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Why Marriage is Not a Water Fountain, via Public Discourse

At The Public Discourse, by Anthonly Esolen.

Separate Water FountainsFive stars! One of the best pieces I’ve read on the subject of same-sex “marriage” and why opposition to redefining marriage is not analogous to discrimination or segregation. Simply excellent, thoughtful, and solid. Would that this sort of thorough thinking would spread through our culture like a welcome winter flu. We would be healed.

An excerpt:

“Marriage is Not a Water Fountain”

Conjugal Marriage: Not Peculiar, But Universal

“Now, none of these conditions characterizes our efforts to restore and protect the institution of marriage. If anything, they characterize some of our opponents in the debate. Let us see why.

First, the idea that marriage requires a man and a woman is not peculiar to us. It is universal in human culture. Its universality is based upon the obvious functions of the reproductive organs, and the obvious need to propagate the species. We may add, too, that in a multitude of manifestations, wide in variety but recognizably of the same kind, what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman are also universal in human culture. That too is observed and accepted as natural and good, most nobly embodied in the complementarity of marriage, man and woman.

What is peculiar? The idea that there are no such things as manhood and womanhood; that the sexes are empty of significance, except in the sole case of what must then be considered a mere irrational and inexplicable desire: that this particular male must have another male, and this particular female must have another female. We can pretend that a man can possibly marry another man, because we have shut our eyes to what marriage is, and what men and women are.

That means that we have to shore up a lie. Suppose I say, “A marriage by our bodily nature requires a man and a woman. If we think about it for a moment, it also requires a vow of permanence and exclusivity, because marriage involves the time-transcending act that brings a new generation into being.” What about that is not true? When a man and a woman unite in the congress of the sexes, that is exactly what they are doing, even if they try to thwart its natural result. Nothing in human reality is comparable to that act.

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2014/09/13730/

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Screwtape Epilogue: Pastor Pens Letter Welcoming Planned Parenthood

The Screwtape Epilogue: Pastor Pens Letter Welcoming Planned Parenthood

screwtape_letters

The Rev. Walter Baer of the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in New Orleans has penned a letter that could be an epilogue from the C.S. Lewis classic. Screwtape would be proud of this one. The words practically slither off the screen.

Rev. Baer is pleased to welcome the new Planned Parenthood clinic to his area, and wishes to extend his heartfelt support for the clinic and thank them for all the good service they will provide his community. He writes:

“I write to express my support for the right of the clinic to be there and to serve the reproductive needs of our community.” (italics mine)

The business that kills babies for profit has a right to exist? (But those babies do not.)

In the earliest days of Christianity, the Christians set themselves apart from the rest of their culture in many ways, in particular, they refused to expose their infants. They refused to set the “unwanted” or “unplanned” infants on rocks in the desert heat to be scorched and picked apart by animals and birds of prey. But you, Rev. Baer, support the right of the clinic that is the modern-day equivalent of that barbaric ancient practice. And you consider that Christian behavior?

“Lack of access to contraception can be among the chief causes of abortion, to which some are forced to turn in tragic cases.”

First, this myth that contraception is hard to come by is absurd and not worthy of any intelligent person. Birth control is widely available and ridiculously easy to access. The only “lack” is the will of contraception-using women to pay for it themselves.

Second, statistically more than half of women seeking an abortion were using contraception when they became pregnant. More than 25% of women have had more than one abortion, while using contraception. Clearly, contraception is not the answer to reducing elective abortions.

Finally, you are right, Rev. Baer, to say that some women are forced into abortion. Many, many women are coerced and bullied into abortion by family members or partners, and underage girls are literally forced into having abortions by their adult abusers. Or have you not heard?

The very organization you warmly welcome into your community has a history of covering up child rape. They are in it for the money, after all, and not interested in stopping the flow of pregnant girls into their clinics. Who cares about child rape? Who really cares about those girls? Just kill their babies and send them back to their abusers. Just means more money down the road.

“The church supports the right of a woman to make her own choices in these matters, while rejecting abortion as a means of birth control or mere convenience.”

Do fathers have any rights, Rev. Baer? Does the child have any right? Say, to live?

“The official position of our church is that all human life is sacred from its inception until death.”

Sacred, but disposable? Sacred, but not worthy of protection? Sacred, but having no right to exist? Sacred, but not so sacred that it can’t be “terminated” at will? A very strange definition of sacred, indeed.

“While we acknowledge that in this country, it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion, as Christians we believe strongly that if this right is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations.”

Planned Parenthood does not make millions of dollars every year off the “extreme situations.” Abortion is their endless gravy train. No reason to abort is a bad reason for them.

“We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection or any reason of mere convenience.”

Why? Isn’t it a woman’s reproductive right? Who decides what is “mere convenience” anyway? And who are you to limit a woman’s exercise of her rights? Now you want to set moral restrictions on this precious “right”?

“The Episcopal Church expresses its unequivocal opposition to any legislative, executive or judicial action on the part of local, state or national governments that abridges the right of a woman to reach an informed decision about the termination of pregnancy or that would limit the access of a woman to safe means of acting on her decision.”  (italics mine)

So, which is it, Reverend? You can’t have it both ways. Either you support, unequivocally, a woman’s unrestricted “right” to abortion at any time for any reason, or you don’t. You can’t place your own ethical restrictions on the decision to abort while still insisting that local, state and national governments cannot do the same.

Now for Rev. Baer’s real money-line. This is the one that truly gives him away.

“As a parish church that is named for the most wondrous conception in history, we welcome the Planned Parenthood clinic to the neighborhood. It will serve a very important role in education, health screenings, contraception, and, when necessary, a safe place for the termination of a pregnancy.” (italics mine)

First, when is it necessary to kill a child, Rev. Baer? Tell me. Tell me when it is necessary to kill a defenseless and innocent child? I want to know.

Second, you are nothing more than a coward hiding behind the euphemisms of the culture of death. You speak of terminating a pregnancy as though there is no life being terminated. You ignore the child and the murder of that child. You disregard the humanity of the child in the womb and speak only of pregnancy. There is no such thing as pregnancy without the existence of a new human being; a human child created by the God you claim to know and worship. You claim for yourself the right to determine who lives and who dies.

And for the record, childbirth successfully terminates pregnancy, without killing.

But for me, Reverend, what makes your letter nothing but utterly wicked is your attempt to correlate the Divine conception of the Son of God in the immaculate womb of Mary with the killing-for-profit, the preying upon innocents, the destruction of helpless, tiny children done by Planned Parenthood every single day.

In that, the serpent is revealed. Satan is terrified of the Virgin Mother of God, for from her came the Incarnate Word that is his total defeat. He despises her humble fiat that ushered in the salvation of the world. It is truly wicked to twist and distort the Annunciation in order to mask the evil of Planned Parenthood and try to elevate it to some place of admiration.

What you have forgotten, Reverend, but what Satan has not, is that Mary’s foot is firmly, eternally atop his crushed head.

Yes, your words are purely wicked and your letter was written with the spirit and influence of the evil one. You are aiding and abetting a greedy, dishonest, predatory corporation. You have attempted to convey upon them the honor of good service and nobility, which makes you either pitifully deceived and blind or a stone-cold liar. Perhaps both.

I realize you’re hardly the only “Christian” pastor in America to support the evil of abortion, and I would say the same to anyone who professes to be a follower of Jesus Christ and a shepherd of souls. The blood of innocent children is on your hands. The agonizing wounds of untold numbers of mothers is partly yours to account for.

Women and children deserve far better than to be brutalized, exploited, and killed by abortion. You claim to be a servant of Christ — you have no excuse whatsoever for raising your voice in support of the slaughter of innocent children. You have no excuse whatsoever for not doing everything in your power to stop the slaughter.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Is This Love? Surrogates, Gay Couples, and Motherless Babies

at Catholic Online

The story of two gay men in Texas who became fathers of twin boys via a surrogate appeared in my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago, posted by a woman voicing her support for the men and her anger over their legal predicament.

Each man is the biological father of one twin, and each wants to legally adopt the biological son of the other. Because Texas does not recognize same-sex “marriage”, the law will not allow the adoption or for the birth certificates to reflect the two fathers as parents of both boys.

So began the cry of discrimination toward these men, and the injustice of the law.

I decided to jump in with quite the opposite perspective. I wasn’t expecting my comments to be well-received, but even so, I was stunned at how the thread developed.

What was truly maddening, I said, was that two babies had been manufactured and sold, and now were being denied their mother. It is wrong, I argued, to create by design a home for those babies that intentionally deprives them of their mother. They have a right to know and be cared for by their mother.

I went even further and said that what the two men had done was not love. The adults have gotten what they wanted, but the babies have not been given what they need nor what they deserve and are truly entitled to, which is their mother. Whatever emotions or longings motivated the decision to conceive the babies, it was not love.

For that, I got the usual: Hateful, judgmental, critical, heartless bigot. No surprise. I was also informed that what I really meant was that homosexuals are not even capable of love.

The only moral outrage to be found was that two gay men were being prevented from legally adopting the other’s child. Not one other person in the thread was the least bit concerned about two babies being purposely denied their mother. The boys will have two dads, and that’s good enough.

I don’t think it is. Not at all. Not even close.

