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After 47 years, Oprah Winfrey finally Gives her Deceased Premature Son a Name

oprah winfrey son

It took 47 years, but yesterday Oprah Winfrey finally decided on a name for the premature baby she gave birth to at age 14: Canaan.

During a stop on the business mogul’s “An Evening with Oprah Winfrey” tour in Melbourne, Australia yesterday, December 2,  the former talk show host and business tycoon told an audience the name and how she came to decide on it.

“I did an interview with a reporter before I came to Australia and she said you should name the baby son who died,” Winfrey announced to attendees of the event. “So I have named him, I had a little boy named Canaan.”

The declaration looks like it represents growth towards the acceptance and release of the shame associated with her traumatic childhood.

“I did have a son and I named him Canaan because Canaan means new land, new life,” she said.

The media mogul also talked intimately about the circumstances that led to the pregnancy and the  feelings she had around the time she was forced to carry a baby to term at such a young age.

“I was raped at nine years old by a cousin, then again by another family member, and another family member,” news.com.au reports she said, before adding  that she tried to conceal her growing baby bump because of the “pain and shame” she felt.

The baby eventually died and remained a secret until 1990 when a family member made the news public.  Following that unauthorized leak, Winfrey said she was concerned the news would impact her career negatively.

“I took to my bed and cried for three days,” she wrote in a February 2007 issue of O! The Oprah Magazine. “I felt devastated. Wounded. Betrayed. How could this person do this to me?”

She added, “I imagined that every person on the street was going to point their finger at me and scream, ‘Pregnant at 14, you wicked girl … expelled!’ [But] I soon realized that having the secret out was liberating. What I learned for sure was that holding the shame was the greatest burden of all.”

So wonderful to learn that not only is she freed from the burden of that secret but she may have gotten some closure or at least greater acceptance of her past by coming up with a name at last.

How triumphant it is!

H/t: SFGate

San Bernardino Shooter was a Pharmacist and A New Mom of a 6-Month Old Baby

tashfeen malik

San Bernardino shooters Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook – photo http://scallywagandvagabond.com/

It’s baffling to learn now that a 27-year old pharmacist and new mom to a 6-month old baby joined her husband on a shooting rampage at his office Holiday luncheon yesterday, Wednesday, December 2, killing 14 and critically injuring 17, CNN reports.

Police identified Tashfeen Malik as one of the shooters in yesterday’s deadly rampage shooting at a county office social event for the San Bernarndino County Health Department at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

According to relatives, Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook,  a Chicago-born 5-year County employee, left their comfortable suburban home in Redlands, California, during the day, then dropped their baby girl off at her grandparents’ home early Wednesday morning, telling the grands they had a doctor’s appointment.

Nothing out of the ordinary.  Nothing tipped off the grandparents that anything sinister was being planned. It appeared to be any other ordinary sleepy day in suburbia.

Then the  young couple dressed in black masks and tactical gear, armed themselves with assault-style rifles and traveled with fake pipe bombs in their  black SUV to the office party where Farook has previously left after having an argument with co-workers there, FOX News reports.

The parents then opened fire, wreaking havoc while carrying out their deadly crime, BBC News notes. They then traveled to nearby relatives home before leading police in a high speed chase that ended with the two dead.

A third passenger in that vehicle ran. He is believed to be Farook’s brother.

Even if the events appear to have been precipitated by a fight at the holiday party, with all that gear, ammunition and bombs officials found in the couple’s vehicle and home, it looks more like this was a planned attack.

Farook traveled to Saudia Arabia recently, his co-workers confirm.  Many thought he was going to perform hajj, a pilgrimage that devout Muslims are required to do in their lifetime.  The Los Angeles Times reports that he may have gone to pick up  his wife that he met in an online dating site and then traveled to Saudi Arabia to bring her back to America after getting married.

Someone found his dating profile on a site for people with disabilities and second marriage that his parents created for him, and another one on MuslimDating.com.

Coworkers described Farook as “quiet and polite” with “no obvious grudges with anyone in the office.”   Griselda Reisinger, who worked with Farook before leaving the department in May, told the LA Times, “he never struck me as a fanatic, he never struck me as suspicious.”

Reisinger said she heard that the office recently threw a baby shower for Farook and that he had taken paternity leave.

