Photo: Kathleen G. Lupole
I was getting a little scared because I started having slight pains. It didn't seem to me that it was labor pains because they were not that bad. I thought something else was wrong. Nope, I was in labor. Avery was quick to get up and saddled his horse, Thunder, and took off to our neighbor, Amanda Stewart. Amanda is experienced in these things and helps all the women in our area birth their babies. She probably has more children named after her than any American president.
Amanda is a tall woman, taller than any woman I know. She has bright red hair and is always smiling and laughing. Even when she was giving Avery orders about what to get for her, she was in a jovial mood and made me feel comfortable right away. I was scared and I am not going to lie and and say I wasn't. I know it hurts to have a child even though they are little and it is a natural process. Sometimes things go wrong.
She sent Avery out to the barn about the time her husband and oldest daughter, Sarah rode up. Sarah, at 15 has been helping her mother deliver babies since she was about seven. "Cob" Stewart, called "Cob" for the unlit corncob pipe he always has in his mouth, sent Sarah in to help her ma and he accompanied Avery out to our barn. "Come on Avery, let's get far enough away to not hear her screaming, " he laughed. Avery didn't even smile. He looked at me and I nodded for him to go with "Cob".
After that I don't remember too much except for the fact that I felt safe in Amanda's capable hands. She told me what to do, when to do it and she knew exactly what to do. I remember helping Mother with a couple of births myself, but I didn't really learn or do much other than bring things to her. Sarah knew what she was doing too and she assisted her mother like she did this every day. This being my first baby we expected it to be hours before hearing that first cry. But my baby came quickly for a first one. It wasn't that long before I heard the baby crying.
"It's a boy, Rachel! A good sized healthy fellow. Quick Sarah, wash him up," said Amanda. Then she came to me and washed my face with a cool cloth."You did a good job, faster than most first time mothers, and hardly a whimper from you. Your Mama would be proud."
Sarah brought my baby wrapped in a new blanket, a present from Ruth, for me to inspect. Oh, he looked beautiful. I tried to take him in my arms but felt so weak. Sarah placed him in my arms and I looked down at him, "My you are a healthy little man." I said to my son.
Amanda went to the door and called, "Avery, come see your son!"
I heard him come in the door and saw the big proud smile on his face, "A son? We have a son?" He looked from Amanda to me, "A son! Rachel, we have a son!" he declared proudly.
I smiled at him, "I know Avery. I just gave birth to him." And everyone laughed.
Later as I slept I could hear Amanda out in the kitchen with Sarah fixing a meal for everyone. I glanced over to the baby bed next to my bed and saw my son sleeping soundly. Avery and I have to think of a name for him. It has to be a special name, but strong. He will grow up to be the oldest son of Avery Longworth. He will need a name that is respectful and dignified. When Avery comes in I will talk to him about it.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole