The Powers That Be

Dennis Holder’s “Power Profile” in your October special issue sadly demonstrates that D Magazine has, like local television stations and newspapers, fallen victim to Dallas’s infamous squeaky wheel, Diane Ragsdale. If Ragsdale were really a leader, she would stop holding all of white Dallas accountable for the regrettable actions of a few. Instead she would do something constructive to encourage her angry and helpless “constituents” to eschew drugs, to complete the free education made available, and to provide the family support necessary to raise children into productive, cooperative, and self-sufficient citizen



There’s no doubt that four-letter words are inappropriate in any place of business, and all the big-game trophies are a bit gauche, but Laura Miller obviously didn’t ask everybody our opinions of John Johnson when she polled the employees of our corporation.

I, like many others, have nothing but respect for the man. There are those who regard his demand for high standards and impatience for incompetence as “mean”; I think he just “means business!”




Those of us who have closely followed issues important to Dallas can tell you that projects such as the SSC and Joe Pool Lake would never have gained approval had Martin Frost not been working for us in Washington. Congressman Frost’s power and influence are evident, but I guess it’s easy for you to overlook people who live south of the Trinity River.



Not one Jewish woman? Would you not list a Rolls-Royce in your 100 greatest cars of the world?



Doesn’t Mayor Annette Strauss count?

“Natural” Reactions

I was saddened and greatly disappointed in Laura Miller’s article [“Natural Childbirth? You Can Have It” October]. Unfortunately for those readers who do not know any better, the article was filled with inaccuracies and omissions of material fact. It is apparent that in her effort to create a “cute” story, Miller failed in her duty as a responsible journalist to report the truth.

I had the privilege of having the very same instructor who she describes in the article, a warm and intelligent woman who truly cares. We were never told that the birth would be “painless”; just that, with the right attitude, preparation, and support, you can overcome that pain, without unnecessary medical intervention that in many cases can lead to complications, forceps births, unnecessary C-sections, trauma, and other potential side effects in the child itself.



Thank you, Laura Miller. I was easily suckered into the “natural way” but, sorry to say, I made myself go through the birthing with no drugs.

I thought my baby would be happier, healthier, more lively without the sedation of “drugging.” Boy, was I lied to! My child was comatose compared to the others, and I truly believe it was because there were no drugs to relax or protectively cloak him through the birthing experience! Please tell your readers not to be shamed into the “natural way.”



I would like to think that maybe Laura Miller got a “bum” Bradley teacher. But my husband and I had the same teacher, and she never talked about “the evils of childbirth ” needing an ice chest for our placenta, or about doctors being our enemies. She never promised a pain-free childbirth. What I cannot believe is that you would print such bitter prose as if it is “the truth” about natural childbirth, that it’s all a big lie, an elaborate hoax pulled on unsuspecting first-timers who don’t know any better. Seeds of fear have been planted by that article. They may turn some woman’s labor from the cairn, relaxed kind I had into the “ten-car pileup on Central Expressway” Miller describeS.



Laura Miller’s Bradley instructor made a serious mistake if she led her to believe that her childbirth would be without pain. Giving birth is a painful experience, as the majority of people are well aware. If Miller was totally unaware of this despite what her instructor might have told her, she was living in a childbirth fairy tale indeed.

To suggest that Miller did not deal well with the pain of childbirth would be an understatement. But she should be pitied rather than despised. If you can’t take the pain, take the drugs-it’s a decision only the woman giving birth should make.



Laura Miller really brought back memories. I often told friends after my Lamaze class that the three most important words I learned were “Give Me Drugs!”



Look at it this way: the dosage of any drug is determined by your weight. Now, inside of you is a person 1/20 (or less) of your normal weight, but who will receive the same dosage as you of any drug you receive. Now, if your child needs a painkiller, are you going to let the doctors give him twenty times the dosage he ought to have? Of course not! That’s dangerous. It’s just as dangerous when he’s on his way into this world.



What I find ironic is that in Laura Miller’s new-found acceptance of medicated delivery, she fails to notice that she was not “saved” from a “torturous, disgusting” delivery by the medication she took. I’m sorry she did not have the fulfilling, wonderful, natural delivery of a robust newborn in optimum condition that I was fortunate to experience, but she shouldn’t condemn the person who was just hoping for the same for herself.



Are women who birth without drugs some kind of masochistic kooks? I would think not. When something hurts me, I say ouch. But I have learned that with loving arms around me, and a willingness to relinquish control to this most primitive of forces, and, yes, to think of the dilation of the cervix as a flower opening, that a birth can be experienced and lived not as “disgusting and torturous” but as one of the peak experiences of my womanhood.



I’m not saying traditional medicine is perfect. It could learn a lot from Bradley’s philosophy that birth is not a surgery, but a normal process of living. We need the best that both have to offer: the skill and experience of the physician and the nurturing heart of the natural childbirth proponent. Until that happy marriage, ladies, we’re on ourown, Think for yourself and do what you feel is right for you.



Give Peach a Chance

Re: “Inside Dallas,” October, and your reference to North Dakota as the “Peach Garden” State: since departing the northern tier some forty years ago, old age and this high Texas living have indeed rusted my geographical skills. I had all but forgotten how the peach gardens, for which North Dakota is named, thrived in the waist-deep snow and sub-zero temps.




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