He was well-liked, others said.  ABC News  reported about another co-worker who described Farook as “reserved, rarely starting a conversation on his own”  and  “appeared committed to his family, and never displayed any unusual behavior or discussed any radical political views.”

Co-workers told the Los Angeles Times Farook was a devout Muslim but didn’t talk about religion at work.

The Internet sleuths were busy, working overtime scraping Linked In profile pages and Faceook pages coming up with these images:

Farook’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles have since been scrubbed from the Internet.

I hesitate including them here since they haven’t been verified but the photos left me haunted at how a seemingly loving and nurturing couple of new parents would abandon their baby to carry out such a murderous crime.


And now that poor baby will grow to learn about the horrible deeds her parents did and may be given grief for it by others or at least have to live with the awareness of their actions which left her parent-less at the same time.

That’s heavy and unfortunate and sad.

photo: Scallywag and Vagabond via Farook’s social media pages before they were scrubbed.

Why Everyone’s Saying Mark Zuckerberg’s Planned 2-Month Paternity Leave is a Big Deal

Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan pose for a photo taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz

Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan pose for a photo taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Friday that he planned to take a two month paternity leave when his wife Priscilla Chan gives birth to their first child, a daughter. The personal decision is being hailed as a victory for parental rights and family leave policies.

In an opinion piece today, writer Catherine Rampell writes that Zuckerberg’s announcement could be used to shape policy or at least conventional opinion on men taking longer  periods off from work after their wives give birth.

New moms would attest that the extra hand is welcome and needed.  Recent surveys from Society for Human Resource Management and the Families and Work Institute indicate that only 1 in 6 firms in America offer paid paternity leave outside the tech sector which is quite advanced comparatively in the parental leave area.

“But even when men are offered paid leave, they usually don’t take it, or at least not for any substantial period of time,” Rampell writes. “After California passed a law entitling most workers, both male and female, to up to six weeks of paid family leave, the average father took a whopping 7.5 days off after the birth of a child.”


mark and priscilla

Touring the new San Francisco Acute Care and Trauma Center the Zuckerberg’s donation helped build on November 7. The Hospital is named after them.

Jenna McGregor, also from the post, writes in a similar piece today, “Research from Boston College’s Center for Work & Familyfound in 2011 that 76 percent of fathers are back to work within a week of a child’s birth or adoption; 96 percent return within two weeks. Last year, the same center found that less than 10 percent of fathers took six weeks or more off.”

But millenials, leading with Zuckerberg, are changing the norm. That’s because he’s helping to finally destigmatize paternity leave.

Rampell cites that  survey after survey show that fathers want to be more active co-parents and more present in their children’s lives.

As a flip in gender roles, men today are struggling to balance work and family, and dealing with parental guilt, even more so than women.

But to do something about it and actually take paternal leave when offered? The stigma of being viewed as weak, not masculine or not committed enough to their jobs is what stops them, Rampell summarizes.

“Such stigma hurts not only those frustrated, guilt-ridden fathers, but also children and beleaguered mothers,” she continues “Research has shown that when women disproportionately take advantage of work-life accommodations, employers end up punishing women as a class, relegating them to so-called mommy tracks. Those women who do manage to hang on to demanding full-time careers are more likely to get stuck working the exhausting “second shift” at home than their male counterparts are.”

Unfair, but with more men in high profile and influential positions like Zuckerberg take extended time off, there could be a shift in mindset and eventually policy.

At White House State dinner in September with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan on September 25, 2015.

At White House State dinner in September with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan on September 25, 2015.

McGregor posits that an equal paternity leave policy could help adjust gender pay inequity too.

“Such benefits serve two functions: They help attract employees, particularly younger ones, who are more interested in sharing parenting responsibilities and improving work-life balance,” McGregor opines. “But they also make it possible for men to take the kind of leaves that could help improve the gender gap in both pay and leadership positions.”

Both are interesting pieces, and are akin to all the chatter and buzz abound during  Yahoo!‘s CEO Marissa Mayer‘s pregnancies.

Read Rampell’s entire piece HERE! and McGregor’s HERE!

photos: Facebook

STUDY: A Little Caffeine While Pregnant Doesn’t Hurt Baby

The list of things for pregnant women to avoid is long. And to make matters worse, at a time when fatigue seems to be at an all-time high, medical experts recommend limiting caffeine intake.

But mothers-to-be can take solace in a new study that suggests consuming moderate amounts of caffeine during pregnancy will not affect their child’s intelligence.

Continue reading

DC, Southern States Rank Worst for Underprivileged Children in America


The United States having the second highest rate of relative child poverty among economically developed nations. In order to assess the living and economic conditions of young people across the nation, WalletHub, a leading personal finance website, conducted an in-depth analysis of the 50 States and the District of Columbia.

The site relied on 15 key metrics ranging from infant death rates to child food-insecurity rates to the percentage of maltreated children and used them to rank the Best States for Underprivileged Children and Worst.

Sadly, the nation’s capital ranked dead last! Boo!

We noted that all of the bottom 10 are states in the South and the majority of the top ten are in the Midwest.  Below is the breakdown of the top ten and bottom ten and some key stats:

Best States for Underprivileged Children

1 New Hampshire

2 New Jersey

3 Minnesota

4 Connecticut

5 North Dakota

6 Wisconsin

7 Utah

8 Iowa

9 Massachusetts

10 Virginia

Worst States for Underprivileged Children

42 Alabama

43 Arkansas

44 South Carolina

45 Florida

46 Louisiana

47 New Mexico

48 Georgia

49 Arizona

50 Mississippi

51 District of Columbia

Key Stats

  • The District of Columbia’s child food-insecurity rate is three times as high as North Dakota’s.
  • Mississippi’s infant mortality rate per 1,000 births is twice as high as Iowa’s.
  • The percentage of children in foster care in the District of Columbia is five times higher than in Virginia.
  • The percentage of children in single-parent families in the District of Columbia is three times higher than in Utah.
  • The percentage of children in households with income below poverty level in Mississippi is three times higher than in New Hampshire.
  • The percentage of children without health insurance in Nevada is 10 times higher than in Massachusetts.
  • The percentage of maltreated children in Kentucky is 15 times higher than in Missouri.

For the full report and to see where your state ranks, please visit Wallet Hub HERE!

World Prematurity Day: Take the March of Dimes ‘Purple Pledge’ for Awareness

premature dbaby

Today, November 17 is World Prematurity Day dedicated to increasing awareness on premature births worldwide and the need for research, resources and support to lessen the number of global premature births.

Today, according to the March of Dimes:

• Prematurity is the No. 1 cause of death in infants

• The premature birth rate has risen by 36% over the last 25 years

• Every year 1,400 babies are born prematurely right here in Southwest Missouri

• Prematurity costs $71 million in the Ozarks, $26 Billion nationwide

• November is also Prematurity Awareness Month

“It just makes sense that an issue affecting a life at its earliest stages would affect every stage in life,” said Amy Temple, chair for the 2016 March for Babies campaign. “The research that is funded by the March of Dimes is linked to research in so many other medical breakthroughs.”

The March of Dimes’ 2015 birth report card released this month identifies different regions of the nation’s stats related to premature birth. Find out how your state fares HERE!


On today, World Prematurity Day, March of Dimes is also encouraging people to take the “Purple Pledge,” a social media campaign to spread awareness.

To take the pledge, visit the MarchofDimes.org



STUDY: Tattling Is Good For Kids; How to Foster Good Behavior

guest post 

 Well-documented research from the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health suggests positive peer reporting helps socially rejected students.

 Students “tattle” to the teacher about their positive interactions with the ostracized student. This allows the child’s classmates to see his/her good qualities and improves the child’s behavior problems and social standing. The interactions with the child’s peers become more positive.

Kids want acceptance, approval and appreciation, so the best way for teachers and parents to change behavior— is give positive feedback, even for the littlest things. Boys Town, one of the largest non-profit childcare organizations in the country, is offering this expert advice to help encourage positive behavior.   

  1. Catch the child being good. Even kids that behave badly a lot behave appropriately more often than not; it’s just the inappropriate behavior gets all the attention.
  2. If a child does something wrong – point out the mistake they made, but tell them what they did right as well.
  3.  Praise your child when they use the skills you have taught them – it reinforces the skill and makes them more likely to use it in the future.

