The topics listed for the afternoon were Post-date Inductions (including midwifery methods of inductions) and Demand Cesareans: What Women Probably Don't Know. Ina May didn't quite stick to the outline but that was fine by me (although there were those who beg to differ). She brought panels from The Safe Motherhood Quilt, which is something of a memorial to mothers who have died as a result of complications of pregnancy or birth.
She talked a lot about the risks of induction and the lack of informed consent. Ina May also discussed not only the sharp increase of maternal morbidity but the method of reporting deaths -- from the fact that death certificates are different from state to state, that reporting of maternal deaths is done on the honor system, and that autopsies are rarely performed. She described the quilt as a blunt instrument and I am so glad that she brought it with her.
One of the reasons *I* loved this part is that Ina May got political. In my opinion, you cannot have a conversation about maternal health and not have a political discussion. It's too intertwined. It's absurd. You can't point out the fact that the system sucks and not talk about why -- especially when the fact of the matter is, as a result of the system being so busted, women die and they don't need to.
So the conference ended and after cleaning up the room, some doulas were able to have dinner with Ina May. What an treat it was to have a casual conversation with Ina May! How many stories she must have -- and she wisely confirmed that I really didn't want to be camping at Bonnaroo with my kids and being really pregnant in June -- even if it is a killer line up AND close to the Farm! Honestly, some days I really feel like packing it in and moving to the Farm or somewhere like.
Anyway, I will always treasure this picture and the time spent with Ina May. Here's Ina May Gaskin, yours truly, Thing Three, and my extra chins: