270 Chapters
Medium 9781574415247

Chapter 14. Wrapping

Kathryn U. Hulings University of North Texas Press PDF

Wrapping

Sometimes, from my upstairs bedroom, at any given time of day, I

can still hear Michael talking to himself. I remember how I used to run downstairs and glue my ear to his closed door, worried that something was terribly wrong with this scenario. I recall how I was informed that nothing was wrong and that some people with Down syndrome just have a tendency to let inside voices escape outside more often than typical folks might. Now, when I hear Michael having a chat with himself,

I don’t run downstairs anymore. I want to, but I don’t. Just because

Michael lets his private thoughts slip into the ethers for me to hear doesn’t mean I should invade his personal space and listen. He’s under enough close, constant scrutiny as it is. I am not entitled to any of my kids’ clandestine thoughts. They will share with me what they wish.

Michael included.

I’m not sure I ever had a clear entitlement to write this story of raising Michael. I did it anyway, convincing myself that it was necessary. I wanted to show the world how wonderful Michael is. I wanted to show how wonderful—how resplendently complicated—he has made my life. Now, however, it has become plain that it is time to wrap up this story, not because it has ended, but rather because I can no longer justify some carte blanche privilege to chronicle Michael’s life. He is no longer a little boy. He is in a committed relationship, and he is working hard to be included in the workforce. He has a calendar chock full of

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Medium 9781574413335

SECRET 2: GET INFORMED AND SHOP AROUND

Kalena Cook, Margaret Christensen University of North Texas Press ePub

SECRET 2:
Get Informed and Shop Around

In a perfect world, you could trust that all things are safe for you. In reality, we have been blessed with a curious and discerning brain and a woman’s remarkable intuition to help us make safe decisions for ourselves. You have a choice in pregnancy and birth: either get informed and make decisions or remain naive.

If you favor natural birth, do you want an experienced caregiver, personal service or straight-forward care? In selecting the right physician or midwife at the right hospital, birth center, or a home birth, consider the following questions.

Having a Baby? 10 Questions to Ask

Have you decided how to have your baby? The choice is yours.

First, learn as much as you can about all your choices. There are many different ways of caring for you and your baby during labor and birth.

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Medium 9781576755846

22 A Strategy of Peace

The Arbiner Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Do you remember yesterday morning when I drew a pyramid and divided it into two levels?” Yusuf asked. “I called one level ‘dealing with things that are going wrong,’ and the deeper level ‘helping things go right.’ Remember?”

Everyone nodded.

“Then you’ll remember how we agreed that we normally spend most of our time dealing with things that are going wrong, even though that isn’t ideal.”

Again, the group nodded.

“I’d like to give you more detail around that pyramid,” he said. “It forms a structure that governs everything we do here at Camp Moriah with the children, with the staff, and with you. It shows not only how to find peace, but how to make it. It shows how to replace conflict with cooperation. Yesterday we called it the Change Pyramid because it guides all attempts to get others to change or improve. Since the change we at Camp Moriah are most interested in is the change from war to peace—first within us, and then without—we often call the more detailed version the Peacemaking Pyramid.”

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Medium 9781574411621

Staying Connected through the Loss

Donna S. Davenport University of North Texas Press PDF

Staying Connected through the Loss p

When I was in elementary school, we lived in a small Texas town without a Presbyterian church so we attended the Methodist. If I was exposed to any theology, I don’t remember it—except for recalling one Sunday School teacher who alluded to the dangers of backsliding. I must have expressed a lack of interest in the concept because my usually gentle teacher said with an edge to her voice, “Maybe you should think more about being saved, Donna Sue.”

“No,” I answered. “I don’t need to. Mother will die before I do and she will be in heaven. If they won’t let me in, she’ll talk to God about it. I’ll be okay.”

That early certainty of Mom’s ultimate destination, and my conviction that her love for me would keep me safe, did not diminish much for me over the years. I told her a few months before she died about this Sunday School exchange, only half-laughing at my younger self. She listened and smiled. She did not contradict me.

E

The family Christmas celebration in 1997 was at my house, and we have a videotape of Mother recounting early family history, recalling

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Medium 9781574412970

Secret 5: Know There’s a Reason for the Squeezin’

Kalena Cook and Margaret Christensen, M.D. University of North Texas Press PDF

SECRET 5:

Know There’s a Reason for the Squeezin’

Why do the majority of women in this country now choose to give birth under an epidural? The reasons are complex.We live in a culture of instant gratification where pain isn’t tolerated for many reasons.We have been taught from the time we are little girls to distrust our bodies, and to view its many functions with disdain and dread. There is also a certain cultural taboo against women complaining about their pain and physical issues. Fear of loss of control and anxiety about the unknown, as well as the need for “civilized”ladylike behavior make it difficult in our society for women to surrender to the physical and emotional feelings of labor.

Dr. Christensen explains the historical and religious influences of pain management. Epidural information and the alternatives—the midwife’s epidural or waterbirth, and the use of Nitrous Oxide gas—blend this chapter with two waterbirth stories.

Agony and Ecstacy:

Understanding the Paradox of Pain

Underlying these cultural attitudes is a Judeo-Christian belief system, handed down through thousands of years of church patriarchy, that claimed the pain of childbirth was retribution for Eve’s sin, and it was visited on all women. Current theological interpretations debunked this as myth, but the age-old belief remains lodged in the minds of many women.1

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