As many of you know, in the spring of 2015, Kim completed the first draft of a memoir telling the tale of the nine incredible years she spent submersed in a homebirth midwifery apprenticeship.
Kim’s story chronicles her struggle to master both the craft and idiosyncrasies of homebirth while tagging along after the woman who helped her birth her own babies at home. Through the pages of her book, Kim ushers readers behind the doors of 123 homes, many of them Amish, and recounts the beauty and painstaking effort of her early years spent catching babies next to crackling woodstoves, by oil lamp and lantern light, and in farmhouses powered by windmills for running water and sporting outhouses for the unmentionables. She found herself stretching and growing as she caught huge babies and tiny babies, breech babies and twin babies. Some births kept her from home for days on end, others she missed by heart-pounding seconds, yet every one of them enthralled her.
Too many times to count, Kim stumbled home feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, yet she strained against her misgivings, self-doubts, and seemingly insurmountable challenges, and those intimate moments transformed her as time after time she rocked back upon her heels to soak in the spellbinding magic of hearty cries filling the air – the cries of brand-new lives with newly expanding lungs, of hardy men with overflowing hearts, of life-bearing women with the reward of their labors filling their arms – a harmony of cries that mingled with Kim’s own and that, together, rose heavenward from rumpled beds speckled and splattered with the sweat, tears, and blood of those births. The very beds of those conceptions became sacred spaces awash with love and joy and gratitude.
She persevered, and her experiences became profoundly empowering as she unearthed the foundation and cornerstone of true midwifery – how to use her heart as well as her hands to serve, and to serve in the simplest of womanly ways – stroking, smoothing, wiping, tidying, nourishing, comforting, hearing, encouraging, validating, and witnessing.
Slowly, steadily, Kim learned to play her part as midwife among the enchanting community of Amish women, unflagging in her passion to welcome new lives earth-side effectively and gently until, at last, tried and tested, Kim took her rightful place among them.
Kim recently read a book about leadership called Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, a set of Navy Seal officers. They opened with the following statement that resonated deeply with her:
“Who are we to write such a book? It may seem that anyone who believes they can write a book on leadership must think themselves the epitome of what every leader should aspire to be, but we are far from perfect. We continue to learn and grow as leaders every day, just as any leaders who are truly honest with themselves must. We were simply fortunate enough to experience an array of leadership challenges that taught us valuable lessons. This book is our best effort to pass those lessons on, not from a pedestal or a position of superiority, but from a humble place, where the scars of our failings still show.”
Likewise, surely there are those who would ask, who is Kim to write such a book?
Kim understands this. Kim is aware this world is home to a great many amazing midwives – midwives with more knowledge, with more skill, with more experience, and with better records than her own.
Still, though she is “far from perfect,” Kim has a story to share, and she shares it “from a humble place, where the scars of (her) failings still show.”
She also considers her story a tribute to those great many amazing midwives she shares her inimitable calling with.
Kim is excited to announce that her memoir will soon come to publication! Her agent, Wes Yoder of Ambassador Literary Agency, has helped her to secure a contract with Regnery Faith, an imprint of Regnery Publishing.
Publication date 30 April 2018 under the title, A Midwife in Amish Country, Celebrating God’s Gift of Life!