When I was invited to Southlands High School in Chorley to talk about my book Catching Babies, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The email inviting me specified that the health and social care students in year 10 would ask me questions in relation to my career as a midwife. This was quite a different process to what I am used to; I usually give a short talk about my career and my book, and the questions follow. But this group of 40 14 years olds hadn’t read my book, but were as their teacher later told me ‘interested in healthcare professions’.
So I arrived at the school at 8.30 ready for the 9 o’clock bell and first session of the morning. I was warmly welcomed by one of the subject teachers, Jill. Jill explained that the students had prepared questions for me, and she thought the questions were bob on.
As I watched the girls (no boys in this group!) slope in, in couldn’t help propelling their teachers into the realms of the most esteemed group of professional workers; coping with this adolescent group on a daily basis. Respect.
But I was impressed with their questions. ‘What do you think about home birth?’ was the first enquiry. ‘What was your scariest moment?’ ‘When I watch “One Born Every Minute” women say they can’t go on, what do you do in those situations?’
So. I was able to talk to these impressionable young women about birth. Birth as a right of passage, birth as a normal physiological process- a social occurrence not a medical procedure. I realised that this was a wonderful opportunity, and I was in a very privileged position.
I wonder what they thought?