A Midwife is Born
by Carole E. Rogers
Trafford Publishing

"It just so happened that the day I was looking for a job as a Registered Nurse, everybody was looking for State Certified Midwives within my geographical radius..."

Written as a series of memories beginning with a job as a night supervisor at a hospital, Rogers details her life as a single, working mother in England in the 1960s. Rogers works first in a combined geriatric unit and group home for mentally challenged adults. It is here that we see the first signs of her steadfast commitment to caring for patients. In one telling memory, she recounts relatives coming by only on pension day when leftover funds are handed over to family members who often do not even stay to visit the elderly patients from whom they are benefitting financially. Rogers responds by inspiring the patients to spend their pension on small luxuries like chocolates and soap, so there is nothing left for the “money-grabbing” relatives.

Anecdotes like these of Rogers’s working life feel as though the reader is sitting with a wise grandmother listening to stories from a time when the world was different—but really not so different. The trappings may be unique to 1960s England, but the issues, the emotions, and the needs are timeless. Rogers’s experiences are told with humor and wisdom, and while they are very specific to her life and perspective, lessons abound about how to deal with prickly co-workers, unfair treatment, work/life balance, working-mother guilt, and, above all, compassion.

Rogers’s later work as a nurse in maternity hospitals provides plenty of stories from the field that validate the importance of work and career in a person’s life, for much of Rogers’s life is defined by her time spent with patients in the maternity ward. Her tales of delivering twins, coaxing breech babies, assisting fainting fathers, and comforting women in pain illuminate the power of work to shape a life by providing not only financial security but also purpose.

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