Saturday, May 06, 2006

these are from february when pam came to visit...

good good times!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

On saturday, i have my first independent research class. it is the class in which we explore ideas for our research papers due next semester. One of the ideas that I was looking at was artificial sweeteners and the over use of them in our culture and their carcinogenic properties. I was very surprised (and pleased) to find this article this morning:

NEW YORK - Tens of millions of students will no longer be able to buy non-diet sodas in the nation’s public schools under an agreement announced Wednesday between major beverage distributors and anti-obesity advocates.
The distributors, working with a joint initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association, also have agreed to sell only water, juice and low-fat milks to elementary and middle schools, said Jay Carson, a spokesman for former President Clinton.

Now, of course, they are targeting obesity and not any other diseases. And, diet sodas are still going to be available to available to high school students at schools. AND, fruit juices will still be available in all schools (which contain crazy amounts of sugar as well). But, it is a step. Obesity has gotten way out of control in this country, and Canada too (don't get on your high horse up there). We have gotten to a point where the number of overweight people in this country exceeds the number of people at average weight. : ( What the hell is up with that? Forget South Beach Diets, Atkins, whatever. How about eating properly? Making sure that you get enough veggies, fruits, and whole grains in a day to compensate for vitamins. Making sure you drink enough water. Eating whole grains instead of bleached or enriched flours and white rices and white sugars. Minimizing meat in your diet is a huge one. Meats are filled with saturated fats. You can get the same proteins and iron from grains.

Number one on your list should be: CUT OUT ALL PROCESSED FOODS!!! If you don't know what the ingredients are, you shouldn't be eating it. In other words, if the words in the ingredients sound like chemicals and are 20 letters long, they're bad for you. End of story.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

so, it's a beautiful rainy afternoon here in maine and i woke up this morning and made homemade pancakes with absolutely delicious New Hampshire maple syrup. It's just one of those mornings. and it's also my big brother's birthday...Happy Birthday Todd!

School is winding down for the year, i can't believe that i have 2 1/2 weeks of classes left. so crazy. and then, i'm heading to arkansas for a vacation. that's right, i'm taking vacation. it's been way too long. and while yes, it is arkansas, im going to make the absolute most of it. i've decided that i'm probably driving down there because i might have to make a pit stop in chicago for an interview with a midwife. yes, i may be moving back to chicago. so weird...going back to my childhood neighbourhood.

I have been to four births so far and each has been drastically different. one was a c-section (see entry below), one we missed by 10 minutes, one was a precipitous waterbirth at home, and the last was a natural hospital birth with nurse-midwives. i have one more before i go off call for the next 2 months. i can't wait to go out and be able to have a few drinks. yum!

little tidbit of info:
Did you know that if an immigrant tries to come into the United States and they test positive for HIV, they will not be allowed into the country? Think about it...kinda warped huh?

Friday, April 21, 2006

A report covered by CTV recently finally let Canadians in on a study that has now been around for about 8 months. Better late than never, right? It is the largest conclusive study on homebirths attended by midwives proving that homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth in low risk women and that homebirth provides less intervention than hospitals do. I am in the process of trying to contact this one particular doctor who is very much against homebirth. if he ever gets back to me, i will be sure to let you know. anyway, this is what he had to say about it:

Some medical authorities, however, don't agree with at-home births because too many things could go wrong.
"The problems could really deteriorate very quickly. The fact the mother is in a home environment, we feel, sometimes interferes with the ability of that woman to get immediate care," said Dr. Michael Helewa, a professor at the University of Manitoba and president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.
"Our perception is that we still feel that the hospital environment offers more safe options to the mother."

Hm. What exactly is "safe"? For the whole article,

Thursday, April 20, 2006

so i know i've been slacking in the blogging department. my dad was here to visit and then justin. and in between, there have been a couple births. I saw my first birth on tuesday! it was perfect. exactly the way all births should be and without any intervention, most of them could probably be like this. it was a waterbirth at home and the woman was beautiful. she only labored for about 7 hours. when we got there, we thought she was still in early labor because she was vacuuming and not really being affected by the contractions she was having. when we checked her, she was 8 cm! that was at aorund 8:30 and at 10:30, with her husband in the tub with her to catch the baby, their baby girl was born. it was so perfect. she had no tearing and basically did it on her own. she pushed when she felt like she needed to and she breathed through every contraction just beautifully. it was incredible. i feel honored and blessed to have been a part of that moment.

