Saturday, November 15, 2008

Big Babies

I got my story published here, it's advice and support for women who've birthed babies larger than 10lbs. You can find my story here: http://www.bigbaby.org.uk/big_baby_birth_stories__hospital_1.html Scroll down. Hope you're all keeping well. I'm too busy at the moment to blog much, but will update soon. Promise. Got a few projects hapenning ;-).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life As We Know It

A snapshot or three of life for us right now... a blooming garden, trinkets from afar, trips away and growing boys.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

5 Reasons to Stop Saying 'Good Job!'

By Alfie Kohn
NOTE: This article was published in Young Children, September 2001;and, in abridged form (with the title "Hooked on Praise"), in Parents Magazine, May 2000.
Hang out at a playground, visit a school, or show up at a child’s birthday party, and there’s one phrase you can count on hearing repeatedly: "Good job!" Even tiny infants are praised for smacking their hands together ("Good clapping!"). Many of us blurt out these judgments of our children to the point that it has become almost a verbal tic. Plenty of books and articles advise us against relying on punishment, from spanking to forcible isolation ("time out"). Occasionally someone will even ask us to rethink the practice of bribing children with stickers or food. But you’ll have to look awfully hard to find a discouraging word about what is euphemistically called positive reinforcement. Lest there be any misunderstanding, the point here is not to call into question the importance of supporting and encouraging children, the need to love them and hug them and help them feel good about themselves. Praise, however, is a different story entirely. Here's why.
1. Manipulating children. Suppose you offer a verbal reward to reinforce the behavior of a two-year-old who eats without spilling, or a five-year-old who cleans up her art supplies. Who benefits from this? Is it possible that telling kids they’ve done a good job may have less to do with their emotional needs than with our convenience? Rheta DeVries, a professor of education at the University of Northern Iowa, refers to this as "sugar-coated control." Very much like tangible rewards – or, for that matter, punishments – it’s a way of doing something to children to get them to comply with our wishes. It may be effective at producing this result (at least for a while), but it’s very different from working with kids – for example, by engaging them in conversation about what makes a classroom (or family) function smoothly, or how other people are affected by what we have done -- or failed to do. The latter approach is not only more respectful but more likely to help kids become thoughtful people. The reason praise can work in the short run is that young children are hungry for our approval. But we have a responsibility not to exploit that dependence for our own convenience. A "Good job!" to reinforce something that makes our lives a little easier can be an example of taking advantage of children’s dependence. Kids may also come to feel manipulated by this, even if they can’t quite explain why.
2. Creating praise junkies. To be sure, not every use of praise is a calculated tactic to control children’s behavior. Sometimes we compliment kids just because we’re genuinely pleased by what they’ve done. Even then, however, it’s worth looking more closely. Rather than bolstering a child’s self-esteem, praise may increase kids’ dependence on us. The more we say, "I like the way you…." or "Good ______ing," the more kids come to rely on our evaluations, our decisions about what’s good and bad, rather than learning to form their own judgments. It leads them to measure their worth in terms of what will lead us to smile and dole out some more approval. Mary Budd Rowe, a researcher at the University of Florida, discovered that students who were praised lavishly by their teachers were more tentative in their responses, more apt to answer in a questioning tone of voice ("Um, seven?"). They tended to back off from an idea they had proposed as soon as an adult disagreed with them. And they were less likely to persist with difficult tasks or share their ideas with other students.In short, "Good job!" doesn’t reassure children; ultimately, it makes them feel less secure. It may even create a vicious circle such that the more we slather on the praise, the more kids seem to need it, so we praise them some more. Sadly, some of these kids will grow into adults who continue to need someone else to pat them on the head and tell them whether what they did was OK. Surely this is not what we want for our daughters and sons.
3. Stealing a child’s pleasure. Apart from the issue of dependence, a child deserves to take delight in her accomplishments, to feel pride in what she’s learned how to do. She also deserves to decide when to feel that way. Every time we say, "Good job!", though, we’re telling a child how to feel. To be sure, there are times when our evaluations are appropriate and our guidance is necessary -- especially with toddlers and preschoolers. But a constant stream of value judgments is neither necessary nor useful for children’s development. Unfortunately, we may not have realized that "Good job!" is just as much an evaluation as "Bad job!" The most notable feature of a positive judgment isn’t that it’s positive, but that it’s a judgment. And people, including kids, don’t like being judged.I cherish the occasions when my daughter manages to do something for the first time, or does something better than she’s ever done it before. But I try to resist the knee-jerk tendency to say, "Good job!" because I don’t want to dilute her joy. I want her to share her pleasure with me, not look to me for a verdict. I want her to exclaim, "I did it!" (which she often does) instead of asking me uncertainly, "Was that good?"
4. Losing interest. "Good painting!" may get children to keep painting for as long as we keep watching and praising. But, warns Lilian Katz, one of the country’s leading authorities on early childhood education, "once attention is withdrawn, many kids won’t touch the activity again." Indeed, an impressive body of scientific research has shown that the more we reward people for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward. Now the point isn’t to draw, to read, to think, to create – the point is to get the goody, whether it’s an ice cream, a sticker, or a "Good job!"In a troubling study conducted by Joan Grusec at the University of Toronto, young children who were frequently praised for displays of generosity tended to be slightly less generous on an everyday basis than other children were. Every time they had heard "Good sharing!" or "I’m so proud of you for helping," they became a little less interested in sharing or helping. Those actions came to be seen not as something valuable in their own right but as something they had to do to get that reaction again from an adult. Generosity became a means to an end.Does praise motivate kids? Sure. It motivates kids to get praise. Alas, that’s often at the expense of commitment to whatever they were doing that prompted the praise.
5. Reducing achievement. As if it weren’t bad enough that "Good job!" can undermine independence, pleasure, and interest, it can also interfere with how good a job children actually do. Researchers keep finding that kids who are praised for doing well at a creative task tend to stumble at the next task – and they don’t do as well as children who weren’t praised to begin with. Why does this happen? Partly because the praise creates pressure to "keep up the good work" that gets in the way of doing so. Partly because their interest in what they’re doing may have declined. Partly because they become less likely to take risks – a prerequisite for creativity – once they start thinking about how to keep those positive comments coming. More generally, "Good job!" is a remnant of an approach to psychology that reduces all of human life to behaviors that can be seen and measured. Unfortunately, this ignores the thoughts, feelings, and values that lie behind behaviors. For example, a child may share a snack with a friend as a way of attracting praise, or as a way of making sure the other child has enough to eat. Praise for sharing ignores these different motives. Worse, it actually promotes the less desirable motive by making children more likely to fish for praise in the future. *Once you start to see praise for what it is – and what it does – these constant little evaluative eruptions from adults start to produce the same effect as fingernails being dragged down a blackboard. You begin to root for a child to give his teachers or parents a taste of their own treacle by turning around to them and saying (in the same saccharine tone of voice), "Good praising!" Still, it’s not an easy habit to break. It can seem strange, at least at first, to stop praising; it can feel as though you’re being chilly or withholding something. But that, it soon becomes clear, suggests that we praise more because we need to say it than because children need to hear it. Whenever that’s true, it’s time to rethink what we’re doing.
What kids do need is unconditional support, love with no strings attached. That’s not just different from praise – it’s the opposite of praise. "Good job!" is conditional. It means we’re offering attention and acknowledgement and approval for jumping through our hoops, for doing things that please us. This point, you’ll notice, is very different from a criticism that some people offer to the effect that we give kids too much approval, or give it too easily. They recommend that we become more miserly with our praise and demand that kids "earn" it. But the real problem isn’t that children expect to be praised for everything they do these days. It’s that we’re tempted to take shortcuts, to manipulate kids with rewards instead of explaining and helping them to develop needed skills and good values.
So what’s the alternative? That depends on the situation, but whatever we decide to say instead has to be offered in the context of genuine affection and love for who kids are rather than for what they’ve done. When unconditional support is present, "Good job!" isn’t necessary; when it’s absent, "Good job!" won’t help. If we’re praising positive actions as a way of discouraging misbehavior, this is unlikely to be effective for long. Even when it works, we can’t really say the child is now "behaving himself"; it would be more accurate to say the praise is behaving him. The alternative is to work with the child, to figure out the reasons he’s acting that way. We may have to reconsider our own requests rather than just looking for a way to get kids to obey. (Instead of using "Good job!" to get a four-year-old to sit quietly through a long class meeting or family dinner, perhaps we should ask whether it’s reasonable to expect a child to do so.) We also need to bring kids in on the process of making decisions. If a child is doing something that disturbs others, then sitting down with her later and asking, "What do you think we can do to solve this problem?" will likely be more effective than bribes or threats. It also helps a child learn how to solve problems and teaches that her ideas and feelings are important. Of course, this process takes time and talent, care and courage. Tossing off a "Good job!" when the child acts in the way we deem appropriate takes none of those things, which helps to explain why "doing to" strategies are a lot more popular than "working with" strategies. And what can we say when kids just do something impressive? Consider three possible responses:* Say nothing. Some people insist a helpful act must be "reinforced" because, secretly or unconsciously, they believe it was a fluke. If children are basically evil, then they have to be given an artificial reason for being nice (namely, to get a verbal reward). But if that cynicism is unfounded – and a lot of research suggests that it is – then praise may not be necessary.* Say what you saw. A simple, evaluation-free statement ("You put your shoes on by yourself" or even just "You did it") tells your child that you noticed. It also lets her take pride in what she did. In other cases, a more elaborate description may make sense. If your child draws a picture, you might provide feedback – not judgment – about what you noticed: "This mountain is huge!" "Boy, you sure used a lot of purple today!"If a child does something caring or generous, you might gently draw his attention to the effect of his action on the other person: "Look at Abigail’s face! She seems pretty happy now that you gave her some of your snack." This is completely different from praise, where the emphasis is on how you feel about her sharing.* Talk less, ask more. Even better than descriptions are questions. Why tell him what part of his drawing impressed you when you can ask him what he likes best about it? Asking "What was the hardest part to draw?" or "How did you figure out how to make the feet the right size?" is likely to nourish his interest in drawing. Saying "Good job!", as we’ve seen, may have exactly the opposite effect. This doesn’t mean that all compliments, all thank-you’s, all expressions of delight are harmful. We need to consider our motives for what we say (a genuine expression of enthusiasm is better than a desire to manipulate the child’s future behavior) as well as the actual effects of doing so. Are our reactions helping the child to feel a sense of control over her life -- or to constantly look to us for approval? Are they helping her to become more excited about what she’s doing in its own right – or turning it into something she just wants to get through in order to receive a pat on the head? It’s not a matter of memorizing a new script, but of keeping in mind our long-term goals for our children and watching for the effects of what we say. The bad news is that the use of positive reinforcement really isn’t so positive. The good news is that you don’t have to evaluate in order to encourage.
Copyright © 2001 by Alfie Kohn. This article may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained in order to reprint this article in a published work or in order to offer it for sale in any form. Please write to the address indicated on the Contact page at www.alfiekohn.org.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Story of Stuff

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
Find out more at The Story of Stuff.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Other Side of the Glass

Finally, A Birth Film For Fathers.

This is a ten minute YouTube version of the fund raising video for the film, "The Other Side of the Glass. "An 18 minute version, the Introduction, is available on my blog, Hospital Birth Debate for a donation of $15 or more. The complete fund raiser trailer is an 18 minute INTRODUCTION that expands upon the information presented in this trailer. It will provide the basic information men and women need to have to make birth safer -- wherever they give birth. It is designed for women and men to present to their caregiver -- midwife, nurse, or doctor; and for childbirth educators, midwives and doctors to show to expectant men and women. The 18 minute Introduction will be the beginning of the final long-version film. The final full-length film will provide the entire story with experts sharing their knowledge and science to support the premise of the film: Babies are fully conscious, fathers are disempowered by the medical machine but can become empowered with this information to protect their babies during birth. Finally, and significantly, most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

National Caesarean Awareness Day

Wishing love and healing to all those affected by caesarean.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Figures Mask True Pregnancy Death Rate

From the Sydney Morning Herald

THE number of women who die as a consequence of pregnancy or childbirth may be nearly twice as high as shown in official figures, which capture only one-third of suicides in the year after giving birth, according to NSW analysis that reveals the true toll of post-natal depression. Suicide was the leading cause of death between six weeks and a year after giving birth or having a termination, followed by violence and heart attacks, according to an examination by researchers from the University of NSW of a seven-year period ending in 2001. Each of the 76 deaths during the period was classified as being probably linked - either directly or indirectly - to the recent pregnancy."Many of these deaths were among vulnerable women post-pregnancy and are an important group of often preventable deaths," said the leader of the study, Elizabeth Sullivan, from the University's National Perinatal Statistics Unit. Official statistics only link death with recent pregnancy if it occurs within six weeks of the pregnancy ending - the point at which women are usually discharged from formal maternity services, Associate Professor Sullivan wrote in the Australian And New Zealand Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Her findings showed monitoring should continue beyond the six-week period, "in recognition of the ability of modern medical care to delay death following severe complications and of the importance of deaths from mental illness in the year following pregnancy and childbirth". She matched state death records against records of new mothers and found 23 suicides that occurred after six weeks. In addition to the 76 who died later in the first year, Associate Professor Sullivan found 97 died within six weeks of their pregnancy ending, including 15 who had not been previously recorded in the state's maternal death statistics - probably because doctors did not mention the recent pregnancy on death certificates. James King, an obstetrician and a past chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Maternal Mortality, said the NSW analysis highlighted inadequacies in Australia's system for recording pregnancy-related deaths. Professor King said the change in the demographic profile of mothers - who were now more likely to be older, overweight and to have a caesarean section than previous generations - meant accurate surveillance of death and serious ill health was essential. The current system of compiling inconsistent state records into a national report was unreliable. Monitoring of pregnancy-related deaths has been the responsibility of federal health department agencies, and its future funding is uncertain. In a preface to the most recent national report on the issue, the director of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Penny Allbon, wrote that it was "concerning that no resources have been identified to sustain and improve this reporting in the future". A professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Australian National University and president of Women's Hospitals Australasia, David Ellwood, said accurate reporting would require statutory powers for investigators to request medical records from state health departments, to independently assess the cause of death.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Technology - For Better or For Worse?

Thanks Hathor, for saying what I wish I could say so eloquently without ranting.

Celebrations of Dad

This is my Dad. This photo was taken the week he became a Poppy. He became a dad nearly 25 years ago now.
Being my dad, we've had our moments. I am shamelessly known as a Daddy's Girl, but I have become my own woman in more recent years. He's home for the week, and spent Father's day with his youngest kids, and I felt a pang of jealousy, I think it's because I haven't seen him since January. No doubt when we do catch up we'll argue, and bicker, and laugh, and poke fun at each other, I'll mention his trucker gut, and he'll mention my arse. Grumpy bear, that's my Da. My own husband, he's celebrating Father's Day with his own father, and has taken the two big lads camping. They've gone to Yanchep (as I'd guessed they would). Tents, torches, and the new OOT (ute). Uncle Simon has joined them, with Taffleen. Grandad looked excited at the chance to get the boys out in the bush again, I bet they're having an absolute blast. How could time away with this bloke be anything but? It's last days for Fleen as an only child. Col is booked to have her baby this Tuesday, and I am guessing she's using this last moment of peace to catch her breath before the newborn crazy days. Dad's don't understand it, but they know it means something to us to be left in calm before the storm. So a day for Dads. Happy Father's Day you lot. From me and the boys.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Yawn - late night babble

It's been so long since I've really updated, it's late night here and I am pretty tired, but I'll give a brief run down of the last couple of months here. Today is the state election here, I did my bit and voted with all three kids hanging off me screaming. Was most fun. Was even more fun when Will nearly headbutted the Christian Democrats woman for trying to hand him a 'how to vote' sheet. Stifling the giggle was hard, she was asking for it. Kate and Ava stopped by for a night sometime back in July. Was great for the boys to spend time with their cousin, we don't get to see enough of her (are you reading this Kate?? Move closer would you!!). I changed jobs in June, still with the same agency, just a different portfolio, and I am now in town and working 2 days a week. It's a good seachange kind of thing. I like the work that I do, it's something that challenges me. I have to admit I am still learning about how to keep the domestic/career balance though and some days I do feel like either one or the other is weighing too heavily on the other. It is a shift that will allow for further flexibility in the future though, especially with being more selective about what days I work, and my hours are flexi, so the morning rush is relatively stress free without having a set start time. It's nice to know that the earlier I start the earlier I finish too! July came to a close with Tristan and Lochlain's birthdays. Sadly, Lochlain was really very unwell, and we didn't do much celebrating. Andrew's mum and dad left for overseas the day before, and I took him to the St Kilda vs West Coast footy game, he was pretty over it before half time so we trekked home on the train together. Big Brooke had Tristan and Will for a few hours so that Lolo and I could have some time together at the footy. Loch was sick for about 2 weeks with a nasty fever/rash/burst blood vessels in eyes thing, and then his skin started peeling. He's battled through it though. Was a bit scary for a while. Once he come good we had a good run of long days at the park and the beach, and the sun shone on for us, bringing us out of the depths of the winter blues. Tristan has discovered the most giant sandpit in the world, the beach. He's in love with it. Will is becoming more brave with the waves, and spends enough time in the water even when it's freezing that even I want to turn blue. Lochlain isn't too sure on the surf just yet, but he's keen to give it a go. Not bad for a kid who wouldn't walk on sand once upon a time. Mum stopped by in August a couple of times, she stayed here for a night. Was nice. We went out for dinner, and she came along to Will's kindy for drop off and he got to show her his special place. We went out for brekky at the marina and enjoyed coffee and laughs, it was really nice to just have a relaxed moment with mum, sometimes it feels like we miss out on the placid moments with each other. Crisis/illness/drama has no place in my life right now, and it was nice to just hang out with my mama. Tony was over east visiting his parents, so I got to selfishly have her all to myself. An overnight stay in Mandurah with Vic and the kids while Dad was away in Hedland was fantastic. The kids had a blast, and I enjoyed seeing them get dirty again, going home and putting their feet on the ground. It doesn't hurt that Vic always spoils me rotten with bloody good food! Mmmm green curry mmmmmmmmm *drool*. Lochlain hung off Rose the whole time we were there, wanting to do everything with her. Michael and Will play great together, they're both at an age now where they don't clash as much over who owns what, or who uses what, or the whole turn taking crap. It was great to see them just being mates. I am recovered (well 95%) from the most awful flu I have had in years. I spent nearly 2 weeks on the couch in the end. A good week of that saw me wishing I was dead. Throat made of razor blades, chills, shakes, aches, cramps, headaches, and just that general 'kill me now' sentiment. Bloody horrid. I am still fighting a lingering sinus infection, but I would take that any day over what I've just been through. With all the coughing that I did however, I have come to realise that I still have a pretty ace pelvic floor ;), who'd have thought it! In amongst sick kids, sick mama, changing jobs and having people drop by to stay, we've all managed to stay pretty sane. Andrew hasn't come up for air yet with work, but is looking forward to father's day tomorrow and spending some time with his dad and his boys. I dare say they'll go to Yanchep for a bit. I will try and get some photos loaded up soon, but as it is, I am just too tired tonight. I am going to hit the hay and snuggle my *not baby* Twistie. He smells so good. He'll feed and doze with me all night, and we'll be woken in the morning by two little men climbing in next to me to wake up their Twistie baby. *YAWN* Night night all.... stay safe, stay sane. x B

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fall Asleep Anywhere

On the washing pile.... mmm clean laundry Counting out your pieces of fruit.

Hiding on Dad's office chair over in the corner taking a quick kip. Outside on the back of the futon. A cat in a previous life.

These photos are proof that children who cosleep do, in fact, sleep when they are tired, and don't 'need' to be put to bed. I love that my kids know they're own tired cues, and can find themselves a comfy spot and take a kip. It reassures me that they're following their own natural rythms and the sleep association they have is a postive one.
No authoriatrian bedtime bullshit in my house thanks!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Relative Risks of Uterine Rupture

Written by Eileen Sullivan, with assistance from her husband, Patrick.
Your risk of dying in a car accident, over the course of your lifetime, is between 1 in 42 and 1 in 75. This is roughly 4 to 5 times greater than the risk of uterine rupture. You're about twice as likely to have your car stolen (that's an annual risk) than to experience a uterine rupture. Your odds of being murdered are 1 in 140 over the course of your lifetime. That's 2 times more likely than the risk of rupture. The annual risk of having a heart attack is 1 in 160, 2 times more likely than rupture. Your risk of dying from heart disease is roughly 1 in 6, or 55 times greater than your risk of rupture. If you're a smoker, your risk of dying from lung cancer is 1 and a half times more likely than a VBAC mom rupturing during her labor. You're about 17 times more likely to contract an STD this year than you are to have a uterine rupture; more likely to contract gonorrhea than to rupture, as well. You're 13 times more likely to get food poisoning than to rupture. You're more likely to have twins than a uterine rupture. Odds of twins: 1 in 90. That's about 3 1/2 times the likelihood of rupture. If you ride horseback, you're 3 times more likely to die in a riding accident than you are to experience a uterine rupture. If you ride a bike on the street, you are 4 times more likely to die in an accident (annual risk) than you are to suffer a rupture. Having a serious fire in your home during the next year is twice as likely as experiencing a rupture. You're ten times as likely to win at roulette as you are to have a uterine rupture. If you flip a coin, you'll be more likely to get heads (or tails) 8 times in a row than to rupture. The risk of cord prolapse is 1 in 37 (2.7%), or nearly ten times more likely than that of rupture. And a final irony (heads up, those of you who want a doc to give his/her opinion on your likelihood of rupture next pregnancy!)... You're 6 times more likely to have a doctor who is an impostor than you are to suffer a rupture. Two percent of docs are phonies (1 in 50), according to several sources I found. So instead of worrying about rupture, why not take a few minutes to check up on your doctor's credentials? It'd be a more profitable use of your time, and a substantially more likely cause for alarm.

Winter Warmer

Our dude Lolo. Again with the tattooing himself. He is being a Wiggle in this photo (note the daggy skivvy). He turns 3 next month, and his vocabulary has just exploded. We are now getting 2 words strung together, and he's using far less gestures now, relying more and more on speech to communicate which is just AWESOME! He is still really hard to understand, but Andrew and I get what he's on about most of the time. He loves to sing, hums away most of the day. It's so cute. Little man Twistie, isn't he getting so big? Here he sports a lovely pair of handmade knitted legwarmers from the lovely April in Warnambool. Thanks wonderwoman!! He's got 4 teeth (cos that's important ya know), and is still cruising the furniture, not quite game enough to venture out walking on his own yet. He won't be far off though.
Willum was so excited about his new pink slippers with the sparkly butterflies! His pink brolly makes the perfect accessory for this season. Pink is his favourite colour, in case you couldn't tell.
He is loving Kindy and keeps telling me that when he turns 5 he'll get his hair cut and then have Christmas and then go to Pre-Primary. He's got his life mapped out, haha!
I am going to take them to Mum's in the next school holidays. Spend a few days up there, enjoy the break from the city traffic.
We have a couple of birthdays to prepare for, and I think we are planning a BBQ for Tristan and a morning at AQWA for Lochlain. We'll see how it all goes though, as Andrew can't take time off work, so everything needs to happen on a Sunday.
Heading down to Dad's this weekend to pick up a new car. I will post pics of it when I get it!!
Right, off to stop them from killing each other.
Deep breath. xxxOOOxxx

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Trouble With White Pants

The Trouble With White Pants:
Medicalisation and Agency in the Context of Menstrual Suppression.
- Jessica Shipman Gunson
See here for full text: Link

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Wonderful Place

from Chrissy's blog:
The Wonderful Place is a picture book which celebrates the joys of toddler breastfeeding, seen through the eyes of 3 year old Jimi Jazz. The artwork is ink, water colour and collage on paper. Prints can be ordered of any of the artwork, please contact me at sales@chrissybutler.com for more information about prints or orginal artwork from the book.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Spunk Monkeys

Just showing off my lads. We've had a long weekend here, and they've loved having their daddy home for a bit. Lochlain is really missing him during the week, after being so used to having him home more often. Tristan is cutting another top tooth, but you'd never guess it. He just cruises on, never blinks an eye, just grows and changes with such ease. If everybody had babies like him, the world would be more than overpopulated, it'd be bursting at the seams. He is such a little champ. Not that the other two aren't awesome, but they've presented us with their own unique challenges in their time, and so far... we've just not had anything from Tristan that I would have considered challenging. Lets hope I am not made to eat my words hey!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where is the Desire to Learn?

