Friday, December 14, 2007
I would like to share part of this letter with you. I was shocked to read,"Due to differing treatment philosophies, we feel that you would be more comfortable in an office that shares your same views and beliefs. We have cancelled Cordelia's appointment on December 17, 2007." I received this letter after business hours on Thursday, December 13.
So, this is what I believe. I guess I'm not sure what beliefs Dr. Aarons' office holds if he feels I need to go somewhere else to find someone who shares my beliefs. I believe that all children should be treated with respect. I believe that patients, parents and the healthcare provider should work together to decide what course of treatment is in the best interest of the child. I believe that a parent is the final decision maker of what is best for the child. I believe that it is best to discuss differences of opinion with all parties and not act on one persons experience and that which is overheard by another. I believe that a parent can be the best asset a healthcare professional, including dentists, can have in a room to reassure the child that everything is OK.
I understand that there comes a time when children are ready and able to go into the back with the dental staff alone. I also understand that the dental office is probably good at dentistry. I have no expertise in this area, hence the reason my children see a dentist. What I want is a dentist's office that understands that I have expertise as well. My area of expertise is my children. I know what they are capable of more so than any dentist. I work with them prior to any and all visits to the doctor, dentist, and any other situation that is out of the norm so they understand what will happen. When I am caught in a situation where I am not able to prepare a child, I will be by that child every step of the way.
For those of you who don't know me very well, I have been through several dentist visits with several children. About age 5, all the kids were able to say they could do it themselves when asked. Cordelia is 3.
The letter makes it sound as if they are doing me a favor instead of firing us as patients. I would like it put on the record that I was not contacted by the dentist or anyone else in the office to discuss this decision. My understanding is that my conversation with the office manager was overheard by another staff member and the dentist discussed it with them only. I was told this morning that the office manager told the dentist both sides of the story. However, I have yet to comprehend how both sides of the story are presented when only one side is present.
Please feel free to forward this post in it's entirety if you feel it will help parents make choices and formulate questions for their dentist or other healthcare professional. We all need support from others that know this one simple truth. We are all experts in our own children.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Times change and so do traditions. We are now speeding through life at such a frenzied pace that the baking is going to be done right before Christmas. I am also trying to keep hold my "to do" list and know that it doesn't all have to be done. I don't have to keep the house really clean, I do have to keep it clean enough so we don't get sick. The house doesn't have to be decorated perfectly, but the decorations need to have meaning.
I have found new meaning in my Christmas tree star this year. Our star is on it's last leg, but I think I am going to take some time this next year to try and fix it instead of getting a new one. This star is one of the first Christmas tree decorations Odin and I bought at a sale after our first Christmas together. This year, it is looking sad and crooked. No matter how many times we get up there and straighten it, it looks like it is going to fall off the tree any moment. I have given up on the idea of having a perfect star on my tree. Come to think of it, this star is representative of how I should live my life. I am far from perfect, and many times I am looking sad, frazzled, and in all honesty, probably a little crooked as well. I do my job and I do it well, just as that star is up there reminding us of Jesus' birth. After all, what is in our hearts, and how we express that in our daily life through words and actions, not what we look like doing it that is important.
Reading over this, I realize that the words sound a little awkward, but that's ok! Maybe I won't fix the star this year. Maybe the new tradition will be a crooked star.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I'm not complaining, though. We had a whole day to play! Odin was able to get to work safely, all homework was done last night, and we haven't had to rush around at all. Half the kids are still in their pjs!
I could handle a few more days like this!
Saturday, December 08, 2007
The latest and greatest way they are getting Valen to leave them alone is to tell this sweet little almost two year old boy that I have candy for him. The poor child is constantly coming up to me saying, "canny? mooore?" When I tell him he can't have any, he'll stop his foot and say, "neet now, momma!" Like I'm going to give into that one.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
THINK AGAIN - I have two words for all of you: CHRISTMAS SNOOP
I was the queen of snooping at Christmastime. My kids are getting there earlier than I was and they are blaming the little ones. "I didn't open the door, Valen and Cordelia did it." When I ask who told them to do so, and who helped, I get the truth. "I did." Hey, at least they're honest!
So now is the season for snoop-proofing on top of the baby proofing!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
We were in the process of cleaning out and getting rid of stuff as we thought we were heading out of state. What we have found out in the process is that almost anything, not wrapped in a trash bag, will disappear from the end of our driveway very quickly.
We didn't actually see the stuff disappear, but what else could it be when the stuff is gone within an hour or so?
We had 2 beat up dressers, a queen size mattress and boxspring, a framed print that was stained and the glass cracked, an extremely old treadmill, as well as various toys find a new home via the magic driveway. What is so funny is that the neighbors' driveways aren't as magical. At least one has asked if they can use mine to see if their stuff would magically disappear instead of ending up in the garbage truck!
Monday, November 19, 2007
My consolation prize for the roller coaster ride of stay/go around here was getting a new bedroom set. I just put my clothes and things away and it all fits in half of the dresser and in half of the drawers under the bed. I still have an empty chest of drawers!!!! Does this mean I have to convince Odin I need to go shopping?
Keep in mind that I can work fast when needed. Talk to the schools, turn in my resignation at the church, figure out where we will live, get the movers, and so on. I am amazed at how much I got done in such a short amount of time. Odin comes home on Wednesday and tells me that UCM may have a better offer for him and that now, once again, we wait. WAIT!?!? I have 5 weeks if we move to Utah, and he says WAIT!?!?
Friday night, Odin walks in the door and tells me we are not moving. His program will be moved to another department and he will be made the chair. Good for us both financially and for his career.
However, the moral of this story is not that good things come to those who wait, nor is it that slow and steady wins the race. Instead, I should learn that sitting back, relaxing, and planning things thoroughly in my head can sometimes be better than racing around and actually accomplishing something! Just kidding. Even though all this week I get to spend reconstructing the life I so efficiently was deconstructing!
The best so far is that I heard from one doctor's office that this is a LIABILITY decision and not a patient safety decision! This sounds very close to the whole midwifery argument. Too much can go wrong too quickly, so only doctors should be at the birth, in a hospital, with an operating room and a scalpel at arms reach. GIVE ME A BREAK.
If this is true, and both VBACs and midwifes are too dangerous because anything can happen at a moment's notice, then why don't we legislate that all women have to have c-sections? After all, the doctors in general are saying that birth can cause problems quickly. If they can't care for women in low risk situations after VBACs, and if they can't support and offer care to a women should she be transfered from a homebirth with a competent midwife, how can they be trusted to deliver any babies, especially those of a first time mother?
As I keep digging on this issue, I'll keep posting about it.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
So, what did she do, you ask? Well, my darling little girl got into bed, let us kiss her goodnight and turn out the lights, and she went to sleep and stayed in her bed until this morning!!!!!!
OK, to be honest, she got up once because she said it felt like there was sand in her bed. To be perfectly honest, there was sand in the bed, and after we took care of the problem, she went back to bed.
Hopefully, this is the start of easier evenings for all of us!!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I have several questions about this policy, a few of which I have shared below.
1. What if I refuse to consent to surgery? Will you get a court order and tie me down before you slice me open?
2. Are you really going to practice the idea of informed consent? Are you going to tell me all the risks associated with a c-section vs the lesser risks of a VBAC?
3. Are you willing to back up this policy with current, reliable, non-biased research? The last discussion I had with certain physicians at Western Missouri Medical Center showed me that this current department did not follow current research when it came to breastfed babies and surgery.
4. Who is making this decision, and why am I having such a hard time getting a copy of a written policy.
There are soooooo many thoughts running through my head on this topic. First I need to arm myself with written policies, evidence, and the like. Next, I'm on a quest to right a wrong.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Odin is showing signs of transformation daily and it won't be too much longer until his ruggedly handsome facial features are indistinguishable from those of his cousin, the wolfman. So, if you see a hairy man wandering around in a suit, don't follow your instinct and run, it's just Odin showing off his ability to grow facial hair! He's promised that just like many furry creatures, the hair will disappear in the warmer months of spring.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Not me! Especially not now. The not knowing is just about killing me. I am wandering the house trying to figure out what to do next. I have too many things that I am waiting to hear back on that I am in a weird situation of lots to do, but not really able to do any of it until I get some answers.
I guess I'll do the laundry and the dishes. No matter what happens, the laundry and the dishes will always be there waiting for me.
According to my 3 1/2 year old, "You had enough baby boy time when you went on your trip. I want Cordelia time." She just doesn't understand that he needs to nurse every day whether we are at home or out of town!
Friday, November 02, 2007
I want to be my children's Mom, but I don't want to JUST be their Mom. I want to be ME! That includes being the best Mom I can be, while modeling that I am important too! My passions are a worthwhile endeavor that make me a better person. In turn, following my passions makes me a better Mom!
I will do my best to prioritize my life to include taking time for my passions. I won't need to neglect my children as I will find a way to make sure their needs are met. I will utilize the support of others to meet this goal and I will do my best to support them in turn.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
- I now have a 6th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader, a preschooler, and a toddler. Byron was promoted to the 5th grade this past Monday. So far, so good. We pray this will be a better fit for him.
-We are talking with a Realtor here in town to try and figure out what we would need to do to sell the house should Odin get a new job soon.
- I am speaking at the Missouri La Leche League conference this weekend.
-And the big news.... Odin, Valen and I are flying out to Utah on Monday.
I can't just drop that on you without an explanation. Odin has an interview at Southern Utah University and I am tagging along to check out the area, housing, and schools. I have two friends coming with their kids to keep my older four in line and Odin and I will only have the baby with us.
The stressful part of this situation is the not knowing. We don't know if he will get this job or not, but we do know the job starts in January. Lets see, housing market is not thriving and if he gets this job, we would have to relocate about 6 weeks later. We are definitely in a situation where I need to keep telling myself that God will put us where we need to be. As long as I do everything within my power, I have to trust that God will take care of the rest (the sleepy kind of rest, too!!).
Time to get back to Halloween preparations! The kids are going trick-or-treating downtown, and I get to help get balloons ready to pass out at the church. Check out Odin's blog in a few days for pictures.
You only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
Dear Friends, Supporters, & Miscellaneous "Bad Guys" that end up on the Lists,
We are still waiting to hear exactly when the Missouri Supreme Court will take up the midwifery law case, but it looks like it will definitely be after the first of the year. Our side has until Thanksgiving to get all of their legal briefs filed with the Supreme Court, then the other side has 30 days to file respondents briefs... and then, and then... as you know, court cases move very slowly.
I know that some of you pregnant women are anxiously waiting to know if your midwives will be legal by your due date. And I know others of you find the court case to be taking an excruciatingly long time....
During this waiting time, there is much to be done and much has been occurring around the state and across the nation. In our state, many positive things have been occurring. We continue to receive positive coverage of the midwifery issue - most recently the front page of the Kansas City Star -
Thanks to the time and effort that many, many people have put in, fund raisers and public awareness events have been occurring around the state.
