Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Tragic Case of Carri Chimelewski

I started two different post about this news report and erased them both. This particular story is so sad and tragic that it is difficult to write down my thoughts.,0,6360522.story

Apparently, there are some members of extreme fundamentalism who are distrustful of the modern medical establishment. So, frightened are they of doctors and hospitals that they opt to give birth at home.

Of course, I realize that there are midwives who are well trained and careful to follow the regulations of the states in which they work. Women decide to give birth at home for a variety of reasons. My intent is not to criticise the different choices that are open to women. But there is a vast difference between a midwife who has attended an accredited institution and is prepared to turn away clients whose health make home birth dangerous, and a midwife who refuses to follow any of her state's restrictions because she feels she has a mandate from God.

Thirty-seven year-old Carri Chimelewski of Richmond, Indiana was so proud of her growing family she started a website posting pictures of her latest pregnancy online.

Most of us know that an older mother has special needs that might make her a bad choice for giving birth at home. She would need to be closely monitored, if she did opt for home birth. That apparently didn't happen in the case of Carri Chimelewski.

Determined to give birth at home under the care of unlicensed midwife, Brandi Wood, the mother ignored very troubling signals that she needed to see a qualified professional. She wrote on her blog: "My body is full my legs can only take so much." Her midwife dismissed her concerns as fatigue and assured her that she must be carrying twins. The Chimelewski's baby died(there was only one) and Carri almost lost her own life.

One statement in the article especially infuriated me. She believed that God would handle any problems she had with her pregnancy. Followers also say Carri dismissed doctors as idolatry. We are blessed to be born into a country with decent medical care. Not using that care is refusing a gift from God. For goodness sakes, the book of Luke was written by a physician. I can't even fathom the reasoning behind her idea that doctors are idolatry.

I have included the link to a site called No Longer Quivering. The owner was a member of an extreme fundamentalists group(I would call it a cult) that encouraged women to give birth at home. Luckily, the blog owner is alive to report on her experiences and warn other women from following her example .

I really wish that I could express how deeply this story bothered me. It is so tragic and unnecessary. It also makes me angry. This newborn should not have died. Poor Vyckie over at No Longer Quivering should never have felt that God's will was that she be miserable and risk her life. There is nothing biblical that states that we should avoid the wonderful advances that have been made in health care.

But what saddens me most is that there are women now, even as you are reading this, who are forgoing medical care because they believe that they are called from God to do so.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Before You Meet Prince Charming

I am linking to the reviews of a book that I have meant to read for a long time. It is called Before You Meet Prince Charming, by Sarah Mally. The comments on Amazon were all very positive about this book, so I was surprised to read this blogger's viewpoints.

I am gratified that I have been saved from spending money to purchase this book for my girls. There are views in this book that I do not wish my daughters to absorb.

I am disturbed by Sarah Mally's claims that a girl needs to be rescued. Excuse me, unless something dire happens, we don't need to be rescued. Being rescued implies that there is some sort of dangerous tragedy happening in your life, like a house fire or being held at gunpoint. Certainly, please help anyone that is suffering from such atrocities. But if a young woman is simply living her day to day life, then she shouldn't need to be rescued. What the heck should she be saved from anyway? Doing dishes, mowing the grass, cleaning up after her dog? What? Why would a man desire a woman who wants to be saved from her regular life?

Also, I am troubled by the classism presented in the book. The nobility are all good and all wise. The snobbery that is present throughout this book is very evident. Anyone who disagrees with the King's parenting choices, according to the author, is either jealous or guilty about their own lives. The poor peasants are seen as easily led and tempted. So far, I am rooting for the commoners in this book to revolt, but I doubt that will happen. This type of thinking actually sounds like the reason that countries have rebelled against their leaders.

The mother-Queen-is rarely seen in this story. I don't know why that is so, but it troubles me that she is so little involved in her daughter's life. By the way, the fact that the Princess has no name irritates me also. Actually, I really disliked this goody good young woman. I was sort of hoping that the alligator that lived in the moat would eat her. Alas, the gator appears to be a vegetarian because he-according to Miss Mally- eats pond scum.

I am equally amazed that all festivities in the book are considered evil. Getting together with other young women and having fun is called evil. That is a bit strong. Having fun just for the sake of enjoyment is not a sin. Even in Franny Burney's works(1700's) the women went to balls and had social picnics. I have no idea why Miss Mally is against events where young people can meet and socialize.

Mally implies that those who don't follow her guidelines will automatically be unhappy. A lot of us dated and ended up happily married. To claim that there is one way to find a spouse when the human population is full of a variety of personalities, cultures and circumstances seems to be very narrow minded. It makes me wonder about the author's experience level with other people. Perhaps she isn't purposely being dishonest but has had limited contact with those who hold different views then her own.

What concerns me most is this quote from her book:A girl can defraud by dressing in a way so that boys will notice us, flirting with our eyes, or even just by the way we smile at a certain time or laugh at every jokeThat sounds much more extreme. This would be troublesome if something happened to a young girl like a sexual assault. The victim might think that she deserved her attack because she smiled at the man.

I realize that this is a popular book among many Christians. But there are apparent issues within the book that should be discussed before allowing our daughters to read the book.