Tuesday Tidbits: Teeth and Teaching

“Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds; do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire.”
Anatole France (in The Earth Speaks)

A woman who writes has power, and a woman with power is feared.” —Gloria Anzaldúa, “Speaking in Tongues” (via The Girl God via Guerrilla Feminism)

Bits of the birth net:

It is old news, but this week a 2009 post from The Unnecesarean caught my eye: An OB’s Birth Plan: Obstetrician’s Disclosure Sent One Mom Running. The article describes the “doctor’s birth plan” a mother received from her medical care provider, which includes gems like this one:

“…I do not accept birth plans. Many birth plans conflict with approved modern obstetrical techniques and guidelines. I follow the guidelines of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology which is the organization responsible for setting the standard of care in the United States. Certain organizations, under the guise of “Natural Birth” promote practices that are outdated and unsafe. You should notify me immediately, if you are enrolled in courses that encourage a specific birth plan. Conflicts should be resolved long before we approach your due date. Please note that I do not accept the Bradley Birth Plan. You may ask my office staff for our list of recommended childbirth classes…”

One of many reasons to run far away from this doctor! One of my Facebook friends made a great point though: “at least he’s honest! I think there are other doctors with similar views who might not make it clear until it’s ‘too late.'” This is true–he said it, but you know a LOT of people are thinking it/acting on it. So, that IS good that he was up front. Another mother then commented to add her own similar experience: “We went to an OB who had us sign something saying we would not have a birth plan or hire a doula. It felt so creepy to sign away all involvement in my own child’s birth – and doing so at 9 weeks felt like I was signing that I’d keep my mouth shut throughout the pregnancy, too. But gratefully, as you’re saying, it was clear early on that way this was not the OB for us. I’m sure many don’t get to find out before labor.”

Speaking of teaching and igniting sparks, it isn’t too late to register for our next Birth Skills Workshop—rapidly approaching on February 2nd! This workshop is specifically designed not to be a lecture, but is a hands-on, skills-building workshop.

Also via ScoopIt, I shared this article: Bearing the Burden of Choice: A Young Feminist’s Perspective

“Based on personal observation, choices concerning women’s reproductive health are heavily concentrated in preventative action – what are the best practices to avoid pregnancy? Consequently, prevention inspired language lends to a negative association with child bearing. It is something to prevent rather than embrace…”

She goes on to address something that I find to be a reason why sometimes birth activists have trouble connecting to the larger feminist community:

Abortion is one of those issues that seems to leak into every “women’s issue” whether initially intended or not. Needless to say, we talked about abortion to the point of exhaustion. Not to take away from the weight of abortion to the feminist cause, I began to recognize a gap in our reproductive justice discussions. I found myself asking the question:What about the women who choose the path of childbearing?

Those women are basically why I’m here and why I do what I do. And, what has been on my mind recently is explored in my most recent post: What to tell a mother-to-be about the realities of mothering…

“Why didn’t anyone tell me?” and, “why isn’t anyone talking about this?” is a common refrain echoing in the postpartum tales of many mothers. So, why don’t we tell them? Or, what can we actually tell them? Is there a way to really do so? I kind of think there’s not

And, connecting the teaching and the sparks and the women’s issues and the women writing having power, I also made sure to sign this petition: Vigorously support women’s rights by fully engaging in efforts to ratify the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment. This is going to be one of the discussions towards the end of my current Social Policy class (I can’t really write much about it here, but suffice to say the class is extraordinarily challenging so far and we’re only to week three). I hope no one vigorously disagrees with it or I might FREAK OUT! When I shared it on Facebook, a friend commented: “I am enraged that women’s rights are an ‘issue.‘” To which I replied: “Isn’t that the truth?! I hate that. It boggles my mind that women’s rights are considered a political issue that anyone could have a ‘position’ on. The nerve!!! ARGH. FREAK OUT, I TELL YOU”

And now, the teeth…

This post is essentially all about what I shared on Facebook apparently (might as well get some mileage out of it!). This is what I wrote yesterday:

In case anyone cares, I’m totally sick of taking my kids to the dentist! All three had appointments in Sullivan today (1.25 hour drive one way). Alaina wasn’t cooperative and is clearly traumatized from prior dental experience and we will need to go back to a pediatric dentist for her (crowns on two molars). Zander’s were good and he got two seals. Lann had two extractions (previously filled teeth) and one filling. I’m exhausted!

I still haven’t written my planned blog post about the heartbreak of tooth decay. I came home yesterday all fired up to write it, but then I had to get caught up on grading instead. But, I did take these pictures of my little pearls-wearing, skirt-sporting, curly-haired, brave little girl:



I told her I wanted to take a picture of her face and she ran away from me like this!


Two other Facebook kid updates from this week that were funny:

Alaina put a bracelet on pushed high on her arm. When she took it off, it left a red mark. She looked at the mark solemnly and said, “scar.” Poor little sugar. She said it very acceptingly. Like, yep, I’m scarred now…


Yesterday, my little entrepreneurs cooked up a plan to raise some money to buy a pug. They decided they should raise Dobermans and sell them…”When people see the big cage of Dobermans in our yard, we’ll just tell them, don’t worry…it’s for pugs!” Hmm. I see a couple of flaws with this plan…

Hearing this, it suddenly became clear to me how puppy mills were invented—a couple of pre-ten-year-olds (or, adults with similar critical thinking skills) hung around talking about money-making schemes…

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