It’s really wonderful when everything aligns to make something good happen.
I have recently had the privilege of working on a project led a wonderful woman, Kim Osterholzer. I first met Kim when she was an apprentice midwife and came to one of the first midwifery research update classes that I taught. That was some twenty years ago.
Kim, also the author of A Midwife in Amish Country, had got in touch to ask if I could look at a new book that she had written. Sure, I said, knowing that Kim is an amazing storyteller. But please send it in the mail; you know I hate reading on screens!
When Kim’s parcel arrived in the post from Colorado, I sat down in my garden and I barely moved until I had finished the book. Then, I got in touch with her. I told her I loved the book, whose aim was to help people understand that homebirth is a safe option. That’s a really important message, especially in the USA. I told Kim how I could see that it would be an amazing resource. But I had a few suggestions, too. The main one was I felt that the ‘evidence’ parts of the book, which were interwoven with Kim’s story, could be a bit stronger.
When I told Kim that, she asked me if I would like to jump into the project with her and help!
Ninety-nine times out of a hundred when people ask me to read, comment on or help with their book, I have to decline. I don’t usually have the time, and I get so many more lovely invitations than I’m able to accept. But when Kim asked, I said yes. I felt that this was such a valuable book and, even better, the stars had aligned and I happened to have some unexpectedly free time before our next online course began. So I said yes and got right onto it.
The result is now available, and I’m just delighted to have been able to play a small part in the creation of this lovely book. Metaphorically speaking, I was merely the second midwife who arrives at the woman’s house just after the baby is born. Her only real tasks are to make everyone tea and toast, admire the baby and then help tidy up. But it’s still a special kind of joy to be able to engage with and lend one’s skills to a project like this one, which I hope will make a difference to many people.
I joyfully worked on Homebirth: Safe & Sacred because I loved the vision that Kim had. She wanted to get information out to those who have questions in an affordable, readable format. It is written for a US audience, so it is inevitable that some of the information about midwifery care is US-specific, but the stories and the evidence transcend national borders. I recommend this book so much that I put two days of my life on hold so that I could help make it even better. I hope you’ll take a look and see what you think.