Tuesday, August 26, 2008

At Your Cervix

There is a new project underway, it is a documentary on how pelvic exams are performed and taught. As a woman and a childbirth educator I have experienced and had students that have complained how a pelvic was performed. Many woman have been told their parts do not have nerve endings and therefore can't feel pain. We woman know our parts "feel" on many different levels.

This is a very interesting project and I encourage you to check it out.

“Uncomfortable”; “Humiliating”; “Traumatic”; “Scarring”--words women too often use to describe pelvic exams. Most of the 90 million U.S. women who get pelvic exams think they are supposed to hurt. Women show disbelief when told that if done correctly on a healthy woman, pelvic exams should be pain-free.

The documentary, At Your Cervix, enters U.S. medical and nursing schools and breaks the silence around the unethical ways in which medical and nursing students learn to perform pelvic exams. These practices—which include nursing students being required to perform exams on each other in front of faculty and medical students “practicing” on unconscious, unconsenting patients—lead directly to the reality that most women find pelvic exams to be humiliating and painful. The existence of these egregious practices are challenged in the film by highlighting an ethical and more effective way of teaching the pelvic exam that has existed for nearly 30 years: the work of the Gynecological Teaching Associates (GTA) of New York City, in which the “patient” herself is the teacher.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

August 8, 1981

27 years ago today, I married the love of my life, my high school sweetheart. We were just 15 when we met, but within weeks of meeting Bill, I knew he was special. He pulled me in with a "hi" and a smile, he still can just melt my heart with a smile. When we married not everyone thought we should and some like my nephew Kyle, at first hearing we were getting married said, "FINALLY I can call him Uncle Bill." Our wedding was different to some, we married in a walk-in theater, I went down the aisle to Jethro Tull, we came back up to a Led Zeppelin song (they were both instrumentals and soft). He quoted me Shakespeare, I Robert Plant. Our first dance was to the "Rain Song." But in more ways our wedding was very traditional. We were happy, in love and knew it was the right time to get married.

As we were driving to our honeymoon, Bill had his left hand resting on the side mirror and the sun shone down on his wedding ring, he lifted his hand up and looked at his ring and said "Wow, I am married, we are married." He turned smiled at me and took my hand, he melted my heart all over again.

The first few years of being married we both worked full-time, he as a janitor and I at Carl's Jr. and Bill went to school full-time (I typed full-time). We lived in a 10 x 60 mobile home. We paid for everything in cash and only bought what we could afford. Four years later he had graduated with his B.A. and M.A. in English (with a high GPA), we paid for his college on our own, no loans, grants or financial aid, and also 2 weeks before he graduated with his M.A. we had our first child. We worked hard, and enjoyed every minute of it.

27 years later, we have six beautiful children, all of which were planned. Besides being married to each other, there could be no greater blessing than our children, there isn't anything we would rather spend our time and money on.

My sister-in-law once said to me "Don't you know, you aren't suppose to be so in love after this long?" Bill and I think "why not?" It isn't that being married is easy, we have had to work through the good, the bad and the difficult, but if you love each other on the day you marry, you should do everything to make sure that love grows.

Because as I said to Bill all those years ago . . .

If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.