ramblings from the noisedoctor

January 14, 2010

a wild emotional roller coaster ends sadly

Filed under: pregnancy — Tags: , , — noisedoctor @ 11:45 pm

Several days before Christmas, my wife and I found out she was pregnant. We were excited, albeit a little surprised. We weren’t trying but we weren’t “not not trying” as I put it. I think my wife was especially shocked since we weren’t very “active” that month so to speak–especially around when she would have normally ovulated.

Shortly after Christmas, however, the roller coaster began. My wife started having a lot of spotting. That led to some questionable lab test results on her quant levels (different labs producing vastly different results showed her levels dropping when in fact they weren’t). So, that led to an early ultrasound right before New Years. There was a visible heartbeat and much rejoicing. There was evidence of a significant uterine bleed. Soon, the spotting was slowing down and my wife was much more at ease with the situation.

This Monday there was a bit of heavier bleeding going on again with some clots being passed. She called the doctor and was scheduled for an ultrasound and doctor visit on Wednesday (yesterday). We knew the ultrasound tech and she surprised us by immediately turning on the doppler audio so we could hear a heart beat (I doubt that’s normal procedure, but we’re friends…). The baby grew at a normal rate and the heart rate was virtually ideal at 148. There was no evidence of the bleed. Apparently what happened on Monday was the final healing process for the bleed. We were so excited.

Then, last night my wife started bleeding again. She thought maybe it was a result of the doctor exam. Then she started getting some cramps and low back pain. That led to serious bleeding and cramping this morning. That prompted an immediate call to the doctor’s office and a trip in there. Praise God for retired grandparents able to drop their Bible study plans to care for our son!

God also worked out the timing that we were able to make it back to an exam room before things got bad. The cramps got intense and tissue started to pass. Thankfully, the staff at the office was exceptional. After a few private moments in tearful prayer, they allowed us to have a quick ultrasound to verify that the baby was indeed gone and supported our decision to head to the hospital for a D&E.

We are indeed sad for this tiny baby which we won’t have a chance to meet until we get to heaven. It’s so much harder given how positive our news was yesterday.

As I sat for the hours waiting for my wife to go in for her surgery, the thought that kept going through my mind was from Job 1:21:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)

It’s been a strange roller coaster of emotions the past few weeks. Today it turned definitively sad.

We are encouraged to have gotten pregnant so “easily” this time (2 months of “not not trying vs. 18+ months of trying. We are glad to have the support of many godly friends and family to help support us. We are thankful for God’s many promises of mercy and comfort in His Word. We know he will work through this somehow for our eternal good.

Sad, but moving forward.


October 1, 2009

news to file under ‘no duh’

Filed under: family, soapbox, unclear on the concept, useless junk — noisedoctor @ 2:46 pm

I just saw this “news” story on a recent email from Baby Center. Here’s some highlights the article:

Less TV brings more parent-child interaction

Wed, Sep 16, 2009 (HealthDay News) — Parent-child interactions suffer when a television is blaring in the background, a new report finds.

The finding is important because more than one-third of American infants and toddlers live in homes where the television is on most or all the time, even if no one’s watching, researchers say.

The researchers studied how much verbal interaction there was between parents and children, whether parents were actively involved in their children’s play, and whether they responded to each other’s questions and suggestions.

The study authors found that while the TV was on, parents spent about 20 percent less time talking to their children and were less active, attentive and responsive to their kids, resulting in a decrease in the quality of the interactions.

“Although previous research found that background television disrupts young children’s solitary play, this is the first study to demonstrate its impact on the quantity and quality of parent-child interactions,” the researchers explained in a news release from the Society for Research in Child Development.

Eureka! What a brilliant new discovery! Sheesh. Seriously… Someone needed to do a research study to determine this? I guess common sense just isn’t good enough, huh?

August 17, 2009

and what do you do the rest of the year???

Filed under: Bible study, Christianity — noisedoctor @ 4:47 pm

I was traveling this past Sunday and was unable to get to our church. As I was driving, I was listening to a local Christian station (a really good one) and they had a church service on. I had never heard this church before (there is one on that station that we often listen to on the way to church which is really good). One thing caught my attention. I may not quote it precisely, but I think this is what the pastor said:

Today we’re going to continue with our summer series to get into the Word of God.

um… You’re the pastor of a church and you need a special series to get into the Word of God? So the rest of the year, you get into… what exactly?

