Category Archives: Montana

Heads Up Campaign: Infant Mortality Awareness Month

September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month.  I recently discovered that 70 babies in Montana die before their 1st birthday each year.   The leading causes include problems in the perinatal period, sudden infant death syndrome, congenital anomalies, and causes with unknown origins.  The 2006 Montana infant mortality rate was 5.8 per 1,000.  The national rate was 6.7.  [1] 

To increase awareness about local and national infant mortality trends, the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) is spear-heading a baby hat knit/crochet campain.  Here is the notice I received:


Healthy Babies Are Everyone’s Business and I know that you care.

In 2008, over 27, 600 infant died before age one, most of the deaths were preventable. Monroe, president and founder of ICTC said, “factors that contribute to the higher rates of infant deaths include: premature births, low-birth weight, poverty, mis-education about proper food choices, poor pre-conception health, late prenatal care (beginning prenatal care late in the 2nd trimester,) less than 5 prenatal visits, high blood pressure (causing restricted blood flow to the placenta) and hypertension formally referred to as pre-eclampsia, SIDS, failure to thrive syndrome and accidents”.

ICTC is asking every able body to join us in knitting or crocheting at least ten infant hats and sending them to the ICTC State Representative in your state by September 15th. The ICTC State Representatives are listed on WWW.ICTCMIDWIVES.ORG, or you can send them to the national at ICTC PO Box 11923, Portland, OR 97211.

The hats will be displayed at an infant mortality awareness rally in the week of September 26th. At the end of the public awareness project the hats will be given to infants as “Going Home” gifts when they leave the local NICU units. What a comforting gift to an ill baby and support to worried parents. By participating in the “Heads Up” Campaign, we can increase awareness about the causes of infant mortality and then create the solutions to reduce infant deaths.

The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) is an international organization established in 1991, and head quartered in Portland, Oregon. It is an infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding promotion and midwife training organization. The mission is to increase the number black midwives, doulas, and healers, to empower families, in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality. ICTC educates on the causes of infant mortality and provides solutions through education, direct services and training midwives and Full Circle Doula Birth Companion Training.

This campaign is being co-sponsored by Birthing Hands of DC and other supporters.

To learn more visit http://www.ICTCMIDWIVES.ORG or call 503.460.9324

As I indicated on my advocacy blog, the Trial of Labor, I didn’t actually find more info about this via the ICTC website.  However, Birthing Hands of DC has info on their site as well as links to easier patterns that you can knit and crochet, even a 10-minute preemie hat.

And I know that you have 10 minutes to make a hat for this wonderful cause!!!



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Filed under Family, Montana

Bresnan Cable: Nothing but COAL!

Hardly a week goes by when I don’t think of Bresnan Communications with contempt.  I have been angry with that company for a year-and-a-half.  This is my story.

In the summer of 2006 we decided to switch from flaky satellite service to more reliable cable service.  It wasn’t about the TV.  It wasn’t about the cost.  It was about having a reliable digital broadband.  It was going to cost us more money, but we were ok with that.  Bresnan is the only game in town for cable digital service, so we signed up.  They sent out a newbie to install the service.  He didn’t really know what he was doing, and it took him for EVER.  I wasn’t pressed for time that day, so it didn’t bother me too much.  Eventually, he hit the wall and called in his supervisor.  They spent some time out in the backyard, and then the boss man took off, and the newbie was on his own again.

Ahhhh a reliable signal.  Wunderbar!

And then I looked outside at what these idiots had done . . .

Instead of burying the cable line, they ran a cable about 12-15 feet above the ground diagonally across our entire backyard to connect to a nearby pole (not even the closest pole to our cable box).  I called and complained.  They scheduled me for an appointment to fix the problem.

They didn’t keep the appointment.

They NEVER keep the appointment.

A year and a half later, we still have that fucking wire draped across our yard.  It’s dangerous – the wire does get hit by balls because it’s so low and covers the entire length of our yard.  And now that we have a hot tub, the wire is even more dangerous.  It doesn’t matter how much we complain, no one seems to be responsible because Bresnan subs out these jobs.  So, it’s the sub’s fault that Bresnan refused to provide customer service?  It’s the sub’s fault that a dangerous wire hangs above my yard?  It’s the sub’s fault that the installer didn’t just use the buried wire that was already there to hook into the cable?

I’m about to chop that fucking wire down and strangle the next Bresnan employee that dares to knock on my door and ask if I’m happy with my service.  Anyone have an alternative suggestion?

Update: Eventually Bresnan did correct the problem.  Someone stopped to inquire about it, and he fixed it the same day instead of making me wait yet again for an appointment.  I really appreciated his thorough attention to our problem!


Filed under Missoula, Montana