LOVIE: THE STORY OF A SOUTHERN MIDWIFE: From 1950 until 2001, Lovie Beard Shelton practiced midwifery in eastern North Carolina homes, delivering some 4,000 babies to black, white, Mennonite, and hippie women; to those too poor to afford a hospital birth; and to a few rich enough to have any kind of delivery they pleased. Her life, which was about giving life, was conspicuously marked by loss, including the untimely death of her husband and the murder of her son.
Lovie is a provocative chronicle of Shelton's life and work, which spanned enormous changes in midwifery and in the ways women give birth. In this artful exploration of documentary fieldwork, Lisa Yarger confronts the choices involved in producing an authentic portrait of a woman who is at once loner and self-styled folk hero. Fully embracing the difficulties of telling a true story, Yarger is able to get at the story of telling the story. As Lovie describes her calling, we meet a woman who sees herself working in partnership with God and who must wrestle with the question of what happens when a woman who has devoted her life to service, to doing God's work, ages out of usefulness. When I'm no longer a midwife, who am I? Facing retirement and a host of health issues, Lovie attempts to fit together the jagged pieces of her life as she prepares for one final home birth.
AN ANCIENT MAP FOR MODERN BIRTH:
The integrative model of childbirth described in this book will provide women with the information needed to prepare for birth, how to think and feel about labor, and how to tell their story. During their childbearing year, women traverse two paths at once: an inner path of psychological and spiritual awareness and an outer path of practical approaches to birth in modern-day culture. The book combines scientific research with meditation, ceremony, art, and mythic stories, which not only prepares childbearing women to go beyond their edge into uncharted territory but to find their way home again. The underlying message throughout is not to strive for a perfect birth but to be mindful of the mythic journey, of all the mothers who have come before an awareness that leads not only to the birth of a child but to the birth of a new self."