Again, I just cannot tell you how much the Congress has meant to me, professionally and personally. I am exploring my own "selfhood," and my family and personal relationships, with much broader understanding, due to fresh considerations of the unconcious influences which may stem from my own womb, birth, and early childhood experiences. The connections between parental bonding, mediated hormonally, and the aurally sensed sound of parents' voices, are opening vistas in my profession as a vocal/choral music teacher, that are just "blowing my mind." I am now sharing these insights with music teachers in the US and Canada, and they, too, are awestruck with new personal and professional possibilities. I'm hooked. I'll be back; and thanks so much to those who made the PPPANA possible.
Leon Thurman, Ed.D.
Instructor of Voice and Early Childhood Music
September 30, 1985
To the Editor,
As a lay midwife, I would like to object to the assumptions made about midwives in Joan Raphael-Leff's article "Fears and Fantasies of Childbirth." As she discusses the fears and fantasies of childbirth professionals, she included midwives with nurses in her discussion. Perhaps they are very similar professions in England, where she resides, but in North America there is a growing body of lay midwives, trained either through life experience or in schools where nursing is not a pre-requisite. They are not trained in pathology and do not see the expectant mothers as patients, but instead are the guardians of the natural childbirth, and work with the family as a whole. They provide a continuity of care not otherwise available in our present-day medical system. For myself, I spend an average of 50 hours with the couple, and somtimes siblings, before labor even begins, then spend all of labor and delivery with the family, and many hours in the weeks thereafter. This is the quality of care that is needed in the birth, that minimizes the reaction to the fears and fantasies within both the family involved and the professionals who are with them, and instead allows these fears and fantasies to surface, be recognized for what they are, and become a means for personal growth and understanding.
I see a note at the bottom of this article stating that the author is currently studying the emotional dynamics of the midwifery situation, and I would suggest that she look at midwifery from an international perspective, as it takes many forms throughout the world, and is not always so medically oriented as it has become in England. I feel that as lay midwives grow in number and their work continues, more couples will be able to birth sensitively, as they were meant to, and babies will flow into the world peacefully, received with warmth and caring, as is their birthright.
RR4, Perth, Ontario K7H-3C6
Dear Dr. Verny,
It seems like just a few days ago I wrote to you and then received your program for the 2nd Congress for PPPANA. I am now home after "being there" for those three wonderful days, and I am truly transformed. That was the most spiritual professional meeting I have ever attended and the most informative. My only disappointment was that there were so few pediatricians there.
The main reason, outside from gratitude, for writing is to volunteer my service to this wonderful organization.
Sincerely, with respect,
Wanda Bedinghaus, M.D.
As I told you on the first day, it takes alot to pull me out to a large conference these days, but I certainly feel rewarded for attending this very unique forum. Your selection committee certainly pulled together a very elite and stimulating group.
Thomas, we support the work of your organization 1000%. PPPANA is a very powerful organ for social change that already has a broad spectrum of connections from the grass roots to the medical professionals influencing thousands of lives on all levels of pre- and perinatal care, and to the psychology committee influencing thousands with therapy modalities more effective for the recognition of prenatal and birth influences on present mental health. They all want the same thing: Prevention.
You probably didn't realize you had hit the lodestone central to such a diversity of people when you first wrote your book. I hope that you and your colleagues feel great satisfaction about the results of this early and spectacular growth of your work and the tremendous outreach you have already achieved.
Steven D. Raymond, RN
Director of Training
Association for the Alignment of
Past Life Experience
Dear Dr. Verny,
This note is both a thank you and a request. Having just returned from San Diego, with 18 tapes-my experience is not only fresh but ongoing. I bought tapes of many of the sessions I could not attend, and the fullness of the weekend is gloriously expanded. My mind is buzzing with possibilities and I look forward to keeping contact with my new network of fellow travellers on the Hero's Journey called life. I have already shared one tape with three people. All were touched and awed.
I'm not sure what I'll do with the implications of the workshop. But I know it will affect my direction. As exciting as Toronto was-San Diego has set me on a quest. Every pregnant woman I see-I want to share the news-your child is with you-talk to him/her, then tell him he's wanted. (I've actually spoken to two total strangers already-sharing such tremendous opportunity to change lives. Incredible.)
The PPPANA Congress set new directions for my life and purpose, Tom. It was also like a homecoming with a family I knew I had and hadn't yet met. The love and caring, the attention to visual beauty (i.e. flowers in the speaking rooms and on stage, the little round table with a pink cover instead of a sterile conference table) all this and more spoke so many messages that tenderness and love went into the planning and execution of the Congress. I am proud and grateful to be a part of it all.
I'll be in touch when I return from India. Feel free to write me at this address.
In peace and joyous love,
Ruth D. Rice, Ph.D.