Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘mothers’

A Midwife’s Joys & Sorrows

Born for Life: A Midwife’s Story by Julie Watson.
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans.

41H1LHEanXL._SY346_Being that Call the Midwife, based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, is my favorite series on television, I was excited to discover this autobiography by New Zealand nurse-midwife Julie Watson. Born for Life is an intimate and honest portrait of the life Ms. Watson has led (so far), and her interest in nursing, which was inflamed when she first read about Florence Nightengale as a schoolgirl. The effects of birth, and having children, have an overwhelming impact on the author, in her own family, as well as her chosen profession.

Julie meets her future husband, Barry, at a young age (in 1968) and is married at 17. Four years later she has her first child (Kelvin). During the pregnancy she develops preeclampsia and must be on bedrest. “Preeclampsia is a condition that occur during pregnancy when a woman’s blood pressure rises sharply.” She first comes across the condition at work when it has devastating effects on a patient. “All these thoughts were going on in my mind. I never thought something like this could happen when having a baby. It never occurred to me that sometimes things can go wrong. Little did I know that preeclampsia was going to have a devastating effect on my own life that would impact me for years.” The impact she is referring to is the death of her second child, Shelley Anne Watson, who lived only a short time after her birth.

After having more children, and going back to school to become a licensed nurse, Ms. Watson had several other children (Angela Mary) and much later, another daughter (Elizabeth Jane). Not only does she have to deal with preeclampsia and bedrest once again, for both these pregnancies, but she also discovers that both her daughter’s have Albinism, which is a congenital disorder that results in the partial or complete absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. It can also effect sight, which it does with her children.

The author speaks candidly about her periods of “depression, loneliness, and self-doubt”, which she struggled with after the death of Shelley Ann, and at other periods in her life. She describes the wonderful support she had (and has) from her spouse, family, and friends, and how they all came through to help, especially when she has a stroke in mid-life (from which she recovers). She also talks about starting to attend church, and the comfort prayer, and belief begins to give her. It is this faith that sustains her.

Though this review may sound as if this memoir is just about struggles, and sadness, Born for Life is anything but. Along with the writer’s personal ups and downs, she provides an abundance of details and tales, about different mothers, families, and situations in which she played a vital role in assisting in joyful and healthy deliveries. By far, the majority of this autobiography tells the stories of brave women giving birth, who are surrounded with caring and knowledgable midwives, such as Ms. Watson. It was an honor to read.

Women Come Marching Home

Service_DVDinhouse_V2.inddService: When Women Come Marching Home
A film by Marcia Rock and Patricia Lee Stotter
US, 2012, 55 minutes, Color, DVD, English
From Women Make Movies

Women make up 15 percent of today’s military. That number is expected to double in 10 years. SERVICE highlights the resourcefulness of seven amazing women who represent the first wave of mothers, daughters and sisters returning home from the frontless wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. Portraying the courage of women veterans as they transition from active duty to their civilian lives, this powerful film describes the horrific traumas they have faced, the inadequate care they often receive on return, and the large and small accomplishments they work mightily to achieve.

These are the stories we hear about from men returning from war, but rarely from women veterans. Through compelling portraits, we watch these women wrestle with prostheses, homelessness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma. The documentary takes the audience on a journey from the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq to rural Tennessee and urban New York City, from coping with amputations, to flashbacks, triggers and depression to ways to support other vets. An eye-opening look at the specific challenges facing women veterans with a special focus on the disabled, SERVICE can be used for courses in military studies, women’s studies, peace and conflict courses and veteran support groups.

See more about women making movies at: Women Make Movies

Orphaned Baby Elephants

This is a story of tragedy that’s turned into a tale of hope. It’s the story Suni and 12 other orphans need you.

Most of the 13 baby elephants’ mothers were killed by poachers, and now they require round-the-clock care.

That’s why IFAW has entered an exciting new partnership, the Zambia Elephant Orphanage. I’ve committed $100,000 this first year to help protect and raise the orphaned baby elephants. I’m hoping you’ll play a part by helping today.

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Like me, you feel a special connection to animals. We both know that elephants face many threats, and orphaned baby elephants need special care to survive. Will you please help by making a holiday gift for elephants today?

Suni was found dragging herself along a road, her right back leg paralyzed by a horrific axe attack by an unknown assailant. She was rescued and brought to the Orphanage.

The round-the-clock care given by the Orphanage’s Keepers and veterinarians has helped Suni regain some use of her leg, but she still is not able to walk normally. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the constant veterinary care she’s receiving at the Orphanage will result in a full recovery.

The Orphanage was started by Game Rangers International to give orphaned baby elephants a safe home to grow up in. Working in close partnership with the Zambia Wildlife Authority and The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, IFAW is supporting the Orphanage’s efforts.

After a period of months or even years, the elephants will be moved to the protected Kafue National Park, where they will hang out with other elephants and continue their rehabilitation. Eventually the grown-up orphans will say goodbye to their keepers and become part of an existing wild family.

