Writing…and reading

I’m in the thick of application essays right now, my brain is stuffed with new ideas as I try to bring it all back down to the essence of why I’m called to this work. There’s so much I’m interested in, and sometimes it’s hard to find a way to tie it all together in a neat package…but I think I’m slowly getting there.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading lots, gathering ideas for future research and also just doing some fact-finding for some recent clients.  Among some of the goodies on my readers (electronic and old-fashioned) lately:

Reading List

Oh, there are so many books and articles to read! (Also, so many blog posts to write, but I just tell myself I’m practicing for when I’ll have even less time.)

I do believe that last time I wrote, the blog post some thing about “Easing” into fall. I’d update that to be more like spiral vortex at high speed now…but it still feels manageable, and more importantly, enjoyable.

I’m loving microbiology, which takes considerable study time, but always feels exciting and interesting. Lab is great fun–I love actually feeling like I’m learning something practical, and there’s a lot of practical in micro lab. I’m also taking Korean this fall, in the hopes of spending three months there this spring before I (hopefully) start nursing school. Those two things, along with doula clients, other volunteer commitments, and finally settling into the application process, keep my days full.

So, I’m mostly about list-making these days, to keep track of things I want to read when things slow down a bit after fall finals.

On the list:

Henci Goer’s new book “Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach”

Barbara Kingsolver’s soon to be released new novel “Flight Behavior”

Sun Yung Shin’s new collection of poetry “Rough, and Savage” (just arrived in my mailbox this week!)

And more…that I somehow can’t remember at the moment, perhaps related to the late hour. Off to bed!


In Dire Need of a Nap!

This week, was, in a nutshell, crazy.  Amazing, but crazy.  Perhaps it was not the most responsible decision to head out of town for a conference the weekend before finals, but oh, I’m so glad I did!  I met a lot of awesome CNM/NP students, connected with other APC’s, and in general learned a lot about reproductive health issues.

I came home with a renewed passion for this path I’m on, and I’m really, really excited to start the application process for RN/CNM programs this fall.

In other news…thinking of taking an online pathophysiology class this summer, just to dip my toes in a bit more.  I probably should do microbiology first, but the instructor I really want to take it with doesn’t teach in the summers, so I’m waiting.  We’ll see…

Also, so thrilled about Alissa Perrucci’s new book, Decision Assessment and Counseling in Abortion Care: Philosophy and Practice. As a volunteer options counselor, I always am on the lookout for new frameworks to help guide my approach, and this book is fantastic. I really appreciate her perspective on ambivalence–that more often than not we are ambivalent to some degree about decisions we make, and it’s the job of the counselor to give space to explore and validate those ambivalent feelings as normal.

Ok, now, for a quick nap before a doula business consultant meeting and then prenatal tonight!


I am doing homework today, really!  Also on-call for Backline, but in between calls or updating Facebook or writing notecards on bone tissue, I’m also relaxing a bit, since it’s Friday.

I like to share what I’m reading (or wish I was reading) from time to time…if only to help me keep track of all the amazing books out there that I started but didn’t have time to finish.  I’m one of those people who reads five books at a time, sometimes finishing them (often not), but at least skimming to get the main idea.  Last time I logged in to the online library system, I’d checked out almost 400 books over the past three years. Woot!

So, here’s what I’ve been reading for fun lately.


The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Shoulder Dystocia, by Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta

Especially soaking in the new chapter on active management of the third stage of labor, as I see this more and more in births I attend–the pre-emptive use of Pitocin to prevent hemorrhage, even if there’s no sign of hemorrhage…

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder

Just because…I read it when it first came out and loved it…sometimes I just need to read about someone else who’s already doing the work to keep my eyes on the prize.

Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing, by Eliseo Torres and Timothy Sawyer

Because I’ve always been fascinated by curanderismo, ever since reading Bless Me, Ultima…and because I’ll take any chance I can get to improve my Spanish.

Homebirth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Childbirth with Modern Medicine, by Dr. Stacy Kerr

For my doula book club…

The Kings’s Midwife: A History and Mystery of Madame du Coudray, by Nina Rattner Gelbart

Stumbled across this on the internet and had to read about it!  Madame du Coudray was a French midwife, commissioned by Louis XV to teach midwifery around the country, wrote a textbook and created the first life-size mannequins for simulation and teaching.  Yup, that’s right, she hand-sewed anatomical models of the uterus and vagina, with life-size babies to match.  Can’t pass that up!

Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddartha Mukherjee

I saw this all last year every time I went into Powells…and finally decided to read it.  I haven’t been disappointed.  There’s a reason why it won a Pulitzer–because, despite the dismal topic, it’s a pleasure to read.  Now that I have a slightly better understanding of how cancer works from my cell bio class, I’ve really been enjoying this book.  Love the balance between history, science and personal narrative.  Definitely my kind of book.

And last but not least, El Centinel–a local Spanish newspaper…it’s not as good as El Hispanic News, but I couldn’t find a copy in our neighborhood, so for Spanish practice, this will do.