A Deliberately Insubstantial Post about the Home Birth Consensus Summit

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By Jill Arnold

For everyone chomping at the bit to hear every single detail of the Home Birth Consensus Summit, I would like to invite you to simma down now. The summit hadn’t even ended and a few folks were going berserk about what they called secrecy, demanding that the consensus be immediately uploaded for the public. It wasn’t even typed yet and I wasn’t even done getting high off the blueberry Mr. Sketch pen in which our section was written. Simma. Down. Now.

I left with the understanding that as a matter of courtesy, the first rule of Fight Club the Home Birth Consensus Summit is: you do not talk about the Home Birth Consensus Summit. (FYI, I found out that that stupid soap with the hole in it at the Airlie Center was MADE FROM DISCARDED PLACENTAS by the home birth midwives, who sold it back so the obstetricians would shower with it.). Actually, the agreement was to not directly quote people without their permission as a courtesy. Rixa did quote me without asking first (*ahem*), but I don’t mind. I actually got the chance to personally apologize to someone I beat over the head with an angry stick in a post a long time ago and was honored to buy them a moderate amount of a clear liquid at the pub.

The format of the three day meeting was unusual, and I assume that part of the point of it was that it would be disarming in its uniqueness. I think it worked. The dialogue was respectful, which is remarkable considering the diversity and backgrounds of the attendees. It wasn’t all rosy, of course. I came to blows with someone after hours because we wanted to reenact the SNL natural birth sketch and both of us wanted to wear the enormous yarn merkin. It’s too bad we couldn’t reach a consensus on that.

The best part of traveling is always the reunion with my kids afterward. I told the kindergartener a few months that if she and her little sister were going to continue to giggle about poo, she was going to understand what poo is all about. So we were talking about colons this morning and after totally forgetting what the transverse colon was called, she walked over with a smile and wrote this because it’s the closest part to her butt. Then I put her in a burlap sack and beat her with reeds because, a “y”? Seriously? Ridiculous. I placed getting them tucked in late last night and snuggling as a higher priority that the MCH online quiz due at midnight, and in turn promptly bombed the quiz. I need to enjoy these little weirdos before I take off again at the end of the week for Washington D.C. to present at the American Public Health Association annual meeting. Please let me know if you’re attending, by the way. Or try to find me there… I’ll be the one wearing the huge yarn merkin. You can’t miss me.

So that’s it for now. I feel strongly about just waiting until there is something public to start discussing the summit. Thank you again for helping me to get there and I am glad I was able to contribute to the process. We’ll get you a substantive post about the summit in due time and will open it up for discussion then.