Monthly Archives: November 2008

C=2.5

Today is Catherine’s half-birthday. I can’t believe our daughter is already two and a half years old!

Catherine

I’m enjoying watching her grow and change every day. It’s amazing the things that she can do and say that she couldn’t do just a few weeks ago. Rebecca and I lie down in bed each night and discuss all of the wonderful things she’s done recently. We just can’t help it!

The other day, we were listening to WCRB while having dinner, and Debussy’s Clair de lune came on. Catherine stopped mid-bite, closed her eyes, cocked her head to the side, started swaying, and tinkling her fingers as though she was delicately playing along. Rebecca and I couldn’t help but crack up. It was hilarious and yet awesome!

Motrin in Pain

As some of you may have heard, Motrin recently released an ad campaign (online video and print ads) promoting their pain reliever as a boon for moms who are in pain from wearing their babies. The ad is no longer available, but the text appears here courtesy of a transcription from yours truly:

Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion. I mean in theory it’s a great idea. There’s the front baby carrier, the sling, the schwing, the wrap, the pouch, and who knows what else they’ve come up with? Wear the baby on … Read Moreyour side, your front, go hands free. Supposedly it’s a real bonding experience. They say that babies carried close to the bod tend to cry less than others. But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t? I sure do. These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders, did I mention your back? I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain. It’s for my kid. Plus it totally makes me look like an official mom. And so, if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.

I welcome people to make their own interpretations of that ad, but to me it reads incredibly smarmy, self-centered, and ignorant. Thankfully, many other moms and dads agreed. When news of the ad campaign hit the internet this past weekend, an ad-hoc “Motrin Moms” group quickly formed and started flooding Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook with their reactions. Motrin has since removed the ad and posted a half-hearted, corporate “apology” letter on their website. I am not linking to it because I don’t want them to get any more press than they’ve already got, but you can feel free to find their website on your own and read the letter, if you desire. Chances are, their target audience probably wasn’t offended by the video, but due to the viral nature of internet video, a few views by the right people spread into a large and vocal campaign.

Rebecca and I support and practice babywearing. Ever since Catherine was born, we’ve carried her in all manner of ways, including a baby backpack, a front carrier, a sling, and the swankiest, a Mei Tai style carrier that Rebecca made by hand. A baby carrier is designed to make it easy for a parent to keep their child close to their body while leaving their hands free for other things like carrying bags, doing some chores, or (and I’ve seen this a few times) holding a drink at a bar. Keeping a child close to your body can help with fussiness, help get them to sleep, and develop a closer sense of security between child and parent.

Now I’m certainly not begrudging people their right to treat their pain. By all means, if you’re in unbearable pain, take whatever measures you are comfortable with, including natural methods like hot/cold compresses, relaxation, etc, or medication. But please consider the fact that, when a baby carrier is used properly, there should not be any pain. “Used properly” means not used for too long a period of time and properly positioned on the body so as to have the maximum distribution of weight. If you’ve got a single strap digging into your shoulder, or if the carrier is forcing you to strain or hunch over, then of course it’s going to cause pain. But it shouldn’t.

If you’re wearing a baby because it makes you look like an “official mom” (or dad), then it’s probably the wrong thing to do. But if you want to keep your child close to you (as in attachment parenting), it’s definitely the way to go.

If you’re in the North Shore area and have questions about babywearing, feel free to give my wife Rebecca a shout! She’ll be glad to help. You can find her contact and social network information on our Contact Page.

North Shore Birth Center

Beverly Hospital, where our daughter Catherine was born, offers a Birth Center as one of its services. It is offered for women with low-risk pregnancies who want a comfortable environment to pursue a natural and unmedicated childbirth.

The management of Beverly Hospital has brought a proposal to the hospital’s Board of Trustees to stop allowing births at the Birth Center, apparently due to a sharp increase in malpractice insurance premiums. Today, the Board decided to postpone taking a vote on the issue, thanks in large part to supporters of the Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center. The Campaign has organized letter-writing campaigns, sent emails to board members, and gathered together a group of supporters to rally outside the hospital’s grounds today just as the Board was to meet this morning.

