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Anna Fahey's Posts

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Chemical Soup for the Soul

Editor's Note: Anna finished this post (and a few more) before she went on maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy girl, Audrey, on December 13. My husband Gus and I have been lucky. I’m 36—and therefore considered an “elderly primigravida” on my charts at my doctor's office (that’s “pregnant old-timer and first-timer” in layman’s terms). I’ve had a healthy pregnancy—so far—and we avoided the nightmarish saga of infertility that many acquaintances have suffered. But our story, as typical as it sounds, could be becoming a thing of the past—unless we demand better protections from toxic chemicals for our …

Read more: Living, Politics

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Let it snow … baby clothes

Editor's Note: Anna finished this post (and a few more) before she went on maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy girl, Audrey, on December 13. One year ago, just before Christmas, it snowed in Seattle. Not our usual short-lived dusting, but a real dump that lasted a few solid days and, because we’re not prepared for such events, veritably shut down the city (at least for cars). For Seattle, it was real snow. Some say it was enough snow to shift the outcome of the mayoral race in 2009. And as former Sightliner Elisa Murray noted, it was …

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The Great Diaper Debate

Editor's Note: Anna finished this post (and a few more) before she went on maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy girl, Audrey, on December 13. Cloth or disposable? Clark wrote about this way back in 2005. I guess it’s a question that Sightliners, rightfully, agonize over as they’re gearing up for a diapering blitz of their own. Our baby will probably be changed between 3000 and 7000 times in the first two years. For now, still a few months away from my due date, I still get kind of flustered when people ask me my diapering plan; I …

Read more: Living

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Sugar and Spice and…Lead and Mercury

Sandra Steingraber is my hero. Her book, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, chronicles her own pregnancy from both a scientific and personal perspective. It’s beautifully and lovingly written—yet for a pregnant woman it’s also a tough read. Trained as a biologist, Steingraber meticulously documents the toxic hazards we live with every day, and that threaten each crucial stage of fetal development. It’s not a pretty picture. One point stands out: it’s the fetus, not an adult human, who really lives at the top of the food chain. Rethink all the textbook food chain charts you've seen in your …

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A womb of one’s own

Photo: Mahalie via Flickr So, why is my response ire and not panic? I guess I’m over the panic. During my pregnancy, I’ve been reading a lot about the toxics in my body and their potential effects on the fetus (and I'll be writing a lot more about this stuff in this blog series). I realize it’s too late for panic. Contrary to popular belief, my womb is not entirely my own. I’m with the woman from this Seattle Post Globe story, Kim Radtke, who’s just plain angry. Like me, she made all the right personal decisions about her health …

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BPA Babies and Cash Registers

We've known for a long time that bisphenol-A (BPA) is bad for us. Study after study shows the ill-effects of this widely-used industrial chemical on our bodies--and in particular, on developing babies' bodies. The list is pretty sobering: BPA’s been linked to breast cancer in women, brain damage in children, obesity, heart disease, diabetes... Two new studies add to the litany: One study suggests that BPA, may cause sexual dysfunction in men. Another study, reported in Science News, links BPA exposures in early pregnancy to more aggressive behavior in 2-year old girls and more anxious and withdrawn 2-year old boys. …

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Growing up green: Breathing for two

Babies don't like air pollution and neither should you!Early in my pregnancy I developed a bloodhound’s sense of smell: even the faintest of odors overwhelmed me. It’s a common phenomenon during the first trimester of pregnancy, yet my new nasal superpower took me by surprise—and forced me into an unwelcome awareness of the pollution that surrounds all of us. Car and truck exhaust, to my unusually acute nose, was pure poison. It made me recoil, hold my breath, gag, choke. My new super-nose could detect the smell all over the place—waiting at the bus stop in my quiet Seattle neighborhood, …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Growing up green: How to shop for a green baby

Photo courtesy Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr I guess I’ve known all along that introducing a baby into the family meant introducing a whole slew of stuff into our lives -- much of it bulky, expensive, and -- often -- plastic. But I'm fighting all the media and social cues to go on a shopping spree at Babies R Us. Instead, my husband and I decided to buy only one or two essential items new, like a state-of-the-art super-safe car seat. But, for the most part, we’ve managed to “go green” as we’ve outfitted ourselves for pregnancy and parenthood -- from …

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Is China winning the clean energy race?

Photo: Elizabeth Thomsen Today, in global talks, in the Senate, on the street, you still hear a murmur here and there about "not doing anything until India and China sign on." And this previously pervasive attitude, however obsolete, may already be coming back to bite industrialized nations. Indeed, the big honchos in the West may find themselves borrowing and begging for new technologies that China has been busy perfecting all along. Or maybe we'll just be sulking about the fact that China's economy is happily unhitched from the fossil fuel rollercoaster long before ours... Could it be that China is …

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Northwest businesses weigh in — or bow out — on energy policy

This fall, Northwest-based global businesses Nike and Starbucks led a group of consumer brands to publicly champion muscular, science-based climate and energy policies. These companies are on the field, playing hardball politics in support of serious efforts to address climate change and jumpstart a clean energy economy. At a moment when the biggest climate and energy bill ever is moving in Congress, the EPA is finalizing its ruling on greenhouse gases, and Obama just announced major strides on tailpipe standards for auto emissions, where are all the other Northwest companies on climate policy? Amazon? Microsoft? Boeing? Mostly, as far as …