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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #24

Thea’s Three Boys

Thea is one of the tiniest women to come through our doors. All
four foot eleven of pure feistiness. She is blonde and spunky with
a contagious grin. She cruises through her pregnancy without a
hitch until around her thirty-fourth week. I see her in the office,
and as I am palpating her belly, I get the clear message through
my hands that something is desperately wrong.
When I check abdominally to make sure the head is down,
I feel a broad, firm globular mass high above the symphysis.
I have the immediate, sinking feeling that the baby’s head is

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Carol and Ken (in trouble...)

One day, Ken calls me at the Health Center to ask if I will
meet him at White Park for a sandwich lunch. He has something
very important to talk to me about. He sounds upset. I am in
the middle of a dreadful staff meeting; his call makes me antsy
all morning. Ken is sitting on a bench in the park, and he looks
terrible. His face is ashen. Milan is oblivious to our tension, he
toddles around on his chunky little legs, in his droopy diaper,
happily chasing Mallard ducks.
Ken is having a hard time making eye contact with me.

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #23 (Part ll)

An Intertwined Birth and Death and
Death and Birth and Birth (continued...)

A short while later, Raven calls to tell me she has fallen in love with a man who is significantly younger than herself. They have conceived unintentionally, but they are delighted. The young man is a sweet, sensitive, artsy type and perfect for Raven’s earthy temperament. I think it is a good union, and he proves to be in it for the long haul. Raven’s morning-glory vine starts growing again.

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #23 (Part l)

An Intertwined Birth and Death and
Death and Birth and Birth

In ancient times, midwives traditionally worked with families
from “womb to tomb,” bringing in new life and laying out the
dead. They saw living and dying as opposing aspects of the same
cycle. The two were of equal importance, as two passages through
the same door: one coming in, the other going out. Midwives
were as intimately involved in every manifestation of death as
they were in those of life. They recognized that positive power
cannot exist without negative power. Midwives traditionally

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Another silly snippet from Carol Leonard (Warning! this is a tad gross...)

On my way to the L.A. airport, outside the hotel on the hot
sidewalk, I find the biggest dead cockroach I have ever seen. I
later learn that this is actually a palmetto bug, but I am a country
girl and this looks like the most unbelievably huge cockroach in
the world—at least two inches long. I pick it up and wrap it in a
napkin to show Ken, because he says I always exaggerate. I want
to prove to him the size of this giant cucaracha.
Ken picks me up at the airport in Boston and takes me to
dinner at a very upscale restaurant, Lillie’s, in Haymarket Square.

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #22

A Horrendous Birth

This is another birth where I blow it by not paying attention to
my better judgment. I will later add yet another requirement to
my growing list of essential prerequisites, this one being “must
have a phone.” Cindy and her family are minimally functional
street people. This is Cindy’s eighth pregnancy and her fifth
child.
At her first visit, she states that she can be seen only by a
woman. Her husband is so extremely jealous that he will “flip
out” if she is seen by a man. Cindy is a large woman with red hair

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Answer for Summer Mama~

A few days later, I bring a friend of mine, who is in her first
trimester, to see Ken at his group practice, so we can listen to her
baby’s heartbeat for the first time with his more sophisticated
ultrasound. After she leaves, we are alone in the office, standing
next to Dr. Easey’s large mahogany desk.
Ken says, “You know, Dr. Easey is getting married tomorrow.”
He is scrutinizing me intensely.
“Yeah, so?” I finally say. “What? Why are you looking at me
that way?”
He looks puzzled. “The way you tease him at the Health

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #21

An Angelic Baby

Up to this point, all the babies have been good. It doesn’t occur
to me that, statistically, I am overdue for a misfire.
Vivian is Ned’s older sister. She was at Harriett’s birth and was
profoundly moved by it. Now, she is eagerly awaiting her own
birth at home. Vivian is twenty-seven years old, and this is her
second child. She is a special education teacher, specializing in
caring for children with Down syndrome. I like Vivian immensely.
I am not anticipating any problems whatsoever.
Vivian gives birth to Anna on a blustery, bright spring day

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Another silly snippet from Carol Leonard~

One day Ken asks if I would like to be a medical student
for a day. He says that if I’m interested, he will disguise me in
hospital scrubs and say I am a visiting Hanover med student.
He will sneak me into the OR to observe him doing surgery.
Yes! He knew I would love that. When we are all masked and
gowned and entering the operating room for a tubal ligation,
I have a momentary lapse of confidence. This is pretty foreign
territory; what if I faint? But my fear is soon overcome by my
curiosity. I dig right in there with Ken. He has me look in the

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #20

Ken’s First Home Birth

Jessie is a fascinating-looking woman. Her appearance is
completely split in half. One side of her head is pale blonde
and blue-eyed and fair, and the other side is dark-haired, browneyed,
and swarthy. It is a little disconcerting at first to focus on
her eyes. They have that crazy, witchy look, like those dogs with
two different-colored eyes. I soon learn that the color pattern
stays true the entire length of her body.
She is a young pharmacist who works at the drug dispensary
at Merrimack Valley Hospital. She has gone to Ken’s practice,

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