It is with great sorrow that we acknowledge here the loss of Dr. B.J. Lyman, who served this journal as editor-in-chief from 2002 to 2010. She continued on as associate editor until her hospitalization in early February 2011 with pancreatitis and multiple organ failure. After an intense three-month battle with these physical challenges, on May 4, 2011, she chose to leave this life, surrounded by family and friends at UC Irvine Medical Center. She is survived by her husband, Kit Lyman, and their sweet dog, Lucy. A celebration of her life was held on June 11th in Hemet, CA.
B.J. was one of the true pioneers in prenatal and perinatal psychology and one whose gifts will continue to give for generations to come. She published over two-dozen scholarly articles and editorials regarding prenatal and perinatal psychology. The Summer 2011 edition of this journal will honor Dr. Lyman with a collection of her writings. We conclude this edition, in the book review section, with a brief review of her workbook titled Prenatal and Birth Memories: Working with Your Earliest Experiences to Help Your Life Today. B.J.'s work will live on through her writing, just as she will live in our hearts and memories.
This edition of the journal features three articles highlighting some of the diverse issues included in the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology as we move into the 2nd decade of the 21st century. The opening article comes from Dr. Caroline Peterson, building bridges with Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda through scientific research into personality characteristics of mothers experiencing breech deliveries. This effort opens the door to much future research exploring the wisdom available from many cultures through the lens of scientific research.
Next we have an important article from Terry Monell, MA Candidate at SBGI, who uses an extensive literature search to discover the impact of infant surgeries done prior to 1987 without anesthesia. You will find the results of her study disturbing, and yet her article very encouraging, as she seeks to bring recognition to the long-term consequences for individuals who experienced such surgeries and open doors to healing this trauma.
Our third article comes from the team of Joann M. O'Leary and Cecilie Gaziano who present eight case studies looking at the impacts on siblings of perinatal loss in their families. These case studies, while very brief, illustrate the importance of guiding parents who experience the loss of an infant or child in recognizing that siblings will also grieve, and encourages awareness of what can happen when the siblings needs go unrecognized.
These three articles brush the surface and entice us to move more deeply into the subjects addressed. What do we have to learn from other cultures? Does validating the wisdom of other cultures using scientific methods bring these truths into a language understood by our culture or does this active questioning somehow devalue the wisdom? Once changes have been instituted, as in Terry Monell's investigation of infant surgeries prior to 1987, we must not forget the individuals who were impacted and are still dealing with the repercussions of earlier "standard practice." Are there other practices that have been changed, but leave residue in the lives of those effected? And, how can we learn to deal with death (whether perinatal loss or the loss of any family member) openly in families, so that increased well-being is the result for remaining family members as happened for the family in Case #7 of the O'Leary and Gaziano article.
Closing this issue with a review of Dr. B.J. Lyman's workbook provides the opportunity to briefly visit one of her major contributions to our field.