The first ICAN Cowichan Valley meeting took place at my house this past week, and my immediate response was why did it take me so long to get around to organizing this?! I wish I’d done this 4 years ago, when I was postpartum with my daughter. If you’re unfamiliar with what ICAN does, you can read their mission statement and more information here. It’s critical to have an organization advocating for women, and supporting women who experience cesarean sections, and ICAN does incredible work in many different ways, both through its central office and local chapters all over the world.
The turnout for the Cowichan Valley meeting was better than I expected. Out of respect for confidentiality, I’m not going to write anything about the women who came, but suffice it to say that there is a clear need for this group in our community. It’s gratifying to feel like we’re doing something for one another in the immediate sense of offering face-to-face emotional support, information and resources. More than that, it’s energizing to be taking concrete steps to make a bigger change: to ensure that women have access to VBAC, to talk about how to make the c-sections that do happen more family-centred and woman- and baby-friendly, to strategize around how to talk with our care providers and ensure that we’re being heard, before c-sections happen as well as afterward.
These meetings are small steps, to be sure, but sometimes even the tiniest movement is meaningful.