Natural Childbirth—In A Hospital?

This time last year, Missoula had exactly two medical facilities offering childbirth services: the Missoula Birth Center, and Community Medical Center. Then, in November, the doctor who had founded the Birth Center died, no one else could be found to take his place, and the facility was sold to Community.

Community promptly turned the Birth Center into a primary-care clinic, eliminating any non-hospital birthing options for Missoula parents other than home births.

This was disappointing for a variety of reasons, not least because-just about a week before news of the Birth Center’s closing became final-Amy and I had learned she was pregnant. As I write in my latest Missoula Notebook column:

We investigated the possibility of a home birth but gave up on the idea when we learned that our insurance not only wouldn’t cover it but might not even cover hospital care if any emergencies arose during one, because-bizarrely-our insurance company classifies home birth as an “experimental medical procedure.”

We would deliver at Community Medical Center, we decided. It wasn’t our first choice; we felt forced into it; we hoped it wouldn’t go too badly.

Then it didn’t go badly at all.

The rest is here.

By the way, it’s too late for us-this time around-but it looks like Missoula is about to get another Birth Center.

The Week’s Tweets (2009-09-26)

  • First yoga class in five months felt good. #
  • 741 out of 1,000 words. Not that I'm counting. #
  • Tried the "new" Jay Leno show last night. It's like he's HEARD of comedy but doesn't quite have the knack yet. #
  • Just interviewed a high-powered Swedish IT executive and was tickled when she mentioned commuting to work on the bus. What, no Town Car? #
  • Oh, yeah, when you're not using Gmail, mailboxes have size limits. Feels like 2001 all over again. #
  • I always dreamed of becoming a "content creator." #
  • Blog commenters: mistake to think people read 2000 word comments on 1000 word posts. Better: 2-3 points + links. Even better: your own blog. #
  • "We're not 100 percenters." Trout Unlimited's Tom Reed responds to criticisms of Tester's wilderness bill. #
  • A new birth center for Missoula. #
  • Sen. Tester's Wilderness Bill: Our Best Bet for New Wilderness Areas, or Christmas for Timber Companies? #
  • Campaign to get Dr. to get lab to stop billing for test Dr. agrees was never done: two months, 5 phone calls, and counting. #
  • Why does our new Flip camera need to spend three days "on the vehicle for delivery"? Anyway, Coen footage as early as tomorrow. #
  • Declining a job interview. #
  • Test #
  • So, yes, Huggies do suck. I would have thought being water-proof is the essential, defining characteristic of a diaper. #
  • Not succeeding at getting Google Analytics to acknowledge proper installation at #

The Embarrassment of Sharing a Political Party with 9/11 “Truthers”

I’m embarrassed to learn, from this poll, that about a quarter of Democrats believe Bush purposely allowed 9/11 to happen.

It’s worth noting that people sometimes answer polls this way to express anger at someone or to be obnoxious and so aren’t really sharing their true beliefs. That caveat should probably also be applied to the poll’s finding that two thirds of Republicans aren’t sure whether Obama was born in the United States.

Still, if you are a 9/11 “truther,” let me ask you this: believing that your government contained people who were capable of ordering or at least allowing 9/11 to happen, did you continue to watch Monday Night Football 2002-2008? Get your hair done? Research the best kind of food to buy for your goldfish? Play World of Warcraft?

Did living in a country you believed to be run by murderers give you any sleepless nights at all, or were you able to accommodate yourselves to it pretty well?

Sen. Tester’s Wilderness Bill: Our Best Bet for New Wilderness Areas, or Christmas for Timber Companies?

My latest Missoula Notebook column is about Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act:

If passed, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act would designate the first new Wilderness Areas in Montana since 1983, and I’m up here, in a plane provided by the non-profit Ecoflight, to get a first-hand look at what the bill would actually mean to miles of backcountry in some of the most cherished wilderness in the state. Down below me is the battle zone: forests and landscapes treasured by hikers, loggers, snowmobilers, mountain bikers, horse packers, anglers, hunters, and oil and gas firms, among others. The Tester bill aims to protect wild land while satisfying as many of these groups as possible. But can it succeed?

Read the rest here.

