Whether you are a mother or a midwife, it is an unforgettable experience to bring life into the world. It is one of those experiences that change you forever, determining you to see things in a completely new light. Although working as a midwife is a job that fills you with warmth and awe, it is equally terrifying, every decision that you make potentially being the difference between life and death. In her bestselling book, “The Midwife’s Here!: The Enchanting True Story of One of Britain’s Longest Serving Midwives,” Linda Fairley talks about her experience at St. Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Manchester.
Linda was only 19-years-old when she became a trainee midwife. In the 60s and early 70s, homebirths were a common thing. Therefore, midwives had to be alert at all times, ready to intervene in case their help was needed. Milk kitchens, strict curfews, steaming laundries, and starched white hats – this is what a maternity hospital looked like in that time and age.
After delivering her first baby, Linda realized that she had found her true calling and that she would be working for the rest of her life doing what she loved. As Linda said, “Delivering my first baby is a memory that will stay with me forever. Just feeling the warmth of a newborn head in your hands, that new life, there’s honestly nothing like it… I’ve since brought more than 2,200 babies into the world, and I still tingle with excitement every time.”
Under the scrutinous eye of Mrs. Tattershall, Linda spent hours, day after day, preparing bottles, sterilizing bedpans, pinning nappies, and taking care of the mothers-to-be with infinite patience and gentleness. She dedicated her life to helping others, even though her job was neither easy, nor glamorous. Caught in a rapid succession of emergencies, successes and tragedies, Linda would learn a lot about others’ lives – for example, Mrs. Petty’s struggle with poverty; the fact that Mrs. Drew’s triplets weren’t her husband’s.
A pleasant heart-touching read, Linda Fairley’s book is rich in period detail and it is told with a good dose of Manchester humor.
Find “The Midwife’s Here!: The Enchanting True Story of One of Britain’s Longest Serving Midwives” on Amazon: http://amzn.to/14BPK0T .