I couldn’t believe I was actually having to argue for the necessity of a mother in a child’s life! How is it that we’ve convinced ourselves that mothers are not really needed beyond giving birth? How can we seriously believe that children do not require a mother? Yet that was the argument. The boys have two dads, so they’ll be just fine. They are lucky to be so wanted, so loved. Lucky?!?

To be so loved…Except that love doesn’t do that. Love doesn’t amputate the mother from the baby’s life immediately after birth in order to accommodate the sexual preferences of the adult. Love doesn’t require the child to sacrifice for the lifestyle of the adult. Love does not tell the child, “You don’t really need a mother. You don’t get to have your mother.” Love does not presume that the child won’t feel the loss, and won’t suffer because of it.

“Love wills the good of the other,” I said. (Actually, St. Thomas Aquinas said.) “Love puts the other first. None of the adults involved in creating these babies put them first.”

Sound harsh? It should. I think it’s pretty harsh that kids are being made to order, to satisfy the wants of specialty couples who think it’s their prerogative to deprive a child of either mother or father, depending on their own sexual inclination. It’s extremely harsh that children are being required to forfeit their natural, healthy, undeniable need for both parents, mother AND father.

Frankly, it isn’t good enough that children are “wanted.” That’s the lingo and the philosophy of our contraception and abortion culture. ‘Every child a wanted child,’ and all that bull. That just means that children are things we acquire when we want to, and dispose of when we don’t want them. It’s centered only on the desires of the adults, without regard for the inherent worth of the child or his inviolable rights.

That’s not love. That’s not how children are to be treated. Wanting a child isn’t the standard. Clearly, these two men wanted a baby. They went to the trouble and expense to find a surrogate, and manufacture some embryos, and they were blessed with two healthy boys. They got what they wanted.

The real mother in Solomon’s court proved her love and her authenticity by choosing to suffer the pain of losing her baby, rather than let any harm come to him. She sought his good over her own, fully expecting terrible heartache for herself. That’s how love wills the good of the other.

Anyone truly devoted to the good of a child will not create by design a motherless or fatherless home for that child. Doing so causes great harm. And we’re not talking about harm brought about by unavoidable, unforeseen tragedy.This is planned and inflicted on purpose.

What about their mother? She’s not a victim here. In fact, she may not even be only one person! She’s what is now being called a “gestational carrier” and she may be carrying an embryo(s) created with a donor egg(s). Ugh — can we possibly find a more degrading way to treat a woman? The battle for equality for women has led us to this? Women being used for their wombs and their biological functions?

That’s the best case we can make for motherhood anymore? It’s just the physical process of gestation and childbirth? But beyond that, well, moms aren’t really necessary? How horrifying! And how ironic — decades ago the fight was to be valued for more than only mothering; now the battle has to be for the irreplaceable, pricelessness of a mother!

Assuming the mother is even mentioned on the child’s birth certificate, how will she be named? “Donor egg, incubated and grown by gestational carrier”? She’s nameless, faceless, and entirely missing.

And of course, the one who suffers the most is the child. Always the child. The child is ordered up, the product of a contract, bought and sold, and delivered like a piece of property. But it’s all dressed up in the language of wants and wishes and emotions, with a lovely baby shower and breathless oohs and ahhs, so surely it’s all wonderful.

No one is entitled to a child. Even married couples are not entitled to children. They have no right to expect that they will be given the gift of a child. They pray for children, and remain open to them in their marriage, but there’s no entitlement. You don’t walk up to the Giver of Life and insist He give you what you want. You don’t demand a gift. It’s a gift.

Children are the fruit of marriage for a reason. It’s God’s wise and perfect design that the love of husband and wife is ordered toward the creation of new life. He certainly could have designed it differently, but He obviously felt that both mother and father are necessary, and that children require the presence of both their parents.

The increasing frequency of babies being manufactured through surrogacy and then delivered to same-sex couples is alarming and heartbreaking. I can think of nothing more selfish than for adults to deliberately deprive a child they claim to love of her fundamental need and genuine right to be raised by her own mother and father because their sexual preference precludes it. It is a perversion of the family unit. It’s an injustice to the child.

Take a look at this photo.

toronto dads It shows a gay couple in Toronto as the son they’d had conceived through surrogacy was born. This beautiful little boy will also be denied his mother. The photographer captured the moment the two men held the baby to their bare chests.

Yes, I can clearly see the raw emotion, the tears, the joy of the father holding the baby. I do not doubt that he was overwhelmed with love in that precious moment. It is plainly obvious.

 

 

Now look at this photo.

baby Milo born to gay coupleI recognize something crucial in this picture, something else that is plainly obvious. That baby was searching for his mother. A newborn baby has only one real need, and that is to be put to mother’s breast and smell and feel her skin and suckle. That’s it. Sorry, guys, but that’s reality. Babies are born with a built-in homing device that drives them toward Mom.

