But what's it all for? Why all the media attention? Well, its about spreading the word about this amazing option for other women. And yes, a lot of other women are hearing about this and requesting it. I received quite a few lovely e-mails from Moms thanking me for paving the way. One said, "I wish I could have experienced that when I had a c-section (maybe someday). Either way, thank you for sharing your story. You bring hope to so many women!" Another read, "Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the world and with me, and for being brave enough to pursue this for yourself. Do you consider yourself a trailblazer? Because I do! I think it is wonderful that you heard about this and even though it hadn't been tried locally, you pursued it...You are paving the way for other interested parents to look into this and experience it for themselves. Thank you for that." I heard from another mom (seen below) who had a family centered c-section at the same hospital where I delivered just a few weeks ago. She posted this picture on a Facebook group I am a part of and said, after reading the NPR article, "I had no idea this wasn't normally a thing! Thank you, Kristen!"
|(Used with permission of AJW)|
It's kind of amazing to know that beautiful pictures like the one above exist because my voice was heard by some very caring medical professionals.
You see, none of this "PR Stuff" is about me, or the attention I'm getting or the number of people who see my picture. Sure, that's all fun and exciting. But, it's really about spreading the word of patient self-advocacy. And how when patients and doctors (and hospitals) work together, with a little help from the media (and social media) amazing things can happen.
Recently I learned that the hospital where I delivered is pitching the story to other media outlets and thus I started thinking a lot about "what's the next step in this story?" And I decided that if I talked to any other reporters I would talk about how almost any change in medicine starts with individuals expecting more. And so, in having the story spread further, I want to inspire other women to be that FIRST woman at their delivery hospital. I want women (and patients in general) to understand that they can improve their care, and their child's care, and the care of other women by being informed, starting a conversation, and knowing that they deserve to be heard and taken seriously. I was taken seriously by every single person I encountered at Anne Arundel Medical Center. And because of that, change is happening. Women need to hear that. Doctors need to hear that. Other hospitals need to hear that.
So, yes, do I have a story I want told? Absolutely! But it's not about me. It's about all the other "first" women who will come after me and expect more, and be agents of change because they heard my story.