4. Be consistent and praise often and you will be amazed by the change in behavior.

“Most of what kids do is appropriate and is worthy of acknowledging and all it would take is a, hey you look pretty nice today,” said Boys Town psychologist, Dr. Patrick Friman.

About Boys Town Nationally, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs for more than 90 years. In 2014, Boys Town’s Integrated Continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

Worldwide Monuments Lit In Solidarity with Paris (PHOTOS)


We at Bellyitch wish condolences to the victims of last nights multiple terrorist attacks in Paris.

And while we’re paying homage and respect to yesterday’s victims, we would like to also recognize the hundreds of innocent women, children and men from the Muslim, Christian, Sikh and other faiths who have died at the hands of terrorism in Syria, Nigeria, Israel, Palestine, Kenya, Jerusalem, West Bank, Niger, Cameroon,  Afghanistan, India, Somalia, Mali, Turkey, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Bangledesh, and worldwide .

Within the last month:

There were 240 victims including 43 dead from a suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon on November 12;

About 19  people died and 33 injured in a bombing in Baghdad, Iraq on November 7.

Four people died and 20 were injured in Fotokol, Cameron when a 14-year old girl, a child suicide bomber, strapped with a bomb, blew herself up on November 9.

There were 22 fatalities on October 15 when an ISIL bomber targeted a funeral procession in Pakistan.

Approximately, 42 Muslim worshipers died after a suicide bomber targeted their mosque in Madaguri Mosque in Nigeria on October 14.

And there were 102 casualties when a suicide bomber attacked a rally for peace in Turkey on October 10.

In any event, it was certainly heartwarming to see so many global landmarks light up in the colors of the French flag in solidarity with France and in honor and memory of the 127 innocent people who tragically died and their family and friends.

The above collage is a summary of some of the monuments captured by USA Today and Buzzfeed below:

Sydney Opera House

  San Francico City Hall

 Toronto’s CN Tower

 The Washington Capitals hockey team projected the colors of the French flag in the interior of their stadium in Washington, DC

Christ the Redeemer Statute in Rio de Janeiro

 Sydney Town Hall

The spire on top of One Trade Center which replaced the Twin Towers toppled during the 9/11 attacks.

The Angel de la Independencia monument in Mexico City

  Mexican Senate Building

Omni Hotel in Dallas

Auckland, Australia/


Seriously…Dads-To-Be Are Social Media Posting the ‘Birthie’ Now?

guys birthies

Um…so you’ve heard of the Selfie and the Usie and the Belfie, but behold, a Reddit user this week went viral with his “Birthie“, a photo of his wife in the 12th hour of labor.

As one could imagine, the photos upset a few of the 1.4 million and counting people who saw the viral photo of Gil Silano all smiles with his wife Sarah grimacing in pain in labor on a delivery bed. But it turns out it was her idea to capture their expressions as the baby entered the world, Silano says.


 ‘My wife wanted to make sure that someone took a picture of the expression on our faces when our daughter was born today.,” Silano captioned the pic. “So I took one.”

The proud dad-to a daughter born soon after the photo said he showed her the photo and she chuckled and the laughter continued even as he read all the comments on it.

‘I showed it to her in between pushes and she cracked up. Now I’m reading her all of you guys comments while she feeds our healthy 7lb 6 oz girl,” he added. “P.S. Her mom took pics of our reactions 10 mins later :).”

In coverage of the viral photo, the Daily Mail reminded its readers of last year’s marathon photo session that Brit singer Robbie Williams took of his wife  Ayda Field when she was in labor and eventually delivered their second child , son Charlton Valentine, last year, October 2014.

robbie one

The “Take That”  singer-songwriter  snapped himself pleasant looking while his Turkish American actress wife looked downright miserable and probably in pain.

robbie 2

He also took a pic of her glittered Louboutin pumps on while her legs were propped up in stirrups with the caption: “‘When Ayda goes into labour she comes correct.” Funny!

robbie 4 - Copy

He shared photos of himself entertaining her and of the two knocked out asleep wearing matching sleeping eye masks.

robbie 3

Honestly, I can dig it because it’s another example of social media being used to keep it all the way real with folks and share the insider look into what pregnancy, labor and delivery REALLY are about…and the wives looked like they appreciated the distraction from the other pain of labor and delivery. Good stuff!

h/t Daily Mail