Forgive me, readers, for it has been many months since my last post. I took a little professional detour (can you detour from an already diversified path? hmmm…). It was interesting, and among other things, gave me an opportunity to reevaluate my values and priorities.
And now that I’m back from my sojourn, I’ve re-prioritized my work around birth advocacy. To that end, I’ve (finally!) gotten around to doing something I’ve been talking about for years: I just started a new chapter of ICAN, the International Cesarean Awreness Network, here in the Cowichan Valley. ICAN of the Cowichan Valley, like other ICAN groups, will offer resources and information about cesarean sections, and provide support to women who are recovering from a c-section or trying to avoid an unecessary surgery.
After I had Annika, I attended one ICAN meeting down in Victoria. But for a variety of reasons, including distance (it was a 2-hour drive, round-trip), I never managed to get to another one. I’ve always regretted that, and wished I’d had a practical option beyond suffering in isolation with the aftermath of her birth. I did have a wonderful circle of online friends who helped me through those years, but there is a lot to be said for face-to-face, local connections, especially in the postpartum phase. And there is also a lot to be said for a specialized group like an ICAN support group. It’s often hard for women to talk about their experiences with surgical birth, as many people still trot out the ‘but you have a healthy baby!’ dismissals, and unecessary c-sections have become normalized in our society. ICAN groups can offer a safe place for women to connect with others who are likely to empathize, and willing to listen without judgment to their stories.
I’m still in the process of getting the group up and running–it was only officially registered yesterday, and I have yet to plan any actual events or meetings! My hope is to find a central space where we can gather, perhaps beginning in late May or early June, and go from there. So, local folks, please help to spread the word and encourage people to contact me at email@example.com. Local and far-flung, like our Facebook page. Thanks to all of you for helping me let people know about this important new resource.