Hand in hand

Thu 9th Oct 2008 by Ben Palmer.

I deserted the children last night, leaving them in the capable hands of a family friend, and drove to Birmingham. It was a wrench: I'm not used to being away from Harry and Emily, and I didn't want to go. They didn't hugely want me to either. But go I did.

The Sixth National Conference on Current Issues in Midwifery organised by the British Journal of Midwifery asked me ages ago to talk about 'The reality of maternal mortality: a father's perspective'.

I'd been dreading delivering the short speech - how would they react? Would I falter, would my mouth dry up?

When I started I was nervous, and midway through I started to think I was losing them - there was rustling and shifting in seats. That made me really nervous.

Then I realised - it was tears and tissues. Jessica was touching them, Jessica was making a difference.

Afterwards, there were thanks, invitations to do it again elsewhere, write for the Journal, and so many hugs. What had I been worried about?

I've come away feeling like I've made a roomful of friends. Would I do it again? Yes, most certainly. For as long as I can reach someone who hasn't heard Jessica's story. For as long as Jessica can make a difference.

For all the women like her.

Update
Following a few requests and my off-blog correspondence with dovegreyreader, the text of the speech is reproduced here:
The reality of maternal mortality: a father’s perspective



tags: valley

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What is childbed fever?

Childbed fever is an infection of the womb in new mothers which can lead to septicaemia. If left untreated infection will cause organ failure and death - even in young, fit mothers.
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What are the symptoms? »
Childbed fever: the facts »

What's the aim?

We would like every parent and every midwife and doctor to know that childbed fever is still a very real threat to a mother's life.
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Can I help? »

Who is Jessica?

Jessica Palmer was a Mum. She died in June 2004, at 34 years old, of childbed fever caused by Group A streptococcus.
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This website contains general information about childbed fever. The information is not complete or comprehensive. You should not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should consult your doctor or other healthcare provider; and if you think you may be suffering from childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should seek immediately medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.
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