Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Home Birth

My brothers and I were born at home. Me, then Zachary, then Jonah. Midwives guided my mom through labor and birth, and our grandparents, a priest, my mom's sister, and maybe more were there for each birth to welcome us to the world. I have vague memories of Jonah's birth - I was four at the time - though the most concrete image from that day is of walking downstairs and finding two-year-old Zach asleep on the couch. It felt dark, like nighttime, though I know my youngest brother was born in the morning. I also know the bed broke when he was born; maybe when I was, too.

We grew up on a rather busy street in Cincinnati, adjacent to a giant cemetery. On the occasions that I drive by the small house, now painted yellow, I wonder about the people who currently live there. Do they still deal with water bugs and the occasional mouse? Have they recarpeted the living room and dining room? (It had been wall-to-wall brown; sometimes I sat on the floor, cross-legged, watching Sesame street, and I'd "trim" the carpet with scissors as if I were mowing the lawn). Have they had bikes stolen? I notice they've removed the chain-link fence that I guess only offered a semblance of security. And do they know that three babies were born there?

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