On 9/25/2004 Carol Kellogg, a midwife in Michigan, wrote:
"Big hug from lay midwife. i hope to expand my practise. i worked mainly in the 70's and 80's."
On 9/23/2004 Lakeesha Harris, a midwife in Illinois, wrote:
"I am an Apprentice Midwife who is just starting out my journey into Midwifery. It is good to know what your up against from the start. It is also good to know how to protect yourself just in case. Thanks so much for this book.
Peace and Blessings Keesha"
On 9/9/2004 Michele James-Parham, a midwife in Oklahoma, wrote:
"I think this book is a blessing for midwives and their clients everywhere. As a Traditional Lay Midwife, I too understand the implications that could arise out of my calling. I am actively involved in redefining the terms 'midwife' and 'medicine, practicing', here in Oklahoma."
On 8/24/2004 Linda Bennett, a midwife in Oregon, wrote:
"This book is obviously a result of tremendous LABOR and love for midwifery. If we had only known half of what you have gathered to share with sister midwives ...well, so much could have been different!
"I have been faced with the loss of my freedom twice with two arrests for Business & Professions "practicing medicine without a license".
"The worst thing anyone could do (legally)is to state "well, we know that what we are doing is illegal but..." A similar passage in The Birth Book was cited as the reason to begin the initial investigation of the Santa Cruz Birth Center.Our flawed (in retrospect) legal strategy resulted in our individual charges being dropped but California midwifery losing the war big time:i.e. midwifery became defined at the CA Supreme Court level as illegal without a license (with no licensing available until legislation was passed years later).
"The second arrest occurred when I was pregnant with my third child because the local city police department had decided, in the absence of state licensing, to wait for a transport to bust the director of our birth center and as many staff as possible.The next paramedic-assisted neonatal transport occurred after the baby stopped breathing more than 30 minutes after birth during the parents-alone "bonding" period, was resuscitated but suffered brain-damage and significant CP. She died a few years later.The parents were an important part of our defense team. We advised them to tell the truth. I was present at their next birth as well, in the hospital. We noted that the hospital staff left the parents completely alone with their baby for the identical period of time after birth.
"The director, her daughter, myself as the midwife, and my RN(neonatally-trained) assistant eventually entered no contest pleas after the CA legislature finally passed midwifery licensing, as the deadline for being eligible for the license if we had a practising medicine conviction was fast approaching. My RN friend lost her RN license and the lovely Ob/Gyn who reviewed and signed our charts, gave us advice, and occasionally saw a patient or three at the birth center had his license severely restricted just before his retirement.
"One tactic that generates a great deal of understanding and support for the concept of parent-controlled choices in childbirth in states where midwifery is not legally sanctioned is for every family who has just been assisted by a midwife to send announcements to the paper, and beautiful baby/family photos to their local, regional and state government officials. Pretty baby pictures are hard to resist and photos of everyday families choosing alternatives to the the standard hospital fare speak volumes to the right people. If the family became a hospital transfer and had a good outcome that is also a valuable experience to share.
"I'll be checking in regularly as this work has instantly become a classic invaluable reference for the practising midwife."
On 8/8/2004 Carol Schumacher, CPM, a midwfie in Texas signed the Guest Book!
On 7/9/2004 Ashley R. Nave in Virginia wrote:
"I looked at the second chapter Why I am not safe? What I read kind of of reminds me that these medical professions had done the same thing to people who are healing arts. Medical professions are going have realize that they need realize that they are the ones that are unsafe in many ways than a midwife or healer. There is also a book called when Healing Becomes Illegal. I to myself plan on becoming a midwife in the future. I am student in holistic and herbal medicine. I believe people should choose their medicine or maternity practitioner or route, not the officials. My number 540-xxx-xxxx" [telephone number deleted to protect signer's privacy.]
On 7/7/2004 Dina Ryan Davidson in British Columbia, Canada wrote:
"Congratulations on completion of this valuable project. My very best wishes and thanks for making it available like this. blessings, Dina Davidson, Student midwife & doula, Port Moody, B.C., Canada, www.birthingway.ca"
On 6/25/2004 Lee Saxell, a midwife in Vancouver, Canada wrote:
"Wow! What a fantastic job tha authors have done and thank you for making this instantly available without charge. Even though it is based on US law, much of the information is very useful for Canadian midwives. Thanks again. Lee Saxell, RM, MA, PhD (candidate); Head, Dept of Midwifery, C & W Hospital, Vancouver, B.C. Canada"
On 6/20/2004 Lisa L. F. McDonald in Nevada wrote:
"Great job on the book!"
On 6/19/2004 Mary Ann Nelson in South Dakota wrote:
"I'm a midwifery student and a Co-Chair for South Dakota Safe Childbirth Options. Thanks for putting this book together."
On 6/17/2004 San, a midwife in Ohio, wrote:
"Hardly have words meaningful enough to communicate my great heartfelt thanks to all who gave of themselves to the creation and completion of From Calling to Courtroom. A heaping thank you also to their families who gave in turn to this project. We are grateful!"
On 6/17/2004 Susan M Jenkins, a legal professional in New Mexico and DC, wrote:
"This book is an excellent resource for all midwives, midwifery activists, and lawyers who work for midwives. I have recommended it to all my clients and to every midwife I meet or talk with, CNMs as well as DEMs. I am particularly impressed with the chapters on organizing support and mainstreaming midwifery, but you have also done a wonderful service by explaining and de-mystifying the legal system. Congratulations, Ms. Runes and all your collaborators, on a job done very well."
[Valerie Vickerman Runes responds: I would like to thank Susan Jenkins for her kind words about the book. The chapters she refers to (Chapters 2 and 6) are indeed wonderful, as is the rest of the book. I was honored to work with some very experienced, gifted writers -- if the book is useful, it is far more to their credit than to my own.]
On 6/17/2004 Kristin Brosky, a midwifery client in Vermont, wrote:
"I am currently a nursing student and hoping, after earning my BSN, to continue my education and become a CNM. I'm just starting to learn about the laws governing midwifery and, although I have only begun to read this book, I feel it will be a great beginning for me. Thank you very much for the enormous time and effort it must have taken to create such a document."
On 6/16/2004 Sheila in Ontario Canada wrote:
On 6/15/2004 Kim Perry, a midwife in Illinois, wrote:
"Congratulations on a job well done. How I wish a resource like this would have been available to me years ago when I needed it! Thanks for all who put time and energy into this project. How sad that there is such a need for it. May it inform and empower many midwives and midwifery supporters."
On 6/14/2004 Salena Walter, a midwife in Pennsylvania, wrote:
"Heartfelt gratitude for all your hard work, love and energy towards moving us forward in our struggles to understand and make progress for midwifery in our country. Sincere thanks for making this book available."
On 6/13/2004 April Kermani, a midwife in Nevada, signed the Guest Book!
On 6/13/2004 H. Petty, a midwifery client in Virginia, wrote:
"Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am currently birth assisting for a homebirth CPM practice, but considering becoming a CPM as opposed to going the CNM route. This will be an invaluable read. More comments and complements after I've read it. I just wanted to thank you all for you time, dedication and effort in putting this together!"
On 6/13/2004 Rhie in Wisconsin wrote:
"I am so glad to see this book!!!
"As a Midwifery student, I think that much of the legal stuff gets lost. Midwifery it's self is enough to learn without even thinking about the fearful reality of litigation.
"Thank you all so much for the time & energy you have given this community!!!
"Blessed Be Rhie"
On 6/13/2004 Simone Valk, a midwife in the Netherlands, wrote:
"I am impressed with this book. Well done indeed. It is just so sad that it is needed. Midwifery should be a normal option for all low-risk women"
On 6/12/2004 Heather Rische, a midwife in New Mexico, wrote:
"Thank you for doing this work. As I begin my homebirth p ractice, I feel more and more trepidation about the vulnerability of my position. I look forward to using this resource to move ahead in my practice with the best protective measures in place."
On 6/12/2004 Susan Nabach, a midwifery client in Florida, wrote:
"Thank you for your tireless work on this project. With the birth climate being what it is today, it's unfortunate that this project was so neccessary. I'm constantly trying to find resources for VBAC providers in my area. I'll be reading and using this as reference as needed.
ICAN of South Florida"
On 6/10/2004 Marlene, a midwife in Ohio, wrote:
"Way to go, gals!"
On 5/27/2004 A midwife in Nebraska wrote:
"you are amazing!! thank you so much for the reality of this profession."
On 5/21/2004 Carol Irvine, a midwife in Manitoba Canada, wrote:
"Just started reading the book.... and am very interested in getting through the next few chapters (in my spare time of course)."
On 5/17/2004 Tracy, a midwife and legal professional in Ohio, wrote:
"Thank you very much for this wonderful (yet gut-wrenching) information. I am starting right now to put your advice to work. I all ready have my list of lawyers to call. Thanks a million. The Lord bless you all."
