Monday, July 27, 2009
Midwifery on Trial
By: Chris Bohjalian
Reading this book was my first taste of Chris Bohjalian and it leaves me hungry for more. The story is told by Connie, who is fourteen the fall of her mother's trial. Her mother, Sibyl Danforth, is charged with manslaughter for the death of a mother in a home birth gone terribly wrong. Unable to get her patient to a hospital in a violent storm that has downed phone lines, Sibyl works frantically to save the laboring mother. After many unsuccessful cycles of CPR, Sibyl saves the baby with an emergency C-section. The criminal charges that follow are an attack not only on Sibyl, but on home birth midwifery. Bohjalian does an excellent job using medical and legal terminology while still describing the joys of "baby catching" and the miracle of birth.
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