Category Archives: support

Christmas Baby Shower This Sunday!

Here at uOSFL, we are not just about trials, struggles, and controversy – although those are a given in our battleground! We are also about celebrating life, the gift of life, the joy of life!

We are pleased to announce our next Joys of Life event – our annual Christmas Baby Shower! It will be held this Sunday, December 9th, from 2pm to 5pm in Café Alternatif, 60 University Private (basement of Simard building). There will be food, mingling, and games. Bring a snack to share and a friend, and most importantly, bring a gift for a mother facing a difficult pregnancy! Gifts will be donated to First Place Pregnancy Centre. *UPDATE: clothes for babies 0-3 months, winter clothing and diapers are most appreciated.

This event is hosted by the University of Ottawa Students for Life, your pro-life club on campus. For more information, please visit our Facebook event and follow us on Twitter at @uosfl_epvuo.baby-christmas11

Parenthood and Education: Must we choose between the two?

by Thien-An Nguyen

After finishing a relatively brutal midterm, I was having a nice chat with one of my classmates. During our conversation, I learned that he had been a part-time student for more than half my life, and the reason for this long-term relationship with a Bachelor’s degree (as opposed to the standard four years) was that at the start of his post-secondary career, he had a daughter. As a result of her existence, he put his studies on hold for a while, and returned occasionally to pursue his love of learning. I was inspired by his dual commitment to his studies and to his family despite the obstacles.

That conversation got me thinking. Conventional wisdom tells us that there’s a dichotomy between education and family, that you can’t have both. Yet, the university campus is changing. It’s not just the domain of recent high school graduates. Education should be for people from all walks of life, including those caring for their families and, significantly, young single parents. Realistically, this means providing a variety of resources for pregnant women and single parents, such as campus day cares and classes offered online, at night, or on the weekend. In some respects, the University of Ottawa is not doing too poorly, with an on-campus daycare known as Garderie Bernadette Child Care Centre, though other resources could be improved, such as financial aid and scholarships and perhaps even a babysitter referral service.

Check out the deVeber Institute’s study on the availability of resources on Canadian university campuses for pregnant women and single-parent families and see how the University of Ottawa compares to other post-secondary institutions.

Pregnant women and single-parent families should not be forced to sacrifice their education for their families or the reverse. An accessible campus should also mean one that is conducive and open to parenting students.

uOSFL Christmas Social and Baby Shower

Come one, come all this Thursday, Dec. 8, starting at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of fun, food, games, and awesome people! Bring a treat to share and a gift for a mother and/or baby in need! If you don’t know what to get, here is a list of suggestions:

– baby clothes (birth to 24 months)
– diaper bags
– diapers
– maternity clothes
– bottles
– soothers
– baby toiletries (shampoo, soap, baby powder, zinc cream, brush, face cloths, towels, etc.)
– baby blankets

All items are being donated to First Place Options.

Please let us know if you are coming and what you are bringing for food by emailing uottawastudentsforlife@gmail.com (Event’s address will be provided in reply.) Come and celebrate life and Christmas!

How Much Does a Baby Really Cost? Reflections After the First Year

by Naomi Charles

I was pregnant for the first time, and feeling a bit anxious, so I asked my brother whose wife had a baby the previous year, “How much does it cost to have a baby on a monthly basis?” David said, “If you can afford a coffee a day, you can afford to have a baby.”

Well, my baby girl turned a year old yesterday, and I have kept track of all the money we spent on her and guess what? David was right. All told, we spent $641.00. That is $52.41 a month and $1.75 a day! (Isn’t that the price of a coffee these days?)

Now what does $1.75 a day include? Well, everything: diapers, baby food, clothes, presents, toiletries, official documents, medicine, and even her birthday party expenses.

So why did I bother to do this? I wanted to prove something. Many people say they can’t afford children unless they have all the education they want, a good career and a double-income family. Also, my research could save lives! Just last week I read that a father dropped a cinderblock on his newborn baby (born to his girlfriend in a car) because they already had a one year old and couldn’t afford another baby.

Many modern sources you look to will not give you the impression that having a baby is affordable. For example, babycenter.com indicates that, “You’ll spend almost $10,000 on your baby’s first year, according to the thousands of moms who took BabyCenter’s exclusive survey.” The CanadianFinanceBlog.com provides a “reasonable expectation” of the costs of the first year as $11, 025. The breakdown is Food: $1646, Clothing: $1879, Health Care: $154, Child Care: $4,990, Shelter, Furnishings, Household Operations: $2,356.

So how did I manage to spend so little on her first year? First, I was committed to being as economical as possible because I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Today, this is rare because many mothers feel they cannot manage the family finances without going back to work. There is also societal pressure to feel inadequate if you are not contributing a cheque each month. It’s the “just a mom” syndrome.

One thing many new moms don’t account for (and how can you?) is the generosity of everyone around you when you’re going to have a baby! Often babies in the womb and out seem to emit some sort of compulsion field that causes everyone around them to want to give something. I cried at my baby shower because I was so overwhelmed and I prayed that every baby would be so welcomed. If you are part of a community, whether it is your family, a church, your workplace or circle of friends, they will want to share with you when baby comes.

