Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Caption Contest Winner....

And the winner of the caption contest, who will also get a $20 book voucher, is.....

Brittany, owner of Mama's Felt Cafe

The runners up had great ideas, too! I think it would be fun if we make photos of each one and create a display haha. Maybe a Halloween activism project? Anyone handy with doing this want to partner?

The Mom: Informed

Amanda R
Kayttie H

"Someone who works here clearly has nothing better to do than to try and scare you into getting a flu shot. They are trying to pad their pockets. Do not be ghouled!" Amy Bauman 

"Take the time to research flu shots. Don't be spooked into getting one!" Jackie

"I got my flu shot (and all my other shots like a good boy!). Don't get yours!" Jen S

"Shouldn't have got that flu shot!" Stephanie R

"I got my flu shot, Don't get yours" Paula S

"Approximately 30,000 VAERS reports are filed annually, with 10-15% classified as serious (resulting in permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illnesses or death)." Walter G

"Like got milk, got the flu shot?" Melissa P

"Friends dont let Friends get flu shots." Esther W

1 "Get your flu shot...all the cool kids are doing it." 
2 "I did my part to keep herd immunity, now it's *your* turn!"
3 "Big pharma wants YOU!" Jessica S

"I'm on the flu shot diet." Mike B

"A little flu shot couldn't hurt, COULD IT??" Charlise G

"‎"I can deal with my medical insurance´s waiting times for treatment. YOU can too!" Clara F

"Nobody dies from vaccines. Wait a minute..." Emily V

"Life vaccine -- Now they truly have a vaccine for everything!" Nicole H

"I did everything THEY told me to." Faith I

"Whoops, I got a flu shot. Run!" Lauren F

Thank you everyone for playing! I loved the variety, humor and wit of the responses! Tune in every Freebie Friday for a new giveaway or contest!

How many Babies Must Die from Circumcision?

A few days ago, I was reviewing a link on circumcision deaths and was struck again by the chilling, callous comments surrounding the topic of babies who die from this medically unnecessary surgery.

Over and over again, I hear other debaters remark that the estimated 100-200 deaths resulting from amputation of the prepuce on newborn baby boys in America are a “small number” and not something of concern. Here are examples of the comments people have posted to me:

”Even if we doubled that number, it’s still minute.”
”Everyone dies.”
”That’s only like 100 people.”
”Oh, that’s actually really safe.”
”Well, more people die in car crashes.”
”You can’t save everyone.”

Babies die every day. We all die, actually. That’s just a fact of life. What is the inherent issue with circumcision deaths? Why should a baby dying from circumcision concern us and anger us?

The current routine procedure performed on baby boys in America is recognized as medically unnecessary surgery. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledges that any “potential benefits” are not enough to recommend routine circumcision. We’ll look at that link in a minute.

Routine circumcision is the act of taking a healthy, living, functioning baby and performing surgery without medical indication: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXVFFI76ff0

The baby is not sick. The baby does not have a congenital defect. But a part of the body is removed through surgery. And some of these babies die.

In other words, all of those 100-200 deaths were 100% preventable. Every single one of those babies should be alive today. As I’ve quipped before:

“Nothing in life is 100% safe, but medically unnecessary circumcision is 100% preventable.”

These musings led me to post a status on Facebook:

It's interesting how people are so quick to dismiss the 100s of babies who die from forced circumcision annually as a "minute number." Meanwhile in our society, even the hint of a death is enough to recall toys, 30 deaths is enough to recall every single crib ever made, 14* deaths resulted in an entire industry change for babywearing and 77* choking deaths resulted in the AAP asking to change hotdog shapes. But death by circumcision doesn't count?

I wanted to contrast our society’s behavior towards infant deaths caused by other industrial products compared to our behavior towards infant deaths caused by circumcision.

And yes, circumcision in America is an industry, with products and services produced around the practice:


Now, this was an in-your-face status, and many parents courageously shared it on their own profiles, where perhaps their friends and family have never heard of such an issue before. Their interest was piqued. They were curious. They were outraged. And most of all, they wanted to make sure it was true. So here is an introductory list of resources to go with my statement.

First, it is important to note that America does not have any law requiring hospitals and doctors to report injuries and deaths caused by circumcision. They can call it something else, they can obscure it on the death certificate and they can ignore it altogether. So the numbers we do have are from hospitals and doctors who voluntarily share the information or from other heavily reported cases, such as high-profile news articles.

To give you an idea of how the issue can be controversial and lead to confusion, check out this article of a baby who died the morning after hemorrhaging from his circumcision. His death was listed as heart failure:


In previous years, the AAP merely estimated numbers, and often tossed around the figure of 224 deaths annually. The most recent study concluded that 117 deaths occurred annually:


This means that in the neonatal period (the first 28 days after life and the period during which routine circumcision occurs) circumcision causes more deaths than SIDS and car accidents:


Sound shocking? When you think about what routine circumcision is and then look at the fragility of a newborn, it makes sense. Just a tiny amount of blood can put them in a critical state; a tiny bit more and they bleed to death:


Newborns are not stronger than adults and cannot handle this surgery better than adults. For information specifically related to risks newborns face from surgery, please see my article on it here:


Even if babies survive the surgery, we often overlook the numerous complications they experience. This Pediatric Urologist (a medical doctor) who specializes in caring for babies harmed by circumcision speaks out on the topic:

"In my practice, as a pediatric urologist, I manage the complications of neonatal circumcision. For example, in a two year period, I was referred 275 newborns and toddlers with complications of neonatal circumcision. None of these were 'revisions' because of appearance, which I do not do. 45% required corrective surgery (minor as well as major, especially for amputative injury)”


So, we know of at least 117 boys dying yearly, and hundreds more being injured, by a practice that does not have proven medical benefits according to the AAP and a practice that is performed on healthy babies without medical necessity.

Do you see the concern yet?

Why did we recall EVERY dropside crib in America for 30 deaths in the last TEN years, but we don’t recall circumcision, which kills at least 117 babies EVERY year?

”The government outlawed drop-side cribs on Wednesday after the deaths of more than 30 infants and toddlers in the past decade and millions of recalls.”


Why did we recall EVERY infantino pouch sling for 14 deaths in the last TWENTY years, but we don’t recall circumcision, which kills at LEAST 117 babies EVERY year?


Why is the AAP telling the hotdog companies to redesign hotdogs, add warning labels, require mandatory reporting and recall products due to 77 deaths annually when looking at children up to age 14, but all the AAP can say on circumcision, which kills 117 babies annually, is:

”Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.“


Wanna see that again?

The AAP on hotdogs:

"A mandatory system is needed to label foods with appropriate warnings according to their choking risk, to conduct detailed surveillance and investigate food-related choking incidents, and to warn the public about emerging food-related choking hazards,"


The AAP on circumcision:

”Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.“


If the government, AAP and hospitals/doctors won’t get concerned about innocent babies, then it’s time for us, the parents, to get concerned. The deaths stop with us.

Question circumcision.

Question the cost of circumcision.

Protect your children from circumcision.

It’s a non-decision. He was born healthy; keep him that way!

Amanda questioned circumcision after her son was circumcised. She says:
"I did then what I knew how to do at the time. Now that I know better I do better. I love you pumpkin,
and this terrible ordeal in our past has helped me strive to be the best mom I can be today. Circumcision? Never again."

*the original status claimed 17 deaths from baby slings and 117 from hotdogs, but the CPSC article states 14 deaths and the AAP states 77 deaths. I have edited the statement to align with the data.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Gentle Reminder When Discussing Circumcision

Surely it would be wise for us to remember that perhaps the parents you meet online who consented to circumcision on behalf of their children did not realize fully what circumcision was or what it would do to their sons. Some might have even been coerced into it, or had their sons taken away without notice.

If these parents are honestly reading any links you posted or thinking about your reasoning, it would be a good time to support them in their journey as they begin to realize the horror of what they cooperated in, the grief crashing down upon them, and finally the betrayal and guilt of being swept into this culture of hurting babies.

Although it's easy for us to feel that parents should fully inform themselves before ever consenting to surgery on their children, we must remember that it is still culturally acceptable and even obligatory to follow the advice or guidance of the doctor. The thing is, any informed and ethical doctor would discourage consenting to circumcision and refuse to perform it.

Parents carry a lot of blame in a lot of things when it comes to raising children. They shouldn't carry the blame for being conditioned to obey an unethical doctor who solicited circumcision surgery for their sons, or who did not take a few minutes to outline the basic risks and damage that their sons would experience from it.

If we lose this moment in time where we can reach out, support, empower and love, then we risk ostracizing these parents, and in a cruel way, forcing them into a corner of despair and guilt.

As much as we must always speak out for the wellbeing of the innocent children, please remember the wellbeing of the parents. Speak truthfully, but with charity. Mend hearts and build friendships.

Whitney regrets consenting to circumcision for her son.
She loves him dearly and is a mother just like any mother. 

Meet other parents who regret their sons' circumcisions. Think about them and their experiences when you feel like lashing out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Freebie Friday's Caption Contest...Makeover the Skeleton!

This cheery guy is sitting at a Walgreens in Arizona.  

Today's Freebie Friday event will be a caption contest! Post one comment with your caption suggestion OR if you're really handy at the computer, post a link to your image of the finished project. The finished image will be prominently displayed in the Vaccine Album, used on The Stand Against Vaccines page and used in blog posts pertaining to the flu vaccine. Winner will receive credit in those places.

The winner also gets a $20 voucher to the Slimy Bookworm bookstore. Voucher does not cover $4.99 shipping. International friends, verify this deal includes you before playing!

Interested in this book deal anyways? Please consider buying under my referral link. Your referrals keep the contests going!

Contest ends on Sunday, August 28th, at midnight Central Time. No profanity or other slurs, slang or inappropriate captions qualify.

Have fun!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Boba Carriers Starting at $59 on Zulily!

This carrier is $59 on Zulily!
I woke up this morning and watched the online crunchy community light up over Boba carriers. What's the big deal, I asked myself. Well, Zulily, a website dedicated to showcasing one-time deals on unique merchandise, has Boba Carriers available until 8/25 (or until supplies run out).

They start at $59 on the the site and go up to $89 for the organic version. I am also hearing that if you use code SMDF10 at checkout, you can get an additional $10 discount on your total! (This code might be limited to first-time buyers).

So, what is a Boba? It's a SSC (soft structured carrier) similar to the Ergo, and perhaps what you would call the competitor to the Ergo. It is often considered a better option for heavier/older children because of the foot rests on the sides. They tend to run $100-160 at regular retail price.

Interested in buying during this deal? Please consider signing up for Zulily through my referral link.


The minds behind Boba are big advocates of keeping Baby close. As their son outgrew his Sleepy Wrap (another of their inventions), they started looking for something bigger. After experimenting with other soft-structured carriers, they invented the Boba. We love that they use 100% cotton for the shell and spent lots of time researching the best design. Watch a clip
Other carriers just didn't seem to keep their growing son completely comfortable. He complained that his legs didn't feel good. Finally, there was a light bulb moment: foot straps. It's those straps that keep the Boba from digging into your little one's legs, keeping kids comfy.
The Boba had to be perfect to please its creators, so no details went unconsidered. It's even made right in their hometown of Boulder, Colorado. That's where the name comes from too: Boba is the short and sweet version of Boulder Baby."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Babytalk says Flu Vaccine Ingredients Pass through Human Milk

In the September 2011 issue of Babytalk (a print magazine owned by The Parenting Group) there is a small but alarming passage on page 54 about flu vaccinations. It starts off fairly reasonable by quoting the CDC on advising mothers to get the flu shot earlier in the season to avoid illness from doctors’ offices. That makes sense if you choose to vaccinate.

