martes, 5 de junio de 2012

Six lines of verse..


jueves, 31 de mayo de 2012


Whoa: we had a surprise twin double-breech roadside vaginal birth after Cesarean

Photo by Horia Varlan.
I was measuring consistently ahead in fundal height early on and just before the mid-point of my pregnancy my midwife referred me to an obstetrician to have an ultrasound (we'd not planned on having any) to rule out twins, fibroids, excess amniotic fluid, or any other complications. At the ultrasound, we were told there was one baby, no fibroids, and no excess fluid — the doctor said I simply had "a large uterus." So we went with that as confirmation.
At about 2:30 one morning, I had a contraction that woke me from my sleep. This had happened before, so I waited and felt a few more before I grudgingly got up and decided I'd take a bath to help them stop so I could get some sleep. I went into the bathroom and turned on the light. I saw that a little blood was in the toilet from sometime earlier that night, and wiped to see if there was any more… there was.
I woke up my husband, Garrett, and he called our midwife to tell her what was happening. She said it was probably just my bloody show and to take it easy but to call her if anything else happened. I tried to sleep, bathe, and just relax to get the contractions to stop. I was struggling to concentrate on the book I was reading. This was at about 6:30.

I took another bath, a shower, and tried to lie down and listen to a Hypnobabies CD, but the contractions were too strong for me to really relax. I definitely thought they'd stop. In fact, I thought they'd better stop, since I'd just had the home visit from the midwives on Monday morning. I could have a home birth in 5 days at 37 weeks, but not a day sooner!
I was determined not to be in true labor yet. When Garrett got home from dropping off our son (at about 8:30) and saw me in the bed, he said we needed to call our midwife again and so he did — all while packing a bag. She asked some questions and then suggested we come and meet her to assess the situation and see if I was really in labor or see what we could do to slow or stop it.
We left and on the way stopped at the store to get more minutes for our cell phone. I was low moaning for a while, but then that stopped working. About 45 minutes into the trip, my moans got higher pitched and less controlled. We talked about passing a bank, and how we'd definitely make it a few more hours at least and then a couple of minutes later, my water broke — everywhere! I was finally able to accept that the baby would be born that day, and soon, but we talked and I figured we still had at least a few hours. Garrett called our midwife to keep her updated, and she announced a change of plan — she said to meet her directly at the hospital. She asked Garrett if it was me moaning that she was hearing, and he said it was.
As they were talking, my body gave a tiny involuntary push, and I felt something come up between my legs. My first thought was, "Oh, God, the cord." But I knew what an emergency that would be, and thought that maybe, just maybe, I had somehow pooped. So I reached down (with much trepidation) and felt, and it was most definitely cord. I yelled, "The cord is out! The cord is out!" and my midwife heard me yelling over the phone. She told Garrett to pull over immediately and get me on all fours to take the pressure off the cord, and to call 911. There was, oddly enough, some traffic on the rural highway that morning, but after about a minute he managed to pull off the road. He got out and threw Bruin's car seat in the grass (we were, luckily, in front of empty fields on both sides of the highway. It was actually quite a pretty spot) and got me into the back seat, talking with our midwife all the while. She told Garrett to get my chest down and my butt up in the air, and then he called 911.
Somehow Garrett managed to get my shoes and pants off. I could hear him on the phone with the operator and the guy was asking him what he saw, and asking him to feel for a pulse in the cord (he didn't feel one), and telling him to hold the baby in. By now I was really in it… it was all happening so fast, but I truly was my primal self. The pushing and grunting was happening, whether the 911 operator told me to stop or not. I tried to be compliant, but I couldn't stop it. There was literally nothing I could do but work with my body and my baby.
It was the most beautiful feeling I have ever experienced. I wasn't scared — I was totally consumed, growling and pushing.
It was the most beautiful feeling I have ever experienced. I wasn't scared — I was totally consumed, growling and pushing. At some point, Garrett touched what he said was just the cord, which I shouldn't have felt, but it was excruciating. Whether or not the baby made a fluke movement at the exact same time or if for some reason I was able to feel it, I don't know, but I did try to donkey-kick poor Garrett. I tried to kick him off again (while yelling, "GET OFF OF ME!!") when the operator told him to flip me onto my back. That didn't feel right at all, but I tried, and just absolutely could NOT make my body do anything differently than it was doing. It knew exactly what to do, and there was simply no stopping it. I occasionally lifted my head to look out of the window at the trees in the sunshine, and just let my mind feel "universal."
About five minutes passed and I could hear the ambulance coming down the road. Garrett said he felt a tap on his shoulder and walked around the back of the car to come be by my head, and by the time he got to my side of the car, the baby's body was born (they had managed to flip me on my back during that time span, too). I will never forget the feeling of her body coming out all at once. There aren't words to describe it. I heard the EMT say, "We've still gotta get the head out!" and, from all my reading, I knew that it would come and that we weren't in any immediate danger as heads rarely get stuck. But I can understand why they freaked.
I waited patiently for my next contraction, and out she came, easily, quietly. Calliope Ontario Isis slipped gently from my body into the October sunshine. No one was yelling, and it was actually quite ideal for a birth. She was technically born outside, and I love that, and they immediately sat her on my thigh. She weighed 6 lbs. 3 oz. She was whitish gray and completely floppy. I knew some babies are slow to start, and I wasn't scared, so I asked, "Boy or girl?" and was told girl. I thought my heart might explode I was so happy!
Garrett helped push the stretcher to the back of the ambulance and I was lifted into it. The contractions had stopped and I was feeling euphoric, even though I wasn't home, wasn't in the tub, and wasn't even holding my girl… but I had DONE IT! I had naturally VBACed a breech baby with a prolapsed cord! So I just laid there and watched Calliope's chest rise up and down, and listened to the chatter of the EMTs. Someone told Garrett to go ahead and meet us at the hospital, that we'd beat him, so he left.
I told him it almost felt like the contractions with the baby, and that I thought the placenta was supposed to hurt less.
Then I started contracting again, and we all assumed it was the placenta. One EMT in particular was talking to me now, and assuring me that Calliope was out of danger, and said, "Well this is a day of firsts. I've been doing this a long time and I have never delivered a baby." The younger guy had delivered one, but not breech on the side of the road. The older one asked the girl to start massaging my belly to help my placenta separate and at about the same time I asked him if delivering the placenta was supposed to hurt so bad. I told him it almost felt like the contractions with the baby, and that I thought the placenta was supposed to hurt less. I was vocalizing low moans at this point. He said, "Yeah, probably."
A few contractions later he said it sounded like I was ready to deliver the placenta, and moved down to check. I was involuntarily pushing again. He lifted the blanket and said, "Oh! There's feet! Did you know you were having twins?"
Imagine my shock now! Refer back to earlier in this story and note that we had an ultrasound at 18 weeks with an OBGYN at the insistence of our midwifery team. My weight gain was normal for one baby. No one had ever felt the second baby when palpating, and we never heard a second heartbeat. But the day before the girls were born we'd had our home visit with the midwives and they left unsettled. They were actually going to call on Tuesday to tell us that they were no longer comfortable doing a home birth and that we should plan on a birth center birth. They all knew something wasn't quite as we suspected, although no one could pinpoint just what it was.