Another big money saver is cloth diapers. I know, you may be thinking, a lot of work, a lot of mess and rashes too. Well, I researched a good kind by talking to other moms who used  them, and when asked at my baby shower what I needed, I said Motherease cloth diapers. They have snaps, not pins! They were about $12 each and many women bought them, so I had a whole collection of one-size-fits-all and a few newborn ones, plus two covers of each size. I use them when we are at home and use disposable ones when we are out and for overnight.

I didn’t buy a bunch of baby equipment. The only thing I bought was a car seat for $50. I was given a high chair, a stroller and a play pen which she uses as a bed. It travels well. That’s all. I didn’t want a change table, (the floor is safer) or an exersaucer, but I was given a jolly jumper. I didn’t buy any toys. The funny thing is, toys are nice, but what babies really want to play with is real stuff, like Tupperware, car keys, books, and the baby wipe container. Why buy toys that will just add clutter? Plus, if you are home with your baby, you don’t need many toys to entertain them because YOU get to play with them!

I’m not sure who spends $1879 on baby clothing! Thrift stores are great and secondhand baby things often look brand new because the little tykes grow out of them so quickly. A person can also sew clothing to save money. It takes some time and energy during baby’s nap but if you can sew, go for it!

Okay, breastfeeding is key! Not only is it the BEST food for baby, but it’s a lot cheaper than formula. Not that it is easy, especially at the beginning when you are getting the hang of it, but don’t give up and get some good advice from nurses or experienced mothers. As you go on, it is comfortable and convenient, and your milk is ready to go whenever and wherever your baby needs it.

Also, after 6 months, as much as you can, have baby eat what you eat. Those jars of baby food must add up. Get a manual baby food grinder and when you sit down for supper, grind whatever they can eat. Gradually baby will transition to eating everything with the family.

I would budget $100 per month for baby and at the end of the month put what is left in a savings account for her. It’s been adding up. And guess what? The government gives you $100 a month for the Universal Child Care benefit plus there is family allowance. So how can we not afford a baby?

Every baby and situation is unique. One friend was not able to nurse and her baby required special expensive formula. But this mother is excellent at making the most of coupons so when she buys groceries, she can save up to $45 at a time. Each family finds their own money-saving skills.

A simple life, without too much stuff, can be very enjoyable. My daughter certainly isn’t deprived. She’s very happy, always looks cute, enjoys her food, her library books, going outside and playing with Mommy and Daddy. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much we enjoy her. Everyday she does something new and her smiles and laughter lift us up like nothing else. I look forward to spending these years with her discovering the whole world and the One who made it, for about the price of a coffee a day.

By the way, my little girl is going to be a big sister in a few months and I’m not worried about having 10,000 dollars in my pocket!

Half Body, Whole Life

by Dante De Luca

Today’s story is about a woman named Rose Siggins; I am sure many of you are familiar with her story. Siggins was born with a medical condition called sacral agenesis, which means that she is missing the lower part of her spinal column. Her useless legs were amputated when she was a child in order to increase her mobility. Despite all this, she has lived a full and fairly normal life. She appeared in the 2005 documentary The Woman with Half a Body by the British Channel 5 in their series Extraordinary People and in the documentary Born Different: Unbelievable Medical Conditions on E! Entertainment Television in 2010.

What is all this doing on our pro-life blog, you ask? Well, not only is Siggins remarkable for the many obstacles she’s overcome due to her medical condition, but she is also a shining example of a woman who chose life despite overwhelming circumstances:

 “Two years into their relationship, Rose discovered that she was pregnant. Rose’s pregnancy was extraordinary and ground-breaking, no-one with Sacral Agenesis had ever given birth. The only doctor who didn’t advise Rose to have an abortion was Dr. Wilson who says “This couple have committed themselves to a pregnancy and she is, basically, laying her life on the line because nobody knows what this means, no-one has lived this experience before. With the first counselling with Rose and David I was very specific and told them that they have to know that if they move forward with this that she could die.” The main concerns were with her lungs being compressed, as the baby was likely to grow up the way because of her short stature. The other concern was how she would tolerate a caesarean delivery, because the baby was lying transversely she would have to be opened across the top, a true 19th century caesarean delivery. Rose told her mum that if there were any complications and there was a choice between her life and the baby’s, she should choose the baby.”

For the rest of her story, I present you with this article: part one and part two. You can also watch what I think is the Channel 5 documentary The Woman with Half a Body here.

Coverage of the March for Life!

by Marissa Poisson

Thanks to all those who came to the 2011 March for Life! It was great to be surrounded by such a huge number of pro-lifers. The above video is worth watching whether you were able to participate or not. I especially like the message at the 5:23 mark. The child in the womb is human, women are strong enough to have their babies, and support is available. (See resources in Ottawa on the right.) The March for Life is an annual event, but that is something that bears repeating every day of the year.

Happy New Year from uOSFL!

by Elizabeth Tanguay

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all readers!

For those of you who voted for the Pregnancy Care Centre of Kamloops, BC,
for Joey’s Community Revival Project, you will be pleased to know that
they won the $25,000 prize with 2015 votes! (See this post and this website.) Congratulations to the Kamloops Pregnancy Care Centre!

The winner of Action Life’s video contest can be found here.
It’s a very powerful video and very well done. I highly recommend it.

Also, as a resource for Anastasia’s post below, I recommend
consulting this website and this one for information on vaccines.

Happy viewing and reading!