Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poppy Seeds are the Devil

Don't eat this bagel!

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon here and write about Elizabeth Mort and Alex Rodriguez having their newborn kidnapped because Mort ate an everything bagel the day before giving birth.  You can read about it all over the intertubes, such as here, or a less opinionated piece here or here.  The basic details are these: She ate a bagel and gave birth in a hospital that has mandatory drug testing.  She had a false positive test because of the poppy seeds.  I think conspiracy theorists got this one right.  Again, lots been spread on the internet about this one, so I want to think about it for some reasons other than avoiding a draconian hospital and county.

I vaguely understand why a hospital might want to test patients for drugs, though I disagree with the methods, particularly for expectant mothers.  What really goads me is that institutions, in this case a hospital and law enforcement agency, really fail to understand the larger picture of their actions.  As a father who wholeheartedly supports breast feeding and attachment parenting, and one who has come to learn a little about these through living in a house with a devoted breast-feeder and attachment parent, I know the importance of those first few moments and days after birth.  They can't be replaced.

What is it about the law that denies those entrusted to enforce the law with an understanding greater than the narrow scope of what the law does and says?  So in this case, why would removing the child from the mother be a better choice than simply detaining the mother with the child?  Do they think the everything bagel is some kind of drug-addled ruse?  As I write this rant, I realize she may have been drugged by the medical-industrial complex, but that's a rant for a different day and a Rikki Lake movie (which I can't recommend enough). 

I admit to having joked about people needing drivers licenses to drive but not parenting licenses to have kids.  But they've only been jokes (with a kernel of truth the size of Milwaukee ).  But I can't imagine going this far.  I can't imagine thinking that a newborn would be better off in the first moments, the first hours of life without her mother.  It makes the term Child Protective Services an oxymoron, with emphasis on the moron. 

Are drugs in Jameson county so prevalent that it's worth disrupting one of the most personal and loving acts humans undertake? Excuse me.  I know you are about to give birth, but can you pee in this cup so we can make sure that you're clean?  I just keep asking myself: what does it say about our culture that we feel the need to intrude in this particular way; in this particular, significant moment in a family's life; and with these kinds of drastic responses to a drug test result that according to the ACLU is well below the minimum requirement for people in a work place? 

Is this really the police state we want to be?


  1. Or many of these women, who reallly dont need to be in a hospital in the first place, could choose to give birth at home without the intrusion of the medicos or the state. Just sayin. And... (you probably shouldn't have gotten me started...) you know there are doctors at that hospital who are handing out prescriptions to parents to control their childrens' behavior like candy on Halloween every day. Hypocrits.

  2. another argument against hospital birth. bring birth back home where it belongs!

  3. Yea, that's why I included the h/t to the Rikki Lake film.

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  5. Because of complications, it was probably good that I delivered my kids in the hospital, but I had horrible experiences both times with pediatric nurses taking my babies away, and not allowing me to touch or hold them for hours after they were born. I was young when I had them, but I was more than ready and willing to be a mother. I think hospitals get an F for family care. And a C for compassion would be a huge improvement. I can't imagine this poor woman's feelings over this, and the first memories of her child's life. It's a memory that shouldn't have been forced on her or her child.