Tag surfer

Just because I’m bored and have nothing particularly inspired to say and am procrastinating grading species counterpoint . . .

Have you WordPress users ever looked at your TAG SURFER?  I’ve weeded out a few of my tags, but it’s amazing what still shows up.  Like:

  • A really really long sermon about Joshua and stones . . . or something
  • A post about a daughter’s relationship with her mother
  • Something about the Patriots-Colts game (which I couldn’t care less about) and Vikings-Chargers
  • The Art of Divine Contentment by T. Watson
  • A list of new AfrAm books at a local library
  • A Long & Tragic Story (wow, I wonder how long that took to create!)
  • Things in languages that even I don’t recognize!

Time to let the dog back into the house . . .

And if you are as bored as I, please give some love to my blogroll!


Amniotomy? No thank you!

I am glad to see more attention being given to the problem of artificial rupture of membranes (AROM), also known as amniotomy.  I am encouraged to see this because I believe AROM is what lead to my unnecesarean.

Authors’ conclusions (Cochrane Review, July 13, 2007)

On the basis of the findings of this review, we cannot recommend that amniotomy should be introduced routinely as part of standard labour management and care. We do recommend that the evidence presented in this review should be made available to women offered an amniotomy and may be useful as a foundation for discussion and any resulting decisions made between women and their caregivers.

[Click here to read the review abstract.]

A few articles in the press that piqued my interest:

Childbirth: purposely breaking water does not speed deliveryNew York Times
“We advise women whose labors are progressing normally to request their waters be left intact,” said the lead author, Dr. Rebecca Smyth, a research associate at the University of Liverpool. “There is no evidence that leaving the waters intact causes any problems, and there is not sufficient evidence to suggest any benefit to either themselves or their baby.”

In labor, breaking a woman’s water may be futileLos Angeles Times
“The hormones in the amniotic fluid have been thought to stimulate contractions, but not only does an amniotomy fail to speed up and strengthen labor, it also fails to improve a woman’s satisfaction with the birth experience, an analysis by the Cochrane Review found. Nor does it result in the baby being in better condition after birth.”

Don’t ‘Break the Waters’ During Labor Without Good Clinical Reason, Concludes Cochrane ReviewScience Daily
“This Cochrane Systematic Review found that breaking the waters may be associated with a slightly (non-significantly) higher rate of Caesarean section. Breaking the waters may cause changes in the baby’s heart rate.”

Breaking waters not needed in routine birthsGlobe & Mail
“Yet many medical centres perform amniotomy for routine deliveries. One Toronto hospital does it for 80 per cent of the births under its roof.”
[The “annoying cough” begins a new brief and is not related to this discussion.]

Review Finds That “Breaking the Water” Does Not Speed or Help With LaborHealth Behavior News Service
“However, several American doctors said the findings are unlikely to change the way obstetricians help women give birth in the United States. “Most of us believe it works, so there will be a lot skepticism about this,” said Mark Nichols, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Sciences University.”

The Cochrane Group is an international independent non-profit organization whose goal is to help people like you and me make better-informed decisions about healthcare and interventions.  Archie Cochrane was a British epidemiologist and is the organization’s namesake.  The Cochrane Collaboration was founded in 1993.

In Born in the USA, Marsden Wagner hails the Cochrane Library as “a frequently updated, highly respected electronic library of reviews of the scientific evidence on different obstetric practices”.  Know that doctors (such as Mark Nichols, the man quoted in the Health Behavior News Service bulletin) don’t always practice evidence-based care.  They often “follow the crowd” (ACOG) or repeat unnecessary procedures just because “they work”.  My response to that style of practice is that it is unethical, unfounded, reckless, irresponsible, subversive, and the list of negative modifiers could go on and on for hours.  We all know that cesareans “work”, for instance, but that does not mean that even a significant minority (30% of all live births for example) should be undergoing this procedure.  “It works” is not acceptable.

Something else you should know about the Cochrane group is that several members produced a textbook called A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth.  You can download this book  for free from Childbirth Connection.  This is an amazing resource!

Where I Am with What I’ll Do and When ~ Part 1

I’m like a big sponge.  I soak something in that’s new and different every day.  I am certainly a “life long” learner, and my current subject is ethical and noninvasive maternal care for pregnant and laboring women.  Sometimes this blog is a place for me to “dump” my ideas about pregnancy and childbirth, and certainly this post fits into that category.

