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Archive for the ‘pregnancy’ Category

        Today is a day that I have been looking forward to.  I get to travel some distance to go see my daughter and grandchildren.  I have promised them their first experience of making Christmas cookies with Grandma. 

         They are only 2 & 3 years old…so this will be fun.  Momma is on bed rest due to pregnancy.  So we will take a try over to her and let her help decorate once they are baked.

         The only thing better would be to get to do this also with my other grandchildren who live out of state.  This makes me blue because i would love to do the same wonderful thing with them.  Those grandchildren are a bit older and so the experience would be a bit more artistic.  Maybe next year Grandma will get to see them during Christmas. 

          In the meantime…we are going to enjoy Christmas, cookies, and the gift of Grandchildren! 

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       Minnesota has had a couple of miserable examples of appropriate teenaged behaviors.  First, there is the case of Nicole Beecroft who was 17 years old in April 2007 when she gave birth to a live baby girl, on the floor of the laundry room, in the home that she shared with her parents.  They did not know that she was pregnant.  Not only did she hide her pregnancy; but, prosecutors alleged that she planned the death of her baby before it was born.  She stabbed her newborn daughter 135 times in the abdomen, chest and neck.  The baby bled to death; and that is when, Nicole Beecroft disposed of her child in the garbage can outside of her home. 

       A judge ruled on December 1, 2008 that Nicole Beecroft was guilty of 1st degree murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.  What would possess a woman to not only kill her child but to do so in such an extremely violent way?  Why not give the child up for adoption?  Why not let the father raise the child?  Why not reach out to a parent, a teacher, clergy, counselor, neighbor or a friend? What was the reason behind stabbing an innocent, straight out of the womb infant? 

        Then today, there are reports that 8 Minnesota teenagers are facing charges of terrorizing and abusing nursing home patients.  The nursing home patients suffer from dementia and alzheimers disease.  The accused are minors, except for two young women, they all worked as part time aides at the nursing home.  They are accused of crimes such as spitting on the patients, physical assault, poking at them, and sexual contact with vulnerable adults.  These are serious charges and yet, they may only face 1 year in prison, and or, a fine of up to $300,000 if they are actually convicted.  I am sure that those who had alleged sexual contact will also have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives.  Do you think those punishments are appropriate; if indeed, they are convicted of the crimes?  Are the punishments severe enough for the alleged behaviors?

         Where is the respect for children or for our elderly citizens?  Where is the respect for life?  In general, society has allowed our nation’s children to do what they want, with very little consequences.  When things go awry; many people find others to blame…there is very little accountability for those who go the wrong way. 

        Minnesota does not have a monopoly on violent or abusive teens; every state has such horror stories; that doesn’t make it ok.  Who is going to be the next vulnerable person?  What kind of depraved behavior is going to surface next?   We are raising a whole generation of human beings who have individuals who are either are unwilling, or incapable, of caring about other people in any normal kind of compassionate way! 

        The question is…what are we as a society going to do about it?  We had better figure out a way to understand these type of situations and change the course of these behaviors…otherwise, those most vulnerable, the elderly and the children, will be at substantial risk.  Those people at risk could be your loved ones; or possibly, even yourself! 

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      This is a terrible example of how China is wiping away the future of some of it’s children.  This week, a woman is sitting in a hospital under control of the authorities awaiting a forced abortion.  Her crime; she already has two children.  The authorities in China control the population by limiting the amount of children a family is allowed to have.  Parts of China enforce this control by limiting a family to one or two children.

       The woman’s name is Arizgul Tursun.  Arizgul is six months pregnant.  She ran from her village to avoid the forced abortion; however, her family received threats; and, she was taken and placed under custody in the hospital.  Human rights organizations are protesting this treatment.  China says publically that it doesn’t endorse such extreme means of controlling the population; however, this case will shine a light onto the Chinese government’s sincerity.

        This is cruel and inhuman treatment to both the mother and the infant.  At six months, this child could live outside of the womb; however, the authorities will give her a shot that will cause her to deliver a child that will not be allowed to survive.  We need to pray for this woman, her “caregivers”, her child and the authorities in charge of enforcing this abortion. 

          Decisions about family growth should be left up to the parents in a family…not outsiders.  Every life has value and it is immoral to force an abortion on a woman who does not want it.  God help her and her child. 

          Is it right to allow this kind of treatment to take place; without protests and sanctions against countries that allow it?  If China allows this abortion to take place…what should other governments around the world do to demand more humane treatment of individual rights in China?

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       Baby don’t cry…it is not your fault.  When you are old enough to know your story…know that it is not your fault.  It has happened for generations…people abandon their children.   It is wrong, but they do it for many reasons…all sad reasons, all heartbreaking…but, what it comes down to is a lacking.

