FACEBOOK: WTF Toddler?

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Maternity Parking

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When I was preggo, parking was an absolute NIGHTMARE — I’m talking up to a twenty-minute walk just to get into the building. They offered special maternity spots exclusively for the third trimester, but unfortunately they never enforced it. People were constantly parking in my spot, which was so unbelievably frustrating because it was a rough pregnancy and I was already on my feet at work for a good 10+ hours per day.

Most of people who parked unauthorized in these spaces WERE in fact pregnant, yet they were so early on that they didn’t even show, and they certainly weren’t having any problems getting around. I managed to confront a few of these assholes, who would generally snap back with, “well, I’m pregnant too” and if SOMEONE ELSE’S maternity spot was still open, they’d suggest that I park there. Only one woman who claimed to be 5 weeks along (wtf?) had the decency to apologize after parking in my spot two days in a row.

Pregnant woman can have trouble getting around some of the time, most of the time, or almost never. These spots SHOULD be reserved, but that doesn’t meaning having a fetus (or an embryo) inside you automatically entitles you to park there. Just have some fucking decency.

A Fetus is Not a Dolly

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A woman suffers a second-trimester miscarriage. Sad, I know. But what she does with the fetus is astonishing.

She gives it to her daughters to play with.

You read that correctly. Her photography website features over half a dozen photographs of her two little girls holding, poking, and picking around at the remains of an extremely raw-looking human fetus. But that only accounts for a fraction of these fifty-some-odd dead fetus pictures, which feature the it posed in a wide variety of situations in which one would not normally think to find a human fetus — nor, for that matter, a non-human fetus.

Sitting Indian-style between Mommy’s hands, all dressed up in a blue robe with its own hands grasped in prayer, hatted yet otherwise naked, adorned in gold yet otherwise naked, getting its arms tugged at by a couple of preschoolers — is it any wonder the Daily Mail finds these pictures news-worthy?

In one of these pictures, you can see that someone has opened its mouth, which had in all other photographs appeared to be fused as shut as the eyelids. I’m really hoping it was the three-year-old, because the thought of Mom attempting to nurse this partially-formed fetus back to life is liable to trigger my PTSD, which came about after repeated exposure to details of the Jahi McMath case. Just as Jahi’s mother took offense to the word ‘corpse,’ this woman has a problem with the word ‘fetus.’

Look, I get it. Miscarriage can be a tragic thing, especially once you’ve reached your second trimester, when most women (myself included) will typically begin to think of their fetus as a baby. I’d never condemn someone for snapping a photograph or two, but what reason could someone possibly have to allow a child to handle a the remains of a human fetus — let alone multiple children who are barely old enough to understand the concept of birth, let alone death?

Well, according to Mom, she “needed to have the girls in to see their brother” because they had both been excited by the prospect of having a new baby brother. Perhaps she was hoping to creep the fuck out of them both so they’d STFU about baby brothers and allow Mom to sweep this one under the rug? (Not literally, of course… at least, I hope not.)

But family matters aside, what on earth would possess someone to upload over fifty pictures of a dead fetus for any non-4chan purpose? Mom answers that one too:

I wish that this hadn’t happened, but it did for a reason. Maybe that reason was to share with the world how perfect a baby which is legal to abort in many states really is.

It’s nice that she can see the silver lining to both her daughters playing “dolly” with her miscarriage, especially because that silver lining comes in the form of a political agenda.

What this woman does with her dead fetus is her business — just as it was before the pregnancy terminated. But to turn it into a poster fetus for the religious right strikes me as more than a little WTF Mombie?!


Mommyish Takes on RIE Parenting

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At last!  RIE Parenting makes its way over to Mommyish.  Naturally, I had to dig up and share a link to RegardingBaby.org:

This RIE blogger and self-proclaimed parenting specialist is fostering her niece, whose parents “couldn’t take care of her” — and apparently, neither can she.  She denies the baby toys, insists that tummy time is grossly disrespectful, and has video clips of the baby girl at 7 months behaving like a 2-month-old, and then again at 11.5 months just beginning to combat-crawl.  The baby is now seventeen months old and but appears to have the motor development of baby half that age.

What I don’t understand is how ALWAYS placing an infant onto its back (even to play!) and hindering its development is supposed to be respectful.  And denying an infant or toddler developmentally-appropriate toys (especially one who is already significantly delayed!) isn’t a “parenting philosophy” — it’s straightforward child neglect.

Here’s a clip of the baby “during an hour long play session in which R., who is five months old, peacefully and contentedly explored and manipulated a piece of wax paper, forever challenging the notion that babies get easily bored”:


EDIT: Someone on Mommyish has taken exception to my “picking on” Lisa (i.e., the blogger and daughter-in-law of RIE’s founder), arguing that there could be reasons behind the child’s developmental delays which have nothing to do with REI.  As I pointed out to her:

I’ve said it before about Attachment Parenting, and the same holds true for RIE: “If a baby has a developmental delay, that’s unfortunate.  If the delay happens as a result of poor parenting, even more so.  But if the delay is clearly caused by a parenting philosophy, that’s just unforgivable.”

Death is NOT a Medical Condition: PART TWO

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CLICK HERE to read part one: Death is Not a Medical Condition


The body of thirteen-year-old Jahi McMath was scheduled to be removed from “life support” (or more appropriately, ‘decomposition inhibition‘) at 5:00 pm PST on Monday.  I don’t think anyone was overly shocked when the judge — whose rulings have suggested that he too may be suffering from a slight case of brain death — granted the family’s petition for an extension on the restraining order against Children’s Hospital Oakland.  The hospital must now keep the corpse hooked up until 5:00 pm PST on January 7th, 2014, thus denying a bed and life-saving technology to the next critically ill child.

What’s it going to take, motherfucker?  Another kid to die because a ventilator wasn’t available?  The hospital is, of course, still expected to foot the bill, which at this point is likely reaching into the hundreds of thousands.

That’s right, folks; a cadaver is receiving “medical care,” which millions of Americans cannot afford because their monthly premiums are too high (plans in my state run as high as $1,300), their annual deductibles are outrageous (mine is $4,500), their coverage is limited (I’m currently fighting to get my son’s school epi-pen refilled), or because they do not have any health insurance whatsoever.  How many of us regularly opt out of going to the doctor when we’re sick or are declining medical procedures that we simply cannot afford?  You want health care in this country?  Go fucking die.  (No, really.)

But I digress.

The family claimed that they had found a New York “hospital” which was willing to take the corpse, and the judge proved mentally inept enough to believe them.  But in fact, this so-called “hospital” does not yet even exist.

The Brendan House will be located in Suffolk County New York and offer residential treatment to patients with catastrophic brain injuries.  What the family and its attorney neglected to tell the judge is that construction of this facility only began this past October, and they are not expected to open their doors before April 2014.  The facility’s own website indicates that they have raised less than half the money needed in order to complete the project.  According to their Facebook page, as of December 22nd, they had finally finished installing the windows.  (No word on when/how they intend to procure decomposition-inhibiting equipment and hire a staff.)

You’re probably wondering what the hell kind of brain trauma center would fail to make the distinction between brain injuries and death.  NBC’s local affiliate reports:

Scerri’s website biography states she owned a beauty salon and then became a “leader in the health field began years ago when she started a support group for women with infertility problems.” The site said she opened the center when her father suffered a TBI in a motorcycle accident. Steve Scerri is listed as the vice president of the company; his past business experience includes founding a cemetery center and three self-storage facilities.

Well, that explains a lot.

The family has announced their plans to contract a private jet to transport the body to New York.  When?  Who the fuck knows.  But one thing is certain; it isn’t going to happen.

As previously mentioned, the state of California only licences hospitals, mortuaries, and coroners to transfer dead bodies.  Special permits may be obtained from the coroner’s office, yet state law dictates that corpses transported by private carriers must first be embalmed.  Moreover, the family has yet to obtain written permission from the coroner’s office, despite the attorney’s claims to the contrary.

In other words, they plan to illegally move the corpse.  Now I’m no legal expert, but it seems to me that we’re looking at the following violations of California law:

California Health and Safety Code section 7355:

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the bodies of persons who have died from any cause shall not be received for transportation by a common carrier unless the body has been embalmed and prepared by a licensed embalmer and placed in a sound casket and enclosed in a transportation case.

(b) A dead body, which cannot be embalmed or is in a state of decomposition, shall be received for transportation by a common carrier if the body is placed in an airtight metal casket enclosed in a strong transportation case or in a sound casket enclosed in an airtight metal or metal-lined transportation case.

California Health and Safety Code section 754(b):

”every person who deposits or disposes of any human remains in any place, except in a cemetery, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

In addition to facing charges in the state of California, everyone involved in this madness — the family, the attorney, and any transport company stupid enough to help them — would be faced with similar charges under New York law:

New York State Code Section 4200:

Except in the cases in which a right to dissect it is expressly conferred by law, every body of a deceased person, within this state, shall be decently buried or incinerated within a reasonable time after death.

Now ask yourself this: do you really think the family and its attorney are serious about moving this body, or could they possibly have ulterior motives?  I’d say that question is sort of a no-brainer… or a dead-brainer.  (Sorry!)

Possible reasons for this charade:

1. Money.  Mom nearly doubled her takings within twenty-four hours of the judge’s ruling.  As of New Year’s Eve, she’d managed to score $40, 570.  (Remind me to start my own GoFundMe account… mama needs a new mattress.)

2. Publicity.  By mouthing off to the media, both the family and its attorney are setting the stage for an emotional distress lawsuit against the hospital, to be served up cold along with the inevitable malpractice suit.  They’re hoping to rack up pity points with the public — Poor Mom, she’s done everything she could; those mean ol’ doctors! —  while they in fact sit around with their thumbs up their asses and dollar signs in their eyes.

