Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

Wow, this book was amazing. The sheer fact that a man wrote this book in the perspective of a teenage girl/woman and did it well is impressive enough. It brought up fascinating questions that I kept asking myself what I thought throughout my reading, and I am still not sure what to think exactly. The book is written from the perspective of her daughter Connie, many years later. The author brings to play a lot of foreshadowing that can keep you guessing which way the story will play out, which I really enjoyed.

Sybil Danworth is a midwife practicing in Vermont when one of her patients, Charlotte Fuget Bedford dies during childbirth. Sybil is a midwife with no medical training and unlicensed by the state. This is key to the State after Charlotte dies when/after Sybil performs a c-section on Charlotte to save her baby after Charlotte dies in labor. The state argues that Charlotte was NOT dead and that Sybil killed her when she performed the c-section.

That's all I will say about it, because I am afraid if I write anymore, I will give away more details. But the main questioning of the book is, "Are home births more risky than hospital births?" "Should home births be illegal?" and so forth.. To that end, I say those are some tough questions. While I can see the appeal of a home birth and the fact that the child is born into a quiet peaceful environment, without the unnecessary interventions of doctors, I feel that the only way I could relax and not be too anxious, would be to have a hospital birth. But I also think that hospitals and doctors sometimes push women towards unnecessary procedures, episiotomies and c-sections. Home birth or hospital is a very serious choice that people have to make and neither one is ever made lightly.

Would you rather have a home birth or a hospital birth? Have you had a home birth? Have you had a hospital birth? What were your experiences?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

It's been awhile since I read this book, but I do remember loving it. Have you read anything else by this author? I have almost bought "The Double Bind" so many times!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I have not read anything else by him, but I think I will check and see his other stuff when I visit the library again. He is a great storyteller!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I just came across your blog; it's great. I liked Midwives, and all other books by this author too. He's a fav of mine.