Modern Midwife Mysteries

I fell in love with reading at a young age. Then, when I became a nurse-midwife, that desire grew to include writing, as well. I edited textbooks and wrote journal articles on midwifery, but my real ambition was to write a mystery. At the same time, I came to take exception to the frequently inaccurate depictions of midwives in fiction.  This is how a mystery featuring a modern nurse-midwife became my goal.

            I was signed by a phenomenal agent, Dawn Dowdle, of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency and I am thrilled to announce that my modern midwife mystery series will be published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. It’s a mystery, but it also shows how modern midwives practice in the setting of realistic obstetric vignettes. 

Emotional Care after Miscarriage

Even in 2019, the sadness and loss surrounding miscarriage is often not completely addressed.  Miscarriages occur in 20% of all pregnancies.   Often early losses are due to chromosomal abnormalities. 

The first thing I always make sure patients know is that nothing they did caused the loss.  I have seen so many women blame themselves, if they hadn’t traveled, gone to gym class, had intercourse, rode a bike, etc.

Often family and friends say well intentioned but hurtful messages such as, “Don’t worry, you’re young,” “It’s good it was so early,” “You got pregnant so quickly, you will again,” “You’ll forget this once you have a baby,” “ Enjoy the children you have.” 

A women needs to know that no matter the weeks of gestation, this was her pregnancy and her loss.  Grief is a normal process and every woman proceeds on her own timetable.  Often a simple acknowledgment such as “I’m so sorry for your loss,” lets the woman know that you are thinking of her and available to talk. Counseling services should also be offered as needed.

Two to three weeks after the miscarriage, it is often very helpful to make an appointment with an OB Provider for a physical exam, review of events, plans for further testing if indicated and possibly an early ultrasound in a future pregnancy to decrease anxiety. 

Miscarriage needs to be recognized as a truly significant event in a woman’s life. Care, during and after a miscarriage needs to include a focus on the emotional health of the woman.

Advanced Maternal Age & The Blame Game

The other day I saw a lovely, brilliant young woman who was eight weeks pregnant, but now was having her second miscarriage only a few months after the first one.  “I waited too long,” she told me, sobbing inconsolably. “I put my career before children. This is my fault.”

This woman was 36 years old.

There has been so much written regarding infertility in “older” women.  Any pregnant woman 35 or older is labeled as ‘advanced maternal age.”  But while it is true that fertility drops in late 30’s it does not mean that the situation is hopeless.

Today there are so many avenues to parenthood.

Women need to hear that pregnancy loss or the inability to achieve pregnancy are not reasons for self-blame.  It is difficult enough to decide that the time is right to have children and then be unable to do so.

As I told my patient, the important first step is to make a plan. Any woman having issues getting pregnant in her late 30’s or suffering pregnancy loss should seek the care of an OB provider and possibly a reproductive endocrinologist.  Many options can be explored, from assisted reproduction to adoption. Women and their partners need to learn the facts and decide the correct avenues for them.

Most importantly, the message needs to be clear that they are not to blame for waiting to have children.