Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The High Cost of Immorality

So, I've been thinking lately about the cost of living in the U.S. today - particularly about how we have so many drags on our economy both directly from immoral and irresponsible behavior (of both corporations and individuals) and from the high cost of the resultant government oversight.
 
For instance, I was recently discussing with a contractor friend of mine the invasive nature of litigation in the construction field. He related to me that for every project he begins, government regulations require him to procure insurance to ensure that his subcontractors get paid if he fails to pay them. (Apparently this is a BIG issue in contracting; subcontractors are often fighting with general contractors over how much they were supposed to get paid and whether they actually got paid). This insurance costs $3,500.00 a job. After about 4 years of acting as a general contractor, my friend has never needed this insurance because he is always honest, upfront, fair, and well managed. Despite this fact, he has still spent a few tens of thousands of dollars on insurance that he has never needed, but the government still requires.
 
Of course, that may not be the best example because other factors besides general contractor unscrupulousness may play into the government's decision to require such insurance, but I think it at least illustrates the point.
 
Anyway, this conversation got me to thinking about the high economic cost of immorality in America today, and I'm curious. If you have any suggestions or ideas of specific ways in which immorality has or is costing us money here in America, please post those ideas here. I'm taking a collection, so to speak...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Profound insight from a 12 year old!

Louisa takes just one class at school every other day, at my insistance. She loves homeschool and we have a great time learning together, but since she is my last child, I wrestle with the notion that she needs to get out of the house and go to school a little bit. Louisa has described to me her "take" on what makes for popularity in junior high school. She thinks she knows how to be "in", but it wouldn't be a very comfy fit for her, she feels. As she sees it, the requirements include dressing trendy and fashionably, being disinterested in learning, being immodest, and acting catty and "butt-sy" (pushy), acting disrespectful of teachers, showing a big interest in boys and sex and doing a lot of outrageous and unlady-like flirting, saying you hate school, texting your friends all through class without letting the teacher see, talking critically of parents, breaking rules whenever possible, treating your siblings like enemies, not being too smart, and being so saturated in the popular music and PG-13 movies of the current teen culture that you can easily recite movie lines. This is how she feels she would have to act to be well accepted and popular in our current world, outside of her circle of homeschooled friends.

the whole article can be read at: http://dianehopkins.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More of the financial crisis!

You can read the whole article on: http://www.newsmax.com/ruddy/obama_recession_economics/2008/11/30/156592.html

"Knowing as we do that the housing bust was propelled by adjustable rate mortgages, which were nothing more than marketing gimmicks tricking consumers into mortgages they could never afford when they readjusted, they should have been banned. "

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We are God's children!

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26942419/
Michelle Duggar is 42. She has two sets of twins and has been pregnant for 12 years of her life. Curry asked her if 18 are enough.
“We would love more,’’ Michelle said. “We really believe that each child is a gift from God. We would love to receive more gifts if the Lord sees fit. I guess we’ll just wait and see.”

I have not seen the "reality" show of their family... but I love how she speaks of "children as a gift of God" in this article. That is sooooooooo true.

We will have as many as the Lord will give us too. : )

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Please! May we have the right to vote without fear!

The Christian Post — Chuck Colson: So Much for Tolerance
“Two days after the election, 2,000 homosexual protesters surrounded a Mormon temple in Los Angeles chanting ‘Mormon scum.’ Protesters picketed Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, holding signs reading ‘Purpose-Driven Hate.’ Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills was spray painted. Church members’ cars have been vandalized, and at least two Christians were assaulted. Protesters even hurled racial epithets at African-Americans because African-Americans voted overwhelmingly in favor of traditional marriage. What hypocrisy from those who spend all of their time preaching tolerance to the rest of us!”

I have not seen all the ugliness that has been directed to people of Christian background, we do not have cable, but seeing all these hateful articles is disturbing! If I lived in CA, which I wanted to do at one point in time, I would move somewhere else! Why live in a place where you would live in fear because of your religion...

Here is the link if you wanted to see more articles... http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/measured-voices-provide-reason-support-amidst-proposition-8-reaction

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

May I have my Country Back Please?

The latest word from DC is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many other prominent Democrats are asking Henry Paulson to carve $25 Billion out of the recent financial industry bailout package and loan it to the Auto Industry in an effort to “save” the industry. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/12/congress.automakers/index.html?iref=topnews This, of course, is in addition to the $25 Billion loan package already approved of by Congress. Of course, these loans will mean that the government will also now have equity in the U.S. Auto Industry.

Anybody else see a problem with this?

I’m wondering if I’ll ever get to see my share of those dividends, or if the new administration will decide who needs those dividends the most and funnel them in that direction? Who knows, maybe if we play our cards right, by the end of the next 4 years we can just sell everything to ourselves, er, our government. That way, we can always print more money, nothing will ever fail, the government can make all those hard decisions like what businesses are worth maintaining, how much of that money I’m entitled to, how much I get to retire on, what products should be produced, how much toilet paper my family is allotted every month, which doctor I get to see… We’ll never have to worry about inflation, deflation, or anything crazy like that. We can just ignore that disgusting old demand curve and enjoy the flatness of government funded, government directed mediocrity.

Frankly, it’s more than a little scary to me that our government has recently passed a $700 Billion Financial Industry Bailout package that apparently gives the Treasury Secretary power to loan U.S. taxpayer dollars DIRECTLY FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to any private entity he sees fit.

I’m not totally na├»ve about how things work in government. I get, and am frankly appalled at, the expansive power the executive branch has assumed through, inter alia, this wonderfully unconstitutional creature we call the administrative agency (and I also get that the US Supreme Court has said that they are constitutional – so what? It wasn’t the first “pragmatic,” extraconstitutional ruling by the Court – and it’s guaranteed not to be the last), but if Paulson really has this kind of power, that is a reach that takes uncabined administrative power to a whole new level.

What ever happened to minor government intrusion in the economy, giving American entrepreneurial spirits free rein to find success and enjoy the fruits of their success, and letting failed business fail because they aren’t economically viable? President Elect, Barack Obama, supports giving aid to the Auto Industry because it is the “backbone” of the U.S. economy. If that industry is failing it is only because it is NO LONGER ECONOMICALLY VIABLE. If it is no longer economically viable, then what good is it to our economy??? If it is no longer economically viable then perhaps what we need is a new backbone. Memo to Congress and the incoming administration: LET IT DIE!

I ask, whatever happened to having faith in American ingenuity to rise to a challenge, to survive and to create the next best thing? IMHO, politicians in this country have become so afraid of losing power that they are willing to sap away the strength of this great country by coddling its every special interest at every turn. Our government is no longer a government by the people, for the people, but instead has become the people’s doting nursemaid, willing to continually incubate future weakness because it is unwilling to endure present pain. Let the auto-industry die and many will suffer in the short term, but in a few short years, a new, strong, and independent industry will rise from the ashes as a true contributor to the American Economy, and not another leach on the American people’s wallet, sucking money into a government hierarchy where it is redistributed as an increasingly socialistic institution sees fit. Prop it up now with government equity and it may well survive and eventually become strong, but never independent, never as strong and as real as it could be, and the message will continue to ring true to the American Conglomerate – you need not be strong enough to survive in today’s American economy, as long as you are big enough that the government is afraid to let you die.

I did not live in the Great Depression, and I would never wish pain on any one individual, but I personally don’t think this country will ever get anything but weaker, morally, economically, and socially until we finally collectively remove our own diapers and training wheels and kindly inform our government that we are big enough to handle our own messes and our own scratches and even broken bones, thank you very much, and if doing that results in another Great Depression, then so be it. Maybe then we would learn once more to work together as a people in our own families, community’s, cities and even states. Maybe then we would learn once more as a people what things are really important, what it means to sacrifice and what it means to be strong and independent. Maybe then we would begin to remember God and finally start to realize that so many of our problems in society would finally be resolved if instead of creating more government oversight and intervention, we created greater spiritual insight and principled foundations in our own lives and in our children. Maybe then we would finally begin to realize that it isn’t our government and our schools that have left our children behind; it is we who have left our children behind. Maybe then we could get back to living as Americans, instead of begging for another shot of federal painkiller just before we get our next tube feeding and the doctor, er, Federal Government, finally shoves the breathing tube down our lifeless throat and turns on the machine.

As the fiery Patrick Henry infamously decreed: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

Somebody pull the plug. I want my country back.

Right on the Button

I don’t forward things like this around too much, but Ron Paul’s article hits it right on the button.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/11/paul.republican/index.html?iref=werecommend

 

 

The core of what he is espousing is exactly what has bothered me for the last decade in politics and especially throughout this last election. We have placed so much power in the Federal Government, especially the Executive Branch, and have such high expectations for government to fix everything that our government is rapidly ceasing to become the protector of our liberties and is instead becoming a national directorate. Instead of protecting our right to achieve our own success we are creating and expecting a government that will prevent everyone’s failure.

 

Enough of my soap box. The article is dead on. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A good idea!

The Father's Home Birth Handbook is a groundbreaking new resource for fathers-to-be and the professionals who support them. Thorough research is balanced with stories from home-birthing men around the world, making this an essential addition to your lending library, and a wonderful holiday gift for clients and friends.
Available only at: www.homebirthbook.com

I have not read this yet... but I really like the idea. : )

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Politics are like Chess

Obama visited Indiana 57 times since March 2008. Indiana was known as a Republican state. Obama had placed 40 or 50 some headquarters in Indiana. Strategically placing himself.

Politics is a chess game. Those that get the media on their side and "attack" those states that are dominately the other party... will win.

Even when I voted today, there was "electioneering" for Obama. Not legal!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

No Wonder I Homeschool Our Children!

I am appalled! I have been researching candidates to make sure I make an informed decision in voting November 4th... Well what an eye opener! I have discovered all kinds of personal agendas, mostly the homosexual kind. I believe in a marriage between one man and one woman, no other! And then strict fidelity within that marriage.

Here is a excerpt from http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2005/04/17/local/doc42619c80c2118508533264.txt
My commentary is in black, the article is in dark green.

"Donations are big issue in District 3 race
LEA-PAC co-chairwomen Chelli Olsen and Connie Duncan said (Barb) Baier impressed the screening committee with her knowledge of the needs and concerns for families and children in District 3. The screening committee liked that she had experience working with a diverse population and "understands the challenges and opportunities faced daily by teachers and parents."
Sounds impressive doesn't it? Guess where she got her funds from?
...the Victory Fund requires of candidates it supports. The agreement ensures the candidate will send all campaign literature and press releases to a Victory Fund liaison, communicate about campaign strategy and fund-raising, share the cost of mailings done by the Victory Fund for the campaign, send thank-you letters to donors and help with fund-raising for the organization.
Outside of the signed agreement, the organization also asks candidates to:
n Be openly gay or lesbian.
n Demonstrate they are viable candidates.
n Endorse federal gay/lesbian civil rights legislation and similar state and local antidiscrimination laws or legislation.
n Advocate for aggressive policies and positions relevant to HIV/AIDS research, education and treatment; gay and lesbian health and wellness; and women's reproductive freedom."
This woman is in the State Board of Education, District 3. She seems impressive, but the "agenda" she now "has" to represent because of the money she recieved, is NOT IMPRESSIVE!
BE CAREFUL WHO YOU VOTE FOR! DOES MONEY BUY THEM?

