Its been over a month since I've posted last. I missed the uprorr about AMA's and ACOG's efforts to ban homebirth but I did hear a little mention of it in the times I was able to pull myself away from my work. My brief opinion on that: they will not be successful in lobbying Congress because legislation like that is so blatantly a violation of individual freedom as well as obvious attempts to monopolize their business and shut down their competition. However, the birth community cannot stand by and hope that their efforts will fail. Birth activists have the responsibility to let their collective voice be heard and to state the research in support of homebirth and midwifery.
And now to update on my goings-on. In early June, I was busy packing and getting ready for our summer of learning. I then spent three weeks in Hawaii taking the last two classes for my M.Ed. program. The topics covered were policy making, advocacy and collaboration within the field of early childhood education. Since I started the program and my experiences of becoming a mother, my focus has shifted to earlier in child development to the perinatal and infancy period. The information covered in my classes were helpful to me as a birth advocate because I could apply the lessons to needed policy changes and my efforts to work with the birth community to improve the way birth is treated and respected in our country.
While in Hawaii, I was in class 8 hours a day. Willem stayed with my best friend since fourth grade and they went to the beach often and bussed around Honolulu with each other. After class, I would go join them wherever they were so I was lucky to go to the beach at least 3 or 4 times a week.
When we first got there, Willem was afraid of the waves and the ocean. I can understand that fear. Being short like he is and rushing water that has the power to knock him over, he clung to me like the little koala I frequently call. That fear lasted all of 2 days. The next time he went to the beach, the waves were a little calmer and he discovered how good the water felt. It was soon after that he discovered that he could run into the ocean, kick the waves and splash. Within a couple of days, he started walking out as far as he could go, up to his chin. He also noticed the older children playing around them as they floated on inflatable rafts, body boarded and swam with boogie boards. He wanted to be like them. One day he noticed a three year old with the inflatable arm rings and tried to swim like her. It was then I decided to invest the $0.89 for the floaties. That's when he took off. He was an independent kid with those. He would only get out of the water when it started getting dark, or he was hungry or tired. He took a few naps on the beach. Needless to say my little beach baby got tanner and blonder through his play.
As for me, I still have plenty of work to do to finish my degree. To complete my classes, I need to write two research papers. I also need to finish writing up my thesis. I'm on track for graduation. I plan to defend my thesis in time for my birthday and then return to Hawaii in December to walk with my class and be hooded.
The Birth Survey is also getting close to its national launch, so I will be working on preparations for that. Between my graduate program, the Birth Survey, Solace and Willem, I will be a busy mama this summer. I will make efforts to keep up to date with the birth world and post my thoughts here as I have time.