Thursday, March 23, 2006

Social studies

On the Netflix platter this week was Hotel Rwanda. I was remiss not to see it in the theaters, but I didn't b/c I knew it would hurt my heart. I didn't realize ahead of time that the director used nuance over slasher tactics when filming; in the last decade I've become pretty sensitive to gore. B/c it was rated PG-13 and J's seen those before, I decided to let him watch it with me for the historical and educational values.

Besides, I had to see it b/c I think Don Cheadle is one sexy mofo.

J was very interested, but got scared. At one point, he crawled around behind my back to peer over to watch. Like I've never seen him before, J was afraid to go to bed afterward. Unlike most kids, he is oblivious to violent images usually. He doesn't emulate the violence, it rolls off. Although I don't like that he plays/watches at his dad's, he can see someone getting shot or run over on Grand Theft Auto and not think it is the norm for life. He does not generalize. He has a huge conscience about such, but in part I always thought it was b/c he didn't internalize it. However, Hotel Rwanda internalized itself in him. He kept asking if it was real, not understanding the difference between news footage, news-like footage, and movie re-creation.

He did sleep better than he anticipated, but he said he woke up a number of times. Although he wanted to sleep with me, I made him sleep in his own bed, b/c I wanted to watch the special features and documentaries before getting the DVD back in the mail today. I could tell him the next morning how the story ended and that it was brighter for both the people and the country. I could tell him that the duration was only about 100 days, that a million people died during that time, that it happened 3 years before he was born, the people involved revisited the sites two years ago, and the movie came out last year. Facts like this seemed to help.

He, however, had so many questions -
*how could people do this to one another?
*what was the real reason for it? (b/c some arbitrary skin color/height/nose width issue imposed by the Belgians wisely made no sense to him)
*where else has genocide happened?
*why didn't the world react?
*how does this relate to our civil war?
*was our civil war over slavery?

Jeez, he's good for 8 years old.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wow! Coming up for air!

Look at this previous post of mine about Jennell Dickens' Baltimore quintuplets.

Then look at the last comment from none other than Jennell herself. It was made at 4am today. I am pleased that she does as any other good mother does: makes time for some surfing during or between late night feeds.

I am not sure of her slant on my writing, if she appreciated an impartial objective. Feel free to say more about that here, as it wasn't clear in her comment. That said, she didn't address too many of the issues presented. Nonetheless, she sounds very together for a 22 yr old with 5 children and an instant family. Further, she appreciated others coming to her defense.

B/c the 'links back' thing apparently isn't working for some routine Bloggity reason, she didn't see (per StatCounter) how I did come to her defense and succeeded in raising awareness to boot. I took Sarah Gilbert of Blogging Baby to task for her attitude in her subsequent article and the result was Sarah, in essence, publishing a retraction via her 'holiday spirit' giving to the needy article after that. I'd be dishonest if I didn't say that I'm curious about the pattern of donations.

Jennell, if you happen to read this, remember the old adage about publicity and it all being good. I'd read up on your situation several months ago and learned that a grocery store had taken your family under their wing providing substantial free products and they'd given your boyfriend a job. Also, I'd seen where a larger apartment was provided for your family. I realize that in the grand scheme of things, these are not huge corporate endorsements, but I would gauge them as significant anyway.

Bottom line, congrats to Jennell and her family for making it and thriving. We all wish you well.

Related posts, aka DIY 'Links Back' thing:

Mailbag day
As anyone who's been kind enough ever to send me e-mail can attest, I am a lousy correspondent. My intentions are good, as a screenshot of my mail program proves; I mark messages I plan to answer as unread to remind me to go back to ... posted by julie @ Tue Nov 22, 07:01:35 PM

What a difference a nod makes
I want to express appreciation for Churp, Churp posts being referenced by JennaM, Cecily, and Julie recently. StatCounter is experiencing a blissful kind of tired. Kind of makes me want a cigarette. Earlier this month, JennaM compiled a ... posted by Cricket @ Fri Nov 25, 02:16:00 PM

Quintuplets suffering because of me?
three of the dickens quintuplets with their mom and dadWhen I poked mild fun at the names Jennell Dickens selected for her quintuplets a few months ago, I had no idea I was creating such a maelstrom. Now Churp, Churp has discovered that ... posted by Sarah Gilbert @ Sat Nov 26, 09:08:00 PM

And the quints endorsement commentary evolved a life of its own
I wasn't sure how to contact Sarah Gilbert (to clarify: I thought about it, but didn't dig very much) to give her a courtesy call that I found an askance sort of reference in The Post to her quints name piece or that I was using her ... posted by Cricket @ Mon Nov 28, 10:31:00 AM

She had a change of mind
She humbled herself and wrote a Blogging Baby update, asking for donations for the Dickens quints. She went beyond making fun of their ethnic names, past photo criticism and blind racism, right back to the spirit that inspired my ... posted by Cricket @ Fri Dec 16, 12:08:00 AM

Nursing assistance - outline of what was provided; I am unsure if they were volunteers or were paid. (I still need to read the links there.)

Groceries/job: I can't find the link around Xmas that talked about the grocery store's involvement. Will look again later.

ETA - I want to stress that exposure for this family was great via the effects of my posts. From around the time of my original post to the fallout of it being referenced in a couple places, there were well over related 10,000 hits. Since that time, there are hits daily, usually via Julie's a little pregnant or occasionally through one of the Blogging Baby articles.

I'll cite another old adage: if each person just sent a dollar... I wouldn't guess Jannell would volunteer that they need it, but I feel certain they wouldn't turn it away.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My mothering parallel for the day

I don't care if I have to mop the goddamn floor with your sorry fucking ass, you're coming with me, you little shit.

Mei Xiang and Tai Shan, November 10

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Wrongful prenatal testing?

Have you heard of this "successful" wrongful birth suit in Ohio?

In Ohio and approved by their Supreme Court, there is a '"wrongful birth" suit against doctors by parents who say they would have aborted their child had they not been given inaccurate genetic counseling,' without considerations for the 'damages payable [which] should include the cost of raising the child through adulthood, plus pain and suffering, ' although 2 of the 4 justices felt that, too, was appropriate. As it is, the 4-3 decision limited such lawsuits to costs associated with a pregnancy and the birth of the child.

Okay, kinda, half way, mixed bag hooey on the decision, huh? Those justices really stepped up to the plate on that one. A fine line.

Although I'm not going on a rant, a quote in this article got under my skin: "It is simply a question of whether or not a person is better off dead than disabled," said Sen. David Goodman (R., Bexley). "I think it is an atrocious and unacceptable question to ask a jury or a judge, whether they should be playing God, basically."

There is now a bill in Ohio to try to give the medical profession the benefit of the doubt: "The Ohio bill protects doctors from suits alleging negligence in reading prenatal testings, failing to order such tests, or otherwise missing signs of trouble."

Further, "Six states, including neighboring Pennsylvania, have adopted prohibitions on wrongful birth suits brought by mothers, or "wrongful life" suits in cases brought by the children living with the defects."

"BACKGROUND: Helen Schirmer and her husband Richard wanted to have a child, but knew that Helen carried a genetic disorder known as Trisomy 22. While Helen did not suffer from the disorder, which causes mental retardation and multiple, severe physical disabilities, she knew there was a one-in-three chance that any child she bore would exhibit the active form, and that a son would be more likely than a daughter to do so....Specialists at the Children's Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) in Cincinnati who performed the test and interpreted the results informed the Schirmers that the fetus was probably female and exhibited the same inactive form of the Trisomy 22 trait as the mother....In September 1997, Helen delivered a son, Matthew, who was born with multiple, severe physical and mental impairments as a result of the active Trisomy 22 genetic defect. At the age of six, Matthew remained unable to speak, stand or crawl independently, and unable to feed, bathe or toilet himself. "

This Kentucky couple who used that Cincinnati hospital specifically wanted screen for a genetic defect that the mother has. That's not some shotgun blast diagnostic voodoo going on; that's one particular defect for which they wanted data. This case isn't just an oversight on broad, generic genetic testing. This is a case of error for one specific genetic disorder that could be passed on in some form. CHMC didn't even get the sex right.

I am guessing that the parents did chorionic villi testing and the medical professionals got the mother's tissue instead of the fetus' as the test indicated the same condition/gender as the mother. This should have been a red flag right away to practioners and, at the least, an amnio could have been done. Speculation, yes.

I do not see why a wrongful birth suit is wrong. It is as if parents of a fetus to not have the basic right to good, accurate healthcare. Why is this circumstance any different than any other medical malpractice? Negligence is negligence. And if one wants to argue that the fetus isn't a person, well, the parents are and they were the ones seeking care.

There is also a dilemma here regarding the personhood of a fetus. If this was a Republican bill (plus that one Democrat) in Ohio, it doesn't seem to add up with the common Republican and Religious Right agenda. (I realize the two are not necessarily the same.) Another fine line. If fetuses are all gifts worthy of being born, why are they not worthy of having competent healthcare and diagnostic techniques? And why are those doing testing on the fetus exempt from malpractice with mistakes?

If the bottom line is to not abort, then, honestly, R&RR should outlaw prenatal testing completely. That would be preventative in a twofold means: nobody would know about fetal anomalies until too late and nobody would be able to abort on that premise.

So watch out, ladies. They want your dildocams.

To be clear, tho, not all prenatal diagnoses are merely information on whether to abort or not. In the case of open NTDs, knowledge of that ahead of time ensures the proper team is available at birth. It also would indicate a c-section, as much of the damage done to NTDs is in the birthing process. See, R&RR, not all prenatal testing is bad.

Thank goodness Wal-Mart is helping to nip unwanted pregnancies in the bud. R&RR lost on that account. I'm glad, b/c it pains me to get NARAL emails all the time and feel so helpless.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Unsentimental me thinks this is rather sweet

[Meg] Ryan, 44, said her time away from Hollywood was not only to focus on herself, but also to help others. To that end she began working with an international organization called CARE, which is dedicated to wiping out poverty in the poorest corners of the world by building up bonds between women.

She also adopted her baby girl from China, which fulfilled a dream that began 10 years ago. But Ryan first wanted to wait until her son Jack, 13, with Quaid, was older.

Ryan first named the girl Charlotte, but quickly realized that name didn't fit her and changed it. "I thought she was Charlotte and she's just not," Ryan said. "She's a Daisy. She's got the most open, beautiful, honest face you'll just ever see."

Spoken like a true mom in love. I don't know about you, but it helps me forget the nanny baby toter, Quaid, Crowe, and awful plastic surgery perpetual fake youth stuff just a little.