Monday, October 20, 2008

The days are long and full as I push forward to make a very exciting thing happen. In just three weeks, I am putting on a presentation for all the people in the "birth world" here in Western MA (I say this as IF they are all going to come). Little old I, with the assistance of this amazing fund that has accrued through the generosity of many local families, am flying out this wonderful, thoughtful, compassionate and most of all knowledgable speaker to present a seminar called, "Compassionate Caregiving when a Baby Dies." Cathi Lammert is the executive director of Share, which is one of the biggest national infant/pregnancy loss support groups. She has been in this "business" for over twenty five years, since her son Christopher died. She is also a nurse and has walked this road with so many hundreds of families she is just an amazing wealth of information, thoughts, and experiences.
I have put so much thought into planning this seminar so that people will actually come to it. We are doing it at two different times, on two different days, to make it more available to nurses who work different shifts. I have tried to send our publicity everywhere I can. I wavered between making it free, which I could afford to do, but was advised that people are more likely to skip out on the day of for something they haven't paid for. So I made it cheap, and as it will provide nurses particularly with professional development points, hopefully that will be a lure. In addition I am offering three "scholarship" spots for every OB or midwifery practice in the area. But I am so afraid nobody will come. Here I am, flying this woman from St Louis, and she has SO MANY amazing, important ideas for these people, and maybe they will just recycle the flyer.
I spoke of this fear to Cathi, who said, If one person comes it will be worth it, because one person will help their next loss patient more compassionately. And I know that she is right. But I want a lot of people to come. I want them to come so that others will get better care, but truly I desperately want them to come because I want to see that SOMEBODY cares about perinatal loss. I want to see that somebody is actually trying to become more educated on the subject, and that they feel it is a worthy expense of their time.
Nursing schools as well as medical schools literally barely touch on this subject. To me, this is appalling. The families who bring babies home will barely remember their nurses. The families whose babies die will see their nurse's face for the rest of their life. They will hang on every word, verbatim. Their care will significantly impact their entire grief experience and, therefore, the rest of their LIFE. And this is unimportant?
I am just really hoping that people come. If you are in the Western MA vicinity and know anyone in the birth world (midwives, doulas, OBs, nurses, etc) please consider sending them my way this November. I am truly hoping for a success.


Meg said...

What a wonderful thing! I hope you get a huge turn out! I bet you will.

Heather said...

I hope you get a big turnout, too. What a wonderful project to be a part of!

And you're right, I remember my nurses vividly. My friends with healthy babies don't even recall names.

jenrnob said...

You are doing a wonderful thing with this seminar. I know at least 4 of us from my birthing unit are planning on attending this seminar. It is so important to us to be able to help our grieving families and make an impact with them during the lowest point in their life. Cant wait to hear what you have to say! Jen

Hennifer said...

What a wonderful thing you are doing!

Best of luck. I will eagerly anticipate the post-update

Charlotte's Mama said...

jenrnob-- yay! you have made me happy and i hope that maybe you can talk it up to a few more even!

stephanie said...

You are doing a wonderful, wonderful service by organizing this seminar. Even if you have a small turn-out, think of all of the lives even just one person who is educated about these issues can touch. That being said, I do wish that you have as big a turnout as you hoped.