Orb in Photo?

Mr. N took this photo of me and baby-to-be last month. We're taking monthly photos to watch our growing baby and my expanding belly (doggie Shilo wants to be in the photos too). After uploading this one onto the computer, I noticed the bright circular object in the upper left-hand corner and immediately felt a chill. The next picture he took showed another circular object of the same size, not nearly as bright (quite faint actually) same height only it had moved a bit more to the right. Was this the spirit of our baby wanting to be in the picture, wanting to appear as something more than just a bump on mama's belly? I'm not totally convinced, but that is my hunch. I e-mailed the photo to a place that investigates orbs and haven't heard back yet.

What do you think?


A Peek Inside Being Pregnant in America

While I plan on putting this up at my other blog, I decided to post this here as well as it's a subject most aren't aware of unless they go through the experience directly or indirectly. As regular readers know, Mr. N and I are pregnant, expecting our first baby next spring. I thought the early stage symptoms of fatigue and nausea were stressful. Little did I know, dealing with the medical system was going to add its own stress.

From the start, we have been adamant in our decisions to not vaccinate the baby, to bypass genetic testing, to have a natural delivery and unless it is medically warranted, to forgo any medical intervention and very recently, to forgo any additional ultrasounds.

So far, while our decisions have been respected, our choices have not been met without a fight, without fear being put into our faces and with all of these supposed "studies". While they claim it's all about empowering ME, it's really about covering their asses (meaning they won't want me to sue them).

To begin with, these "studies" they cite have not been shown to me, despite my asking to see:
1) The actual results.
2) Who was behind the study.
3) Who performed the study.
4) Who funded the study.

Just this past week, we had a Doppler. For those not familiar with the procedure, it's a little hand held device that looks like a microphone attached to a Walkman. It sends sound waves into the womb, into the amniotic sac, to detect heart rate. Prior to this, we had had two ultrasounds.

With the first ultrasound, the baby was about the size of a pea, so movement was really not noticeable. However, with the second ultrasound, what began with the image of a calm little fetus, gently sucking, suddenly took an interesting change. After a few moments of sending the sound wave signals into my uterus, our calm little baby began to thrash violently. It kicked, punched and even flipped from its back to its side and back again. It caught me off guard.

"Is that normal?" I asked.

The midwife assured me that yes, it was indeed normal as they are quite active.

"Yes," I said, "But she seems to be bothered by the ultrasound."

Oh no need to worry. She hardly feels a thing. She's safe and protected in there.

Hardly feels a thing?

Wrong. I found studies (PLURAL) that claim otherwise. In one study, scientists mimicked the sound alone and determined that when ultrasound waves are passed into the womb, the sound decibel is equal to that of a subway train. That's a very loud sound to an adult. Imagine what that can do to a developing baby.

Not only is the sound terribly loud, but the heat coming from these ultrasound machines raises the heat in the amniotic sac and can damage to developing tissue. The FDA even issued this following warning in 2004: "Ultrasound is a form of energy -- and even at low levels, laboratory studies have found it can produce physical effects in tissue, such as jarring vibrations and a rise in temperature." (This despite their allowance of an 8 FOLD increase in power output, to which so far no tests have been done to test for any long-term adverse effects.)

Unfuckingbelievable. And yet, not really given this is western capitalism at work.

As any pregnant woman will tell you, we are warned by the VERY SAME MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WHO GIVE US THESE ULTRASOUNDS against exposing ourselves to things that raise body temperature, such as sauna's and hot tubs. Even having a fever over 100 for any extended period of time is supposed to be brought down as soon as possible to avoid potentially harming the growing baby. Again, these very same medical "professionals" use ultrasound technology regularly throughout the pregnancy, particularly in the very critical, early stages of fetal development?

I N S A N E.

With this Doppler we had this past week (which I wasn't aware was along the lines of the same technology as ultrasounds), I noticed the same pattern as we experienced with the previous ultrasound. What began at first as nothing but a strong, solid, precious little heartbeat took a different turn. Again, within moments, we heard this "BAM BAM BAM" sound as though the baby were violently kicking.

"Oh isn't that cute? It sounds like she's hiccuping!" the midwife said.

"Hiccup?!" I said. "That sounded more like a kick to me." (And HELLO!? "CUTE"??? I don't THINK so.)

Well the kicking only continued for the next few moments so I said, "Enough! I don't think she likes this!" and pushed the thing away from me. Daddy to be and I discussed this on the way home and our parental instincts were both on the same page: She doesn't like these ultrasound procedures. We both overwhelmingly, strongly just KNEW and KNOW this.

So..no more ultrasounds or dopplers...

Which I relayed to my doctor's office the next day while also stating we would not be doing the 20 week ultrasound (which checks for abnormalities, not to mention it is an HOUR LONG PROCEDURE).

60 minutes of hell when our baby has made it clear after just a minute or two she does NOT like the crap coming out of these "advances in medical science". NO FUCKING WAY. (FMI see this link and this link on ultrasound technology and its risks. They're powerful articles and I was absolutely horrifed, as was Mr. N, after reading them. I can only pray that we haven't unknowingly harmed our baby through the god damn ignorance of medical "professionals". I am remaining positive that our little miracle is well and thriving. I don't often ask for prayers, but I am now. Any like-minded thoughts sent our baby's way is very much appreciated!)

Well, within an hour, the phone rang. It was the midwife who ordered the test. She just wanted to make sure I was making an "educated" decision. Yes we are. Question is, are you?

After making attempts to somehow "justify" our decision, I finally thought 'I don't need to justify SHIT to these people' so I said: "I'm done discussing this. Our decision is made." I thought the conversation was over. I was wrong.

The conversation quickly turned into me needing to be "open" to such testing if I haven't delivered by week 38 or 40. Apparently my chances of delivering a stillborn rise significantly if I go past this time given my "maternal age" (a term i am SO FUCKING SICK OF HEARING). Again, I asked for the stats and again, she didn't "know them off the top of " her head. So get them and present them to me, I said. She said she will. She did mention it is probably something like a jump from 1 in 1000 births to 3 in 1000 births. So, statistically that is a threefold jump even though the chances are so overwhelmingly significantly low. Yes, she agreed with that.


(I decided to do my OWN research on the subject and found that yes, the jump, while being 2-3 times higher in women over 35, is still overwhelmingly small. In fact, you see the majority of this jump in more "deprived" areas where medical care isn't routine. So statistically, I have about the same chance of delivering a NORMAL HEALTHY baby without having to worry about the stillborn issue as ANY OTHER WOMEN UNDER 35.)

Again, all of this is to "educate" me.


Then there's the whole vaccination debate. While we don't have to "worry" about that much with this particular clinic (we've found a pediatrician who is respectful of parent's decision to not vaccinate, which is a growing trend even in our neck of the woods--a relief for certain) in that the baby will only have just the one interaction w/them and that is at birth, we've still had to undergo questioning as well as their "opinions" on the matter. Hospital policy (aka standard procedure) says at birth, newborns will receive (unless parents say otherwise which believe you me we will!) the hepatitis b vaccination, along with an injection of vitamin k as well as an eye treatment of an antibiotic cream. We're saying no to all three, the last two ONLY being allowed if, again, it is medically warranted. (You find yourself saying that term a lot when you're a parent-to-be who thinks like us). The vitamin K injection is given in case (hospital speak for "cover our ass") the baby experiences injury/bleeding. Newborn baby bodies don't clot well during the first hours. I asked the midwife if the hospital provides the oral dosage of vitamin K, which after doing my own research, I learned was the best, most obvious, most effective means of providing this vitamin. Doing so in a shot in muscle tissue doesn't work well and has in fact been linked with newborn jaundice, a benign condition (a ridiculous term considering no babies have ever been asked "did this skin yellowing cause you any pain or discomfort?"). Midwife said "No, the hospital only injects it via a needle."

"Why?" I asked.

"That's just the way it's done."

"Yes," I continued. "But I read where oral injection is the most beneficial and doesn't have the risks or side-effects."

She couldn't disagree with me. FMI on Vitamin K injections, check out this link. I also learned that the first breastmilk provides an ample supply of vitamin K. Since I plan on starting to breasfeed immediately upon delivery, I think she will be ok. Think the midwife offered me this information? Nope. I had to inform her of my awareness of this. She confirmed this fact. Sigh.

Nature knows what she's doing, doesn't she? Miraculous and beautiful.

Then there's the hepatitis B vaccine insanity.

"Why on EARTH would we give our baby this vaccine when it is only caught through the sharing of bodily fluids, usually through sex and sharing of needles?" Mr. N boldly spoke up.

The midwife could only shake her head in agreement, but then went on to say the following rather haunting statement:

"Their idea is that they will catch everyone at birth when they're in the hospital setting and in that way, wipe out hepatitis B altogether."

Holy crap. "Catch" everyone? As though babies are cattle to these "they" folks. Oh wait, you and I are so why not babies, too?

I digress.

"But there has never been any solid evidence to show that vaccines of ANY kind actually work AT reducing or eliminating disease," I pointed out.

As a medical professional, she had nothing to say to that.

As far as the antibiotic eye-ointment, which is used, again "in case" of an eye infection which can happen as baby goes through the womb and comes in contact with my bodily fluid and bacteria. Ok, I thought, I can be open to that possibility occurring and need for such a cream. However, Mr. N and I once again used the magical term (drum roll please): Only if "medically warranted."

I swear to you all, we have spent MORE TIME talking about what COULD go wrong and defending our positions than we have about actually talking about what is going RIGHT. There has been next to no discussion about my health (which at this point is excellent), about my nutrition (very good), about exercise (I'm doing 45 minutes of prenatal yoga 3 days a week, plus walking and dancing, doing some hand weights and modified core training on my yoga ball on occasion). And...Not ONCE has anyone asked how I FEEL emotionally and mentally about being pregnant, delivery and being a mother. And my goodness there are a host of studies that show all of these factors are FAR MORE IMPORTANT than maternal age alone.

Thankfully I had the knowledge to know about doula's. We're interviewing our (potential) doula next week. She's from The Netherlands and gave birth to two of her children at home, without medical intervention. Talking with her over the phone, she said giving birth here in the States is a totally different experience than it is in The Netherlands (although sadly, she said that is changing as things become more corporate/westernized/fear-based). In dutchland, birth is viewed as it should be: A natural event. Fear isn't put into the minds of the birthing mothers as the people over there know this only adds to the stress mothers can experience. That was the one big difference, she said. Over here, pregnancy and delivery is to be feared. In The Netherlands, pregnancy and delivery is not something that is feared. Medical intervention is only used when, again, medically warranted. She sounds just awesome and just what I'm looking for. (And even my midwife said she is wonderful.) She will be my sounding board (along with Mr. N) during my delivery, when I will be completely immersed and absorbed in birthing this beautiful little baby I am carrying.

NY Judge Sticks It To A Bank By Wiping Out Couples Mortgage

A Judge with balls for sure. Maybe this be the beginning of a trend. May this set a precedent which will grant such dismissal to ALL struggling homeowners. Then once we clean up that mess we can focus on the millions of us who must rent simply due to greed and misguided values.

"Suffolk Judge Jeffrey Spinner erased $525,000 in mortgage payments that OneWest Bank was demanding from the couple. That includes $291,000 in principal and $235,000 in interest and penalties. The decision leaves the couple completely debt-free on their home. The Horoskis were only paying interest on their mortgage after falling behind due to health problems and a change in their interest rate, WABC said...Spinner slammed the bank's "harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive" acts and said the bank "must be appropriately sanctioned so as to deter it from imposing further mortifying abuse against [the couple],"..."


Did Ya Hear About...?

...the 40-something year-old woman from Ontario who died two days after receiving the H1N1 vaccination? And yet the headlines read "Ontario Woman Dies From Swine Flu".

Uh huh.

p.s. Don't forget to check out my new pregnancy blog (and leave a comment too if you want).


Pregnancy Blog Has Moved

Here's the link to my new/updated pregnancy blog. mamavictoria.wordpress.com The old one is being deleted upon posting this post.

I must say, I like wordpress better than blogger. But I'll still be keeping my musies and obsies up and going, while returning to my original username of Nina (ninja princess warrior).



Not much blogging lately. Focus has primarily been on this pregnancy deal, researching the normal things an expectant parent does plus seeking out other parents-to-be for support, laughter and the like. (If you haven't done so, check out my new pregnancy blog for exciting updates and humorous commentary. I'm thinking of moving it to another site so I can get this one back to Nina. I'm thinking wordpress and will post if/when I do.)

