Friday, October 19, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I was nominated for a Liebster Blog Award.

What is a Liebster Blog Award?
The Liebster Blog Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

Liebster: (der) n. sweetheart, beloved person, darling 

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. The nominee must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.
3. Choose up to 11 bloggers that have less than 200 followers.
4. Go to your nominees page and inform them of their award.
5. You cannot tag back.

Thank you to Tina from Tina's Tid-Bits  for the nomination.

11 random things about me:
1. I always wanted to live in a home filled with kids and animals.
2. Someday, I hope to become a foster parent.
3. My favorite color is pink.
4. I don't like driving at night or in the rain/snow.
5. I love red hair.
6. I am an only child.
7. I was in a serious car accident when I was 19 and my injury was centimeters away from me being paralyzed from the waist down.
8. I love coffee ice cream...
9. wet walnuts too
10. I am still friends with women who were in my preschool class.
11. I  tend to be am a hypochondriac

Tina's questions for me:
1. Name something you can't go a day without doing. Drinking tea - it's an addiction!
2. If you were given the keys to a time machine, where would you go and why?  I would simply like to go back and relive my first date with my husband.  
3. Do you prefer blue or black ink?  Black
4. What's the last thing you regretted buying? The pumpkin I bought last Saturday that was rotten by Wednesday!
5. Who is your favorite cartoon character?  Currently, it is Phineas (from Phineas and Ferb)
6. Would you break the law to save a loved one?  I am SO not a rule breaker and I hate getting into trouble, but if it was to save a loved ones life and it only meant I would receive a fine--no hancuffs, fingerprinting and jail time, then I probably would.  On second thought...if one of my babies were in danger I would do anything to save them.
7. What's #1 on your Bucket List?  Go to the Olympics/Opening Ceremonies
8. Name the first song that comes to mind.  One More Night - Maroon 5
9. If you could trade lives with anyone, who would it be?  Nobody comes to mind, but if I could experience someone else's life (just for a day), I would like to see what it feels like to be a size 4 and go shopping all day long!
10. What's your favorite game show?  LINGO
11. Do you own more books than movies? Yes

Now, it is time for me to nominate some deserving bloggers.

1.  My Hands And Heart Are Full
2.  Patch of Blue
3.  I Used to Have a Real Name Until I Became Mommy

Nominees, here are your questions:

1. Drink of choice? Coffee or Tea?
2. What is your favorite book?
3. How did you meet your significant other?
4. What was your high school mascot?
5. Favorite vacation spot?
6. Do you have any pets?
7. What is the last item you bought for yourself?
8. What are the first three names that pop into your head?
9. Do you have a memory from childhood that stands out?
10. Did you enjoy high school?
11. What is your dream job?

Congratulations, nominees, and thanks again to Tina!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An update about Hudson Valley Parent and my final vent (I promise)

I am not as angry anymore.  After a day of venting, writing, and trying to relax, I feel like I am in a better place.  The editor of Hudson Valley Parent apologized to me yesterday, explaining that this is the first time she has edited the magazine. I emailed her back and asked her to remove my name and Linus' name from the article about orthoses since I do not want to be associated with it.

I understand that she is new to editing and this is probably the first time she has been handed this much responsibility.  I feel that a good editor would ask for a rewrite, a bad editor just will rewrite the article.  I understand that there are deadlines, but you cannot write a first person account about someone else's life experiences, especially when the information was largely a fictional account.

She also took a quote I had gotten from a third party, and she rewrote it. A journalist/editor does not rewrite quotes.  It is unethical. What she did is totally unacceptable to me.  My credibility could have been damaged by her acts.

The article I pitched was about orthotics and prosthetics for children.  This is my exact assignment (given to me by the former editor of Hudson Valley Parent):

Orthotics and Prosthetics for Children: What are the most common appliances? How do they work? Where do you get them?  How much can they cost? Does insurance cover them? Speak to someone who works with children about how the child handles it?  Are they upgraded and resized as the child grows? Whatever else you feel is appropriate.
Real family experiences WITH PHOTOS. 
Sidebar story: what a parent should know if their child needs a cranial helmet

The article I wrote was exactly what I was assigned.  I interviewed parents and an orthotist who works with children to get his point of view.  The only mention of helmets was supposed to be in the sidebar.  

The publisher/editor did ask me to rework my article a bit and make it a little more personal, which I did last month.  I explained to them that I do not have a child who wears an orthosis or a prosthesis, but I could add some of my experiences with Linus along with the experiences of other parents.

I would have preferred that if she wasn't happy with my style she should have written her own article, leaving me entirely out of it.

I asked the editor for a correction/retraction printed in next month's magazine.  I am still waiting for her to remove my name and Linus' from the online article, which she hasn't done yet.

I did write a second article for the Baby Issue of Hudson Valley Parent which should be out soon, if it is not out already.  It is available online and I am happy to report that this article is exactly as I wrote it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Don't believe everything you read in Hudson Valley Parent Magazine!

I am ticked off.  Let me say that again....

I am ticked off!

My "article" came out in Hudson Valley Parent this month, and the beginning of the article where it outlined Linus' time in a helmet was not anything I had written or would have wrote.  Not only did the editor put words in my mouth, but the things she wrote were entirely untrue.

First of all, I never panicked or stressed out about Linus' head shape, nor did I call any nurses to voice my concerns.  I had noticed his flat head before he was discharged from the NICU, and it was something I was monitoring along with my pediatrician and the various therapists who visited my home for my older daughter, Josie.  Linus was also born with a piece of his skull missing, so after head ultrasounds and consultations with neurologists, something as minor as a flat spot on the back of his head was not going to be an absolute tragedy.   I knew that if the skull hadn't miraculously grown in, Linus would have been facing wearing a helmet for years as well as having to undergo surgery.  Honestly, I was thrilled all he had was Plagiocephaly!

Linus was a preemie who spent 3 months in the NICU, obviously I didn't think, nor did any medical professional tell me that his head shape was going to correct itself in six to eight weeks.  That only holds true for a full term baby born under normal circumstances.  Obviously, the editor did not do her homework on this subject.  

My son was born at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces, he was on a ventilator for over a month, and supplemental oxygen for almost three months.  He was fed high calorie formula via a nasogastric tube.  There were tubes and wires attached to every part of his body.  I didn't get to hold him until he was over a month old.  Linus was born after losing two babies to prematurity and stillbirth.  Do you really think that I was going to be panicking over Plagiocephaly or putting him in a helmet?

I never had any "difficulty" putting the helmet on Linus.  I knew that it wouldn't hurt him.  I did my research and spoke to various parents and professionals and learned all about how a cranial molding orthosis worked.  My husband and I made a very informed decision to have our son wear a helmet to correct his Plagiocephaly.  

Never once did I worry that people were going to stare at my son.  I am not that petty or self-conscious about those sort of things.  No one ever stared at my son, pointed, or made comments.  I picked his blue camouflage helmet because I had wanted a helmet in the blue family and my older son loves camouflage.  I have always been proud of Linus and his helmet, in fact I couldn't wait to take him out and show him off .  I even created a blog to celebrate this time in Linus' life and raise awareness about Plagiocephaly.

Originally, this article was assigned as an article about orthoses and the children who wear them.  It was not written to be a story about Plagiocpehaly or helmets.  If the editor had really read my blog, she would have known that I never felt the way she portrayed me.  

My apologies to the people I had interviewed.  One of the quotes I included had words added to it.  


I didn't know that editors had the ability to change quotes to make them sound the way they want them to.  

I would never refer orthoses as a "stigma."  I have far too much respect for the individuals who wear orthoses to ever refer to them as a "stigma."

I have contacted the editorial staff at Hudson Valley Parent magazine and I have requested that they print a retraction, both online and in print disassociating me from this article.