Nearly three years after immersing myself into a lifetime of old journals, and almost two years after tapping out the last line of the last chapter of the first draft of my first book… eighteen months into my plunge into blogging and Facebooking and Tweeting and wrestling over my book proposal, and twelve months past my search for an agent…
And Regnery Faith has honored me with a publishing contract!
My book, the story of my nine-year journey into homebirth midwifery, much of it taking place among the folks of two Old Order Amish communities, was one of bewildering extremes. It was exhilarating… excruciating… gorgeous… raw… profound… turbulent… painful… powerful… unspeakably challenging… poignant… stunning… bewitching…
It forced me to delve for strength I feared wasn’t there, to grapple to the snapping point with a stupefying aggregate of knowledge, to master a mystifying array of skills, to muster a courage beyond my imaginings, and to develop a heart of compassion I had no frame of reference for.
It drove me to my knees, insisting I re-examine my motivations, to remember and reflect upon the distant experience that had awakened me to my calling, and to reaffirm that it was, indeed, my calling.
Through it I learned that if I hope to fully enjoy the magnificent elements of life, I must stand prepared to embrace those that are dark and difficult as well.
It proved worth every long drive, worth every sleepless night, worth every ounce of sweat, worth every hot tear, worth every missed event, worth every groan and every desperate prayer, and oh so worth every breathtakingly holy moment.
Through the writing of it, I’ve come to realize my book is a perfect microcosm of the whole of my existence – forty-seven years’ worth of birth, of death, of comings and goings, of shadows and of brilliant light, of illumination and revelation and transformation.
I’m scarcely able to comprehend that this thing I’ve wrestled with for so long – labored with so long, if you will – is really and truly at the point of birth! I’m humbled to think it will soon join the volumes that line my shelves – the treasures that have spun and smoothed and shaped me into the woman I am today – humbled to think it may even move and mold others.
I’m excited for the opportunity to share this snippet of my life with you. My prayer is that it will touch you, entertain you, and, most of all, stretch and inspire you to plunge with abandon into your own amazing journey!
Permit me now to express my thanks to a few of those who’ve walked with me through these incredible years.
Thanks to Brent, my late husband, and to Hannah and Paul, our children, for both bearing with me and cheering me on as we lived the endeavor described within my book.
Thanks to the one hundred and twenty families who allowed me to learn through their experiences and to the many hundreds more who’ve allowed me to serve them since.
Thanks to the midwife who trained me, even while she desires to remain unnamed.
Thanks to my living husband, Steven, who’s provided an unflagging measure of encouragement and support through every single day I’ve sought to bring this tale to publication.
Thanks to Cindy Lambert of Somersault Group for the incredible investment of time and belief and resources she made in me – for teaching me and editing my work – for going to unbelievable lengths to connect me with an agent.
Thanks to Wes Yoder of Ambassador, my most stellar agent, for finding the idea of my work intriguing, for taking me under his wing, for providing invaluable feedback and direction, and for facilitating my connection with a publisher.
Thanks to Gary Terashita of Regnery Faith for seeing the germ of potential within my writings, and for being willing to take a chance on the cultivation of that germ in hopes of seeing it spring forth and thrive!
And boundless thanks to you, my faithful readers! You’re such an inestimably vital part of this process! If you didn’t read and read and continue to read my stories, no agent or publisher would have had any interest in working with me whatsoever. I’ve been so blessed by your interest and enthusiasm.
Speaking of reading, as my manuscript is due July 1st, I’ll be spending most of my time between now and then making revisions to it. This means I won’t be able to write many blog posts through the spring and early summer, though I do plan to write one more post about my trip to Haiti – MamaBaby is so worthy of description! But I’ve planned for the telling of more Mama Stories and Midwife Highlights through those months, so there will still be stories for you to enjoy.
Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author
Books by Kim: