When I picked up Hannah, Delivered, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I thought the book, about a woman who works in a hospital and decides to start assisting births and eventually become a midwife, might be a little dry or a little too historical. I was so wrong. The author, Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, took me into this new world along with Hannah, and we both learned so much about the politics, finances and emotions surrounding natural, home-based childbirths.
The book’s description, from the publisher:
Late one night in a busy St. Paul hospital, a nurse midwife drags Hannah Larson out from behind her reception desk to assist with a birth. When Hannah witnesses that baby tumble into the world, her secure, conventional life is upended by a fierce desire to deliver babies. So begins Hannah’s journey away from her comfort zone. In a midwifery apprenticeship in New Mexico, she befriends a male midwife, defends a teenage mom, and learns to trust women’s bodies, then moves back to Minnesota to start her own birth practice. Hannah’s need to stay safe proves both an asset and a liability: homebirth isn’t legal in Minnesota in the 1990’s. To deliver healthy babies, Hannah risks jail time, her community’s respect, and her career. The key to unlocking her fear rests in one birth—her own.
Hannah, Delivered tells the story of how inexplicable passion, buried strength, and professional skill deliver one woman from fear into a rich and risk-filled life.
I was pulled into Hannah’s story, the stories of her mentors, and the stories of the mothers she assisted in birth. I ended up investing in these women (and a few men) more than I expected, and by the end of the book, I wished (after a labor including an epidural, and three c-sections) that I could have another baby just to experience the magic, the adrenaline, and the intensity that is a natural childbirth.
I loved this book much more than I expected to, because honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. Pick up your own copy of Hannah, Delivered, and read about the love, excitement, and exhaustion that a mother and midwife feel with the birth of a brand new baby…at home.
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