All posts tagged: baby

Lambs Cut Down in Spring

There are four prerequisites for Spring. Four things that I must witness before Spring can truly be declared as here and happening: Daffodils in bloom. Sunshine without sunburn. Washing on the line (rather than strung throughout the house). And lambs frolicking in paddocks. It’s a season of unfurling, of pink vulnerability and joyful abandon. Gah! Those sweet little lambs. White and carefree, romping in the green, performing those delightful leaps that linger at mid-point. That’s before some crazy jumps the fence with a hammer and bludgeons one to death. One, then another, and another, until the poor Beulah farmer has a pile of 56 lamb carcasses, mindlessly killed, tortured. One had the wool ripped off its shins and its ears burned, the farmer told reporters. Gives you chills. What prompts such brutality? Please, can someone identify the gene, the experience, the upbringing, the education that generates such behaviour so we can purge society of it? Alas, you know as well as I do, that’s not going to happen. Let me be honest. When I saw photos of …

Fatherhood Billboard Replaced With Beer Ad. Guess Which Received a Complaint for Being Inappropriate?

Surprise baby?  Surprising joy. The four words on a billboard in Hobart that was taken down after a complaint that it was within the 150m-exclusion zone around an abortion clinic, as stipulated by the new Reproductive Health Act. The billboard on Victoria Street in Hobart’s CBD was defined by a photograph of a young father and his son, an ultrasound image and those four ‘offensive’ words. Surprise baby?  Surprising joy. Advertising company Claude Outdoor promptly removed the billboard after that single complaint.  The ad had remained beyond the contract period of client Emily’s Voice, and uncertainty around the interpretation of the law put them in an awkward position. Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke explained the situation in an article on the charity’s website. “We didn’t purposefully seek to flout the law, although we don’t consider our media campaigns a “protest” but a promotion of life, love and liberty. The billboard in question promotes fatherhood, family and commitment. It’s pro-life, pro-women and pro-family, not anti-abortion. There’s a huge difference.” It’s probable that he is right – the …

A Baby’s a Baby, all the Time!

Babies.  They begin as a ‘zygote’, are dubbed an ’embryo’ at around two weeks before assuming the title of ‘fetus’ at 8 weeks.  If they die before 20 weeks it’s called a ‘miscarriage’ and thereafter, a ‘stillbirth’.  Technicalities.  Because a mother knows her baby to be life from go to whoa, and a baby’s death is painful whatever the doctors call it.  Anja’s son died in the womb at 17 weeks.  Here, she courageously shares his short story and the reality that “a baby’s a baby, all the time”, in her words.  A This Little Life story. (Please note, this story includes a photo of Anja’s son, born at 17 weeks) “In late October 2009 we were thrilled to discover that we were expecting a baby. We had experienced a previous early pregnancy miscarriage, but figured we were in the clear as, by the time I saw those two pink lines, we were already past the point of our previous loss. As excited ‘first time’ parents we announced our pregnancy creatively to our family, I …

“Hair Brushed and Bra on Before Noon… it’s Going to be a Great Day!”

One day at a time. Such sweet little words. Never have they brought such perspective and relief as now; juggling the energy of an adventurous three-year-old son with the three-hourly feeds of a three-month-old daughter. Do you know, this ‘one day at a time’ philosophy has brought such immense peace despite all the uncertainties of taking a newborn home; despite sleepless nights, reflux, colic, the endless washing and becoming a target for the three Ps (poo, pee and puke!). In the midst of those frazzling, early-hours-of-the-morning scream sessions, when I’ve wept with frustration and fatigue, I’ve been able to sooth the brain spasms with phrases like, ‘tomorrow’s another day’, and ‘one day at a time’. As a side note: fellas – when your significant other is having a meltdown because the baby just WILL NOT SETTLE, you might be interested to know that a baby’s cry triggers the release of the hormone prolactin in mums. Prolactin (aka ‘the mothering hormone’) gives us the urge to soothe baby, and meet his or her needs. We go …

The “I Can’t Wait to Get My Body Back” Lie of Pregnancy

“I can’t wait to get my body back!” This is the most common statement you will hear of late coming from the lungs of this, your 36-weeks-pregnant correspondent. I’m ready.  I’m sick of myself.  I’m counting down.  And four weeks is a lifetime! Pregnancy is a beautiful, miraculous thing but there comes a point when supporting a watermelon-esque belly cantilevered at your midway point (can someone confirm that I still have legs – I haven’t seen them in so long!) gets plain old.  And did I mention the swollen ankles, indigestion, fatigue, stretch marks, weight gain and the looming promise of who-knows-how-many-hours of grueling labour? (Pity my husband – he listens to these laments often enough!) And so, with more than a sprinkling of self-pity and self-loathing, I say, “I can’t wait to get my body back!” There’s something wrong with this way of thinking though – mostly because it reveals a mind conditioned by the media’s warped representation of women and their bodies.  The glossy magazines present pictures of pregnant celebrities and supermodels with …

Having an Abortion in Launceston is “Like Going to the Dentist”

When it comes to facing an unwanted pregnancy in Australia, choice is apparently what women want. But is that what they get? When a vulnerable young woman books an appointment with her GP or walks into a youth support service – is she presented with the full gamut of options out there? Or is she given the option that the professional thinks is ‘most appropriate’ to her situation?  Recently I had the opportunity to ask these questions of a woman who had an abortion in Launceston when she was 19. While the laws have since changed, making abortion more accessible, her answers give an interesting snapshot of how our society handles abortion and the mental health repercussions. This Q & A makes up a part of Sandra’s story (not her real name). When did you have your abortion and how old were you? 2007; I was 19. How far along were you when you had the abortion? Nearly 11 weeks. Where did you go first when you realised you had an unwanted pregnancy? The Corner*. …

What Shame and Guilt Tell Us About Abortion

Have you seen those Emily’s Voice ads about family? The one with the woman who explains how she fell pregnant at 18 and was told her life was ruined? (watch it here) These ads, which have been running for the past few months on Tasmanian television stations, reveal in a frank and joyful voice how things turned out well in this real life teen pregnancy story. “Now, with a uni degree and four beautiful kids, I know I didn’t ruin my life or have to give up my dreams to have them – they became part of the dream. I wanted my baby and I wanted my degree – and I got both.” I’ve seen some strong opposition to the ads on Facebook, including a petition to ban these “vile ads”, and I understand there was a complaint or two lodged with one of the television stations, but I fail to see what is offensive about a woman who chose to keep her pregnancy, a woman whose choice resulted in a beautiful family. Such reaction is …

Attention: Champions of Life

Never have I been more aware of how precious life is. In the past two weeks, three friends have given birth to beautiful, healthy babies. One made her entrance at just 30 weeks, weighing less than 1.4kg. She is doing marvellously, as is mum. Sadly, I know another couple who was only given an hour with their newborn son before he breathed his last. We joined that family as they lowered a tiny coffin into the ground. Still another husband-and-wife pair have traveled such a heart-wrenching journey with their son who has cancer. They have fought for his life so gallantly, making use of all the available treatment facilities in Melbourne, praying on his behalf like the warriors they are. And my husband and I have known the grief of miscarriage recently too. Through all these separate but somehow similar situations that champion the inherent value of life, our Tasmanian government is attempting to change abortion laws to allow greater access to pregnancy termination. And for every pregnancy termination, a little life is also terminated. …

Tasmania’s Proposed Abortion Law Changes

Hi friends! Many of you by now will have heard about plans afoot to change Tasmania’s laws surrounding access to abortion. In short, the draft bill is modelled on a Victorian law (2008) which allows a medical practitioner to perform abortions up to 24 weeks. After 24 weeks gestation, the woman would need written certification from two doctors, one who must be a specialist gynaecologist or obstetrician, that the pregnancy would cause a greater risk to the woman’s “well-being” than the abortion procedure. Current law in Tasmania allows abortion to 12 weeks gestation. Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne announced the draft legislation last week and since then I have had countless conversations with people who, like me, are sickened by our government’s flagrant lack of concern for the unborn. But rather than just shake our heads, we really need to act on this. We need to be heard and as submissions to the draft bill in question are only open until April 5, we need to act fast. Here is everything you need to know to …

Miscarriage.

My heart has felt the weight of a great something lately; let’s call it a stone. A stone pressing down with immense weight and pressure on my lifesource so that every other piece of me has felt languid, heavy. I have lain awake at night, listening to its beat while thought and breath synchronised in a slow pas de deux. You see, I lost my baby. I was 12 weeks pregnant when my miscarriage happened, about six weeks ago. It’s still raw. Why would I write about something so personal, you ask? Not for your sympathy. No. Rather, because I have learnt that miscarriage is a common sadness (about one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage), one that many women carry in silence, on their own. Let’s not do that. I didn’t meet my baby, didn’t know his or her personality, likes and dislikes, quirks and habits. I just knew there was life within me, life brimming with potential. Yet the grief has been deep and painful and suffocating. A mother’s love for her child is full-blown …