our first son, tom, jr was the old school of having a baby in the hospital: dads stay in the waiting room, having a cigarette and reading mags, tilll his wife comes over the intercom, like mine did,"Tom, you have a son. Ultra sound was not invented yet. Then we had a bad experience with the birth of our second son, Aaron, which info I didn't find out till much later. I was allowed in the delivery room, sitting at Sharon head and looking at a convex mirror positioned to where the view of the baby being born could be seen. The type of mirror you see on a car:"objects in mirror appear closer than they really are". Dr. Peterson was the doc to "catch the baby". First he made a large cut so the baby would come out faster, and easier for him. Aaron;s head would start to crown, then he would slip back in as if to say,"I am not ready for the world!" During this time, Person's daughter came over the delivery room intercom, "I'm going to Mc Donald;s, do you want anything?" Here I am, thinking this is a sacred event, and he's ordering a cheesburger, fries, and a shake; evil s.o.b. and that is not "swell ol' buddy!" Then he started screaming at my wife, "Give me that damn baby, already!" His exact words. Probably had to get to a golf game. Finially, he took a pair of head forceps to pull Aaron out. Like he did with Tom. Both of them had a reddish "V" mark on their heads for quite sometime, made by the ends of the forceps. Finially Aaron was born @ 1:11 in the afternoon. He was quickly dried off, burning silver nitrate put in his eyes(in case my wife had a sexually transmitted disease(bastard). He was shown to his mom, wraped in a blanket and a little hat on his head to keep him warm, and then put in an incubator, which is just a clear view oven. But the biggest thing I learned later, was what the labor room nurse said to my wife(I was not in there all the time-like when they would check to see how far(dialaterd) she was. I suppose that was to much of a dirty scene for the husband to be around! But my wife told her, "Be sure to give me the baby right away as I plan to nurse him." They claimed Aaron was a premie and wa coming two months early(wrong!). The labor nurse gave a huff and said "No, you will be lucky if the baby lives"what a jerk! What a thing to say to a women in labor. Aaron was not a 2 month premie. He came into this world just exactly when the Lord felt it was his time and he weighed five and a half pounds. Not real heavy, but certaintly not a 2 lb. premie. The next day, we went home. Both of them were born in PA.
I was a student at Palmer College of Chiropactic when we were expecting Abram. I seen a notice on one of the bullitin boards offering home birth classes. The first one was free and the midwive/student explained the pros and cons of home vs hospital births. I got home and mentioned the clases to Sharon. Her first reaction was, "No way!" I convinced her we should at least go and hear what the instructor had to say and she agreed that we should go. After the class, she was , "sold," on the idea of a home birth. As was I. Sold, because of our terrible hopital esperiences with Aaron. So we went to the other 10 or so classes and also learned the lamaze breathing technics to have a baby without resorting to pain killing blocks, like a spinal or "saddle block," where the mom feels nothing from the waist down. I think she had one with Aaron and when they told her to "push," she said how? "I can't feel anything to know I am pushing or not pushing. We had another student couple attend the classes and Lynette was Sharon's Labor coach. Her husband Jim thought he would witness the birth but Sharon felt uncomfortable about him being present.
We had a small room at the top of the steps in our house. I painted it an it turned out to be cantalope in color. There was a small be(smaler thana twin) so I could easity be on either side to deliver or "catch" the baby being born. Still didn't know if it was going to be a girl or a boy.
We prepared by lining the bed with newspaper, which had an antiseptic nature in the ink. Then a sheet on top. the only other "equipment was a pair of white shou laces in alcohol to keep them sterile, my stethoscope, and a large plastic bowl which was to be used when mom delivered the "afterbirth," following the baby delivery. The afterbirth looked like liver(sorry, if I am grossing you out) and was round and made up of section, put together like a puzzle. It was important to examine it so all the "pieces" were delivered. If a section wa still in the womb, it would become infecteded, which would be dangerous to the mother's health.The "afterbirth "was connected to the baby by the umbilical cord and this was how the preborn child got it's nurishment. There is no rush (as opposed to the hospital births) to tie the cord tightly with two pieces of shoe string(they us cord clamps otherwise) since a series of tests at intervals was performed on the newborn. As long as he/she was connected, they still had a life line, so to speak. Tesst were things like reflexes, heart rate,(which gradually slowed down from around 150 beats in the womb) skin color changes,(baby should start turning a warm pink color) etc.Then I used sterile scissors and cut the cord-the part left on the baby would eventually dry up, fall off and a bellly button was left!. Most babies have the cord wrapped around their neck: Abram was no exception-just slip it over the head. As soon as the baby was born, he was covered with a soft blanket and put at mom's breast as their "sucking" helpes the womb tocontract and expel the afterbirth. The baby also is cover with a cream like substance (vernix casanovix). Hospitals usually wipe this off right away, wrong! One, it protects the baby's skin in the womb-ever see what your hands look like if in water to much? Then when he is out into the world, this lotion like substance should be graduallly and gentle rubbed into the skin-it is vitamin enriched and helps prevent skin disease, later in life. neat. the mom does not produce milk right away, but colustrum-which is also full of vitamins and natural antibodies. If you don't want to nurse at least try for a few days so the child gets the colostrum(probably spelling all this wrong!). then everything is cleaned up and mom and baby have time to love and bond with each other.
My big job was to keep the baby from coming to soon and tear mom. Two other pieces of "equipment: an ear syringe to remove mucus from thr newborn's mouth and nose and the best book on child birth is a little paperback, spiral bound booklet, about a quarter ofan inch thick. It is standard in al police cars, etc. and is called, "emergency chuldbirth." which uses the KISS formula-keep it simple, sweetie." A few weeks later, I went to the county courthouse, and paid two dollars to register the birth-hand writen! And thats it. We did take all our babies to a pediatrcian for a neborn checkup. Side note: my biggest surprise wa how slipery the newborn is-one hand under the neck to support the head and the other to hold onto the rest. It was like someone coated them in butter or baby oil. That was the hardest part-holding on to the baby while doing the tests which is called agpar score, 1 to 10-the higher the total number the healthier the baby is.
Dad helping to delver his wife (or, I supose another emergency from another mother: there is no thoughts of the woman's anatomy or sex, as some might suppose. It is a very intense, total concentration ordeal as two lives are at stake. After each home birth, I was elated and full of joy and called family members and close friends. Only after I wa sure all was OK did I crash from exaustion because of the intense, total concenration thing.. The next 4 we had at home with amanda being the last. when we found out we were going to have Ariana, Sharon opted for a home birth; but the Spirit whispered to me and I said "No." That was the right decision because as she was"coming" out, the cord was so tight around her neck she started to turn blue. Sharon asked why and dr. overcash said it was just the lighting of the birthing room-he lied to calm her fears but he could barely get two fingers under the cord to clamp and cut righ away-or the baby wouldno be able to come out and would strangle. I couldn't handle that fast enough so thank God for the gift of the Holy Ghost and listening to His promptings that she neeo be born in thehospital. Besides, it was 9 years since I delivered a baby and I was feeling a litle rusty!
Anyway, some of youhave ben asking me about our home births, so this is a little history of hoLater, I might mention a unique experience with each one; but for now, this is how and why we got started.