~Several weeks ago, the Stockton area homebirth families sold baked goods at the local "Walnut Days" festival and raised over $500!
~Two weeks ago, the Springfield area homebirth families held a fund raising garage/bake sale, raising over $500 and, at the same time, educating everyone who stopped by about midwives.
~This weekend (Saturday, Oct. 27, 9 am), the Kansas City area homebirth families are hosting a fund raiser in Kansas City. They will be showing the Business of Being Born (Rikki Lake's new documentary on birth and midwives) and holding a silent auction, bake sale and round table discussion. If you would like to attend (Tickets in advance - $20), or have friends or family who might, please contact Cheryl - email@example.com or call 913-722-1721.
The St. Louis area homebirth families are planning a "Trivia Night" and silent auction Saturday, December 8, at the Ethical Society in St Louis and have hopes of raising several thousand dollars. If you would like to attend or donate to the silent auction, contact Samanda Rossi at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Across the nation, though, there has been an unfortunate increase in midwifery arrests, prosecutions, and investigations. We are all wondering if the American Medical Association's SOPP (Scope of Practice Partnership, recently created to specifically target practitioners like midwives who they feel are making headway into their turf) is at least partially responsible for this sudden increase in midwifery prosecutions.
As a result, a group of birth and midwifery activists from around the country will be meeting in mid-November to talk about what we can do to stem the tide and increasingly hostile climate for midwives in certain states. Missouri will be well represented at the meetings and we'll keep you posted as we make plans to combat this and work together on the national front. We believe this truth:
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
Meanwhile, in spite of all the other stuff going on, our attorneys must keep plugging along at our case. They very generously agreed be flexible and waive the interest on our bills for now. However, we need to pay down our current bill before they are willing to proceed with the case.
We issued a challenge several weeks ago, needing $17,000. To date, we have paid that bill down to $11,000. But this bill MUST BE PAID by the first of next week in order to stay in the case heading to the Missouri Supreme Court!
A very generous family has stepped forward and agreed to match your donations THIS WEEK ONLY for up to $5,500! If we can raise $5,500 this week, they will match it, and we will have our bill paid up to date.
If you have not donated recently, please consider donating at this crucial time. If you don't have $500 to give, perhaps you can donate what is in your change jar. Perhaps you are willing to forgo buying another pair of shoes, and instead send in the money you would have spent on them. Or perhaps your mother-in-law could donate some money or sell her famous pumpkin pies...
Everyone can donate something.
Think about it - what can you give this week?
Donate online at: www.freethemidwives.org
OR by check or money order:
Free the Midwives
PO Box 2319
Rolla, MO 65402
Thank you all so much!
Sincerely and Gratefully,
History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats. - Bertie C. Forbes
Friday, September 28, 2007
So, it makes me ponder the thought of moving back to where I grew up. What would it be like to live within walking distance of my parents. Tonight, as the kids are begging to stay up "just a few more minutes," made me dream of having help nearby when Odin is out of town. Better yet, as we start to enter the teen years, wouldn't it be nice to say the following to a cranky child, "Take a walk and tell Grandma and Grandpa all about how mean your mom is."
The downside would be that Grandma and Grandpa may actually sympathize with their grandkids over things I would never have gotten away with!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The positive side of North Dakota is the fact that it is much closer to family. We are talking 2-6 hours to lots of relatives. Maybe someone would even offer to watch the kids every now and then (hint, hint). The house listings on realtor.com looked promising as well and Odin would be able to chose a new (well, newer) house or a really old one. Truthfully, housing in either state would be doable.
The big thing I am wondering about is the weather. While I think it gets cold here in MO, I am sure I would get a rude awakening in either place. Let's just hope the jobs would start after this winter. Otherwise, I'll just stay indoors as much as possible if we move during the winter!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Ethics in Action: The Courage to Stand Up
Monday, September 24, 2007
He said that policies need to be clear. My thoughts are that if his policy had been clear, and that if he and his colleagues had answered my questions and not backed away from them, that we would never have gotten to this point. Odin leaves on Wed for his NCATE trip. Surgery cancelled may not be such a bad thing.
I have put forth so much effort into getting to know the healthcare providers we use here in town as well as in the city. It just recently dawned on me that I will have to start all over once Odin finds a new job.
I have to wonder if whatever town get us will be ready for me? Odin will fit in anywhere - hardworking, team player that he is. You know the type - works too hard too often! But then there is me. I can't seem to keep my mouth shut when something isn't right. It's not the little things, it's the stuff that could potentially harm my family, or for that matter, the next family in line. I figure if it affects us, it's got to be an issue for another family as well. I know I can stand up for what's right, the next person might not be able to speak up for a variety of reasons. Maybe that's why I like politics so much!
So, back to the point. Odin is job hunting seriously again. So, I have to check out all the areas to which he applies. What are the schools like? Healthcare? Breastfeeding and midwifery legislation? The list goes on and on.
Well, I guess know I'll have to find time to do the research as it's way too important!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Aside from the fact that I am trying to keep up with the legalities of midwifery here in MO, I have started a new bakery business, Deanna's Kitchen. Now, to top it all off, Odin is starting to clue me in more on his job search.
While I do like where I live, and I love our home, I realize that Odin has dreams and I am more than happy to support him in any new venture. We will find a home and find our niche in whatever new community we choose. What I'm more stressed about is the fact that he is not limiting his search to small college towns! I DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN A BIG CITY!!!!!!!!! Give me a small town, a house with a view of something not flat and empty space not too far away and I'll be happy. As much as I want him to succeed, I hope the universities in the small towns are the ones interested in him and the bigger schools find someone else!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Nikki has listened to the entire audio discussion of HB818. I had to listen a few times to understand what was being discussed. Senator Graham mentions that anytime the word license and the Senator from the 7th (Loudon)are mentioned together that he gets nervous. He asked Senator Ridgeway about her amendment, but he never asked about the Senate Substitute for HB818.
Check out Nikki's page count as well. 55 pages in the House to 131 in the Senate. There's gotta be more than just midwifery in this bill.
My understanding is that an amendment was placed on another bill (HB 818) that referenced a federal statute. They did not use any of the following hot button words: midwife, midwifery, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, etc. They merely referenced the statute. So, in essence, if a midwife is licensed in another state, she (or he) can provide services in MO.
Some say the way it was done was unethical, underhanded and even dishonest. How is it dishonest? Each and every senator and representative had the chance to read the amendment and ask questions. Someone could have asked about the federal statute that was referenced. Out of all the legislators, couldn't someone have researched it, or had someone they trusted research it?
In my personal opinion, I don't know if I would have done it this way. However, I am outraged that Senator Loudon is being called a liar. There is much work for our legislators and many paths which they can take to get the work done. Senator Loudon played within those rules just as Senator Graham played within the rules when he took such a vehement stance against midwifery. I didn't like what Senator Graham was doing, but I respected that it was what he needed to do since he felt so strongly about his position to keep women and babies out of the hands of the best prenatal, labor, delivery, and postpartum care in low risk situations.
By the way, Senator Graham was one of those who didn't do his research. In the end, he voted for midwifery. Maybe I should call him and say thanks for supporting midwifery. Wouldn't that just make his day.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
From page 1066 of the Missouri State Senate Daily Journals:
HB 351, introduced by Representative Wood, et al, entitled:
An Act to amend chapter 10, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the designation of the official state invertebrate. Was taken up by Senator Goodman.
Senator Loudon offered SA 1, which was read:
SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
Amend House Bill No. 351, Page 1, Section 10.125, by deleting all of said section and replacing it with the following:
“10.125. The Missouri Medical Society shall be known as the official invertebrate of the state of Missouri due to their unwillingness to compete with a bunch of midwives.”
Senator Loudon moved that the above amendment be adopted.
At the request of Senator Loudon, SA 1 was withdrawn.
Friday, April 27, 2007
The dream starts with me being anxious and nervous. I'm at the capital building and my kids are no where to be seen. For some strange reason, even the baby is missing from this dream. I decide to stop by Sen. Graham's office just on the off chance that something I say or do might influence his behavior and he will just let SB303 come to a vote. I'm not hopeful, but I enjoy talking with Beverly, and I get a chuckle out of Ted sticking his head around the corner to see who is in the outer office.
I start talking to Beverly, who notices right away that my arms are empty and there are no children hanging on my skirt. We chit chat a little, and right on cue, Ted sticks his head around the corner and pops back into the inner office. I smile to myself and am about to leave when the unthinkable happens. Ted invites me into the inner office to have a sit down with Senator Graham himself!
I'm about ready to pee my pants! I think, "Does he know who I am? Does he want to talk about midwifery or something else?" I steel my nerves and walk in. We sit down and he comments that many midwifery supporters have stopped by this session, and he thought it was only fair to hear one of them out. WHAT!?
I start out by asking him if he has read the bill in it's entirety. He replies, "No, but if it is anything like last years, I will continue to oppose it." (Side note: I really don't know if he has read the bill or not.)
"Why haven't you read the bill, Senator?" I ask.
"What's the point? Babies need to be born with a trained medical professional present, and a midwife trained by some internet course just isn't good enough," he says as he smiles stubbornly.
I shock him by saying, "Your right about one thing, a midwife trained by some internet course just isn't good enough." Senator Graham sits up a little straighter, almost like he thinks he has won. I continue, "Please read the bill and show me where the training required is just some internet course," I say as I hand him a copy of the bill. Hold onto your seats, ladies and gentlemen. HE READS THE BILL RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF ME!
I can tell he is getting irritated that he can't find anything to back up his internet course argument. I am getting a little excited and I am the one to sit up a little taller this time. "Senator Graham," I say ever so sweetly, "It seems to me as if the actual bill may be something other than what you thought it was. I have heard you debate the midwifery legislation on the floor, and if even one third of your points were true, I would work twice as hard against this bill instead of supporting it. I would be more than happy to run down your list of concerns and address them with facts and evidence. I'll even keep the touchy, feelly, emotional stuff to a minimum."
"You know, Mrs. Jurkowski, I'd like that," he replies. We sit there and discuss things like education, training, insurance, safety, and even cleanliness of a home vs hospitals. All in all, it was a very good discussion.
To keep this post from getting that much longer, I'll cut to the end. As I get up to leave, still feeling that he is totally against this bill, he asks to to stay just one more minute. "Mrs. Jurkowski, you have made your case well, but not well enough. I still think that babies should be born with physician in attendance."
I am feeling very dejected at this point, but at least I tried. "Well, thank you for your time, Senator Graham," I say as I start to walk out the door.
"Wait a minute, I'm not finished," he says. I turn around and he has this weird smile on his face. "You have made you case well, and while I cannot see myself supporting this bill, I do think that it is time I stopped holding it hostage and filibustering at every chance. If all it takes is for me to keep quiet for it to get to a vote in the Senate, than that's what I'll do."
My knees are weak and it is a really good thing there was a chair right behind me! "Are you serious, Senator? I mean, you aren't just saying this so you can get out there and talk about the germs toddlers carry and anyone taking an internet course again, are you?"
He smiles nicely and says, "You deserve a chance. I am still voting against this bill, but your persistence and knowledge of the issue, as well as the evidence you present has impressed me enough to make me discontinue my intense opposition to stop this bill at all opportunities."
I finally compose myself, thank him again, and walk out the door saying a quick goodbye to Beverly. I continue to walk down the hall, turn a corner and then allow myself to jump up and down for joy. Two seconds later, I am on my cell phone calling those who need to know that Senator Graham has said he will not oppose the bill coming to a vote because as you all know, good news travels fast!
The dream doesn't continue to the outcome of a vote in the Senate, but I wake up with a smile anyway!
Wouldn't it be nice if this dream would come true?
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Permission granted from Skye Cobb of The Daily Star-Journal to post in its entirety.
Local Woman Lobbies For Midwife Bill In Senate And House
By SKYE COBB
Star-Journal Staff Writer
A local woman is working hard to get a midwifery bill passed in the
Missouri State Senate and House.
Missouri Senate Bill 303 and House Bill 503 would create a Board of
Direct-Entry Midwives within the Division of Professional Registration.
This board would consist of three Certified Professional Midwives, one
physician, and one public member. Senate Bill 303 would allow the state to
regulate who is practicing with the power to issue licenses and to suspend,
revoke or deny the license of a direct-entry midwife.
Currently in Missouri it is a felony for a midwife to deliver a baby at
home and there are organizations, such as Friends of Missouri Midwives,
Missouri Midwives Association and the Show Me Freedom in Health Care
Political Action Committee who are attempting to give the choice of where a
baby is born back to the mother.
Deanna Jurkowski is lobbying at the capitol for the passage of this
bill, which would allow mothers in Missouri the choice of where their baby
Jurkowski said that midwifery is legal, or not illegal, in 40 states and
that by making it illegal and unavailable, it is increasing the number of
unattended home births that occur, often with no one there who knows how to
stop a hemorrhage or resuscitate a baby.
She said she has been working for three years to get this bill passed.
According to Jurkowski, the Missouri Medical Association is coming out
strongly against this bill.
"It's all volunteers," said Jurkowski. "We do not have a paid lobbyist.
We're a grassroots movement. We've been working diligently for the last
The bill has passed the House twice before and was blocked in the Senate
both times. This time Jurkowski said she believes it's getting farther in
the Senate because legislators know more about the midwife profession.
"We've gotten farther than we've ever gotten before," said Jurkowski.
"We've perfected the bill; now we're waiting on the roll call vote. Sens.
(Chuck) Graham and (Yvonne) Wilson have said they're going to filibuster so
we're just not sure what's going to happen from this point on."
She said that she has talked with Sen. Chris Koster and that in the past
he's been supportive, but this year he's been much more supportive.
"We're not sure but with enough work, we're pretty sure we could pass
the House again," said Jurkowski.
She is somewhat worried about a lot of new people in the House. She said
that getting this bill passed is not only about getting information out
there, but combating the misconceptions of what a midwife does.
"There are people who think that midwives will perform abortions and
that's not true," said Jurkowski. "All a midwife is there for is to provide
care during a normal pregnancy. They do prenatal care and the child birth,
check on the mother afterwards, but if anything comes up that is outside of
normal, they will transfer that patient to the hospital."
Jurkowski said that she has had an illegal home birth, but in Illinois,
not in Missouri.
"That child died," said Jurkowski. "But that child died because she had
a heart defect, she had surgery and something happened during the surgery."
In the subsequent investigation the doctor reported to the coroner's
report that the child had had a home birth and that it was a lack of
"Well we could produce prenatal records, but we had to cross off all
identifying information about our midwife because they actually hunt down
and prosecute midwives in Illinois," said Jurkowski.
She said that right now if a mom chooses to have a home birth and
something goes wrong she has to call 911 and the midwife has to leave
because she'll be arrested and prosecuted.
"Women are choosing to take that risk anyway," said Jurkowski. "If this
bill passes it's going to license and regulate these midwives. We're going
to have a standard of care. They're going to be licensed. If something comes
up where there is a transport needed the midwife can go to the hospital with
the mother and she can relay all the information...It'll be safer for
mothers and babies."
She said that research shows that in a low-risk, healthy, normal
pregnancy a home birth is just as safe if not safer than a hospital birth.
Jurkowski stated that a midwife would be required to make a decision
whether a mother is healthy enough for a home birth; and that if they are
not, the midwife would not provide them with health care but send them to a
She said the other part of this bill regards collaborative practice
agreements, and that is where a midwife would have to have a doctor sign off
that he's going to be responsible for her actions and that is not going to
This bill really focuses on Certified Professional Midwives, a
nationally recognized title and profession.
Midwives Continued from Page 1
"Certified Nurse Midwives are legal in the State of Missouri," said
Jurkowski. "They can do home births if they have a collaborative practice
agreement. There's only one doctor in the state willing to sign
collaborative practice agreements and he's not going to do it anymore. So
that means there's only one midwife doing home births in the State of
She said that it sounds good in theory but that the doctor is putting
his license on the line for the actions of someone else.
"This bill says everybody's actions should stand alone," said Jurkowski.
"The midwives should stand alone, the doctors should stand alone, they're
only responsible for something they do."
If the bill passes, Certified Professional Midwives will be required to
go through the same training as in other states, with differences according
to the state.
The CPM credential is the only one that requires the midwife to have
training in out-of-hospital births.
