alicia: June 2007 Archives

todays pix via cellphone camera

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gotta love technology!

out of surgery

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and apparently doing well, according to the phone update I just got. Emma will be going back to the special care (step-down) unit, not back to intensive care. At least that is the plan for right now. Next big step will be oral feedings......

one week old

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Here she is. Her surgery for her shunt is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Pray that the surgeons hands are calm and that she does as well with this surgery as with her first one.

Has anyone heard from

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MRI done

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I just heard that Emma's MRI has been done. We are still waiting for the official reading and the surgical plans. Emma was apparently very happy during the procedure because they had to d/c all her leads for a while and swaddle her very tightly. Jess has been able to hold her and snuggle her, but Emma is still not allowed to have anything by mouth. The freezer is getting full of colostrum and milk, just waiting.

Please also pray that Jess will continue to recover from her surgery. A cesarean is not exactly a walk in the park........

John is on his way there to spend a week helping out. I think that Jess will really appreciate having her Dad around. And I know that John will just melt at the sight of his grandbaby. If I can find it, I will try to post you a pic of John with a goofy smile on his face, holding one of our children as a baby.

an important health issue

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Inflammatory Breast Cancer

I have heard from other midwives that this is often misdiagnosed as mastitis in postpartum and breastfeeding women. My rule of thumb is that if antibiotics and yeast treatments don't work, get a second opinion from a breast surgeon and specifically ask about inflammatory cancer.

I have had the opportunity to start the diagnostic process for breast cancer a few times in my career. I would rather send 100 women for a second opinion who don't have the disease, than to miss even one who does.

unheard of

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I just came off of a 24 hour plus labor so I am a little bit spacy. I heard from family that Emma has been 'promoted' out of NICU into the Special Care unit - she is doing that well right now. I am told that it is basically 'unheard of' for a gastro baby to spend so little time in NICU.....The real downside is that the stepdown unit isn't as family friendly as the NICU - not the people but the architecture makes it more difficult. And it is likely that Emma will bounce back and forth between NICU and Special care.

She will be getting an MRI in order for the neuro folks to decide the best course of action regarding her shunt. For the MRI, she will need to be sedated and that might mean some time back in the NICU - or maybe not. We are still in a waiting and holding pattern.

All the prayers have really been effective. They are all appreciated.

minutes after birth

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This is Emma and her mom - the plastic is the top of the bag that Emma was put in to protect her innards while they were still outtards.

The next picture is her in the NICU at the hospital where she was born, scant minutes before she was loaded into a transport isolette for her first helicopter ride (an experience that few other women in the family have had!)

It took me a while to figure out how to get this one onto the computer so I could upload it. The other pix were taken by my cellphone (Nokia) but these were from a real camera.

0500 june 22 2007

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I'm back home now for a week. exhausted and on call. pray for me to keep it together! headed for bed in about 3 minutes.


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They were able to take out the breathing tube a few hours ago. She hasn't lost any weight and was finally able to get a bath and hair wash.

I have to get on the road in about an hour to make it home in time to go back on call. I am so thankful to my practice partner for being willing to cover for me on this emergency basis - Pam, you're the greatest.

Here she is!

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They were able to repair the gastroschisis in a single operation (primary closure). She is sleeping from the pain medicine and is doing very well indeed! I am in the room with her and will sleep here tonight. Thank God for family centered care and also for free high speed wireless internet in the hospital. Tomorrow the neurosurgeons will be by for a consult on the hydrocephalus. Father Val from Jess's parish just came by, too.

baby is here

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7 lb 15 1/2 oz (3620 gms I think). Apgars 8/9. Looks good.
Airlifted to children's hospital at 2 hours of age. more later.

on our way

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Lungs are mature, we are on our way to the hospital to have Emma delivered. Will update as available. keep praying!

Emergency Prayer Request

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They are saying that they may need to deliver Emma very soon, as in within a few days. Please please pray. We don't have the backup in place and I can't get there due to not having call coverage - the very earliest I could get there would be in 8 days...........

update (2105) - I will be able to go there from tomorrow till friday - pray for us all!

from today's office of readings

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St. Cyprian's treatise on the Lord's Prayer

And when we meet together with the brethren in one place, and celebrate divine sacrifices with God’s priest, we ought to be mindful of modesty and discipline—not to throw abroad our prayers indiscriminately, with unsubdued voices, nor to cast to God with tumultuous wordiness a petition that ought to be commended to God by modesty; for God is the hearer, not of the voice, but of the heart. Nor need He be clamorously reminded, since He sees men’s thoughts, as the Lord proves to us when He says, “Why think ye evil in your hearts?”

Hearing this excerpt, I immediately thought about the liturgical wars.............
Anyhow, I am going to put the entire treatise in the extended entry, for your perusal.

Prenatal care in the USA

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This was an email I got from a friend of mine. She has given me permission to post it.

Subject: PN care in America
Sounds like a documentary, doesn't it? Maybe someone should do one.
Though VBAC is about birth and not PN care, first, they took that away from women, in my area.
Next, those on Medicaid won't be able to see a doctor in the town they live in/near. They will be decreasing the amount of Medicaid recipients that they will take, leaving low-income women to having to travel further away, when they may not have a car or extra money for gas.
Then, 2 days ago, a woman called me thinking I did hospital births. She is 43 y.o., expecting their 2nd child, and no one [in this same area w/ the local hospital] will see her because she is over 40!
And today, a woman called me, near desperate to find a local PN care provider. She moved, misplaced her calendar (plenty of excuses for her irresponsibility) and missed a 2nd PN appointment. She has now been let-go from that office and no one else will see her. She has no extra money to travel anywhere for PN care. She's worried that if she walks in to deliver w/out PN care CPS will be called (someone told her they do this).
So many women falling through the cracks and everyone screams about infant mortality rates and no PN care and what can we all do about it?! Plenty is being done to create obstacles, that is what I am seeing.
I will do free births for those who call me, truly in need. I will meet w/ the 43 y.o. and her husband, if she can get him to come and even consider the idea of a homebirth. I will give free PN care to the irresponsible woman and give her all the records so that when she is a walk-in, she can show the care (complete w/ labs and an U/S and her GBS status), though I told her that my care may not = the care they want to see.
I don't know what else to do and God is having them call me for some reason, but its just so frustrating. These are not women who want homebirth and I don't want them to choose it for the wrong reasons. But when the people w/ the power, politics and money call the shots it leaves many people left to do the best they can. Many of them won't call a midwife in the yellow pages. Many will struggle, miss appointments, have to travel on snowy roads an hour away or just not get any care at all. And those w/ the power and the money will shake their heads and wonder what the problem is.....
a local home birth midwife, anywhere USA

The Sippy Cup Terrorist


pray for a good decision


via happy catholic


Dirt and related joys

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One of the joys of moving into a new home is to discover what the prior inhabitants thought would be appropriate landscaping. We have discovered that our back yard has dozens of old rose bushes that bloom in profusion from June through at least October. There are several peach trees in the back, and they have lots of fruits growing. There is also a berry bramble and I am looking forward to discovering just what kinds of fruits will ripen later this summer.

John has been wonderful about helping to get some planting done, as well. We now have several fruit trees in our front yard. I found some potted rhubarb plants at the Farmer's Market and they are planted in the back yard, in a plot just by the back door. John heroically uprooted several shrubs so that I could plant vegetables there, and next to the rhubarb we have planted some tomatoes, eggplant, and brussels sprouts. In the front, we will be growing watermelon and cantaloupes amidst the roses. I also have nasturtiums everywhere and herbs in the outside planter boxes.

We just received our second delivery from out new CSA ,Potluck Produce. It is very small and personal, and the owner delivers direct to our doorstep! This week we have pea tendrils, garlic scapes, radishes, lettuces and spinach greens. Last week was freshly ground wheat flour, spinach, lettuces, and radishes. I am not a radish lover. However, I pickled one of the bunches and that is a very tasty solution.

I still have a few plants in their pots and need to figure out where to put them!

so - how are YOUR gardens growing?

US Catholic???

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U.S. Catholic Magazine: A betrothal proposal
The following letter relates to the above article:

Dear All,

US Catholic magazine published a most amazing article this month proposing a “new
order” for couples: betrothal, nuptial cohabitation, sexual intimacy, marriage.
If you are astounded as I am, I would encourage you to read the article below (or
on their web site, link is below) and FLOOD the editor with letters (
. I have included my response below. I tried to take just one dimension, sacramentality,
and speak about that. Obviously, I could have written a book in response. May I
humbly suggest that you take one or two issues and craft your response around that
so that the editor gets very specific feedback about a number of dimensions in the
article that miss the mark. I welcome your comments on/or corrections to my response
as I will send it next week. You may also want to write the president of Creighton
University as the authors teach theology there and direct the Center for Marriage
and Family, or you may want to express your concerns to the archbishop of Omaha.
I have included the addresses for both below.

The president of Creighton University:

Fr. John P. Schlegel, S.J.

Creighton University

2500 California Plaza

Omaha NE 68178

The archbishop of Omaha

Archbishop Elden F. Curtiss

100 N. 62nd St.

Omaha, NE 68132

Joy and Blessings,

Katrina J. Zeno

Coordinator, John Paul II Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture


another book for the wish list


Reuters Health reported

| | Previous oral contraceptive use may raise gestational diabetes risk

We are currently seeing an epidemic of gestational diabetes, and often in patients who are neither obese nor in any 'high-risk' group. I wonder if this is a partial explanation.

wish I could go...


wonderful vbac story


that's an iced tea in his hand

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please vote in this poll

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St. Louis Business Journal: St. Louis Business Pulse Surveys
Support midwifery care.

Read the inflammatory language in the introduction, as well!

another catholic mamma musing


Midwives becoming less popular as cesarean sections gain ground
I just went to an all day workshop on international research in normal birth. Like so many other pathologies of our time, the root cause of mechanized childbirth is deeply rooted in our anti-life culture.
I am enormously grateful that we have the technology to perform a cesarean and get a healthy baby and a live mother - 150 years ago that wasn't the case! I am grateful for the technologies that allow us to detect and correct problems as early as we now can. But I deplore the abuse of technology and the downright power plays that have taken some of the most wonderful gifts God gave women away from those same women.
This story is from San Francisco - but I hear stories like this from all over the USA. What can we do about this?


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During WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped. There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time 8:00PM Central, 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific, stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens and for peace in the world. If you know anyone who would like to participate, please pass this along. It has been said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have. Thank You. If you are so moved, pass this on to anyone who you think will follow through.

wish I could be a fly on the wall


New Studies on Maternity Care Assessing Costs and Consumer-Driven Health Plans

With maternity care representing one of the most common and costly medical interventions that women experience, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the March of Dimes are co-hosting a forum on Tuesday, June 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET in Washington, D.C., to release new studies that analyze the costs of maternity care and assess coverage under consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs).
Kaiser will release a new study that compares the out-of-pocket costs of pregnancy under CDHPs and traditional health insurance plans. The March of Dimes will release a new study prepared by Thomson Healthcare that examines the overall costs of having a baby.

WHAT: Release of new research on the costs of having a baby, coverage of maternity care under consumer-driven health plans, and a policy forum to explore such issues as:

* How much does a typical birth or C-section delivery cost? How are costs affected when complications arise? What share of the cost do families typically pay out-of-pocket?

* How do cost sharing features, such as deductibles and co-payments, vary among CDHPs and compare to traditional health plans?

* What other issues affect the costs of maternity care?

WHEN: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. ET (Registration and Breakfast at 9 a.m.)

WHO: Diane Rowland, ScD, Kaiser executive vice president, and Jennifer Howse, PhD, president of the March of Dimes, will provide introductory comments. Alina Salganicoff, PhD, Kaiser vice president and director of Women’s Health Policy, will give an overview of financing maternity care, Stella Chang, associate director, MarketScan, will present an analysis of maternity care costs, and Karen Pollitz, project director at the Georgetown Health Policy Institute, will present the study findings on consumer-driven plans and maternity care.

Following the presentations, Jackie Judd, Kaiser vice president, will moderate a discussion with the presenters and respondents Jeff LeMieux, senior vice president at America’s Health Insurance Plans, and Lisa Potetz, principal at Health Policy Alternatives, Inc.

WHERE: Barbara Jordan Conference Center (Kaiser Family Foundation Office)
1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC (one block west of Metro Center)

RSVP: Tiffany Ford at or (202) 347-5270.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rob Graham, or (650) 854-9400, or Sarah Williams Kingsley, or (650) 854-9400.

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (650) 854-9400
Washington DC Office 1330 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 (202) 347-5270

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by alicia in June 2007.

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