Saturday, September 29, 2007

Get Up - Climate Change

Today, It's My Birthday. Happy Birthday To Me.

Yep, that's right! 24 years ago my mama gave birth to me. Happy birthing day mama. I am planning on watching a bit of footy (go Cats) and probably going to head to ikea at some point. Yay. Right, off to have a day in the sun. x B

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Morning Coffee Update

Here are a couple of pics of the lads, just so you can see how beautiful they are.
We are spending the day having a friend and her son over as it's raining and playgroup did not seem appealing today. Will probably spend most of the morning on the phone making appointment bookings and trying to get the car in for a service.
We have another busy week planned, and as I am working again the weeks revolve around keeping the domestic world under control.
This weekend is my birthday, but as with every year it is overshadowed by the AFL Grand Final, so we won't be doing anything.
We are making plans this week to go to Dongara for Ava's first birthday on the first weekend of November, and Will is going to have a joint birthday with her. Can't wait, as it will be our first trip in a LONG time. We get to sit on the beach and doing absolutely nothing for 3 days, I can't wait!!!
Andrew has a week off this week, so I think he is planning on doing some "Dad and boys stuff", like going swimming and playing golf. It will be the first break he has had since before Tristan was born, so it's going to be awesome to just slow down for a few days and really get to hang out as a family of 5.
Well, off to make a coffee and try and attack some of the washing pile (also known as Mt Foldmore) that is staring at me, begging to be folded. Hope everyone has a fantastic week, and I will update again soon.
Love to all.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Following the Money - Media and Healthcare

A woman recently did a little bit of late night research into where the money for our private hospitals comes from. When you read anything in the press we all know that it presents and entirely biased view as nothing can exist in vacuum, but to what extent does what we are reading about the current health crisis and the push for private health care have more to do with making the rich richer in this country? Have a read of her post that I happened across:

So I was snooping around. 60 Minutes is owned by ninemsn, a joint 50/50 venue of Microsoft and PBL Media. Also owned by PBL Media is the Nine Network, and the Nine Network's news service assists in production of 60 minutes. PBL Media's parent companies are PBL and CVC. CVC owns 6 Australian companies, two of which are in the health sector - Affinity Health (Hospitals) and DCA (Medical Services) as well as controls the majority share (75%) in PBL Media. CVC is very dodgy. Very! But anyway thats not what caught my eye. Affinity was bought out by Ramsay Healthcare, the largest private hospital group in Australia. Out of idle curiosity I went to see who ran Ramsay and found their board of directors. 3 of the 8 Directors on Ramsay's board of directors are involved with Prime Television Limited to the extent they are also on Prime Television's board of directors. One's the fucking chairman, another's the deputy chairman and the third's a director.Prime Television has a joint venue with.... NINE NETWORK where Nine would provide programming and marketing. It seems to me that the board running Ramsay Healthcare would carry some influence with Prime Tv - and thus Channel Nine and other Australian news programs. Check out the other directors. They're on industry, investment, media and telecommunications board committees, one's even on a Pharmaceutical company. The Becker Group is a massive tv and film company. I'm seeing Big Money everywhere here. Billions. AND they're the men running the largest private hospital group in Australia. Guess whose interests they'll have at heart?