I know there are a lot of churches that don’t really focus on “The Word” in their services. I grew up in one (they’d read 3 short passages and then the pastor would speak about some topic that maybe related to the verses). I guess I was really surprised to hear it on the radio. But, I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised–just disappointed. I am so thankful that I found a church that goes verse-by-verse through the scriptures.

August 14, 2009

now that’s great church stewardship… not!

Filed under: Christianity, people unlike us, soapbox, unclear on the concept — noisedoctor @ 1:56 pm

This news story on the heels of me pondering my church and stewardship.

HASLETT, Mich. – Divine intervention? Or just plain luck? No matter what the circumstances, a Michigan church is $70,000 richer courtesy of the Michigan Lottery. The Covenant Life Worship Center and its 25 members in Haslett, Mich. had one of the second-prize tickets in the Lucky 7s raffle held May 4.

The $10 ticket was purchased at a convenience store in Haslett, five miles northeast of downtown Lansing. The lottery Web site says the odds of a single ticket winning $70,000 in Lucky 7s are one in 55,556. Michigan Lottery officials say the church will receive the full amount of the prize because it is a tax-exempt group.

Pastor Marilyn Parmelee tells the Lansing State Journal that the prize money will go toward the church building fund, setting up a missionary fund and supporting local community service projects.

I was concerned about my church not taking “free” government money for a geothermal heat system. Here’s a church that takes its money and buys lottery tickets. Wow. That’s great stewardship. I just can’t quite put words together to describe my feelings. I guess I can’t wrap my head around their thought process.

July 31, 2009

wise ethics or unwise stewardship?

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — noisedoctor @ 2:50 pm

I just got off the phone with someone from my church who is helping oversee an upcoming building project. Given that I’ve been very pleased with my home geothermal heat/AC system, I wanted to make sure that our church is at least investigating geothermal as an option for the new addition. I told this guy that with the government tax credits, it makes a new geothermal system no more expensive than a traditional system (effectively paying for the wells required).

His response was that they had not yet done so and would consider it, however, “we won’t accept any government rebates of any kinds.” He further added “that money often comes with strings attached.” He explained further, and my paraphrase of that is that our church had no desire to come under any sort of control of the government for taking their money.

Now, my initial reaction is mixed:

  • wise ethical approach: a good idea to avoid any type of government entanglement
  • concern: but if this money is (not saying it is, but if it’s a pure tax credit, that seems to be to me) “free” (no strings), then is it really wise stewardship of God’s money?

I don’t know what I really think of this. I guess I’m leaning towards the latter initially. It’s something I’m going to think about.

Also, regardless of what my conclusion is, that conclusion ends with me. I will wholly submit to their authority–I’m not going to share that with anyone at the church. If I decide that it’s unwise and if God, just by some chance, agrees with me, then it’s going to be His job to convict the men of our church that they should consider taking that kind of money.

May 28, 2009

and that’s why it was called “the web” in the first place

Filed under: freecycle, soapbox, unclear on the concept, useless junk — Tags: , — noisedoctor @ 8:53 am

In my effort to save an item from the landfill and maybe make someone else’s life just a little brighter, I posted an item on our local freecycle group yesterday. It happens to be a wedding cake top decoration that my wife and I got as a gift before our wedding but never used. To make it easier for people to see what it looks like, I added a link to the manufacturer’s web site so they could see a picture. Makes sense, right? Here’s what I got today from the moderator:

Links are not allowed to be used on this group. Most of the time, link go to a sales site and this is a Free site.
Please use our PHOTO tab for your photos or just add ‘photo available upon request’.

You may repost.


Um… isn’t that what the whole point of the world-wide-web was in the first place? Instead of stealing the image from the manufacturer’s web site and posting it somewhere else, I chose to simply link people to it. And the whole “free” and “sales site” just doesn’t make any sense to me. Interesting, Yahoo hosts the freecycle group page and there are plenty of links within Yahoo to services they sell. Actually, there’s 3 “sponsor results” on the yahoo group site. So, the difference would be???

I just can’t help but think of Jesus and the religious “establishment” he challenged time and again. They took God’s law and built up all these traditions around it–some good and some not so good. Here our local power-hungry moderator has added a whole set of rules (ala traditions) on top of the freecycle.org guidelines (ala law). And, yes, there’s nothing in there about not posting links, I checked.

May 20, 2009

that’s an interesting device you’re after

Filed under: freecycle, humor, useless junk — Tags: — noisedoctor @ 6:48 am

I saw this last week as a subject line on a posting on our local freecycle group.

Wanted: refrigerator lawnmower

I just had to read the message to learn what a refrigerator lawnmower was. But, when I read the message (“We are in need of a working refrigerator and a lawnmower that runs.”) I was just a little disappointed–nothing more than a missing conjunction. Dang, I thought there was a new lawnmower that could keep my lemonade cool.

May 19, 2009

not impressed with the arbor day foundation

Filed under: gardening, lame companies — Tags: , — noisedoctor @ 11:34 am

I decided to “join” the Arbor Day Foundation (TM). To be accurate, I decided to take their 10-flowering-trees-for-$10 offer that I keep getting in the mail. And, for responding right away, I was to get a free bonus bush of some type. Yippie!

Now, I’m a realist. I know for $10 I wasn’t going to get massive, local-nursery-quality trees in the mail. I expected to get a box of bareroot, dormant trees. The key words in my mind were: box and trees. Okay, trees and box.

What I got was a plastic bag with tiny sticks. I’ve used bamboo skewers that were longer and thicker than these alleged trees. That’s not really the problem. As long as they grow (it looks like maybe half of them were actually showing hints of life, the others I’m skeptical), I’m cool with that. If I wanted big trees now, I’d go to the nursery and plunk down $100 and have it. I don’t mind waiting.

What really ticked me off the most was that none of the trees had any kind of label. I have 2 each of 5 different varieties of flowering trees (assuming they live) and no way to know which is which. It would be nice to maybe have some sort of plan to how I put them around the yard. Also, assuming some don’t live (not a stretch to me), I have no way to request them to send me replacements since I don’t know which is which.

Like I said, I wasn’t expecting amazing size and quality here for $10. But… if you can’t label the trees… come on, charge what you need to in order to do a decent job.

so voluntary, it’s required! (part 2)

Filed under: soapbox, unclear on the concept, useless junk — Tags: — noisedoctor @ 10:16 am

Here’s a note I got from my employer recently. I am one of those few oddball people that believe that questionnaires that ask for your “race” is pointless. My “race” is human. Not white, African-American, Hispanic, etc. We’re all one race. So, I don’t fill it in. Ever. And, almost everywhere, that information is optional. It would appear that with my employer, it is optional… sort of. I don’t have to fill it in, but they’ll just go ahead and do it for me. For whatever good that will accomplish. Supposedly the federal government requires this information. Brilliant policy, folks. But, what else would I expect coming from the feds.

A recent audit of [company name]’s Human Resources systems has identified your employee record as having an Ethnic Group value of “Not Applicable” or “I prefer not to disclose.” As an affirmative action employer, [company name] is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and is required to report race/ethnicity data to the federal government. To assist us in complying with that commitment, please update the Race/Ethnic Group value in your record in HR Online no later than [date]. This information will be kept confidential and will be used for employment compliance purposes only.

The government defines the race/ethnic groups. Please follow the instructions below to update your record with the applicable race/ethnic group value(s). Even though you have had an opportunity to self-identify in the past, the federal government now has additional options from which to select. There is an option to select more than one race/ethnic group if you so desire.

If you choose not to self-identify your race/ethnicity by the aforementioned date, the federal government requires [company name] to determine this information by visual survey and/or other available information. Once [company name] makes a visual determination of your race/ethnicity, your record will be updated accordingly.

[…instructions for how to provide the information…]

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

ants, ants, everywhere?

Filed under: wildlife — noisedoctor @ 10:01 am

Is the rest of the world suffering from the ant over-population we’re seeing here? I can barely pull a weed in the yard without disturbing an ant colony. We’ve had house invasion after invasion. I talked to some folks that work in a local hardware store and they said they’ve never had so many people coming in for ant bait products as they have this year. What’s up with that?

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