The Days Were Accomplished
Back in my Peru days, I had been introduced to the idea of home births in a very favorable way. Paul’s brother had introduced him to home deliveries too, so we found ourselves in agreement right from the beginning that we would try to have our children as naturally as possible, outside of hospitals. We didn’t realize what adventures that would get us involved in.
In January of 1995, we had been married for over two years, and had no sign of any children on the way. Paul read in 1 Timothy 5:10 where widows are expected to bring up children if they are to be considered as someone to be cared for by the church. He deduced that God expects married women to bring up children even if they do not bear the children themselves. Paul is 18 years older than I am. As he meditated on this, he prayed and decided that if we did not expect a child that year, we would seek to adopt children. We were expecting later that month!
I have never heard of anyone else deciding to adopt for that reason, but we are rather used to being unique, and our plans for our own baby also progressed along unique lines.
When we found out we were expecting, we looked ahead to see where we were scheduled to be around the time of the baby’s due date. We were already scheduled to be in New Mexico and Arizona for the month of October. This was to be our first trip there, and so would be a little tricky to plan this birth since we hardly knew what to expect. We called our friends who had invited us to the wild West, to share our news and to ask advice. Carol Lewis quickly found another missionary who used midwives who could advise us. She gave us the names of two midwives, one across the border in Colorado, about two hours away, and the other in Gallup, NM, to the south, also about two hours away. Hmmm. Here was something to pray about.
So we prayed. We had been told that Juanita to the north was more highly trained, and more professional. We didn’t receive any direct guidance from the Lord, so I felt we should just make a decision to ask Juanita to help us. I spoke to her on the phone, and she was very cautious. She said she could not totally agree to be our midwife until she had met me, but she did tell me what tests I would have to take before she would even consider me.
It was like a scavenger hunt, gathering tests, results, exams, and vitamins from different doctors and midwives across the country, wherever we could find someone to help in our unusual situation. Apparently gypsies have gone out of style because our requests for help were a little disconcerting to some, but most midwives were more accepting of our situation.
We arrived in the west 16 days before the due date, and had a plan to meet Juanita soon. She had to cancel our first appointment as another lady was having a baby, so we postponed until the following Tuesday. Tuesday was still 10 days before the due date so that seemed to be no problem.
We drove down to Phoenix for services that weekend, and then decided to go see the Grand Canyon on Monday since we would be relatively close, and Paul wasn’t speaking in any schools because it was Columbus Day. On Monday morning my back hurt, and I wondered if it was a contraction, but many had told us about false labor, so we didn’t let it stop us from our sightseeing. I grew more uncomfortable as we went, but didn’t want to say anything until I was sure.
I had just about decided I was sure, when suddenly Paul announced that we would do a little flight over the Grand Canyon. It seemed sensible since we had so little time, as the best way to see the most, but what about this baby? It took a little while to get airborne, and then I had six contractions during that 45 minute flight. It was time to get serious!
We left the Grand Canyon after only one more stop (at McDonald’s,) and then needed to decide where to go to have this baby. Both Juanita and Emma looked about the same distance from the Grand Canyon, about five hours, but the one thing the missionary had told us about Emma was “she’d take anyone right off the street.” That was us! So we decided to head for Gallup.
Our baby girl was born about 8:30 p.m., 11 days early, and about two hours after we arrived at the house. Emma Estrada was a great example of hospitality. She welcomed us to her home (actually, to her daughter’s home as her own was getting the plumbing fixed), and I gave birth on a bed in the living room.
The next morning as we prepared to leave, Paul spoke to Emma about the Lord. With tears, she asked the Lord to save her, and we thrilled to be involved in another birth as she was born again. We sent out pink birth announcements with the joyful news of the birth of Evangel Lynn Young, and the re-birth of Emma!
Hanover, New York Two years and two months later, we came back from a trip to Africa, and I felt pretty bad. I took a pregnancy test, but it came out negative, so I thought I had picked up some African bug. Timmy turned out to be our African Bug. This time we had a midwife lined up in New Hampshire where my parents lived, and were planning to be all settled in there for a more tame birth. However, we were traveling up until the end of the pregnancy, and things don’t always go as planned.
Again, 11 days early, we were traveling in western New York State when my contractions started. Paul preached that morning while two-year-old Evangel and I packed at the hotel, and then we headed west to the Charity House.
It’s a rare thing in our travels that we get a whole house to ourselves. Most of our 100 Houses come equipped with friends, but the Lord knew our need that day. The Charity House had two bedrooms, so we had a place to stash Evangel for a nap, and to pray that she would stay asleep.
The pastor’s wife met us to get us settled in, and we hinted that perhaps I was in labor, but we didn’t elaborate, not knowing her well, or if she was sympathetic to home delivery. She looked me over and comforted me that I certainly had another week to go as I was “carrying high”, and then left us to get settled.
We checked the Yellow Pages for a midwife, and were amazed to find one. We thought at first that this was how the Lord had provided for us, but quickly changed our minds when the midwife began to lecture us on how irresponsible it was to be traveling this late in the pregnancy. “But I will come. That’s the kind of person I am,” she pronounced. We decided she was not the kind of person we wanted there, and thanked her anyway.
We took out the birthing kit we had with us, and Timothy managed to find his way into the world without any help from professionals. The Lord guided that day, and He calmed me in panicky moments during the delivery as I remembered His guiding.
Timothy was born about 4:30 in the afternoon. The pastor’s wife came back to check on us a little while later, and Paul went out to meet her. To her quick, “How’s Vicki?” he calmly answered, “She’s fine. We have a little boy.” Her jaw and pocketbook both fell.
I got worried about how the church people would feel about people popping into their guest house and having a baby. It’s just not your normal thing to do, but they were so sweet. They gave us a little baby shower the next day, sent a young pediatrician to give a medical exam, and have continued to call Timmy “the Charity House baby” every time we have visited through the years.
For our next two pregnancies, we did go to the hospital, but only as both of them were ending in miscarriages.
Rochester, New Hampshire Josh was on the way before we knew it, and we always laugh at how we found out. I had told Paul for an anniversary present for him, I’d eat no cookies, cake, or candy til I lost five pounds. I didn’t realize I was already expecting Josh, but I went for well over nine months before I lost those five pounds. I find it interesting that Josh is now our healthiest eater of the kids. My parents provided hospitality for his birth, and it was a special family affair with my sister and her family also on the scene.
My sister thought perhaps Joshua would be as special as John the Baptist because the whole house shook in the last few minutes before he was born. We wondered if was an earthquake to announce this special birth, but it was just that the garage got hit by a car! Names will not be mentioned as to who hit the garage and why, but they know who they are.
Cape Town, South Africa Cherish was our one and only home birth in our own home. She came along about two years after we moved to Cape Town, and was born the 30th of September, 2003. She was our quickest, easiest birth and was a blessing from the beginning, smiling at only three days old. I took 21 Cod Liver Oil pills the day before she was born, trying to get things started, and it just seemed to make everything go smoothly.