Because I’m writing the second of a midwifery novel series (the first to be out later this year), running a big midwifery forum and trying to crack on with my own series of events on kindness in midwifery, I have a very solid policy I’ve decided on which is called ‘not taking anything else on in 2018’.
But during the last weeks of 2017, Dr Lesley Kay, senior midwifery lecturer at Kingston University and fascinating researcher of women’s birth stories, asked me to come to a midwifery conference in London which she was organising.
I drafted a response thanking her for inviting me but politely declining. Then I left it mouldering in my inbox without sending it, for a few weeks, dithering about my decision (does anyone else have email problems like this?)
Then I was contacted again.
I saw ‘I Have a Voice’ was the conference title, that the line up involved some of my most loved midwives, academics and even a comedian, and ‘live blogging’ was what she wanted me to do.
My fingers went off of their own accord.
‘No’, I said to them, in alarm over the sound of typing. ‘You don’t seem to understand, we don’t have time for this.’
‘Lesley, this sounds like just the kind of thing I’d love to do,' I saw in the reply box, 'we could call the live blog series "Notes on Midwifery Voices..."’
The mouse hovered threateningly over the ‘send’ button.
‘No! Are you listening? We can’t make this conference!’
So here I am at Kingston and St Georges midwifery conference, 2018. There will be ten speakers/events and I’ll be reporting on each of them in ‘Notes of Midwifery Voices’, in real time, over the course of today. The first post should be out by ten am ish.
And the thing is, I might not have time to be here but I really want to be. Expect typos!
First post will be live here, on Kathryn Gutteridge, president of the RCM, speaking about her experience supporting women's views and voices.