Browser Buzz

My husband finds it incredibly frustrating that I will keep open a gazillion tabs or browser windows open for days . . . errrr . . . weeks at a time.  Here’s a taste of what’s hanging around my browser these days:

All quality stuff.  Check out a link or five!

Magazines and Such

I came across this post about magazines via Twitter and thought I’d talk about the magazines I like to read.

If I could, I’d subscribe to Mothering Magazine. There are always great articles, and I find it quite inspiring. Then again pregnancy magazines are kind of a bummer right now. I also came across something called Kiwi Magazine and found it incredibly relevant. I wonder why it’s not a more mainstream offering.

I like Health Magazine and More. I always read them cover to cover at my mother-in-law’s house. She sent me a subscription of More this year, which I make fun of her for since I’m not 40 yet. I’m an issue or so behind – perhaps that’s because I’m not feeling particularly attractive or stylish, so it’s not fun to look at 60-yr-old women who are more attractive and healthy than I am. LoL! I also love to read Yoga Journal. I usually buy it in the grocery store but should really ask for a subscription for Christmas or something. Of course, I’m really just a yoga wannabe. It’s not like I really “need” this mag.

I wish I had a subscription to the Magnificat so I could possibly stay up to date on the readings. I should try and buy the December issue so that we can read it during dinner in celebration of Advent.

I always think about buying In Style, Family Circle, Women’s Day, Living, etc. from time to time.

And then there is an assortment of education newsletters and journals that I browse regularly.

Otherwise, I’m reading Jon Cohen’s Coming to Term as well as Living Buddha, Living Christ, a profound book by Thich Nhat Hanh. And of course, during this phase of my life I have Taking Charge of Your Fertility nearby at all times. Ha!

Giving Thanks In Tough Times

graphic by  NMCIL ortiz domney (flickr)

graphic by NMCIL ortiz domney (flickr)

Ever have a year where Thanksgiving just made you feel like a bad, ungrateful, ________ person?  You know, when things are so bad that you can’t get past the suffering to admit you’re thankful for anything?  I’m afraid that there are people out there every year that feel this way.  The holiday season can be really tough.  We’re supposed to be thankful, happy, merry, joyful, and celebratory.  We’re supposed to exchange gifts and cook fancy meals.  But some years the very thought of buying (or frankly, receiving) a gift is overwhelming.  Some years you may just want to crawl in your hole, drink copious amounts of alcoholic bevies, graze on whatever’s left in the fridge or pantry, and wait for another year.

Last fall I was surviving.  I barely made it to the Thanksgiving holiday.  I was thankful (if that’s the right word) for the break from my every day life.  Honestly, I don’t even remember Thanksgiving.  The next goal was getting to Christmas break.  Then the next goal was surviving Christmas at my parents’ home.  It wasn’t a good trip, and I wasn’t in any position to be the good daughter.  And since my Grandfather had recently died, my mother wasn’t in a great place either.

I meant for this to be a more uplifting post than it is turning out to be.  This Thanksgiving is tough for folks across the country who are inclined to “celebrate” Thanksgiving.  Some people have lost a lot of money recently “thanks” to our country’s financial instability.  Some people are following international tragedies such as Darfur and most currently Mubai.  I continue to be worried about poor maternal-fetal outcomes in childbirth, especially in the US.  Why are we not in the top 5?  Why, with all we have at our disposal, are maternal-fetal outcomes declining?  According to the World Health Organization, for example, maternal mortality in North America increased 31% between 1990 and 2005 at a rate of 1.8% increase per year. [1]

Our worries don’t go away just because there is a holiday.  We can’t just sweep all of this under the carpet.  On the other hand, I do have plenty for which I am thankful.  I am thankful for my annoying little almost-4-year-old daughter who just climbed into my bed begging for the umpteenth time to play Dress Chica.  I’m thankful for my home – thankful that we haven’t lost our home in spite of the overwhelming debt load we carry.  (Remind me again how it is that I owe so much money to doctors when I carry supposedly good health insurance??  Tell me how it is possible that an out-patient hospital procedure cost more than $13,000?!?!!)  I am thankful that my husband still loves me in spite of the incredibly depressing year we’ve had.

Yes, in spite of it all, I am finding things to be thankful for.  And in a very significant way, I am thankful for what the past year has taught me about women’s health, about grief, about survival, and about family.  I hope that if you are still reading this, that you will find something . . . no matter how large or small . . . for which you are thankful.

[1] Maternal mortality in 2005: Estimates developed by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank.

On the Radar, 11/15/08

The weekend is an excellent time to catch up on the latest news. Here are some things rolling around the internet that piqued my interest.

