Witnessing new life as it is brought into the world, you are permanently changed. Something clicks inside you, determining you to analyze your existence and that of others from a completely new perspective. Working as a midwife is both wondrous and terrifying, a job which keeps you engaged at all times. Linda Fairley talks about her experience at St. Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Manchester in her bestselling book, “The Midwife's Here!: The Enchanting True Story of One of Britain's Longest Serving Midwives.”
At the age of 19, Linda Fairley became a trainee midwife. In that time and age, homebirths were a common thing, so you had to be always ready for an intervention. Maternity hospitals were characterized by strict curfews, starched white hats, milk kitchens, and steaming laundries, while procedures weren’t as safe as they are today.
Linda’s first time delivering a baby marked a point of no return for her – she had found her life’s passion and she would pursue it for years thereafter. As Linda said, “Delivering my first baby is a memory that will stay with me forever. Just feeling the warmth of a newborn head in your hands, that new life, there’s honestly nothing like it… I’ve since brought more than 2,200 babies into the world, and I still tingle with excitement every time.” The joyous exclamation of relief “The midwife’s here!” became her favorite thing to hear as she would enter a room where a future mother and her family waited for her.
Careful not to stray away from Mrs. Tattershall’s orders and regulations, Linda Fairley would spend day after day sterilizing bedpans, pinning nappies, and preparing bottles, while patiently and gently helping the women who were in her care. She put her life in the service of others, running from one emergency to another, knowing that her actions and decisions could represent the difference between life and death.
Heart-touching and sometimes funny, Linda Fairley’s book is a quick, pleasant read.