Please welcome Patsy Harman, author of The Midwife of Hope River, who took the time to answer our interview questions!
And don’t forget to check out our review here.
Would you say some of Patience’s life and experiences reflect some of your own life’s experiences?
Patsy: Oh, yes, for sure. In the 1970s and 1980s I lived rurally in a log house, without electricity or running water, much like Patience. I did home births. I wasn’t very experienced when I started and learned as I went along. I was very involved in the anti-Vietnam war movement so knew what it was like to be a radical, an outsider devoted to a cause.
What drew you to midwifery to begin with?
Patsy: Well, now…for the complete answer you will have to read my second book, Arms Wide Open: A Midwife’s Journey!! For a short answer: I began having babies about the time women were rebelling against being knocked out, tied down, treated like children and delivered by forceps. Lamaze and Bradley methods of childbirth were just starting and I got involved teaching childbirth classes. Soon I was asked to be a labor coach and soon after that I began delivering babies on my own. This was before I had an apprenticeship, before I was an RN or a CNM. That’s the question I asked my self in Arms Wide Open. “Where did I get the balls? (or ovaries)
Do you think you will re-visit Hope River later on? (Please)
Patsy: Yes, I am already working on a second book in a trilogy about the people of the Hope River. Like many readers, I fell in love with them and didn’t want to let them go.
Patsy: I would advise training as a doula to get experience helping at births and then decide if you are ready to make the commitment. After that, I would talk to you about what kind of education and certification you would want. (I eventually decided to become a nurse-midwife because I wanted to help both the low risk and higher risk mother.)
What is the most important thing you have learned as a midwife?
Patsy: Boy, you really know how to ask hard questions! Pay attention. Take action when you think you need to. Trust the process, but don’t always sit on your hands.
What is your idea of relaxing? How do you spend your free time?
Patsy: Gosh, friends. I don’t really have much free time. When I’m not working, I’m writing, but that’s fun, that’s kind of relaxing. I do love being outside in nature. I love lying on the earth.
What are your three all-time favorite books?
Patsy: Oh, this is too hard. I can’t answer “for all time”. What comes to mind are books like…The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot and Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls. I have read all three more than once. That’s the way I would like The Midwife of Hope River to be for some people…a book they read more than once.