Maternal Mortality

Moving beyond sentimentality

I once read that if you’re a mother then you have no more claim on humanity than anyone else. I think there’s something to it. Otherwise we’d just idealize motherhood or idolize mothers. I’m also not one of those people who sees a miracle around every corner. But I believe there are some
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Mothers and their babies living in risky times

So Darling Doctor Wife, otherwise known as Dr. Jean, recently came home from an off-duty visit to labour and delivery to see Hosanna Froese, a preemie who arrived in this world eight weeks early. Hosanna’s mother, with COVID-19, isolated at home while tiny Hosanna, all 4.1 pounds of her, started life not at her mother’s breast, but in
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The holiness of motherhood

There’s something holy about motherhood. My father’s tears remind me. My wife’s steadiness reminds me. Even my mother, in her long absence, reminds me.There we are sitting in a meadow in Berlin. A large book is on my lap. My mother is teaching me to read. We’re enjoying each other. She tickles me.My pant suspenders – I always laugh when
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How a simple skipping rope changed lives

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, November 12, 2016) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It started with a skipping rope, a plain green skipping rope, the kind you’d find at any dollar store. It was a simple investment. You’d be forgiven for opting to instead spend the money on your morning double-double.
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Caught between health care and (the worst parts of) religion

(The New Vision - Saturday, December 12, 2015) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ She questioned if having the surgery was “God’s will,” but the truth is that she was afraid and misguided and besides her own safety, she was leaving her unborn child’s life to hang dangerously in the balance.
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Fear and childbirth in Uganda

It’s morning and the sun is up, shining on the mud, and Zak, the dog, has left his bright orange ball to chase Tiblets. Tibs, as Liz is fond of calling him, is the poor cat who just took off into the bush. There is another way, though, and one of our cats, Mister Bubbles, […]
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A gala you won’t forget. A prayer (I hope) you remember.

Before you read today’s post, please set aside a few minutes to view this remarkable link. It’s on the war (and it is a war) of maternal death in places like sub-Saharan Africa. Then take a few minutes to read the rest of this post, and, if you’re inclined, you’ll need a minute or two […]
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Headline: Airliner filled with mothers vanishes. No, really – where have all the mothers gone?

The country knows when a mother loses one child for a short while during an outrageous hospital abduction. And the entire world knows when an airliner leaves Malaysia and then vanishes mysteriously. But what about when mother upon mother lose their newborns? Or an airliner full of mothers goes down? It happened yesterday. Did you hear? And today. […]
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A job that’s not for the faint of heart

Liz: Dad, I have a riddle for you. Okay. Liz: You have to guess what it is. Uhuh. Liz: This is a job. It’s a job where you work all the time. You can never get any rest from it.  You just keep going all the time. Right. Liz: Yeah, it’s 24-7. Especially at first. You have to work […]
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Hey Little Jeannie. You’ve got so much love. (And I’m a better man for it.)

The truth is that if it wasn’t for My Bride, I’d be living on some deserted island hunting wild boar and eating coconuts and running around a fire as crazy as the Mad Hatter. But she rescued me from that life some time ago and brought me to Yemen. (YEMEN! of all places.) And now, […]
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The long rollercoaster ride of one Ugandan adoption

(The New Vision - Saturday, February 15, 2014) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ There’s new joy in our Mukono home these days. Our Ugandan daughter, Hannah, is now legally in our family. She danced when we showed her the formal adoption paper. This, after waiting more than 500 days. That’s five hundred. Welcome to the world of international adoptions where you need the patience of Job to slog through it all. Adopting a child, especially in Uganda, can be this much of a roller coaster ride. In our case, we’re Canadians in Uganda since 2005. My wife and I met Hannah in 2009, when she was three, in a Jinja orphanage. When she was barely larger than a cat, she had been found abandoned in an Mbarara hospital. Her family? Unknown.
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Korean flights and reporters and a family photo

My Bride and I are on a plane in a few hours flying back to the kids in Uganda, from Korea, this land of hand-helds and sliding doors, from the west side of Korea while a typhoon comes from the east, something our travel agent and the news have both warned us about. But our Korean […]
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Why My Bride lights up the room. Congratulations to her.

When the Light of the World talked about light, he made the plain observation that it’s not something to hide. No, we strike a match and light a lamp and put it high so that we don’t bump into the furniture. Of course, in Uganda, when the power goes out after dark, this can be […]
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On dragons, Bilbo Baggins, and My Bride’s honorary doctorate

The thing about dragons is that you have to believe they exist before you can go and slay them. And even after you believe, you have to somehow care. It’s much easier to let any old dragon open its mouth and breathe its fire and destroy what it may while you leave the poor villagers […]
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My Bride to receive Honorary Degree

We’ve barely been back to our Hamilton home three weeks and My Bride, the lovely one who has made it her life work to give a voice to the voiceless, has already made her presence felt. Last weekend she led the Steps to Deliver Change Walk at the Dundas Driving Park, where about 200 local […]
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