No sleep for twenty hours. No food for ten. And a ward full of soon-to-be mothers... Welcome to the life of a midwife.
Life on the NHS front line, working within a system at breaking point, is more extreme than you could ever imagine. From the bloody to the beautiful, from moments of utter vulnerability to remarkable displays of strength, from camaraderie to raw desperation, from heart-wrenching grief to the pure, perfect joy of a new-born baby, midwife Leah Hazard has seen it all.
Through her eyes, we meet Eleanor, whose wife is a walking miracle of modern medicine, their baby a feat of reproductive science; Crystal, pregnant at just fifteen, the precarious, flickering life within her threatening to come far too soon; Star, birthing in a room heady with essential oils and love until an enemy intrudes and Pei Hsuan, who has carried her tale of exploitation and endurance thousands of miles to somehow find herself at the open door of Leah's ward.
Moving, compassionate and intensely candid, Hard Pushed is a love letter to new mothers and to Leah's fellow midwives - there for us at some of the most challenging, empowering and defining moments of our lives.
'The stories in Hard Pushed highlight the bravery of our midwives, and the women they care for.' CHRISTIE WATSON, author of The Language of Kindness
'Heart-rending, inspiring and funny, Hard Pushed brings alive the world of midwifery in all its complexity and radiates love and respect for women.' Professor Lesley Page CBE, former president of the ROYAL COLLEGE OF MIDWIVES
'It is Leah Hazard's capacity to love and give so personally to the many thousands of women she has worked with which imbues this book with its power.' JULIA SAMUEL, author of Grief Works