At BlogHer, child locked in bathroom, Merck for Mothers I feel like I left home eons ago (cab did pick me up at 4:15am so I am going on many an hour now), but I am thrilled to be in San Jose for BlogHer '14. My hotel room is so large, so clean, so quiet, so pretty. I even have a vanity with a mirror and sweet little bench where I can sit and Can you hear my smile? And check my view- palm trees, the pool, and though you can't much see them, the mountains in the distance.

I just FaceTimed with the boys and found that Oliver had "accidentally" locked himself in my bathroom for a full five minutes and did "feel very scared." Jack added, "He was crying his lungs out!!!!" Let it be known that just last week I told Oliver not to lock himself in there because if something happened, I would not be able to get to him as there is only one door and it's a one-way lock. I'm so happy for further evidence that the boys take in, trust and heed my advice.

Not. I mean, he did sing this song of his own authoring just a few days ago. Ol "doesn't know anything"

Anyway, Tom got home and helped the sitter free Oliver if I understood the story. He was fine when we talked, and both boys were lolling about on my bed, dirty as get out and showing me their bottoms. Did I mention that I'm going to enjoy this lovely hotel for the next three nights?

This afternoon, I attended a Merck-sponsored presentation on their ten-year/$500 million commitment to ending maternal mortality worldwide: Merck for Mothers.

Three tragic and sobering statistics amongst many:

  • Every two minutes, a woman dies from complications experienced during pregnancy and/or childbirth;
  • In America, the death rate from pregnancy- and/or childbirth-related complications has nearly doubled in the past two decades;
  • The U.S. falls behind 63 other countries in maternal mortality rankings. Our global rank is WORSE than 63 other countries, putting us in the top echelon among developed nations. Not a point of pride!

Here in the U.S., three leading causes of maternal death are preeclampsia, pulmonary embolism and postpartum hemorrhage. Most of these deaths are preventable, and Merck is working to make sure we count maternal deaths in a systematic way (not current practice), create clear treatment protocols for emergent women (in the way all ERs are trained to treat heart attacks) bleeding, convulsing and dying of clots, track data to better understand the rise in maternal deaths, become better able to help women at a community level so that a last-gasp trip to the ER isn't the only option and scale best practices for greater impact.

Dr. Priya Agrawal, executive director of Merck for Mothers, is a seriously impressive and impassioned woman/physician/force of nature. I think the program is in excellent hands.