Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The first six to eight weeks are always the hardest for any new mom, but this time I feel like I am getting my ass kicked, truly. If it wasn't for my nanny, I'd be suicidal; and no I'm not exaggerating. With Kaz I was out hanging out at liberal events and campaign offices when he was only 4 weeks old. We flew to Montreal when he was 5 weeks old. This time, I can barely get off the couch. Going for coffee is a major accomplishment. This is so very very different. And I'm not the only one feeling it. My husband has been morose because he is so very exhausted and until this last weekend he was refusing to take a nap and go to bed early.

I am trying to follow that advice about sleeping when the baby sleeps and it sort of works but it is hard to get used to sleeping during the day and going to bed at 9:00 pm then waking up at 1:00 am etc. Mr.Cotta finally decided to take a nap on Monday and had a lovely personality transplant as a result. Good thing IMO. If he yelled at one more person in the house over something stupid and inconsequential there would have been a case of shaken husband syndrome happening.

The latest development is that Julius seems to be sensitive to my wine consumption. As in, if I have more than a mouthful of wine he screams in agony for the rest of the night. And although my kids have had direct allergies to things, we've never had this happen. I always thought it was crap....I guess not, eh?

So no more wine for me for a while...wahhhh I'll have to make up for it in chocolate consumption I assume.

Good news--I have finally started to fit back into my maternity clothes and even a few regular very very large items. Mostly because my hip joints et al are settling back to normal. Like as in my fingers are normal size, no swelling, no fat, but my joints are still large. Well, they are getting smaller! Soon I will be able to wear my wedding ring!! I haven't worn that since the early winter.

Oh and after the news about Obama and his introduction of the Stillbirth Act, (which is stunning because no politician ever ever gives a shit about dead babies or their grieving mamas), I'm a convert. I still don't think he'll win....too many forces arrayed against him, but I have to be supportive of anyone who does something so incredible.

So I need a badge for my blog for this new group I'm starting, "Dead Baby Mamas for Obama."

Catchy hmmm?

Anyone artsy want to help me? I can't draw worth a damn... Any dead baby mamas want to join?

Seriously, I want to do this. And if anyone knows why Obama is doing this, like what his connection is to the issue, I'd love to know! In all the years I have begged politicians in Canada to do something they never have. Not once. So why did he? Why now?

Edited to add, this link to First Candle has the link to the text of what was introduced in the Senate or those interested.


  1. I actually think Obama has a chance. There are a lot of people who really hate McCain, and Obama actually polls ahead right now. And he's too smart to get caught in a Swiftboat trap- he fights back.

    As for the bill, who knows why. (It didn't even make it into the NYT by the way.) It's clever politically: you vote against it, what, you don't want to prevent BABIES FROM DYING? These kinds of things affect the poor/African-American community disproportionately (see here, and Obama has professed a committment to helping the poor get better healthcare. It gets him support from the right, because they think it'll help outlaw abortion; it gets him support from the left because he's supporting women. And maybe he even has a personal (humanitarian) motivation too. We can hope there's some feeling rather than just calculation in it, but hey, I'll take calculation too.

  2. I used to think it was a great win-win issue for politicians as well but they all seemed to be horrified at the prospect of being around grieving moms and dead babies, so they would literally run away from me whenever I raised it.

    Literally, run down hallways...all of them.

    So that's why I am so curious. why isn't Obama running away?

  3. Personally, I think it's mostly a pander to the anti-abortion folks. But I'm cynical that way.

    Also, I really, really hope that, if it becomes law, it won't require the parents of stillborn babies to actually do anything. I was devastated by having to arrange for a birth and death certificate. I can only imagine how much worse I would have felt if I had had to jump through some bureaucratic hoops to register a stillbirth as well.

  4. I think the parents wouldn't have to do anything. As far as I can tell, the National Vital Stats System, which is run by the CDC and which collects data from hospitals and health departments and the like, would take care of it merely by adding it to reportable conditions. In fact- and I've looked through it- they have a very interesting birth defect registry.

