This past week, I attended my first CAPPA conference (this one was in Charlotte, NC). I’ve been a member of CAPPA since 2004 and the thing that first attracted me to membership was the FREE annual conference. Now, six years later, I finally took advantage of going to one! I think it will be an annual tradition for our family 🙂 On the closing day of the conference, the MC asked us to consider how we had each been “blessed” at the conference this year and then to turn to the person next to us and share how we had been blessed. I thought of several things right away:
- Meeting people face-to-face that I previously only had online contact with. There is no substitute for in person contact. It was great!
- Attending Barbara Harper’s presentation on “Leave Well Enough Alone: Natural Third Stage.” It was VERY good. I also particularly enjoyed Andrea Sharpe’s presentation about empowering teen mothers and Barbara Hotelling’s “Your Body has the Power to Give Birth.”
- Winning a birth bracelet from the Birth Behind Bars booth. They had an interesting project going on where you could submit a tip for the upcoming book 101 Ways to Support a Woman in Childbirth and have a chance to win a bracelet (as well as to get a nice purple “For the Love of Birth” lanyard for your name tag too). I love to win stuff and the bracelet is pretty 🙂
- The between-session contacts and conversations. In addition to learning good information from the actual sessions, there is no substitute for the conversations that arise during breaks in the day—I met several really wonderful people just accidentally this way and I had some good, in-depth conversations about teaching methods and resources that would have been impossible to have if I’d only attended the sessions and then gone straight back to my room.
- Being in an environment with 300 other women who also believe that birth matters.