Rebecca and I support what the Birth Center does, even though Catherine wasn’t born there and our next child won’t be born there. So I wanted to explain why we support them. Natural childbirth is the practice of a woman going through labor and delivery of a baby without the aid of medications for pain relief, speeding up labor, etc. A natural childbirth can be had anywhere: Rebecca gave birth to Catherine without the aid of medication right in a normal labor and delivery room at Beverly Hospital. Other moms have natural births right at home, or in places like the North Shore Birth Center.

One might ask why the Birth Center needs to exist when a natural childbirth, like ours, can take place at a hospital. One advantage of the Birth Center is that it’s specifically geared towards natural childbirth. In a regular labor and delivery ward, all of the options are available to you, and even if you go in with the intent to do things naturally, it is very easy to make the quick decision to switch to medication. In the Birth Center, those options aren’t readily available – you’d have to be moved over to the hospital to receive any medication. So if you’re completely intent on a natural childbirth and don’t want to bother with the possible distractions of labor and delivery in a medical setting like a hospital, the Birth Center may be for you.

As I mentioned, we were able to have a natural childbirth right in the hospital, thanks to having written up and distributed a birth plan, having some great and supportive nurses, and lots and lots of personal determination. We’re thankful that we were at the hospital to give birth, because Catherine had some complications after she was born and needed immediate attention. Had she given been born at the Birth Center, the time it took to transfer her to the hospital could have led to even greater complications. As it was, they were able to rush her up to the hospital’s special care nursery right away, and then down to Brigham and Women’s Hosptial in Boston. However, the vast majority of births occur without these sorts of complications, and the Birth Center is readily able to handle them.

We have friends who’ve used the Birth Center, and we know that many other people want to have it as an option. It’s been a great option for women for nearly 30 years, is one of only two in our state, and it would truly be sad if the hospital removed this option purely because of a business decision. I’m hopeful that the delay in voting will give the Board time to discuss the issue and give supporters time to make their cases.

If you’re interested in learning more, head over to the site for the Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center.

Update: For reference, here is the recently-released official statement from the hospital’s Board of Trustees:

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM BEVERLY HOSPITAL (November 18, 2008): The Board of Trustees takes its responsibilities to this organization and to the community very seriously. Consistent with other birth centers around the nation, the North Shore Birth Center is experiencing a significant rise in the cost of malpractice insurance premiums. The Board of Trustees is diligently weighing the impact that the closure of the Birth Center would have on the community; the level of community interest in its continued operation has not gone unnoticed. The Board intends to leave the Birth Center services unchanged while it continues to examine and discuss this

Long Overdue Ohio Trip Report (LOOTR)

We’ve been home a couple weeks now and have yet to report on our excursion westward to Ohio. In hopes of inspiring some of you to visit Central OH, here is a photographic look at our week in the Buckeye State.

Thursday and Friday: Go West, Young Woods!

null

Saturday: Lehman’s and Orrville Jumpin’ Punkin’ Train Ride

Sunday: Catherine’s New Dress and the Children’s Garden

null

Monday: Columbus Zoo!

null

Wednesday: Playground, Leatherlips, Corn and Friends

null

Friday: Visiting the Lyttles

Saturday: Heading Home

Tambourine Surgery

Catherine got a great little music set for her birthday. She loves making music and the instruments have been well loved and used over the last few months. Most of them have held up very well, the exception being the skin on the tambourine. I think she punched through it in the first week.

punched

I made a couple attempts to repair the poor thing, mostly using clear packing tape. But, sadly, they were only stopgap measures and didn’t hold up. I brainstormed for a while and finally came up with a new solution.

tape

First, I needed to remove the old skin. The glue holding it on was extremely good. I was really only able to remove the ‘loose’ portion. The bit around the edges would have to stay.

Next, I opened up a Tyvek mailing envelope from the USPS and cut a circle just larger than the diameter of the tambourine. A bead of Elmer’s glue on the top rim was used to affix the Tyvek. I put a couple books on top and left it to dry.

Once the top was dry I tacked down the edges. Got a little gluey and messy, but most good projects do!

Hopefully this new skin will be a bit more durable than the first, but probably won’t be worse. And if it gets broken again I know I can always repair it!