I saw the baby’s face, and my heart ached and broke for him. He wanted his mother. No baby would gladly do without his mother.

Fathers are not mothers, and mothers are not fathers. They are not interchangeable. They are both essential for the well-being of a child, far beyond pregnancy and birth. That’s not just idealistic or old-fashioned dreaming. It’s common-sense reality; it’s moral truth; it’s natural law; it’s justice.

But it requires thinking, not merely acting on feelings. It requires considering the needs of another ahead of your own sometimes. It requires sacrificing what you may want in order to give the other what is truly right and just.

Our culture is so obsessed with making the case for same-sex “marriage” that now, astonishingly, sane people have to actually make the case for mothers and fathers.  We’ve elevated sexual activity and preferences high above the needs of our children. Whatever else you may call it, it’s not love.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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How Can We Save Meriam Ibrahim? We Cannot Save Ourselves

Today was one of those last-straw days.

One of those days when I just despair of ever getting out from under the pile of spineless weasels who make up the ruling classes; or ever seeing certain nations in the world free of tyrants and thugs. There is nothing new under the sun, so it goes, and I know human history has always been littered with tyrants, thugs,and weasels, and the innocent have always suffered their oppression and greed.

Still, I yearn desperately for the kind of plain-spoken bluntness that many people would say is not diplomatic. Good thing I’m not a diplomat and never will be.

We just don’t have time anymore to dicker around with pleasantries and words that obscure the truth rather than speak it.

I am ashamed that women in my country consider it a war against them personally to have anyone say that free birth control is not a right they should be granted. It’s embarrassing that supposedly intelligent and educated females in America whine on national television about the cost of contraception and cry about the hardship it inflicts upon them to have to obtain it with their own money.

This may be the lowest point in human history, in that modern women consider abortion a sacred “right” which can never be infringed or regulated or limited in any way by anyone for any reason. A child has no safe refuge anymore; no sure advocate, not even in their mothers. Abortion has made women the ultimate despot. They demand to kill with impunity.

It is horrifyingly evil that America is a nation that kills babies willfully, knowingly, deliberately, and with celebration. We don’t terminate pregnancies. We don’t make reproductive choices. We kill babies in the womb. We kill the most vulnerable child. For profit. For “freedom.”

Now, to add even more stupefying illogic to injury, it seems we must address the tragedy of infant mortality by increasing access to abortion. The way to make sure they don’t die after birth is to kill them before birth. Got that?

We also kill the sick and elderly now. Judges rule from on-high that it must be done. We starve and dehydrate them to death. A slow and painful death. Because that’s “merciful.”

meriam ibrahimAgainst this shining backdrop of American values and morality, we and the rest of the free world sit twiddling our thumbs while barbarians in the Middle East are preparing to flog a woman for the crime of rejecting Islam. She may or may not survive her flogging. If she does, then once her newborn child is old enough to wean from nursing, they will execute Meriam Ibrahim for defying their tyrannical dictates and refusing to convert to Islam.

Our nation sits in virtual silence from the White House down. A few courageous souls have spoken up to defend Meriam and condemn what is happening to her, but to what avail? The people who have the political power to perhaps make a difference and rescue her from this gruesome and inhumane sentence seem to disappear amidst chirping crickets.

Around the world, much the same.

But is that fair, you ask? Perhaps the powerful people are working behind the scenes to free Meriam and we just don’t know it.  They’d better be! And they’d better hurry up.

It’s still not enough. Where are the leaders who will publicly say something like this:
“If you flog this woman, you are animals. You are barbaric, sadistic animals. You’re not keeping to a pure religion. You’re not obeying God. You’re not answering the dishonor of Islam. You’re just barbaric, sadistic animals. And if this is what your Islam preaches and requires, then it is a sadistic and barbaric religion that we condemn. You can keep your violent and bloodthirsty god. We want nothing to do with it because we actually love freedom, and we actually value human life. Including the lives of women and children.”
Wouldn’t that be refreshingly honest?

But as I’ve already pointed out, the reason the United States can’t make such a courageous statement is because we don’t actually value all human life. Some human life is quite disposable to us. We love freedom, alright, but not real freedom. We love the unrestrained license to do as we please.

So the clock ticks closer to Meriam being brutally flogged by men who are barbaric, sadistic animals. And American women whine and cry about the “war on women” here at home because they want their damned Pills and IUD’s for free. And they want abortions as “back-up” birth control when all those Pills and devices fail to prevent pregnancy. That way, when they don’t get what they originally wanted, they can still get what they want by killing someone who is utterly defenseless.

Just like Meriam.

