Archive for the Category ◊ Current Events ◊

18 Jan 2009 Sadness.
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If you are all sensitive to reading about the death of children, I’d encourage you to not only not read the above article, but to probably skip the post.

In passing on Friday, Eric mentioned to me that a toddler had died in a local daycare.  We both spent time speculating just how something like that happened.  We figured some daring lad had climbed onto and jumped off of something he shouldn’t had in a lapsed moment of watchful eyes.  We didn’t guess what really had happened to 16-month old Benjamin Kingan on the last morning of his life.

His 22-year old day care worker, in a fit of frustration, threw him to the ground.  Benjamin collected his blanket, crawled to his “comfort zone”, a bouncy seat, passed out and died.

Typing that makes my heart break.  Reading it makes my heart break and I’ve been catching Cadence today in rib crushing hugs, thankful  for her and so, so sad for the Kingan family.    So sad that someone disregard the importance of his little life and what he must mean to his mama and dad.  So sad that this was the only answer, that this was what they came up with.

And so, so SO sad that his Mama and Dad were deprived of being able to, at the very least, comfort their baby from one life and into the next one.  I hope that he wasn’t hurt or frightened, just confused or sad.

What I believe is that if you have to leave, if you must really go, you should be loved like crazy on your way out.  That you should have your hand held, or be hugged or to have your ear whispered into with words so full of love that you’re comforted.

I can’t help but think of my own sweet, sweet baby.  How we comfort her.  How she wraps her little monkey arms tight around us and buries her head under our chins and I hate to think of her ever anywhere alone or scared without us.  Regardless of the situation.

After I laid Bug down for her nap this afternoon, I prayed for Benjamin Kingan and his family.  He won’t be far from my thoughts.  If you pray, pray for him as well as his family, who probably needs comfort in this awful time.

24 Apr 2008 HFCS is all natural? On what planet?
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I love lemonade.

Love. It.

I particularly like it as “lemon shakes” that you get at fairs mixed with fresh lemons and lots of sugar, but lemons are kind of expensive so when the weather gets warmer to get my lemon fix, I buy lemonade. Oberweiss dairy (a local joint) makes great lemonade and the Simply Juice line makes a pretty good one too.  At the store on Monday I picked up Newman’s Own Virgin Lemonade.  It’s all natural!  It tastes good!


I get it home and drink a couple glasses.  I decide to check to the ingredients.

High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Wait, didn’t it say all natural?  Why, yes.  Yes it did.

But, high fructose corn syrup?  Is that all natural?  Does this sound “all natural” to you?

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is any of a group of corn syrups which have undergone enzymatic processing in order to increase their fructose content and are then mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose)
to reach their final form. The typical types of HFCS are: HFCS 90 (used
almost exclusively in the production of HFCS 55) which is approximately
90% fructose and 10% glucose; HFCS 55 (most commonly used in soft
drinks) which is approximately 55% fructose and 45% glucose; and HFCS
42 (used in a variety of other foods, including baked goods) which is
approximately 42% fructose and 58% glucose.[1] HFCS is generally made from transgenic (genetically modified) corn.


So, I have to admit I’m questioning how the Newman’s Own brand can claim they’re making all natural juice when they’re using enzymatically modified transgenic corn to sweeten it.  Doesn’t that seem, oh, perhaps the opposite of natural?  HFCS is being scrutinized as not being healthy and possibley contributing to diabetes and liver conditions. 

I admit, that I’m concerned about what we’re doing not only to our environment, but also our health.  With the current news about BPA in plastics, evidence linking HFCS and hydrogonated oils to health problems, it’s kind of getting a little bit scary out there.  If you want to truly have a frightening experience, you can check out  how toxic your health and beauty products are.  Especially alarming are the baby products.  The Johnson and Johnson products sitting in our shower are noted as being a six on a scale of 1 to 10 (so we’ll be replacing it with some health friendly, but way more expensive products as soon as we’ve used what we have.  I’ve already replaced our soup with a item ranked as 0 on the toxicity scale and will be replacing other products in our home as we use them up).

Are some the health epidemics we’re facing due to the products we’re eating and using in our homes?  Would changing the kind of contact solution we use and juice we drink help us to be more healthy and to avoid some of the diseases that plague our generations?

13 Aug 2007 Enlightenment, the hard way.
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I’ve often stated that I’m a pollyanna sort of girl. You know, see the good, believe in the good, conveniently overlook the stuff that’s not good. I like it that way. Who doesn’t?

When I was pregnant with my girls I did some research on the point of viability. When, if I went into pre-term labor, would my babies have a chance at survival. While numbers are moving downward as far as gestational age goes, my “magic” number was 26 weeks, following closely by 28 weeks and once I hit 30 weeks, I felt as though I was in the clear. But beyond that research to ease my mind, I thought very little about prematurity in infants beyond the few “miracle” stories that I’ve come across.

Emily and I enjoy watching “John and Kate plus Eight” on Discovery Health. They have twins and sextuplets and the babies, born early with the help of fertility treatments, seem normal and lovely.

But today, I stumbled across the dirty little secret of all the happy, shiny premature stories, a blog entitled The Preemie Experiement. The author of the blog is the mother of a 24 week gestational age preemie who would, for all intents and purposes be considered a “success story”. What the media and other outlets seem to gloss over though is hundreds and hundreds of comments dealing with just HOW sick preemies are, even after a “successful” stay in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).

