Author(s): Linda Fairley
The second book from Sunday Times bestselling author Linda Fairley. 'No matter how many babies I deliver, each and every one is a miracle, connecting me to the world like nothing else, reminding me that we are all equal in the beginning, and in the end. It's a great leveller, childbirth.' It's January 1972 and times have changed since Linda first stepped onto a maternity ward four years earlier. Gone are the starched skirts and steaming milk kitchens of the 1960s; these are the exhilarating days of disposable equipment and new technology. The Pill will soon be free to all women, and more and more fathers are daring to brave the delivery room. At the newly-opened Ashton maternity unit the midwives' spirits are high, and, in spite of the dark cloud of laundry strikes on the horizon, there's the scent of a new era on the cold winter wind. But one thing has stayed the same - the babies keep coming. Year after year, Linda faithfully helps the women of Greater Manchester through their most vulnerable and emotional hours, whether it is by giving calm instructions over the phone to a panicking husband, delivering a baby unexpectedly in a hospital lift, or by dashing headlong to the rescue of a snowed-in mum-to-be. As 25-year-old Linda becomes a mother herself she understands, more than ever, what a precious gift it is to bring children into the world, and she holds each new baby just that little bit tighter. As the years roll by Linda finds herself delivering the babies of mothers and fathers she helped to bring into the world decades earlier - making her something of a local celebrity. Through the highs and lows, through the modernisations that transform the hospital and the world outside, Linda's passion for midwifery burns as bright as ever. With 42 years of experience Linda is one of Britain's longest-serving midwives, and reaching the retirement age in 2008 didn't stop her doing the job she loves. Although she has seen generations of women give birth and delivered more than 2,000 babies, she treats every new arrival like the new miracle it is.
Linda Fairley enrolled as a trainee nurse with Manchester Royal Infirmary at the age of 18. She went on to train as a midwife at St Mary's Infirmary, and later Tameside Hospital in Greater Manchester. She remained there for the next 40 years. Linda lives in Greater Manchester and has two children, Peter and Fiona. In 2010 she was nominated for the Cheshire Woman of the Year Award, held in aid of the NSPCC. She still works two days a week as a community midwife, continuing to serve the women of Tameside.