Blessing becomes her grandmother's apprentice midwife in Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, becoming part of a long and proud historical tradition in her family, and in the human family.
The word "midwife," is from Old English midwif, meaning "with woman", which frames the idea of midwifery - to be with a woman during the birthing process - along side her, rather than doing something to her, or delivering her baby for her. Women have traditionally been midwives in virtually all human cultures, even those which frown on women being independent or having power of their own. It is only in the last few centuries, with the medicalization of childbirth, that men have given them any competition.
Here is a collection of novels and memoirs featuring midwives and midwifery.