I have a few things on my mind, which I would bring up in line before we even sit down to talk. First, I have started drinking coffee. For the first time in life, I have stepped away from chai (other than a “treat” for L&B shifts), and joined the bandwagon of people shocked that I abstained from coffee for as long as I have. Second, screw May. That was a month of struggle and frustration for me, and I, for one, am glad it is freaking, effing, over. I had a draft “Monthly chai date” on the books for forever, and kept avoiding it, as I kept hammering over the linguistic concept of the month’s name: “may” as asking permission, recognizing an “othering” of power, opening up to be told “no,” etc. I. Just. Couldn’t. Do. It. Now we’re in June which has no obvious linguistic anything, and I am much more content. Let us carry on.
In line, I would ask your favorite type of coffee, how you take it, recommendations for brews and styles and anything else I should know. I am hungry for coffee knowledge. GIVE IT TO ME! Really I will probably order a chai and taste your coffee throughout our visit together
Alright, caffeine-hyper before we’ve even sat down, I would check in with you about your May and June. Did you also have this feeling of an overarching “May I?” where not everything was in your control? How did you take your power back, and restart? Or how did you recognize and allow the power be displaced elsewhere for a while?
Excited to taste the new flavors, I would ask about your favorite “stuff” lately. Not surprisingly, much of mine relates to midwifery. There has been some great midwife press recently, most of which I’ve posted to the Feminist Midwife Facebook page but haven’t detailed here. Business Insider listed midwifery as one of “The 10 best jobs for people who want to change the world,” U.S. News and World Report recently released a list of the “Best Health Care Jobs” and writes that “Midwifery is growing”, and Forbes details dramatic salary changes for Advanced Practice Nurses “amid a doctor shortage, changing state regulations and the push toward team-based approaches to keeping patients healthy and costs in check.” The International Confederation of Midwives approved a midwife kit as the global standard for midwives providing direct relief. AND, in response to the NARAL President’s announcement that she was pregnant, a Tumblr hit the net-waves entitled “Pregnant, parenting, pro-choice“: so many familiar faces, so much awesomeness. AND THEN, FINALLY, an OB wrote a blog post about how awesome midwives are in their practice. Finally.
My other favorite “stuff” takes the form of podcasts, music, and movies. Technology and I have been pretty tied up with each other this past month. Beyond my continued obsession with Dan Savage’s “Savage Lovecast” (Episode #450 of which does great justice to the clitoris), I cannot stop listening to “On Being,” catching up with the news via “The Skimm,” and planning a quiet evening alone with a glass of wine and my CEUs with Early Pregnancy Loss Resources. My musical rotation has centered around Ibeyi and Ludivico Einaudi, and Netflix recently brought me Hilary Swank’s The Homesman and Rashida Jones’ Hot Girls Wanted. And then, while I have been home sick with strep (which, as an adult, I would never wish on anyone), I watched Cake, The Butler, and 20 Feet from Stardom, all of which were amazing films.
Sipping slowly, I’d take a deep breath, and wide-eyed shared that this Friday begins the American College of Nurse Midwives Annual Meeting, the ultimate day of which begins my term as Secretary on the Board of Directors (many thanks to all of the midwives who voted!). I have been doing an incredible amount of reading in preparation: the Diversity and Inclusion documents, the Strategic Plan, and annual reports from previous years. I am also wrapping up my time as Co-Chair of the Students and New Midwives Section (SANMS) of the Division of Education, and completing the preparation work for the 2015 Student Report (read the 2014 report here).
Swirling the dredges in my cup and feeling distracted, I’d admit that in my professional midwifery world, I am feeling very unsettled. I have many things I am trying to accomplish, and haven’t quite laid out the best way to do those things. I’m thinking of making a personal “midwifery map,” with destinations /goals (future education, writing projects, collaborations) and then make an intentional plan of how to get to each and every one. I am proud of what I have done so far, but the past 6 months especially have been a bit distracting and, truthfully, not what I had imagined, so I need a full re-set. Hopefully ACNM this weekend will do just that!
In my personal writing world, I am also feeling discombobulated. Likely a similar 6 month distraction problem. Yet another map to make
I just starting digging into Patricia Harman’s second fictional midwife story, The Reluctant Midwife, and can’t seem to put it down. A fast read, weaving a tale that would get me every time: a mix of one midwife “midwifing” another into the profession and new birth stories. A review and a giveaway coming up soon!
After ACNM, I am headed to Phoenix for a week of quality family time, including some focused days with my nieces. I’ll try to not bombard you with the photos, but I cannot promise such things Really, I won’t promise anything. Because beyond the much-anticipated picture-taking with a bunch of midwives I am excited to meet (Lena! Robin! MANY OTHERS!) and geeking out over famous midwives, there will be a lot of photos to come. Prepare yourself for a photo stream of consciousness.
Finishing up our caffeine, I would ask about what “stuff” has consumed your time and mind. And, in the midst of it all, where in your life do you feel discombobulated? And how you are working through that? And how you would help someone else in your similar situation, and then how you might reflect that process right back onto yourself? What updates about your profession keeps you excited about pushing forward in your work, whether in the office or in the news? And what photo of you drinking caffeine would encompass your past few weeks or the weeks to come? Share!
Here’s to caffeine, to change, to re-focusing, and to next month.