Midwifery: November 2004 Archives

pray for me!

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Tomorrow I will be giving a talk on family planning to around 10 couples in a marriage prep course.
I will have about 40 minutes - that's all. I have total carte blanche. I have prepared a set of handouts and brochures already. I have teaching schedules and contact info for most if not all NFP teachers in New Hampshire.
Those of you who have gone through marriage prep in the Catholic church - what do you remember about this talk? What worked? what didn't?
I have lots of different ideas about how to approach this, but I haven't written an outline or prepared lots of AV stuff - I am relying on the Hopy Spirit to help me on this one.
Addendum - there were 9 couples there. I didn't get a lot of questions, but neither did I get any snickers or yawns. One couple there had already been through a course, and had some intelligent questions. One couple there was from Maine and were more interested in midwifery than NFP - I gave them my contact info and I hope to hear from them soon. I enjoyed myself and I hope that the other 8 couples will sign up for an NFP course before their wedding days.



"A Contemporary Approach to Women's Health Issues: NaPro Technology"
medical conference will be held March 11, 2005 from 9:00am-4:30pm in
Fargo ND. Dr. Thomas Hilgers, Director of the Institute for Human
Reproduction will be the guest speaker. This conference is intended for
medical professionals, natural family planning instructors and
interested persons. To obtain more information about this conference,
contact Rachelle Sauvageau, Diocese of Fargo, 701-356-7910 or by e-mail
at rachelle(dot)sauvageau(at)fargodiocese(dot)org.

non-partisan information

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Birth stories


Selkie's first birth
Pansy's speedy election day baby
If you want yours posted, send me the link!
Elena's stillbirth

babies having babies

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If any of my readers wants to research some of the good statistical questions from the comments box below, feel free. Specifically- has child abuse or infanticide risen in conjunction with the increase in abortion-on-demand?
I can just make observations - anecdotal evidence if that. It has seemed to me that news stories about child abuse and infanticide have been increasingly common over the last 30 years of my life but maybe I just wasn't paying that much attention the first 20 years. Or maybe the problem has always been there and prevalent but didn't get the media attention.
I do know that there have been enough 'dead baby in the dumpster' stories that several states have found it necessary to pass 'safe haven' laws - basically formalizing the legal and anonymous abandonment of a newborn in a designated 'safe place'. I don't know if that has worked, though.
I also remember that, in my first 6 months out of nursing school, I took care of a young woman who was in our locked room (hospital jail cell). She was locked up awaiting trial on infanticide charges. She birthed her baby in the bathtub at home, and when the baby didn't breath or cry right away she panicked and threw her out the window. I never knew the rest of the story. She was on our floor for a couple of days, then went back to the women's jail.
I've spent much of my professional career as an RN and later a CNM taking care of pregnant women who don't have much in the way of options. There are days when I dream of finding an affluent yuppie clientele - the kind that bring their personal masseuse or chiropractor along in labor. But for whatever reasons, I have found more often that I have been working among the low-income and disadvantaged population. It is rare that one of my patients is married and actively desired the pregnancy for which I am seeing her. It does happen, and I am grateful when it does because it gives me the strength to keep going, and it also tempers my tendency to get cynical. But I see a lot of girls, legally minor children, who are pregnant. They can't consent to get a tattoo or ear piercing, but they are having babies. We follow the state laws about reporting the pregnancy as evidence of statutory rape (where applicable) - but the response from the state agencies has basically been a big yawn.
Adoption is not unheard of but is pretty rare. Abortion is actually more socially acceptable to many of these girls and their families. There isn't any public evidence. It is interesting why some moms don't place the baby for adoption - often her mom doesn't want her to. I see that a lot. Sometimes grandma takes over and raises the kid, more often grandma has the baby shower and takes some pix and then is unavailable when the baby mom needs help. Maybe what we need is to acknowledge that a minor child is legally incompetent to act as guardian for anyone? Even (especially?) her own child. Maybe mandating a temporary guardian for both the baby and the mom is an answer.
Contrary to popular belief, most of the moms I see are not getting pregnant to collect welfare. They aren't thinking that far in advance. They are getting pregnant because they are having sex, and they are having sex for many complex reasons, not just because "it's fun". Cutting off welfare would probably not decrease the teen pregnancy rate, but would just result in more of those babies living in deeper poverty. Nor would it be likely to lead to more of these babies being voluntarily placed for adoption. There has to be a better way to deal with these complex issues and to protect these babies from becoming the target of abuse or neglect.
I personally think that we prematurely closed the 'homes for unwed mothers' of previous generations. If these high risk moms had a safe and supportive environment to be mothered and thus, learn how to mother their infants, it would make a huge difference. There are waiting lists at the few remaining facilities of this kind - and I know that at least one made the decision recently to exclude girls under the age of 18 (in other words, they won't provide help to those who need it most).
Stopping child abuse has been an ongoing challenge. Something I thought about putting in my previous post (but didn't) is that the first child abuse case brought in the USA was filed under an animal abuse statute. Our culture even over 100 years ago gave more legal rights to domestic animals than to children. The recognition that children are not miniature adults has only been around for the last 100 years or so - and the forces of evil are fighting against that recognition (see TeenWire's efforts to reduce the age of consent and to normalize pedophilia etc). I think that my commenter's observation that
"I think a pretty good case can be made from the other end - that the lack of value society places on children has given rise to a generation of young adults who don't value life, either unborn or otherwise" is pretty astute.
Stopping abortion is also not going to be easy. It will be packing two pounds of worms into a one pound can. We can't go after the problem from only one angle. We need to eliminate or reduce incentives to abortion, we need to reduce factors that lead to those pregnancies prone to being aborted, we need to figure out how in real life we can love the sinner and hate the sin. If we can do the job well enough, it won't matter if abortion is legal or illegal - it will simply be unthinkable.
Respecting life starts at the beginnig of life - it doesn't end there. Fr. Frank Pavone in his talks always challenges his listeners - "What have you done to support life lately?". Maybe we need to figure out a way to adopt a pregnant woman (who may not be as cute as her unborn child but may certainly be more needy) and put our values to work.
what say you all?

wonderful birth story

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for a wonderful new Moss baby

Put this on my Christmas List


A documentary record of the birth of a baby
delivered by Dr Grantly Dick-Read
I had the opportunity to see his film "Childbirth without Fear" (1953, 16mm, 18mins) about 20 years ago. I dearly wish that I had a copy to show modern moms - or even my residents!


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The elections are over, now I hope we can get on with other important stuff. My dear husband tumbled into bed last night around midnight after close to 16 hours solid work making sure that the radio station would be able to do all the various remote broadcasts without any major glitches. Today he got up at the usual early hour to get the women in his life out the door to school and work, and then helped the gas man to install the lines and set up our (new to us/used) gas stove. Hurrah!!! After 4 years of tolerating an electric range, I am finally going to be able to cook with gas again!
I also had a couple of nice births this week - one where the mom graciously allowed me to let a medical student catch her baby (her 4th) and even let me teach him, on her, how to do an atraumatic placenta birth. The other mom was having her second baby and had her teenaged older daughter in the room. Big sister got to cut the cord and be among the first people to hold the little princess.
So it has been a reasonable week for me, despite the election furors. We had some fresh Brussel Sprouts from the CSA - I couldn't remember how I cooked them last year but I did remember that Erik suggests blanching them first, so I did that, and then cooked them on low heat in some garlic butter. Brussel Sprouts are about the only cruciferous vegetable that I didn't like, but I think I have figured out how to make them enjoyable - as long as I don't have to eat them out of season I should be OK.
My computer is still out for repairs. It's annoying, because all my blogging shortcuts are on it, and I don't want to leave trails on other computers so I am doing all kinds of stuff the long way. The result is that I am not posting as much as I usually would. I realize that I need to finish up my observations on the FDA etc - I have stuff drafted in my mind but writing it and adding in the links is more work than I am up to right now.
I hate the transitions to and from daylight savings time. I find myself waking up now at 0330 and only getting back to sleep just about the time I should be getting up.
Whoops, gotta go. One of the docs is asking me to go translate for him with his Spanish only speaking patient. more later.

A new soul

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Midwifery category from November 2004.

Midwifery: October 2004 is the previous archive.

Midwifery: December 2004 is the next archive.

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