90 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-30-16

  1. It’s FRIDAY!
    You know what that means?
    It means that if there’s something you need to do in 2016, you need to get to it.
    It has been a chaotic year. And 2017 doesn’t really look any better. But we will be rid of both Obama and Hillary.
    I hope.
    Maybe that last comment belongs on the politics thread, but I’m leaving it.

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  2. Good morning!
    Lindsey just got home from a sleep study for a CPAP machine…the dog started barking loudly as soon as she heard Lindsey’s car….
    Becca had a great time at the zoo lights last night.
    House cleaning is on the agenda today…..yuck!

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  3. The header is, of course, a mourning dove in snow. They come underneath the “feeder tree” and hang out, picking up dropped seeds and just hanging out. And once or twice a day you look out and see it is the doves’ naptime. There might be a dozen scattered around, but every one is sleeping except for one or two walking around trying to find a better spot. If there is snow on the ground, they might all be right out there in the open, visible against the snow, but maybe with most of them against the garage door or a tree or something. My husband speculates that a hawk couldn’t get them because he’d be slamming into whatever they’re napping against. This one is awake but fluffed out against the cold and inactive. The snow looks a bit like fake snow because it’s clumpy from the bit of ice on top.

    We were supposed to get a fresh inch overnight last night (all that was on the ground melted the day we had an unseasonable 57 degrees), and we got at least that, and it’s a sticky snow, so our blue spruce is lovely.

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  4. Good Morning…it is still black as pitch outside but I’m up and have downed my first cup of coffee!! It’s off to the shoppe for me today….it should be a more quiet work day now that most of the after Christmas treasures have found new homes!!
    That photo is so beautiful Cheryl….a mourning dove? I believe doves are my favorite bird…we love watching them in the Spring…listening to the cooing as they sit high on the pine branches…and what a joy to to watch Mamas teaching their young to fly…it is the sweetest thing…so gently…yet persistent! There is a lesson in there somewhere πŸ™‚ Ya’ll have a most blessed Friday….Praying you are feeling better AJ!!

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  5. The call of a mourning dove always brings me back to the hot, dry summers on my grandpa’s farm near Vauxhall, AB.

    We were supposed to attend a wedding this morning but with travel not recommended on the highways and zero visibility, we’re going to skip the ceremony (11am) and just head in for the reception (6pm!). The storm should have moved on by then. It’s normally a 2 Β½ hour drive. I’m going to go back to bed now πŸ™‚

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  6. So I casi stumped even Roscuro last night. The word casi is one of those multiple meaning words. It can mean “almost” as Donna discovered, it can also mean what Roscuro found in her dictionary. So the lesson is not so much a Spanish one, but one in which we see why there are so many Bible translations: it all depends on what the translator thinks is the nuance of the word. For instance, this morning I read Proverbs 30. I am reading in the Reina-Valera 1960 Spanish Bible, and verse 31 has this phrase in it: El ceΓ±ido de lomos…, which means “the one bound at the waist”. Most English Bibles have it as “the strutting rooster”. The RV 1995 has El gallo altivo, which is along the lines of a proud rooster. It turns out, according to the footnotes in my ESV, that the 1960 version is a word-for-word translation of the Hebrew.

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  7. Kim, It is very interesting. I believe that all Southern white people of a certain age grew up with their parents listening to Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, Johnny Horton and Marty Robbins.

    Now, we all want to know the other reason.

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  8. The call of a mourning dove is haunting and, yes, mournful. I understand that if you hear the call well into summer it’s an unmated male still hoping to find a mate this season. Depending on the climate, doves can nest year round, turning out nest after nest of two squabs. One time in Chicago I was driving home from work, and a block or two from work I came upon a recent scene of an accident–a city pigeon lay on the road, just a ball of feathers I wouldn’t have noticed at all, nor been able to identify if I had noticed it, except for the live pigeon walking around and around it, looking at it, and wanting its mate to get up again. Doves and pigeons are the same birds; we just tend to call the larger ones pigeons and the smaller ones doves. City pigeons aren’t very popular birds; as pretty as they are, they are very messy and not my favorites, either. But that sad sight of a recently widowed, confused bird brought tears to my eyes.

    I remember the first time I heard the mourning dove, heard it to notice it anyway. Some of my family, maybe an older brother and us girls but I don’t really remember who all, were sleeping in a tent in the backyard, and I heard that sound, didn’t know what it was, but thought it spooky and a little frightening. I might have been eight at the time.

    In Phoenix we also had a dove I like more, and that I miss. The small gray Inca dove is found only around humans, and it has reddish brown linings to its wings that I found really beautiful. This little gray dove would be on the ground, nearly invisible on the dirt, and suddenly it would fly and you’d see this flash of a different color. But they were quite tame, and I’d sit on the low brick wall around our patio and watch five or six of them walking around finding food to eat, unconcerned at the human eight or ten feet away. One summer I found a nest, and I’d climb the tree it was in and draw the squabs. But I’d hear the parent come into the tree, sitting and waiting for me to leave because it wouldn’t go to its nest while I was there. So I’d climb down the tree and watch from the window as it went to the nest and fed them “pigeon milk.” (Only doves and pigeons offer that to their young.) After I’d watched a couple nestfuls of young in that tree (after retraining the cat that had repeatedly gotten their nest), I discovered another nest in a tree in the backyard. I figured it had eggs in it, and foolishly I chased off the parent so I could draw the eggs. It did indeed have a pair of eggs, but doves build such flimsy nests that the parent needs to stay on the nest throughout the brooding of eggs and even when the squabs are tiny, or the nest may blow out of the tree. Well, I had to get fairly close to the parent bird before it finally flew . . . but it thought I was after its eggs, and when it did fly it abandoned the nest. I watched and watched for it to come back, and it didn’t. And the eggs blew out of the nest; one broke, and I could see its half-developed chick inside, and I felt terrible. Eventually a parent came to the nest; I’m assuming it was the other parent, come to relieve its spouse of nesting duties, and finding only an empty nest. I was maybe 13, and I felt horrible about causing the loss of those eggs.

