Bulletin Boards in the Prison Nursery

I photographed two women and their babies living at the prison today. One was the pregnant woman in an earlier blog. She has a beautiful, healthy, 13-day old son now. The other is a woman who has three children, the third being a smiling, active 18 month old toddler. Towards the end of the photo session, I glanced at the bulletin board in their room. The mom talked to me about her chosen items: a sketched composite portrait of her children, another drawing of a heart with a dagger, and a paper chain with numbers on it.

Bulletin boards in the prison rooms tell stories. Each mom has one that she is able to decorate as she wants, lending a personalized slant to an institutional setting. The composite portrait was sketched by an inmate who only discovered her artistic abilities while incarcerated. The second drawing shows a tearful mother behind bars with the calligraphed names of the children she left behind. And the paper chain numbers are the woman's countdown months until she is released. The mom told me that she made a gift for her nine year old daughter out of a formula can wrapped in construction paper and decorated in "girly fashion". Inside the can was a similar paper chain. She made this for her daughter so that every month, her daughter can cut off a circle of paper. This will let her know when her mother is coming home.

I am always impressed by the depth of creativity that I see when I go into the prison.

Midwives and Obstetricians: Complementary, not Competitively

Way back in 1975 when I met Al, my future husband, in the L&D unit- he was an intern and I was a new RN - we had a conversation about how midwives and obstetricians should work together. We both recognized each other's strengths to bring to birthing women and newborns. One of the things I loved about him was that whereas so many of the other OB residents were threatened by the rebirth of professional midwives, Al completely embraced it. Well, obviously. We did marry, after all, and are still together.

This post expresses the ideal working relationship between midwives and obstetricians so well: https://burningtheshortwhitecoat.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/midwives-rock-confessions-of-an-obgyn-physician/

Fast forward FORTY YEARS LATER! and, it seems like this conversation still needs to take place. I simultaneously shake my head and feel glad that maybe, just maybe, a truce may be in sight.