Region IV Update (Jul-Dec 2019): Closing a Chapter

This is my last Quickening article in my current six-year role as the Region IV Representative. I wanted to say thank you for the honor of serving in this role—I have been the liaison to varied groups (DAM education track/CAME, DOME, SANMS) and supported varied task forces throughout my tenure in this role. I have truly appreciated being able to share perspectives from Region IV’s varied communities such as our students, boots-on-the-ground midwives, administrators, educators, retired midwives, and the women and clients we serve. There have been varied perspectives as we are a diverse group—and I have truly attempted to listen, absorb, and represent the varied aspects. There have been many midwifery challenges over these six years, and I have been so proud to have been on the ACNM BOD as we faced them. The ACNM BOD along with the amazing National Office have faced things and changed directions when and as needed—not always easy decisions. The response to the varied membership needs during this unprecedented time with COVID-19 is an example of their leadership and I have been proud to serve alongside them.

I have taken my commitment as a BOD member very seriously and look forward to supporting the new Region IV Representative as they transition into this role.    

So, THANK YOU to all the states that welcomed me and hosted me at their affiliate meetings, retreats, FORWARDs, and award dinners. I have physically been to every state-except Arkansas—and I enjoyed being with them virtually. Thank you for responding to my calls and reaching out for information along with letting me share your strengths, needs, and barriers.

I have been a lifelong ACNM member—I still have my original membership package from when I was a University of Illinois at Chicago student (I graduated in 1992). I have ALWAYS been an active member and I look forward to continuing to pursue things within our College that I feel passionate about (the support of physiologic birth; integrative therapies—my areas of focus have been mind-body therapies, stress reduction, and resilience—and ecology, including climate change, toxins, and the impact on health and sustainable food systems).

I look forward to seeing members at future meetings, conferences, and annual meetings.

So to end—I just wanted to share a few things that can possibly help some fellow midwives:

As things have become more chaotic, I have developed some more structure in my life and continue to find practicing integrative therapies as a source of peace and assistance.

I have embraced my prayer—some may want to embrace loving-kindness meditation or mantras. I love mindfulness meditation, which reduces anxiety and stress (try the CALM app). I have always journaled, but I encourage people to do this especially as you traverse this new situation. I just write even a few things in point form—it will keep things historically straight for you as they unfold, and gives you space to unload and reflect. Also, keep your goals, affirmations, and uplifting quotes where you can see them. 

Eat a colorful healthy diet, drink water and stay hydrated, and try to get adequate rest and sleep.

I truly believe in practicing gratitude and counting my blessings. I write in a gratitude journal daily—research suggests that this can boost wellbeing and optimism and improve life satisfaction and happiness.

Stay connected to people—call, email, text, even have virtual happy hours with friends and family. They talk about social distancing—but really it is physically distancing.

I limit TV news time and instead spend time exercising and time in nature with my husband and our dog, Timmy.

All of us are working hard—but I really try to think of others in need in my community of Detroit, and think of ways I can share my expertise or even small acts of kindness. I have also tried to acknowledge others’ acts of kindness (especially our essential workers!)

Thank you again for the honor of serving as your Region IV Representative.