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  9. Ricky, It was easy. I have an almost total recall of trivia, dates, obscure facts and such. I never studied for a History test from the moment it was introduced until I graduated from college. I was the same with Social Studies, Civics, and Government & Economics. I listened in class and took notes.
    If I don’t know the exact answer to something, if I can ping it in the right time frame I can eliminate other options and choose the correct one. Those silly “How well do you know….” tests on FB are laughable. They give you context and photo clues. πŸ˜‰

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  10. I am currently reading The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby. Since I am reading it on my Kindle I can only tell you that I am 8% into it. I am finding it quite interesting. Of course, with me it is the background, one off comments that stick. I despise and am fascinated by the Kennedy’s to the same degree. I will let you know what I think when I am done…if I remember to.

    From Publishers Weekly
    Writing in a steady, almost relentlessly elegiac tone, Mahoney proves that the lives and deaths of John F. and Robert F. Kennedy remain as compelling now as they were throughout the turbulent 1960s. Mahoney, a former JFK scholar at the University of Massachusetts and at the Kennedy Library, examines how Jack and Bobby were shaped by their relationship as brothers and by the legacy of their father, Joe Kennedy. In 44 brief chapters, each a vignette chosen to illuminate how the brothers responded to events not as separate historical actors but as members of a family, Mahoney reveals the anger, even rage, that permeated the Kennedy years (exemplified by the implacable hatred between Bobby and the Mafia and between the Kennedys and Castro). The tumultuous events of the 1960s pass in review as Mahoney contrasts Jack as the cool ironist with Bobby as a vengeful authoritarian who grew, Mahoney contends, into a principled moral crusader. Although he asserts a second gunman took part in the JFK assassination, Mahoney doesn’t identify him or definitively endorse any of the competing conspiracy theories. Ultimately, Mahoney offers a vivid fraternal portrait of Jack and Bobby Kennedy as co-participants in the crises of their times, setting in motion forces that would lead to their destruction. Mahoney is an excellent storyteller, but the drums of high drama rumble a bit too persistently through the book as he portrays the brothers as figures out of a Greek tragedy brought both high and low by the force of their character.
    Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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  11. It’s raining (again) here this morning, which is a wonderful thing. Apparently we’ve recorded the most rain in 6 years in downtown LA so far this season. So while drought conditions are still in place, it looks like the no-rain cycle we were caught in for so long may be coming to an end at last.

    I have what should be a fairly easy story to do today (the death of a 106-year-old woman another one of our reporters wrote about two years ago). This is a really hard week typically for stories, the rest of the world seems to be off work for some reason. πŸ™‚

    I’m waiting to hear if the drywall amigo is showing up tomorrow or not.

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  12. We are enjoying the Kilmeade books. Finished the one on the first US war with Tripoli and the pirates. Now enjoying the one on Washington’s spy service.

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  13. The Kennedys were a fascinating family, reviled and loved both in their time. It’s hard not to get caught up in the mystique of those early photos of Jack and Jackie and the children, they were all so beautiful, so graceful. πŸ™‚ From the outside looking in, it all appeared so perfect.

    Of course, life being what it is, the reality is always quite different for all of us. And I think it was Michelle who mentioned the other day (in connection with Carrie Fisher) that experiencing celebrity at an early age can cripple one in so many ways, making life harder and certainly more complicated than it otherwise would have been.

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  14. I would not have recognized that as a mourning dove. Perhaps it is the ruffled feathers. Ours seem quite a bit thinner and long. I do love their cooing. They do not stay the winter.

    I once watched a hawk take down a squirrel and then sit with it clutched in its claws, eventually eating it. Fascinating. We also watched a Northern Shrike kill a mole by dive bombing it several times. The mole had popped up in a hole in the snow under the feeder. So interesting to watch it all.

    The area my husband lived in as a young man has been mostly turned into a bird refuge. It gives out lists of birds that have been spotted during a certain time period. It is always interesting to see. It is pretty much the same that we see.

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  15. Kim, I read that this year. I think I mentioned here that after reading it, I didn’t have an opinion about who killed JFK but don’t believe it was a lone, crazed, gunman. I believe that is also where I read the quote from LBJ that, even though he despised the Kennedy’s, he’d researched and found that one in four presidents died in office, so he ran as VP, thinking it was his only chance of ever becoming president.

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  16. I do remember you saying that now Linda and maybe you were why I downloaded it. It got lost in my Kindle downloads and I found it again at 5 am today. Thanks!!!!

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  17. Kim, have you read anything about the Kennedy daughter Rosemary? I was horrified to read a few months ago that her father had, without the apparent knowledge of his family, ordered a pre-frontal lobotomy for her when she was in her early 20s, which rendered her incapacitated, unable to function above the level of a toddler afterwards.

    Joe Kennedy, Sr. was reportedly concerned about her burgeoning sexual behavior, temper tantrums, and the like (she had been institutionalized to receive care for her mental retardation, as it was termed, something due to the circumstances of her birth, and would sneak out of the facilities at night when she was old enough to become pregnant), and he feared she could ruin the Kennedy family name and get in the way of their political aspirations.

    After the disastrous lobotomy (and the procedure was in its infancy — only about 60 of them had been done at the time Rosemary got one), she was then quietly sent away to some Wisconsin facility, where she lived for something like 60 years, until her death in 2005, I believe it was.

    Her father never went to visit her in the years he was alive, and many family members did not know what had happened to Rosemary until after Joe’s stroke, when the truth began to come out.

    I was shocked and mortified to read of all this, having never heard that before. The description of what was done during her surgery, provided by one of the medical personnel “operating” on her (while she was conscious and speaking — the plan was to stop cutting when the patient, being given directions to, for example, count backwards, or say the Lord’s prayer, etc., became incoherent) was absolutely horrific.

    It sounds like there are a couple books coming out about the whole sordid tale. Maybe they’re out already. The articles I read about this were dated 2015, I think.

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  18. I grew up listening to Hank Williams, Hank Thompson Hank Snow, Eddie Arnold, Roy Acuff, et.al. Do you realize there were no female solo singers in those days. Then Hank Thompson ( I I believe) came out with a song “I Didn’t Know God Made Honkey Tonk Angels”. It sold thousands. Then Kitty Wells came out with “It Wasn’t God who Made Honkey tonk Angels”. Almost every woman in America bought a copy and it launched a career. (Kitty was part of a group before.) And it paved the way for other women.
    It was the women who carried the Carter Family, etc. Butt there were no famous women singers in the early fifties.
    You likely don’t remember when there were no female headline singers.

