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Updating Lord of Birth

Today is the first day of a big summer project.  I will be updating the Lord of Birth, and if time permits I’ll also update 40 weeks.  This is a relief, and a sadness.

A relief because the books were an amateur effort from the start — my personal prayer journals — that I only published because of the prompting of friends.  The topics deserve a better treatment and higher quality than I could do ten years ago.

A sadness because I have a feeling there are some women who will prefer the books as they were originally written, and who will feel someone slighted by my insistence on making changes.

A relief because a book is a static thing, only able to reflect who I was and what I understood in a single moment of time. Ten years later, people still make assumptions about me based on what God was teaching me over 15 years ago.

A sadness because as much as the books must mature, maturation is difficult.  What do I leave out, what do I add in? In some ways it feels like devaluing the first things I learned.

A relief because my skills at communicating have improved in the 10 years, and hopefully I will be able to express myself without confusing other women or causing great misunderstandings that have happened with the previous versions.

A sadness because words will always be inadequate communication tools, and I know others will misunderstand what I write again.

And so it begins….

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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