i have been having a hard time adjusting to being on call all the time. my schedule is not my own anymore. i can't really drink, i can't go too far out of the catchment area, and my pager needs to be on me at all times (even though i've forgotten it a few times :)) but, as soon as i was at that birth, it made it all worth it. never is there so much joy and purity and beauty than when a baby is born. i am truly in awe of the human body, especially a woman's body. we are capable of so much if only we can let ourselves believe it and own it. here's a thought...go up to one woman that you know today and tell her that she is beautiful.

justin was here this week and we had a really good time. honestly, we could have been sitting in a ditch somewhere with only crackers to eat and it would've been a great week. How did i get so lucky not only to be blessed once with him entering my life, but to be blessed again with his return?

that's about as gushy as i get. we don't "do" romance... :)

anyway, i'll try to keep to the entries a little more regular now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

i was officially at my first birth last week. i was a doula, not an assistant. The woman had a beautiful baby boy on April 7th, c-section. It was a case of one intervention leading to another and the doctors making excuses as to why the baby wasn't coming out (the head is too big, the cord may be wrapped around his neck,he is too big, etc). The woman labored for probably around 30 hours. She pushed for nearly 2. A primip, had anyone told her that this was normal before me? Had anyone advised her that it is very common to have a baby born with a cord around the neck (1/3 of all babies)? Had anyone comforted her by telling her that your body would never "grow" a baby too big to get out of you? Apparently not. After being induced, I think the doctors made up their minds about having a c-section long before it actually happened. and when it comes down to it, it was 4am and the doctor was tired and bored.

it was one of the most traumatic things i have ever witnessed and been a part of. it was everything that i have been taught is wrong with hospital births. the intervention rates are sky rocketing and this country has around a 30% cesarean section rate...TOTALLY UNNECESSARY!!

I will fight with anyone who comes to me and tells me that they want a hospital birth. after witnessing what i did...and not only the labor, but the aftermath of overstimulating the newborn, it is not worth it for a couple of extra tools and machines.

and, let me just add that the baby was average size (just over 8lbs.), the cord was not wrapped around his neck, and his head was within normal limits. Totally normal! Big surprise!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

ugh! so what's to be done when people are fighting over what is really best for a woman? people who have their pride to defend and not actually thinking about what's at stake here which is the power of a woman to make decisions and choices based on all of the information that is out there. as health-care providers, our job is based so much around being the gatekeepers to this information and providing women with access.

anyway, here's an article that was in the NY times yesterday which sent me on a whirlwind of medical blogs.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

one of my friends here at school is going to the phillipines next week for a month to catch lots of babies and she just set up a blog for all of us to keep track of what she is doing. Check her out, she rocks!

Kristie's Excursion to the Phillipines!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

i think im addicted to maple syrup...really, i can't stop! today was maple syrup sunday here in maine and me and deborah went to THREE maple syrup farms or shacks or whatever they are. it was so much fun. made me really excited to be here and made me even more excited for the summer to come. oh, and we fully saw some guys crack, no no no, it was pretty much his entire ass. it was pretty nasty. i was so hopped up on maple sugar goodness that i couldn't stop laughing.

Sweet Williams! pictures will soon be coming.

in the meantime, this is my best friend tom. ain't he sweet? ladies, he's single, i know you want him. :)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

why is it that marijuana is illegal even though it has not been proven to be harmful throughout use in pregnancy and yet environmental toxins are free to run rampant by this country's big business market? These environmental toxins have been proven to cross the placenta and breastmilk leaving our fetuses and newborns in danger of receiving toxins such as mercury, dioxin, PCBs, and so many more! How many people knew that many and most freshwater fish is harmful during pregnancy and that most states advise pregnant women to abstain or limit their intake? Is there something wrong with this goddamn picture? Why should we be abstaining from this? Why should the responsibility be placed on us and not on these companies who clearly don't give a shit aobut who they're harming? We learn in this country to take responisibility for our actions...for killing someone, there is capital punishment...for robbing someone, there is prison...for vandalizing, fines and prison...the list goes on and on. So why do we get penalized for these things when we clearly can't follow example from anyone else? Why do we send people to prison for killing other people, but war is totally justified? Total BULLSHIT.