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  19. I was confused by two of the comics. At first, all I saw was faces, then, out of curiosity, I went back and saw the real cartoon. My eyes can play tricks on me.I can be confused by the “picture within a picture”.

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  20. Both songs mentioned above were written to the tune of “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” by the Carter Family or “Great Speckled Bird” by Roy Accuff. (Whichever came first.)
    I believe “Great Speckled Bird” was written about the denomination “Church of God” to which I believe Acuff belonged. Nobody ever told me that, but that’s what the words seem to say.

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  21. 6 Arrows, historically many upper class families tried to hide mentally disabled children because it would affect the reputation of the family and possibly make the other children less marriageable. We now know that mental retardation may or may not be hereditary, depending on the cause, but in former eras, it was assumed to be hereditary. Incidentally, tuberculosis was also thought to be hereditary, partly because members of the same family tended to catch it from one another – as a young man, the composer Frederic Chopin was kept from marrying a girl by her parents because his family was tubercular. I remember seeing a documentary about Jane Austen, who was the daughter of a clergyman and she had a brother who was disabled. The parents put him into the care of a working class family in the village – it makes one wonder how many of those ‘village idiots’ that were a feature of the English rural working class were actually children of the upper classes. The grandson of Queen Victoria, King George V, had a developmentally delayed son, Prince John, who was kept away from the public eye when he got old enough for his disability to be noticed. It is thought he may have been autistic, though he suffered seizures and died as a young teen, which would indicate that there may have been some more severe physical problem. What happened to the Kennedy daughter was horrible, but nobody would have thought it was wrong in the class in which they moved. Wealth, power, and privilege have a streak of cruelty in them.

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  22. And not to absolve anyone for what was done, but it was a much less enlightened era when it came to treating mental disabilities and mental illness.

    As more drugs became available, the trend was to encourage the mentally ill and disabled to become more independent (a good thing) — however that also has had its downsides as we’re learning in light of the many homeless individuals who apparently have untreated mental illness and disability. 😦

    On another note, I’d emailed a company today with a question about an item I’d purchased from them (a floor register cover for duct openings).

    Had to laugh at their reply which said I could expect a reply within 5 hours of a normal business day …. HOWEVER, “If this is a home dΓ©cor emergency, call us…”

    Haha. What would be a home decor emergency, exactly? πŸ™‚

    I guess it happens. I may face some of that to come with the way this house project is going, who knows. 9-1-1 decor

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  23. DJ, your picture yesterday with the mountains made me homesick. Are those the San Gabriels? Taken from San Pedro? They look a lot closer and taller than I would expect.

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  24. KIm said: Joe Kennedy was not a good man

    Neither was John, but Ted was especially bad.
    We suffered a major tragedy when John was killed, but the world is better off without Ted.

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  25. Yes, San Gabes — using a zoom from San Pedro but it was an exceptionally clear day.

    I may try to get a shot of downtown against the mountains sometime over the weekend — there’s a vantage point off of La Cienega that provides the perfect view on clear days. I haven’t been up there with the dogs in a while, maybe a good time to go after these most recent rains (which also are bringing more and lower snow levels)

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  26. Roscuro and DJ, good points about both mental disability and mental illness. In my recent reading on Rosemary Kennedy, I came across a writer who questioned whether Rosemary was as cognitively disabled as some reported she was. There is no doubt she had some noticeable delays in early childhood, before she was sent away to a care facility, but, as she grew older, she was able to write some fairly elaborate letters, it sounds like, to her father, whom she adored, begging him to come visit her, because she was so lonesome.

    That particular writer was more inclined to believe that she was suffering from depression, and her tantrums as she grew older was an outworking of that. The author thought that some in the family would have seen a mental illness diagnosis in a family member as even more damaging to their name than would be a diagnosis of mental retardation.

    And at least one other person I read expressed disappointment that the Special Olympics webpage has whitewashed the history of the lobotomy atrocity that led to Rosemary’s profound disabilities. Another example of covering up what really happened.

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  27. Chas, the one good thing I heard recently about Ted Kennedy was that it sounds like he was faithful to visit Rosemary in Wisconsin on a fairly regular basis, once he knew where she was and what had happened to her.

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  28. πŸ™‚ I suppose I could join you in that category. And what I have going on now definitely qualifies as a decor disaster. Maybe I’ll send them a picture and request advice …

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  29. I’ll say, though, regarding Eunice Kennedy Shriver, I believe she was a devoted sister to Rosemary, and her founding the Special Olympics has been a blessing to many.

    Even if the website doesn’t give the whole story of Rosemary’s condition and how it came to be.

    Perhaps that is not the appropriate place for some of it to be told.

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  30. I read the recent biography of Rosemary Kennedy and the tragedy began when the delivery nurse held Mrs. Kennedy’s legs together for 90 minutes waiting for the prominent OB to arrive and deliver the baby.

    Draw your own conclusions about the source of Rosemary’s disability.

    Imagine Rose Kennedy’s bitter grief. She knew better and obviously the baby easily could have been delivered. 😦

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  31. I tend to tell people that I can remember information but not facts. I can remember, for instance, that Churchill was pivotally important in WWII and even that he was prime minister twice . . . but don’t ask me to give the dates, even if you tell me that within five years is close enough.

    When my husband and I watch Jeopardy, I know I could never play it because I get 90% of the animal questions, 95% of the Bible questions . . . but 10% of the geography questions (they always have such a category, it seems), 50-70% of the word ones, 5% of the questions regarding films or movie stars or music or other categories of pop culture, and maybe 30-40% of the average of everything else. They’re always having some question about which royal person did this or that in 1758, and the only reason I know Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 is because of that rhyme . . . I have virtually no chance of remembering Queen Gertrude from Xisephila in 1302. I long ago stopped caring. If I need to know, I can look it up, but it’s a pretty rare occasion that I need to know.

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  32. I also read “That Kennedy Girl” about Rosemary. It starts out with her birth, as described by Michelle, leading readers to think that was the cause. But it never actually says it.

