Sunday, March 30, 2008

Birth Activism

Since my recent visit to the Bay Area, where I heard more than a couple folks refer to midwifery care being available only to "rich hippies," my brain has been swirling around the idea of needing to do more birth activism - not only specifically engaging in the fight for universal legality and licensure of midwifery (as it is now, it is legal/licenced in some states, alegal/unlicenced in others and in some, outright illegal), but also fighting for the midwifery model of care to be paid for by Medicaid - so all women can have true freedom of choice in their care regardless of where they live or what their insurance/lack thereof status is.
What do you think about that? I am interested in finding out if there is already an organization dedicated to this work so I can join them.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Baby Rides the Short Bus - Call for Submissions!

Call for submissions: My Baby Rides the Short Bus – an upcoming anthology to be published by PM Press (Winter, 2009)

We are seeking submissions from a diverse group of parents raising special needs kids who feel marginalized by their subculture status (economics, lifestyle, orientation, religion/atheism) and underrepresented in print.

Got tips on how to stay sane during the IEP process when you don’t believe in the system to begin with? Felt you had to hide you radical political books while the Early Intervention Folks come over? Found yourself stuck a mainstream world of special needs parenting that you don’t fit into?

Submit your stories to a upcoming anthology that features writing from parents in the know about what it's like to raise "special needs" kids -- with no sugar coating or the 'you will dream new dreams' kind of crap we're subjected to by mainstream media. Unfortunately we can’t pay, but all contributors will receive two copies of the book.

Topics we would like to see covered include (but are not limited to):
Experiences with helpful or clueless doctors
· How not to leave your politics at the door and still work the system
· Care providers and how they help us (when they show up)
Community support or lack thereof
· The asinine things people say you
Challenging people’s assumptions
Keeping yourself sane while caring for your kid’s needs
· The politics of inclusion
Fighting city hall/demanding more access & services
Kids with special needs growing older
Alternatives to group homes and institutions
· Politics behind professional care-giving
Alterative treatments: the good, the bad, or the rip-off

*Also, we’re seeking suggestions for good resources/services state-by-state or on the national level.
Please send those to the email listed below.

Send 2,000 to 5,000 word submissions by May 15th 2008 or questions to: Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. Please include your address, phone number, email address, and a short bio on the last page.

Editors: Yantra Bertelli, Jennifer Silverman and Sarah Talbot, who are parents of “special needs” kids.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Human Cheese (video on youtube)

This is freakin' hilarious for several reasons, but for two personal reasons in particular:

1) It speaks loud and clear to a little breastmilk story I relate in Chapter 17 about making White Russians.

2) On my recent "mini-book-reading-tour" in Milwaukee without baby Maya-Rae (who just turned 2 last Sunday!), I had some surplus milk to get rid of. On my way to "pump and dump," Robert stopped me. He was baking bread and thought it would be a waste for me to dump my liquid gold, so he replaced the 1/2 cup of soy milk that his recipe called for with, you guessed it, the 1/2 cup of my breastmilk I was about to pour down his kitchen sink. Later, we all agreed it was "The Breast Bread Ever!" Yummy, yum, yum!

Anyway, watch this video & I challenge you not to be able to crack the hell up!

From the Mothering Magazine website:
Human Cheese
While a quick Google search yields plenty of legitimate recipes for foods made with breastmilk, this video is a tongue-in-cheek spoof: "human cheese" is presented as a safe, trustworthy alternative to bovine dairy products. It's funny and got us curious—if you've actually cooked with breastmilk, send your recipes to