So the private health sector is predominantly controlled by the same people who financially control the media representation of that sector and people who have a vested interest in the perpetuation of an unequal, classist health care system in this country. Look at this in terms of just one aspect of the private health care services. Maternity care. Within the last 4 years of reading the print media here in Perth and occasionally nation media publications, it has been apparent that the pervading opinion is that our public health system is in crisis. But whose opinion is this? And is it really representative of the opinion of the people who utilise the public health system, or is it a manufactured belief due to the media pressure placed on the public system in an uncloaked attempt to promote the private health care providers and their services? Is what we read in our media really about a system struggling, or is it an advertisement for a user pays system? There have been countless articles and medical editorials printed in The West Australian that I have noticed in the last four years that have done nothing to dispel the common belief that public maternity services are dangerous, under-funded, inadequate and would be detrimental to most women opting to be a public patient in a maternity care setting in this state. But is that the truth? How do we measure maternity care? Is it the lack of intervention, or is the prevalence of intervention in a normal, physiological, biological function of the human female? Or is it the availability of intervention? Is it the aesthetics of the setting? Is it the maternal recollection and satisfaction with the experience that we use as a measure? Regardless, if you are to read the print media you would think that women who have to use or choose to use the public maternity services here are taking a great risk, not only for themselves but for their babies. But is this reflected in the Perinatal Statisitics? No. It’s not. Ahh, but surely high risk, high dependency mother’s choose private obstetric care and therefore the private maternity care providers statistics for perinatal outcome are skewed, and the more intervention that was both available and used in a woman’s birth could only cause to reflect that it must have been necessary and they were bloody lucky they chose (the argument of choice is another one I will refer you on for) that model of care, for heaven forbid if they had been a public patient, they may not have had access to a particular intervention. But did they really need it? Or was it all part of the “service”? Here is the research that debunks that flawed theory: Private Patients Get More Birth Interventions (2000). The fulltext of the research can be seen here: Obstetric Interventions Between Public and Private Patients (2000). Read the reports in the news media, and read that our health care system is in crisis, and then watch as people flock to the private care providers in droves. But wait, the men and women with the ultimate control of what we read in that same news media, are also the men and women who stand to gain the most significantly financially. So, does that mean we are not reading what is reality. Is the media weighting a bias between the public and private health care debate? You bet your bottom dollar they are. They undoubtedly set the agenda for what we read. “Media will serve the interests of whoever owns and controls them- whether this be private individuals interested in profit or governments interested in political control” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2005). Well, there you have it. But wait, even in Ramsay’s own published literature it states the same:

The Ramsay Way : · We are caring, progressive, enjoy our work and use a positive spirit to succeed · We take pride in our achievements and actively seek new ways of doing things better · We value integrity, credibility and respect for the individual · We build constructive relationships to achieve positive outcomes for all · We believe that success comes through recognizing and encouraging the value of people and teams

· We aim to grow our business while maintaining sustainable levels of profitability, providing a basis for stakeholder loyalty

Oh wait, you’re kidding? Profitability? These are women and babies we are talking about here, not stocks and bonds. Surely they aren’t making a profit on bringing our children into the world! HA, oh to be so naive. Every intervention performed on a birthing woman is remunerated by Medicare, and then topped up by private health insurers where a woman births as a private patient. So the private health service provider is running a business, even it if happens to be the business of birth. The propaganda spreads of how desperate our public maternity services are only serve to reinforce the belief that private maternity cover is not only the responsible choice, but also the “safer” choice. People like safe. I don’t blame them. I just have a very different idea of what safe really is. I also like to question what I am reading, and who determines that I should read it. Who decides that we should read such damning reports on the public system? Oh, they would be the people who have control over the private sector and stand to have the most to gain out of a mass exodus of birthing women from using public services, to utilising the “safer” private option… um yeah right. So read your paper, have your morning cup of tea. But remember, you are not reading what you choose to read, you are reading what someone else intends you to read. Be mindful of the media homogenisation that advertises the shortcomings of public obstetric care to covertly to line the pockets of private health bigwigs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Tools of a Revolutionary - What Will You Do?

I have taken this from another blog, and posted it here to spark some thought. I found it stirring.

Taken from:

What will you do? The tools of a revolutionary. There comes a point when everyone needs to make a conscious decision to make changes that need to be made. How many times have we talked about small steps, how many times have you seen that strategy in magazines, online or in newspapers; how often have you already used the small steps strategy? We all know small steps work.Everyone in the world need to change a little, or a lot, to become greener. We need to change our idea that there is a product for everything; we have to stop buying the mountain of products that will end up in landfill or will pollute in some way. Everyone has a part to play in this, everyone needs to help.It doesn't matter if you can afford to buy lots of electricity or water, or if you can buy new clothes, shoes, paper plates and napkins or a million other products that harm the planet, until the cows come home, we all need to stop doing it. And we need to do it because it's the right thing to do - it is important, it will help, every small step does.So today my friends, I want you to commit to your change. I want you step up today and decide that even if you haven't done anything yet for your planet, and especially if you have, today I want you to tell me in the comments box what small step will start or continue you along the road to a greener life. I want you to tell me about your change and how it will affect your life. Please don't close this blog down now and walk away. Today is the day when instead of just knowing that something needs to be done, you start doing it.I commit to stop using tea bags. From now on I will use up the organic black tea bags I have in the pantry, then I will only buy loose tea. I have some my metal tea containers that I can use loose tea in that will be similar, but not quite as convenient, as a tea bag. Loose tea is cheaper and better than tea in bags, so I win on that aspect, but if lack of convenience is the price I pay to stop wasting all that filter paper, string, a label and one staple for every cup of tea, that, my friends, is the price I will payI want every one of you to email this post to a friend so we can get a million small steps happening. I want you to help me tell as many people as possible that we are doing this. And, most of all, I want to know what you will do.