3. Popularity.  Have you seen the sorts of idiots who’ve come out in support of Mom en masse?  Of course you have.  The scheming bitch is enjoying her status as a national celebrity.  As long as the judge continues to allow her to preserve her daughter’s corpse using expensive equipment that was intended to save lives, she’ll remain a champion of the epsilon semi-morons and the right-to-lifers.  (The notion of a corpse having a “right to life” makes me think of this scene from Life of Brian.)

4. Revenge.  Mom has made it abundantly clear that trolling the hospital is high on her agenda.  Her daughter is dead, and she wants someone to blame.  (Never mind her own part in all of this — or the part she may have played — I’ll get to that soon.)  The entire family has set out to smear the reputation of Children’s Hospital Oakland, lying through their teeth about the hospital actively interfering with their plans to move the body, when in fact they have no plan.

5. Guilt.  The surgeries Jahi McMath underwent were high risk and questionable in their effectiveness.  They were entirely elective.  (More on that in a moment.)

6. Possible Smokescreen.  And now we get down to what may truly be the heart of this matter.

As stated before, despite nearly every media outlet having reported the operation preceding the girl’s death to have been a routine tonsillectomy, she had in fact undergone three separate elective procedures to address her sleep apnea:

An adenotonsillectomy; a uvulopalatopharyngloplasty, or UPPP, which is tissue removal in the throat; and submucous resection of bilateral inferior turbinates, which is nasal obstruction.

 Unlike a “routine tonsillectomy,” an adenotonsillectomy involves removing the adenoids along with the tonsils.

In addition to lying about the “routine tonsillectomy,” the family has attempted to hide behind HIPPA legislation to conceal the truth and further attack the hospital for botching something so simple as a tonsillectomy.

Jahi McMath was morbidly obese, which was likely the cause of her sleep apnea in the first place.  (Why choose a healthy lifestyle  for your kid when there’s the quick-fix of surgery, right?)  But what I find astounding is that Mom chose this surgery while undoubtedly aware that Jahi’s obesity would have put her at significant risk for complications.  In fact, at least one of these surgeries — the uvulopalatopharyngloplasty — has been demonstrated virtually ineffective for obese patients.  Are you going to tell me diet and exercise weren’t an option?

After the surgeries, Jahi would have been ordered to wait at least a full week before ingesting solid food.  Does Mom really seem the type to listen to the doctors?  Again, consider what we know:

Jahi McMath was a morbidly obese child who obviously wasn’t used to being told ‘no’ when it came to food.  Mom has refused to listen to nearly everything the hospital has told her, from the fact of her daughter’s death (which I’m sure she knows) to the steps she must take in order to transfer the body (identify a facility, arrange for transport, obtain a permit).  And if this case couldn’t get any more bizarre, Mom’s latest complaint against the hospital is that they are denying food to her daughter’s corpse:

“To watch my daughter just sit there and not have food… I’m just so happy that she is kind of a thick girl so she still looks good.  I tell her every day, ‘Jahi, you losin’ weight girl, but you still look good.’  I just think it’s inhumane to not feed my child, to not refer to her by her name, and stop us in our tracks.”

If she’s eager to feed her daughter post-mortem, what does this suggest about the likelihood of her having fed the girl post-op?  I think it’s highly possible that Jahi, already at risk for complications, was slipped a little treat by her mother sometime after the procedures.

If Children’s Hospital had suspicions to this effect, they would be noted in the girl’s medical records.  An autopsy soon after death might have easily confirmed such suspicions.  Yet the longer Mom insists upon carrying on with this dog and pony show, the lesser the chance of an autopsy determining what ultimately killed her daughter.  And I think that’s what Mom is really after.

One more thing: I nearly forgot to mention The Video.  But that’s okay, because Mom did too, until Monday.

The family now claims that the corpse is responding to its mother’s voice and touch, and that they are in possession of a video which demonstrates as much.  According to the girl’s grandmother — Mom’s mom — and a fucking nurse:

 “She’s moving her body. Her vital signs are good.”

I can’t help but be reminded of Nicholas Coke, the anencephalic that survived on Medicaid for a record three years, and the claims of it being “responsive,” particularly to its birth unit and her mother.  (Another group of morons that the media loved to coddle.)

But the fact that Grandma — a fucking nurse would have the audacity to refer to vital signs while speaking of a corpse really says a hell of a lot about these people.

Mom knows, Grandma, knows, and the lawyer (who has slipped up and referred to the corpse as a “body” on a multiple occasions) most certainly knows.  They’re merely taking advantage of all the idiots out there who are mentally incapable of distinguishing between death and a medical condition — or who otherwise refuse to do so for ideological reasons.

Bottom line: this family is vile, opportunistic, and sooner or later someone is going to have to step in and put an end to this madness.  A children’s hospital in an impoverish area is being legally coerced into wasting thousands of dollars per day and equipment which could be better put to use saving a child’s life.  Just about every aspect of this case offends basic human sensibilities, as do the morons encouraging this family with their ridiculous rallies and donations to Mom’s manicure-and-party fund.

To anyone reading this who has been foolish enough to donate: she’s laughing at you all the way to the bank.