The Middle Wife

March 29, 2006

Recently, while I was visiting my family, my mother and I were having a chat and I mentioned that many of the students (undergrads) that I work with had never heard the term midwife before. I mentioned this as it demonstrated some of the limitations in our educational system in highlighting work that has traditionally seen as done by women.

Today my mother sent me this story. I thought I’d share it here.

The Middle Wife (By an Anonymous 2nd 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 and 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 in to school and talk about it, they’re welcomed to.

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, oh!’ ” Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans.

“She walked around the house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!'” Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk 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 it 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.

Now you have two choices…laugh and close this page or pass this along to someone else to spread the laughs.

Live every day as if it is your LAST chance to make someone happy.

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Surgery!

October 21, 2005

Going under the knife is scary. And that’s what I’m going to do in only slightly more than a month.


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