Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Midwife's Daughter

One of my summer reading projects was "Midwives" by Chris Bohjalian. It was a former Oprah's Book Club books, and when can I pass up a book about midwives and home births? I won't ruin the story, but it's a courtroom drama of a botched home birth with a midwife performing an emergency c-section birth. Oddly fascinating to me. Although frustrating to me at the same time because it sounds like an ER drama made for TV. It was written by a man with too many man-birth terms, such as catching the baby, delivering the baby, etc. It also made the midwife supporters into a bunch of hippies. Maybe I should don my bellbottoms, and move into our van.

The book is told in the voice of the Midwife's daughter, which has me imagining her life. With a little bit of envy from me, because wouldn't that be cool? I just haven't decided if I'd sooner be the Midwife or the daughter.

Your mom sees her moms at your house in her home office. You get to see bellies and babies all day. Your mom can't find a babysitter, so she packs you along to some of her births. Your sex ed talk is just a continuation of her life's conversation. Where do babies come from? Well, let me tell you all about Mrs. Johnson's birth last week. First hand news on tomorrow's town gossip- I know small towns... Baby dolls to play with in the office, great videos to watch, what child wouldn't be thrilled?

Except, of course, the Midwife's daughter ends up becoming an OB-GYN. That made me stop and think. She would give up this great alternative lifestyle to just become part of the system? Become everything her mother didn't like? Turn her back on the community that supports home births and natural lifestyles? (Yes, I link them in my head and yes, I think I may be a bit of a granola in disguise. Or do I disguise that well?)

And do I dare think of what my daughter will become? An MD? An osteopath? An orthopedic surgeon? I do hope that it is nothing health related. She's enough of a ham, I could see her on stage. And sadly enough, she smiles and waves enough these days that I could see her comfortably either as a celebrity, or one of the town princesses, waving from her float. Or rocking out on the drums on stage. I'm hoping not for a doctor, lawyer, or astronaut, but for a career that I've never heard of. But I will nod and see that it is the perfect life for her.

I enjoyed thinking of the life of the Midwife's daughter. To keep to a theme, there is another ---'s daughter coming soon.

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