Friday, October 3, 2008

We are the cause for the Financial problems!

I have been thinking about the passed recent bailout in the Senate. Which I am not pleased by! Anyway... In the scriptures in mentions all the time of how people would get prideful and then have a social hierarchy and then not take care of each other and forget God. Then what happened??? Of course all of the following: pestilence, murder, famine, plagues, flying fiery serpents, and the list can go on. We have forgotten the Lord in our schools, in our every day life, in politics, etc.
I want to share an experience that happened while talking on the phone with a customer service representative of a corporation we had dealings with. While we were talking about "business" I had excused myself from our conversation to mention something to my child. I told my child that we would read scriptures after I was done with my phone conversation. The woman on the line whispered, "I am glad you read scriptures with your family. Because of my work environment I cannot say that too loud." paraphrased
Good Grief! What have we succumbed to? When we cannot even mention our belief in God?
So how does this relate to the bailout? We have become a people that are prideful! Our wants have become our needs, and we just cannot live without. So now our Government has taken it upon themselves to "fix" everything! It is not a fix! It is a bandaid on a leaking sore. The bandaid will not stay affixed! Finally and I think the most important, we have forgotten Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quote of the day...

“This is a huge cow patty with a piece of marshmallow stuck in the middle of it and I am not going to eat that cow patty,” said Representative Paul Broun, Republican of Georgia. - referring to yesterday's proposed bailout package
 

Friday, September 19, 2008

What does the Book of Mormon have to do with Granola Forever?

You may have noticed (if you are even reading this) that we recently added the Book of Mormon to our recommended reading list.
 
While this may appear to have nothing in common with pregnancy, birth, life, etc (like the Brett Farve post did, anyway...), the fact of the matter is that it has everything in common with all of these things.
 
Regardless of whether you are pregnant, already raising kids, just thinking about it, or just living your life, this book is the best written guide in existence, bar none.
 
It has changed my life, and it guides me and my family on a daily basis. It holds the answer to every situation, including every difficult child raising situation. I often here people say that they wish children came with a manual. Well, this is it.
 
Taken from the introduction: "[the Book of Mormon] tells men [and women] what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come."
 
I know that is true because I have lived and am living it. If you haven't already, try it for yourself. It will change your life.
 
Enjoy,
 
 

You know you're in the midwest when...

you dry off after taking a shower, but you don't feel like you dried off...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Believe in yourself and your body, it will perform its proper functions!

I discovered someone else's blog that has an amazing story to tell. She had three cesarean's and like all women wanted something more natural ie Granola : ) She got herself mentally and physically in shape. She believed in herself! And realized that her body could do it!

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ2taLF3rII

She also has a blog http://yourbirthmatters.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

The video is amazing. I wept. We know how to give birth! Women have been doing it since Eve. Just recently we have allowed the western culture medicine to make it a process, quick and easy - for the doc!

I am so glad on our second birth I had a doula that basically told the doctors to take a flying leap. And then told me I could do it and she was there to help. : ) Also I cannot forget my husband, who pulled the doctor into the hallway and told him never speak to my wife that way again. : )

Homeschooling

We have lived in many states in our married life... well we have moved to a state where I have to fill out so much paperwork to homeschool my children that it takes me all day to read and fill out. Plus since our children were not born in this state, I have to mail MORE paperwork to receive certified copies to complete the process! Part of their paperwork says I cannot begin instruction until I receive the state's approval in the form of a letter which can take up to 30 days to receive! HELLO! I have been teaching our children since the day they were born and now I move to this state and they tell me I must tie my hands in teaching them until I get a letter?
I look to the animal kingdom. Mothers teaching their children where to eat, how to eat it, etc. Why can't we as a "civilized" nation allow parents to teach their own children. OK OK I understand the idea that some parents say they are "homeschooling" but really are not. But why allow one bad apple to spoil the whole bushell?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Breastfeeding

A study of 154 mothers and babies in Guadalajara, Mexico, found that babies who are mainly breastfed for the first six months of life were less likely to have gastrointestinal (GI) problems than those babies that were mainly formula-fed (18% versus 33%). The bad news is that they also have more likelihood of having iron deficiency, putting them at risk of anemia. If the mothers had high iron stores, the babies were at less risk; unfortunately, 28% of Mexican women have low iron stores and anemia.
One of the researchers pointed out that prior studies have found that "breastfed babies don't become anemic if their cords are not cut too soon." Delaying the cut for as little as two minutes can help improve the baby's iron status and confer other benefits.
— Medline Plus, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_67142.html, accessed 18 Jul 2008

Taken from Midwifery News volume 10 issue 18

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bread


Wanna slice?

Wow!!

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=218780

 

Check this out!!!

 

The California Supreme Court (the one that recently said homosexuals have a right to marry (never mind the fact that marriage among people has historically been understood to mean marriage between those of the opposite sex)) just ruled that doctors practicing in California cannot refuse to artificially inseminate homosexuals.

 

I don’t know anymore about the case then what I read in this (obviously biased, but not necessarily incorrect) article, but I do smell an appeal and a future smack down by the U.S. Supreme Court under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.

 

Hey California, when are you going to wise up and replace those “legislators” sitting on your highest bench with a real judiciary? Talk about a court with an agenda!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Brett Favre

Yep, this is why I added the word "Life" to the blog's subtitle, and what would life be like in Wisconsin (or for any Wisconsite) without Brett Favre quarterbacking the Green Bay Packers?

Ted Thompson, as talented a GM as he is, just dumped the only shot he had at a superbowl this year. Although I don't watch football on Sundays, I have been a longtime follower of Packer football in the news and on any day they play besides Sunday. I may pay a small amount of attention to the Packers on and off this year as they finish second or third in the NFC North, but this year I'm a NY Jets fan.

And after last year, I was actually starting to like Ted Thompson...

Things Children Say

The other night, our oldest daughter (almost 4 years old) was bringing plates from the kitchen to the dining table for dinner. After delivering plates to each of her siblings, she came into the kitchen to get a plate for herself. As she was leaving the kitchen, she called back over her shoulder, "You can get your own, Dad!"

I'm feeling the love...

Kneading Bread

So, a few months ago, my wife read an article by a doctor that warned against all the evils of high fructose corn syrup in our modern (read: highly processed) diet. Apparently the stuff is evil, and it has now been banned from our house.

You wouldn't believe how difficult the transition has been. That stuff is in everything. Seriously. It is ridiculoous. We've found high fructose corn syrup in most yogurts, breads, ice creams, jams and jellies, applesauces, animal crackers - basically in everything nabisco makes - in many breakfast cereals, in granola bars, and even in saltine crackers for cryin' out loud. Why, I ask, in the name of all that is natural and decent, do we need high fructose corn syrup in crackers?!? The list could go on and on.

Anyway, after months of buying small loaves of "100% natural" bread for about $3.44 a loaf, I am finished. Last Tuesday I made my first two loaves of bread ever. I did it again on Saturday and actually got them to rise to a decent size, and I am doing it again tomorrow. Soon I will embark on a bread pan purchasing bonanza and begin a large scale operation. Sarah Lee can shove it. I'm making my own.

Later this fall I'm buying a wheat grinder. Maybe next year I'll even buy a cow...


P.S.: Anyone got any good (and easy) whole grain bread recipes?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

1 in 3!

"We have learned in newspapers across the country this month that the cesarean rate has been consistently increasing. It is well documented that the rate has increased at least 48% in the last nine years—one in three women are now having c-sections." - Nancy Wainer

Nancy Wainer is a midwife and has been a birth activist for more than a decade. She teaches childbirth classes, is a Hypnobirth instructor and attends birthing women in their homes. To read more about Nancy, see the interview, “Nancy Wainer: Supporting Birthing Women,” by Julie Brill in Midwifery Today, Issue 83, Autumn 2007.

To read the whole article go to http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/VBACchoice.asp

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taken from CNN Five ways to avoid a C section

updated 6:16 p.m. EDT, Thu August 23, 2007
Five ways to avoid a C-section

C-sections rose by more than 40 percent between 1996 and 2004
Many experts think as many as half of all C-sections are unnecessary
Inducing labor increases chances of a Caesarean section delivery
Laboring at home as until 3 centimeters dilated also reduces risk of C-section
Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN Medical News correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- When Barbara Stratton of Baltimore, Maryland, looks back at the birth of her son, Charlie, now 7, she's angry -- angry she had a surgery she believes she didn't need.

Babies delivered by C-section are at higher risk for complications, including breathing problems.

Stratton said her obstetrician induced labor a week before her due date because she feared the baby would be too large to deliver if they waited for Stratton to go into labor spontaneously. But even after being induced, her labor still didn't progress, and Stratton ended up with a Caesarean section. Her baby weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces -- far smaller than the obstetrician had predicted.
"I never needed the C-section in the first place," said Stratton.

Here's how to avoid having a C-section unless you absolutely need it -- in such medical emergencies as umbilical cord prolapse, which cuts off the baby's oxygen, or placenta previa, when the placenta blocks the cervix so that the baby can't be born naturally.
1. Don't get induced unless medically necessary
Years of study have shown that inducing labor often leads to a C-section.
Klein says studies of first-time moms show that 44 percent of those who are induced end up with a C-section but that only 8 percent of those who go into labor spontaneously end up with a C-section. Doctors say many times, inducing women way before the cervix is ready can lead to unproductive labor, which then necessitates a C-section.
2. Labor at home until you're approximately 3 centimeters dilated
Dr. Elliott Main, director of obstetric quality at Sutter Health in California, said encouraging moms to stay at home in early labor is one way his hospital has been able to keep C-section rates steady while nationally the rate keeps climbing every year.
Why would laboring at home help fend off a C-section?
Part of it has to do with the way mothers feel. "Anxiety can slow down labor," he said.
3. Choose your hospital, and your practitioner, carefully
If having a vaginal birth is important to you, shop for a doctor and a hospital with low C-section rates. "Let's say one hospital has an 18 percent C-section rate, and another one is 45 percent. Which door you walk into will have a profound effect on what happens to you," said Carol Sakala, director of programs at Childbirth Connection, a nonprofit group. You can find out the rates by checking with the doctor's office and the hospital.
4. In the delivery room, ask questions if your practitioner says you need a C-section
Some situations are true emergencies, and a C-section is necessary within minutes to save the baby's life. "That's not a time to negotiate," said Dr. Timothy R.B. Johnson, chair of obstetrics at the University of Michigan. But in other situations, parents should ask questions about whether a C-section is absolutely necessary, he says. For example, if a doctor says the baby is too big to deliver vaginally, "There's a conversation to be had. You can ask, 'Doctor, are you sure the baby's too big? How big?'" Johnson said. "Our ability to guess size is not absolute. I've had babies I thought were 11 pounds that turned out to be 7 pounds. Doctors get humbled on a regular basis."
5. Get a doula
After her own disappointing birth experience, Barbara Stratton became a doula. Doulas, or birth assistants, can help advocate for a mother when she's in labor. E-mail to a friend
Elizabeth Cohen is a correspondent with CNN Medical
This article has been edited and highlighted.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It is amazing what love and attention will do!

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/25797678/from/ET/

All Creatures Great and Small
Matthew Baker
Brigham Young also taught the principle of respect for life. In the first discourse he gave after the Tabernacle was completed, President Young taught of the blessings that come from kind treatment of animals. “The more kind we are to our animals, the more will peace increase, and the savage nature of the brute creation vanish away” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 1997, 333).
Gospel Library > Magazines > New Era > October 2000

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We allow animals to do this birth thing better than us!

I was going to condense this for faster reading... but I could not cut anything out, it is all enlightening!
Animal vs. Human Birth
The protocols in the world of animal husbandry to protect an offspring at the time of birth—no strangers, dimmed lights, freedom of movement, familiar environment, unlimited nourishment, respectful quiet, no disruptions—are done without hesitation because to do otherwise invites "unexplained distress" or sudden demise of the offspring. These thoughtful conditions are the norm, along with careful observation to determine when to use the technological expertise in true emergencies. When we have veterinarians in our childbirth education classes, they always start to smile and nod when I tell this story. These are givens—instinctive givens, even, for animals of all descriptions!
Yet what are the "givens" for the human who births not in a barn, but in a "modern and advanced" hospital? In many cases, 100% the opposite! Usually a minimum of a dozen strangers pass through the world of the laboring mother in her first 12 hours in the hospital—security officer, patient transporter, triage secretary, admission clerk, triage nurse, resident and/or doctor on call, admitting nurse, first shift nurse, break nurse, additional nurse at delivery, doctor or midwife plus possibly students, anesthesiologist, pediatrician, etc. Bright lights in the triage and labor rooms are challenging to dim. Mothers are tethered to monitors or IV poles and are moved through a bright hall with unfamiliar sounds to a new room in a building devoted to illness/trauma that most have visited once briefly if at all. They receive poor quality "clear liquids only." They are exposed to voices of others in the hall or chatting by the attendants during contractions and endless disruptions throughout! But then, do we ever find that we have an offspring experience "unexplained distress?" Of course, and at frightening rates! Yet, oddly, many of these disruptions are promoted as minor inconveniences or necessary to "protect" the baby.
Curiously, while veterinarians commonly have to defend interventions in light of the additional cost and the risks associated with interfering with nature, providers caring for human mothers within the medical system more commonly are forced to defend why they did NOT intervene! Consider the high rates of inductions, epidurals, artificial rupture of membranes, immediate cord cutting, cesareans and the vigorous defense necessary to fight for anything different, especially if time is involved (time to go into labor, to progress, to push, to allow the cord to stop pulsation or to get "done" bonding). I've recently seen outstanding CNMs and obstetricians sacrifice their own political reputations and suffer departmental reprimands for births with great outcomes where they protected the mothers' yearning for privacy, allowed extended pushing time with great vital signs or, during a healthy normal birth, followed their intuition and honored the mother's begging to check heart tones frequently by hand during pushing instead of what the mother considered the massive intrusion of wearing the monitor belt. Interventions are considered to be the ultimate protection from litigation in human care, yet they contribute mightily to the high rates of distress in mothers and babies!
In animal husbandry, the first line of defense for protecting the unborn is to protect and nurture the nutritional needs and comfort of the birthing female. In the case of institutionalized birth for humans, however, in spite of evidence to the contrary, the norm is to act as if the nutritional needs and the comfort of the birthing mothers are of concern to, at most, the marketing and public relations department! It's an affront to common sense that as a society we are currently more accepting of the needs of foaling mares, whelping poodles and high-producing cows than of our birthing humans. From the high rates of fetal distress, meconium staining and breastfeeding problems, the consequences are clearly devastating to our infants, just as any decent horseman would predict.
— Beth BarbeauExcerpted from "Safer Birth in a Barn?," Midwifery Today, Issue 83

Friday, June 27, 2008

Watch Less TV!

OK This is my second post about Television...

In Sunday School there was a thought given that has made me think and ponder about it's ramifications, paraphrasing, "Isn't it amazing how such a small group of people have such a large effect on society." The small group of people that is spoken about is "Hollywood", meaning the actors and actresses that we recognize by face and name. How there "extracurricular" activities and/or TV shows shine as "normal" which most of which are morally wrong. Our "community" as a whole has digressed, I feel, because our standard is set to what Hollywood is. Instead of a good moral compass, as it were.
To illustrate: When our son was younger I checked out the movie Toy Story from the Library for us to watch. About 20 minutes into the movie I noticed that he, my son, was crying. I asked him what was wrong? With tears in his eyes he looked at me and said there is no Dad in this movie. I sat there stunned rehearsing the whole movie in my mind. There was no Dad! Was I that desensitized! I apologized to my son and promptly turned off the movie.
With this statement in Sunday School I have been thinking more and more about it. Actors and Actresses are a "product". They are doing the job they have chosen as their profession. Since they themselves are the product, anything they do off the screen and on is recognized and published. We as a society can not make them change or make them turn down an inappropriate part. So we as a society need to not buy/watch any of the smut that is broadcast. If we stop watching and reading it, they, meaning Hollywood, will stop making it. They can't afford not to. It is a business after all!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Circumcision Vs. Noncircumcision

For example, the term “uncircumcised” suggests that to be circumcised is the norm, the standard. This is an assumption made by a culture that practices circumcision. However, nonreligious infant circumcision is not “normal” in any culture outside of the United States. From a global perspective, to be “uncircumcised” is to be normal, the way males are born, and the way most of the world’s males remain.

This is an excerpt from Circumsion Resource Center.

Our children come to us perfectly. We have no need to alter them.

Do not allow your children 3 years old and under watch TV

After Cliff and I had our first child, we happened upon an article in our local newspaper which discussed the effects of watching television on young minds. The article talked about how children who watch TV while young, in their later years develop ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Since TV is very fast paced, when a young child watches it, it becomes their normal. So in turn they expect life to be fast paced. Life is not fast paced.
We made a point to not allow our children to watch television while a younger sibling was awake. This way it limited television to a very small amount of time.

Pitocin, anyone?

Just another thought on induction of labor. If you are a VBAC patient, take note that (at least as of a couple of years ago in Texas), inserts in packages of Pitocin apparently stated, among other warnings that Pitocin should not be administered "in any condition in which there is a predisposition for uterine rupture, such as previous major surgery on the cervix or uterus including cesarean…"

 

If you are a VBAC patient, the odds are slim that your doctor or nurse will discuss this warning with you should they suggest administering Pitocin to “move things along,” but that shouldn’t keep you from a fair discussion of the pros and cons of using this nasty stuff before you consent to its administration. (OK, so I’m biased).

 

Whether you are a VBAC candidate or not, isn’t it worth asking the question, “Is this really necessary?” or “Is it even really beneficial?” Odds are that an informed discussion that involves considering other options besides a hospital’s stopwatch will lead you to conclude that it is neither necessary nor beneficial in most cases.

Pop Statistics in Legal Studies of VBAC

I am currently working on an annotated bibliography regarding the legal issues surrounding VBAC’s. It is amazing the trends that I have discovered throughout the process!

Consider this – studies have shown (sorry, they’ll have to go uncited at this time. I’m frankly too busy to even be writing this post – but here I am anyway) – ok, where was I – yes, inducing labor in women who have had prior cesarean sections significantly increases the risk of uterine rupture. Significantly.

So, here I am reading cases that involve women suing their physicians because an attempted VBAC ended in uterine rupture and ultimately either killed or left the infant severely handicapped for the rest of their lives. While the specific facts differ in every case, one fact is common to EVERY case I have read. You guessed it – in every single instance the labor was induced. In most of these cases the fact the labor was induced with a woman attempting VBAC is not even discussed as a material factor in the case, yet the very fact of labor induction with a VBAC candidate should present a colorable claim for malpractice in and of itself, IMO.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bond between Mother and Child; hampered by cesarean section?

I have looked online to see if I could find out any further infomation on this, but was unable to. But my personal thoughts are that it does. In my own experiences it was harder to bond initially with our first born child, which was delivered by C-section. In contrast, our children that I labored at home as long as possible before going to the hospital, I was instantly overwhelmed with love and consideration for them.
I believe there are many factors to this. I feel that the medical staff also plays a role on how you bond with your child. The staff that was present for our daughter were so caring and concerned that I felt confident and reassured that it was easy to feel love for her when she was born.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Breast IS Best!

Breastfeeding Helps Prevent Breast Cancer, Lowers Your Risk
From Pam Stephan,Your Guide to Breast Cancer.FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by V.K. Gadi, MD
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Lower Estrogen Exposure
You can lower your risk of developing breast cancer by breastfeeding your baby. And if your baby is a girl, her risk can also be reduced.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnancy before age 30 and breastfeeding reduce a woman's total number of lifetime menstrual cycles, which is thought to be the reason they help lower your risk. The hormone estrogen fuels 80% of all breast cancers. Since pregnancy and lactation reduce your estrogen levels, your risk is decreased each time you are pregnant and while you are nursing your baby.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Save Yourself From a Cesarean!

Lamaze International recommends that a woman allow her body to go into labor on its own, unless there is a true medical reason to induce. Allowing labor to start on its own reduces the possibility of complications, including a vacuum or forceps-assisted birth, fetal heart rate changes, babies with low birth weight or jaundice, and cesarean surgery. Studies consistently show that inducing labor almost doubles a woman's chance of having cesarean surgery.
— Lamaze International Press Release, 21 Feb 2008www.lamaze.org

Excerpt taken from Midwifery Today 3/26/08 Volume 10 Issue 7

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Planning on Several Children? Might want to reconsider that C-Section on demand...

This according to Mary D’Alton, MD, director of obstetrics and gynecology at the Columbia University Medical Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

 

As quoted by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology:

 

“There was consensus, says Dr. D'Alton, that CDMR (Cesarean Delivery on Maternal request) is not recommended for women who are planning on having several children since the risks of placenta previa and placenta accrete increase with each cesarean delivery.” http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr05-09-06-1.cfm

 

Feel free to run a quick google search on “placenta previa” and “placenta accrete.” Increasing those odds is scary enough even if you aren’t planning on several children…

Scheduling Your Birth?

A common theme I hear among new mothers these days is the growing practice of “scheduling” their births. Perhaps that is just another reflection of the on demand world we live in. The problem with that mentality is that bodily functions weren’t designed to occur on demand, and attempting to force those processes can cause undesirable complications. Consider this tidbit from ICAN:

“Rupture of membranes - The breaking of the mother’s waters, either naturally or artificially by her care provider, can cause the baby to drop into the pelvis in an unfavorable position. An arbitrary and artificial time limit being placed on labor may not allow the laboring woman’s body enough time to birth.” Taken from http://www.ican-online.org/vbac/cephalopelvic-disproportion-cpd

The amniotic sac is there for a reason folks! You might want to think twice before breaking it just to speed things along – unless you prefer to increase the risk of poor positioning and forced emergency C-Sections…

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean? (VBAC)

Having our fourth child in an area where we had never had a child before was a VERY "eye opening" experience for us. Every hospital we contacted seemed bent on dissuading us from a VBAC and equally bent on doing everything they could to protect, not mother or child, but physician and hospital from liability if we insisted on VBAC.

Of general note was insistence on constant monitoring, extreme restriction of freedom during labor, and attaching a monitor to the head of the fetus during labor. Yep, you read right, they wanted to insert a wire through the birth canal, forcibly break the water, and stick a probe on our child's head. After two absolutely successful, VBAC's in other regions, every hospital, doctor, and even midwife we spoke with was prepared, indeed determined to treat us as though we were an inexperienced danger to their wallets. Assanine.

If you have previously given birth by Cesarean, and are now considering a VBAC, please visit this site: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/50ways_VBAC.asp Understand that you have rights that doctors are bound to respect, but sadly, in many cases will fail to inform you of.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Episiotomy and Epidurals ~ Avoid Them!

I subscribe to Midwifery Today ~ this was taken from 2/27/08 newsletter.

Avoiding an epidural is also helpful in preventing perineal damage. In one study, women with no anesthesia had the highest rate of intact perinea (34.1 percent), while women with epidurals had the highest episiotomy rate (65.2 percent). Another study shows that women who got an epidural were more than three times as likely to suffer third- or fourth-degree tears. Why would this be?
For one thing, women with epidurals often end up getting cut because they don't have enough sensation to push the baby out. The effects of epidurals are notoriously variable, and even the best anesthesiologist in the world can't predict when delivery will occur, or how different women may be affected by the same dosage of medication. Furthermore, an epidural prevents the mother from assuming optimal positions during delivery. She is also denied the natural sensations of an urge to push and has to rely on external sources to tell her when it is appropriate, instead of listening to the wisdom of her body.
Not surprisingly, oxytocin (or Pitocin) also increases a woman's chances of serious tearing: 47 percent with Pitocin vs. 29 percent of those without Pitocin tore deeply.
— Elizabeth BruceFrom the article "Everything You Need to Know to Prevent Perineal Tearing," which was excerpted from the book Get Through Childbirth in One Piece? How to Prevent Episiotomies and Tearing and published in Midwifery Today, Issue 65

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Educate Yourselves!

If you do not want to give birth the "granola way" make sure you educate yourself completely in the form you would like to give birth in.

(the following information is taken as an excerpt from Cesareans on Demand written by Mayri Sagady Leslie, CNM, MSN from the magazine Every Baby Magazine page 102)

Risks that exist for all cesareans, including elective:

  • longer hospitalization than for vaginal births
  • more pain than with vaginal birth
  • higher risk of the baby developing asthma
  • unexplained stillbirth in subsequent pregnancies
  • problems with getting pregnant again and possibly an increased risk of miscarriage

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Getting the Word Out ~ from Midwifery Today

A note from Jan Tritten, Mother of Midwifery Today:
I have joined Facebook in an effort to connect with other birth change agents for the goal of changing birth practices around the world. I am also blogging more regularly for the same purpose. I invite you to read my blog (which is also pulled into my Facebook page), comment on it and link to it from your Web site or blog. Let's become "friends" on these sites!— love, Jan
Check us out:
Jan's blog
Jan's Facebook page
Midwifery Today on Facebook

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mother, Newborn, and Child Health Conference

For those of you in Utah who may be interested, the law school at BYU is hosting a conference on Mother, Newborn, and Child health on April 4, 2008. I will post any technologically available information that I can. Topics at the conference will include:

v The impact of culture and lifestyle on women’s and children’s health outcomes
v Family health history as a prevention tool
v Infectious disease impact on mother, newborn, or child health
v The role of NGOs in meeting global MNCH challenges
v The impact of primary health care on maternal, newborn and child health
v Health outcomes in resource-constrained areas
v Global health and diversity maternal/newborn/child issues

Should be a great conference!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Business of Being Born

It's like my economics professor always said, if twenty dollars is left laying on the ground, you are likely to never see it because someone else will almost always pick it up before you get there, and if you have an idea, odds are that someone else has already thought of it and is already doing something about it.

Like most prof's, he was right. A few months ago my wife started collecting information for a book about unnecessary medical intrusion in childbirth. Just two days ago I started this blog, and tonight on Larry King Live, Ricki Lake introduced her new movie, The Business of Being Born.

One of the things that Ricki discussed with Larry King was the extensive employment of C-Sections in the medical field, not out of medical necessity, but as a legal shield against potential complications in natural childbirth. The reasoning goes that doctors have more control when they do C-Sections, and are therefore likely to encounter less complications that might lead to injury, which might lead to lawsuits. So, to avoid liability for personal injury in childbirth, doctors across the US are cutting women open at a disgusting rate 31.1% of all births in 2006!

I'm not normally a litigious person, but perhaps what we need is a spate of lawsuits against doctors for pressuring mothers into unnecessary C-Sections...

Why Granola????

Why Granola you ask? Because Granola is the very word that sparked the idea for this blog. About a month and a half ago, a friend, who also happens to be a nurse, blogged about her experience nursing in delivery.

If I can find the post again I will link to it here. Suffice it to say that her post was nearly shocking. She described actual hostility (most of it veiled and "behind the back") towards mothers who chose to have a natural birth. Specifically, she quoted comments like "She's so granola." "What, does she think she's going to get a mother of the year award?" "She must think she's better than everyone else." You get the point.

While lying in bed that night (you know, the time when the brain really starts to work) I thought, hey! granola! What a great idea for a blog! A month later a friend of ours had her first baby via totally natural birth. Although she mused that she didn't feel granola (makes me think of that line from a Van Halen tune "I don't feel tardy" Anyway...), we still selected her for the first ever Granolie award for Rookie natural birth., and then we started this blog.

Yep, it's Granola...

My First Birth Experience

When my husband and I first found out we were pregnant we were excited! I thought I had found a Doctor that supported my beliefs in having a natural birth. Everything leading up to delivery was as my Doctor said "poster perfect pregnancy". I measured exactly where I should be. The heart rate was right where it should be. Everything was going great. I wrote up a birth plan. I had my hospital bag packed weeks before my due date, just in case. Then the exciting time came. I was out playing with our neighbor's dog and POP! Just like the book said it would happen. My water broke. We called the hospital. The nurse on duty was studying to be a midwife... she said, "Stay home. Sleep and eat normally. Things can wait until tomorrow." (OH HOW I WISH SHE WAS THERE MY WHOLE TIME I DELIVERED!) Then we went into the hospital the next day. The nurse studying to be a midwife was so nice and soothing. Then it all changed. My contractions stopped at 6pm. Shift Change! The new nurse was crabby and wanting me to get things over with. My Doctor that I had trust in started to put pressure on me. I was not dilating 1 cm per hour. Things were not progressing as they wanted. My water had broke and they were checking me every hour. They said there is a fear of infection, problems with the baby, etc. (If you weren't "checking" me every hour there wouldn't be such a risk of infection!) My Doctor said that I should have a C-section. I said no! He kept mentioning it. I said I wanted a second opinion. He responded by asking, "at twelve o'clock at night!?" "Yes!" I said. "You want to cut me open. I don't care what time it is." I did not want an adversarial role with my CARE giver. My family notoriously has long labors. I was prepared to have long labors. Then he brought in a panel of Doctor's and Nurses that all said I should get a C-section. I asked is there something else we could try? They gave me petocin. That hurt! I had a C-section.

This blog has come about because I wanted a voice! And my husband is the best IT guy! : )

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Welcome to Granola Forever!

Welcome to the first ever post on a new blog that is dedicated to pregnancy, birth, parenthood, and life!

After a brief one and a half month gestational period (gestational periods for ideation are much shorter than that for children, and the birth far less painful - we'll see how the early years compare) we are finally launching a blog that is dedicated to evoking thought and enabling choice among young parents.

First, let's get it out of the way that I am a man, and this does in fact seem a bit of a weird subject for a man to begin a blog about. Frankly, I have no idea how much I will or will not post on this blog. Hopefully whatever I do place on here is of some small value to the community that embraces this blog, but my premise for creating this blog was not to provide an outlet for my ideas - it was to provide an outlet for my wife's burgeoning passion regarding the lack of information that most women seem to have about the pregnancy and birthing process, and the general obliviousness of so many young mothers regarding the choices that are available to them. I just happen to be my wife's personal IT support staff, which means that I get the job of set up, and then she gets to play with it however she wants :)

The fact of the matter (at least regarding our personal experience) is that underidentification* is a HUGE problem in the medical field, especially among obstetricians. (I can't wait for some doctor to jump all over me about this one.) What is underidentification, you ask? Put simply, underidentification is a phenomenon than occurs among professionals where they fail to identify with a client/patient as a human being and instead identify with a client/patient as a problem that needs to be solved. When this occurs, rather than explaining possibilities and revealing choices in medical care, a doctor tends to explain the doctor's preferred choices and steers a patient towards a pre-set solution based, not on the patient's wishes, but on the doctor's comfort level. While the end result is likely a medically positive result, it is not necessarily the best medical and psychological result, and in the realm of pregnancy and childbirth, such an approach can leave a young mother feeling objectified and violated.

The hope of this blog is to help young parents avoid these types of situations, not by telling them what to do, but by helping them to ask the right questions, encouraging thought, stimulating research, and promoting the type of assertive conversation with doctors that will empower and enhance an experience that should be one of the most joyous experiences in life.

Oh yea, the purpose is also to have a good time exchanging ideas regarding parenthood, life, and all the groovy stuff that goes along with it.

Enjoy!

* Both the label "underidentification" and the concept taken from Susan R. Martyn & Lawrence J. Fox, Traversing the Ethical Minefield: Problems, Law, and Professional Responsibility 130-31 (2004) (citing and quoting John T. Noonan Jr, The Lawyer Who Overidentifies with his Client, 76 Nortre Dame L. Rev. 827, 833 (2001)).