    I harbor hopes that it wouldn't pander to anti-abortion, because it does say 'establish a definition of stillbirth' which would presumably be different from abortion. I think the bit about standardizing autopsy procedures and the like is (scientifically) very well-done.

    Aurelia, I find it amazing, though sadly believable, that politicians would run away from it. I'm also very curious why Obama is taking a stand.

  5. I have to study the text. I am all for comprehensive research, but very much against cruel coercion. Imagine giving birth to a dead baby in a Soulless hospital, where you are treated like crap. And then some ass of a bureaucrat comes in to tell you there is also this, that, and the other you MUST do because it's LAW. What I mean is that even the best and most useful things might sound terrible if/when they come from people who have treated you like crap in the worst time of your life. At my hospital it wouldn't be the case, because they are so sensitive and so on it there, but we all know families who had been treated like shit, and I worry about how the law might affect people in their situations.

    As for the bling.. You know how FOX recently called Michelle Obama "Obama's baby mama"? Mmm, yeah... So I am a bit of two minds about the bling because of that.

  6. See with the Fox thing--I just thought that made her look cool. But yeah, I can see how it might look funny.

    Still want to do it.

    As for making women do things, no, highly unlikely, other than perhaps signing something at the hospital. Which would likely just look like a permission to treat form, but in this case would be a permission to test form.

    We have a public health system in Ontario for tracking live births and deaths and outcomes post-28 weeks, and no involvement is ever required of the parents. I suspect this would be similar but hopefully would just record outcomes from earlier losses and stillbirths as well. I worked on the lobbying effort to get birth registration changed here just because our tracking system was so poor that WHO actually criticized us and it had become a public embarassment here in Ontario.

    Niobe, I remember the story about how you had to go somewhere and stand in line to register their deaths, and I'm still stunned by that. Here, it's required, but it's a form the hospital helps fill out, and only a signature of the parents is required. Two seconds, no effort, no certificates unless the parents desire them, and if it doesn't get done, because the parents can't or won't, then the registrar does it, with a name like "Baby Smith".

    Your state/town handles things in an unfortunate way hon, and hopefully this bill will force them to do something standardized, and simple like ours, so that no one ever gets traumatized again.

  7. I think standardization of investigations/autopsy procedures and further research into causes is long overdue, and I am very happy (though surprised for the same reasons as you) to see this bill introduced. Having just received a woefully unhelpful autopsy report I can't help but wish a bill like this had been passed years ago.

  8. American politics are stupid things-- but I really do believe Obama has it. (please dont talk any sense into me, k thanks).

    Really tho, many of my erstwhile republican friends have pledged their vote for him. If you can get late 20 somethings thinking and changing parties and going out to vote... the world is in your hands. well the free world. well ok america. ok, fine, a small segment of a portion of the us that isnt even a state.

    but you get what I mean ;)

  9. In my baby induced haze, I hadn't heard about the Obama Stillbirth Act. So I will have to head off and do some reading. In the meantime, I think that I am going to pursue the Shaken Husband Syndrome tonight.

  10. Here in the UK we have an organisation (the confidential enquiry into maternal and child health www.cemach.org.uk) that studies maternal and perinatal mortality and tries to identify why for eg the stillbirth rate has not gone down here since 2000. The hospitals do the reporting so it is not an extra thing for a grieving parent to handle. Every stillbirth post 24 weeks has to be registered though which involves going in person to a council offices and queuing up with all those registering births.

