15 responses to “Going, going, GONE”

  1. Rachele

    Love you, Lisa!! Yes, it is all panning out exactly as we feared. Hope is fading fast. I am finished having babies but I could cry when I consider what my daughters' choices in childbirth will be. "Serving women in pregnancy and birth" seemed like such a simple and lovely goal. I guess I'll go back to primary school teaching.

  2. Emily

    Definitely something to be worried about!! Midwives here in the US are lobbying for the right to be regulated, because they believe that will make them legal. Which, technically it will, but they neglect to consider at what price.

    Here in my state of Utah, the midwives were legalized under a regulatory system 4 years ago. Last year, the UT Medical Association finally got up the stuff to launch a campaign to narrow the scope of practice. So now "legal" midwives are prohibited from attending breech, twins, VBA+2C, etc etc. And my guess is, they will come back in another year or two to chip away at the rest of the rights they have left.

    The trouble with regulating is someone has to oversee the thing, and dole out the licenses, and guess who will be more than happy to hold those keys?

  3. Anonymous

    And those of us who said this is what would happen were condemned as lunatics. I agree fulsomely with everything you've said.

  4. Jodie Miller

    Lisa, you are a midwife. By all accounts, a bloody good one. Your vocation requires a certain 'trust in the process'.

    Those who are working with bureaucracy and succeeding to make increments of change must also 'trust in the process'.

    The fight for women's choice has been a long haul, and it will continue to be. How do you think your clients would feel if, in transition, you started haranguing them that they've achieved nothing, might as well give up now? No, you'd be urging them on, noting how far they've come and how well they've done and cheering that the worst is over and the best is yet to come.

    The midwives and women (and few men) who are tackling the system haven't forgotten what they set out to do. They are simply working with a *process* and now they've hit transition. Hurray!

    So why not urge them on, note how far they've come and how well they've done and cheer that soon they'll have achieved what they set out to do?

    By all means keep pushing forward and fighting the good fight, but please have some patience and allow some time for the process to unfold. I *do* understand how long independent midwives have already had to wait, but you of all people know how to work with a process.

  5. Karinda

    I am crying and screaming for you, yet selfishly praying, Please don't let that happen here. Know that people are thinking of you around the world.

  6. Lisa Barrett

    Thanks for your feedback. Never once Have I said give up. However I would love you to tell me what we are gaining by not vocalising our thoughts and trusting in the process. Every statement and government literature tells us that we are not winning the war.

    I am just a little worn out by the immediate defensive stance taken by anyone who sees themselves as "fighting the cause" any time there is a question or alternative point of view.

    I would love you to tell me where I am going wrong with what I think. Everything I have said so far has come true even tho at every turn I have been told to keep quiet.
    I did not make up the "they will all be reguated next year" quote.

    Where as I do understand how hard you all work and where you are coming from I do not agree with the stand you have taken when fighting on behalf of independent midwives. It is now too late you have backed us into a corner. We could have fought this off earlier but we were trusting the process.

    I want to be able to work WITH WOMAN in the exact capacity that I have done up to now. Only beholden to them and not the medical establishment and not the insurance company. When we have that in the palm of our hands I will apologies unreservedly for anything that I mistakenly believed.

    I want you to say in reply, what is actually being done and what exactly could be achieved to enable us to continue being with women.
    No rhetoric, no promises and NO trust the process. What do you really belief you will achieve next year.

    In the mean time I totally support the action in September and Justines efforts are not unappreciated. I can't help it if you cannot accept opinion from a midwife who is with women regardless establishment of any sort. Isn't this what you are fighting for.?

  7. Tania

    My god…does anyone else get the heebie jeebies when they hear obstetricians tell women that they are the experts, and that they need to trust them…sheesh…I am waiting with baited breath, to hear what Jodi has to say which will offer any of us REAL hope that we will be able to register, and work, WITH WOMEN, come next July. Floor's yours Jodi.

  8. Rebecca

    Quote "cheer that soon they'll have achieved what they set out to do?"

    But I want to know if they have acheived what ** I ** need? Are they going to? Or is it one of those things that will be compromised on?

    ** I'm ** a birthing mother.
    ** I'm ** the woman whos rights everyone is apparently 'fighting for'. ** I'm ** a home birthing mother.

    So far, all I can see is a future where I am sent back to hospital set policies and the care of people who don't know me, and will do what "they" think is right, regardless of what ** I ** need.