Had an interesting experience a couple of weeks back that I have to share. I don't know how much I can say with regard to specifics and the questions asked, but I'll share with you something that really rocked my sense of trust in the midwifery qualification. I sat on an examination panel as a consumer representative (as a representative of Birthrites: Healing After Caesarean), for the local university on Tuesday. The students were the post graduate diploma of midwifery students, all of whom are already nurses, and have already studied at a tertiary level for a number of years. I responded to a call for someone to attend from the convenor, and was happy to put the kids into care for the day for the opportunity to have something else to put on my eventual portfolio when applying for either the BMid or the BNurs/BMid... it's all very selfish really. The university had obviously requested consumer reps from a couple of groups, as when I arrived, I met with a fellow activist, who is active with Maternity Coalition here.

But anyway... this examination was something that the students were given 6 weeks to prepare for. And from what I could gather, as someone who is not even educated in Midwifery, it was a very basic knowledge that was called upon in response to the questions asked. But for the most part, the students could not even offer this.

4 months into a post graduate midwifery degree and I can't believe how much they DON'T know. It was if they had read the lecture notes, and skimmed their text books, and that was it. They had done NO wider reading, had not sought out other midwives already practicing to talk about anything, had not contacted a singly consumer organisation, not read anything from a journal article, not researched or reviewed ANYTHING. I was appalled.

Bear in mind that these women (and they were all women) already have a degree in Nursing, they are all doing POST GRADUATE study, so I think it is fair to assume that a desire to learn should exist. Otherwise I don't see the point in enrolling in a university course... unless it's just the payrise they are after. Ever the cynic.

I was under the impression that a desire to study midwifery would involve some understanding of what STUDY is. Study is NOT being spoonfed information, it is not being told all that you need to know. Study is about learning for ones self, aquiring knowledge by 'desiring to learn'.

I will admit that I met at least 3 students who did impress me with their knowledge, their commitment to self education and stepping outside the square of the university. One had (to her credit) become a subscribing member of a number of consumer organisations, and had attended information sessions outside of the university timetable. But that was ONE in TEN. Highly disturbing to think that the women who are planning on supporting women and babies in the BIGGEST and MOST IMPORTANT moment in their lives are seemingly totally disinterested in really learning.

It left a sour taste in my mouth.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Unconditionality vs. Desires

Ok I am not wanting to be guilty of regurgitating other people's writing but another one of Noelle's Daily Grooves struck me. I am still learning how to not blame, how to not blame my 'lack' on the actions of others. I am learning how to accept that those around me do not always have my interests at heart, for it is human nature to serve our purpose. In the society in which I live there is a great divide between what I want, what my partner wants, my friends and family also have their own wants. Our wants generally rely on the actions of others, actions over which we ourselves have no control. Without letting our desires be known to the other party we really have little hope of those desires being fulfilled.
It's all well and good to say "I will love him more if he does this" or "My life would be better if only he'd...", well I have to say. "I love him". That statement cannot have a condition imposed on it. I love him, and his actions reflect his love for me. It's up to me to decide whether what I am putting out is being reciprocated, but I cannot make my love conditional. I can only love. He is flesh made from me, but that's always going to be the case, regardless of the emotion I feel towards him at any moment. I love him as my child. I can be angry, sad, mad, happy, outraged, excited, impressed by him. But ultimately I own my emotions and he cannot be expected to be responsible for how I feel about him. I love him unconditionally.
Life is good. Life could be better. But right now. Life IS good. Accepting that right now, life is pretty sweet, it's as sweet as it gets having three little men worship me, a roof over my head, food in my cupboard and coffee at my desk. What I wish to improve I can work on, I am not limited by much that cannot be resolved if I choose to make it so. I am privileged. I am white. I am married. I am female. I still have scope to be the me I want to be, to have the life I want to have. All in good time. But right now. Life IS good. It's good without being dependent on any variable. Life flows. Whether I want it to or not, life flows.
But anyway, a ramble, a ramble. I want to share this daily groove with you all. And I want to have it saved as something to refer myself back to now and again. In the midst of day to day chaos it can be easy to lose touch with NOW.
Unconditionality vs. Desires
Q: How do you reconcile "unconditionality" with having preferences and desires? If you're totally unconditional, shouldn't everything be fine the way it is?
A: Unconditionality doesn't mean having no preferences or desires; it means that you don't let the temporary absence of your preferred conditions prevent you from enjoying the present moment... "When conditions are to my liking, I feel great! (Obviously.) And when conditions are not to my liking, I enjoy anticipating theunfolding of my preferred conditions." The idea that you can't enjoy this moment because of unwanted conditions is a LIE perpetuated by our conditional culture -- a lie that serves no purpose other than to keep people feeling powerless! Unconditionality says, "Enjoying the here and now is my top priority, so I'm not going to use these conditions as an excuse to separate from my natural state of well-being." So when your child "misbehaves," or your partner is unsupportive, or you're sleep-deprived, etc., use those unwanted conditions to help you clarify what you *do* want. Then practice unconditionality by accepting the present conditions AND joyfully anticipating the fulfillment of your desires.
http://dailygroove.net/unconditionality-vs-desires Copyright (c) 2008 by Scott Noelle

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Ive been tagged Barenest.
The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.Each player answers the questions about themselves.At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
a) What was I doing 10 years ago?
Hmm well 10 years ago it was 1998, so I would have been in Yr 10, my best year of High School, I was at Carine.
I was a Naval Reserve Cadet (*nerd alert*). And my baby sister would have been oh... 16 days old today! I was living with Dad and Vic and Shane and Lynnette!
I had just met Donna about 4 weeks ago, and we became instant besties. She rocked my world!
b) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today:
Well to be honest, today is almost over and it was a totally non productive day. I spent most of it boobing on the couch or washing kids or making food. My plans for tomorrow however -
* go to markets for fruit and veg shop
* mop lounge room
* have Will ready for kindy by the time he goes to bed, so I am not rushing like mad Monday morning
* spend some one on one time with Andrew.
* do the dishes
c) Snacks I enjoy:
Iced coffee, chocolate, dutch licorice. Especially the double salt and the salmiak.
d) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Fund homebirths for those who wanted them with independent midwives.
Buy a nice house down south somewhere, and work when I felt like it as an indie mw (once I am qualified).
Watch my kids grow up.
e) Places I have lived:
Tasmania, Queensland, WA, NT, NSW, Vic...
And who am I tagging?
No-one yet.

Happy Birthday Ted

Andrew celebrated his birthday last night. We had delicious Thai take out (a massive splurge for us) and I had a cake for him, a gorgeous vanilla sponge that he likes.
We had dinner with his mate (Will's Kindy teacher) and he put together his new office chair.
I can't believe how old he is now. Old, old, old. 30 Just seems so far away for me, but knowing that he was younger than what I am now when we got together and that feels like yesterday, means that 30 really is closer than I want to believe.
I have been asked, through my capacity as a coregroup member of Birthrites to help out at the local uni next week, on Tuesday. I am sitting on a panel of examiners for the Post Graduate Midwifery students, part of their examination is short interviews on specific topics, and it's a pass/fail exercise. I am the consumer voice on the panel and I get to ask them questions relating to certain topics... I have to admit I am a little bit chuffed at this opportunity.
It's an all day ordeal though, so it's a day without the boys... but they cope well enough when I am at work, so I am sure they'll survive.
In other news, Will is recovering from yet another bout of croup. He's had to take a day off daycare and a day off Kindy. He was pretty unwell with it this time around, but like always, he's bounced back straight away. Not much down time for a kid on a mission.
I have enrolled in a full time load of units for a BSc (Nursing) degree for next semester. I am really excited now. Not nervous at all. Andrew started a new job three days ago, and the increase in pay that he gets means that I can really take time off working and just study to get myself headed in the right direction. It works out that the boys don't have to be in care for any more time than what they already are, which was a major concern for me, but it's turned out fantastically. I just need to sort out a couple of hours care on a Friday and we're sweet. I am allowing myself to be stoked about all this study and life plan stuff now. Now that I can see it's achievable and not going to be interrupted by me having any more children. Because that's NOT going to happen, thank you very much.
Apparently next year ECU are offering Nursing and Midwifery as a double degree, rather than a direct entry midwifery degree without the Nursing qualification as Curtin have done. I am going to look at applying, and moving across to completing the double qualification if I can.
Right... off to play trains with Will... and then to the beach for a rockpool walk.
Ciao x B

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Oxygen Mask Rule - Scott Noelle

The Oxygen Mask Rule :: from THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle www.enjoyparenting.com/dailygroove --> Flight attendants always remind parents that if the airplane's cabin loses pressure, you should apply *your* oxygen mask first, and then your child's. This is because a parent without oxygen is likely to pass out before getting the child's mask in place. Likewise, if you were stressed about some problem with your child, the conventional response would be to focus on "fixing" the child. But stressful states like fear, worry, anger, and resentment are like oxygen deprivation: they undermine your capacity to help your child. So remember to get *your* oxygen first, literally, by taking a deep breath and feeling for your Center. Once you're centered -- present, connected, "in the flow" -- you'll be more creative, and you'll emanate a "vibe" that your child will *want* to align with. Whenever parenting becomes stressful, stop and tell yourself, "I want to respond from my Heart, so I will take no action until I find my Center." http://dailygroove.net/oxygen Feel free to forward this message to your friends! Copyright (c) 2008 by Scott Noelle

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May... Mayhem... My Men!

Well, it's MAY!! A month of birthdays.
Hippy bathday to Travis, Rose, Ron, Jackie, Andrew Uncle David, Aunty Maxine (R.I.P.) and anyone else I haven't thought to mention because it's late at night!
It's now term 2 of kindy, and for the two whole weeks that Will was on holidays he was adamant that I was deliberately keeping him from his precious kindy as some kind of obscure torture. He was in real pain, desperately in need of a kindy fix by the time term 2 started. He had a playdate with the kindy kids in the holidays, to satisfy his aching belly, but as it turned out, that same day was the beginning of a couple of rough weeks of illness in this house.
Lochlain and Tristan both got, at the same time, conjunctivitis, sinusitis, otitis media, tonsilitis and Tristan copped bronchialitis on top of that... so it's safe to say they have some upper respiratory immunity issues. Lochlain was really ill with it, his body does not cope with fever very productively and as much as I am one to let a fever rage if it needs to, sometimes you just have to intervene and say "Nah, this is a bit uncool". He has some drama with taking oral medication and the suppository options I had on hand were out of date, so it became a late night sojourn in the ED just to get some respite for him from his fever and get some fluids into him.
Will copped a bit of gastro, and so did I, but I am putting that down to dodgy food court chinese we'd snacked on in the city the day before. How embarassing, you know it's crap when you eat it, and you suffer for you sin that's for sure!
So it took about 2 weeks before the boys got right, Tristan still has a nasty lingering cough, but he seems well enough otherwise. Andrew and his dad both copped sore throats for a week or so, and they suffered with the dreaded 'man cold'. You know the one, it's about 3000 times stronger than the cold any woman or child gets. It must be, because the whinging that comes with it is 3000 times more annoying, I can assure you.
Managed to catch up with Mum and Tony last week... had a great quick lunch at the marina and a play in the sand. It was a lovely warm, humid day on the beach. The kids had a blast and it got me out of a funk after being stuck in the house with sickies for so long.
Last month I had some friends pop out some sproglets, so I am wanting to give a shout out to some beautiful babies... Jarrah, Nadia, Wiremu and Leo... all spunks, all born within 3 weeks of each other... 3 at home in water as planned... and wee Jarrah bought into this world a bit before his time but his mama birthed awesomely and he looks just as rockin' as the rest of the brood.
I finally caught up with their mamas yesterday, and got to sniff some newborn heads. Had a little cluck and quickly regained my senses. Googling hyperemeis is the best way to remind myself of my plan to have no more babies. Ick.
Will and Lochie went to watch the WAFL today... it's their normal footy season fun, WAFL on the weekends that the WCE don't have a home game, if we can help it and the weather is fine. They get all dolled up with their footy jumpers, and take their swannies ball out for a kick at half time with Grandad.
Tristan and I used the opportunity today to strip some more of the wallpaper border and run errands. Not fun, but productive, I grabbed some cheap wool and some seeds... I put calendula in the front garden along the fence, see how they go. I am not particularly known for my green thumb.
I am enrolling in a couple of Nursing units for next semester, just to keep the old brain ticking along, and to move a step closer to my midwifery qualification. It really still depends on Andrew's work stuff though... he's applied for a couple of jobs here and there, and if something good comes up, it's another 'wait and see' moment for me.
Anyhoo, here is some photos of the boys. Well the ones who sit still long enough to get shots taken.
Yes, that is Lochlain in the background cleaning the tiles with MY toothbrush. Little bugger. We have some photographers living here. They love to take pictures of each other and of Tristan and even Lochlain has taken to setting up shots, the same way Will does. I love going through some of the pictures they've taken that I haven't been aware of. It's awesome to be able see thier day through their eyes.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

To The Detached Parents...