But then the magazine reaches a new level of authority altogether when it bypasses medical research and the vaccine manufacturers to assert, “Since babies younger than 6 months aren’t yet old enough for the vaccine, nursing moms can pass the active ingredients through breast milk, while immunized care-givers reduce the infant’s exposure to the flu.” ~Emily Kruckemyer

Oracles, more powerful than any facts or studies, still exist apparently.

That’s a bit like wanting the best of both worlds. First is the assertion that the “active ingredients” are passed through mom’s milk. That is a confusing statement in and of itself. What are the active ingredients? Why plural? Is she referring to passing the flu through the milk, and if so, wouldn’t that mean deliberately exposing infants under 6 months to the flu virus? Is she referring to active ingredients as the “active” aspect of inactivated vaccines, namely, heavy metals used as adjuvants? Some of the adult flu vaccines contain Thimerosal in huge amounts (24.5mcg-26mcg). How would this be a benefit to a baby under 6 months?

Secondly, how come the mother can pass these active ingredients to the child, something we are to assume is beneficial, but then we are told other caregivers will not pass anything to the child? Even live-attenuated vaccines can potentially cause illness in the vaccinated individual, or that vaccinated individual can shed the virus and transmit it to others. With the flu, that means through sneezing, coughing and other saliva contact. You can’t have it both ways!

Unless you own one of these purdy animals, then you can have it any way you want!

What do the actual vaccine companies have to say about breastfeeding women? Seeing as they are the ones who make the vaccines, maybe we should read what they have to say! 

Every pamphlet has a small section in the beginning:
“Safety and effectiveness of XYZ have not been established in 
pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children. (8.1, 8.3, 8.4)”

Then you can see the same disclaimer for every company and every brand of flu vaccine:

8.3 Nursing Mothers
It is not known whether FLUARIX is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are
excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when FLUARIX is administered to a nursing woman

8.3 Nursing Mothers
It is not known whether FLUVIRIN® is excreted in human milk.  Because many
drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when FLUVIRIN®
 is administered to a nursing woman

8.3. Nursing Mothers
It is not known whether Fluzone or Fluzone Intradermal is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be
exercised when Fluzone or Fluzone Intradermal is administered to a nursing woman

8.3 Nursing Mothers
 It is not known whether FLULAVAL is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when FLULAVAL is administered to a nursing woman.

8.3 Nursing Mothers
It is not known whether FLUARIX is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are
excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when FLUARIX is administered to a nursing woman.

It is true that other organizations have their opinion on whether or not it is safe for a breastfeeding woman to vaccinate while nursing. Kellymom, for example, has compiled small bits of information from other writers or organizations on the topic, concluding that despite the unknown status, viral particles probably do not mass into the mother’s milk and/or pose a danger. The CDC has a similar stance, but provides more detail.

These are opinions and some people might feel confident enough in their belief of vaccine theory/safety to share them with others and to vaccinate while nursing. My primary goal is to point out what the vaccine manufacturers say due to there being NO scientific studies on this topic. You can believe what you want, or have any opinion you want. I have linked Kellymom and CDC on this topic to give you a rounded perspective. But I am urging you to be wary of anyone who is presenting opinions as established, medical fact. KNOW your facts to make an informed decision.

Milk, now with active flu vaccine ingredients? NOM NOM NOM I'll eat my toes instead!

Tackling a Common Vaccine Topic: More Vaccines for New Diseases

Join the Facebook page here.
Thanks to Holly Paz for asking about another common vaccine issue.

She was looking at the difference between the vaccine schedule of ages past and the current vaccine schedule. Someone told her, “Well there are soo many more diseases out now than there were back then, so these vaccines are NEEDED!"

Holly wonders, what is a thoughtful response to this?

First, if by new disease, the person literally means new disease, then try not to laugh. I will try my best. In keeping with giving the benefit of the doubt, though, perhaps the person meant new mutations/serotypes of the same diseases. This is definitely a concern for those who promote vaccine theory.

The short retort, especially if talking in person, would be: “That’s the consequence of widespread vaccination. Vaccinating a large portion of the population has driven serotype replacement and viral mutation, along with antibiotic resistance. Thanks to the vaccine program, we are now dealing with super bugs that can harm vaccinated and vaccine-free people. So, thanks a lot for ruining it for my family and basically the rest of mankind.”

The longer retort, if you think the person wants to have an open discussion and learn more or if you are communicating through email/online:

One example of serotype replacement is Pneumoccocal disease, covered by the PCV (pneumococal vaccine). The original vaccine brand name was Prevnar7, to indicate that it covered 7 strains. After the disaster of widespread vaccination with Prevnar7, vaccine companies came up with a solution: Prevnar13. Everyone who chooses to vaccinate now needs Prevnar13.

Sample news articles:

“A vaccine that has dramatically curbed pneumonia and other serious illnesses in children is having an unfortunate effect: promoting new superbugs that cause ear infections.”

”Cases of a life-threatening form of pneumonia that affects the young are rising rapidly in Britain. It now affects around 1,000 children a year. The cause of the increase is unknown but experts fear a vaccine in the immunisation programme could be contributing.”

Sample medical literature:

”The increase in bacterial colonization of the nasopharynx during AOM could be associated with an increase in AOM pathogens and theoretically can predispose PCV7-immunized children with AOM to a higher rate of antibiotic treatment failure or recurrent AOM.”

”These findings suggest a natural competition between colonisation with vaccine-type pneumococci and S aureus, which might explain the increase in S aureus-related otitis media after vaccination.”

”In the years following introduction of PCV7, a strain of S pneumoniae has emerged in the United States as an otopathogen that is resistant to all FDA-approved antibiotics for treatment of AOM in children.”

”The number of episodes attributed to serotypes that are cross-reactive with those in the vaccine was reduced by 51 percent, whereas the number of episodes due to all other serotypes increased by 33 percent.”

Five-fold increase in pediatric parapneumonic empyema since introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Incidence of pneumonia is not reduced by pneumococcal conjugate vaccine:

”The proportion of Gram-negative bacteria became 2-fold more frequent than S. pneumoniae in AOM in PCV7-vaccinated young children where PCV7 uptake was community-wide and supply was adequate.”

“However, immunization can also place selective pressure on the nasopharyngeal flora, promoting the emergence of new pathogens. A shift towards non-vaccineserotypes has been observed among vaccinees in several studies. 109 In South Africa, the carriage of non-vaccine serotypes was increased from 24% in controls to 36% in the vaccines group. A significant increase was seen in the carriage of serotypes 7 and 15, important causes of invasive disease.109”

If you want to use a classic vaccine example, you have for example, the extremely troubling situation with OPV (oral polio vaccine) and the VDPV (vaccine derived polio virus) not only mutating into a super scary version of paralytic polio, but also re-entering the general population. It’s killed people in Nigeria and is still being ignored or blamed on vaccine-free people.

Pro-vaccine mainstream link on this issue:


Or if you want to use a classic toxoid vaccine example, we can turn to the infamous Pertussis issue. The mutated strains are not only showing resistance to our current vaccines, but also to the antibiotics used to reduce transmission. (Antibiotics are given after diagnosis as the vaccine itself does not stop transmission and only reduces symptoms).

Mainstream link showing two-thirds of local cases were in vaccinated people:


In other words, the reasonable-sounding claim that it’s a parent’s personal decision [to force her child to be vaccinated] is shortsighted. Thanks to widespread vaccination, the eco-web of pathogens is worse than before, for EVERYONE involved, even those of us who are attempting to respect the bodily integrity of our children and let them choose what to inject into their healthy bodies. Thanks, thanks a lot, everyone.

So, what you do to my body can impact other children, too? *facepalm*

© Guggie Daly

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catholic Thoughts on a Whole Body and Bodily Integrity


SECTION TWO, Paragraph 6. Man.


362 The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once
corporeal and spiritual.  The biblical account expresses this reality in
symbolic language when it affirms that "then the LORD God formed man of
dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living being. Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.

363 In Sacred Scripture the term "soul" often refers to human life or the entire human person.
But "soul" also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of
greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God's image:
"soul" signifies the spiritual principle  in man.

364 The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a
human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is
the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ,
a temple of the Spirit:

     Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity.  Through his
     very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of
     the material world.  Through him they are thus brought to
     their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise
     freely given to the Creator.  For this reason man may not
     despise his bodily life.  Rather he is obliged to regard his body
     as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and
     will raise it up on the last day.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Paulist Press
Mahwah, New Jersey
Copyright 1994

Imprimi Potest
+ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Interdicasterial Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Republished from: http://www.catholicsagainstcircumcision.org/

Join the Catholics Against Circumcision Facebook page for community with likeminded Catholics:


Scripture, Catechism, Papal speeches and more:

Thoughts on healing for Catholics who circumcised:

A condensed resource list on circumcision and religion in general: http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2011/01/circumcision-and-religion-condensed.html

Abortion and Circumcision:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Confessions of a Mama who Birthed Prematurely 3 Times

© Amanda 2011. Amanda shares her journey of experiencing premature complications through 3 pregnancies and births. Trigger warning for those dealing with infant death, c-section trauma and infertility! 

”It's May of 2003 and I just found out I am pregnant with our first child. We have longed for this day for so long now. We have always dreamed of having a baby girl to name Faith. I'm only 19 at this time and do not know much about the whole process of pregnancy and birth. So I set up a doctor appointment. I tell him that my mom went into premature labor with me at 32 weeks. I ask him if we should check anything to make sure I do not have the same complication. 

He says I am fine. So being young and clueless I let it go. Fast forward to 26 weeks. It's time for my hubby to go to work, but my heart is telling me that he needs to stay home. I cry and cry and he says it's ok. He leaves for work and a half an hour later I notice I'm spotting blood. I call my mom. Within five minutes I'm gushing blood and having full-blown contractions. Paramedics are on their way. At this point I'm alone, in horrendous pain and lying in a pool of blood. Then I’m in the ambulance and I hear him on his phone telling the hospital we are on our way. He tells them she can't be in labor she is only 26 weeks. I scream at him and say this baby is coming now! We get to the hospital and I'm in the room.

The nurse checks me and says I'm fully dilated. The next thing I know, she has pulled my legs down and said you need to push now. Another nurse had monitors on me and was doing an ultrasound... There was no heartbeat and baby was breech. They tried turning her with no luck. They said I had to go in for an emergency c-section right away. The next thing I know, Baby is out but I never heard a cry. I scream, “Why isn't she crying” and they actually were quite rude to me in response to my question. The doctor snarked back, “Because she is so early.”

I was scared, in pain and a wreck. I remember the doctor asking me if I wanted something to calm me down and I said no I just want to see my baby. Well against my wishes they gave me something and the next thing I know I woke up in my room. (This whole process from spotting to birth happened within an hour and a half.) I can’t tell you how long it was before I actually got to see my baby. But when I did it was the best moment of my life. Miss Faith Rae was born 14 weeks too soon weighing 1 pound 12 ounces and measuring 13 inches long.

Her skin was dark because it was so thin. They said I couldn’t even touch her because it would hurt her. She had goggles on to cover her eyes and a million cords on her along with a breathing tube. I was so drugged up I only remember bits and pieces, but I do remember them saying if she makes it 24 hours her survival looks good. Well 24 hours passed so my hopes were high. Later the following evening they said she was not doing well. They said her lungs were bleeding because they were so premature. They tried everything to stop it but couldn't. So they unhooked her from all the tubes and placed her in my arms. That day I got to hold my daughter for the first and last time. Faith passed away in her mama’s arms looking into my eyes, and peacefully went to be with the Lord.

Now we are at October 2004. I am pregnant for a second time. Don’t ask me why on earth I went back to the same doctor, but I did. I went in for my first appointment and said, “What are we going to do differently this time so that I do not go into premature labor?” He actually responded by saying, “Nothing, everything will be fine.” That was all it took for me. I walked straight out of his office and never returned. He wasn’t there to deliver healthy babies; he was there to make money, period.

So I found a new doctor and told him my situation. Right away he said, “We are going to run tests to check your cervix.” I went in for an ultrasound and sure enough I had a weak cervix. Now the thought always crosses my mind. What if I would have had this doctor the first time around? Would my daughter still be here? Fast forward to 16 weeks. I had a cerclage put in. They stitched my cervix shut so I was able to carry full term. Fast-forward again to 36 weeks. I had my cerclage removed. Instantly I felt contractions begin. My body started the labor process right away. I went home with my family and husband and labored through contractions. Once they got close enough I went to the hospital. 

I arrived, but my doctor wasn’t there yet. About an hour later he called me on my room phone. He said, “Ok I’ll be there in an hour to do the C-section.” I replied, “Say WHAT???” He said, “Yes, with your prior c-section you require a c-section every time now.” (This is the part where I’m banging my head on the wall now for my stupidity.) I was in shock, asked no questions and hesitantly agreed. I hung up the phone and began crying my heart out. All I wanted to do was deliver my baby naturally. Now my hopes were shattered. I went in for surgery. After my epidural kicked in, I started to have a panic attack. I felt as if I could not breath and inhaling was getting shorter and shorter. It was one of the scariest things in my life.

Thanks to the good Lord above, my Isabella Marie was born at 36 weeks weighing 6 pounds 4 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. I went in telling them I wanted to breastfeed, but did not know how. I tried and could not get her to latch. They sent a nurse in one time after that and I still could not. They then brought me in a pump and said just pump your milk and bottle-feed her. I had no help, no one to teach me how to breastfeed my daughter. Although she still received my breast milk almost her entire first year, I lost out on a breastfeeding relationship.

Fast forward to August of 2007. We are pregnant with number 3. Same routine. I had my cerclage put in. But this time I started contracting at 30 weeks. Luckily, they were able to stop them and put me on meds to hold them off. Then at 33 weeks I began to labor again. They tried everything to stop them, but baby was ready to come out. Well guess what, my doctor was on vacation that week! They told me I would have the doctor who was filling in for him. Not happy, but ok.

Low and behold, guess who walks in? The doctor I had with my first born. At this point I’m having full-blown contractions. I’m a hysterical mess because I do not want to have another C section. (At the time, I still did not know any better. I did not know it was unnecessary or that I could do anything to change it.) He says we need to check your cervix. Here I am in full-blown labor and he wants to shove his whole arm up my vagina. The thought is going through my head all the time. Why is there a need to check my cervix when it is stitched shut? It’s not going to be dilated. What felt like forever finally ended. And to no surprise he said I wasn’t dilated.

I went into surgery just before midnight. Once again I had a horrible experience of anxiety. I honestly could feel them cutting me. I screamed for them to stop. I screamed, “I can feel it!” No one stopped. They all said, I was fine and couldn’t feel it. So my husband held my hand and tried to calm me as much as he could. I felt like I was in a movie and no one cared about what was happening to me.

Miss Adrianna Hope was born at 12:08 a.m. weighing 4 pounds 6 ounces. She went straight to the NICU. She was on a breathing tube for only 1 hour. She was our little fighter. She only spent about a week in the NICU before she was able to come home to us.

This is the first time I have publicly shared my story. It probably seems all rattled together. But this is a short version of how I remember it. Looking back on it all now, I’m sad that I did not better educate myself and hurt that I was so taken advantage of in the system. 

Two years after my third daughter was born we began trying to conceive again. Long story short, we tried for 2 years with no luck. Endometriosis had slowly crept into my life and consumed my body. To save you from another 3 pages, my story ends with a partial hysterectomy. I can never have children again. I have lost out on bringing my child into this world in a way I wanted to. I have lost out on breastfeeding. And I have lost my daughter. As much as I want to blame everyone in the situation, I have no one to blame but myself.

 My endometriosis has returned and now I’m being told I have to remove my ovaries as well. My husband and I are planning on adopting in the future. This is my story. Thank you for listening.


The first and last time holding Faith
Faith's funeral
My 3 girls

Amanda is a passionate voice for the voiceless in our culture.
She adamantly opposes violence against babies and speaks out
in the hopes that other mamas will gain the resources and
confidence required to protect their babies from violation and violence.

Confession of a Birth Rape Survivor

© 2011 Jennifer, last name withheld upon request.

Warning: the following guest post may be a trigger for rape and/or birth trauma. Jennifer shares her experience of birth rape, also showing us the callous way that others deny birth rape and the consequences of birth rape. Harassing comments will not be published.

"Our oldest, born a mere 14 months prior to our daughter, was born with a broken clavicle due to shoulder dystocia. We firmly believe his dystocia was caused by pitocin, constant fetal monitoring and laboring on my back for the duration of labor, none of which we later learned was needed. My ob/gyn told me not more than an hour after birth that I would need c-sections at each subsequent birth because my pelvis was too small. (I’m not a small lady!) So when we found out we were pregnant again, we did our research and made our opinion known at every prenatal, that despite doctors wishes, we would not be electing to have a cesarean delivery because the risks from that for baby and mama were much higher than the risk of another dystocia as we knew just what to do to avoid it again… avoid the unnecessary interventions! My husband and I decided to hire a doula to assist with the delivery.

The day my water broke, I called our doula who headed over later in the evening when my contractions picked up. After several hours of chit chatting between 7-minute apart contractions, she suggested I get up to do some lunges on the stairs to get labor moving and move it did! My contractions immediately went from 7 minutes apart to 1-2 minutes apart. After about half an hour of these contractions, my doula mentioned maybe it was time to head to the hospital since it was a half hour drive. I agreed and we made the long, contraction filled drive to the hospital.

Upon arrival, I sat in the hallway at the intake desk for five minutes trying to stay composed amidst my almost continuous contractions. I was then taken to a triage room to submit a pee sample and have my cervix checked. Neither my husband nor my doula were allowed to come back with me despite my telling the nurses I did not want to be separated and pleading with them to allow the two to come back. “I want my husband and doula with me,” I repeatedly asked, eventually yelling. Finally, after somehow managing a cervical check that I didn’t want in the first place and informing me what I already knew and told them, “there’s not much cervix left,” my husband and doula joined us in heading to the delivery room. Have you ever tried to pee in a cup and lie motionless on a table when you know you’re about to push a baby out? It’s not pleasant. Needless to say, I was very upset that I was separated from what I felt was the only support I had on my side! I still can’t understand why, after asking several times, I was not allowed to have my husband and doula present.

I labored for another five or ten minutes until I was ready to push. I was assisted onto the bed where I was promptly set up with fetal monitors and another vaginal exam, both very unwanted. I argued with the nurse to get the monitors off my belly and ended up taking them off myself with my doula. She helped because I couldn’t do it alone at that point and she was closer than my husband, who would have also done so. I then had to argue with the doctor who was beginning to perform a vaginal exam. I knew that my body was ready and willing to deliver our daughter and that any exam could potentially introduce new bacteria. It was also quite uncomfortable! (Even more than labor can be at this stage.) I asked him to “Please, get out of my vagina.” He did not. I repeated myself several more times as did my husband and doula, each time getting progressively more upset without using swear words or being belligerent. I couldn’t tell you how many times we all asked in total, but it was a lot. I’d say at least ten times. Finally, he stopped without pulling out his fingers. He just kept his fingers inside me, motionless. Without drugs, I could feel everything and that his fingers rested motionless between my baby’s head and the inside of my now non-existent cervix. Looking me in the eyes the doctor said, “You do not have to speak to me or my staff that way.” I repeated one last and heated time, “Get your fingers out of my vagina.” Oh I was livid! How dare this doctor think he has control over my vagina and my baby! He finally pulled out and backed away, asking, “Do you want to do this?” I nodded and he said, “Then let me do my job,” but my job was more important and I got down to the business of birthing our daughter who was out healthy and fine in only a few pushes.

After our daughter’s birth, I really didn’t think much into it other than I made out fine with no drugs and no c-section, contrary to the doctor’s original orders. I had a rough go of it, thought. I slowly slipped into a depression. I was functional, but barely, at times. I tried to brush it off as a joke, “that stupid doctor,” I’d say. About three months in, I realized what happened wasn’t funny. It wasn’t cool. What happened to me really did happen. I had been birth raped with my husband and doula watching and not able to do anything!

Now, many of you may have a hard time with the term birthrape and I understand and respect that. I, too, have seen the birth stories which use the term birthrape in ways I don’t feel is appropriate either. I don’t think this is different just because it happened to me now. This is different because someone put his fingers inside of me when I told him not to, wouldn’t remove them when I said no and demanded control over my body.

I had a beautiful birth and in the end, both mama and baby were beautiful and healthy, too. But this negativity looms over her birth because of the doctor’s actions.  What will I tell our daughter about her birth when she is old enough to ask? Will I leave it out? Will I lie? Will I tell her the truth? How will this affect my work as a doula? Will I be able to serve another woman if this man is her doctor? What will happen if I encounter a similar experience being done to another woman?

I have since been diagnosed with PTSD, or Post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ve had flashbacks, triggers, depression, anger and hopelessness.I have a hard time having sex with my husband. Sex is a part of a healthy marriage! Yes, there are nights where I enjoy it, some when I even instigate it now and it’s slowly getting better. But there are some nights when I just roll over and don’t want to be touched (beyond the normal breastfeeding mom of two not wanting to be touched phenomenon). Some nights I just have sex to keep him happy, out of obligation. Some nights I can only get half way through before it becomes a trigger for me and I have to stop. Or I’ll let him finish and just grin and bear it. Then cry about it later.

One night, my mom (a hairdresser) was cutting my hair. She chose to do a built-in bump-it to boost my hair a bit as I’ve been losing some hair (as typical, I think, in the postpartum period). To do this, she has to use a razor and pull it down and against my hair. As she was starting, I asked her to stop because it hurt more than I was expecting. She wouldn’t stop, and instead, kept saying I would be fine. I asked and asked her to stop. Finally, she was finished. But that was all I needed. It triggered my PTSD and I curled up in my bed and just cried next to my husband. Poor guy, he really doesn’t understand all that’s happening but wants so much to be supportive!

I have tried to seek out several options pertaining to the birth of our daughter. I do have a therapist I see who diagnosed me with PTSD. I have called the hospital where we delivered to complain about the care we received. That resulted in little more than a letter apologizing for the bad experience. The head nurse of the labor and delivery floor told me I needed to think on the positive since baby and I were both healthy and to basically get over it. She spoke with the doctor in question. He couldn’t remember the birth other than it being a quick labor (for him). He told her he’d be more than willing to meet with me and anyone I wished to accompany me at the hospital or his office at least.

First off, he doesn’t remember what he did to me and second, I don’t want to look at him right now! His picture on his office website only brings me to tears. I have talked to a lawyer who pretty much laughed me off the phone. After relaying my story to him, he asked me, “So, what did the doctor do wrong again?” When I told him briefly, again, about the unwanted encounter, he said I had no case. I plan to write the state board of medical licensure about the experience and also would like to take this matter to police in hopes that someone there will understand. Rape is rape whether it happened to satisfy sexual needs or to merely have control. He kept his fingers inside me against my will and desire. You may have said at the beginning, how is this birth rape? Another story of a woman taking things out of context. I ask you… How is this not birth rape? No means no."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Guest Post: God will never give you anything more than you can handle

God will never give you anything more than you can handle. Really?

"God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). Over time that promise has become abbreviated to "God will never give you more than you can handle." Like many others, I've derived comfort from these words and offered them as comfort to others.

  So, when I was going into labor with my third son, and things started going very wrong, I was sure God would provide the way of escape. But He didn't. The baby was turned very wrong, and he was stuck, and literally breaking my back with each contraction. Now I had given birth to two very big boys already.  I knew a little bit about what it was like to push through the pain and get it done. This time the pain was unlike anything I had ever experienced...a genuine torture that had me screaming at the top of my lungs, clutching at nurses with wide eyed terror. Nothing they did could stop it or help it. The face of the horrified doctor said it all. As my blood pressure plummeted, and I turned cold,  he believed that I had ruptured internally. (He said later regretted allowing me to attempt a natural delivery after a previous C-section with my medical issues.)  I had cheerfully convinced him the week before that the Great Physician had everything well in hand and not to worry!   But there I was, in terrible condition, heart monitor fluctuating wildly, turning white.  Another wave of excruciating pain came and I came to life again with a scream, "Help meeeeeee!!!" . It went on and on...far beyond my ability to endure. I longed for death. The cry of my heart in the moment was, "My God, why have you forsaken me?"

Like most bumper-sticker theology, this promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 appeals to our concerns about ourselves and our well-being. If I take Paul's words and God's faithfulness seriously, I must also look beyond my self-centeredness to the pain and severe testing others endure. What of the hungry, the abused, the victims of war?  Just how much does God expect us them cheerfully "endure"  and believe that it's not too much for them? What about Paul's own words in his next letter to the believers in Corinth where he says, "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, FAR BEYOND our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life."    What about Levi and I nearly dying through a torturous delivery? For days afterward I was numb with shock, not only dealing with a permanent back injury, but also with a brand new question mark on my own theology.

One needs to take a look at the verse that directly proceeds 1 Corinthians 10:13 to fully understand what Paul is talking about.  10:12 is "Therefore, let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."  Put that verse back-to-back with this one and it becomes evident that the underlying theme of verse 13 is NOT about facing hardships, trials, tragedies, and sufferings in life, but temptation -- namely, the allure to do wrong, to do evil, and how one can escape that allure (In fact, "temptation" is used in place of "testing" in most translations).    The key words in this verse are "he will also provide the way out".  Provide the way out of what? -- Temptation.  One is not provided the way out of a loved one's tragic death, our house burning to the ground, or back breaking labor.  These are examples of circumstances that God allows in our lives from time to time, but they are not temptations.  Look at Job and everything that happened to him -- and, by all accounts (Job 1:8), he always took the way out when tempted to do evil.

We say we want to be like Jesus, but we resist the very instruments God uses to fulfill that desire. Arthur Mathews, missionary to China held under arrest for ten years, put it this way, "We tend to look at the circumstances of life in terms of what they may do to our cherished hopes and convenience, and we shape our decisions and reactions accordingly. When a problem threatens, we rush to God, not to seek His perspective, but to ask Him to deflect the trouble. Our self-concern takes priority over whatever it is that God might be trying to do through that trouble... An escapist generation reads security, prosperity, and physical well-being as evidence of God's blessing. Thus, when He puts suffering and affliction into our hands, we misread His signals and misinterpret His intention. By convincing us that our suffering is undeserved or unnecessary the enemy of our souls succeeds in getting us to resent and resist the will and purpose of God. Jesus promised that we would have trials, and said that we must take up our cross and follow Him. It was a call to suffer because it is impossible to be holy apart from the redemptive, sanctifying fruit of suffering."

After surviving Levi's birth, my doctor said, "No more children".  As a medical professional he was convinced that I could not endure another event like that, and it was his sincere opinion that Ira and I should prevent any further conceptions. Friends and family agreed. We already had three sons, through some very dangerous deliveries. My low blood pressure problems, extreme reactions to anesthetics,  back injury,  C-section, infections,  and tendency to have 10 pound babies....weren't they all signs that God was saying "Enough"? Couldn't I use my brain and make the right decision for my own health as well as for my family?  The consensus of my advisers was, "You shouldn't have to suffer. There is a way of escape. You could have your tubes tied or he could get "fixed". It's the smart thing to do."

The picture below reflects the months of prayer that followed, I had a choice to make between conflicting statements in my heart. One would say, "I just can't take it anymore. I am afraid. I really need to limit my family size," and the other would say, "Not my will but Yours be done.  Children are a blessing and a reward from the Lord. I trust in the One who is faithful. Thou He slay me, yet I will praise Him." 

Have you ever felt a war like that going on for your soul?

Have you ever considered making your own "way of escape",  giving in to the bondage of making a decision based on fear?

That's why having Scripture tucked away in your heart is so important. The TRUTH is a powerful thing.  I took a leap of faith, with my life in my hands, and gave up birth control for good. My fourth son, Waylon, was delivered to me nine months later. I also lost three more children to miscarriage and felt the sting of worldly wise women who said, "I told you so" as they shook their heads.  But, through it all, the peace of God grew like a garden, beyond any storm.   Nellie, my only daughter, will tell you that she is also the glorious result of the truth winning out over lies, and faith triumphing over fear.  It is not possible to avoid suffering, but it is possible to experience the grace and peace of God in any and all circumstances of life.

Happy 13th Birthday, Levi

Nellie, here after Levi's birth experience 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chickenpox Vaccine and Shingles

I pulled this together to shine a different light on the shingles argument. Many people have most likely heard the common quip that "chickenpox vaccines prevent shingles!" Here are some links that you have a right to know about.

Here is the vaccine pamphlet, straight from Merck, which lists shingles as a reported side effect (herpes zoster):

Here is a good introduction to shingles from an authoritative source. Note that ANYONE, of ANY age, can develop shingles if they have been previously exposed to the virus from natural contraction or  been in contact with a vaccinated person, or from the vaccine itself.

