The heartwarming memoir of Britain's best-known independent midwife - the story of how she joined the profession and what it means to her, and the indelible memories of the many births she has attended.
Virginia Howes was a mother of four doing the ironing when she had a revelation. Still broody, but not really wanting to add to her family, she realised that becoming a midwife was her true vocation.
It was a long journey to get the education and qualifications she needed, especially while she was caring for a young family, but she was determined and never doubted her decision. Following her training, she spent three years working within the NHS, but her naturally independent spirit fought against the constraints of the system and she decided to set up on her own. Virginia works with mothers who want to give birth at home naturally, something in which Virginia believes passionately. Over 350 births later, Virginia still loves what she does.
THE BABY'S COMING is Virginia's memoir and tells the stories of her training as a midwife as well as some of the most memorable of those 350 births she has attended: the most dramatic, and the most touching. Virginia particularly remembers the births of her own grandchildren, whose arrivals in the world were some of the most special moments for her as both a midwife and grandmother.
Virginia Howes was born and lives in Kent. Following the births of her four children, she decided to train to become a midwife.
Having completed her training and spent a number of years working in hospitals, she left the NHS and became an independent midwife in 2000, setting up the Kent Midwifery Practice with her friend Kay in 2003. She is on the board of Independent Midwives UK and is a vocal campaigner for them. She believes passionately in the right for all women to choose a birth that is treated as a normal physiological part of life, rather than a medical emergency.
She shares her time between Ashford in Kent, where she lives with her partner Sean and youngest daughter, and the family home in Turkey. All four of her own children are now grown-up and she is grandmother to four boys and a girl, all of whom she has delivered herself at home.