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Ode to the Toad McBirth Stay on Your Feet Hospital Birth

The inspiration for writing Birthing the Easy Way came after the birth of my fifth child.

My 5th baby was premature. He was born to an Rh-negative, previously sectioned, multiparous, overweight woman over 35 with a history of large babies, miscarriage and spotting. He was born at home on the bedroom floor, and delivered by his untrained, unprepared, and very frightened father.

Sounds scary? It was the best birth ever!

A month early and only about five and a half pounds, the baby, who rarely opened his eyes as if he wasn’t yet ready to face the world, was red, wrinkled, and ugly. We adored him. We named him Todd, but because of his strange appearance and the odd way he splayed his skinny little legs, for the first little while he carried the nickname “The Toad.”


This is the story, a rhyming rendition
About our new baby, our latest addition
Who came to our household, at five in the morn
And caused quite a panic, the day he was born.

He was due the next month, so I wasn’t scared,
I knew there was still time for getting prepared.
(Not that it takes a lot of preparing
When birthing at home, for those of us daring.)

But early one morning - the clock said two thirty -
I woke with a cramp, and wow! Was it hurting!
"That wasn’t a cramp," I thought with alarm,
It’s premature labour. Will it cause any harm?

Now, Bert had been out playing hockey till late
So reluctant to wake him, and tell him our fate,
I left him to sleep, so he hadn't a clue
That his wife was up wondering what she should do.

Should I go to the hospital? No, I think not.
They'll hook me to monitors, give me a shot,
Poke me and prod me and all of the rest.
No thanks! I’ll stay home, where I feel the best.

In this situation, in such a position,
I called on the Lord, the Greatest Physician
The Author of Life, Who removed all my doubt
And I knew that in Him all things would work out.

So with God in the lead, and me praising His name
I picked up a dust-mop, and made up a game
Of timing contractions while mopping the floor.
Forget about “breathing” - I tried that before.

I paced and I mopped and talked to the Lord,
Drank raspberry tea - good for labour, I’ve heard,
Walked faster, breathed slower with each contraction
Enjoying the dark, and the lack of distraction.

Then when it got harder to deal with the pain
And I realized we still hadn’t picked out a name
I woke up my husband and told him to plan
What to call our new baby, and give me a hand.
“It’s four in the morning.  Why are you up?”
I told him, “The coffee is made; have a cup
Then go get a box from the basement shelf
With baby clothes, diapers, and whatever else
Of the things we might need for the babe right away.
Just think! It’s going to be born today!”
We started the wash, and I called the Doc
By this time it was past five o’clock .
Doctor was sleepy.  He asked, “Should I hurry?”
I told him that I was OK, not to worry.
After all I had the Great Physician,
As well as Women’s Intuition,
A husband who loved me, the comforts of home,
The darkness that soothed, the freedom to roam,
No bags to pack, no people to phone,
The privacy to be alone.
Much like a honeymoon, memories remain
Of those sweet moments spent before Baby came...
Then Bert, who knows me better than anyone on earth
Could see the subtle change in me that meant impending birth.
I wrapped my arms around him,
My forehead bathed in sweat,
My breath in rasping, grunting gasps,
The doctor not there yet!
The pain seemed somehow better if I held my breath...
But something moved inside me....
“Stop pushing! PLEASE!”
I slid down to the floor, and leaned back against the bed
Bert was right there with me, “My God!  There’s the head!”
The way a flower opens and pushes forth its bloom,
A tiny little baby made his entrance in the room
His dad expertly caught him, in spite of all his fears.
And I could hardly see him for my eyes were full of tears...
The baby was a-screaming, the second he was born.
Bert wrapped him in a towel, a soft one, frayed and worn.
I was laughing, I was crying, my heart so full of joy.
He was hot and wet and sticky, our tiny little boy.
The other children heard the fuss and entered in a horde.
Bert sterilized a shoelace and scissors for the cord.
We cuddled and we kissed and gave the babe my breast
We marveled at his fingers, and his toes, and all the rest.
The doctor soon came in and stood laughing at the door
To see me up already, cleaning towels off the floor.
  * * *
Many thanks to my Aunt Betty, may she be heaven blessed.
She cooked and cleaned and laundered that day so I could rest.
Many thanks to all my friends who brought casseroles and food
So I never had to cook when I wasn’t in the mood.
Many thanks to Dr. O, Dr. B. and Elana J.
Two doctors and a midwife who’ve let me have my way. They helped build up the confidence that led to birthing Todd.
They had faith in me, we had faith in God.
  * * *
One more footnote I just have to add,
A political statement that might make you mad:
When someone has a baby too quick
They call 911 as if they are sick.
But when both are O.K., and there’s danger no more
What do they go to the hospital FOR?
Everything’s fine, from what I can tell.
Do you suppose it’s the doctors who’ve something to sell?
They can’t have us knowing that birth can be easy
That truly the husbands won’t faint or get queasy
That birthing is not the big risk that they say
‘Cause if we know the truth, the docs would lose pay.

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