  11. Over from L & F, and sorry to be posting on this but I do agree with Niobe, he is pandering, he needs Hillary's women and to get them he needs to have a women's issue that he has actually supported. If you go back and look at his voting record it is filled with votes of "present" instead of votes either for or against any issue. Which, quite frankly, disturbs the heck out of me.
    Also, I feel that using the 'dead baby mama's' nickname we have all come to love for our own preverse reasons, may unfairly lump women who do not support Obama into your group. I know politics is a sticky issue which is why I try mightily to leave them out of my blog b/c I don't want anyone to feel alienated when trying to deal with the death of their baby. I support the Act 100% and have written all of my local and federal reps saying so, but I also respect every other dead baby mama's right to follow a different path.
    I guess my real point is, please don't use a 'nickname' that will imply all dead baby moms support Obama, because truth be told, they don't.
    Okay, stepping off the soapbox, and again I am so sorry to post a dissent but felt the words needed to be heard.
    I do totally support your efforts and committment to the cause and would be more than happy to join up on other efforts to get the Bill passed:0)

  12. So, not a dead baby mama, never have been pregnant, never will be, nor am I an american, but I would still like to join your dead baby mamas for Obama group, to support those women who have had that heart killing experience and the new proposed legislation. And I love the name, it's catchy, it's unique, and don't worry, no one would think that it means that all dead baby mamas support Obama (just like a group called Canadians for Obama doesn't mean that all Canadians support Obama). But, a lot of us do.

  13. I find myself oddly on the outside of this bill, and am happy to do march to the drums of whatever my fellow stillbirth mamas tell me that they want. I need to read the fine print, but I think in general these bills have sadly been hijacked by the pro-life movement who sneak in bad verbage in order to advance their own agenda, which is why it's so difficult for legislators in NY to vote for it. Even Bill Richardson apparently vetoed NM's bill that made it through the assembly.

    I'm obviously in favor of amassing information in a scientific way, but really don't see how this will lead to much unless autopsies are done on a mass scale in a uniform way. And obviously I don't want those forced on anyone who doesn't want one for any reason, but I guess my hope is that the publicity around the bill and the problem will make parents more inclined to chose that option even if they know it might not necessarily give them specifically any answers. It will in essence be taking one for the team, much like donor organs, and that's been a bit of an uphill (but not insurmountable) battle.

    I think he's pandering. To the pro-life sorts, as well as women. Believe me you, I'm still voting for him, but without turning this into a political comment entirely: he's a politician, not jesus.

  14. I'm going to see about getting a button made for you.

    glad to hear about the personality transplant.

  15. On the note of our fleeing politicians I do think the pro-lifers coopting the issue is a concern but not the whole story.
    Our politicians are just wimps. See them try to distance themselves from the Morgantaller AOC?

  16. Over from L&F. I read the news article on this bill. While it seems on the surface like a good thing, I must ask what's up with the video surveillance? Are the authorities going to go into a person's home and video tape an empty crib? Seems highly suspect to me.

  17. It just seems odd to me that he would support this bill...ostensibly out of compassion, when he voted against a bill that would help babies born of late term abortion.
    I am pro-choice, don't get me wrong, but not pro late-term abortion, and I have to question the morals of any one who would vote to deny these innocent lives help.
    He voted against this Infant Born Alive Bill while still in the Illinois state Senate, despite hearing testimony from a nurse who had to steal away to a closet to hold one of these children while he died, because medical and paliative care were not offered to him, or others like him.
    This bill would have mandated that no baby would suffer after being born of late term procedures, but rather that the children have equal rights to medical/paliative care once they were born...and they were born instead of just being thrown away, often suffering for hours before dying alone.
    Some great man, huh? bye the bye, Hillary and McCain voted for this bill as it would not have compromised a woman's right to choose.

  18. Hi. I am a first time commenter on your blog. I am also in the worst group that ever existed being a mom to stillborns. (I lost twins) I did not know about this with ?Obama and will have to check into it. I am all for someone standing up and saying that my kids deserve some sort of piece of paper saying their lives mattered!!!
    I will look into it!!
    I am for backing him, I just am unsure if I like calling my twins dead baby mamas. Sorry, please do not take offense to it. I know my sweet girls are gone and dead, I just feel odd saying that.