Zion’s Hope: Pioneer Midwives and Women Doctors of Utah

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Last Mother’s Day I told my husband he didn’t have to get me anything because I had already picked up a copy of this book.  I immediately started devouring it.  I knew I was going to like it when I read these words from the introduction, “The tradition of service by our foremothers whispers to all of us and urges us on . . . to give our time, knowledge, and skills, to rise at the eleventh hour to answer a cry for help, to keep the faith for a brighter Zion.”  I had the opportunity to connect with the author of this new book, Honey M. Newton, who is also a Certified Nurse Midwife.  I asked her to tell me about the journey of putting this book together.  I’m so glad I get to share her words with you here.  -Robyn

 

I initially never thought I would write a book. When I had long nights at the U of U and all was quiet – I would read old journals my husband dug out of the Church History archives (he was working on his PhD). I accidentally came across a few midwives. What I read was INCREDIBLE. I was amazed to discover that despite the gap of a few centuries, I had sisters. Women so much like me (and you) in desires, talents, trials, view of our sacred privilege in bearing new life, etc. I had often felt alone in my understanding of this miraculous experience. The glory of creating, the passion of it all. So often we simply went through the motions – so to speak – and forgot what we were really a part of. These journals helped refocus me (as did your book). I would randomly share my new historic “friends” with other providers, nurses – anyone who wanted to listen. They kept saying – “Oh Honey, just write a book already.”  I finally took their advice and spent time in the basement of the DUP museum, the Church archives, etc. I was surprised at how many there were. Humble women who gave everything – who never would want to have the attention I was giving them. They were the best examples of Christ, and I wanted them to be an example for me and for others.

I initially submitted my manuscript and never, ever thought it would be published – but here we are.

As for my own journey – I caught my first baby by accident, and it felt so natural. Like I was remembering something I had always known. This was kind of like my journey of investigation and membership in the Church – so familiar and comfortable, like breathing. I have looked into the eyes of laboring women and seen the most profound courage and unconditional love. I never tire of the miracle of helping little ones cross the veil – and oh how thin this veil is at the beginning and ending of life.  Your book so eloquently captured these emotions and experiences, better than I can even recreate. I feel that the spiritual experiences I have had as a midwife are so many I would be hard pressed to pick just one. But, I think an excellent examples would be when I have seen a Priesthood blessing suddenly change a baby’s malposition, or witnessed a mother state that she sees her deceased Grandma present during a difficult labor. Too many to count. If only we could truly understand and appreciate our roles as mothers and midwives. Thank you again for inspiring women everywhere.

 

Honey M. Newton MSN, CNM, was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado.  She enjoys chasing her seven children, gardening, keeping bees, racing triathlons and enjoying the outdoors with her husband Sam.  She is a certified nurse midwife practicing at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She is inspired by the miracle of new life and those who work hard to make a difference in the world.

You can buy her book from Amazon, Barnes & NobleDeseret Book, at Seagull Book and other LDS book stores.

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