Saturday, September 8, 2007

pondicherry, birth classes and other ramblings

this was supposed to be my first day teaching a once-monthly childbirth class at an upscale mama/baby store called apple of my i in indiranagar. despite my and AOMI's advertising efforts, no one registered. too bad, considering the amount of work i put into preparing for the class, and how excited i was about it. oh well. hopefully, it will happen next month.

in the meantime, i'm keeping very busy. here's what i'm working on:

1) being a doula. as you may have read in a previous post, i attended my first birth as a doula in india. it was fantastic. i've met another couple who are interested in hiring me, but first need to figure out where they're delivering and whether i will be allowed in the room. i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

2) convening the bangalore birth network (BBN). my good friend nora (an american midwife) and i have been trying to recruit folks to be a part of the BBN, which you can read about over on my other blog by clicking here. some items on our agenda are (a) addressing the widespread inhumane treatment of birthing women in both private and public hospitals (e.g., women are made to labor alone, no concept of informed consent, rampant abuse by nurses and doctors, over-use of routine interventions, etc.); (b) organizing a childbirth film festival in bangalore; and (c) ultimately opening a birth center.

3) writing articles. i've written one article for a website called chillibreeze, and they've asked me to write a feature for their expat newsletter about expats giving birth in bangalore. i've done three interviews and hope to do one more, and then i'll start writing (after a torturous patch of writer's block i'm sure).

4) copyediting. i've been working for macmillan as a freelance language editor. i edit articles written for science journals. this may sound like an easy job, but it's not. they have included such exciting topics as retroviral gene tranfers of tPA targets thrombolysis in vitro and in vivo; tamoxifen pharmacogenomics: the role of CYP2D6 as a predictor of drug response; endocannabinoid system and cardiometabolic risk; and thiazide-induced subtle renal injury not observed in states of equivalent. good times.

5) traveling. surabhi and i spent a lovely weekend in pondicherry. besides the nuisance of flies and mosquitoes, it was very relaxing. we stayed at a beautiful old colonial guest house in the french quarter, where one can walk down the streets without fear of death. we enjoyed a couple of amazing meals, one at an eco-beach resort called the dune, and the other at auroville, "an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity." i'd definitely like to go back and spend some time there. i've read about a home birth midwife at auroville but i can't seem to track her down.

we are starting to plan our ten day trip to kerala at the beginning of november. if anyone has any tips about where to stay (we're thinking a few days on a houseboat, a few days at the beach, and a few days in wayanad?), please e-mail us! speaking of kerala, here's an article in today's new york times about keralite migration.

finally, judy is coming! for two months! even though she won't be in bangalore for the whole time, i'll be happy knowing she's nearby.

okay, if you're reading this and you're our friend, or even if you're a stranger, please feel free to say hi in the form of a comment, will ya?