Obama’s “Civilian National Security Force”

I really like living in Missoula, but sometimes I have to wonder: if I were back in Maryland, would I have to read letters like this one in the daily paper?

“Five days before the presidential election last November, candidate Barack Obama said on national TV that we were five days away from revolutionizing the structure of the American government. Almost immediately after this statement he went on to say he would establish a civilian national security force as big and strong as our Army and as well-funded as the Army….

Hitler got away with this terrible endeavor in the early 1930s with his “brownshirts,” who seven to eight years later became his “Gestapo.” We are all aware of how this authority raped, pillaged and murdered millions of Europeans until early mid-1945. It’s true; history has recorded it. I want to know – all you readers want to know – what is in store for us with this outlandish proposal of a powerful civilian national security force.”

All of this from Obama’s pledge to increase the size of the Peace Corps and Foreign Service and attempt to interest Americans in “conduct[ing] renewable energy and environmental clean-up projects in their neighborhoods all across the country.”

I puzzle over why the Missoulian chooses to print letters like this one, but I suppose-if they didn’t-it would only confirm the fears of a certain segment of the population that “Obama controls the media” and opposing viewpoints are being suppressed.

As for the letter writer, Paul Bletz of Stevensville, I can only guess that obsessing over this kind of thing is a lot more interesting than learning the details of actual proposed policies.

But I can’t help but wonder how much better off we’d be as a nation if people like Bletz would lend their brainpower and rhetorical skills to debates about non-imaginary issues.

The Week’s Tweets (2009-09-19)

  • Chicken carcass soup. #
  • Assembling a Fisher Price Cradle 'n' Swing. #
  • Coen is always amused when I pretend to be a waiter taking him to his table when I am really just handing him to Amy for nursing. #
  • Alleged Griz assault: how NOT to keep a story secret. #
  • Coen fans: more pix in the morning. Been busy with work all week. #
  • Amazed by the story of Medal of Honor winner Jared Monti. #
  • Enjoying FB friends who say stuff like: "I was in Dillon for the Labor Day Rodeo and ordered a shot of Wild Turkey…" #
  • Clearing the desk this morning for increased dad time all weekend. #
  • Is it strange to be proud of how loudly Coen farted during his first doctor's appointment? #
  • What, are we in Sweden or Missoula? City Health Department comes to your house to help with breast feeding. #
  • Sad after speaking with the city's tree executioner. #
  • Smiling goulishly over my homemade fruit-fly trap. #
  • Maybe I need a video camera. #
  • Why won't Gmail let me send an email to the contact group I just made? #
  • Finally motivated to get organized and clear off my computer desktop so I can see my new wallpaper of Coen in his car seat. #
  • RIP Patrick Swayze. #
  • My building has every convenience. #
  • In the construction field, what do you call it when you specialize in interiors? "Finishing," or something like that? #
  • It's a boy. #

Evasive Answers Led Reporter To Alleged Coverup

My latest Missoula Notebook piece is up.

I stopped by the Kaimin’s campus offices to ask Alger why an assault that allegedly occurred in March is only coming to light now. The short answer is that Coach Hauck has imposed what Kaimin sports editor Roman Stubbs calls “a wall of silence” around the incident. That wall started crumbling during the season opener against Western State on September 5th.

There’s profanity and everything. Read the rest here.

The Week’s Tweets (2009-09-12)

  • Customizing a WordPress blogging template. #
  • High availability and site resilience! #
  • Watch out for those "mesmerizing spirals of doom"! #
  • Productive as hell: my goal for the day. #
  • What do you say when it's over? #
  • Are "cheers" and "best" still the cool-kid ways to close emails, or is there a hot new "complimentary closing" yet? #
  • Do I know any Turkish speakers? #
  • Excited that my Samsung ML 3051 laser printer's cartridge is coming up on two years' life — though it's been flashing "low" since January. #
  • Increased education funding… for bears? #
  • Looking forward to "Sweatshop," a "love letter to classic slasher films," at the Roxy at 8pm tonight. #
  • For my novel, can anyone tell me some things a couple undergoing infertility txmts might have lying around? (Hold the ribaldry, please.) #