"I feel uniquely privileged to be able to witness this miracle on an almost daily basis and to be able to assist women during one of the most important days of their lives. It is something I feel I was born to do." ― Sheena Byrom, Catching Babies
For me, this is one of the best books I have ever read. As an autobiography of a very special woman who revolutionised midwifery, Sheena Byrom’s extraordinary story of the life of a midwife, inspired and confirmed my ambition to be the same.
A brief summary is that it starts from an experience Sheena had in a hospital as a child in Britain 1950’s and how that time in her life was the turning point for everything else to come. Since then, she strived to make the nursing aspect of healthcare better, more about the individual patients and less about the medicine! Her goal was to improve the quality of care and to cater to an individual’s needs.
In those days you had to train to be a nurse before you could train to be a midwife, and this book explores both of those aspects of her life and so gives an insight into how the practice and quality of nursing has changed from then, to now.
Like Byrom, I want to be a midwife and be as inspirational as this woman was. Funny enough, I didn’t pick it to read, it was present for my 15th birthday and now at nearly 18 it is still one of my favourite books! Although I don’t mind books like this being graphic in the sense of describing what goes on I know that for some people the idea of reading about birth may not be an ideal. Rest assured, the detail isn’t particularly gruesome and focuses more on the work she single-handedly did to improve midwifery in her time. It’s also an emotional book too, some of the stories she tells are ones that can leave a reader welling up with tears.
I think that if you are interested in nursing, health care, midwifery or even if you like shows like “Call the Midwife” or “One Born Every Minute”, then this is a book for you. Sheena Byrom is an unsung hero of her time and this is an inspiring story about a normal woman who came from a normal background who did a job which I think can hardly be described as normal at all. This unique autobiography reveals the extraordinary career of a dedicated midwife and is definitely worth a read.