From Goodreads: “No sleep for twenty hours. No food for ten. And a ward full of soon-to-be mothers… Welcome to the life of a midwife.
Life on the NHS front line, working within a system at breaking point, is more extreme than you could ever imagine. From the bloody to the beautiful, from moments of utter vulnerability to remarkable displays of strength, from camaraderie to raw desperation, from heart-wrenching grief to the pure, perfect joy of a new-born baby, midwife Leah Hazard has seen it all.
Through her eyes, we meet Eleanor, whose wife is a walking miracle of modern medicine, their baby a feat of reproductive science; Crystal, pregnant at just fifteen, the precarious, flickering life within her threatening to come far too soon; Star, birthing in a room heady with essential oils and love until an enemy intrudes and Pei Hsuan, who has carried her tale of exploitation and endurance thousands of miles to somehow find herself at the open door of Leah’s ward.
Moving, compassionate and intensely candid, Hard Pushed is a love letter to new mothers and to Leah’s fellow midwives – there for us at some of the most challenging, empowering and defining moments of our lives.”
This was a wonderful medical memoir written by a practising midwife.
Until I read this memoir I’d never thought about how hard mentally, emotionally and physically it is to be a midwife. Probably because before, during and after pregnancy all I was thinking about was the baby and how I was feeling. Never in a million years did I consider how the midwives were feeling or how their days were going.
This book was a real eye-opener and made me appreciate all the incredibly hard work that goes into being a midwife. Each chapters gives an account about a patient and their journey of pregnancy and birth, involving Leah and her colleagues. Some are uplifting, others are heartbreaking, but all are beautifully written and deserve to be shared far and wide.
One of my favourite chapters was ‘Olivia: Mother Knows Best’, the one about breastfeeding. This reminded me of when I struggled to begin breastfeeding my baby (now 18) and how I couldn’t have done it without the midwives help.
The saddest chapters were about stillbirths, and how heartbreaking it was for the mothers and midwives, it brought tears to my eyes.
If you enjoyed the Call The Midwife books and TV series I like I did, I definitely recommend this modern day equivalent.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Cornerstone Digital for my digital copy.