        A lacking of something that is required to parent you little one.  Some parents are lacking money, some are lacking appropriate housing or clothing, some are lacking parenting skills.  Even worse, some are lacking a very basic, important connection…a bonding of parent to child; it is called love.  This is not normal.  This is not your fault.  The lacking is theirs and theirs alone; don’t let it define you.  Their failure to provide what you need does not wipe away your right to have those things that children need to grow and be whole.   You deserve to have what every child should have…love and acceptance. 

       There are many who would adopt you; love you and give you everything you need to be successful in life.  It is sad that your birth parents could not for whatever reason of lacking, be the people to give you what you need.  However, when you are able to read and understand it all…hopefully, you will have been adopted and cared for appropriately.  I hope that you received that love; and, now know that you are part of a family who wanted you, and needed you to be part of them.  The parts of you that feel empty or unfulfilled, because of the unknowns about your birth family, probably will never be fully satisfied.  Let it be enough to know that the circumstances that lead to your being abandonned are not a statement of anything that was wrong with you as a person.

         A small newborn child was abandoned in Charlotte, North Carolina in the last few days.  Children are being abandoned all around the world.  There are many who would love these children were they to enter into the foster/adoptive legal system in the right kind of way.  Why are parents dumping their children?

        When you are able to read this, or some other piece that addresses such issues…and  you have learned about your abandonment; don’t try to seek further information.  It will only hurt you more.  There are no answers that will satisfy your heart’s desire to be loved and accepted by the people who gave you up.  For each answer that is given to justify such actions will just trigger another “what if you had done this or that…could you have kept me then” question.  It is a never ending circle of emotional hurt.   

        It is not a reflection upon you…babies and children are easy to love.  You have done nothing wrong to be rejected…it is a fault inside of that person that by some miracle was able to give you life.  Unfortunately, abortion (infant death) is an option in today’s world..so, choosing life was a very positive thing.   Maybe that is the most that they had to give you; LIFE, it IS an important gift. 

       Your true source of life comes from God above.  You are here in this world because he values you…you are here for a purpose.  Discover what your purpose is and live it to the fullest…do not be destroyed by feelings of rejection or inferority.  You are worthy of all the best that life has to give you.   Your beginnings do not have to set a  negative standard for the rest of your life.  Take your gift and all that you have been able to receive and enjoy since the time of your birth and make something of yourself.  Be a giver, be an encourager…be the embodiement of what your birth parents lacked.  Be a giver and a receiver of Love.  Do you think that the impact of your birth can make a positive difference in the world?   I do, every life has value to offer the world.  Reader, do you know someone who has been rejected or abandoned…were they able to turn their difficult beginnings into a positive, productive life?

      

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       Every year in the United States approximately 2,500 babies die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  Even though those numbers have come down substantially over the years…even one death a year from SIDS is one infant death too many.  So, research on ways of preventing those deaths is very important.

       A new study is suggesting that having a fan, in the room of an infant, can greatly reduce the possibility of death by SIDS by up to 72% according to the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.  Check it out here: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/   Invited to a baby shower?  Show your love and concern by gifting the new parents with a fan and a printout of the reasons of the importance of the gift regarding the health of their baby!  Educate parents, first time parents or teenaged parents, grandparents of the new research; empower them with the newest safety information. 

        While the understanding of the role of the fan, in the prevention of deaths of infants from SIDS, is not clearly understood…it was found that rooms that were heated to above 69 degrees benefitted by the use of a fan in the prevention of death from SIDS.  It is thought that overly warm temperatures increase the potential of death by SIDS. 

         Another possible benefit of using a fan in the infant’s room is that the fan helps to circulate the air flow around the baby.  Babies who are put to sleep on their backs do better as well, because babies who sleep on their stomachs have less airflow in the early months of life; when their necks are too weak to lift their heads if the airflow is not sufficient for healthy breathing.  There has been a big campaign to educate parents to use the BACK TO SLEEP plan for this reason.  Babies who sleep on their stomachs also have a larger incidence of rebreathing in carbon dioxide that they have exhaled.  A fan can help to circulate the air around babies.  Still, putting an infant to sleep on their back is a better solution to keeping the airflow open around baby.  Important:  Just remember that when using a fan…keep the cords away from small hands that could pull the fan down and cause injury. 

         What else can a parent do to keep their newborn infants safe from SIDS?  First of all, putting a baby to sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm mattress is an important part of the equasion.    The crib must have the side rail bars or slats spaced 2 3/8 inches apart or less; so that a baby does not get trapped between the bars.   Next, comes the idea of dressing the baby with adequate clothing to keep the baby warm; but, not so many articles of clothing as to overheat the baby.  Keep the crib free from toys, from blankets or pillows or even bumper pads that cannot be firmly attached to the side of the crib.  It is important to keep all items away from an infant that doesn’t have the ability to turn it’s head or to push away from anything that can block it’s airflow.

          Never lay an infant to sleep on an adult bed or extremely soft or conforming surface.  Cuddle time is important…but, doing so in an adult bed could allow the adult to fall asleep.  It is not worth the risk of falling asleep with your infant beside you, when you are not awake enough to keep watch over your young infant.  No one wants to live with regrets on a tragedy that could be avoided by remembering that safety comes first regarding your baby.

          If you are leaving your child in the care of a grandparent or a caregiver…it is wise to include this new information on the best way to keep your baby safe.  Take the small fan with you when you are entrusting others to care for your small child.  Make sure that they follow your direction in the way that you wish your child to be cared for.  It may be different than they have previously cared for other young babies…but, it is never too late to learn.  If they wish to care for your child…express the need for them to follow this guideline of using the fan and not bundling your child up with unneccessary blankets and clothing.

           Many years ago, i knew a young family that lost an infant daughter to SIDS.  It was a horrendous event in their family life.   In fact, their marriage didn’t survive more than another couple of years after the death of their child.   I can’t help but wonder, if this information was available then…would their child have lived?  How many babies can be saved with this new information?

          Here is a great site that can offer more tips on infant safety for parents of young infants regarding SIDS prevention:  http://sids.org/nprevent.htm  Did you learn anything new in this blog post that you felt was beneficial to you; or, someone that you know who has a young infant?

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        Another family has made the news by dropping off their children, 9 of them from ages 1 to 17 at a hospital in Nebraska.  It is in my mind, in cases of abandonment, almost as if the children are treated like a litter of unwanted puppies.  In mid July, Nebraska made its own news headlines by instituting a “safe haven law”. 

         Most states in the US have some sort of a safe haven law which is designed to protect children who are either unwanted; or, in unsafe environments regarding living conditions, or in situations of neglect or abuse.  The safe haven laws are meant to allow a safe place for children to be left such as a hospital or a fire station.  What is unique about the new law in Nebraska is that it doesn’t clarify who has the authority to drop off said children…it could be a baby sitter, grandparent, parent, neighbor or what have you.  Another important point, most of the states that implement safe haven laws usually are set up to protect infants.  Nebraska made headlines by not limiting the reach of the safe haven laws to infant only drop offs…it basically says “minors”…leaving the new law open to interpetation.

         The courts will have to clarify the definition of the safe haven law so that the protection of the children and the people who abandon them is more clear.  At the moment, anyone under the age of 19 is allowed to be dropped off in a safe haven.  There will be no legal repercussions as long as abuse or neglect is not involved.  In some ways, this may help those situations where we read about newborn infants born to teen mothers who are dumped in a garbage can or left outside alone.  Maybe in those cases, some children will be saved…but, this new law opens up a whole new set of issues regarding children and their families.

         I know that the law was set up in good faith…to protect the children.  However, you have to wonder about the psychological damage to those same children who are old enough to understand that they have been abandoned by the people most trusted in their lives.  An infant does not comprehend the abandonment until they are older and the information is presented to them…an older child certainly does understand the idea of abandoment and there certainly will ensue emotional and psychological damage.  However, i will say an infant may not understand the full scope of abandonment; but, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by it; when they are affected, it is often called an attachment disorder…where the baby has trouble bonding with their caregivers, either giving or receiving love…sometimes, it is even turned into a failure to thrive.  All human beings deserve to be loved and wanted.

         Studies have been done on babies or infants who have been abandoned in other countries and left in orphanages…if they do not get enough human interaction that shows love or caring…those children can actually die from the lack of human, loving touch.  Don’t think that when an infant is dropped off, even at a safe haven…that they won’t know the difference between being wanted and unwanted.

         People who find themselves in desperate circumstances may be tempted to go the route of the safe haven in a moment of extreme duress.  However, the long term consequences make me wonder whether this is a viable option.  People who abuse or neglect their children willingly or freely are not going to be so very concerned about making sure that the place they abandon their child is considered a safe place.  It would be better to put into place programs that facilitate helping families who are in danger of imploding. 

         Not to mention, those parents or caregivers who are feeling desperate…say…in a financial crisis…they can’t afford to feed or house their children…may think that this safe haven is an option for them.  The consequences of such an action could be considered permanent…even if their circumstances change in time.  Their custody could be forever impacted by that one moment of temptation to abandon the children in a safe place. 

         I wonder if other options are being given as much media & legal attention, such as making a short term placement with social services; for short term foster care in cases where, say a housing or financial need is threatening the ability to keep a family together? 

          Children aren’t like litters of animals…not that animals should be abandoned either!  Being a pet owner or a parent is a huge responsiblity…the demands are serious.  People should not enter into the role of a pet owner or parenting without alot of thought!  Parents need to take their commitment to parenting seriously. 

          If a parent is considering abandoning their children…wouldn’t it be better to work with an agency and make a permanency plan such as adoption?  Definately, if that were the case, doing it in infancy is better than waiting until a child is old enough to be scarred by an emotional and physical abandonment by their parents or caregivers.  At least by making sure that the child/children were placed in a safe and loving home…a child would have a chance to grow up and to be nutured in a loving environment. 

          No one should ever be made to feel unwanted, unloved or unprotected.  Abandonment leaves permanent scares that impact their young lives and often, other generations of lives as well.  What are your feelings on the safe haven laws?

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       The principal at Gloucester High School, John Sullivan, has resigned his position; if you remember he was the principal that made news headlines a few months back by allegedly, claiming that there was a pregnancy pact at his school when pregnancy rates climbed to four times the norm, in his school…17 young women were pregnant, during the school year.  To the best of my knowledge the idea of a “pact” has not been proven; in fact, some of the girls actually denied the claim.  The former principal says that he often relied on information gathered through his staff and from monitoring student chatter which when put together was generally reliable and he chooses to keep that information confidential. 

        John Sullivan appears to feel somehat betrayed by the mayor of the town because when all of this hit the media…he made some statements that criticized the principals ability to “remember” who told him about the alleged plan to become pregnant.  He also says that the superintendent remained silent in the rush of public opinion to condemn him for alluding to the girls deciding to become pregnant.   He feels that both the mayor and the superintendent allowed him to take the brunt of the news reports without standing up for him. 

         He says he does not remember using the word pact…however, he still is convinced that the young woman became pregnant on purpose.  He resigned he said because he does not feel that he has the confidence or support of the leadership in his community.  John Sullivan was at a place where he could have retired, so he did.  However, he did so while at the same time encouraging the students “to continually check their moral compass and do what is right even when swimming against the tide”.

           Regardless of whether the young women became pregnant by choice or not…the school system and community leaders would do well to increase it’s preventative educational programs.  This trend is one that we all pay a price for…with our taxes, with our young people, with social services, and in the short and long term with our families.   The school system is review it’s policy to ban distributing contraception in school. 

          In my opinion, the school system should work closely with parents groups, clergy, health care professionals, school counselors, and the students themselves while drafting a plan to combat the increased numbers sexually active students and occurances of teen pregnancies. 

           With the recent culture of movies that tend to gloss over teen pregnancy and all of the complications that go along with it; we need to examine how our environment/culture encourages our young people to engage in sexual activity, and begin to discuss ways to educate and combat all of the mixed signals that our youth are exposed to in this area of life.  Exposure to STD’s is rising in certain parts of our population, the AIDS numbers are climbing; and with the difficulties in the economy, and cut backs in programs that help to educate and help prevent exposure for our young people; we are waging a war for the health and well being of our children. 

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      Once again the news has been covering a recent trend of crimes regarding an obsession with what lies within; another woman has been found dead after having her baby cut out of her womb.  This scenerio has been happening all too frequently over the last decade or so…women being killed for the babies that they carry inside of their wombs.  It leaves a terrible legacy of emotional difficulties for family and friends not to mention the child; if it miraculously survives the amateur delivery.

          In many of the cases, the women who do the killing have had an obsession with having a baby or being pregnant; often they have tricked those closest to them into believing they are pregnant and about to deliver.  Then, after they have stolen an infant, they try to pass it off as their own birth child.  (more…)

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        Several celebrity parents are rejoicing with the births of their new family members in the last couple of weeks.  Nicole Kidman and her husband of two years, singer Keith Urban welcomed their new daughter Sunday Rose Kidman Urban on July 07, 2008.  She was 6 lbs and 7 1/2 oz.

       On July 08, 2008, Matthew McConaughey and his girlfriend, Camila Alves welcomed their son Levi.  He was 7lbs and 4 oz.

        Then on Saturday July 12th, 2008, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt celebrated the birth of their twins.  Son Knox Leon was born first by C-section; then 1 minute later, sister Vivienne Marcheline was born.  

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      Are you tired of trying to find family activities that you don’t have to apologize to your kids for; inevitably, many of those so called family activities, violate the very family values that you are trying to instill in your children?  Well, here is an event that you won’t have to justify taking your family to.

       It is the National Baby Food Festival in the Baby Food Capital of the World.  Gerber baby food company is known around the world for it’s innovative production of baby foods and products; and it is celebrating in the town where it all began, Fremont, Michigan. (more…)

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