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The Midwife's Here! The Enchanting True Story of One of Britain's Longest Serving Midwives
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The Midwife's Here! The Enchanting True Story of One of Britain's Longest Serving Midwives

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,687 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Delivering my first baby is a memory that will stay with me forever. Just feeling the warmth of a newborn head in your hands, that new life, there’s honestly nothing like it… I’ve since brought more than 2,200 babies into the world, and I still tingle with excitement every time.

It’s the summer of 1967and St Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Manchester is a place from a bygone a
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Harper Element
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,687 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Paula P
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh my oh my!!! Linda fairley was my midwife for my 2nd baby!! Looking forward to reading this book
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This is an episodic memoir, reminiscent in a way of James Herriot's vet books, which means you can put it down without losing the thread. Written about a period of change in the UK's National Health Service (and a lot of change and upheaval generally, such as the change to the decimal system), the emphasis is on her decision first to become a nurse and then to become specifically a midwife.Perhaps it's because she herself didn't like general nursing that I didn't enjoy that section as much. The ...more
Nicola Clough
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A really lovely read hearing how Linda trained from a nurse through to a midwife and all the hard times she would have. She nearly gave up training as a nurse but they gave her a placement at the maternity hospital and she then decided it's what she defiantly wanted to do. Strange to hear how the times change while she's working and training and how many babies she delivers. Well worth reading.
A lot of this book is about the years of study and apprenticeship that a nurse (and then midwife) went through in England in the late 1960s. Interesting, lots of anecdotes, so it doesn't get tedious. Nursing and midwifery were very, very different in those days. A pleasant read.
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
‘The ward has to be clean, neat and tidy at all times,’ the Welsh voice continued. ‘Patients are washed and have their beds changed every day. Bedding must be fitted exactly the same way each day, with enveloped corners on bottom sheets. Pillowcase ends facing away from the doors and perfectly folded counterpanes on top of blankets. You will receive precise instructions in bed-making procedures in due course.’

Funnily enough, conversations were hardly ever about babies. The new mothers c
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quite simply written, Linda's voice is very clear; I could almost hear the words being spoken, as if she were in another room and talking to me. This covers her first few years, from entering nursing school at age 18 in the 1960s to qualifying and serving as a midwife. It's most interesting to see how things have changed: when she first started there were three 10-hour nursing shifts, nurses washed patients and remade their beds every day, nurses wore starched caps, detachable cuffs and were sup ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I’ve always been fascinated by midwifery and after loving PBS’ Call the Midwife and seeking out Jennifer Worth’s first memoir of her own time as a midwife in London’s East End – this seemed like a perfect fit. I think this is an excellent example of the different between someone who is a good storyteller and a good writer. The author was Britain’s longest serving midwife and this memoir focuses heavily on her training and early experiences in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She has great stories ...more
Lisa Smith
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, especially with it being a midwife from where I live, and she worked in the hospital I was born in and my children were born in, great to hear how things were done back then!
Allie M Powell
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a well written story. I really enjoyed it. It was a bit slow, not incredibly exciting, but a nice level headed book. I loved how she intertwined her diary and facts into an interesting, readable, story.
The pictures at the end was a really nice touch!!
Krista Braaten
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and eye opening read

I never had a midwife for either of my kids births. I was so enthralled by Ms. Fairley's experiences. She found her calling. And it was so cool to watch it unfold. Definitely want to read her other book.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read, but I should have read the title more carefully. I somehow thought the book would be stories about delivering babies, but in reality the entire first half is the story of getting her education.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Very enjoyable early memoir of a British midwife.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read. Could have used a bit of editing to tighten things up a bit, but overall very well done.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
An enjoyable read for relaxing.
I don't know if I'd recommend to anyone else, but i enjoyed following Linda's journey
Karen Lavis
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this true story. In the late 60''s when everything seemed harder but fun too.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another amazing midwifery memoir! Occasionally needed some editing, but overall a really great story. Fairley's voice is compassionate and clear in this book. I think it makes a nice companion piece to "Call the Midwife" (the show; sadly the book is still on my to-read list), looking at birth in Britain in the early-mid 20th century.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. What a wonderful insight to becoming a nurse and then a midwife.
Whistlers Mom
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why is it that some people live such fascinating lives, but are unable to tell their stories in a way that draws the reader in? I read hundreds of memoirs every year and it's rare to find a truly outstanding one like this book. The author started her career as a nurse in the early 1960's, when nursing schools were still attached to teaching hospitals and the emphasis was on regimentation and strict obedience. Good training, since at that time nurses took temps and emptied bedpans and kept their ...more
Sam Still Reading
Jun 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who like nursing memoirs
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: bargain bin online
I am one of those people who always look in the bargain bins/reduced to clear items at the shops. Most of the time there’s nothing I want there, but sometimes you get a gem. Hence I often take a look at the sale/bargain section of book websites, and I’ve found some great books and new authors that way.

