It has been quite the year of travel and presenting workshops in all parts of North America. I sat down and counted my saved boarding passes a few weeks ago and realized that I had sat on 57 separate flights since January. I always look forward to the flights because I never know who I am going to be destined to meet and engage. I call my seat mates "divine appointments." This year I have had interesting appointments, to be sure. The conversation when we are cruising at 35,000 feet usually revolves around childbirth in the US. Most people are completely unaware of the state of maternity care in our country, but always in complete agreement that the birth process and immediate post partum care plays a role in shaping the relationship between mother and baby and future behaviors of the child.
I recall a woman from North Carolina crying in the middle of the night as we flew from San Diego to Charlotte, when she realized the impact that birth could possibly have played in the lives of the kindergarten children she has been teaching for the past 20 plus years. She recounted that she had home births, quite by chance, in the Chicago area in the 1970s with Gregory White. The depth of our conversation struck her on the heart level and that is what led to her tears. We prayed together in the darkened cabin with lightening flashes in the sky as our only illumination. There was also a business man from New York on a flight from Chicago to Atlanta who vowed to let every pregnant woman, and every woman thinking about having a baby, know that they needed to investigate their choices and consider a home birth or waterbirth.
The common thread that binds us all to this message is that people understand immediately that there is a connection between the way we are born and the way we develop in our psyches.
The impact of birthing practices on future health and well being becomes obvious to everyone when having quiet personal conversations.
The travel has taken me back to Oregon from my new home in Ft. Lauderdale, to California, Kansas, Ontario, Canada, North Carolina, Arizona, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, Bermuda, Washington, and different parts of Florida.
As the fall conferences begin, I look forward to my "divine appointments" and to meeting the wonderful, genuine women and men in each conference and workshop who desire to change the way we welcome babies into the world.