You just gave birth your 8th daughter, how was the 18th pregnancy compared to your 1st?

As with any first time birth experience you might have fear of the unknown. As we approach each birth there are still the concerns of the unknowns such as the labor and delivery, each one has been different but having had the experience over and over does help some. Each time we have prayed for the health of mom and baby, and asked for a healthy, easy delivery.(As much as possible when were talking about labor!) I’ve had three C-sections, one with our second birth, twins, Jana and John-David, with our 15th, Jackson and with Jordyn-Grace. All the rest have been vaginal births, 13 of which have been VBAC’s. (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) We were hoping to have another VBAC with this last delivery.

I would say the greatest change that I have seen in the field of obstetrics, and I might add that it is very troubling to me, is the idea that once you’ve had a C-section you must have a C-section for any other pregnancy. It is much healthier for mom and baby to avoid major surgery and all the complications that go along with a C-section if possible. Granted, there are health situations that would warrant such, but for years obstetrics encouraged TOL (Trial Of Labor after previous C-section) with many successful healthy vaginal births. It was quite alarming to be told that I could no longer have a vaginal birth due to hospital or insurance companies regulations. It appears that what is best for the patient is not the priority with this decision. I feel our health care is being jeopardized by this unhealthy approach. Doctors are having to tell their patients that they no longer offer VBAC assistance due to hospital regulations and some might even state to the patient that they are not safe so as to avoid confrontation. Statistics prove much differently. For the many women that find themselves in this situation, ICAN is an organization that is very helpful in gaining more information on this topic. One of which I believe will be reversed in the near future as more women make a clear statement to health care providers and insurance companies as to how they would prefer to deliver there babies in a safer, healthier manner. (Now I will step off my soapbox!)

We are thankful our hospital allows trying a VBAC as long as they have an anesthesialogist on hand in case there is an emergency. On Thursday, December 18th we went to get Michelle checked by the doctor after Michelle had been having labor pains throughout the night. The doctor checked her and said she was dialated to about 4cm, but the baby was transverse like her brother Jackson had been.

Jordyn-Grace Makiya Duggar had to be delivered via C–section. We are thankful Jordyn-Grace is healthy and Michelle is recovering quickly.


Vultures have taken up roost on my house or in my neighborhood. How do I get rid of them?

It is first important to understand what makes your area attractive. This is not necessarily a food source. Vultures are highly social animals, and they prefer to roost in large colonies. Areas that are conducive to this include the stereotypical dead tree, cell phone towers, and even rooftops or porch coverings. Removal of such trees is not advisable for several reasons: 1) these trees are often habitats for other wildlife, and 2) without the trees, the vultures may move to rooftops, a far less desirable situation.

The best way to discourage vultures is to create an inhospitable environment. On the household level, you can hang shiny, flapping objects to frighten the birds, frequently run outside, clapping and shouting, or set off firecrackers. (Note that, after a while, the vultures may discover that shiny flapping objects pose them no risk, at which point these will rather become fun toys. So it is best to initially accompany them with noise or blasts from a garden hose, and to be careful not to hang them somewhere that you would find to be a particularly unesirable secondary vulture roost)

On the community level, vulture discouragement is often accomplished with periodic cannon shots, or other noise solutions.


Why? Dead vultures will create a very unsanitary environment, and will attract ground-bound scavengers such as coyotes and foxes, which would pose much more of a risk to your family. The carcasses might even attract a replacement population of new vultures. And please keep in mind, there is NO way of poisoning a vulture without unintentionally targeting large quantities of other wildlife.

Unfortunately, having adapted very well to the growing human population, vultures are becoming more difficult to discourage from residential areas. This does not mean that their populations will rise to any dangerous level, however. Like all other wild animals, they are controlled by natural population fluctuations. If the birds are roosting in trees or on cell phone towers, it is best to leave them in peace. They are wonderful animals to have around, as they keep the environment clean and healthy. You will even find that they can be beatiful in flight, and fun to observe.


What do I do when there is an alligator in my neighborhood?

In many cases, if left unmolested, alligators eventually will retreat to more preferred habitats away from people. However, if you encounter an animal that poses a threat to human safety:

DON’T – swim outside of posted swimming areas or in waters that might contain large alligators.
DO – swim with a partner within all marked swimming areas. These areas are specifically situated and designed to reduce potential alligator/human conflicts.
DON’T – swim at night or dusk when alligators most actively feed.
DO – use ordinary common care. Swim during daylight hours. Avoid areas with thick vegetation along shorelines; these areas provide good natural habitat for larger alligators.
DON’T – feed or entice alligators. Alligators overcome their natural shyness and become accustomed or attracted to humans when fed.
DO – inform others that feeding alligators is a violation of state law and that by feeding alligators, people create problems for others who want to use the water for recreational purposes.
DON’T – throw fish scraps into the water or leave trash on shore. Although you are not intentionally feeding alligators, the end result can be the same.
DO – dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans situated at most boat ramps or fish camps. DON’T – allow pets to swim in water known to contain large alligators or in designated swimming areas with humans. Dogs suffer many more attacks than humans, probably because dogs more closely resemble natural prey items of large alligators.
DO – swim your pets in areas not inhabited by large alligators. Keep your pet away from areas of heavy vegetation, and maintain your dog within command distance.

We have a separate page on alligators, and the Commissions document Living with Alligators, has more information.


If a woman is menstruating, does that increase her risk of bear attack?

In August 1967 in Glacier National Park, 2 young women were killed by 2 different grizzly bears on the same night. One of the women was wearing cosmetics and was menstruating and using external pads. Some writers speculated that menstrual odors triggered the attack and bear-safety brochures now often warn women not to hike or camp in bear country during menstruation.

While also unlikely that 2 bears would attack on the same night without a common environmental event, the most important factor was probably the habituation of both bears to people and human-associated foods. A subsequent fatal attack at Glacier in 1976 involved a grizzly which entered a tent, dragging out and killing a young woman.

The woman was not menstruating or using cosmetics and the camp was sanitary. Two young male bears with a history of harassing campers were killed nearby a few hours later. In Yellowstone, 19 people were injured by bears between 1980-1994. Five victims were women; no evidence linked menstruation to any attack. More>


Do goats really eat tin cans and garbage?

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about goats that exist. Even our daughters’ beanie baby goat claims that it eats garbage and tin cans! Nothing could be further from the truth. Dairy goats have very discriminating eating habits and are quite particular about the cleanliness of their food. They are very curious creatures and will investigate, sniff and nibble new things, but they refuse anything that is dirty or distasteful. Even hay and grain that they love will be refused if it falls on the ground. Actually, this is a very wise practice since it keeps them from eating foods which may be contaminated with parasites. Anyone who has tried to cram medicine into a goat’s mouth knows just how untrue the assertion is that a goat will eat anything! More>