Choosing home birth...
Of the fourteen births that our family was blessed with, only one of those births happened in a hospital. Rachel, being the first baby born, had that distinction. After her birth, Mom and Dad realized that the hospital birth process was something that they did not want to do again. They began to look for another option... something that was natural and more "family-oriented". They were able to find a midwife for the next imminent arrival and when the baby came, the birth took place at home. The experience was so different from the previous time at the hospital. It was much more peaceful, less stressful, and easier on both Mom and Baby. There was no more question in Mom's mind after that; every birth after that took place at home.
Now for the bigger shocker... Out of all thirteen home births, only four were attended by a registered midwife!
Kath was the final birth accompanied by a midwife. Her birth was the first one in Illinois and the midwife that attended the three previous births was, of course, in New York.
We still had been able to find an Illinois midwife, and when Mom went into labor Dad phoned her to alert her of the impending birth. But the water broke soon after that. Dad called her right back and told her to come as soon as possible. Dad kept checking to see if she had arrived, going back and forth between the window and Mom. But when the head started to show, that left Dad to fill in. The midwife arrived shortly afterwards, but to her surprise the baby had already been born.
Dad's midwifing days, however, were far from over. While Mom was pregnant with her sixth child, she approached Dad to see if a midwife was needed at all. At first Dad was unsure but after prayerful consideration, he agreed. And so Dad was elected as the official - and sole - "midwife".
When they were a little older, Rachel, Rebekah, and Ruth all attended and assisted in one or more births, helping Dad to usher their younger siblings into the world.