We had quite the experience with Qwest a couple of weeks ago. In a nutshell, we were lied to by the salesperson. We had signed up for a bundle deal on phone, cable television and high speed internet. It was a very good bargain, less than what we are currently paying. We were told there were absolutely no contracts, that all three services were month-to-month and we could cancel at anytime. When we asked about the cable, Direct TV (which we did not know was satellite--we don't pay attention to such things), we were never told it was Satellite TV. "This is cable television, right? That's what we have with Comcast and that's what I want to keep." I said. Yes, the sales clerk responded. We were assured there were no other fees hidden inside this great deal. After spending about 45 minutes on the phone working everything out, we spent much of the afternoon getting organized...gathering e-mail addresses, internet sites we visit. I composed an e-mail notifying people of our upcoming change of e-mail address.

Around 5pm, I noticed an e-mail from Direct TV. I opened it and read through it. First I was surprised to learn they're a Satellite provider. Next, I was additionally surprised to read of our TWO YEAR contract and $70 MONTHLY FEE (Qwest said it would be $34). There was also a list of extra little fees for equipment rental and the like.

WTF? I thought.

So we called Qwest and were informed that, yes indeedy, we were locked into a 2 year contract with Direct TV and that yes indeedy, their pricing information was correct. When we informed the CSR what we were told, he said "she was wrong".

So just as quickly as we thought we were getting a great deal, we canceled the entire package and thanked the CSR for allowing his company to waste our time.

Still not being totally satisfied, I decided to phone them up again and file a complaint. The gentleman I spoke with was profusely apologetic. He took the report and said it would be passed along to his Supervisor. However, he did nothing to attempt to rectify the situation. He made us no other offers, even after I said we would be going with their competitor.

So there you have it. Qwest sucks. They lie to their customers to get that sale. And when you're screwed over, they make no attempt at resolving the situation like. (And by the way, if you do decide to look into Qwest for one of their bundle packages, run like wild if you get hooked up with Stephanie from Idaho.)

We've had several near-misses with bicyclists lately in our town. There's this sense of aloofness (perhaps it's a bit of entitlement) some of these riders have. They don't think the rules of the road apply to them. They've run stop signs, causing us to slam on our brakes. They don't use hand signals (there's battery powered turn signals these folks can buy for a very reasonable price). They dart out in front of cars and they don't get right if they happen to be riding down the middle of the road, under the speed limit and you wish to pass. I'm tired of being flipped off when I point out their error (I'm pregnant and emotionally unpredictable. I may just get out of my vehicle and give one of these folks a good spanking.). Do they not care that, if they continue this behavior, they only increase their chances of getting hit? Is this what they want? Is it what they're looking for? The road belongs to us all and simply because you're on a bike does not mean you don't have to share it or follow the basic laws. These folks are as dangerous to road safety as are the folks who drive and talk on their cell phones. (I've already ranted about them enough on this blog so no need to do that now.)

There's a group of folks advocating for an end to homelessness in our community. Next week they're holding a meeting that I am thinking of attending. You see, I have an idea. It's practical and could be simple if only people would think outside of the box on this issue. (Most people in positions of power lack this skill.) My idea is to get the University's Sports Program, in particular the Football Program, to cough up a million dollars (or two) to buy some land and build a large apartment-style shelter. There would be room for garden space, including the space and ability to own some chickens, something the residents would be required to attend to (if physically able). I realize some who are homeless really do choose that life, based on who they are today as a result of their life experiences. But most don't want to have to figure out how to eat and where to sleep on a daily basis. The resources are already there to ensure no one has to ever ask themselves such questions. Instead of ripping up land to put up another unnecessary strip mall or build more of those tacky looking monstrous homes, let's instead use that land to provide for REAL human need, for those MOST in need. We can do it!

There is a real lack of authentic humor in today's media outlets. I'm so tired of sarcastic, crude behaviors disguised as humor that only really serve to insult. This is humor? Whenever one insults another in an attempt at being humorous, they lose me and only serve in making themselves look insecure. There is absolutely no humor to be found when someone is feeling ashamed, angry or in pain. Not saying I'm a prude as I enjoy some of the antics of south park-type humor on occasion (and in small doses). But that kind of humor has taken on a life of it's own whereby crude is now cool and authentic humor (along the lines of seinfeld, cosby and the like) is for sissies. Anybody can do crude. It doesn't take much talent. But to truly make someone laugh where no one gets harmed, now that's where real talent lies.