    Quote "cheering that the worst is over and the best is yet to come."

    I truely truely hope so. I really do. But the sick feeling is scary, and I need to KNOW that I'm being listened to.

    But how can people hear me if I don't speak?

    How will the Policy Makers know what ** I ** want?? What ** I ** need?

    If everyone is busy patting everyone on the back, and congratulating themselves on a job well done, who will notice me sitting in the back, waiting patiently and quietly?

    I don't want to stand up at the end, and try to say MY bit, only to have everyone go – "well, sorry, but you should have said something sooner"

    It is only through people like Lisa, who speak for women like me, that will let the Policy Makers KNOW that I am here.

    Please, don't let them smother the voices of those like Lisa. Without her, my voice would be lost in the dark!

  9. Kellie

    It is fucked – on a grand scale!

  10. Jodie Miller

    I'm not trying to smother voices. I read your blog because I think your voice is important and relevant.

    I was simply pointing out that bureaucracy is a *process* and process takes time (yeah, I know you know that).

    But at the same time, reading your words Lisa, it is apparent to me that you don't understand how lasting change is designed at a government level (not that I truly 'understand' it – but I acknowledge it) and that the current successes with the federal budget are all about laying foundations that can be built upon. The birth reform movement has reached the next stage. YAY! Getting funding and insurance for birth at home will be easier now than it previously was.

    I'm not working in Canberra and I'm not in a position to affect more than my own patch. Dealing with bureaucracy is not my expertise, I admit it. What needs to happen now I guess is for all the women who want, plan or have ever had a homebirth to come out (again) and tell their story (again). Work the media and spread the love (not the anger) about birth at home. Anger just gives the public the wrong idea and in the end, it will be the consumer pressure on federal policy makers that gets your toe over the line.

    That Margaret Mead quote comes to mind about a few caring people being able to change the world. But you said you didn't want rhetoric. Oops, I said it anyway.

    Getting myself to Canberra is proving to be a headache but if I make it and if I see you there I'll make sure to come and shake your hand.

  11. Rebecca

    Quote "Getting funding and insurance for birth at home will be easier now than it previously was."

    I see it as good ONLY for those who "fit" the criteria. What about those that the Drs and Policy Makers deem "unsafe"?

    Will it be another 3, 5, maybe even 10-15 YEARS before the "next" steps of the government work thru? I can't wait that long. Biology will be against me.

    I really do like your enthusiasm Jodie. I really really do!! But the cynic in me – who has been promised many things by many governments – says that they will do what they want, and ignore the rest!
    So if thats whats going to happen, I want to fight NOW! I want to at least be able to say to my daughter – "I tried" not "Deal with it"

  12. Jodie Miller

    Rebecca, I'm not one who thinks the place of birth is the vital factor. I'm a home birth mum and I do understand what's good about birth at home. But to me, being able to choose my care provider and have continuity with that care provider, and being able to trust in his/her professional skills and know I will be consulted/respected in all aspects of my (and my baby's) care: that is the essential ingredient in a good birth.

    "I see it as good ONLY for those who "fit" the criteria. What about those that the Drs and Policy Makers deem "unsafe"?"

    Perhaps this is a discussion for another place but I'm delighted that the professional status of midwives is being recognised. The medical fraternity will adapt to the new status quo and slowly-slowly, the cultural shift will broaden the context of midwifery practice.

    I maintain my patience and enthusiasm because not doing so isn't constructive. It's the water that wears away the rock (gawd, more rhetoric – but it's true) and so long as the flow remains forceful, we'll get what we want in time. See you in Canberra (hopefully).

  13. Lisa Barrett

    Jodie you are wrong. We cannot register after july 2010 what other profession would allow part of it's workforce to be made illegal on a whim. The medical facilty are laughing at us. Pull your head out of your backside and stop congratulating yourselves you and yours have made it so that homebirth with an independent midwife will be illegal. 30,000 dollar fine for the midwife and 30,000 dollars for enticing a practition to birth with you at home.

  14. Rebecca

    Well, the verdict is in – we're screwed!

    We have no Choices.

    We have No Rights.

    So much for being patient! They hung us out to dry, with a slap on the butt and a wink, and went back to their "Important" work, safe in the knowledge that we have been shown our places.

  15. Jodie Miller

    Sounds remarkably like you're blaming 'us' for homebirth becoming illegal next year. Whose backside should I pull my head out of?