This summer, I was invited by Sarah Beeson MBE and her daughter Amy, co-authors of parenting book Happy Baby Happy Family, to be part of their latest book launch for their third book, Our Country Nurse. This book is the second in a two-part series based on Sarah’s journey to becoming one of the youngest health visitors in the UK.
I first met Amy and Sarah in person at the launch of part one of Sarah’s memoirs, The New Arrival, in 2014, having connected beforehand on social media and it’s been lovely to follow their journey as they have published a book a year since then. As I had been planning to read the latest book anyway, I was excited to be involved in its launch and to read it pre-publication in order to get the creative juices flowing!
I enjoyed ‘meeting’ the various characters in the book – some of whom I liked a lot less than others… and learning more about the challenges and successes of Sarah’s early career. There are some lovely touching moments and some storylines I was very keen to see resolved as I felt real concern for the characters. There is also a bit of light relief! I could have written poems about many of the characters but chose two who jumped out at me the most… Dr. Botton, who… Well, let’s just say I ‘liked less’ than his colleague, the lovely Dr. Drake… and one of the mums Sarah helped, Jackie Bowyer.
Here’s a sample from my poem about Dr. Botton; ‘I’m the man’:
No, just give the baby some morphine, that will shut him up
Now excuse me for a second, I need to refill my cup
It’s been at least an hour since I last had a drink
And I need to get back to the golf course… What? No, I don’t care what you think…
The poem I wrote about Jackie though, I want to share in its entirety because, although it’s not representative of her character, this part of her journey really struck me and the resulting poem speaks to something that touches many of us, however lightly, at some point in out lives.
If you prefer to read and digest in your own time there’s a full text version you can read over on medium.
To find out if Dr. Botton really is so awful (he is), and to get a fuller picture of Jackie Bowyer’s story, you’ll need to read Our Country Nurse, which was released last week.
If you’ve been touched by postnatal depression yourself or know someone who has, the Pandas Foundation may be able to help. Pandas is launching the first Pre & Post Natal Depression Awareness Week (#PNDAW16) in the UK from 5th – 11th September.