Some Good Reading
Second, if you haven't read "Listen to Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife," you should. This is the biography/autobiography of Margaret Charles Smith, who died in December.
A few passages I have particularly enjoyed:
- In talking about spirituality among midwives, Linda Janet Holmes, co-author, writes, "Midwives...said that they could 'count on God to get to the birth before they did,' 'to be the doctor' and to show them signs before complications occurred."
- Later, Ms. Smith talks about supporting women at births:
"You are sitting there to do what you can for her, rub her or put something under her back, trying to rest her back some. That's what you are there for, talk to her. If you like tea, you can make them some hot tea, and that will pick them pains up. Then you can rub the stomach and make the pains start back...
"Sometime they want to get up, and I'd help them up. Walk around in the room. Walk a pain off than get back in the bed. A lof of people get a kick out of walking. Go into different rooms and sit in different chairs, or get down on their knees -- anywhere they think they can get ease. But there's no ease for birth till it's over with. It's good to walk, but you'll have to stop sometime. You can pretty much do what you want till you get down to the nitty-gritty.
"...You just make the best out of it you can, talking kind, giving kind words and rubbing her hands. That means a lot. That means all of it. Kindness whipped the devil. Kind words, that's right, and belief."