First Trimester Dos and Don’ts

  • Because I am planning a VBAC and know when I ovulated (I track my basal body temperature and other fertility signs), I will not have a first trimester ultrasound unless I deem it medically necessary.  An ultrasound will not give me any information with regard to childbirth outcomes, but it will give care providers ammunition for intervention should a baby gestate past 40 weeks.
  • I will not pee in a cup.  What’s the point?
  • I may request a quantitative hcg test just to put my mind at ease with regard to progesterone levels in early pregnancy.
  • I will continue to see my chiropractor as my spinal and pelvic health and nervous system function is essential for a healthy pregnancy.
  • I will try to exercise and make better nutritional choices.
  • I will continue taking a liquid fish oil supplement recommended by my chiropractor, taking prenatal vitamins, and drinking lots of herbal tea.
  • I will get to know my pelvis by working with the Pink Kit.
  • I will be primarily responsible for my health and health indicators (such as blood pressure readings).
  • I will request medical records from my previous hospital and previous care providers so that I may be better informed of what may or may not have contributed to the eventual cesarean section with my daughter.
  • I will not submit myself and my gestating baby to nonessential testing.  I will not contribute to the outrageous cost for maternal health care in this country.  I will not financially support this inherently subversive and paternalistic industry (and childbirth is a well-crafted industry at this point in our nation’s umm . . . “development”).

Will you see “The Business of Being Born”?

Click here to learn about Ricki Lake’s  documentary, “The Business of Being Born.”  Information from her fan site is here.


When I first learned about the movie, I decided to look into hosting a “sneak preview” here in Missoula as a benefit for a new ICAN chapter.  However, the screening fee is $200 which I personally can’t afford to assume and try and turn a bit of a profit for our group. 

One of the first ICAN e-mails I read today was titled ‘NO WASHINGTON DC AREA MOVIE THEATER SHOWINGS OF “THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN'”.  I was concerned, because if WDC has no scheduled viewings of this movie, then what about little towns like Missoula?  Little towns with BIG cesarean problems? I’ll share the e-mail I sent through the show’s website today:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am hoping that “The Business of Being Born” will be scheduled to appear in Missoula, MT.  I have looked at hosting a showing to raise funds for a new International Cesarean Awareness Network (Chapter) [sic] in development here in Western Montana.  However, we can’t afford the $200 fee, especially if we hope to raise money for our chapter.  So, I hope you will look into scheduling with our local Indy theater, The Wilma.  Their number is 406.728.2521.  Although Missoula is a fairly progressive town, maternal care here is not.

Please let me know if I can be of assistance with your efforts to encourage healthy birth outcomes for moms and babies.  Know that our local cesarean rate is 30% which is double the recommended LIMIT established by the World Health Organization.  Also know that in 2005, only 1% of Montana births were vaginal births after cesarean section (VBAC).  Our local hospital only had 16 successful VBACs last year.  Hopefully you see this state as one in dire need of education with regard to what should be “normal” childbirth!

I didn’t receive a response today, but I’m hopeful that I will hear from them soon.  I don’t know if they’ll have suggestions for me or not.  I think the $200 fee is a bit of a crock especially since they suggest that a screening might serve as a fundraiser.  Not exactly in line with philanthropy, in my opinion. 

I’ll be interested to hear what the buzz from the “sneak previews” will be . . .

I happened upon Bloglines and discovered this:

The Trial of Labor

…the more we know and experience, the stronger we will be…

More Info · · Clip post · Preview feed · Subscribe to feed

Thank you for making me relevant.  Thank you for reading my blog and for all of the comments you’ve made either here or through other communication forums.  This is a great thing for me and leading me towards critical service and advocacy work.  I’ll be posting more about this later.

10 Things I LOVE about Me!?

I was “tagged” by my friend at Empowering Birth Blog.  I’m new to this whole tagging game, but since I need to write something today (I start to feel “itchy” when I don’t blog every day), I decided to try and come up with these 10 things that I could possibly love about myself.

I don’t feel so great about my self this week.  Miscarriage will do that, I suppose.  But soon I’ll be too busy with my university job to think too much about it.  Oh I’ll never forget it.  Much like I’ll never forget my DD’s birth story (I need to post that sometime soon.  I have the “immediately after” version and the “current” reflection which are quite different.)

When I think about the things I might possibly love about myself, I consider my strengths.  It’s really funny how strengths and weaknesses are related.  Don’t you think?

1.  I love that I’m a mother and wife.  In my field, marriage (to a certain extent) and children (to a large extent) indicates some lack of commitment (I always try to spell thyis word wrong!) to our Art.  I’ve been successful even though I don’t perform 52 weeks a year.  Who said I wanted to anyway?  Family keep you humble.  Having a family helps you set priorities.  Having a family is tremendous comfort during the hard times.  I wouldn’t have made it through this last month of Hell if it wasn’t for my husband.  And I thank God that I have been previously blessed with a child.

2.  I love that I have a lot of interests.  I’m good enough at a lot of things to never really get very good at anything.  (Well, aside from my career speciality.)  I enjoy picking things up and revisiting them every so often.  It does mean that I have lots of gear cluttering up my closets and garage, a hard time focusing my research efforts, and a lot of half-read books by my bed.

3.  I love that I’m open-minded.  Give me something new to ponder, and I’ll do it.  It doesn’t have to conform, necessarily, to my established beliefs.  It doesn’t have to be super liberal or conservative or orthodox or unorthodox etcetera.  It just needs to be worth considering and then make sense.  I feel sorry for and frustrated with people who are so clouded by their own passion that they can’t keep an open mind.

4.  I love that I can take charge of things and make them work.  I can easily become an integral part of the organizations with which I work.  Granted, I’m more of an idea person than a worker bee, but if I believe in something, I follow through.  I’m a good team player and will delegate responsibility once trust has been earned.  I don’t have to take credit for everything in order to be fulfilled by my activities, but I do expect credit when it is due. 

5.  I was journaling at home earlier today.  My daughter’s home daycare is literally steps away, and I was able to identify her scream.  (They were having a LOT of fun screaming at the tops of their lungs.)  I love that I know my daughter’s voice.

6.  I love that I’m good at what I do.  No, I’m really good at what I do.  I’m an accomplished performer and even though I’m at the beginning of my teaching career, I’ve got the talent for that as well.  I’m confident in my abilities but always trying to improve them.

7.  I love that I’m trusting.  I’m thankful that I’m trusting.  My husband and I used to spend months apart, so trust was key.  I believe that most people have good intentions and hold my best interest at heart.  I trust that my body is strong and will work as it was designed.  I began to learn this as I took up cycling and backpacking.

8.  I love that I feel things very deeply.  Sure it causes me a lot of pain.  I rejoice in mourning my c-section.  I praise God that my unhealthy baby spontaneously miscarried early in the pregnancy.  I am miserable yet thankful; tremendously disappointed yet faithful.  People who are afraid to feel reject these feelings.  They are the ones who say “Get over it.”  “You should be happy.”Yada yada.

9.  I love that my personal surroundings give me pause.  Sometimes I’ll be walking to my car, lift my head, and realize that I live in a beautiful town in an incredible state.  Sometimes I look out the window and am awed by the sunrise or sunset.  Sometimes I see an unusual flower or weed growing by my house or in the mountains, and I stop to investigate.  There is beauty all around me.  As I type, the sun is setting, casting shadows across the cool backyard and into the park.  The hill above me still basks in the weakening sunlight, and the mountain beyond is dark and still.  People are walking their dogs.  Neighbors across the trail are having an outdoor party.  And it helps me find peace.

10.  I love that I can see both sides of an argument.  Well, I’m not really talking about the kind of arguments I have with my darling husband.  But I very rarely come across an issue or conflict that is cut and dried.  Everyone has their own version of a story.  I am analytical and tend to question everything.  I am always asking myself “Why”.  Why did that person make that choice?  Why was the issue framed in that particular manner?  Why did that action cause the following response?  Why why why?  (I’m a three-year-old.)

Wow, that was a project.  And now I’m realizing that I forgot the thing I like best about myself:

I look younger than my age and act like it too!!

Bye bye, Blogspot!

The audacity!

On 7/31/07, Blogger Help <support@blogger.com> wrote:


Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and cleared for regular use so that
it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and
sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your
patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

The Blogger Team

Yeah, I bet they lost a furtive tear over the trouble they caused me.  Here is my response:

To Whom It May Concern,

What is this “Big Brother” bullcrap.  You had NO BUSINESS preventing people from reading my innocent blog while you were investigating me.  I at least deserve an explanation for WHY I was under review, WHAT steps were taken to “verify” my blog, and WHY it took you so long to clear me for “regular use”.

I recommend that when you decide to accuse people of wrongdoing in the future, that you kindly send them an e-mail alerting them to the fact that you, the Big Brother, will be investigating them.  Only when you have verified PROOF of illegal activity should you be seizing people’s intellectual property.

I use a number of google services.  I am definitely going to delete my blogger accounts, and will have to think long and hard about deleting my picasaweb, googledocs, and gmail accounts.  I think it’s likely time to find a new search engine.

Be assured that in this age of FREE exchange of information that your lack of professional behavior, your inappropriate use of censure, seizure of my intellectual property, and the time and energy this idiotic experience caused me will be advertised to the world wide web.


 I doubt I’ll ever know why they seized my blog.  I’ve since moved the posts over here and deleted the previous site on blogspot.  Needless to say I don’t recommend blogger as a blog host, and I hope you will add them to your do not recommend list as well.  Please let others know that this is NOT an unusual occurance.  When I searched blogger’s help site, there were plenty of other people who had had their blogs removed without their knowledge or consent.

Blogger sucks!