Certified Professional Midwives are required to have 1,350 clinical
hours of one-on-one training with their preceptor plus their academic work,
which takes years of full-time study to complete, said Jurkowski.
They are also required to take the North American Registry of Midwives
(NARM) exam -- an eight hour written exam and demonstrate proficiency at 750
hands-on skills, before receiving their certification.
The CPM credential process is overseen by the National Organization for
Competency Assurance - the very same one that oversees nurses, nurse
practitioners and nurse midwives credential process.
She said that another issue that comes up with this bill is insurance
and the fact that midwives are not required to carry malpractice coverage.
"No insurance group is going to cover them because it would be
astronomical," said Jurkowski. "Currently in the State of Missouri a
physician is not required to carry malpractice insurance. Hospitals may
require them to, but Missouri State Law does not require them to carry
She said that physicians are not required to disclose to their patients
whether or not they carry malpractice insurance. They don't have to inform
the patient of their history, background, education or insurance.
"A midwife, according to this bill, has to disclose all of these things:
the risks, the benefits, her training, how many births she's attended and
whether or not she carries insurance, which is a good thing. That means the
mom is getting all the information and is able to make a well reasoned
She said that sometimes it feels like they're (legislators) saying that
women in Missouri aren't smart enough to make a good choice.
"If you're going to complain about something you've got to be willing to
make a stand to fix it," said Jurkowski. "That's why I do what I do. ...
We're not going away. We'll keep pounding the pavement until we get there.
... We need the support. I know there are a lot of medical professionals who
disagree, but my opinion is that by not having midwives legal in the state
and regulated by the state that it's harming mothers and babies. I think it
would be much safer for both mothers and babies and families in general, to
have this option in the State of Missouri."
On April 15 Jurkowski received an e-mail which included a link to a
petition asking Missouri Legislators to allow Certified Professional
Midwives to practice in Missouri.
After posting the link on her blog, and as of April 24, there were 787
signatures on it.
For more information or to help the cause please call Deanna at (660)
530-4310 or visit her Web site at www.deannajurkowski.blogspot
The petition is located at
Check out the transcript.
Today's lesson was all about enemies. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the emotion and turmoil of a good cause and look at the opposition as our enemy. I am not talking about their position being the enemy, but the individual or group that is standing in our way. I myself get trapped in this frequently. There has been more than one occasion where I get irritated with an individual and focus on the person instead of the situation at hand.
In the case of SB 303, are the legislators who oppose this bill my enemies? While some may think so (if we use a mild definition of the word enemy), I think differently. My enemy is misinformation, fear, and lack of knowledge about the issue. My enemy is also whatever reason certain individuals refuse to have a reasoned conversation about midwifery.
If I were to stay so narrow minded that I considered those who opposed this bill as my enemy, I wouldn't get very far in life. This morning I decided to focus on the enemies that I have a chance at defeating (or at least wounding). The enemies I choose to take on in the case of midwifery legislation are fear, ignorance, mistrust, as well as others. I choose to work hard in an ethical manner so I am proud of my efforts no matter what the outcome. I chose to be diligent and stay strong so those who hold opinions on the other side know that I will be back. I will continue to initiate these conversations and to present information that backs up my position.
I am only one person, but I can change the world!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
This is a discussion that Odin and I have frequently. I volunteer with the schools, the church, La Leche League, midwifery legislation, scouts, and several other little things that always seem to creep up.
Why is it that I must share my time with so many people? I'm good at what I do, but let's face it, so are others! Many times I stand up because I see a problem. I truly believe that if you don't like how something is working then you must be ready to offer an alternative. In addition, you must be willing to help implement the alternative. I see lots of problems in our world. I am willing to stand up, offer an alternative, and get my hands dirty fixing what I see broken.
Sometimes I think that when the babies are older, I'll get a job and contribute to the family monetarily. Realistically I know that it will never happen. Work would just get in the way of my efforts to change the world one person at a time!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Anticipation can conjure a myriad of emotions all at the same time. Excitement, hope, fear, frustration, and of course, exasperation and exhaustion are a few that I am dealing with today.
The political process can be very overwhelming. Our children are taught how a bill becomes a law in a simplified manner. We love School House Rock - I'm just a bill. The problem is that there is so much more to how a bill becomes a law. First read, second read, third read, perfection, hearings, voice votes, roll call votes... my head is spinning!
I remember thinking in 7th grade civics, "when will I ever use this stuff?" I now know. I use this stuff every day of the year, whether I am actively working on a bill or not. The days of thinking that I know it all are long gone, and to be honest, those days didn't last long at all. I learn more each and every year I stay involved in the legislative process.
The thought of giving up and giving in crosses my mind more often than I would like to admit, but then who's going to suffer from me sitting by and letting what I think is wrong stay the status quo? If I am wrong about licensing and regulating Certified Professional Midwifes in the state of MO, would someone please take the time to go over the evidence supporting the premise that babies should be born in hospitals with doctors in attendance? If I am wrong, will someone take the time to set me right with current research so I can truly act in the best interest of mothers and babies in MO? If I am wrong, show me why so I can step back, take a deep breath and relax for just a moment and revel in the moment that this is a battle I don't have to fight.
The problem is that current research and evidence clearly show that midwifery is as safe, if not safer than physician attended hospital births for low risk pregnancies and births. Even the federal government knows this. Healthy People 2010 (pg 6) says that the United States should increase the use of midwives.
