Monday, March 31, 2008

Pardon Our Construction...

I've been making some changes- to my life that is. I've been rearranging a few things. For starters, my extra weight is starting to negatively impact my life- so it has to go. I'm working in time for two things: exercise and writing. I've made my bedtime earlier (my evenings are woefully unproductive anyway) so I can get up earlier to walk. I've also found a gym near my office where I can do a midday workout. I'm taking Wednesday afternoons off to devote to writing. I can't let my life potential be sabotaged by ill health or disorganization. There is so much I want to do.
I have two article due out tomorrow. I'll post a link when they go online.
I met with Miss Valtra yesterday to discuss our book. We are stuck on whether our audience should be professionals or consumers. This one is tough. I was stuck on this same question with the homebirth book for nearly a year! But there is no point in picking up a pen until this crucial question is answered. We went back and forth for two hours discussing the pros and cons of each focus. Professionals need resources to assist them in encouraging their clients to breastfeed, but they can also act as gatekeepers to keep knowledge from clients. If we write a consumer book that appeals directly to women- women can access the knowledge for themselves. Valtra voiced frustration that one of her clients told her she went to a hospital breastfeeding course, and when she became excited and asked the lactation consultant what it took to become a lactation consultant, she was not given a direct answer. Valtra was furious. I know her frustration. There aren't enough nurses of color either. Part of the purpose of the book could be to inspire women of color to enter our professions because our needs aren't being met by professionals who fail in understanding what we need and how to encourage us (even when their intentions are good). Lord knows I saw plenty of providers whose intentions weren't good. "Those women don't breastfeed, so why invest the time?" sort of thinking. I'm not bitter about this, I'm just struggling. On one hand I want to write a book for my co-workers in the trenches to assist them with their clients, on the other hand, I want to write a book that pregnant and breastfeeding moms can pull off the library shelf and read for themselves and empower themselves. Everything flows from that choice. Even the title will be different depending on what audience we are writing to. This is not a how to book- this will be a book imploring the audience to consider the high stakes of black women not breastfeeding, medically, socially, politically, etc. We can't even choose a publisher until we know the slant of the book, professional resource literature or consumer guide? Any thoughts Dear Readers?

4 comments:

Navelgazing Midwife said...

It really sounds like you already know yourself: consumer.

Professionals can read the book as consumers and pass it on that way, but it rarely goes the other way. Any nurse/doc interested in bfing is going to pick up ANY book, whatever the focus.

If your goal is to reach women of color (which it sounds to be one of the major goals), then reaching the pro audience, already lacking in such folks, isn't going to help that "cause" much. Know what I mean?

I, too, am making more room for me time. I am turning the tv off more, even though I like to think of it just as background noise. I also want to write a LOT LOT LOT more - and know I can help many if I do (and perhaps make some dinero!), but some things have to go.

And then I, too, have to add exercise to the mix. I went and signed up at the Y today (before reading your post) because I need to do low-impact things like swimming until I get my weight down more. My feet hurt! How can I go to nursing school fat, fat, fat and my feet hurting before I even put nursing shoes on?! I can't.

Just this weekend, I saw (on the dreaded tv) called FullBar. I ordered 3 months of them (they advertise 1 month free, but don't tell you that is with the purchase of 2 months! Deceptive poops.). They are supposed to swell in the stomach to make the stomach smaller when you eat... similar to the size of folks who've had a gastric bypass. Since I've HAD a gastric bypass, I am guessing I will only eat HALF a bar before being full. Wouldn't that be fabulous? Anyway, just wanted to share that I KNOW what you are feeling/going through and am right there with you.

On all fronts!

Laborpayne said...

Thanks navelgazer,
You are my hero. Are you really going to go to nursing school? You are so brave. I was a homebirth mom already when I did it and that was hard- I can't imagine what it will be like for you having been a midwife first. I'm so glad for you making the choice to put your needs first. The main thing I have to do is to turn off the tv as well. It occurred to me that turning off the tv will give me 3 whole hours in my day- some of which can be used for writing- without compromising any sleep time! Let me know how the bars go- I seem to do pretty well staying off sweets and meat. I lose weight sticking with a vegetarian or vegan diet. Its just hard to maintain in a house full of carnivores.

Navelgazing Midwife said...

I really am going to go to Nursing School... and then Midwifery School. I turned 47 a couple of days ago (I made it this far; yay!), so I am sure I will be one of the oldest (if not THE oldest!) nursing student out there.

I have a few pre-req's to get done, too. All the hard classes that I am just now mature enough to tackle! A&P, micro-biology, algebra (eek!), stats..., so it will be awhile still before I even start the nursing part. Oh, yeah... and the waiting list, too.

But, I think with my age and maturity, I can clearly see the reasons for being there... it won't be as abstract as it will be for younger students. I have already learned that to attain some goals, you have to take stupid classes, deal with stupid people and cope with stress in a way that doesn't compromise my health and spirit.

I have so much to do! I will be working while going to school, so I suspect the tv will be a remote luxury soon enough. Can't focus on numbers if "Clean House" is screaming at me!

And I admire you, too. :)

Laborpayne said...

Wow,
Now THAT's impressive. My heart is with you. (I can hardly wait to read your blogging about it!)