Thursday, October 4, 2012

Forget the Doctor. Call The Midwife!

I have a rule. I don’t hold newborn babies. I can’t. They are too fragile to me. I always refuse until they are at least three months old. Even then, I am a little uncomfortable. 
But yes, there is always an exception to the rule - that exception being my nephew. When I first saw him, he was crying in a room filled with other babies. Although I couldn’t hear him, I suspected he was crying the loudest. From the angle that I peered into the window, there was no way of identifying the babies but I saw him and knew he belonged to us. It was amazing holding him as he was tightly wrapped inside a cloth. He reminded me of my father. Since his birth almost eleven years ago, he was the only baby I had held in that span of time until this past spring when my good friend placed her two month old baby in my lap. I had no choice but to hold her and feed her. It was yet another amazing experience.  My friend had opted not to find out the sex of her baby (the suspense drove me crazy). She had also decided to have a midwife as her primary care person during her pregnancy. She delivered her baby at home and found it to be a great experience.

Up until this experience, my education surrounding midwifery has been very limited. If you, like me, are interested in this alternative form of pregnancy care take a peek inside of this profession in its early years. This Sunday at 8 p.m., WNED-TV introduces Call the Midwife, a new PBS series about childbirth set in London’s East End during the 1950’s. Home delivery was the only option and it was just as much a surprise to the midwife as it was to the mother, the sex of the baby. It was a time when epidurals were highly uncommon and most men waited outside. Doctors were called only during complications (i.e. breach, stillbirths, toxemia, etc.) These women were “superheroes” and highly respected. Obstetrics has come a long way since the 1950’s as you will see when you watch. Call the Midwife (which has earned extremely high ratings in England) is a great testament to the wonders of childbirth, the women who bear the children and the women who bring them into the world. Due to the mature content, this program may not be suitable for young audiences.
Let us know what you think about the new series. Oh and make sure you have tissues readily available.          

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