I had to edit my post to include the latest cartoon by Hathor the Cow Goddess.  This one really resonates with me in a funny and sick way.  It’s so true . . . except that I never made it out of the hospital bed, unless you count changing beds to be wheeled into surgery . . .  If wishes were horses, I’d have followed my instincts and not left my house that night.  We were fine until the midwife broke my water. <sigh>

AMA Scope of Practice Initiative Advances – I get so focused on what ACOG and the AMA is trying to do to childbirth, that I forget the far reaching affects of their actions. This post was written by the American Optometric Association. I think it’s a good one to study to get another perspective on expanding SOPP. Plus, it makes me thing that we need to forge ties with other “secondary level” practitioners, hire our own marketing teams, and put together a real professional campaign against the AMA.

Can you give yourself a few minutes every day for the next 15 days to practice relaxation and yoga? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since I’ve started reading Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh. One of my students let me borrow it. While I’m at it, let me share one wonderful thing I’ve read from the book thus far:

Peace is all around us – in the world and in nature – and within us – in our bodies and our spirits. once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed. (23-24)

It’s so hard for me to recognize peace around me, and, in a way, to embrace the healing and transformation that is promised by embracing peace. I keep being led to practicing mindfulness, peace, meditation, yoga, being present, but I keep resisting it. How about you? And will you also take mamascoffeetime’s challenge to practice yoga? If you have a little one at home, try the Animal Adventure!

I found a petition, “Practicing midwives Should Be Licensed and Carry Insurance.” I sighed in sadness and exasperation when I read it. It really stinks that this family lost their baby in this manner, but shouldn’t they have been aware through the interview process if their midwife was licensed and if she carried insurance? I’m not trying to point fingers back at this family, but these are such basic questions. For some homebirthers, it’s important that their midwives carry the proper credentials. Others recognize that midwives don’t always care about formal recognition for what they do. They help babies and their families at one of the most critical and beautiful times in their lives. A piece of paper doesn’t mean that they’re a good or bad midwife any more than a medical degree ensures that you have a good doctor. And to require midwives to carry insurance is to ask them (and us) to continue to support a system that is completely FUBAR! Anyone who has suffered from major medical problems – even if they have “good” insurance – can attest to that.

Choices in Childbirth Statement Encourages Options and Evidence in Maternity Care. What a concept, eh? Options for women and their babies? EVIDENCE when it comes to maternity care?? Here’s a taste, but please do read the whole thing! I wonder if ACOG or the AMA will respond?

The statement also calls for evidence-based practices in maternity care, and for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association “to strike those resolutions that deny childbearing women the autonomy and rights that medical professionals, educators, and women’s health advocates have historically endorsed.”

A wonderful post at BlogHer, It’s lonely out here: planning for a natural childbirth. Some great comments too!

CfM Grassroots Network: MEAC Needs Our Help! What they really need is our $$.

And last but not least . . . a new website and blog to which I will subscribe: The Unnecessarian which I found via CfM and Birth, Interrupted. Read the latest blog entry and you’ll see that they’re already holding the medical community’s feet to the fire.

Tag: It’s Personal and Embarrassing

Julie at CoolMomGuide tagged me. Fun!! I’m supposed to share six things about me that no one from my blog community knows. Of course the things that are most personal and most embarrassing are perhaps too personal and embarrassing to share. But I’ll give it a stab . . .

  1. Well, to be quite honest it’s both extremely personal and somewhat humiliating that I’ve lost three babies. I miscarried 8/07, 10/07, and 2/08. That’s no secret on my blog, but perhaps the fact that I still feel humiliated is a surprise.
  2. On the lighter side, I freely admit that I don’t shower every day. I’m a working mom who hardly has time to throw on clothes before shoving myself and my toddler out the door in the mornings.
  3. On a related note, I can’t find a deodorant that works well for me. I have a strong sense of smell, so perhaps no one else (except my friend Emerald) would notice when I have not so fresh pits.
  4. I’m an opera singer who doesn’t much enjoy going to opera performances. I’d rather be on the stage. Isn’t that awful?!
  5. I’m some kind of an amazing procrastinator. It’s debilitating.  In fact, I’m two weeks past deadline on my editing duties.  I hate that!
  6. I shriek (which means that it’s very high and very very loud) when flying bugs get near me. I’m always sure that I’m gonna get stung.

I shall tag . . . umm . . . Sandra at Geriatric Mom, Sharon at Traveling Midwife, Enjoy Birth, Kim the Doula Momma, and Banana Peel.

Google and Childbirth (!!??)

I guess Google is celebrating its 10th birthday? (I found this out via Plurk, by the way.)

Before heading to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, Larry and Sergey incorporate the iconic Man into the logo to keep cognoscenti informed about where the Google crew would be for a few days.

Before heading to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, Larry and Sergey incorporate the iconic Man into the logo to keep cognoscenti informed about where the Google crew would be for a few days.

Awww, it’s kind of a cute image, their little doodle. Anyway, I came across a google blog post about a bulk order of silly putty, and this image below struck me funny… or disturbing… or both.

Googlers extracting silly putty

Googlers extracting silly putty

This picture makes me think of conventional modern hospital “delivery.” What do you think?

* All images are property of google which I hope are ok to use under creative commons licensing?