1. Freda, Margaret Comerford EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN, EDITOR

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Everywhere I look, people are worried. I suppose it's the war. This war, with its invisible enemy, puts people on edge. Who are we fighting? Where are they? When and where will they next strike? Who is safe? Is anyone safe any more? What does the future hold? All these warnings from our State Department don't seem to help. What is a "general alert" supposed to mean? Should I book a flight? Should I drive over a bridge? Should I go to a major city? Should I just hide in my home? I'm tired of the whole thing, I must admit. I don't want to be afraid today, or afraid about the future. I want to look at the future as a bright shining place where all possibilities for great things can happen.


Isn't it wonderful that some people are strong enough to defy the doomsday scenarios and forge ahead with their lives? Continue to have babies, and be optimistic about the future? I'm particularly proud of my daughter, Carrie, and her husband, Dave, who are the models of strong, optimistic people we all need to emulate. Because of them, I can tell you of the best news I've had in several years: The birth of my third grandchild and first granddaughter, Abigail Grace. Those of you who read my Editorials regularly may remember that I wrote about miscarriage for our special bereavement issue in May 2001, and in that Editorial I shared the story of my daughter Carrie's miscarriage. From the depths of despair, Carrie and Dave have now experienced the most perfect joy-they have had a beautiful, healthy baby girl! Abby's birth was the highlight of Carrie and Dave's lives thus far, and was certainly one of the most significant and meaningful experiences in my life.


Of course it wasn't easy. Could it possibly be, with me as the grandmother? I know too much. I had hoped for Carrie to have a lovely, quiet, calm labor experience with her husband, her sister, and me in attendance at a hospital where I knew the nurses and felt comfortable with the quality of care. Well, the hospital part worked out. Carrie had a great young intrapartum nurse named Kerry who was everything an intrapartum nurse should be. I was proud to be in the same profession as Kerry that day. But was the labor quiet, calm, and normal? No. The day after her due date, Carrie detected little fetal movement. Luckily her childbirth education teacher (a terrific nurse named C.J.) had warned the class about the implications of decreased fetal movement, so Carrie knew to notify her doctor who, thankfully, told her to go right to the hospital. Carrie thought she'd be there for a few hours, but that wasn't to be the case. When they saw low levels of amniotic fluid and little movement, they decided to induce labor. That began her 24 hours of labor. It wasn't easy. However, her doctor was magnificent, and despite the fact that Abby's head didn't descend well, he didn't go right to a C/S. He and Kerry and the resident had the patience to help Carrie push for hours. She gave birth vaginally, despite her complete exhaustion. My other daughter, Alyse, and Carrie's husband, David, were truly excellent coaches, never wavering in their support of Carrie, and their encouragement for her to keep on, despite the overwhelming exhaustion she felt. Abby's birth was so incredible-Alyse and I cried a river that night. Alyse isn't exactly fond of situations involving bodily fluids (she definitely doesn't have the constitution to be a nurse!), but she watched Abby's birth, and was awe-struck at her sister's ability to birth this beautiful baby. Carrie worked so hard, and all I could think of was how gratifying it was to see her long years of waiting come to an end. Carrie was a mother, and Abby had arrived, all 8 pounds 2 oz., 20 inches of her! She was gorgeous from the moment of her birth. Perhaps the most beautiful baby girl ever born, I'm sure. And now our family has another member. Just like that. We waited and waited and waited for her, and now she's here.


Optimism reigns supreme. Great and fantastic things still happen in the world. Abby is the best example of that. May her life be filled with peace, love, and happiness. I know we can supply the love.