Life is a journey. It has a beginning and it has an end. All along its path are events, places
and people who are turning points. Here, I relate some of these turning points in my own
journey. Hopefully, the stories will illuminate and maybe entertain some of those who care
enough to read.
All excited about her first pregnancy, Judy and I bought into the
innovative idea of natural childbirth. This was supposed to be so
beneficial for both mother and baby. But it meant special training by a
lay person who was a designated expert on the concept.
We were well into the Lamaze training when I got promoted to a job in
Birmingham and we had to relocate. After a few weeks in a new city,
we found a little German lady who was schooled in Lamaze, and spoke fair English and so we
resumed the coaching of Judy in all the breathing and exercises involved. Of course, this approach
contemplated that the father would participate in the birth process too (I know, I know. Look, I was
just trying to be positive about all this and do whatever I was supposed to do.) Basically, my role was
to be present during the delivery and provide moral support to the new mother. I don’t know who was
supposed to support me through all this; I had some doubts about it all.
After a long search, we found a doctor in Birmingham who was up on the Lamaze technique and he
agreed with my presence in the delivery room at St. Vincent Hospital as part of the procedure. That
might seem routine now but in 1970, for the husband to be in the delivery room was a pretty novel
idea, especially in the South.
Another routine thing today that was a rarity then was selecting in advance the date and time of the
For all the modern Lamaze stuff, we handled the timing the old fashioned way. That of course, meant
that around 4 a.m. on a day when our doctor was out of town, our daughter decided to show up.
When we got the answering service finally, we found out that not only was our doctor out of town but
that his backup worked from a different hospital we had never heard of. After furiously driving all over
half the deserted streets south of Birmingham, we finally found Baptist Montclair only a mile from our
With Judy safely admitted, I checked with the staff about my role only to learn that I was not going to
be in the delivery room. I demanded to talk with Dr. Backup who proceeded to tell me he had never
heard of such a ridiculous idea. I remonstrated with a good bit of rancor about his ignorance of
natural childbirth but in the end it turned out Dr. Backup was right. I sat out in the same place where
all the other dads sat and paced while Judy and the experts took care of the business at hand.
It turned out that it was quite possible for a baby to be born without my presence. After the two or
three days for Judy’s recovery we brought our daughter home and began a whole new turning point
in our lives.
|And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who
are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJV)
|Copyright © 2005
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