The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox

News and views from the staff of FamilyEducation.



gail's picture gail

  I, too, noticed medical progress with birth.  My mother had been unconscious for the births of each of her five children.  My husband was unable to attend the birth of our first child, so my mother and I shared our very first experience of witnessing a human birth.   It was in a very small community hospital, with people attending that I knew from town, whose homes I had been in as I grew up.  A tender and intimate experience, recovery  interrupted by relatives and mentors, in a room I shared with a highschool classmate.

  My second child was born in a larger town, larger hospital, the only person present that I knew was my husband.  My doctor happened to be out of town, so a complete stranger supervised the birth.  Recovery in a 4 bed ward, with a Mrs. Greyeyes, and a Mrs. Brown whose self-employed husband had no insurance, so she left before supper.   And more interruptions.    

  My last child, number 6.  Behind the bed and the soft flowered curtains, out of my sight, all the medical miracle support technology, ready just in case.  The doctor, the one who attended number two years before, now a familiar and admired colleague in this process, nurse, husband, and teen-age daughters one, two, three, all there to watch the squirmy slippery ultimate baby slide from heaven into friend doctor's hands for an acrobatic routine that freed her from the yin-yang life-giving strangling cord. 

  We put a sign on the hospital room (blessed private room) door.  "No visitors, please.   Come visit us at home next week."  30 hours of Jenna and me, enhanced not interrupted by family, and lovely food for my ravenous hunger, and a never-used button to call the nurse.   

  That, my dear friends, is progress.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

6 kids!  I can well imagine that each birth experience was unique.  Yes, progress has been made, fortunately--I know my mother was all-but unconscious for her first birth as well.