Few places are as filled with the collapsing of fantasies as the hospital delivery room. I knew that becoming a midwife would mean watching such moments again and again and again. I hadn't suspected that many of those collapses would be my own. But it turns out that the reality of bringing a child into this world, though harder, is so much better than my imagination could ever conjure. When I began my training, I embraced all that modern medicine had to offer. The hype surrounding natural birth seemed disproportionate to the task at hand: ensuring the safe delivery of a newborn. Especially in rthern Israel, the variety of beliefs and cultural attitudes seemed best left outside the delivery room. Yet with time and experience, I grew to marvel at our natural capabilities, putting me at odds with my fellow trainees. Everything that happens in this country also happens in the microcosm of the delivery room. Husbands decide about epidurals, about tying tubes-I have seen men refuse to allow it, even when ather pregnancy could endanger the mother's life-about who is present during labor, and what details are broadcast to family and friends. I have been a companion to women through extraordinary fear and bravery, through loss-thing is as strange as the quiet birth of a baby that died in the womb-through signs of abuse, through miscarriages and abortions. I have become their closest friend in a matter of minutes, as we instinctively forged the necessary bonds to allow complete trust between us. I have fought with doctors but also stood by silently even when I disagreed, much to my regret and education. Push NOW! is my memoir of becoming a midwife. It is a travelogue that traverses the rocky landscape of confronting my own nsense and misconceptions, of having my beliefs tested, and building the strength to stand by what I kw to be true even when it meant contradicting those in power. It is a pilgrimage to the land of letting-things-be, where the magic of birth may occur without intrusion. It is an anthropological study of the birth in rthern Israel, where Jews, Muslims, Druze, and other cultures shed their intolerance in moments of pure wonder. Above all, this memoir is a chronicle of witnessing the most powerful moment in a woman's life, learning to appreciate what we are made of, and allowing myself to be changed by the experience.