The Middle Wife By an Anonymous second grade teacher I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second-grade classroom a few years back.
When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students It helps them get over shyness. Usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it to school and talk about it, they're welcome.
Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. "This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday."
"First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord."
She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement. "Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, oh, oh!'" Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. "She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!'" Now the kid's doing this hysterical duck walk, holding her back and groaning. "My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man."
"They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this." Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall. "And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!" This kid has her legs spread and with her little hands are miming water flowing away. It was too much!
"Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push, and breathe, breathe.' They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff, they all said was from Mom's play-center, so there must be a lot of stuff inside there."
Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, if it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another Erica comes along.
Life is meant to be lived . . . enjoy!
Laughing helps. It's like jogging on the inside.
JavaBeginnersFaq "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
Should have called this "Kids say the darndest things" but I think that's copyrighted. Nice story Marilyn, inspires me to share one of my own. True story, happened to myself actually. When I was in Houston going for my B.S. in Elementary Education, I worked at the lab pre-school there on campus. I started off in the toddler class, ages 1-2ish. Had to do the whole diaper and potty training thing. Gross, but it was still quite an educational experience. Anyway, there was a child named Gilbert, whose father was a very prominent member in Houston's hispanic community. Was on the news a lot, that sort of thing. So Gilbert's sitting on the potty, just humming to himself and taking his time. I ask "You about done already Gilbert?" He responds with "You know Mr. Jason, when my dad sits on the potty, he usually has a magazine to read and likes to go-" and proceeds to make all sorts of grunting noises. Had me in tears, and I found it very difficult to look his father in the face after that.
21 months ago my second son, Brian, was born. My wife, Sarah, had had a 15-hour labor with our first (Michael). Common wisdom said that the labor with the second child would take about half as long. Therefore, we were expecting approximately 7 to 8 hour labor with Brian. Now, we are not the type of people who would get all hysterical when the wife goes into labor. In this vein, Sarah had decided that when labor started with Brian, she would go to the kitchen and fix some snack food to take to the hospital. When contractions were spaced 5 minutes apart, then we would depart for the hospital -- food in hand and all in a very organized fashion. Sarah's mother had come to our place from Ohio so that there would be someone to watch Michael while we went to the hospital. We had everything lined up for a nice, orderly delivery. Needless to say, since I'm writing this, that did not happen. I went to bed at about 11:00 pm the night before Brian was born. At about midnight, Sarah stopped in to say that she was feeling "cooped up" and needed to go for a walk in town. After making sure that she had her cell phone (and that she would be walking past the local hospital -- which was not the one where we were supposed to go, just the local hospital), she went out the door. When she got back at about 1 am, her mother was still awake and they stayed up and talked until about 2 am. Sarah then went to bed. At about 3 am Sarah woke up feeling the first twinges of labor. She was in bed for about half an hour before she noticed that she was having to Breathe through these contractions. Still, she thought that she would go to the kitchen and get some food and then we would go to the hospital. At 3:45 am her Breathing woke me up. I rolled over and asked "Is it time to go?" Her response: "Shut up." My response: "Yes, it's time to go." Her Response: "SHUT UP." I through some clothes on and, after that contraction had passed, Sarah asked me to go out to the car where she had her "emergency" bag packed -- the bag that contained the necessities in case we had to go to the hospital while we were out and about. She wanted the comfortable clothes that she had there. She then asked for help in getting to the bathroom. remembering about women in labor, I asked it I could put my hands on her shoulder before helping her. She said, "Yes," so I was able to help her. (Men, take note of that for when your wives are in labor... ) I went out back and ambled to the car. On my way, I stopped to look at the stars, thinking about what a nice night it was. It was then that I heard a howl from the house. I decided that now was not the time to be stargazing, so I ran to the car, grabbed the clothes, and ran back into the house. On my way back in, I head a second howl. WhenI got inside, Sarah was in the bathroom and Michael was awake. The first howl was Sarah experiencing the urge to push, and the second was Michael who had been awaked by the first. Sarah's mother was trying to get Michael (who was two at the time) calmed down. She took him down stairs while I went to get my shoes. I had decided that we were going straight to the hospital and forget getting stuff ready in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Sarah's mother called up and asked if Sarah needed the paramedics. Her first response was, "I don't know..." followed by an immediate "YES!" I didn't hear that exchange, but I did hear sarah follow that up with "Get Joel in here." I came down the hallway with one shoe on (having been unable to quickly locate the other -- it had gotten kicked under the bed) and said that I needed my cell phone. I heard Sarah's mother say that she had it. I was still under the impression that we were going to be on our way into the hospital and that I would call the obstetrician and have him meet us at the hospital. When I walked into the bathroom, I was disabused of that notion -- there was a head! I immediately knelt down and said, "There's something over the head." Sarah pushed again and then her water broke, thereby removing the something-over-the-head. With that second push, Brian came all the way out. I took him, did as much of an Apgar test as I could remember, and handed him to Sarah. Sarah's mother had come upstairs and had 911 on the phone. I heard her say, "we've got a baby" before I went to get some cloths to wrap Brian in. It wasn't until I got back with those cloths--and at the prodding of the 911 dispatcher--that we thought to check to see if Brian was Brian or Rachael. As I was there, Michael came back upstairs where the action was, looked in the bathroom, and said, "It's baby Brian!" I had gotten the wrong cloths, so Sarah sent me down the hall again to get the correct ones -- ones that she wouldn't mind getting all bloody and gunky. As I was there, I saw the ambulance pull up outside. I checked the clock. It was now 4 am. From the time I woke up to the time Brian was born had been less than 15 minutes. Amazingly, having the ambulance pull up in front of our house was the thing that calmed Michael down the most. He was fascinated by ambulances and he now had the opportunity to see one up close! I let the paramedics come in and do the standard stuff -- cutting the umbilical cord and all that. Sarah was then taken to the hospital in the ambulance while I followed in the car. On the way in, I called off work (leaving my boss -- who had been on vacation the previous week -- a message along the lines of "Hi. Brian was just born, so I won't be in to work, but before I get into that, how was your vacation? ....") From there on, things were pretty routine.
Piscis Babelis est parvus, flavus, et hiridicus, et est probabiliter insolitissima raritas in toto mundo.
Oh man!!! That is a great story, BUUUUUT, it's got me scared. The wife is at 33 weeks and I've been getting pretty nervous. If I have to deliver my own child it will pretty much freak me out!!! btw, did you have to do the ol' hiney smack?
"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
John: No -- no hiney smack needed. He was breathing OK, and he cried all right (birth, after all, is fairly traumatic...) Max: Thanks for the comment. I particularly like my writing style; it's nice to see that other do, too. Jason and Jess: That's pretty much the same reaction that I get from most people.