Why isn’t the whole world down to its last straw? Why do civilized societies tolerate a culture that flogs women, kills them for the sake of “honor” and executes them for not obeying that culture’s religion?

Why do civilized societies kill their own babies? How can they stand by as their sons and daughters are torn from the womb in pieces? How can they sleep at night knowing their own nation is so morally bankrupt and barbaric? How can they face themselves knowing that they kill the elderly and sick under the premise of mercy and last wishes?

In a world of violent bullies, eventually everyone becomes a target.

That’s what happens while crickets chirp.

—–

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Ode to Great Dads: So Long, Doofus!

proud new dad
Gentlemen, this one’s for you. I see you, and I appreciate you. We need more of you. We need you to not give up. We need you to be stronger and more faithful than ever before. I ask God to bless you all this Father’s Day, and every day, and to protect you and raise you up. Thank you for being great fathers and husbands.

I cringe at the plethora of demeaning stereotypes that abound about Dads these days. He’s either the juvenile nimrod, or the lazy couch potato guzzling beer in front of the television, or the complete doofus who can’t take care of his own children without the entire house falling into disastrous ruin.

Commercials abound where Dad is left in charge of the kids and house, and total mayhem ensues. The kids are filthy and out of control, the house is a wreck, and somehow it must all be restored to normal before Mom finds out.

Or, Mom walks in to find Dad changing the baby’s diaper on the kitchen counter, amid dirty dishes galore and food splattered on the ceiling. She sighs and looks at them as if to say, “My two babies…” Then with a swipe of her disinfectant, Mom expertly gets everything back in order. Because Mom is awesome and capable, but Dad is a complete doofus who can’t manage anything except the remote control.

It’s really sad to see Dads being played as the helpless hap or the juvenile jerk or the clueless clod. It’s not even funny. It’s just insulting.

You want to know what I see around me every day, in stores, at church, on the sidewalks and front porches, in the backyards and parks, and friends’ homes?

I see a lot of great Dads.

I see Dads pushing their daughters on the swings. I see Dads kicking the soccer ball around with their sons. I see Dads wearing their babies in the front sling or the backpack. I see Dads pulling their little ones in wagons and bicycle trailers. I see Dads walking around, carrying their fussy baby, rocking them gently trying to soothe them. I see Dads cooking dinner and doing the dishes. I see Dads walking hand-in-hand with their wives, out for an evening stroll.

I see Dads taking the kids to the doctor and holding them while they get a vaccine. I see Dads sitting down to tea parties with their 3 year-old. I see Dads reading books to their preschoolers and playing Littlest Pet Shop. I see Dads wrestling and tickling the kids on the floor til everyone is out of breath with laughter. I see Dads helping to build ramps for scooters, and shoveling giant piles of snow for the kids to sled down.

The Dads I know are taking care of tubby time and bedtime; they’re helping with homework; they’re pushing the stroller and carrying the carseat; they’re making bottles and spoon-feeding toddlers; they’re shuttling kids to dance class and football practice; they manage diaper duty with competence; they’re snapping photos left and right every time their little kiddo does something cute or noteworthy.

They’re paying attention.

They don’t need anyone’s pity.

They’re quite capable.

Has there been a time in history when men were more involved in child care duties than today? Feminism had better get its act together and eat a few bites of humble pie. It’s without a doubt a great gift to men that modern parenting includes Dad in every facet and allows fathers to experience and participate in the whole sweet mess.

But that gift should not come with insults and mockery on the side. Good men everywhere are doing a Herculean job of stepping into a way of fathering that is more involved in the daily little details than their fathers and grandfathers ever were. From the looks of it, they’re learning really fast and making the most of it.

It’s too bad they have to do it amidst the lunacy of a feminist mandate that says they must treat women just like men, while women get to make fun of them and belittle them and basically insult their manhood. Huh? Poor guys.

I’m blessed to have married a man who is a wonderful, caring father to our children. He can handle a poopy diaper as well as I can, and does so without complaint or hesitation. When a kid throws up all over the couch or the bed or the carpet (because they never, ever throw up anywhere inside the bathroom), we tag-team the disaster. Usually I take care of cleaning up the kid, and he gets started cleaning up the environment.

He can take care of dinner and the dishes, and no, he doesn’t resort to ordering pizza. Stuffed chicken breast and homemade ciabata bread is more his style. Yeah, sometimes he and the kids love to have a “finger-food feast” (i.e. frozen, breaded and fried foods) and that’s just fine.

He makes memories doing simple, pure and child-like things like getting donuts every Saturday morning and planting flowers with the girls. He helps them build Legos and it’s hard to say who’s having more fun.

He plays peek-a-boo with the baby because he loves to hear her giggle, and takes her on walks when she’s cranky. He takes the older kids to the library and talk to them about good books he’s read. He encourages them by listening to what interests them. He takes the time to explain things that matter. He talks to them about the importance of virtues like honesty, kindness, hard work, and sacrifice. He sets the example in his actions.

He tells them every single day that he loves them. He takes his vocation as Catholic husband and father seriously, and he’s continually trying to live that vocation more fully. He’s a good Dad.

I know our culture is suffering profoundly precisely because too many children don’t have a good Dad around. Too many guys have kids and don’t live up to their obligations. They abandon, abuse, neglect, and squander the family they’ve been given. For today that’s all the virtual ink I’ll spill talking about them.

This is about the men. The good ones. You’re out there, and I hope you know how very much you matter. Please accept this one woman’s sincere apology for the stupid commercials and the demeaning nonsense you put up with these days.

Thank you for loving your wives and your children. Thank you for all the sacrifices you make. Thank you for being knights, and for knowing that knights are still needed.

Happy Father’s Day.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Adventures in FPIES: The Infant Disease You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

FPIES NEW Logo finalDarling Daughter #4 was about six months old, and since I was an old pro at this stuff, I did the same things I’d done with the first three girls. I got some Gerber Oatmeal cereal, and some Rice cereal, and some pureed apples and pears. She’d been showing a real interest in the foods I was eating, and she seemed hungry, so I decided it was time to introduce some solid foods.

I fixed a small bowl of rice cereal like I’d done a hundred times before in years past, and mixed in a little apples. My daughter gobbled it all up gladly. Success! I expected nothing else, of course, since I was an old pro at this. (ahem)

2 hours later… she suddenly became very agitated and crying, and then began vomiting. Then she became limp and lethargic. Then more vomiting. She threw up every fifteen minutes for about 2 hours. She was like a wet dishrag, and she was pale and weak. I thought she’d come down with a nasty stomach bug.

Then after a few hours, the vomiting had stopped and she perked up. Her color came back, she seemed more energetic, more like her normal self. And she wanted to nurse. I was hesitant, but I knew she needed the hydration and if anything was likely to agree with her stomach again, it was breast milk. So I nursed her. She drank herself into a nice, long nap, and that was that. She was right as rain again. When she awoke, no more vomiting, no more crying.

She seemed fine the next several days except for some persistent diarrhea. I still figured she had a little stomach bug or something, so to be on the safe side, I didn’t feed her any more solid foods for about a week. Then I tried it again. Oatmeal cereal and pears this time. Once again, she gobbled it all up.

And once again, two hours later, she vomited it all up. Just like the first time, she became rather lethargic and limp and pale. She vomited every 15 -20 minutes for about two hours again. Then, just like before, she seemed to perk up and wanted to nurse. I nursed her, and she was right as rain once again.

Now I’m thinking this is not just a stomach bug! So I took her to the pediatrician, who discovered she had an ear infection. She’d had a stuffy nose and a little cold, so the doctor said the vomiting was probably because of the ear infection. Antibiotics in hand, we went home and I decided to wait til the infection was all clear before feeding her any more solid foods.

We got the all-clear from the doctor about her ears, so I tried some more cereal with apples. She ate it all up gladly.

Then two hours later, she gave it all back to me and then some. Exactly the same scenario as the first two times. Now I knew something strange was going on and it had nothing to do with her ears. (All this time, she continued to have diarrhea which resulted in a terrible rash.)

Back to the pediatrician I went, and even the doctor was stumped. She agreed it was very strange, and referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital. While we waited for that appointment, we did not give her any solid foods. We continued breastfeeding only. Thank God for nursing!

The night before our appointment with the specialist, I said to my husband, “Let’s just try it one more time, just to make sure. Maybe it was a weird fluke or something and we don’t really need a specialist.” He agreed, and so I fed her one single spoonful of rice cereal. One little baby spoonful. Guess what happened?

So, later that night after my sweet daughter had finished throwing up and was feeling better again, I finally went looking for some answers. (Why I waited so long is a mystery even to me.) I sat down and Googled, “my baby throws up every time I feed her solid food”.

The very first search result left me speechless. As soon as I began reading the information on this website, I absolutely knew this was what was wrong with my baby. I began printing the information to take with me to our appointment the next morning.

I also typed up a thorough history of exactly what had been happening to my daughter, with as much specific detail as I could, and I presented it to the specialist. She walked in our room, having already read the history I’d written, and I said, “I’m not trying to do your job for you, but I did some reading last night, and I think my daughter has FPIES,” as I handed her all the information I’d printed off.

She just smiled real big at me, reached into her file, and handed me the exact same information. She and I had come to the same conclusion: my baby has FPIES.

So, what the heck is FPIES? I’d never heard of it before, and chances are you haven’t either. It’s even quite possible that your pediatrician hasn’t heard of it, or seen a child with FPIES.

It stands for Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis. (And it’s pronounced just like you think, F-PIES.)

It is a reaction to food proteins, like an allergy, but not like other food allergies. There is no single, definitive test for FPIES because it’s not an IgE-related allergic reaction like other allergies. The most common FPIES trigger food, believe it or not, is rice.

Other common trigger foods are oats, barley, milk, soy, eggs, chicken, and turkey. Any food can be a trigger food, but these are often the biggest culprits. Strangely enough, wheat does NOT seem to be a problem for kids with FPIES.

My daughter has Rice/Oats FPIES, which means no rice or oats for her at all. Which is exactly what I’d fed her with that very first spoonful of baby food. That’s what all the doctors recommend. It’s the standard advice everyone gives. “Feed your baby rice cereal.” After all, rice is supposed to be the most agreeable, well-tolerated food on the planet. It’s a staple ingredient in every country, in every diet around the world!

Not in our household, not anymore. No oats or barley, either. Since there were many months when the only food my daughter could eat was breast milk, I had to make some dietary changes myself. I eliminated rice, oats, milk, and soy from my own diet to make sure no trace of those foods made it into my milk. Better safe than sorry.

We are now walking the slow process of discovering which foods are safe for her to eat, and which foods will trigger a vomiting reaction in her. The only way to find this out is to feed her one food at a time and see what happens. She will not be allowed to eat grains of any kind for a few years, so this baking momma is going to have to get creative and learn some new tricks. (I have to say it was awful not to be able to make her a cake for her 1st birthday!)

In the meantime, in order to increase her caloric and protein intake, we have to supplement her limited diet with a specialized formula called Elecare, which is neither very tasty nor very affordable. Many parents of children with food allergies know this all too well. We’re in good company.

The good news is that most children with FPIEs will outgrow it by the time they’re about 6 years old, and thereafter be able to eat a pretty normal diet without allergy concerns (based on what is known now).

We were actually pretty fortunate. Our daughter’s reaction, while alarming to us, was not life-threatening. Some kids with FPIES have severe reactions that require emergency medical attention.

If our story sounds familiar to you, go to the FPIES Foundation website and read more. Print this article and take it to your pediatrician. Spread the information far and wide and help educate those doctors who haven’t yet learned about this infant disease.

Perhaps it’s time to encourage our pediatricians to rethink the standard advice about feeding our babies solid foods at six months, and feeding them rice cereal.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Answering the Only Question About Abortion That Matters

at Catholic Online

baby in the belly

 

The Supreme Court dodged a significant question when legalizing abortion because they didn’t want to answer it. It was the only question that mattered; it was the only one that was relevant. It’s the question, and the answer, upon which the whole thing hinges.
So let’s answer it.

But first, let’s have some very plain talk about pregnancy and women. I’m an expert on both subjects, since I’m a woman who has been pregnant 5 times and has given birth to four children. (My husband and I lost our first child in a miscarriage at 9 weeks.)

Pregnancy is unlike anything else even an extremely imaginative person could imagine. Pick a feeling, and it probably applies to pregnancy at some point. Joyful, scared, elated, nervous, sick, numb, sad, angry, happy, lonely, hungry, tired, energized, eager, dreading, grateful, you name it. It all fits.

Pregnancy is amazing. It’s terrifying. It’s life-altering. Seriously life-altering. And you can’t even predict how it will alter your life or how it will make you feel or how you’ll react. Nope, you’re along for the ride, and it’s wild and crazy sometimes.

Pregnancy is other-worldly. It is awesome in its power. What’s going on inside your body is mind-blowing. But pregnancy is also downright exhausting, so you can’t stay on the mountaintop of awe continually. You come down when your head is over the toilet.

Or when you’re tossing and turning, unable to sleep with an aching back. Or when you can’t tie your shoes because, hey, you can’t even see your feet.

Pregnancy can be frightening, too. The weight of the burden (literally and figuratively speaking) can sneak up on you in weak or tired moments, and then all you can do is cry. It’s overwhelming.

It’s wonderful and it sucks. It’s a dream-come-true and it’s nightmarish. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a lot of work. It’s exciting and it’s monotonous. It’s a miracle. But it doesn’t always feel that way.

It’s no easy thing, period. There is no reason not to admit that pregnancy can be very, very hard on a woman. It can be every good and beautiful thing, and it can be some very difficult things, too. That’s the truth. Plain and simple.

But here’s the bottom line: it’s irrelevant.

Yep, you heard me.

Now calm down. Women’s feelings, women’s bodies, women’s personal sufferings, women’s private sacrifices, women’s needs and wants are all very important and wholly relevant to the subject of women, and of marriage, and of health care.