We’re protecting the baby elephants and providing them with nourishing food and medical care, as well as a nurturing, mothering presence. It’s a team effort and we need you on the team.

We’re working in many ways to fight the heartless poachers, but while that struggle continues we need to care for orphaned baby elephants, like Suni. Won’t you please help Suni and other animals in need today?

Thanks, and happy holidays.

Jason Bell
IFAW Program Director, Elephants

70% Of The Worlds Poor

Gabriel,

Did you know 70% of the world’s poor are women? Mothers, sisters, and daughters often face discriminatory barriers to education, well-paying jobs, and credit. Yet, despite limited access to opportunities of economic advancement, these women are often tasked with caring for children and extended families. This immense burden of responsibility should not have to be borne alone: Lend a Hand.

Join our unique online community of sponsors, and connect with resilient women and men around the world. Through Lend a Hand, you can browse through the stories of our featured borrowers and learn where they’re from, what business they’re in, and what they hope to accomplish with a FINCA loan. Once you select a client, you can choose a donation amount, and then track their progress towards their goals.

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One Woman + One Loan = Many Lives Changed.

Any donation will make a difference: as little as $50 can help a client build a business so she can pay school fees, employ neighbors, and provide goods and services to a local community. Your loan will empower women around the world. As one FINCA woman told us: “My knees are softer. I used to have to kneel to my husband to beg for money for every little thing. Now I don’t have to kneel much, so my knees are softer.”

All FINCA clients have a deep desire to work hard, support their families, and strengthen their communities. They are not looking for a hand out: all they need is a hand up. Change the lives of many: Connect with a FINCA woman today.

Thank you,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President
FINCA

Horrifying Violence Against Women

Dear Gabriel,

Violence against women is a horrifying, serious problem nationwide. In some countries, 7 in 10 women will be beaten, raped, abused, or mutilated in their lifetimes. These aren’t just numbers — these are mothers, sisters, daughters, lovers, and friends who face real danger every day.

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In the United States, we’re lucky in some respects. Our Congress just passed the Violence Against Women Act, although it took months of using the lives of women and girls as political leverage to do it. But millions of American women are still suffering from rape, domestic abuse, and sexual violence — and signing a bill won’t be enough unless our leaders take necessary action.

We also must act in solidarity with women around the world who face direct violence at the hands of their own country’s police and government forces. If we don’t demand that our leaders stand up for their protection, who will?

On International Women’s Day this past Friday, it was great to remember how far we’ve come. But we must not forget how far we have to go.

Ask President Obama and leaders around the world to take steps to end violence against women.

Thank you for taking action,

Kathleen
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Adopt A Dolphin

Dear Gabriel,

dolphin_adoptionDolphins, like humans, use calls to communicate and stay together.

But if blasted constantly by seismic testing for oil, it’s easy for babies and mothers to get separated.

Adopt a dolphin»

Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. A mother and baby will use calls to communicate, just like humans.

They also form tight bonds with each other, seeming to grieve for lost family members.

Those emotional bonds are too often ripped apart. Seismic testing for oil drilling can send noise blasts hundreds of miles, every 10 seconds for weeks, which harm dolphins and drown out their voices.

With one simple act – adopting a dolphin – you can play a big role in saving baby dolphins from that deafening noise.

Oceana’s comprehensive campaign to stop seismic testing in the Atlantic and implement stronger international bycatch rules is pushing us closer to a day when these gentle, smart creatures are safe.

Adopting a dolphin with the Dolphin Gift Pack Adoption means getting:

• A cozy stuffed dolphin for you or your loved one
• Personalized adoption certificate
• Dolphin cookie cutter
• Seasonal cookie recipe

We’ll do the gift wrapping for you for just $5!

Each adoption helps fund our work around the world – from protecting sea turtles and whales from drowning in fishing nets, to keeping oil drilling out of the Arctic, to stopping seismic blasts from harming dolphins.

Cross some gifts off your list with animal adoptions from Oceana.

If you’re interested in adopting a different ocean animal, browse our online adoption center to see all of our great selections.

For dolphins and all other ocean creatures,
Emily Fisher
Oceana

CARE CEO Gives Thanks

Dear Gabriel,

If your family is anything like mine, I’m sure you are busy preparing for the holiday this week. I hope you will take a moment to take a step back from the preparations and think about what is really important this Thanksgiving.

I wanted to wish you a joyful holiday full of good company, good food, and lots of love.

Here is a shortlist of things I am truly grateful for this holiday:

My family.

My dear friends.

My colleagues at CARE.

Getting to spend my days making the world a better place, and being able to see how much our work really does matter. You’ll never forget the look on a mother’s face when you’ve helped to save her child’s life – or given her child a chance to have a better life. I can never really express what it’s like in words, so maybe this picture will help:

The support of people like you. Your dedication to fighting global poverty by empowering poor families and communities is inspiring to me. I will never stop being grateful for these things.
From the CARE family to yours, happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE

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