On 5/17/2004 Heather Mains, a midwifery client in Ontario Canada, wrote:
"Why did I volunteer my firm's time to design and create the cover for this book? Because I believe the debate over the right for women to give birth at home must brought forward into the social conscience in new ways.
"Midwives are obviously serving women's needs to birth at home in ways that are not being served by others elsewhere. Their activities have been suppressed over the centuries. It's not that home birth is unsafe, it's that our system is still not supporting birth well. This needs to change. Who is being well-served when we deny women the capacity to give birth in the safety and comfort of their own home?
"Fear is being served. And when fear is being served, then women will never truly own birth. With the support of midwives all over the world, women will find the strength to give freely of them selves; to approach the task of birthing their children in love and confidence supporte d by knowledgeable and competent midwives."
On 5/10/2004 Jennifer Williams, a midwife in New Mexico, wrote:
"Thank you for this great resource and reminder that there is still so much work to be done."
On 5/10/2004 Ann Geisler in Florida wrote:
"Thank you for all your work on this important subject and am looking forward to reading and learning more. The more I know about midwifery, the better job I can do to assist them in obtaining liability and other types of insurance."
On 5/9/2004 Jen Weese in Michigan wrote:
"I am an apprentice midwife and will be moving to PA in about 2 weeks. I am very interested in legal areas surrounding midwives and am excited to see this book."
On 5/8/2004 Candy Brown, a midwife in Florida, wrote: "An amazing reference and resourse for midwives, and the clients we serve. Thank you."
On 5/8/2004 Demetria in Vermont wrote:
"Thanks for letting this information out. As an apprenticing midwife I can find a lot of the legal stuff to be daunting."
On 5/6/2004 Ellen M Baumann, a legal professional and midwifery client in Texas, wrote: "What a wonderful resource! I am guessing it will see a lot of use by attorneys as well as midwives and consumers. I am proud to have played a small part in its production."
On 5/6/2004 Andrea Ferroni, a midwife in California, wrote:
"Thank you, I have been eagerly anticipating this."
On 5/6/2004 Connie Koshewa, a midwife in New Mexico, wrote:
"Thank you for your great efforts and generosity! I'll have more comments later."
On 5/6/2004 Rebecca Walton, a midwifery client in North Carolina, wrote:
"I heard that this book was in the making and I'm so happy that it is finally a reality! I am a midwife attended homebirth advocate. Through my website, www.nchomebirth.com I educate the public about homebirth and help them find a midwife. I found the information in this book to be very helpful. It is very enlightening to get such a broad viewpoint on the legal issues from midwives themselves. I will use what I have read to better protect the midwives of my state."
On 5/6/2004 Susan M Jenkins, a legal professional in District of Columbia, wrote:
"The book looks terrific. Very thorough research and very clear and well-written. It will be a great resource for midwives, midwifery supporters, and legal professionals."
On 5/5/2004 Gera Simkins, a midwife in Michigan, wrote:
"This is an amazing undertaking and a fabulous accomplishment. There is nothing like it. May this book help to protect midwives and the Midwives Model of Care. May this book be a call to action in changing our maternity care system to one that gives prior ity to the needs of women, their infants and their families. May this book empower midwives and midwife supporters in our battle with a legal system that seeks to repress independent midwifery practice and women's right to choose care providers and practi ce styles. Congratulations to all those who helped get this baby born!!!"
On 5/4/2004 Christi Walters, a midwifery client in Alabama, wrote:
"Karen Brock sent me this link and we just adore her! I can't wait to get to read it!"
On 5/4/2004 Ida Darragh, a midwife in Ar kansas, wrote:
"What a great resource for midwives! This book has been needed for a long time. Congratulations to the many women (and men) who have worked so hard to bring this book to fruition!"
On 5/3/2004 Ken Runes, a legal professional in Illinois, wrote:
"Looks great! My compliments to the webmaster; I am very, very proud to be associated with this project... Ken"
On 5/3/2004 Karen Brock, a midwife in Alabama, wrote:
"The groaning, sweating, grunting and pushing have birthed a "TEN". Congrates to all!"
On 5/3/2004 Valerie in Illinois wrote:
"Ok, so I gotta try this nifty guestbook. This is a VERY cool book, you know, and I would think so even if I hadn't been looking at it in excruciating detail every day for the last nine months."