"Arm's Wide Open" - Review and a Giveaway
I am a sucker for Midwife Memoirs, and I just finished "Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey".
Oh my goodness, my husband looked at me like I was off my cracker, the way that I was sobbing at one point, then yopping with laughter the next! I'm guessing that you can tell, from that alone, that I simply loved, adored, gobbled up, marinated in, (gush gush gush) every single word that Patricia Harman wrote.
She writes a simply stunning, funny, heartfelt, candid, emotionally torquing memoir about her journey to, and through, midwifery. I recommend it whole heartedly - to every childbirth educator, midwife, midwife apprentice or aspiring midwife, doula, and mother. On the other hand, if you are expecting a baby and are working to maintain your bubble of peace, I would recommend waiting until your baby is here before reading it. ;)
I am not sure how many of you have read The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife’s Memoir, Arms Wide Ope, but Patricia expounds upon this earlier work by bringing her readers face to face with the trials, tribulations, triumphs, tears of a midwife's life.
Her readers find themselves reliving her early commune days, her self-induced poverty days, her fears of not knowing enough, the joys of catching babies, her delights of her own children and lovers, and so much more.
We get to know the young hippie living in a rustic log cabin deep in the secluded woods of Minnesota. She gives us a taste of the joys and heartaches that accompanied the rough winters, solitude, and young parenting years.
We grow with her as she moves to a communal farm where she and others seek to live a self-sustaining, completely peaceful lifestyle, while also realizing, more fully, her love of working with women and babies.
We watch her birth her own children, then hold our breaths while she catches her friend's babies.
And then, we get to know the older, wiser, somewhat more jaded and anxious middle-aged ex-commune, hippie-at-heart Patsy as she navigates life as a mother of 3 grown boys and a CNM, with her supportive, but harried OB/GYN partner.
Harman fashions a tale of love, hurt, fear, courage, political activism, pacifism, feminism, midwifery, and motherhood. She speaks to the woman, lover, and mother in all of us, giving us a painfully candid glimpse into her emotional life.
She molds time and space in her hands, as easily as a potter at the wheel, pinpointing those moments in her life that acted as catalysts, shaping her future self, her career, and her personal life. As a time traveler, the reader is able to move seamlessly from the naked hoe-wielding, farming hippie on a commune in Minnesota to the grown mother waiting with bated breath in her expansive home in the middle of the night on her cordless phone.
I invite you, the reader, to discover the bear chasing, childbirth education revolutionary.. the sun-kissed, baby wearing, earth toiling minimalist.. the family rescuing, fire-fighting lioness... the midwife, the mother, the social worker, the with-woman.
Her's is a love story. A love for her partner, her children, her work, her women... a love for herself, and life... for humanity and the earth we live in. This is the heart and soul of "Arms Wide Open".
If you are a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a midwife, a mentor, a wife, or an educator; if you are a servant to women, or simply a servant of life, Patricia Harman's latest book will speak to the innermost you, that part of you that you hold secret and safe - and will entice you to take a long look at the world and people around you.
I recommend this book wholeheartedly and with abandon, and I want to give my copy to one of my readers. If you are within the U.S., the rules are simple: just share in some shape or form (online message board, FaceBook, TheBump, Blog, etc...) then comment below with how you shared and how I can reach you.
Giveaway ends and drawing will be done on the weekend of May 28th.