As some may know, I'm an ICAN baby. That may sound funny, but literally...due to the ICAN's main list serve, I was reborn. Little by little, the dedicated and passionate women there got through to me. They were often harsh, and blunt...and that's what got through my hard head. It was the personal level of the list serve, and the candid discussions that got me through. Sure, I thought they were all crazy at first. They told me that my oldest baby's size wasn't what caused the horrid delivery and even more horrid recovery, but rather the interventions in the labor and birth. They were nuts! Everyone had always told me that she was SO HUGE ( 9.1lbs ) and no WONDER I had such a hard birth and recovery. This was the very first time that anyone said that it was due to what was introduced into a natural process. They told me that my cesarean with my son was unnecessary - and could have all been avoided. Which meant that I could have kept him from spending 9 days in the NICU without me. It hurt.
I was shocked to see women advocating for home birthing...what, did they think it was the 1800's again? And these women on the list weren't NORMAL women, but women with scars on their uterus. How could they possibly encourage them to birth at home? It was irresponsible, dangerous advice. And I told them so as I left the list in frustration with all of the nutjobs there. ;)
But it stuck. I went on to research some things for myself ( novel idea, eh? ) and grew more and more frustrated with each BS OB appointment where they told me that it wasn't a good idea to "try" for a VBAC. That I was certainly going to have a uterine rupture since I had only a single layer of suturing on my uterus instead of double AND because I had a history of large babies. However, the research that I was doing all said that the risk of uterine rupture was VERY low - not at all how the OBs had made it sound. Even with a history of large babies, and a single layer closure. I began to grow frustrated with my lack of TRUE options, and with the biased information I was receiving from the OBs.
So three months after my exodus from the list, I went back and apologized for calling everyone crazy. I was ready to learn.
Because of the women of the ICAN list serve, and because of the personal nature of the list itself, I grew dramatically. I went from a woman who believed that inductions for size was a VERY valid and wise option, and epidurals were God's gift to women...to being an advocate for *natural* birth, and yes...even home births. ;) I *birthed* my VBAC baby onto my bed at home at 41 weeks 4 days. She was 10.10lbs, 23" long and posterior. I did it. My body had never been broken, I had just allowed myself to believe that it was. Sometimes it's easier to believe that we're broken, rather than know that we could have done better. Not only for ourselves, but for our babies.
My point in all of this?
It was announced the other day that the powers that be in ICAN ( aka The Board ), has decided to shut down the list serve in favor of a forum format. This has all been done without asking the true voice of ICAN ( the list members, chapter leaders, members ) how they felt about this. It was done in a rather sneaky fashion, and removed all possibility of input from the heart of ICAN. This has been a big blow to the women of the list.
The list itself has morphed since I joined. For a while it ceased ( to me ) to be a place where you could share honestly, or give advice in a blunt way. You were slapped on the wrist for being "too harsh", even if it was truth. The honesty of the group that I had so loved, had turned into something more PC. It was a shame. BUT, it was still our group. It was still our personal place for support, encouragement, and friendship. A forum cannot provide this, and it simply won't be the same. Some have argued the validity of being upset over this, as we will still have a discussion area. Others are pointing out the simple fact that the core of ICAN was not given an option in this change. ICAN is made of its volunteers, its chapter leaders, its supporters. It's a shame that they've decided to yank the beating heart out of what makes ICAN what it has been.
I'm sad to be losing the very thing that caused such a pivotal time in my life.