Cookie Day!!

Last Wednesday the boys and I were lucky enough to be able to participate in Cookie Day at the Capitol!  I had planned on Isabelle coming along as well, but the snow caused her Valentine’s Party at school to get bumped to Wednesday and I had spent far too much time on her Valentines for her to miss the party.  She kinda wanted to go to her party too!

So what, you are probably asking, is Cookie Day?  It is the Friends of Missouri Midwives’ annual meet and greet and rally at the Capitol.  This happened to be the 8th annual, but the first for our family.  Basically, the Friends of Missouri Midwives put out a call to action for all supporters, homebirth families in particular, to come to the Capitol and deliver cookies to legislators… and chat with them about the importance of midwifery and its status in MO in the process!  They encourage letters, notes, pictures, etc from the families- and bringing the kids along for the adventure!  I thought this would be a wonderful, hands on opportunity for my kids to learn about our government and politics and most importantly, having a voice about issues that are important to you and making your voice heard in a meaningful and (hopefully) effective manner.  I am sure the boys voices were heard by many, but I cannot attest to them being meaningful or effective this visit!  I am hoping I was a bit more successful.

I recently met with Travis Fitzwater, who is running for State Representative for District 49, just to talk a bit about midwifery and homebirth and he said something in the conversation that really stuck with me.  He thanked me for making a point to take a stand for something that was important to me.  He reminded me that it doesn’t always require grand gestures to institute change.  It takes people who are passionate about what they believe, and are willing to do something about it.

To that end, why do I care about homebirth?  Henry’s birth was an amazing experience for our entire family.  It was life changing in so many ways.  It gave me a new sense of appreciation for my body and what I am capable of accomplishing.  It strengthened and deepened my relationship with Keith.  It gave Isabelle and Eli the very special memory of being awoken early one morning to climb into their parents bed and meet the newest member of our family.  Henry’s birth is something our family will always cherish in a very special way.  There are many, many reasons we chose homebirth but what it boils down to is that it was the best choice for our family.

Why do we need to lobby for homebirth?  Homebirth has not always been a legal option in Missouri.  It was not legal, actually, until days after Eli was born in 2008.  Women in Missouri could give birth in a hospital, or in the one birthing center in the state.  Just last year, the right to choose where and how to give birth was again challenged by legislation that would have affectively outlawed midwifery in Missouri yet again.  It is by being active and making my voice heard that I can ensure that myself and other women and their families have the right to make these incredibly important decisions for themselves.

I know and understand that homebirth is not for everyone.  But I passionately believe that every woman, every family, should have access to the information to make an informed decision.   The state of maternity care in this country is in crisis. The c-section rate and mother and infant mortality rates are rising and terrifying. Women need to be educated. They need to be empowered. They need choice.

Ok, climbing off my soapbox and back to cookies.

If you recall I had an active (http://wp.me/p159dp-3M) and late (http://wp.me/p159dp-3C) Valentine’s Day, so I was of course running behind on getting everything together.  Plus, loading the wagon with cookies, our family packets, snacks, toys, and two boys then hauling said wagon a few (quite hilly) blocks to the Capitol building was a bit time-consuming.  We were a little late getting to the check-in, and the House of Representatives was about to begin the morning session.  As we were getting things situated, we were asked if we would like to be introduced on the House floor as a family representative of homebirth in MO!  The boys didn’t really see it as a big deal, but they obliged.  Representative Kurt Bahr introduced us, another family and a Missouri midwife.  A special thank you to his Legislative Assistant Nina for helping to keep the boys entertained while we waited!

After that we began our rounds… and around and around and up and down we went!  The stroller really would have been much easier on me, but the boys were really enjoying the freedom the wagon afforded them.  I cannot say I felt the same.  Because they were in session, we didn’t catch many legislators in the morning, but we stopped in a few offices of known supporters and left cookies and a heartfelt thank you.  I was never actually able to catch up with my personal representatives, but there were a couple from our area that were kind enough to take the time and visit with us.

First up, we caught Assistant Floor Majority Leader Jeannie Riddle.  We managed to maneuver the wagon back to her office and had a nice conversation in between breaking up fights between the boys and cleaning up the applesauce they spilled on her floor… Representative Jay Houghton’s super sweet legislative assistant then tracked him down so we could visit.  During this visit Eli, for whatever reason, really, REALLY wanted on my back (??).  Representative Houghton was nice enough to offer Eli a ride, but he bashfully declined.  Eli has, however, talked about going back to the Capitol several times in the last week 🙂  I didn’t get any pictures, but Representative Houghton’s assistant was kind enough to snap one (in which I happened to be growling at one or both of the boys LOL)

I learned a few very important things in this visit, but they were more logistical than having anything to do with the cause at hand!  It all boiled down to arriving earlier!  This would allow for better parking (the wagon+ two boys+heels+rain=sucktastic) and it would hopefully allow us to get in some meetings prior to session starting.  This would mean we wouldn’t be trying to have meaningful conversations with 2 kids that are overdue for naps!  Henry was asleep before we made it out of the parking garage!

I don’t have any pictures from Cookie Day (it’s a shame too, Henry was all decked out in his tie 🙂 ) so I will leave you with a very special picture from a very special day!

Henry meets his family 🙂

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica(Catron)Kent (@JesCat)
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 21:38:27

    Sara, I’m glad we were able to get you to see him, and I’m also glad you liked the picture–I thought it captured the patience you had and fun I’m sure they had.

    –Jessica

    Reply

    • Sara
      Feb 21, 2012 @ 21:36:17

      LOL, patience isn’t how I would have described that look, but I am glad you saw it that way! Representative Houghton was the patient one, it’s not easy to carry on a conversation with 2 little constant interruptions 🙂

      Reply

  2. Nina Dean
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 21:46:23

    I enjoyed meeting you and your boys.
    Next year, you will know what to expect and I will be proud to take you onto the House Chamber Floors to be introduced again.
    Thank you so much for reminding our Representatives that they are responsible for ensuring our freedoms.

    Reply

  3. journeyofamomx3
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 04:44:55

    So, I know this has nothing to do with your post, but girl, you are looking fabulous!!

    Reply

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