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Excerpt: "More than a thousand babies"

    "Mama always said that most of being a good midwife was in knowing the family history.  Not just the birthing story of any given woman - although that was a good thing to keep in mind - but the whole history.  The Teller family, for instance, runs to twins, though this may skip a generation or two, like it did for Shirley Teller Meroe, who had twins after her mother and grandmother going without.  Her twin girls went on to have twins of their own.
    "Mama called this 'the history of the body,' as there were a lot of folks, family and otherwise, who had gone before this person, and remembering those people was nearly as important to a midwife as anything we might do with our hands.  Mama knew I would understand, seeing as how I was to be a midwife, too.  I come from a long line of midwives, from my Great-granny Denniker to Granny Whitely to Mama to me.  This is our own story - a history intertwined with more than a thousand babies we've brought into these hills of West Virginia."

Source: Gretchen Moran Laskas, The Midwife's Tale (2003).