Kim Woodard Osterholzer weaves for us the story of her challenging, enchanting emergence into homebirth midwifery among the Amish in her newly-released and highly-acclaimed book, A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life. The book tells the tale of birth on many levels, as she came through her journey, not only a midwife, but more fully a wife and mother, more fully a woman—the woman God created her to be.
Below Kim answers a handful of questions she’s been asked about her life and tells us a bit more about the book. The book is available in all forms on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and in most Barnes & Noble stores—links below.
As many of you know, in the springtime of 2015, I completed the first draft of a book telling the tale of the nine incredible years I spent submersed in a homebirth midwifery apprenticeship.
The tale chronicles my struggle to master both the craft and idiosyncrasies of homebirth while tagging along after the woman who helped me birth my own babies at home. Through the pages of the book I usher my readers behind the doors of 123 homes, many of which are Amish, and there I recount the beauty and painstaking effort of my early years catching babies next to crackling woodstoves, by oil lamp and lantern light, in farmhouses powered by windmills and sporting outhouses. I found myself stretching and growing as I caught those babies—huge babies and tiny babies, breech babies and twin babies. Some births kept me from home for days on end, others I missed by heart-pounding seconds. Every last one of them enthralled me.
Too many times to count, I stumbled home feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, yet, feeling certain God had appointed midwifery as my calling, I drew upon the strength of my relationship with Him and strained against my misgivings, self-doubts, and seemingly insurmountable challenges while those intimate moments changed me.
Time after time after time, I rocked back upon my 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 my 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 and births became sacred spaces awash with unspeakable love and joy and gratitude.
I persevered was transformed as I unearthed the foundation and cornerstone of true midwifery—how to use my heart as well as my hands to serve, and to serve in the simplest of womanly ways—stroking, smoothing, wiping, tidying, nourishing, comforting, hearing, soothing, validating, and witnessing.
Slowly, steadily, I learned to play my part as midwife among a tight-knit community of Amish families, unflagging in my passion to welcome new lives earth-side effectively and in gentleness.
And at last, tried and tested, I took up the full measure of my calling and my place.
I 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 me:
“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, I’m sure there are those who’d ask, “Kim, who are you to write such a book?”
I’m aware the world is home to a great many amazing midwives—midwives with more knowledge, with more skill, and with more experience than me.
Still, though I’m “far from perfect,” I have a story to share and I share it “from a humble place, where the scars of (my) failings still show.”
I also consider my story a tribute to those great many amazing midwives I share this inimitable calling with.
With thanks to my agent, Wes Yoder of Ambassador Literary Agency, and the amazing editorial and marketing team at Salem Books, A Midwife in Amish Country, Celebrating God’s Gift of Life was released April 30, 2018!
If you’ve read and enjoyed A Midwife in Amish Country already, would you consider writing a review of it on Amazon and Goodreads? We’re hoping I’ll be offered a second book contract, and the volume of sales and positive reviews are the two primary things my publisher will use to decide whether or no to offer me one!
How to write a review of the book on Amazon: 1. Find the book on Amazon. 2. Click on the words, “customer reviews” to the right of the stars. 3. Click on the words, “write a customer review.” 4. Click on the number of stars you want to give the book. 5. Write up your review and click “submit” beneath the box you wrote the review in.
How to write up a review of the book on Goodreads: 1. Find the book on Goodreads. 2. Click on the words, “rate this book” beneath the picture of the book. 3. Click on the number of stars you want to give the book. 4. A little box that says, “write a review” will pop up over the stars. Click on the box. 5. Write up your review and click “save” beneath the box you wrote the review in.
A Midwife in Amish Country is endorsed by
Stasi Eldredge, NYT best-selling author of Captivating
Dr. Sara Wickham, author, midwifery lecturer and consultant, www.sarawickham.com
Jolina Petersheim, bestselling author of The Midwife
Leslie Gould, #1 best-selling and Christy-award winning author of over twenty books, including The Amish Midwife
Rahima Baldwin Dancy, author of Special Delivery, childbirth activist, and midwife (retired)
Marie Monville, author of One Light Still Shines
Cindy Lambert, coauthor of One Light Still Shines
Elizabeth Davis, CPM, Co-Director of National Midwifery Institute, Inc., elizabethdavis.com, author of Heart & Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth and the international bestseller, Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying, and Pleasurable Birth Experience
Serena B. Miller, award-winning author of More Than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting, serenabmiller.com
Eleanor Bertin, Lifelines and Pall of Silence
Sara Daigle, author of Women of Purpose and Dare to Love Your Husband Well
Beth Learn, founder of Fit2b.com
Other books by Kim: