Archive for 2009

  • Sadness

    Saturday, July 25th, 2009

    We are heading back to California tomorrow—we were planning on staying longer but some important things came up and we are going back quite a bit early. It has been very emotional for Alexander and I to be leaving and has reminded me again as to how we handle change and disappointment with our children. Our job as parents is frequently to help them deal with their own emotions of sadness, anger and disappointment, either large or small.

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  • A Loss That is More Than A Loss?

    Monday, July 20th, 2009

    Last week two year old twin boys lost their mother. Maria del Carmen Bousada died of a tumor in her native country of Spain. The boys will never know or remember their mother. This isn’t a typical kind of tragic loss – the particular situation with this family is that Maria was 69 years old. She did not adopt the boys. She was the one of the oldest known women to give birth.

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  • Fox 17 Morning News Interview: Diet During Pregnancy

    Monday, July 20th, 2009

    Last week I was interviewed on the Fox 17 Morning News in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’d like to take my next couple of blog posts to address the things we talked about. The newscaster and I initially discussed how diet and exercise should be approached during pregnancy. Check out these blogs for more discussions on healthy eating during pregnancy.

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  • Egg Donation For Stem Cell Research

    Monday, July 6th, 2009

    Last week every major newspaper reported that New York has become the first state to allow taxpayer-funded researchers to pay women for giving their eggs for embryonic stem cell research. In the recent governmental shift of supporting embryonic stem cell research this is a development welcomed by scientistists world-wide. However, it has received harsh criticism by opponents who fear that it will lead to the exploitation of poor women.

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  • The Delicate Balance of Life and Death

    Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

    I don’t like talking about the sad and difficult aspects of birth. But these two stories struck me and made me want to again bring up the simple truth that the birth process is not inherently simple and safe and the balance of life and death is delicate. We have to be careful not to put more emphasis on the “experience” rather than the “outcome”. Although these situations are vastly different they both show the precarious nature of bringing life into the world.

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  • Class Reunions

    Monday, June 29th, 2009

    I have been away from here for a little over a week although it feels like even longer than that. The funny part is that I truly have been without an Internet connection for this entire time. That sure doesn’t happen often anymore. Either the WIFI signal was out or the dial-up wasn’t working or something or other. I have been traveling to the Midwest, specifically Ann Arbor, Michigan to attend one of my high school reunions (the number of which I will leave out).

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  • What Are “irregularly regular” Contractions?

    Thursday, June 18th, 2009

    Yesterday, I attended a birth that had been pretty long for the mom. She had experienced a couple of days of mild, irregular and annoying (her words) contractions before labor really kicked in. What I was struck with was that she really had managed her labor by separating the “engine is warming up” portion of it (early labor) with the “engine is in full-gear” portion (active labor). She tried to be as normal about her day as she could even though she knew things were happening. This allowed her to have the energy to better manage the very strong, active labor contractions without feeling as though she had been in labor for days.

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  • Orgasmic Birth

    Friday, June 5th, 2009

    I recently viewed a film called Orgasmic Birth. In it several women discuss the “bliss and ecstasy” that they felt during their “natural” childbirth experiences. Other “experts” discuss how this occurs with references to blood flow, sexual hormones and anatomy. I found the dialogue and the described certainty with which we can achieve this to be quite fascinating. And I wondered where these women were (and why I hadn’t been one of them).

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  • Wednesday Notes

    Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

    These are just a couple of things I have been reading today. This is a great story from the BBC about an obstetrician and staff who saved the life of an orangu-tan with birth complications. What are the unique challenges of having a baby and being a small business owner?

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  • I Think I May Be A Bad Mommy Too

    Thursday, May 14th, 2009

    It could just be my imagination but it seems as though more and more frequently I am reading articles and blog posts that vilify women who openly speak about their struggles and feelings about motherhood. The backlash against Ayelet Waldman and her recent book, Bad Mother is only one example of many. In the book she openly talks about how she feels about her husband and her kids. Her crime seems to be her honesty and her pointed observation that the expectation of mothers is completely unreachable. Funny thing is that her family doesn’t seem to be disturbed by any of what she says. She seems to be in a happy marriage and has 4 pretty well adjusted kids. So what’s the problem?

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