Natalie Wyler is a thirty year veteran nurse and midwife. Early in her career, she was moved to tell the story of life in an inner city public hospital, in a maternity service in which doctors and nurses were in training to deliver complex obstetrical care. Due to their poverty and immigrant status, many of their patients had very limited options for their childbearing experience. This population provided difficult moments for their caregivers, as they experienced complicated health and pregnancy problems that tested the team’s knowledge and skills at every turn. In her journal, she speaks to moments of joy, the intense rewards of participating in the arrival of new life. She reveals her personal and professional struggles in dealing with difficult personalities and conflicting approaches to ethical controversies. Despite the challenging circumstances, the author manages to preserve her vision of the heart of such work, caring for woman struggling to cope in one of life’s most intense moments.
"This is not my story alone. I was privileged to practice in an environment with a most colorful panoply of characters--physicians, nurses, patients and their families. There were endless opportunities to derive personal and professional growth, and challenges that could and did fell those unable to tolerate the taxing conditions. It's my eye on these events, and I only hope I have adequately captured the intensity, the demands, and yes, the incredible rewards of this work."