Since I don't know everything, I look to the evidence to make up my mind. I forward information on the the legislators and anticipate their answers. I go through several emotions and settle on the one to fit each response. I hope those undecided will be won over by the facts. I get frustrated and exasperated with those who dig in their heels and decide they know best while spouting misinformation in their arguments. I get excited when a legislator shows their intelligence by contemplating the issue and the supporting documentation on both sides and making a choice base on the evidence.
I just realized the time, and the baby is yet again waking up. This post has gone off in all directions, and for that I am sorry. I hope those of you reading can see a glimmer of a point in the ramblings of a very tired mother of two sick babies and three grade school children who are off to school early in the morning.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
We are now on the Senate calendar for third reading! There is still a ways to go, but we are that much closer and have never been this close before.
Check out the following media coverage of yesterday's voice vote! Of particular interest to me is Senator Koster's comment that "It went through like a greased pig." I am so glad to see that my Senator is in support of this legislation!
Check out the current status of SB303 to see for yourself!
If you haven't signed the petition in support of Midwifery, drop everything and DO IT NOW! We are up to 651 signatures!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Do you trust your Doctor?
Does your Doctor trust you?
I read a birth story the other day. The woman mentioned that she was not only seeing a CPM, but she was seeing an OB as well. I believe the CPM knew she was seeing the OB, but the OB fully believed that this woman would be delivering her child at the hospital with the OB in attendance. The woman felt she needed to do this based on a previous medical history and wanting to have certain lab tests and screenings performed. (in another entry I'll get into why CPMs can't order tests – they aren't doctors and aren't practicing medicine!)
With patients not telling their physicians the whole story, is it any wonder that they don't trust their patients until they have really gotten to know us? I am thankful that I have a family physician that knows my family. I worry every time I go to the ER, or see a new physician that someone will think I am beating my children. My family physician has seen them in action and knows what little monkeys I give birth to! Our physician knows that when my 8 y/o comes in and says he fell off the ladder to his loft, he really did. I often wonder how believable the truth really sounds.
I remember having to “prove” myself to an OB. We moved to a new town when I was 5 or 6 months pregnant with my second child. I wanted a VBAC and the OB said all the right things, but in the end I had a 2nd cesarean. They said the baby's heart rate was too low. I had the same OB with my third child and again wanted a VBAC. This time I hired a doula. The baby's heart rate dropped a little during pushes (normal) and the OB said that since she knew from the past that I would let her do a cesarean if necessary that we could go a little longer than we did last time. WHAT!? Why make the situation sound worse to get your way? BTW, baby 4 was born at home, and because we moved to MO, and because we need to screen for a specific and rare defect, babies 5 and 6 were born in town at the hospital.
Why can't we trust one another to tell the truth and to tell the WHOLE truth? One reason is that as citizens of MO we have to go underground to find the best care.
If we lived in a state where midwives were able to attend homebirths, just think of the differences. A woman could decide she wanted a homebirth with a midwife, but she still wants certain prenatal screenings, etc. A midwife, who doesn't practice medicine, could send a woman to a physician along with records of prenatal care and the woman could get medical care from the physician AND the physician would have all the information. A woman, like me, could get a fetal echo cardiogram to rule out congenital heart defects. My baby and I could make an appointments for another echo once the baby arrived and I would have records of prenatal care. We wouldn't have the hospital threatening us if we didn't give up the name of our midwife, because it would all be above board and legal.
So many people are being hurt by the lack of above board homebirths attended by CPMs in the state of midwifery. It's not just the midwives who can't earn a living out in the open. It's the mothers, babies, fathers, siblings, and yes, even the doctors who suffer when we all can't be open, honest and trusting with one another about the best care choices and the best medical choices for those involved.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I received the following and wanted to pass it on. The link to the petition is at the end as well.
A woman's right to give birth how and with whom she chooses is on the line. There is a bill pending right now in the Missouri House and Senate that will allow for Certified Professional Midwives to legally practice in the state, similar to the laws of 40 other states. (Senate Bill 303 and House Bill 503) Midwifery is truly the OLDEST profession for women.
Currently it is not legal to practice midwifery in Missouri due to others wanting to control how women give birth. In fact it is a felony for a midwife to deliver a baby at home even with the consent of the mother!
All of the well designed medical studies show homebirth with a professional midwife to be equally safe to hospital birth for healthy women. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Public Health Association (APHA) recommend increasing the role of midwives, as does the "Healthy People 2010" project in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Whether you chose to give birth at home or in the hospital does not matter. It only matters that you support the option to be available for women. Please sign the petition on the link below and let your legislators know that you want them to vote yes for legal professional midwifery in Missouri. It is urgent that you do this immediately as time is running out!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
We got a couple of bills in the mail yesterday. The bills themselves weren't surprises, but the amounts sure were.
My 14 month son had an ultrasound done to see if his testicles had descended. My cost? $400 for just the hospital. I have yet to get the radiologist's bill.
My 3 year old daughter had dental work done under general anesthesia at Children's Mercy South. Cost for the 3-4 hours? $8900. This does not include the dentist bill or the anesthesiologist's bill. I will have to pay $2000 of this amount.
My insurance has a $4000 out of pocket limit, and having a baby makes me pay it ALL. I can't even remember what the total bill was the last time we had a baby. Odin thinks between the hospital, Dr. and the labs they love to run, it was close to $10,000 for both me and baby. Personally, I think it was closer to $8000, but either way it's lots of money.
The last time I had a midwife attended birth my total cost for both midwife and supplies was under $700. BIG DIFFERENCE!
