This true story tells of PalmerstonNorth woman Julie Watson's struggle to triumph over adversity and follows herjourney to fulfill her dream and become the midwife she was born to be. A nurseaide position in the local maternity annexe as a teenager gave Watson a lovefor being with women during labour and birth and caring for mothers and theirbabies.
At the age of 17 she married then, at20, tragedy stuck when her baby died within an hour of birth. The story thenturns to her battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. She went on to havetwo more children, both born with albinism. Watson is determined, however, andin 1991, at the age of 37, she was accepted into nursing school.
Born For Life is more than just a personal storyhowever. It is a historical journey through the development of antenatal andpostnatal care in New Zealand. As a mother of two babies, it was fascinating toread about how it used to be done in the day - from the use of sugar and wateras a formula to a mother's first toilet trip post birth. It was alsoheartbreaking to read about those times when birth doesn't go to plan. Watson'sown experience with a baby's death made me grateful that New Zealand's attitudeto maternal care has changed significantly.
Watson writes succinctly and withoutfanfare that makes you feel as though she is talking to you one on one. Herrecounts of births she has attended are very matter of fact, to the point whereI would recommend women who haven't given birth yet but want children steerclear of the book until their bundles arrive. However, for mums or thoseinterested in a career in nursing or maternity, it is a fascinating read.