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  33. Most of the important dates in history occurred between May 8, 1862 (the Battle of McDowell in the Shenandoah Valley) and July 2, 1863 (the second day at Gettysburg).

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  34. Oh, Michelle, how awful!

    My mom delivered seven live babies, plus some miscarriages (at least one due to medical malpractice–they told her they could safely do a procedure while she was pregnant), and the stories she told of what passed as standard procedure in the 1950s and 1960s were unpleasant enough. Yes, including insisting that a mother could not push until they said she could, but also tying down her arms, and holding mother and baby for a full week whether or not the mother wanted to stay. Mom fought hard on a lot of it, including with at least one baby crossing her arms over her chest and refusing to let them have them to tie and insisting on being released in three or four days so she could get home to her family.

    I knew from my early twenties that when/if I gave birth, it would be with a nurse midwife, not in a hospital. Since then we have also had procedures done to mothers in the family that are no longer done because of realizing the harm: a forceps delivery, inducing with a drug that proved to be quite dangerous, etc. My sister had a doctor screaming at her as her son was crowning, and she was terrified he would hurt the baby, because he was so angry.

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  35. I think we got the best of both worlds when our son was born, in a hospital but attended by a certified nurse midwife (CNM). The hospital was, you might say, more enlightened than the more interventionist one where our daughter had been born. The midwife and the nurses were available but not bossy or hovering. My wife was allowed to do pretty much whatever she wanted throughout the six or so hours we were there until just before birth. Our boy was in severe distress near the end, so the midwife had to make a little cut to speed up delivery. When the baby was born nearly lifeless, the midwife was ready with all the knowledge and equipment to revive him. He spent 3 days in the hospital’s Special Care Nursery (a step down from a full-fledged NICU).

    I get that giving birth is not inherently a medical procedure, but it is a time when having skilled and compassionate medical care at hand sometimes makes a difference. Maybe more so for us because my wife was 44.

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  36. 6 Arrows, mental illness had much the same social stigma as mental retardation. Elaborate letters could be written by someone with developmental delays, such as those on the autism spectrum.

    When I took the Maternal-Child course, the lecture on the history of maternal care noted that in the early 1900s, as physicians – most of whom were male – modernized labour and delivery, in some cases banning midwives from practicing, they sometimes seemed to arrange equipment and techniques for the convenience of the physician, rather than the woman. My aunt recalls a doctor being horribly angry with her because her third child came so quickly that the nurse delivered it before the doctor got there – the doctor probably wanted his fee. That was terribly unprofessional of the doctor and something that is reportable to the regulating college of physicians, but it does seem to be typical of what women in that era had to put up with. There is a definite place for labour and delivery wards in hospitals – some women and babies need special care – but the unfortunate tendency in the 1900s was to treat women in delivery as if it was a health problem needing to be cured, rather than a normal, typically healthy experience.

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  37. Kevin, nurse midwives operating outside hospitals don’t take high-risk cases, but even then, as with my sister’s younger children (once she got totally fed up with hospital births) an ambulance is on call, and the nurse midwives have far more training and experience in birth than any doctor does. So to me it seems the best of both worlds. One of my nieces had her first two babies at home, and she had heavy bleeding with both of them, but she had two women with many, many years of childbirth experience, and she was in good hands.

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  38. I read that, too, Michelle, and not only that, but that the birth attendant reached up into the birth canal and pushed Rosemary back up and held her there, physically preventing her from descending again until the doctor arrived.

    Horrible. That nurse would have gotten a kick in the teeth, I kid you not, if I had been that mother. Don’t mess with me when I’m in labor.

    But I digress.

    I do agree that giving birth with a midwife is far preferable to what most women get with an OB. I had a doctor with my first three, and midwives with my last three. No comparison. I also had a lovely student midwife attending my last birth with the midwife who was on call, and she was wonderful. She spoke candidly after the birth at how surprised she was with how many aspects of the labor and delivery did not go as she expected. (I was having all the signs of transition — vomiting, uncontrollable shaking, almost complete loss of awareness of my surroundings — and she checked me, only to find that my cervix was barely 4 centimeters dilated, among other things. It was a mostly dry birth as my water had broken on a Wednesday night, and I was induced Thursday night when my labor hadn’t yet begun on it’s own, a much harder circumstance under which to give birth.)

    Anyway, she was so open to learning, so positive and encouraging during the birth and afterwards. I’ll bet she is a fine midwife. We need more medical practitioners like her.

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  39. I wanted to have home births (after the first one), but my husband was not comfortable with that, so I always gave birth in a hospital.

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  40. Daughter had a wonderful doctor and a wonderful set of nurses. They all had different areas they were exceptionally good in and it seemed the labor progressed as they did. It was clear that they were all working together for the privilege of being part of bringing another beautiful person into the air.

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  41. In defense of OBs, Second Sibling had midwives, but her induction had to be supervised by the doctor, who happened to be male. He did a great job. I was impressed by his professionalism and care. All of my siblings have liked their midwives and I have been impressed by them. I worked with male midwives in West Africa. They were quite good, but there were complications that neither they nor their female counterpart could deal with. I saw a child die in breach delivery because the cord was compressed too long. In some cases, a natural delivery is downright dangerous.

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  42. Roscuro, agreed.

    When my sister was pregnant with her first, she was so adamantly opposed to a C-section it scared me. I suspect that as many as half of C-sections aren’t medically essential, and a few aren’t even indicated medically (voluntary C-sections), but some save lives and some limit adverse consequences. But she was so very opposed that I feared what would happen if she was in a life-or-death scenario. Years later she said as much herself. Now, it’s a really good thing she didn’t have one–she ended up having five babies (she wanted more) and Alabama doesn’t allow V-BACs (however that is spelled) and I know it’s rare a doctor is willing to consider more than three C’s. (I know a woman who had four and once heard of a woman who had ten, and I also know a woman who had her first by C-section, then seven vaginally, and then her last by C-section. But these are exceptions.)

