Sarah Palin: A friend of the American mom?

Posted by Saraline , Saturday, August 30, 2008 7:45 PM

As I'm sure the entire world knows by now, John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his vice-presidential running mate yesterday. Palin is the governor of Alaska, married with five children, and presents an image of a strong woman. There has been speculation that McCain chose her in order to win Hillary Clinton's supporters over to the Republican side.

Fat chance of that. Palin is pro-life, against gay marriage, and likes guns. Still, she is a mother. Can other mothers relate to her?

Book review: The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer

Posted by Saraline 7:02 PM

Henci Goer admits to being biased in her introduction to The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. "Yes, I will be trying to convert you with my way of thinking but with a couple of differences," she says. "First, I will play fair. I will lay out the research data behind my thinking so that you can make up your own mind."

Goer's opinion is that a home birth with a mid-wife is a healthy and safe option, while a birth in a hospital with an obstetrician is scary, impersonal, and sometimes dangerous.

She covers many different procedures that are often performed in hospitals during birth and pieces of equipment that she considers to be unnecessary: cesareans, episiotomies, IVs (although she makes an exception for IVs with antibiotics for women diagnosed with Group B Strep), epidurals, forceps, inducing labour, and machines that monitor the heart beat of the fetus while the mother is in labour. (Goer explains that the electronic fetal monitor is the machine that goes "Ping!" in the birth scene in Monty Python's Meaning of Life. She says that the readings from this machine often lead to unnecessary action that could be harmful, such as a cesarean.)

Whether you decide to have a home birth or a hospital birth, this book will provide you with the right questions to ask your mid-wife or doctor, and being able to ask the right questions will help you make decisions about your birthing experience that are right for you.

Pregnancy education

Posted by Saraline , Thursday, August 28, 2008 7:46 AM

Since becoming pregnant, I've taken measures to educate myself on what to expect. I've been reading books, reading blogs, and asking lots of questions while talking to women who have had babies.

While I was reading books on the subject of pregnancy and giving birth, I found out about getting an episiotomy. (For those of you not familiar with pregnancy lingo, an episiotomy is when they cut your vagina open to make it bigger when you're giving birth.) How come nobody told me about this? I had never heard about this before. There was no mention of an episiotomy in the "angry vagina" monologue in The Vagina Monologues or in the monologue about giving birth, for that matter. In sex ed in high school, we learned about the reproductive system and different forms of birth control, but there was nothing in the curriculum about actually giving birth let alone getting an episiotomy. My handy spell check tool doesn't even want to accept the word.


Posted by Saraline , Wednesday, August 27, 2008 8:53 PM

Fetus rights

Here's an excerpt from the article:

The Harper government moved yesterday to extinguish an emerging debate over fetal rights by distancing itself from a Conservative private members' bill that would make it a separate crime to injure or kill a fetus while committing violence against a pregnant woman.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, whose government might go to the polls this fall, said he will introduce his own competing bill that would make pregnancy an aggravating factor for judges to take into account when sentencing those who assault expectant mothers.

But he stressed that he intends to make it clear that the new law is worded in a way that "leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights."

There's this show that I like called Ghost Hunters and sometimes I'll look up the places that they're investigating to learn a little bit about the history. Once they were investigating a house believed to be haunted by victims of the Manson family. I didn't know very much about Charles Manson at that point, so I googled him and found out about Sharon Tate being murdered when she was eight months pregnant. This was a few months ago, early in my pregnancy, and it really freaked me out. I think that what happened to her is awful.

Having said that, I don't think that it should be a separate crime to kill the fetus because then they could make it a crime for a woman to have an abortion. But I think that by attacking a pregnant woman and killing the fetus, the attacker is taking away the woman's right to choose whether or not she wants to have a baby. "Choice" means that the woman as the right to not have a baby OR to have a baby. I think that the conservatives are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Even making a bill that's more "tame" and making it extra-bad to kill someone who is pregnant without saying why it's extra-bad is alluding to giving rights to the fetus. If a pregnant woman is attacked, she is the one who is the victim.