File Cabinet

Christian Midwives International 2007

As promised, I dug out my old files to find conference photos.  I hope I’ve selected some good ones to give you an idea what goes on at conferences.

I think the first conference I attended was from CAPPA, possibly as far back as 2003, but I would not have taken any photos and don’t have a record of that. It was the only doula conference I ever attended, and I don’t remember thinking it was anything worth the cost.  Why? By the time I attended I had been doing childbirth education and doula work for a few years so the conference offered little to me in terms of expanding my doula and CBE knowledge.  I didn’t understand the value of networking, and being a natural introvert I kept my interactions focused on the one or two people I knew.  I walked away thinking conferences were not for me.

I also attended a small regional conference in Virginia in 2005 hosted by my friend Doran Richards of Blessing God’s Way, but again I have no photo record of that event.  This event was combined with a meeting between a few friends and I, so I didn’t attend much of the conference.  But I do remember being disappointed at not having the opportunity to meet Shonda Parker of Naturally Healthy – something prevented her from attending at the last minute. This event has the distinction of being the unveiling of my first published book. Looking back I can only say I was so convinced of the smallness of my ministry.

I found a few photos from the first Christian Midwives International Conference I attended in 2007.  This is the conference I only attended for a day, and only because my dear friend didn’t want to go alone.  I only took a few photos, mostly of my friend while she spoke.

This is my friend Kelly Townsend of Cascade Christian Childbirth speaking about the intersection of natural birth and Christianity.

 

This conference was also my first experience meeting a ‘celebrity.’  Kathy Nesper from Apple Tree Family Ministries was there. Kelly did not feel like a celebrity to me, she was my friend.  I am happy to say Kathy is no longer ‘celebrity’ to me because I much prefer to call her my friend.

Like I said, we only stayed for one day, Kelly had another appointment to keep.  We flew from the conference to a gathering of Midwives on the West Coast – a few midwives who couldn’t make the trip east for this conference. Imagine my surprise to find out we were spending the evening with Barbara Harper of Waterbirth International and Jan Triten of Midwifery Today!  Celebrity shock indeed!

So that was it – just two days and a lot of air travel. But it served the purpose of removing any fear I might have of attending conferences.

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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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