    From the time I was a teenager I’ve been fascinated by childbirth and have read several books on it and seen a few videos. In college I found out too late that I could have observed a birth for one of my classes, so I did the next closest thing and chose the visit-a-hospital-nursery option. When my sister was pregnant with her firstborn, I told her I would love to be present if they were open to my presence, and she told me that with that first birth it would be only her husband, and they’d let me know about future ones. With the second, she told me OK. It turned out to be her easiest birth, and it was a blessing to be there. My biggest surprise was seeing that the top of the baby’s head literally folds into wrinkles, that the soft spot actually gets put to use–but then, my sister’s babies have heads that are in like the 99.5 percentile in terms of size, so it may have been more pronounced with her children than with most. After that baby, I watched her other children while she had the baby, but I had the blessing of seeing one birth.

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  43. Roscuro, that’s true that some people with developmental delays, depending on the nature of an individual’s situation, could express themselves in elaborate letters. People with high-functioning autism, for example.

    With Rosemary Kennedy, I’m inclined to believe she probably did experience oxygen deprivation, given what I mentioned above in addition to what Michelle wrote, about her being forcibly pushed back up and held there for over an hour. (It was reported as two hours in one source I read.)

    The birth circumstances with my own developmentally delayed son may have had some bearing on his present disabilities, though he developed totally normally in everything up until he was 19 months old, when we began immunizing him. That was probably the beginning of his going “over the edge,” as he had hit all the developmental milestones at appropriate ages before that — physical motion, language, the whole gamut. He lost all his language and “spun” (I use that term both literally and figuratively) out of control at that point, and, as I’ve pointed out before, it’s been a many-year’s process working toward healing after that.

    But I am off-topic now. What I started out saying was that, though vaccinations appeared to be the trigger, he may have had some subtle issues long before that, since his birth, that no one picked up on.

    I remember very clearly (probably because I was not medicated, and he was born faster than any of my other kids) that my last contraction, the midwife told me after the birth, was a whopping four minutes long. I won’t ever forget that feeling of having him descend — he came down a long ways, and it felt like he was riding the luge or something. πŸ™‚

    But that’s a long time for a baby to be squeezed, when contractions even late in labor don’t tend to last much longer than a minute or minute and a half.

    Isn’t it generally four minutes without oxygen before brain damage occurs?

    So that “four-minute contraction” comment, which was documented on paper via the monitor printout which my midwife showed me later, sticks in my mind, wondering how much oxygen deprivation occurred during that super-long contraction.

    I always wonder if that was the start of his problems.

    And yet I must trust God that He knows what is best, and is working everything out for our good and His glory.

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  44. Sorry for the long post. I’ve not fully processed all my births, especially the one with my son.

    I probably never will, but sometimes it’s good to just talk about it.

    Thanks for listening.

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  45. I’m reading through my Christmas books, though it may take me a while to go through all of them (and I already have quite a few needing reading). A day or two ago, I finished a rereading of the Little House on the Prairie series, and concurrently the autobiography of Sully (the pilot who landed his plane on the river)–the saddest part of that story was that with all the mentions of life and death decisions, and close calls, there is not one mention of God in the entire book, just one passing mention of prayer (that some of those on the plane were praying), and one mention of a church and a preacher (a funeral). So he’s basically a virtuous man who sees no need of God, apparently, and I ended up praying for him a few times while reading the book. I’m also beginning a book on memory.

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  46. 6 Arrows, you’re welcome. Talking out is an important part of processing.

    One thing you said about your child’s sudden regression triggered a memory for me. The loss of verbal language and physical abilities at a certain age sounds like Rett syndrome:http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rett-syndrome/basics/symptoms/con-20028086. Rett’s closely resembles autism spectrum disorders, but unlike autism, has a known cause, a genetic mutation. When I taught French at a Montessori school, I had a little girl who had Rett’s [I remember her vividly, because my one French lesson she was present for produced such an enthusiastic response from her that she was placed in a French immersion school where she was reported to be doing well] and she certainly displayed some of the same characteristics as autistic children. The knowledge that Rett’s has a genetic cause but closely resembles autism has raised a theory for me that autism is a general collection of symptoms that have different causes, just as, for example, a sore throat can be caused by one of the influenza viruses, the rhinovirus (one of the common cold viruses) or a streptococci infection.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Interesting the comments about Rosemary Kennedy. I suspect a lot of things happened like that. I also suspect that some “Old Wive’s Tales” about how to prevent pregnancy also caused some of the “village idiots”. Roscuro knows a lot more than I and has some very interesting things to say.

    I will say that I had BG in a hospital on her due date with an epidural. She only weighed 5lb 7oz and was 18.5 inches. I did not know that she had been born until I say her in the doctor’s hands. He was grinning to beat the ban and was quite proud of himself. He was also my infertility doctor. Later he came back to my room, picked up the Baby Book and found where the information was to put the attending doctor and filled all of it out for me. He is a good man. He prayed for her along with everyone else. She was also born in a Catholic Hospital and the nuns came to pray over her as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. For the 3 of you who have been to see me here, there was an accident on the westbound Bayway today. Mr. P and I were stuck on the bridge for an hour. I did NOT like it, but at least there wasn’t any fog.

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  49. Because I was stuck on the Bayway for an hour…I have seen this personalized tag twice now and have yet to figure it out. I think I know the last part but don’t want to influence any of you who may have a fresh perspective.

    SAINA8

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  50. I earlier mentioned that the hospital where our daughter was born (1992 in California) was more interventionist than where our son was born (1997 in Michigan). I think also the convenience of the physician factored into it.

    My wife was slightly past due and started having some light labor the morning of a scheduled appointment with the OB. He said to come to the hospital when the contractions were at a certain interval, but if she wasn’t yet to that point by 1:00 am that night we should come in for labor to be induced.

    In retrospect I think that timing may have been for his convenience, because by the time we got to the hospital, got checked in, and got my wife settled and induced, our daughter was born just before 9:00 am, which sounds really convenient for the doctor!

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  51. Kevin, I think inductions are nearly always for the doctor’s convenience. Doctors had scared my sister that her firstborn was going to be so large she might have trouble delivering him naturally, so if he hadn’t been born by his due date, come and have him induced. She also had a couple of other incentives (preferring that he be born before the end of the year for tax reasons), but her biggest one was fear of a C-section, and they played on that.

