such children's classics and Curdie and the Princess, the Phoenix and the Carpet, Half-magic and the other books in that series, all of Madeleine L'Engle's books (and even her adult ones!). I have been a bibliovore since the age of 3, often reading 10 to 12 books a week, rereading some of them until I had them practically memorized - it is hard to pick just five. But I tried.

prenatal prayer request

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Some of y'all might remember Mark Windsor - he was a blogger here on St Blogs who has been on hiatus for a while.
I got an email from him yesterday and I just got his permission to post this information and prayer request.
His lovely wife Agnieszka went into early labor last night; 8 weeks premature. They've stopped it with drugs for now. Her water broke. She's stuck in the hospital until the baby comes.

(Excerpt from Mark's email follows:)

The problem is, they haven't figured out when to let that happen. Second dose of steroids was late last night. We saw the Dr. this morning. He said he's not hopeful that it will last a matter of weeks, and seems to be hoping to get through the next 48 hours to let the steroids have an effect. No signs of infection at this point.

Priest visited yesterday. Annointing of the sick, confession, communion. Very nice.

Getting help from my mom. She's in town for the duration.
Mother-in-law is scheduled for early January.

Amelia and Emma are beginning to show signs of stress - tummy problems.

What is sleep...

All three cats are sick. Mark

Saint Gianna, pray for her!
St. Joseph, patron of fathers, support Mark in what he must do.

The following prayer was written by St Gianna.

Jesus, I promise You to submit myself to all that You permit to befall me,make me only know Your will.
My most sweet Jesus, infinitely merciful God, most tender Father of souls,and in a particular way of the most weak, most miserable, most infirm which You carry with special tenderness between Your divine arms,
I come to You to ask You, through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart,
the grace to comprehend and to do always Your holy will,
the grace to confide in You,
the grace to rest securely through time and eternity in Your loving divine arms. Amen

God and the internet redux


Some more worthwhile commentary from Canadian blogger Bene Diction Blogs On.

I get mentions....

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TSO actually cited me both on STG and in a short post.

Of course, it wasn't about one of the long posts that I sweated nails over, no, not at all. It was related to a comment that I more or less tossed off over at Flos Carmeli.
"I think that by nature and learning women focus on process and men on outcome/accomplishment - and that is one of the many reasons why God gave us humanity in these two complementary flavors."

Given that I've really been slacking on writing original and thoughtful commentary - or even posting memes and quizzes! I'll take what mentions I can get.

Earlier this week I was listening to the radio and heard a bit about the controversies surrounding torture as part of interrogation. An example cited was the idea that torturing a terrorist is acceptable if the information gained would save the lives of many. Juxtaposed to this item was commentary about the ongoing arguments before the SCOTUS about New Hampshire's parental notification law. As often happens, my mind wandered off to a seemingly unrelated topic - in this case the Inquisition. And I also ruminated a bit on the first chapter to a book I am currently reading about the great influenza pandemic. This book has a mindset that equates scholasticism (which I read as the philosophical underpinnings of Catholicism and/or St. Thomas Aquinas) with being an ignorant idiot. And then the radio segued into an item about AIDs and condoms and the Church, including the seemingly mandatory bishop in opposition to church teaching.

We live in a profoundly utilitarian culture. The ends have come to justify the means. Prenatal (and later in life, for that matter) euthanasia is justified to save resources for the larger population. Torture is justified in the attempt to prevent another 9/11. Condoms are justified to decrease the transmission of the HIV virus because it is easier than changing men's sexual behavior or than freeing women and children from sex slavery.

It is a basic principle of Catholic moral and ethical teaching that it is NEVER ok to do a wrong that a right might come about. If an action is intrinsically evil, there can be no justification.

I studied medical ethics on my own for quite a while. What I have seen is that the culture wars are even deeper than it seems on the surface. It is more than even the tyranny of cultural relativism - it is that we are on some levels not even speaking the same language as those on the other side of so many of these moral and ethical issues. I, as a Catholic Christian, believe that there are indeed some absolute moral and ethical values, and that other actions/behaviours/perceptions must be compared to those baseline and foundational values. There are absolute truths in this world.

And now, I have a phrase from an old hymn running through my mind. "Upon that rock I'll stand, all other grounds are shifting sand".

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