When I wrote "Shackled", my short story included in A Kiss is Still a Kiss, I was eight months pregnant with my third child. It got me thinking a lot about worse case scenarios. And made me very grateful for the midwifes who have attended all my births!
Midwives have been around since...Eve? I imagine she attended her daughter's labors, sharing what she had learned during her own and offering support. Since then, midwifes have played a vital roll in history, probably present for a very high percentage of the births throughout the world and throughout time. When Israel was in bondage in Egypt, the Bible speaks of the midwifes who saved the lives of little boys like Moses, even at risk to their own. It's only been the last hundred years that Doctors have become active in the natural process of giving birth. Many of our grandparents were probably "caught" by midwifes.
My maternal grandmother was delivered by a woman who became a legend in the small community of Cardston, Alberta. "Grandma Baker" as she was called, never lost a baby or mother. Hundreds and hundreds of births. She knew tricks and position to help along difficult deliveries, and I'm sure she had lots of practice clearing little lungs...but I think what gave her the most success was that she was a woman of faith.
The term midwife is derived from Middle English: literally “with-woman”, i.e. “the woman with (the mother at birth), the woman assisting” (in Middle English and Old English, mid = “with”, wīf = “woman”). It’s only been the last hundred years that doctors have become the main facilitators of birth in North America. In many other countries midwives are often still the primary birth attendance, equaling less intervention and ofttimes (in first world countries) lower maternal death rate .
While I am grateful for medical advances and ability of doctors to step in when needed, I love midwifes...and tubs of warm water for laboring in. ;) Still, hallelujah when it's over and I get to hold a new precious child.
Angela K Couch is a member of ACFW and a semi-finalist in 2015’s Genesis contest. In 2014 she was a finalist of the “Storming the Short Story” contest, and in 2015 her short stories won the romance category of the same, and won the ACFW Virginia Chapter short story contest. The anthology A Kiss is Still a Kiss holds her story “Shackled” now available on Amazon and from Next Step Books. Angela lives in Alberta, Canada with her “hero” and three munchkins. Visit her at www.angelakcouch.com, or follow on Twitter or Facebook!