However, all those things I said about pregnancy and what a woman goes through are utterly and completely irrelevant– when it comes to abortion. It doesn’t matter a hill o’ beans! (as my Dad would say.)

All that matters is the humanity of the child in the womb.

The morality, the ethicalness, and yes, the legality of abortion depends on only one question: Does abortion kill a human child or not? Yes or no? It’s not a complicated question, and it demands a simple yes or no answer.

If you answer No, then you must explain what exactly abortion does. Based on real science, mind you. “Terminating a pregnancy” is not a sufficient answer. Pregnant with what? (By the way, childbirth terminates a pregnancy.) Why is the pregnancy considered terminated? What has changed? The uterus is emptied? Emptied of what? What was there that required being “terminated”?

If not a human child, then what? A seahorse? A cucumber? No, silly, of course not. Okay, then what? A clump of cells? What kind of cells?Hamster? Whale? (Oh, if only whale! Then those precious cells would be safe!)  No, not animal. Okay, so they’re human cells.

A human being, then? A “potential” human being?

Ah, yes… the “potential” human being. A darling phrase of the abortion advocates, or at least the keep-abortion-legal crowd. Many well-meaning folks cling to this idea that the child is merely a “potential” child, on its way to being human but not quite there yet. Development, size, age, etc., are not all aligned well enough to meet the fully-human criteria, so they feel more comfortable “terminating” this merely “potential” human being.

Alongside this reasoning is the deification of woman by many abortionists who claim that women can magically bestow humanity on their child if they decide they want to keep their child, and withhold humanity if they do not want their child. Women have god-like powers over the “products” of their wombs, and the child only becomes a “real person” if the mother chooses.  It’s the stuff of fairytales!

The truth is actually quite simple. When sperm and ovum join, an entirely new human person comes into existence who never existed before. This new human person may be microscopic for a while, but is nevertheless, human. With a complete DNA blueprint that is unique, this human begins his or her life in the exact same manner that each of us did — growing each day, changing each day, safely tucked away in the only space in the universe that can sustain him or her, by design.

Humanity is not a function of utility, or size, or development, or appearance, or wantedness. Humanity is not something any of us can bestow or withhold from another because it is not ours to give or take away. We do not grant it. We cannot conjure it up out of nothing. To pretend we can is delusional.

The only other answer to the question, then, is Yes, and if you are honest enough to answer Yes, then you must also be honest enough to say out loud that we are a nation that sanctions killing children.

That makes us barbarians. We have given legal protection to the most egregious, most horrifying, most evil action imaginable: killing our children. That is the reality of abortion. Sweep away all the political mumbo-jumbo and all the euphemistic crap. The truth is, we give legal protection to the crime of killing children. We have justified the unjustifiable. We’ve been falling all over ourselves ever since that terrible day 41 years ago in our attempts to hide it, disguise it, excuse it, redefine it, and when that wasn’t enough, to begin celebrating it as a “good” and a “necessary” thing for women.

It’s all crap. Every decent person knows it in the quiet of their own heart. Every honest person has to admit that we’re not terminating a pregnancy, as if pregnancies happened apart from a baby. We’re terminating our children.

Surely those nine Justices in 1973 knew this quite well. They had to have known it, but I guess they were not willing to seem unsympathetic to women and the growing cry for “equality.”

So they reached for their “penumbra” and invented a mythical “right” to abortion, giving it the illusion of sound legal reasoning, when it was nothing more than a snooty euphemism covering up something unspeakable.

They opined about the beginning of life, and the unknowableness of this beginning, then excused themselves from responsibility by saying it didn’t even matter that the Court could not say for certain when life begins. All that really mattered was that they had a “penumbra” and it allowed them to permit what no civilized society should ever permit.

Ever since, our babies have been sacrificed to their cowardice and our selfishness. There’s no pretty wrapping for any of this. There’s no plausible explanation or reasonable excuse. We have killed millions and millions of our own babies because we have consented to being barbarians in disguise. It happens in a nice clinical setting, far away from our eyes, and the victims are very, very small. So small they most often cannot be buried. They are hidden, and we gratefully take advantage of their obscurity. They are silent, and so we allow ourselves to keep silent as well.

And if they are small, but not so hidden anymore, then we defend our barbarism by blaming their “defects” and say it’s “better this way.” We shed dishonest tears of sorrow for deaths we commissioned, and assuage our consciences with the illusion of our nobility.

It’s all just crap. We are a nation that sanctions killing children. If killing our children isn’t wrong, then nothing is wrong. Nothing.

 

baby whale

 

 

 

 

 

Which image bothers you more?

baby girl killed by Gosnell

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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