Reactivation occurs due to being run down (or chronically ill for example) and from having low antibodies. What's concerning about vaccination is that it reduces normative lifelong exposure to the wild virus. Repeated exposure throughout life maintains proper antibody levels, which in turn prevents shingles.

This tool makes it easy to search the VAERS site. VAERS is a website run by the CDC and FDA that tracks vaccine injuries. Scientists estimate only 1-10% of reports make it onto the site. You can search by the chickenpox vaccine or shingles, or rash after vaccine, etc, to see what others have experienced:

“‎"vaccine responses could potentially reduce concerns about duration of vaccine efficacy.
These concerns are important because, if immunity were insufficient in adults, they might
be susceptible to more severe disease, and if immunity were insufficient in women who
subsequently become pregnant, their children might be more susceptible to congenital
varicella syndrome."”

A thorough review of the varicella vaccine and its safety profile:

”Chickenpox in the United Kingdom, where vaccination is not undertaken, has had a stable epidemiology for decades and is a routine childhood illness. Because of vaccination, chickenpox is now a rarity in the USA. In the UK vaccination is not done because introduction of a routine childhood vaccination might drive up the age at which those who are non-immune get the illness (chickenpox tends to be more severe the older you are), and the incidence of shingles may increase. The United Kingdom is waiting to see what happens in countries where vaccination is routine.”

”The results of a new study published in the October 1, 2003 issue of the European journal Vaccine indicate that a higher than expected number of shingles cases was reported among children with a previous history of chickenpoxĂ‚—approaching the incidence rate normally seen only in older adults. Results of the study suggest mass vaccination with varicella (chickenpox) vaccine may be responsible for this adverse effect.”

‎"Goldman's research supports that shingles, which results in three times as many deaths and five times the number of hospitalizations as chicken pox, is suppressed naturally by occasional contact with chicken pox."

‎"Among subjects with low anti-VZV titers, the frequency of clinical infection and immunological boosting substantially exceeded the 13%-per-year rate of exposure to wild-type varicella. These findings indicate that OkaVZV persisted in vivo and reactivated as serum antibody titers decreased after vaccination. This has salient consequences for individuals immunized with OkaVZV."

This study was done to attempt to exonerate the vaccine, but when you look at the results, what do you see?

”All of 57 vaccinees with breakthrough varicella, clinically diagnosed on the basis of a generalized maculopapular or vesicular rash, in which there was amplifiable DNA [corrected], had wild-type VZV infection based on analysis of viral DNA. The Oka vaccine strain of VZV was not identified in any of these cases. In contrast, in 32 patients with zosteriform rashes, the vaccine strain was identified in 22 samples, and the wild-type strain was identified in 10 samples.”

Here you can see some medical doctors discussing shingles presentation post-vaccination:

Personal commentary on the issue:

Related topics:

Merck’s chickenpox vaccine, Varivax, contains two human strains: MR-5 and WI-38:

Charred bits of shrink wrap found in vaccines, including the chickenpox vaccine:

"It was initially believed that the varicella vaccine would offer lifetime protection. But now we see older children and adults getting chickenpox, and it's more serious when you get it at that age."

Remember when this was NOT a deadly, scary, evil disease coming to get us?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Newborns are Stronger than Adults; It's a Personal Decision

“Getting it done is a personal choice. And anyways, I’d rather have it done to my son when he’s a baby and can’t remember instead of as an adult.”

If circumcision is a personal choice, then abide by that and leave it up to the person to choose. It’s his body, his penis and his choice.

(All hyperlinks open in a new window for your convenience).

Babies still remember their circumcisions and babies who experience circumcision have a strong reaction to later experiences of pain. Even if after getting older, the child cannot tangibly recall his circumcision, the body still remembers. Circumcision increases cortisol levels, reduces serotonin levels (connected to SIDS) and leaves scarring on his body, forever marking the man with the choice that someone made FOR him.

I have no idea why people argue that amputating a body part on a newborn is better than amputating a body part on a consenting, informed adult. If an adult cannot withstand it, then why would anyone in her right mind ever subject a newborn to it? Surgery is riskier, more painful and there are fewer surgical options for newborns than for adults.

For example, losing just a few ounces of blood as a newborn is considered a major hemorrhage and can result in death. Adults are able to lose a LOT more than a few ounces and still live.

Newborns are not given access to general anesthesia or prescription pain medication for circumcision, but an informed adult can request both of these.

Newborns will pee and poop on the open wound, increasing the risk of infection and causing additional post-op pain. Adults can be careful around the wound and keep it clean.

Newborns do not have a lot of body autonomy. They might accidentally kick their wound and they cannot choose a comfortable, pain-free position to eat and sleep. Adults can move to a new position if they are in pain and they can be very careful not to jostle or bump the wound.

Newborns can only cry and wiggle to communicate. Adults can verbally communicate when something feels bad or when it is too painful and they need more pain medication, or when they think something is wrong and want to see the doctor.

Amputating the prepuce (the medical term for foreskin) is more accurately done on an adult because the adult’s penis has finished growing. Amputating a newborn runs the risk of removing too much or too little of the prepuce. This can result in painful adhesions, or if too much is removed, as the penis grows, it might bend painfully, a complication known as chordee. Some men even report that the skin tears or is extremely tight and painful. The once “nice looking” circumcision turns out lopsided, twisted, bent or otherwise ugly. It can even be so bad that it impairs function, requiring surgery again as an older child or adult.

Routine circumcision is not medically necessary. No medical organization in the world, including the American medical organizations, recommends routine circumcision. The so-called benefits are controversial, minimal or even mythical. At the best, it’s a cosmetic procedure with risks. At the worst, it’s an impairing, disfiguring or even deadly surgery forced onto a non-consenting human who cannot fight back or say no.

Think it’s a PERSONAL decision? Then leave it up to the PERSON to decide how he wants his penis to look and work.