    When she went in, they saw signs that she was just about ready to go into labor naturally, and rather than saying let’s wait this out, you aren’t going to be overdue, they induced her. She had an extremely hard delivery, including being stuck in transition for about four hours (normally 15 minutes, I believe). All of her children have super large heads, and they’re all born backward (not breach, but the head turned the wrong way–she isn’t sure whether that was true of the birth I saw, but it has been true of the other four), and she doesn’t take pain meds, so she gets the full birth experience.

    Well, two years later she went to have another baby, this time a chosen induction. She had several reasons to choose an induction, among them that her husband’s work schedule was several days off and then several long days, and she timed the delivery for the beginning of my visit and the beginning of her husband’s days off. (She had been extremely anemic after her first baby–she knew that only in retrospect–and she didn’t dare have a two-year-old and a newborn without help, so she and her husband told me they’d pay my plane fare if I came for two weeks. So I took my vacation to be there, and they paid the fare. It didn’t make sense under those circumstances for her to be ten days late delivering.)

    Well, when she went in for that second baby, she was surprised that they were using a different method, and she asked about it. When she told them what the first hospital had used, they told her that it had been experimental at the time, and had proven to be really dangerous, with a lot of ruptured uteruses and emergency C-sections and even emergency hysterectomies. They found that the dosage was particularly problematic, and cut doses to about half what she had received, but even then I think they had problems.

    So . . . they convinced her to have an induction to avoid a C-section, and gave her an experimental drug that could have given her a C-section or could have ended her chance to have more children. She was, naturally, horrified. And after that second induction, she was adamantly opposed to inductions, realizing that doctors try to play on mothers’ desire to have some control over the birth . . . in order that they themselves can have a more predictable birth experience. Doctor convenience is the important thing, not maternal convenience, and definitely not the well being of the baby. The fact that they would induce a baby with an experimental method when he was in fact ready to come naturally pretty much confirms that, or at least confirms that it is true for some doctors.

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  52. My mother told me that the nurse tried to keep her legs together to prevent the birth of one her children before the doctor came. She had a friend whose child was damaged that way and she was having none of it. She told me she kicked the nurse right across the room and the baby was born.

    My first pregnancy ended shortly after having my two doctors arguing about what was best for me. One doctor (the younger) told me the baby was too big for a normal delivery, but the other doctor thought differently. The younger doctor agreed to a trial of labor first. I did not know what to think.

    I had the trial of labor and ended up with a C-Section. That is not something I would recommend to anyone. My other scheduled C-Section were far easier from which to recover.

    I am clueless, too, Kim.

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  53. Kim, my husband is good at that sort of thing and he can’t figure it out. I wonder if there are 8 of them and that is their last name? Is it a minivan or something?

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  54. Thanks for that Rett’s article link, Roscuro. I’ve heard of that — I think one of the students in a school where I formerly taught had Rett’s; I know one had Tourette’s Syndrome, which is something different, but the name sounds like Rett’s — but, anyway, I did not know that there were so many similarities between Rett’s and autism symptoms.

    I’ve read widely about autism, but don’t ever remember any discussion of Rett’s in the same context, and my son’s doctor has not mentioned it, either.

    You may be right about autism being a general collection of symptoms with different causes.

    I’ve read with interest some observations about who may be more prone to developing autism, and I wonder how many of these might be true also of those who get Rett’s.

    For example, the age of the father is often cited as a risk factor: the older the dad, the more likely a conceived child will have autism.

    My husband was 44 when our younger son was conceived.

    I’d also heard that a disproportionate number of autistic children were either very premature or very past due, not so much in the middle.

    Also that these children’s mothers had either an extremely long or extremely short labor with them, rather than a fairly typical length.

    My son was my most overdue child (12 days past the due date,with meconium-stained amniotic fluid when my water broke), and was born after a very short-for-me labor, just under four hours, when, with my other children, my labor lengths were around 8-10 hours with two of them, and over 20 hours with each of the first three.

    Did all those extremes have an impact?

    So many things we don’t know. But always interesting to make (and hear about) new discoveries.

    Can’t wait for when all things will be made new, and we won’t see through a glass darkly anymore… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  55. My husband ended up finding one of those “click-bait” pieces, with the 40 funniest license plates or something. My favorite? The one that said simply BLOND . . . but it was on upside-down.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. My first was induced, and it was the most unnatural thing I could ever imagine. Son was posterior (trying to come out sunny-side up), which produces horrible back labor, and I could hardly feel a thing in my back because my uterus felt like it was getting ripped apart with those pitocin-induced contractions cranked ridiculously high.

    In a subsequent pregnancy (2nd or 3rd Arrow, don’t remember which), the ultrasound technician, looking at my uterus on the sonogram, asked me if I’d had a previous Caesarean.

    I never had, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t get a tear in my uterus from that awful first induction. I’d be willing to bet that’s what the tech was looking at when he asked that question.

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  57. Obviously the new header photo was the same goldfinches as a couple of days ago, once the bird at the lower right of the photo had gotten up to where the “trespasser” had come into the coneflowers. The bird defending its space is still on the right in this photo, but I am not sure which of the two won and which one flew away. But I was really happy to be in the right time and place for that shot, since (1) both birds are in motion and (2) with snow behind them and the coneflowers dead for winter, there is absolutely no color to distract from the muted colors of the winter goldfinches. (I actually turned the color up just a notch to get this much–I didn’t add color, but the yellow might have been slightly duller in “real life,” since I chose a filter that slightly increases the brightness.)

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  58. 6 Arrows, posterior is the word I was trying to think of earlier. At least four of my sister’s children were born that way. My mother was invited to watch the birth of her third . . . and my mother believed there is no reason, ever, for a woman to scream in labor. My sister was terrified of having Mom there, but felt like having had me there for one, with Mom wanting to be there, she pretty much had to invite her.

    Mom died three months before he was born. My sister’s oldest son, five at the time, suggested that God would let Grandma scratch a hole in the window of heaven so that she could watch the birth. πŸ™‚

    The birth I attended was one of two where they knew the sex ahead of time. They purposely didn’t learn it with the first, with the second (the one I saw) they purposely did; with another they hadn’t decided either way but the ultrasound tech said “he” or pointed out male parts or something. The second one, the one I watched, was the only one where they told other people the sex, but they kept the chosen name a secret. After that they decided they didn’t want to know ahead of time if it was a boy or a girl. To be honest, at the birth I witnessed it felt like an anticlimax not waiting to see which it was. After he was out 30 seconds or so, I finally said, “It’s a boy!” We already knew it was, but it just seemed like someone is supposed to say that!

    Liked by 1 person

  59. scratch a hole in the window of heaven πŸ™‚

    I’ve never witnessed a birth, other than when my kids were born, but, even then, not really, except looking in the mirror the birth attendant was holding, watching 6th Arrow and one earlier one, I think 3rd Arrow, being born.

    We never wanted to know the sex of the babies ahead of time. I liked guessing what I was carrying, and was right five times out of six.

    4th Arrow was my only one on whom I guessed wrong. I thought for sure she was a boy, because my pregnancy with her was almost exactly like the one with her older brother.

    And we already had boy-girl-girl, so I thought it was time to even it up again with another boy. πŸ˜‰

    My husband was very convinced she was a boy, too, and we had trouble deciding on a name, so didn’t finalize a boy name until we were already at the hospital.

    Didn’t have a girl name finalized at all before she was born.

    When daughter was born, she had the cord wrapped twice around her neck, not real tightly, but she needed a little oxygen. Shortly after that, when they laid her on my chest, I asked, “Boy or girl?”

    No one had thought to look in the middle of all that business!

    2nd Arrow, who was at home, got to do the honors of picking the name of her baby sister who was born on her 8th birthday. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  60. Inductions are medically necessary for a number of reasons:
    If the water was broken (technical term is ruptured membranes) induction should take place within twelve hours if labour doesn’t start because the risk of in-utero infection increases once the water is broken – such infections are extremely life-threatening to both mother and child.

    In my sibling’s case, her water had broken, but it was the meconium stain which caused them to induce her – meconium in the amniotic fluid signals the baby is under stress and if the baby inhales the meconium, it can cause a terrible, corrosive form of pneumonia in the newborn lungs. Thankfully, Tiny Niece came out screaming – my teachers said they had seen babies that had meconium stained fluid come out limp and unresponsive.

    In my case, the monitors they put on my mother showed that my heart rate was slowing down in an ominous pattern (labour and delivery nurses learn to read the heart rate patterns of babies and which patterns are good or bad) which indicated that I wasn’t getting adequate blood flow. So I was induced. As gestational age progresses, especially past the 42 week mark, the umbilical cord and placenta start to break down, reducing blood flow, so an older gestational age child may need to be induced.

    Pitocin is simply a brand of the manufactured form of the natural hormone of labour, oxytocin. The posterior pituitary gland of the brain releases oxytocin in response to the pressure of the baby’s head on the cervix. Oxytocin, in labour, increases the strength of uterus contractions (It has a lot of other body functions, as it is not only a hormone, but also a neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord).

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  61. Kevin B @ 1:20 pm- I don’t understand the cartoon showing Putin on a horse alongside some black riders. What’s that about?

    I think it’s the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with Putin added, or else it’s a reference to the Ring Wraiths in Lord of the Rings. Either way, it seems to present Putin in a negative light as an evil enemy.

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  62. My friend Carol says they knew a family in Brooklyn who didn’t name their son, they said he could name himself at some point. He decided on David, something basic, thankfully, when he was round 5, according to the story.

    Los dos amigos are coming early Saturday morning (7:30 a.m.) to start framing the walls in the bathroom. Yay. Finally.

    And I donwloaded iTranslate onto my smartphone πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  63. DJ,

    You may recall we had an Olympic athlete given that same privilege of naming herself, I think when she was about three. The name she chose was Peekaoo. Her parents at least had the sense to spell it creatively, Picabo.

    One of my friends was told by her new daughter-in-law (who was pregnant when she married) that she was not to tell the child what to call her, but the child would decide what to call grandparents. I would have been polite about it, but I would have said no, naming rights are given by adults, not children. You name those who are under your authority, not vice versa. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong for grandparents to “go with it” when the two-year-old can’t say “Grampa” and he ends up being Brampa . . . but to deliberately hand over that naming choice to a child misunderstands something. (Now, when my mother remarried, she married a man who had been a friend of the family for decades–I’d never met him, but my older brothers had, and one or two of them knew him well–and we younger ones didn’t feel at all comfortable calling an 80-year-old stepfather by his first name, so I came up with “Pop” as something parental that wasn’t “Dad.” But if he had said, “That doesn’t really work for me. Let’s try Papa C,” we’d have done that. The idea was demonstrating affection and respect without confusion since our father was called Dad. All of us had been out of the house for years when Mom and Pop married; I was living in Chicago and had graduated from college a few years before.)

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  64. I have a friend who lt me be in the delivery room with her. It was the most wonderful thing I ever experienced. I saw her today and we were laughing about it. The nurse kept telling her to push. Finally I told the nurse I has pushed until I was exhausted and it wasn’t doing a bit of good. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  65. Inductions are certainly medically necessary in some cases, but much care must be taken not to overdo (almost wrote overdue, lol) how much is given, IMO. I’ve received pitocin in varying amounts for varying reasons in three of my labors — once to restart a labor which stopped shortly after arriving at the hospital, once to augment my labor after exhaustion kept me from being able to push adequately, and once to completely start a labor that hadn’t begun 20 hours after my membranes ruptured.

    Those last two instances were under the care of midwives, and they were very attentive to what my body was and was not doing, and I felt they exercised good judgment in the application of the pitocin.

    Not with my OB who delivered my firstborn. He went way overboard, I recognize now (but which I didn’t know at the time because I had not experienced any labor before then, of course. He should have shut off the flow, or at least reduced it, when I resumed having regular contractions. He did no such thing.

    He walked into the labor room at one point, maybe 8 hours after they’d started the pit, and I was in agony and could hardly take the pain. He breezed right in, cheerily asked, “How’s it going?”

    The nurse snapped, “Not very well.”

    And I took that to mean *I* was not performing up to snuff, or something. I felt like smacking her one, when maybe she was disgusted with him?

