Sunday, January 21, 2007
Over Christmas, I read two excellent midwifery books. As mentioned previously, A Book for Midwives, published by the Hesperian Foundation, and also Life of a Midwife, published by Midwifery Today. Life of a Midwife is a collection of reprinted articles from Midwifery Today and though it was published over 10 years ago, you'd never know--it is completely relevant and seems completely timely. A Book for Midwives was so excellent, a true community resource, but also somewhat disturbing in its honesty and straightforwardness. I appreciated how it makes information/material available that is sometimes "hidden" in other books--i.e. medical content that is normally reserved for "medical" people or textbooks. The book is geared mostly toward practitioners in third world countries and so its tone is directed at midwives working with very few resources--for someone who tends to glamorize midwifery and to feel very passionate about birth, it was hard to read a book that makes it very clear how difficult things are for midwives and women in impoverished areas. Since it was very clear cut, it also made me realize that it is unlikely that I *truly* want to be a midwife someday after all. Who am I kidding? When L fell down and got a cut on his lip last week, I felt a tad light headed because of the blood. Also, after giving birth to Z, I nearly fainted twice and it was directly related to seeing blood. I am not a very physical person and I don't know why I think an intensely physical profession would appeal to me--I'd better stick to childbirth education and writing! Likewise, the Life of a Midwife book, reminded me of all the nuts and bolts of life as a midwife--the deprivation to your own family, etc. I know I sound like a downer, but it was helpful for me to read both of these books (nearly simultaneously) and take a serious look at my hazy future plans, instead of a rose-colored-glasses look.