While I didn’t strike gold with The Midwife’s Here!, it did relieve some of my withdrawal symptoms from Call the Midwife. Linda Fairley is one of Britain’s longest serving midwives, and this is the
laura hely
I graduated from nursing school in 1970.. I went to work in the hospital where seven of my premature brothers and sisters were born. My youngest sister and I were my mother's only term bitths. She had hrt ladt nine babirs at St. M's, where my youngest brother , at three pounds, was born less than three years before I started working at the ripe age of twenty. My dream was to work every area of the fifth floor, which all arras of inpatient health care. With all of that experience, I hoped I would ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I guess it’s no surprise that, as a first time mum to be, this book caught my eye whilst I was perusing the shelves of WHSmith one lunch time. Usually I’m not one for ‘real life’ or autobiographical stories, but this one spiked my interest because the midwife concerned serves a local area close to where I live, and was schooled in the area I currently live.

The book is well written and easy to read (I read it in one afternoon) but I have to say it wasn’t quite what I expected. The story starts wi
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast and easy read

An enjoyable read detailing the education of a sheltered middle class girl as she learns first nursing, then midwifery. Interesting details of what the educational process was like back then.

A little insulting the way the women were treated - like sheep incapable of thought. Quite off-putting to read how often they were told "that's just the way it is", and absolutely horrifying the way Dr Franklin spoke to some women. Absolutely disgusting and appalling.

The first time she is
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This memoir of the UK midwife who has delivered the most babies is, as you can imagine, absolutely heart-warming. It's not beautifully written, but it's not bad, and it is a quick, easy, engaging read. Linda Fairley starts her long career in the early 1960's in Manchester, England, when students, nurses, sisters and matrons wore distinctive starched, sparkling white uniforms and aprons with different pins, stripes and strings to designate where they were in the hierarchy. Mothers seldom breastfe ...more
The Midwife's Here! chronicles the early years of Linda's career as a nurse and midwife. As an aspiring midwife I bought this for the midwifery element so was quite disappointed that this didn't actually start until halfway through the book. The first half, describing Linda's training at Manchester Royal Infirmary was interesting in places but quite protracted and I found myself willing her through her nursing degree just so I could get to the midwifery part of the book!

The second half of the bo
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pheww it took almost 3 years before I finished reading this book though I'd found it was a nice reading. I'm easily distracted hehe. I'd mostly enjoyed the second half of this book especially about the author and her inspirational mentor-Mrs. Tatersall. I'd (almost) shed my tears reading the last chapter about the baby Liam who was born at 26 weeks of gestation. And I was like 'WUUAAATT!' When she mentioned in the Epilogue that she and Graham had seperated a few years after their son was born in ...more
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
A charming, quick memoir that covers the training and early career of the NHS' longest serving midwife, who began delivering babies at the end of the 1960s. It's a bit choppy with quite a few late 60s/early 70s song titles and cultural tidbits likely inserted by her ghostwriter to place the story in its era; this wasn't at all necessary to carry the story along. Her voice still comes through, and she conveys the difficulty and self-doubt that young people overcome when finding their vocation in ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This wouldn't be a book for everyone, but I found it fascinating! There was a time in my pre-married life when I had graduated from dental hygiene school and was seriously considering going back to midwife school. It wasn't that I didn't like dental hygiene, I just found it was not as exciting as a career could be. Now with three kids and a husband, I am grateful for a career that is predictable and steady.

I am also consumed with the show "Call the Midwife"-so for me this book was a good read. I
Mar 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I liked this book which told the story of the longest working midwife at one hospital in the UK (or something close) but the author is not the storyteller that Jennifer Worth of the "Call the Midwife" series was. The books are different as this one goes through the early career of the author and while patients stories are included, it's not the main focus per se. I think I enjoyed the patient story focus better myself. I did enjoy the book but I liked the other series of books much more and may ...more
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book on my phone. Each part of the story was engaging, but I could also put it down when I needed to. It took me a while since I was reading other books at the same time.

I think I was most engaged by it because she is only three years younger than me, so many of her experiences in the sixties and seventies mirrored my own--the moon landing, the Beatles, etc.

It was interesting to me that the picture on the cover was used to advertise the new maternity hospital that she told
~ Sarah ~
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty much as soon as I began reading this book, I knew that I could enjoy mostly anything written by this author. Linda’s descriptions of people and scenarios are relatable and hilarious!

Although there are definitely sad and tragic stories here and there, this is certainly the most light-hearted book about midwifery that I’ve yet read. The joy of new lives being born are just translated to paper so well. Although I haven’t yet witnessed such an experience, I felt like I could really feel the j
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