Recieving feedback via email, facebook and handwritten letters has been the best part of writing this book…and the blog post from the lovely Emma Lee Potter was more than a suprise! Mothers, student midwives, women, men, teenagers (one doing my book for GCSE!) midwives, doulas have taken time to get in touch and I have loved every single message. To date the book has sold more than 35,000 copies….which is incredible. But the messages are the best. Here are just a few….

December 21st 2011

Hi Sheena, I’ve just read your wonderful book. It was so inspiring to hear the rise of your career, your opinions on birth and midwifery, and the power of women in your family and career life. I’ve had four home water births and am absolutely passionate about women having the opportunity to birth naturally if possible. I’m writing a book about my experiences to help other women to birth naturally as well. I will definitely be quoting you! You are totally inspiring! I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas. 

January 28th 2012

Hi there, hope you dont mind friends request, just finished your book and wanted to tell you how wonderfully fantastic i think it is, its a true inspiration to me

February 8th 2012

Hello Sheena! 

 My name is xx and I’m Student Midwife wannabe! I have applied to study Midwifery from September this year and am currently in the middle of the ‘dreaded’ interview process. 

I’ve applied to 5 universities (all in London), got interviews for all 5 (which I am SO shocked but happy about) and so far, I have attended a Selection Day at xx, which was about two weeks ago.  I’ve been thinking about studying Midwifery for around two years now and have worked so hard to gain voluntary experience, work experience and to read and learn as much as I can about what I believe is a truly fascinating topic.

I thought of nothing else in the weeks approaching the interview and spent every spare second I had reading, studying and talking to as many people as I could about Midwifery (which was not easy as I’m also working full time at the moment!).  You can imagine how disappointed I was therefore, to have travelled all the way from Bristol to xxx and stayed overnight in a hotel, only to fail the numeracy test iless than an hour after arriving at City and then being sent home before even being allowed to talk to anyone. 

Although I did manage to achieve a B at GCSE, I’ve always struggled with Math’s and spent extra time studying (with the help of a Tutor!) to fully prepare for the numeracy tests that I knew I was going to have to undertake at my Midwifery interviews.  I think this failure was so devastating for me in the most part because it meant that I was not able to stay and attend the second half of the Selection Day, where I would have been given the opportunity to take part in a group discussion, speak to senior Lecturers about why I want to study Midwifery and explain the reasons why I felt I was a suitable candidate. 

I felt (and still do feel) very confused and am struggling to understand why so much importance is placed on numeracy skills, that if not exactly up to scratch (I did achieve 70%, but was 4 marks of the required benchmark) can be worked on and improved, when in my view, the most important thing to measure for Midwfery is interpersonal skills and commitment.  I got xxx in the Literacy test and actually already hold a First class degree in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Birmingham, but I was was denied the opportunity to prove to anyone at xxx how committed I am to Midwifery, because I did not meet their entrance requirements.

Anyway, please accept my aplogies for the rather lengthy rant, I didn’t mean to offload on you, but I wanted to give the reason for my message some context.  In the couple of weeks following my experience at xxx, my confidence was severely knocked and I was truly disappointed and disheartended. However, when I was feeling at my lowest, I began reading your wonderful book ‘Catching Babies’.

I can honestly say that reading your book, as well as finding it so beautifully honest, open and heartflet, really helped to lift the clouds for me and help me to regain the self confidence that I need in order to tackle my next interview with the same enthusiam that I did the first (my next one is 15th Feb). It reminded me why I want to do this and was an absolute joy to read.   So I suppose the purpose of my rather long-winded message is to say thank you. Thank you for writing that book and sharing your experience with others. It is truly brave to write a book that incorporates the level of self-disclosure that yours did, but I want you to know that I found the descriptions of your Midwifery journey utterly captivating and I can’t thank you enough for helping me to regain my self belief.

February 11th 2012

I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed your wonderful book! 
It has had me both laughing and crying on the train, but most of all it gave me confidence and comfort when I had my interview two days ago for Midwifery at xxx  (I was shaking with nerves). I took your experience of your interview with me. 
Mostly it is how you captured the role of being a midwife and the rewards and challenges it brings that really interests me. I am certain I was born to do the same as you. Although it is incedibly difficult to gain a place at university I wont give up! 
Sheena, you seem so kind and have really influenced my hope and dreams, Thank you

January 30th 2012

I have just this minute finished ur book catching babies – it was without doubt the best book i have read, i read constantly and this book really touched my heart, i have three children and one in heaven and the way u wrote was so exactly as i remembered and also i worked for a year at llandough hospital nr cardiff as a midwifery assistant and i could recognise all the changes you outlined in the 1990’s. i really do hope u are going to continue to write as i will be lookin out for further publications. ps sorry for the spellin but unfotunately text spellin is easier. with warmest thsnks for a lovely read yours


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