Live from Chicago: the 52nd Annual ACNM Meeting

So, I arrived in Chicago last night to attend this year’s national ACNM annual meeting, which will be occurring from today, 5/25, through 5/31. Unfortunately, because I happen to be graduating on Tuesday, 5/29 (not so unfortunately, actually), I will be leaving the convention a few days early in order to get to Carnegie Hall in time. I’m flying out of Chicago on Tuesday morning at 6:00 am and arriving at La Guardia at 9:02 am. I need to be to Carnegie Hall by 11:00 am. Attention, forces of the Universe: please, please, please, let there be no weather delays, plane delays, traffic jams or other such late-making sundries on Tuesday morning (I’ve cut it a bit close)…gotta get to Carnegie Hall on time! (Yes, I have my graduation robes, mortar board and hood very unceremoniously stuffed into my carry-on backpack; if you happen to be at the graduation on Tuesday, I’ll be the one in the crumpled robes). However, the trade-off is that in return for crumpled robes, I get to attend this year’s ACNM annual meeting, even if briefly.

(I should have mentioned that I was attending this ages ago, but things have been a bit busy as of late, finishing up my clinicals (which are done!) and checking out of my program (also done!). I am now officially a GNM (graduated nurse midwife), which I will be until I pass the national board exam (hopefully sometime by the end of June, at the latest), at which point I will then (finally!) have the illustrious initials of CNM after my name. All a bit overwhelming at the moment—will have to think more about that a bit later.)

Aaaaanyway, let me tell you about Chicago! Excited doesn’t even begin to cut it. There are thousands of midwives and student midwives here. There are education sessions, workshops and meetings occurring practically round the clock. There is an exhibit hall the size of football field filled with all sorts of really, really nifty stuff that makes midwives all gooey inside, like pregnancy wheels and pamphlets on birth control and all the free pens in the world (free pens!) and loud and proud midwifery paraphernalia (will be coming home with new t-shirts and bumper stickers, I promise you), all the latest on breast pumps and prenatal vitamins and pharmaceuticals and midwifery and midwifery-related organizations, plus poster presentations on new research. More than that, though, is the opportunity to meet midwives from all over the country, network like nobody’s business, make new friends, discuss important issues, sharpen old techniques and knowledge and learn all the newest, latest, most up-to-date information, and decide on new national policy for the ACNM (the actual business meeting itself will be something to see, for sure). As the student representative from my midwifery program, I will also be meeting with other students from around the country to put together the student statement at this year’s meeting, which will be presented to the rest of the members at the business meeting. I am very excited to see what issues are important to the other student midwives of our country (I have a few ideas and input from my classmates about stuff we want to bring up, but it’ll be very interesting to see what other concerns and areas of interest are). I am so thrilled to be a part of all of this!

Anyway, it’s nearly 11:00 am, and I need to check in with the folks in Parlour B to figure out what workshops are still available to page (as a student, you can volunteer to be the page at various workshops, and therefore be able to attend the workshops for free, in return for paging—nice deal, huh?). I will be back online periodically to keep Belly Tales updated regularly, superfly live blogger that I am. More to come!

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