Posted by Rhonda Jean at 13:28 30 comments

Now for me, this is about small steps, leading to bigger change. We are doing "small stuff" like recycling, teaching the kids to not waste their drawing paper, find household items that can be re-used, but our biggest commitment to this has been having our car gas converted. I am making an effort to stop the cycle of being a perpetual consumer, and I am starting to get serious about minimising my footprint that I leave on this earth. Tristan wears cloth nappies, my children wear hand me down clothing (well when it's offered), I breastfeed (which if you actually look at the green-ness of it, is one of the most environmentally friendly things that I do). My aim for the next 12 months is to reduce, reuse and recycle as much in my life as possible for a beginning greenie. If you have any fantastic ideas or inspiration, please pass it on...

A birth that was JUST A BIRTH.

A birth that was JUST A BIRTH.

I will come back to edit this with my version (as in my perspective), but for now, this is my birth story, as witnessed by my three doulas and my husband. This is the midwife's version of events: 21/07/07 21:20 Care taken over. Brooke contracting 3:10, strong by pt reaction. Sounds pushy. Labetalol 100mg given. Standing. FHH 130-150, no decels audible before, during or after a contractions. 21:30 Consent given for intermittent monitoring. Consultant review: 1st delivery c/s, 2nd delivery SVD at home. This pregnancy polyhydramnios. Wants non standard care. 22:00 Brooke coping well with contractions. 3:10 lasting 60-90 seconds. FHH 150-160. No decels audible post contraction. Baby active. P.U.I.T. Membranes remain intact. Doulas very supportive. Husband Andrew also present. 22:30 Discussed with Brooke her consent for VE once in active labour. At present she does not consent for VE. Says she wants to wait a bit longer. 22:35 Brooke breathing well through. May want to use bath soon. Running same. 23:05 Brooke in bath. 23:30 In bath still FHH 140bpm. 23:50 Sounding pushy +++. FHH 160bpm. No decels. 23:52 Head d.elivered in caul. 23:53 SVD Boy. 23:59 Out of bath. 22/07/07 00:40 (Written in retrospect). Placenta delivered physiologically at 00:30. Cut by support person. Babe skin to skin. Breastfeeding.


Well here I am beginning a blog. Shock horror... I am entering the cyberspace chaos. Today, is beautiful. Spring has arrived in full Perth glory and the boys have had an amazing day playing with friends down Fremantle way, and they are all currently napping on the couch, giving me some much needed silence for a bit before we enter the nightly mayhem. I am creating this blog as a space for my family and friends to check in on me and the boys, as I am finding that I am just far too busy to make many phonecalls, write emails or catch up with people. Our days are full of playing and being out and active, and keeping the house under control. Tristan is 9 weeks old tomorrow, and is an amazing little man. So chilled out, and is just a pleasure to be around right now. He is currently asleep on my lap with his mohawk looking spunky in his stripy leg warmers. Lochlain is 2 now, and a real little man. An amazing kid, so sparkly and so full of expression. He is really coming along now with catching up on a few things and has decided that he is ready to toilet train now, and as the weather is getting warmer, we are all stoked to let him roll with it as he is comfortable. Will, my threenager. Geez, he is a big kid now! He just wants to play, play, play. Hardcore energy that one. Keeps me busy and loves to be out and about and hanging out with playgroup friends. He is due to start kindy next year! YAY!! Ahhh, my peace was shortlived. Tristan is looking for *boob*. Stay tuned.