Midwives spend more time with their clients than a physician. The midwife is there during prenatal visits to educate the mother. A typical prenatal visit with a midwife lasts 2-3 times longer than a visit with a physician (although it may take longer at the Dr.'s office if you have a long wait!). A midwife spends as much time as necessary with a mother during her labor and birth. A physician spends little time during the labor and comes in to catch the baby at the end.
Here's the question: Why does it cost SO MUCH MORE to have a physician attended birth than a midwife attended homebirth?
Friday, April 13, 2007
I'm famous! Well, not really, but it's nice to be quoted. Check out Kolbi's page for more midwifery information and discussion.
Here's my toenail argument.
Keep in mind that with all circular types of arguments, you need to be aware of whom you are speaking with, the mood in the room, time constraints, etc...
I was trimming the children's toenails and told them about how great grandpa had to have his toenails trimmed in the hospital when it hit me - this is the same thing as childbirth needing to happen in many places.
Think about trimming toenails for a moment. Most of us trim our own at home and help our children. Some need help and have someone assist them at home. Others have to go to a Doctor's office and still others need to have it done in a hospital setting.
So, how is the decision made as to where to cut toenails?
Each person makes the decision based on his or her health history. If there are issues that need to be addressed, than it is discussed with the appropriate health care professional. Diabetes and bleeding disorders are two reasons I know of.
Just because my grandfather had this problem, doesn't mean I do. Should I have to have my toenails trimmed in a hospital? Should we legislate that all toenails must be trimmed by a doctor?
SHIFT OVER TO CHILDBIRTH
Each person weighs their health history and circumstances. Low risk, good history? Why not have the baby at home? If there are concerns over certain things in a health history, why not have a hospital birth with a midwife, a family practice doctor, or an OB? And last, but not least, we have the perinatologist for those super high risk births.
Really now, if the legislators are saying no to CPMs, shouldn't they be legislating that all births be performed by perinatologists? (how do you think that would go over with OBs, and family doctors who think and say it is not a money issue?
So in a HUGE nutshell, that is the toenail argument and it really does flow better in person!
He said what?!
It has come to my attention that a legislator said that “people can't be trusted to make the right choice. Government needs to take care of them.” My goodness! While I really hope this wasn't actually said, I know that it probably was in some shape or form. As I heard this through the grapevine, I cannot verify which legislator said this. I will however say that I am pleased that neither my Representative, nor my Senator has been linked to this comment.
Let's assume for a moment that this was not only said, but that there really are legislators who believe that government must take care of people because people make poor choices. If these legislators are correct, we are all in trouble.
Last time I checked the qualifications of elected officials, I found that they all must be residents of the district they are representing. This doesn't say they must be human people, but for my argument's sake and using common sense, I will assume that resident doesn't include cows, ducks, sheep, dogs, or according to my 8 y/o son, robots. So, if I have this right, Government is made up entirely by, drum roll please, PEOPLE!
I'm now going to use a word that many parents hate. STUPID. According to the dictionary, the word stupid means, “lacking common sense.” In all fairness, this is probably one of the most appropriate arguments in which to use this word.
According to this legislator, people are stupid. They don't make good choices and can't be trusted. Keep reading, this gets a little bumpy. Trust me, I do have a point. Every time I use the word people, I will preface it with stupid.
Stupid people run for office.
Stupid people vote stupid people into office.
Stupid people are now legislators making decisions for the rest of the stupid people.
The Stupid people who are legislators think that everyone else is stupid and needs to be taken care of.
Stupid people make laws that IMO are lacking in common sense (criminalizing midwifery).
New stupid people are elected into office by other stupid people.
These new stupid people refuse to vote for legislation that IMO makes sense (HB 303).
So now we have law enforcement (once again – stupid people) and judges and juries (what do you know more stupid people) involved.
Within this scenario, we are all in heaps and heaps of trouble.
I would much rather believe that the public (people with intelligence and common sense) elect individuals with intelligence and common sense into office. These legislators work diligently and use evidence and common sense to help shape our society. In this scenario, I don't see how any legislator using evidence and common sense would vote against legalizing and regulating midwifery in Missouri. It really blows my mind that any legislator would vehemently stand in the way of this bill even getting to a vote. So my question is, do the legislators standing in the way of the midwifery bill think that the citizens of MO are stupid people?
Once again, I have no confirmation as to who said this to begin with, or from what party it may have come from. However, it does make me wonder.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
If you have never taken your kids to the Missouri State Capital, I highly recommend it. I've had my kids up there in all kinds of weather, on busy days, and on slow days. For those of you who have been around in the daytime, I recommend you stay late on a day that the legislators continue their session into the late evening. The attitude in the building dramatically shifts. The seemingly uptight legislators and lobbyists relax a little and don't seem to put on quite the "show of the politician." Antsy children are smiled at and engaged, and if you're lucky you may see my kids playing with a beach ball or Frisbee in the halls. This is the government that I love. "Of the people, by the people." Let's not forget "FOR THE PEOPLE."
Now for the crux of the matter, how in the world is opposing SB 303 here in MO, "FOR THE PEOPLE?" Last I checked, this bill gives the option of a trained, skilled, and practiced midwife to families in MO.
I have had babies, several in fact, six to be exact. The best, and by far the easiest was with a midwife, on my living room floor, under the Christmas tree. Why is it that I can go to more states in the United States and not worry that my midwife may be prosecuted for committing a felony, but in MO, I have to sneak around and "covertly" have a homebirth out of fear for my midwife? Since when does my family, my midwife, and most importantly my unborn child not fall into the category of people, as in "for the people."
Give us a chance, sit down, and let it get to a vote.