Some four years ago, in the process of planning an international conference on pregnancy, childbirth and mothering, we awakened to the tremendous need for quality scholarship on these themes. It was then that we determined to begin assembling the present volume. We were well aware of the many obstacles with which we would have to contend—including and especially the very personal challenge of balancing our responsibilities to our children with the demands of editing a manuscript of this length. From the beginning, our work was a labor of love. Our steady conviction regarding the value of this project coupled with our increasing awareness of its uniqueness, drove us to continue. But personal conviction could only have taken us so far; without the help and support of our colleagues, contributors, family and friends—and even a bit of luck—this volume would never have come to life. We therefore ask our readers to join us in acknowledging the many people who have helped us along the way.
Amrita Banerjee and Elena Cuffari joined us in organizing the conference which inspired this volume. The conference itself and the project of assembling an edited volume on the conference theme were fully supported by the University of Oregon Philosophy Department, and especially by its former Department Head, John Lysaker, and Bonnie Mann. Others who helped to make the conference a success include: Kara Barnette, Paul Burcher, Carolyn Culbertson, Jazmine Gabriel, David Goodman, Lisa Guenther, Aurora Hudson, Emma Jones, T.K. Landázuri, Jennifer Lang, Johanna Luttrell, Nikki McClure, José Mendoza, Andrea O’Reilly, Kimberly