I spy you, 'cross the room,
in a park or a shop,
perhaps a couple in daycare
or this your first shot.
Your baby - a sad face
staring out of the pram,
with a mouth full of plastic,
in blue or pink glam.
When babe starts to cry,
you rock pram back and forth.
Pick it up? I must not!
What would that enforce?
From bottle: the modified milk
of a beast.
Food - fresh from jars
complimenting the feast.
Baby is lucky to be held
while downing this gruel.
Much easier to prop -
there is shopping to do.
"My baby is on a schedule!"
is your famous line,
and so baby cries
until the "right time".
Against nature is this
the most terrible crime.
Now you have a child
of about two,
stuck behind bars and
enclosed in a zoo.
Child tied to your wrist,
you might go for a walk,
never let them explore
but always prompt them to talk.
By now babe has advanced
to crying it out.
Never answer their needs,
just make them shout.
Shout and scream
til they vomit; then sleep.
Exhausted, deflated
and spiritually weak.
For you must break that child,
their will and their might,
to establish control
and that you're always right.
All the while you ply them,
ply them with stuff.
Fill it up to the rafters 'til they
can't get enough.
For things must replace you -
too bad if that's rough.
Institution and poor care,
cause issues with health,
so you give them some medicine,
you bought from the shelf.
Then away they go again,
all symptoms masked.
And you can go on with
your other tasks.
I'm sure you weren't always
a bitch to your kid.
Maybe once you believed
(as I thought I did),
that others knew best
about what to do.
The difference between us is:
you bought while I grew.
Because parenting does not
come from a book,
(though sometimes they're
handy for an alternative look).
Discipline should not come from our parents
you know,
who screwed us up in the first place,
when it was their go.
You do not need to prove who
is running the show.
Care does not come from the
experts and clinics,
it comes from the heart
and delving deep in it.
Love comes from support,
a caring community around.
A partner with feet planted
firmly in ground.
And the women, and families,
that came before us,
who adapted to children
and knew just to trust.
Although sometimes we wander,
from what we know best,
we try, we move forward,
and that is the test.
In the hopes that our kids
while walking their path,
will see beauty and kindness
and have love in their heart.
Deep down they will know
that they belong,
As parents they'll improve,
naturally know what is wrong.
And that is the way that our
Earth will live on.
----------Copyright 2008 Melissa Baker

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blessings in Paper

A simple doodle that became a card. It's just waiting for the baby to be born, so it can go with the gift I have set aside for "it's" mama. I hope she likes it. It felt good making it.
I think the mama is due in the next week or so, and I am starting to get really excited. Mmmm, fresh new baby smell, milky newborn grins.
This mama inspires me. I know she'll birth boldly with pure bliss.
~Kia Kaha~

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hearing Your Silence

Hearing Your Silence
(For All Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech) by Donald Robin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
We don't understand when we hear your silence We cant see behind your frustrated eyes when you plead for our attention We are unable to feel your awkwardness when you try to speak and the wrong sounds emerge We cannot be inside you to will your tongue to move when it struggles to find the roof of your mouth We don't understand the fear that consumes you when you are on the playground when you should be having fun We are not privy to your brain that creates a world of words only to have your muscles stop their meaning We do not hear your mind communicating freely only to have us look quizzically and ask for repetition We cannot sense your joy at moments of clarity only to have it rapidly disappear again and again We do know who you are when you look into our eyes We can hold you tightly when your fists clench and tears fill your vision We will struggle with you each day and night when you practice your speech sounds with great deliberation We are proud of your trying when we might just give up We share with you your pain when your mouth is tired and slow You know that we will love you when you are little and when you grow You know that we will be there for you when all seems dark and cold You know that you are special and what you want to say You know you are our children and who you are each day You know your world is full and how to find the way You know we hear your silence You know, we hear your silence You know we hear your silence

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Equality Wheel

Healthy Partners: Healthy Relationships
What makes a relationship healthy?
Two people who value and respect each other are a good start. Here are some characteristics you may want to consider in a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. He or she:

Supports your relationships with friends and family members.

He or she spends time with your friends and familyto get to know them yet will at the same time gives you space to spend time with them alone.

Maintains his or her own friendships and wants you to get to know his or her friends.

Continues his or her own interests in outside activities, such as sports, clubs, groups, jobs or hobbies.

Asks your opinion and respectfully listens to your answers.

Is comfortable with you having different opinions from him or her, does not take it as a personal insult if you disagree with them.

Cultivates a safe atmosphere where you can share your thoughts, feelings and emotions with Accepts responsibility for his or her own behavior, thoughts or feelings.

Apologizes when he or she is wrong, and accepts your apologies when you are wrong.

Considers your relationship a partnership.

Shares decision-making.

Expects both partners to control their own money.

Does not use manipulation (financial, emotional, etc) to get what he or she wants.

Treats other people as well as himself or herself with respect.

Is supportive of your friendships with people of the opposite sex, does not get jealous or possessive.

Trusts you and is trustworthy.

Encourages you in your goals and dreams.

Makes positive statement about your strengths and achievements.

Is complementary; does not criticize the way you look or dress.

Is someone who you feel safe with.

Resolves conflicts through clear dialogue without using insults, threats or violence.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Baby Saved By Donated Breastmilk

See video here.

Baby saved by donated breast milkApril 11, 2008:

Women across America have been donating their breast milk to keep a premature baby alive after the death of her mother.

Weekend Waffle

Thought it was about time I did another photo update. We had a mishap with our camera (again) so I have just lost another 3 months worth of photos because of a stupid memory card error, and I couldn't find the data cable to transfer all of them off the camera. BUGGER!
So anyway, Andrew won a new camera at work, so I have been testing it out to see if I like it any better, and here is the results. I don't think it works as nicely as my previous camera (the Canon Ixus 75), but this one is water and shock proof, (Olympus u790SW). Having these boys of mine, I like the safety aspect of that. I will have a bit more of a play with it and see if I can get a better picture... but for now here's a few of the crew.

A cute pic of Daddy and Twistie having a tickle. Mr T is chewing on his hands a fair bit, teeth coming in now. He's got two beautiful pegs on his bottom gum, and they've not been much of a drama coming through really.

Mr Lolo. We've got some great words happening at the moment. Plane and rain, wait and the best one yet... He can count to 5!!! It comes out UN, OO, EE, OR, EYE. He is really loving his one day a week at daycare. He gets to spend time in the room that Will is in, and then he has some time in the Big Toddlers room, and then Will comes to join him in the afternoon, so he is always allowed to have access to his big brother as a security blanket, but Will is also allowed to have time away from Lochlain to play with the bigger kids. We have to be really mindful of not expecting Will to take on a carer role for Lochlain, which he is so far inclined to do, not that it's not healthy for Lochlain to have Will watching over him, but that level of responsibility at four years old is far too much for Will to take on board. I have spoken with his carers and they are agreeing that it's ok to seperate them for Will's sake when he needs his space. Lochlain is still held and looked after, and he is coping well. And after all, it's about 8 hours a week, so it's not entirely dire.
I can't get any photos of Will, he runs away from the camera. Shy monkey that one! He is on a playdate today with Big Brooke's Tully, his best mate. He took his tool bag with some extra toys, and they'll be back later this afternoon. He was revved up and ready to go though as soon as he knew there was a chance of hanging out with Tully! Off to feed the T man... Lochie is asleep on the couch covered in hand drawn tattoos... Have a great week people!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Drawing For Winter Approaching....

Just want to show you all what I am currently working on for the Winter JOY cover.
It's still got a way to go before it's finished, but I am liking where it is going. The best thing about freehand drawing is that you just get to go with the flow of the pen. As it marks the paper it cuts it's own path and guides your hand. You really have no control over it.
The colour version will be the final edit I am hoping. Although I really like the black and white, I may do a full Black and White crisp version for my own wall.
I really need some canvas and new brushes desperately. And I would kill for some watercolours.
I feel my 'inner self' poking out through some cracks in this work.
So here's the halfway done piece.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not a Happy Birthday

Threatened, intimidated, bullied, violated: this is hospital birth as many mothers experience it. Amity Reed reports on the little-recognised crime of birth rape: The F Word

"...how in the world did we get to this point, where scores of women are being treated like slabs of meat on a butcher's table or cogs in the machinery of a conveyor belt? We believe that western medicine is so advanced and our technology so incredible that we rarely stop to think about the effects they have on biological processes and people themselves. Some things are not meant to be tampered with too much and childbirth may be one of them."

How indeed?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rally Across Australia to Support the Women Hospitals Ignored

Rally for Accountability: make healthcare about consumers! Joyous Birth, the Australian homebirth network is currently organising a national day of rallies to show support for the women stepping forward with allegations around their experiences of Graeme Reeves. This is planned for Friday 28 March, midday outside parliaments in every state and territory except for NT, at this point. Joyous Birth hopes that women all over Australia can join forces over this issue which we see as linked to the wider issues of medical culture in this country. A Graeme Reeves could only have occurred in a system which is already sick. Contact me for more information. Have you seen this in the news lately? Stand by these courageous women and offer them your support!

THEY call him the Butcher of Bega - a NSW doctor who has committed such monstrous acts that hundreds of terrified victims have remained silent for more than five years. Dr Graeme Stephen Reeves is alleged to have routinely mutilated or sexually abused as many as 500 female patients while he was working as a gynaecologist and obstetrician at various hospitals across Sydney and the NSW south coast. Click here for Source.

Mrs Dewaegeneire was admitted to Pambula Hospital on August 2002 to have a minor lesion removed from her labia. Before she lost consciousness to a general anaesthetic, she said Dr Reeves leaned over and whispered in her ear: "I'm going to take your clitoris, too". After the operation she discovered all her external genitalia had been cut off her body. It is alleged Dr Reeves later boasted of removing "all the fun bits" - and said she wouldn't need them as her husband had died. Click here for Source.

In spite of there being 1200 complaints against this man, there are those who still seek to protect him.

Butcher victims top 1200

SUPPORTERS of the "Butcher of Begs", Graeme Reeves, have gone to ground as the growing tsunami of email complaints surpasses the 1200 mark. The Sunday Telegraph was met with a wall of silence when it contacted former colleagues, psychiatrists and health regulators last week to find out how the disgraced former gynaecologist and obstetrician managed to escape detection for more than a decade. Only one former colleague spoke out last week to defend Reeves, who is accused of routinely mutilating and sexually abusing hundreds of patients. Click here for Source.

Last week Dr Simonson, who provided a letter of reference for Reeves at his NSW Medical Tribunal hearing in 2004, said he stood by his statement that Reeves was ``one of the better surgeons'' in his experience. "I assisted Dr Reeves in some operations and what I saw him do is what I've seen othersurgeons do similarly in other operations,'' he said. Asked if that meant he had seen other surgeons mutilate their patients, he replied: "I'm not commenting''. Click here for Source.

WE MUST EXPRESS OUR HORROR AND OUTRAGE THAT THIS HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO HAPPEN IN OUR HEALTH SYSTEM. WE MUST SHOW OUR SUPPORT FOR THIS MANS VICTIMS, AND SEND THE CLEAR MESSAGE THAT THIS MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN AGAIN, AND THIS MAN MUST BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. Nationwide rallies have been organised in the following cities, on Friday the 28th of March, Midday, on the steps of Parliament. CANBERRA - More info at http://www.joyousbirth.info/forums/showthread.php?t=16155 BRISBANE - More info at http://www.joyousbirth.info/forums/showthread.php?t=16180 HOBART - More info at http://www.joyousbirth.info/forums/showthread.php?t=16160 SYDNEY - More info at http://www.joyousbirth.info/forums/showthread.php?t=16158 PERTH - More info at http://www.joyousbirth.info/forums/showthread.php?t=16157 ADELAIDE - More info at http://www.joyousbirth.info/forums/showthread.php?t=16210 Bring ribbons to tie to represent the women abused. Come along, bring your families, bring placards, spread the word! Contact Joyous Birth to get involved, spread the word, bring your mothers’ group, tell your school committees, tell anyone who’ll listen and come along to support these women. SLOGANS FOR PLACARDS: First Do No Harm Real Doctors Don't Abuse Women We Deserve Better! Ignorance is NOT strength! Respect Us. Care not Scare! We are watching YOU. Our bodies are our own. Procedure without Consent is ABUSE Ask. Listen. Respect. Consent is not a contract for abuse! My signature does NOT absolve you! Do that to me on the street. Go to Jail. You are not above the law. Abuse us, pay the consequences. No means NO - Even in Hospital! We don't trust you anymore.