Twin love!
Io Rumina River was born in just a few pushes, feet first. Unlike her sister, she came out yelling! I got to experience that first cry that everyone wants to hear. I was told, "You have another girl!" About eight hours from start to finish, and I'd VBACed two babies. The ambulance pulled over and the doors opened to another ambulance — they said since Mina was perfect and in good health (weighing in at 5 lbs. 13 oz.) that she would travel on her own. I held her for just a second before they put her in the next vehicle and we drove on. I delivered the placenta en route — I asked the EMT if there were any more in there, and he said no because there were two cords coming from the placenta (it was actually two placentas fused together).
When we arrived at the hospital, they took everything off of Calliope and placed her on my chest for transport up to the NICU and labor and delivery. I remember frantically trying to rub as much of her vernix into her skin as I could because I knew they would bathe her and wash it all off. I got some into her chest and shoulders and I just loved touching her sweet little body. They unloaded us, and Mina was shortly behind, but I was only holding Calliope when we got to the elevator, which is where we met up with my husband. He was quiet, and an EMT said, "Does he know yet? Oh, man! He doesn't know yet!" and I looked over and said, "There's two. It's twins!" Garrett didn't say anything, just looked completely overcome. It was a beautiful moment.

martes, 29 de mayo de 2012


Robert Allen Zimmerman, folk rock singer and songwriter, very well-known under the name of Bob Dylan after the late Welsh poet Dylan, was born in 1941 in Minnesota (USA). In his 71 birthday today we congratulate him with this piece of writing.

Being a teenager in 1961, he moved to New York and was regular in cafes in Greenwich Village. In 1964, he first became popular with ¨Blowing in the wind¨ and ¨The times they are changing¨, two songs that became anthems for social issues such as war and civil rights. He became the voice of the generation transforming culture all around the world. He also started to have a big influence like ¨The Beatles¨ and ¨Jimmi Hendrix¨.

In 1965, he is very unpredictable, changing and continuing reinventing himself. He passed then from plugged (electric) to unplugged (acoustic) music, like his first hit ¨Like a rolling stone¨.

In the sixties, he was at his creative pick and critics tried to get desperately in Dylan´s head because his lyrics were not direct but always giving two meanings. He brought sophistication and a sense of poetry with his song writings that had no precedence.

In 1966 he had a motorcycle accident which kept him apart for a year but after his recovery he recorded new material with his band and recorded classics like ¨Blood on the tracks¨.

From the 80´s, he began touring all the time and even in 2006 he had a number one album. In 2011, he also announced tour dates in Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia.

Bob Dylan influenced everybody. No musician has had a bigger impact on the American pop music as him.

¨A hero is somebody who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom¨, Bob Dylan.

domingo, 29 de abril de 2012


1.    Introduction

3 themes through the conference which are important:

-         Human creativity, its variety and its range

-         Unpredictable future for our children

-         Extraordinary capacity for innovation that children have although we squander them

 He introduces that he wants to talk about education and creativity.

2.    Give some examples.

-         The girl who wanted to paint the picture of God

-         The story of his son performing the Nativity at school

What he pretends with these stories is to tell us that children are not frightened of being wrong. ¨If you are not prepared to be wrong, we´ll never come up with anything original¨. And by the time they get adults, most kids have lost that capacity. We are running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. We are educating people out of their creative capacities.

-         Picasso once said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.

3.    Educacional system

-         He moved to Los Angeles and then he realized that every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects. At the top mathematics and languages, then the humanities and at the bottom are the arts. And even there is a hierarchy within the arts: art and music are normally given a higher status than drama and dance.

-         Education is focus on their heads. The whole purpose of the educational system is to produce university professors. And they are just a form of life.

-         Our educational system lies on the idea of academic ability because it was invented in the 19th century to meet the needs of industrialism. The hierarchy is rooted on two ideas:

1.    The most useful subjects for work are at the top: mathematics and languages. Music? You are not going to be musician. Art? You are not going to be an artist.

2.    Academic ability, which is confusing the view of intelligence. This is killing highly talented, creative people. In the next years, more and more people will be graduating through education but suddenly degrees are not worth anything. Before, you had a degree and you had a job, but now, more degrees are required to apply for a job. It is a process of academic inflation. We need to rethink our view of intelligence.

4.    About intelligence

3 things:

-         It is diverse: visual, sound, kinesthetic, abstract, movement.

-         It is dynamic: it is interactive. It is the process of having original ideas that have value.

-         It is distinct. He explains how Gillian Lynne, the choreographer of Cats and The Phantom of the opera, discovered her talent. Finally, she had a wonderful career at the Royal Ballet.

5.    Conclusion

We should adopt a new concept of human ecology, new conception of the richness of human capacity. The education system has mined our minds for a particular commodity, and for the future, it will not serve us. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we are educating our children. Quote by Jonas Salk: ¨If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish¨.

TED celebrates human imagination. See our creative capacities for the richness they are, and seeing our children for the hope that they are.


Personal opinion.-

-         In our educational system students are valued for their marks in the exams, and they are treated all equally. Teachers, in general, do not value their effort, from where they start, till they arrive. It only rewards students for their achievements in terms of results, marks, in some cases, the effort throughout the time is not considered. Education is based, therefore, on simple numbers. We are confusing education with academic ability.

-         Our education system turns its back on creativity. It does not let people think out of the box but only follow some concrete patterns of behaviour. In many cases, teachers are not prepared for real creative education. I think teachers, as parents, should not push children into any direction, just let them explore their inner capacities, to give them the possibility that they discover themselves their own capacities, likes and skills.

-         I agree with Sir Ken Robinson that the purpose of our educational system nowadays is to produce university professors or/and, generally speaking, people with a university degree. It is supposed that a degree gives you the knowledge to cope with that job, but it is certainly the contrary. University curriculum is not practical at all, but the contrary, they only feed the universities themselves, in other words, they produce their own professors and that is all.

-         And what about the wrong idea by which many people think that the more degrees you have, the more intelligent you are?

miércoles, 18 de abril de 2012


Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to apply for admission to the eight-week intensive English Course offered by your college which will take place on May/June 2.012.

I am a 25-years-old Spanish citizen, currently living in Granada. Since I got my degree in English two years ago, I have worked for several companies as translator or in charge of the international department. Suffice it to say that these jobs have provided me with a wide knowledge of the English language.

As well as a degree in English, I am a holder of an important English certification such as the
Certificate in Advanced English (CAE). Furthermore, I am currently preparing the following level, in other words, the Certificate of Proficiency (CPE). By this I mean that I am always investing my time and effort to ameliorate my knowledge of English. I am due to take my final examination in April.

I believe that I would be an ideal candidate to attend this course since I have the qualities and
qualifications required. The main reason to apply for this course is because, in spite of having a high level of the language, what I need is to move to an English speaking country for a period of time to practice the language. I think this course is a great opportunity to increase my range of vocabulary as well as become more fluent in English.

Your college has an extremely good reputation in the field of teaching English to foreign students. Moreover, I am fully aware of your familiarity with the new teaching approach.

Please find enclosed a copy of my CV, giving further details of my educational qualifications and work experience. I hope you will consider me for admission to your college and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours faithfully,
Rocío Martín

lunes, 16 de abril de 2012


Dear Mr. Hogan,

I am writing to offer my apologies for the unsatisfactory service and quality of food that you and your customer received at our restaurant last Friday evening.

First of all, I would like to give you an explanation with regard to the quality of food. Unfortunately, two of our three cooks fell ill and as a result, due to we were too short of staff, we could not handle the orders as we normally do that specific day. We were unable to contact another cook and, therefore, we were forced to manage with only one person leading to a worsening in the quality of food.

As regards the service, I insist on apologizing again since it was the first working day for the waiter and as he was concentrated on the job not to mistake, he spent more time not only in taking the order but also in bringing the dishes.

I appreciate your remark on overseeing the preparation of food personally but due to the circumstances pointed out above, lack of personnel, I was forced to deal with an emergency and, therefore, I was not able to look after the food. But, needless to say, that this was an isolated incident.

This is truly a regrettable occurrence. Please allow me to offer you the price refunded of your dinner by way of compensation. In addition to this I would also like to offer you complimentary tickets for you and your customer at a time most convenient for you. I hope this offer will make up for the inconvenience caused, and will restore your confidence in our restaurant.

Once again, I apologise for this inconvenience and I look forward to hearing from you to arrange a suitable date for our courtesy dinner.

Yours sincerely,

Rocío Martín

viernes, 13 de abril de 2012


Dear Sirs,

I am writing in my capacity as chairman of the children´s home of our town to request volunteers to help at weekends. Volunteers should be young, competent and with a very responsible attitude towards children.

The planning of every weekend will be as follows. Volunteers are requested to be in the children´s home on Saturdays at breakfast time 08.30 a.m. to share and help the children with their breakfast. Throughout the morning sports activities will be organized by the volunteers together with the children till lunch time at 13.00 p.m. From 14.30 p.m. till dinner time children will have free time but volunteers should be in charge of them. I would suggest also that during the night volunteers stay in the house in case an emergency happens since children are minors. Food and accommodation will be provided for the volunteers.

On Sundays, the same schedule for breakfast will be followed. Then volunteers and children will go for a stroll in the vicinity of the house and will take a picnic to have lunch outdoors. After lunch, it will be up to the children whether to go to the swimming pool or to have a rest in the house. Volunteers will have finished by dinner time.

I feel it is appropriate to explain to you some of the ways that both volunteers and children might benefit from such a project. Young people involved in taking care of the children can be the future workers of our children´s house. They can also enjoy outdoors together with the children the sports facilities and the swimming pool.

In addition, children might benefit from being with different and young people during the weekends instead of staying alone while the staff which works from Monday to Friday takes the weekend off.

I would be most grateful if you could publish the vacancies required in your local newspaper. Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation and your time in this matter. I look forward to receiving your reply as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Rocío Martín