Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happier News

I love positive updates. Anyway, those of you who might read my blog/thoughts will remember that I was pretty scathing in my denunciation of a certain “Mr. Smith” who seemed to discount any likelihood that ICAN could bring something of value to a meeting devoted to controversies in maternity care. An admirable trait of Mr. Smith’s is that he isn’t afraid of controversy and he isn’t afraid to open up dialog that could be heated. And really, isn’t that the most important thing? Anyone with any sense knows that there will always be disagreement on some things, and differences of opinion on how any given crisis should be met and challenged and what the priorities for change should be. But through some very honest communication with Pam Udy, we’ve found that indeed, we do have something to offer each other and that our common ground is something we can definitely work in. I like that. A lot. And have to say, it does say something about Mr. Smith, that he was willing to reach out as he did.

So thank you Mr. Smith. Looking forward to the next conference!

(And if you know who Mr. Smith is, then you know and if you don’t, you don’t need to. Sorry :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Here comes the bus...

For a while now, there's been a big push to legalize CPMs (certified professional midwives) in Illinois, a state with a nasty reputation for persecuting midwives to the utmost extent possible. The women of ICAN have always had an uneasy relationship with "legalization" and licensure of CPMs....because unless the people pushing for legalization are very careful (and sometimes even when they are), usually the state requires a sacrifice to the gods of the medical association before agreeing to legalization. The big three sacrificial lambs are VBAC, breech and twins -- and sure enough, VBAC moms once again find themselves laid out on that altar, under the bus of licensure, hung out to dry while preserving homebirth for "low risk women". I think what really stings this time around is that the ICAN chapters in Illinois have been very active in supporting the efforts to get a licensure bill in front of the state legislature, writing letters, raising money and really getting out there for this cause. And now we find that for our efforts we get a pat on the back, a sympathetic "sorry about that" and a trip back to the surgical suite, since not only are homebirths after cesarean forbidden but we can't find a hospital to "let us" VBAC even if we want to go back into the lion's den. I'm sure the midwives are upset about this and I'm sure they feel like they had no choice. And maybe they didn't or maybe they did. After talking to a few people who know more about Illinois politics than I do, I realize that the situation isn't simple or even the story isn't nearly done, even if it might look like it. But I've got to say, I'm am SO tired of always being the one who gets locked out, when the women I represent need what a CPM can offer more than any other group out there. Still, while the International Cesarean Awareness Network can't support The Midwifery Licensure Act (Senate Bill 385, House Bill 385) as it is currently written, we are going to keep very close track of its progress, should it make any. Keep watching to see what you can do if the opportunity presents itself.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I haven't been good about writing lately, but I did want to get this out there -- of course, its in many, many blogs, but hey, never hurts to get it out there once more. This is a great video about cesareans -- and one that would be very easy for someone with more mainstream ideas to accept, i think. Anyway, if it works to get it embedded here, here it is: