Home Birth..

Home Birth..

A Story by Rain

Natural childbirth at home ? Ok, if that's what you want, honey.


I'm writing about home birth. It is a short story about a nightmare/miracle that occurred thirty yrs ago. I'm old school. I think a man should be pacing back and forth with his buddy,smoking a cigarette, with his wife surrounded by 200 hundred doctors and nurses,all specialized in baby births,and keeping the father informed minute by minute.



 But, my wife, she wanted to have our first born natural,on the floor of our home,with just midwifes and maybe a doctor, if needed. I eventually gave in. I even agreed to go to home birthing classes. I remember the first class. All the midwifes looked the same,like they just stepped off the Santa Maria. They all looked like pilgrams: no makeup,no lipstick,all wearing dresses made of linen and all with their hair tied back and held by a rubber band.


All the guys looked like I thought I should have looked. They all wore desert boots,had ponytails,sat crossed legged like Indians,and all seemed to be...humm,how do I put this...gentle and sensitive. I know I loved my wife as much and probably more than any of them,I just wasn't sold on this having my baby born in my house.

I am not a hand holder. All the other couples were so outwardly affectionate, it left me feeling a bit out of place. Sue was transfixed to every word the midwife said. I pretended to be 100% behind this idea of home birth. Truthfully, I never felt comfortable at any of these classes.




Still, I feigned interest,until a midwife said something that made me feel like I had entered another world. It was a simple question. No-one but me seemed to show any response. The question was asked with such casualness that it took me a few seconds for it to register.


"Have any of you thought what you'd like to do with your placenta?" The mid wife asked, like she was asking where we parked our car.


What?????????????. I confess it never entered my mind,but how many options do you have??

I remember putting an elbow into Sue's rib. I leaned over,trying not to look horrified.


"What the hell have you got me into here?" I whispered. My mind raced to come up with a practical, non offensive disposable plan.

Bag it up...double bag it,triple bag it,put it in the garbage can...put a cement block on it, make sure the lid is sealed properly...right ? And then she said it.


"Some people bury theirs and then plant trees or plants over them."she said, matter of factly.

"Personally, Tom and I put ours in the freezer,then ate it,later." "We used garlic and butter." Remember the placenta has the highest content of protein of any food you can eat."


I knew I was in the midst of a cult,maybe cannibals,maybe even vampires. Yet,all this time Sue sat calmly listening.


Ok,screw this. I said to myself. I didn't bargain for this. I didn't care if the placenta was made of solid gold. It wasn't finding it's way to any skillet in my house. I stared at Sue who finally showed some concern. The other couples listened and acted as if none of their senses were shocked. Sue leaned over and tried to calm me.



"Honey,the tree idea would be kind of a neat idea." Sue said, trying to calm me.


I felt like I needed a wooden cross,a silver bullet,a mirror,a garlic necklace,some wolf bane,anything to protect us.

Somehow, when the class was over I shuffled Sue to the parking lot, and we both busted out laughing.


"I can't do this,honey" seriously." Did the mid wife drive up in a hearse ?" I asked, laughing.

Somehow, Sue convinced me that was the only thing she thought odd.


On Nov the 4th, 1981 Sue began her labor. We called the ghoul, I'm sorry, the mid-wife, she said she'd be there in about an hour. No doctor was called. The whole neighborhood knew what we were doing. They lined the fence in the back yard. People were ringing the doorbell to check on her. Sue's mom was there,her sister and brother. When Sue's mom get's nervous, she cleans. I had the cleanest kitchen in the world.


I was set. I knew exactly what my job was. I had frozen the orange juice and broke it into little chips. This was for my wife when her mouth got dry. I heard the mid-wife say 6 cm. I had no idea what that meant. So,basically my job was to keep the neighbors informed. They all wanted to know how I was doing,too. Hey,I was great. I was just waiting on Sue to ask me to rub her shoulders. This was a very important task I took seriously.

We can't have any tension. It wasn't long before my name was called.



"Ray,Sue needs her shoulders massaged." The mid-wife instructed me.


I rushed in,took my place behind her. She was on the floor leaning back against the couch.I was ready. I was pumped. Maybe I was too pumped.


"RAY!!!" Stop it!! Your hands are too rough." The mid-wife pretty much knocked me off the couch and took my place.


"Oh yes, that's so much better." Sue sighed.


I admit I was a little pissed,because I really thought she would like a deep tissue massage. Oh well,I had the orange chips. How could I screw that up?

I decided to take matters in my own hands. This was my baby,too. I grabbed the colander filled with frozen orange chips and put it in front of her to wet her mouth. She immediately threw up at the site of frozen orange chips. The mid-wife shooed me away.


"Damn it".."This is what you told me was my job!!" I said, under my breath.


I stormed outside and lit a cigarette. How's Sue ?" "Is she close?" I was turned into a messenger boy.
"I think we're getting close." I said,clueless.

Just then I got the call from the midwife.


"Ray,get in here,"She's crowning."


"Crowning ?"

This sounds important. I ran in not knowing what I was going to see. Hell,she may have a Tiara sprouting from her head. Instead I saw what looked like the top of a head. I turned into a cheer leader.

"Come on,Honey" I see something coming, I think it's our baby!!!" It was then the doctor came walking in. Perfect timing.


"Push,Push,harder..push harder. In one split second something came out. Sue shouted,

"What's he look like,honey?"


"It looks like a baby head" I replied. She felt the release and thought our son was out. The doctor instructed me to slide my finger gently under his armpit and tug slowly. Sue was still unaware our baby wasn't out,yet.

"Ray,what's he look like?" Stumped for an accurate description,I blurted out.



"Honey,we got us a baby head. We can roll it around to our friends" "We could play pitch and catch." Sue was in no mood for humor. Then,like a mystical undefinable act of God,my son slid out. I don't care what anyone try's to tell you, a new born baby looks like a bird. But,omigod what a breathtakingly beautiful baby bird. I broke down like a baby. I was crying so hard when I placed the baby on Sue's stomach.

I had to run outside and tell our neighbors that still lined the fence.
"We have our baby son." I tried to say through my tears. There is no other experience in life that compares to watching the birth of your child. If you're a man, to be the first one to touch your son can never be explained. I went back in. Everyone was crying. I also found out I had one more act to perform....the bellybutton. I did NOT want to do this. What if I screwed up ?
I've seen some pretty gross belly buttons. The doctor gave me the scissors and told me where to cut. All I could think of was messing up.
What if it looks like a penis ? He'll never forgive me. He'll be a freak of nature.
I cut the cord. I layed my head on Sue's stomach. I've never seen her so happy. He was born at 5 PM. They stayed up almost all night. I was in bed by 6:30 PM. I couldn't handle another second. I was worn out.
Oh..the placenta?
Triple bagged and put in an airtight trash can. I remember excusing myself to lay down. No-one seemed to care. They had someone else to keep them occupied. I remember feeling so exhausted as my head hit the pillow.
I was no-longer Ray the husband. I helped create a life. I was a father. When we woke up we would be parents. I would forever be a dad, and Sue, a mother. Life would never be the same. Watching and being the first hand to touch my son was a miracle. Surviving the teen years was also a miracle. 
(C)     "Copyright 1/11/2007 by Ray Neighbor"

© 2009 Rain

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Featured Review

What a wonderful write. It made me laugh and smile so much, ... and moistened my eyes in the end.
The part with the Placenta is priceless!!!

Yes the most intensive experience in life is the birth of our children. I think nothing can compare with that.

Rain - you are a highly gifted man. I so love your writing style!

Thanks so much for making my time so worthwhile with this awesome story.

Posted 13 Years Ago

6 of 6 people found this review constructive.


Yes, I've read and reviewed this already... but I had to read it again, I remember being fond of this story! I love your innocence portrayed, a fish out of water in a good way, um, or quite possibly the oh no I'm about to run out of air and die way, too, when you think about it. Still, you're a damn good story teller and I'll be back for more. Yes, I will read a different piece next time!

Posted 11 Years Ago

Oh rain, I think this was a lovely, touching story about the birth of your first child. You remind me of my Uncle Charlie - he was of the old school too, but a softie deep down inside. I hope your son appreciates you writing about the day he came into the world, especially into your arms!

Posted 11 Years Ago

Wow, I both laughed and cried through this entire story! What wonderful descriptions you used! I never dared think of the midwife thing; I have enough issues yelling at my kids to keep the kool-aid in the kitchen much less me giving birth to a child on the living room carpet. I cried because I finally had my "miracle" son in April of this year and he died in May apparently of SIDS. At least we were able to resuscitate him for four days so I got a chance to say goodbye and have him die in my arms. I still have three others I will have to suffer through puberty with and funny, as demonic as the little s***s can be, I still want another one! It's a madness I suppose. Great read. Thank you.

Posted 11 Years Ago

Ha, love the part about the placenta! Birth is such a strange thing, you do a wonderful job illuminating that truth.

Posted 11 Years Ago

Long time no see old friend. I liked this piece, and guess I am old school as well, because I believe the same way. This brought back some memories for me and I enjoyed it very much.

Posted 11 Years Ago

I thought this was wonderful. I laughed a few times reading it. "We can roll it around to our friends" Made me giggle. I thought your writing style was wonderful and the raw emotion really came though. It brightened up my night reading this =)

Posted 11 Years Ago

I love the tone this was written in. The character seems very charming and the small bits of humor really make entertaining :)

Posted 11 Years Ago

Ah, the magic of child birth, I'd say you handled it pretty well, didn't collapse didn't throw up, and you got to witness one of life's greatest things, new life entering this world. Congratulations.

Posted 11 Years Ago


Posted 11 Years Ago

Good job with this! :) My mom is a midwife and you captured the wonder of a birth perfectly.
She always comes home exhausted but exhilarated that she helped bring a new life into the world :)

Posted 11 Years Ago

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67 Reviews
Shelved in 5 Libraries
Added on March 18, 2008
Last Updated on February 4, 2009



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