And it’s shocking. And I wonder, what the hell are we doing?

When Cadence was born she had jaundice which meant daily heel sticks. Because I was breastfeeding, her jaundice lingered (and my awesome Pedi. didn’t recommend I supplement or stop nursing, just to keep on keeping on and to be patient with the fact that her levels would drop more slowly). The heel sticks were pure agony. Cadence, so peaceful and small would flail her tiny arms until they were moving like a swarm of angry birds. I would bend over her on the cold examination table and sing and croon, offer her my finger to suck on, anything at all I could do to ease that pain. Nothing worked until the heel stick was over and the tiny drops of blood had managed to settle into the bottom of the tiny glass vial they used for collection.

That pain Cadence felt is just a portion of what micropreemies must tolerate with one mothering divulging that her micropreemie had over five hundred heel sticks during his/her stay in the NICU.

Five Hundred Heel sticks. Some children received them every hour. Some children’s heels have been permanently deformed. Some children have no fat pads on their heel, making walking painful. All over heel sticks and, really, heel sticks is the LEAST of what happens to these babies in a hospital setting.

There seems to be almost a syndrome that accompanies babies who are born premature, even those as successful gestational ages (32 to 36 weeks). These children are prone to sensory disorders, learning disorders, hearing problems, blindness, cerebral palsy. Autism is horribly prevalent among these children They have association disorders and many of them cannot accurately process pain. And yet, and yet …..

Earlier this year a Minnesota couple gave birth to sextuplets at 22 weeks gestation. As of June 22, all but one of these children had died, their lives likely a parade of pain and confusion. But how do you decide what to do? What is it all worth? Anything? Everything? Nothing?

I look at my girls. My amazing girls. How far would I go to save them? What is more selfish? To deprive them of Life? To end their pain? Who can make those choices?

And, it also, at least to me, begs to ask questions about the scope and scale of fertility treatments in this country. I have no doubt the preemies and micropreemies will be born to women with absolutely no indications nor fertility treatments, BUT cases like the Morrisons in Minnestoa and the McCaughy septuplets from Iowa I have to wonder if we’re playing too much hardball and tampering with too much. The McCaughey’s, of course, would be considered a “success” story with only two of their children having major health problems, but, then again, they did make it to 30 or 31 weeks gestation, an entirely different scenerio than the micropreemie Morrison babies.

We’re coming to a head where we are going to have to answer some hard questions about what we’re doing to our children, but for now, read The Preemie Experiment AND the entry comments. Education is key.

12 Jul 2006 Medical Care-My Thoughts…
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Today, I was off to the OB again. I dodged the bullet and didn’t have to have a pelvic exam (Emily and I were both happy about that, she because she’d have to leave the room while the doctor checked my “parts” and me because I just don’t like the damn things). Since i have no risk for pre-term labor, the OB didn’t think checking me was necessary.

But Cadence continues to grow like a weed and that means another ultrasound in 5 to 6 weeks.

Anyway, I’m thinking at some point induction due to Cadence’s size may be discussed. I told Eric I’m actually expecting it, but then again, Iv’e been a bit of a negative nelly in regards to the pregnancy and have been waiting for that THING that’s going to happen to make me unhappy.

Shall we recap–Early monitoring due to an ectopic and light spotting. First ultrasound, mean ass tech about killed me with the probe and was very curt in regards to the lack of sack. Grrrrrrrrrreat. Numerous blood draws culminating in an ultrasound that showed the sack in the right place.

Move to IL. Find a new provider. Have another ultrasound. All is well.

Show up for my something week ultrasound, placenta is low. Worry and fret until 2 weeks ago when another scan showed a healthy, but big, Cadence and a moved placenta. Cervix is soft. Worry about pre-term labor.

Show up today, fears about pre-term labor erased, high blood pressure (no concern yet), baby still large, schedule another ultrasound.

Yeah, there have been a lot of ups and downs. I mentioned to Eric that the little bird that nags me inside of my head is muttering about induction due to size. No one has mentioned it, but it’s there. Settling around me like a cloak.

Honestly, if my body and Cadence are ready, the idea of a planned induction really doesn’t bother me. But that’s despite that point.

Generally, I don’t distrust the medical system. I pick doctors I feel like I jive with, that I get a good feeling from and who understand my philosophy. It’s also helpful if they don’t treat me like an idiot (veddy helpful). I believe strongly in finding a doctor whose ideals and outlook suit your own and putting your trust in them. Of course, you should question things if something doesnt’ jive, and I’ve done that in the past and over the course of this pregnancy with Cadence. I declined an intensive ultrasound based on the information that the issues in my and Eric’s genetic makeup that would necessitate further testing wouldn’t show on an ultrasound at all. And, if induction is suggested for Cadence, we’ll be taking some time to research and talk before agreeing to it blindly (but you can bet your ass Eric will be at the ultrasound appt. with me because he’s firmer than I am).

I generally believe in the good in people. I just do. It’s probably a big downfall, but so far it hasn’t steered me wrong. I believe that the doctors I have chosen are making the best decisions they can in regards to the care of their patients and thereby me. Of course I seek second opinions. Of course I do research, but at the end of the day, I didn’t go to medical school. And reading medical journals bores the shit out of me. So, I find people I like and trust, people I feel as though are honest and non-patronizing and I put my trust in them until they show me I shouldn’t.

I am not a conspiracy theorist. It’s just not in me. It’s genetic, I think.