Saturday, October 21, 2006

Blowing through Chicago

Somehow I managed to get myself from Madison to Chicago, through rush hour, in time to settle my backside into a chair at the WGN radio studio at the Tribune Tower for a 30-minute live interview. And somehow I managed to not be distracted as pedestrians on Michigan Avenue waved and gawked through the plate glass windows that encase the ground-floor studio. One caller delighted in telling us how easy it is having kids. Kathy, the host, was rolling her eyes. Another woman wanted to know if baby slings were the perfect solution to the two-stage gestation issue. (That is, we give birth to babies at much earlier stages in their development than other mammals -- think of horses that can walk soon after birth -- because if we waited any longer the kid would be too big to push out.) I agreed the slings were a great idea, allowing us to act like kangaroos, carrying around the baby until they were old enough to get around on their own.
Then on to the lovely Ambassador East Hotel, for an XM Satellite radio show hosted by Judith Warner, whose column in the New York Times I always enjoy. Warner, whose children were born in France with the help of midwives, said she was surprised by how "bad doctors come off" in my book. True, it's not a pretty history. Today, in America, obstetricians do high risk very well. They do low risk poorly.
The day wrapped up with a great talk at the Women and Children First book store. The event was attended by, among others, one of only three lay midwives in the giant city of Chicago. She wants to know when health insurers will start properly reimbursing midwives for their work. Good question. Next up: The Bay Area.

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