Giving birth, many will consider, is just a part of life’s easy routine. Of course, in some ways it is nevertheless, it is doubtful the majority of mother’s would agree. This detailed memoir clearly shows there is much to be taken into account, and experienced, even with the most ‘straight forward’ of deliveries. The author, Julie Watson, has shared much from her own midwifery experience and knowledge which some may appreciate however, others may wish they did not know about it all, well not until it was absolutely necessary.
Despite all the interesting and informative details in this book, it is principally a memoir that records the author’s own experiences and challenges, both personal and professional. The read commences with her earlier years as a teenager setting out on her career path. Her nervous concerns regarding her ability to fulfil the duties required are affectively conveyed.
Personal and professional aspects are intermixed well and the characters encountered are drawn sufficiently for the reader to comprehend and visualise the individual participants. The professional details are interesting and informative, especially for the uninitiated. Occasionally, for some, these may prove too graphic though really interesting. Indeed there are parts that may be described as comprising ‘gore’ though, surprisingly perhaps, these are not too off putting. The inclusion of all this informative detail will help readers understand why the book has gained a few awards.
As already mentioned, besides the professional aspects, this is also, and overall, a personal memoir. The author’s own tale is full of changes and challenges both for herself and her family. There is love, disappointment, sorrow and turmoil. It would be unfair to potential readers to say too much more except this is a memoir that shows how such issues and circumstances not only impact the individual but also upon those in close proximity.
The author’s determined nature comes through especially when it comes to gaining her qualifications. Thankfully her husband, parents and in-laws were more than willing to help, particularly when children came into the picture.
As stated, the author has included a lot of informative detail. Some readers may however feel this sometimes drills down to an unnecessary level and is occasionally slightly repetitive. Though these do not interfere with the tale per se they may prove irritating for a few. Presumably the desire to ensure scenes and scenarios are effectively imparted motivated this anomaly.
This is an honest, heartfelt, authentic memoir. Besides the personal aspects which memoir readers will find interesting, it would probably also be of interest to expectant mothers and those considering a family. Though, as already suggested, some may prefer not to know or hear about the gruesome details until it is absolute necessary (pre-natal classes will cover the important aspects). Those contemplating a midwifery career may also find it a useful, illuminating read.
Four stars (4*).
The book is available in paperback and e-book formats.