    Not something a first-time laboring mom wants to hear, no matter who it was directed toward/against.

    Oh, the stories I could tell. Nurse during my second labor said, “This is the most dysfunctional labor I’ve ever seen.”

    Third labor — 29 hours, 10 of those at the hospital, my doctor asked after daughter was born, “So are you disappointed in how long your labor was?”

    She was my easiest baby to deliver up to that point, and I felt so good about that birth, then he comes with a downer question like that.

    I switched to midwives after that.

    Alright, I’m done belaboring the point now. πŸ˜› I’ll give you guys a break from all my war stories for a while. πŸ™‚

    Good night, wanderers.

    Liked by 3 people

  66. These stories of naming children remind me of one my sister told me. Years ago a woman was in an accident on the way to have her baby. She was unconscious, so the doctor did a C-section. She had twins, a boy and a girl. In those days, the law in her state said the babies had to be named within 24 hours or the state would name them. Since her husband was away from a phone (no cell phones in those days), they got her brother to name them. He was, well, about the same intelligence as Forrest Gump. When she awoke, they told her the brother had named the children. She was concerned about his choices. So they told her that it was twins, which surprised her (this was before sonograms). She asked the names her brother gave them.

    “Well, said the nurse, “the girl he named Denise.”

    “That’s a pretty name,” she said. “What’s the boy’s name?”

    “He named the boy Denephew.”

    Liked by 3 people

  67. Peter, my mom told me that joke years and years ago . . . only in her telling it was “Oh no! My brother is such a practical joker!” And she’s relieved that he chose an ordinary name for the girl . . . but then . . .

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  68. Good morning. I didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s comments until this morning….Loved all the delivery stories and wanted to add my own….

    I was 28 years old when Lindsey was born. Two days past my due date, the doctor (whom I dearly love–his wife is my sister’s lifelong best friend) decided he needed to induce. I was in labor for 36 l-o-n-g hours…..then pushed for an inordinately long time…..My mom and Scott were in the delivery room with me and I cried and screamed during the pushing phase; it was sheer hell….turns out the epidural had somehow pulled out and I wasn’t receiving any anesthesia, but that wasn’t realized by medical personnel until after I’d delivered. Towards the end–baby was in distress and doctor had to perform a level 5 episiotomy and use forceps to get her out. Her head circumference was in the 98th percentile and I am a small woman (5’2″). Her head was so coned at birth that she actually measured 2″ shorter at her two week check-up!!!! Anyway–after that disastrous experience, I was scared to have another baby (I also had almost daily migraines throughout the first pregnancy and was bed-ridden most of the time, as I couldn’t take any prescription med’s–especially triptans, i.e.: Imitrex, Relax, Zomig, etc–for fear of harming the baby). I’ve heard it said that mothers’ forget the pain of childbirth; I disagree–I still vividly remember the excruciating pain of Lindsey’s birth.
    Fast forward five years. Scott and I briefly discussed having a second child as Lindsey had been fervently praying for a baby sister each night during bedtime prayers….we agreed to let things happen naturally….a week later, I changed my mind and told Scott I didn’t want to start all over again with an infant….we decided not to have another child. About four weeks later, I realized I was late and then started noticing other symptoms of pregnancy….I took a home test and sure enough, it was positive. It’d only been a week!!!!! I was excited and scared of what was to come….I didn’t feel nearly as nauseated with Becca as I had with Lindsey. And, I’d always heard the sicker the mom, the healthier the baby…so I was a tad worried….I’d miscarried a child at fourteen weeks b/t Lindsey and Becca, and I’d not felt nauseous at all with that pregnancy. Anyway, the months passed….I was supposed to have a scheduled C-section with Becca b/c after a level five episiotomy, a second vaginal birth can leave the mom gas and fecally incontinent….I was only 34 and that sounded like a pretty negative thing, so I scheduled the C-section. However, as it’s said, “We make plans, and God laughs.”
    Six weeks before my due date, my water broke at 10:30pm, right after I’d laid down in bed…fortunately, my parents happened to be visiting us as we’d yet to make arrangements for Lindsey. I assumed I had lots of time since my first labor had been so long. I took a shower, put on some clothes and we headed to the hospital. It’s about a fifteen minute drive. They put us in a room in the ER…..the nurse used some strip of paper to “see” if my water had broken…she assured me that it was not my water that’d broken, I’d simply urinated on myself. I explained that I’d taken a shower…and that I knew the difference between wetting my pants and having my water break…..she hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and left the room….fifteen minutes later, Becca was crowning. Only Scott and I were in the room….I told him to get someone NOW…he quickly calls for a nurse, only to return and explain she’s on the phone….I told him to look–he saw her head and flipped out. He quickly got a nurse–the same one who’d smuggly told me my water had most definitely not broken–and who’d refused to call my doctor b/c I was clearly nowhere near delivering this child–and she tried telling me not to push….I explained I had no control over whether to push–my body was pushing whether I expended any energy or not. About two minutes later, Becca had emerged into the world, with the nurse catching her. I was still in my street clothes…..no anasthesia…no C-section….only a small tear….and I’ve had no lasting negative results. Because she was six weeks early, she was tiny–a mere five pounds. She had transient tachypnea of the newborn (basically, very rapid breathing) and had to stay in the NICU for fourteen days. She was tube fed for the first twelve days, as it was too dangerous for her to take anything by mouth because of the risk of aspirating the fluid into the lungs, which usually results in pneumonia, because of the rapidity of her breathing.
    I am happy to report that Becca, today at age 11 (she’ll be twelve March 3), is an extremely joyful, creative, loving tween who brings so much joy to our lives. She is brimming with a vivaciousness and exuberance for life that is positively infectious.
    I think I’ve mentioned on this blog that I was told I’d never be able to have kids at the tender age of fifteen…..so both my girls are true miracles….I sometimes feel like the line in the Julie Andrews song in The Sound of Music, when the Captain has asked her to marry him and they sing, “I must have done something good” and it says, “Perhaps I had a wicked childhood, perhaps I had a miserable youth; but somewhere in my wicked, miserable youth; there must have been a moment of truth….” I am so grateful for God’s abundant mercy in my life–it is humbling.

    Liked by 6 people

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