The veteran midwife talks to Michelle Langstone about the increasing challenges of her profession – and the priceless moments that remind her why it matters.
Portraits by Edith Amituanai.
When Anna Saunders gave birth to her baby boy in a cottage on family land at Wainamu, Bethells Beach, her husband’s family drove all their 4WDs onto the sand dunes beside the lake and formed a circle so it would be easy for a helicopter to know where to land if there was an emergency. Saunders, a midwife of 30 years, just absolutely twinkles when she tells me this, and erupts into a delighted laugh. “They were all still up at 10 at night, waiting for the news! Nobody had been born at Wainamu at that stage, and they were a bit uncomfortable.” She gave birth to both her children on the West Coast property; her husband Jim Wheeler burst