KEYWORDS: home, delivery, hospital, baby, clinic, time

Techi's Story--Chapter 3: Home or Hospital Delivery?

Karen Zerby

March 1979DFO787

1. WHEN WE HAD FIRST GOTTEN THE MESSAGE that Daddy should not go to the clinic, he had been very sad to have to be separated from me & I from him, so me had tried to find a closer clinic—in fact one in our own little town—but there was none. So he at first reluctantly agreed to my proposed alternative plan which I had always wanted to try anyway: A home delivery!

2. WITH DAVIDITO WE HAD NEARLY BEEN FORCED to deliver at home when the baby's head was almost crowning while I was still lying on the living room couch! But Daddy's faith ran toward the clinic‚ & his prayers had obviously caused the contractions to cease in the taxi until we got to the hospital, where 20 minutes later David was born! But I thought, "This time I can have one at home!"—with good helpers full of faith & eager to help, especially since then David can be right here with me.

3. SO SARA SET ABOUT with some of the rest of the family collecting the supplies & setting up the room in anticipation of the great event. We read about home deliveries in some excellent books we had, & about the equipment needed, & within a few days prepared accordingly.

4. DADDY WAS A BIT APPREHENSIVE about the whole idea of a home delivery from the very beginning, because of possible security hazards, but he conceded to me, "Well, if you have faith for it, I guess I do too," not wanting to dampen my enthusiasm, especially since he was very reluctant to be separated from me while I was in the clinic miles away.

5. BUT AS TIME WENT ON & we checked into the customary way of doing things in our area, we found that it was almost impossible to plan a home delivery in advance with the promise of a midwife in attendance, since the midwives were always employed within the clinics, & were always employed within the clinics, & were very reluctant to assist at home deliveries, although not legally prohibited from doing so. Only in the case of a real emergency would they come, & only then when the baby was practically already born & there was no time to make it to a hospital.

6. SO DADDY ARGUED that if anything went wrong or there were any complications, not only were our amateur staff inexperienced, but also it could be a very bad security breach, for we were living as Systemites in the System, & therefore he thought we should operate as much as possible like other Systemites.

7. WELL, PREPARING FOR A HOME DELIVERY was an experiment & trial run anyway, & it helped us to specifically study up on home delivery methods & procedures & the equipment needed. I believe it is essential that all of the members of our Family know at least a little about the delivery of babies at home—or anywhere, as it is a skill that may be needed in case of an emergency.

8. BUT DADDY'S PRESENTATIONS WERE QUITE CONVINCING, so about a week before the baby was due, we abandoned the idea & decided to have the baby at the clinic anyway‚ especially since Daddy seemed to feel better about it & had gotten somewhat used to the idea of letting me go without him.—And he proved to be right after all‚ as there were some slight complications that we were very happy to have the doctor for!

9. THE LORD HAD GIVEN ME ONE OF THE BEST DOCTORS available. We had not known anything about his professional prowess nor chosen him for that‚ as we were strangers in a strange land & knew nothing about him. But instead we had chosen him because he was able to speak our language fluently, & was one of the very few doctors in the large city nearby who could speak any English at all! But the Lord was very good to us & had provided a very skilled & considerate man for me who delivered at a clinic known for its high standards—reputed to be the best in the are. In some ways he was definitely a real blessing‚ along with the hospital personnel.

10. SO FOR THOSE REASONS—POSSIBLE SECURITY SITUATIONS & BIRTH COMPLICATIONS WHICH YOU CANNOT ALWAYS FORESEE, I also came to the conclusion that‚ if possible, a clinic or hospital is a very good place to have your baby‚ possibly financed through provisioning, jobs, parents, socialised government Medicare, or whatever other means; unless perhaps you are blessed to be in countries like England, Italy or Holland with skilled home midwives, who from the very beginning of your pregnancy are your friend & consultant a & are trained to help you through your pregnancy & birth & who operate in much the same capacity as a doctor, except that they arrange to help you to have the baby at your home‚ although the midwives themselves will often advise a hospital delivery in certain cases. In fact, in England the system of home delivery with skilled midwives is considered by some almost better than the doctor-hospital routine for second or more babies.

11. MOST WESTERN COUNTRIES, HOWEVER, FROWN UPON HOME DELIVERY, & while it is probably not outlawed in any of them, it is still looked upon with disfavour. There are always benefits & advantages to everything, & of course there are many things to be said in favour of home deliveries: Usually they cost less than half the price of a hospital birth & confinement.

12. GIVING BIRTH IN YOUR OWN HOME in more familiar surroundings can contribute to a more harmonious‚ relaxed & probably easier, more normal delivery; & when labour is relaxed & unhurried, the unexpected "emergencies" may rarely occur, some of the reasons being that the labour doesn't have to be induced to speed things up to make room for others.

13. —AND DRUGS, WHICH CAN RESULT IN ALL KINDS OF DIFFICULTIES, are not routinely given; the baby is not hurriedly forced out before its times with greater chance of the mother tearing; the placenta is not torn out unnaturally in a rush to get the mother off the delivery table & the job done so another can have a turn or the doctor can get on with other business.

14. (I MUST SAY IN ALL FAIRNESS, however, that in my delivery the doctor at the clinic was very conscientious & considerate & relaxed, giving ample time for all that needed to be done. There are many very good obstetricians who have devoted themselves to bringing new life into the world & who are very dedicated, as well as good clinics & hospital personnel.)

15. AT HOME, A WOMAN IN LABOUR may be able to carry on normal daily activities before hard begins, not having to lie in a hospital bed with nothing to do but worry about her contractions, her family left behind, etc.

16. IN OUR FAMILY HOMES, you can have someone with you at all times during the birth as well as afterwards, & your baby is cared for by you & loving Family members. The mother can rest (usually much better than in the hospital) & therefore recover more quickly, especially in the first several days after delivery when her milk comes in & her bottom may be so sore for a week or more if she has stitches (& the majority of women do) that she walks with difficulty, it's hard to sit down, & she needs as much help with baby as possible, & extra care herself.

17. OTHER CHILDREN IN THE HOME FEEL MORE A PART OF THE EVENT if Mommy delivers at home & is not rushed to the hospital, then "lost" for several days, only to return with the baby in her arms, a little intruder who they may feel has robbed them of her love.

18. THERE WOULD SEEM TO BE MUCH LESS DANGER OF INFECTION FOR BABY AT HOME, since any of the numerous hospital personnel who handle baby (about 10 or 12 with Techi), mothers in the same room or ward, or other babies may be carriers of any number of diseases—or bothersome bad spirits—& many do get infections there.

19. THERE ARE PROBABLY FEWER ACCIDENTS IN HOME DELIVERIES as well, because although the midwife in a home delivery may not have acquired the highly technical training of the obstetrician, she never-theless is often more dedicated to you as an individual & willing to take more time in unhurried advice & care, as well as knowing that, should any serious complications arise, she has more of the weight of the responsibility on her shoulders & less backing of the big institution & its medicine to deal with it.

20. SHE ALSO HAS HER WOMANLY SPIRITUAL & INTUITIVE PERCEPTION OF SITUATIONS & often just plain old-fashioned common sense & discernment, coupled many times with simple little folk rules & remedies that have proven effective for generations. I would imagine that birth accidents generally occur because of haste on the part of the hospital personnel‚ although most of them are probably attributed to other causes.

21. WE WOULD HASTEN TO ADD, however‚ that home deliveries are not always preferable in these ways, since every case is different. Not all home midwives will be dedicated & be friendly nor even very helpful. You may find a better doctor & have a happier easier time at a hospital‚ where perhaps you'll worry a lot less & relax much more. Your living conditions may not be conducive to or even safe security–wise for having baby at home‚ & after she is born‚ baby may get better care in the hospital or clinic, especially if you don't have loving helpers at home.

22. BUT BECAUSE THERE ARE USUALLY GREATER ADVANTAGES TO HOME DELIVERIES, it is a shame that home midwives cannot be better equipped to deal with emergencies‚ & that institutionalised medicine does not value their place more highly. But because it does not, & because you often can't predict irregularities, your skilled doctors, nurses & attendants in the hospital with their special equipment for emergencies can come to your assistance quickly & immediately & can take care of you in a way that the midwife may not be able to.

23. IF YOUR PREGNANCY HAS BEEN NORMAL THROUGHOUT YOUR NINE MONTHS‚ then you probably will encounter no difficulty, but you have actually no positive way of knowing how your delivery will proceed. In most other respects we would highly recommend home deliveries, but the fact that complications may suddenly occur leaves us no other alternative but to recommend that a planned hospital delivery may quite possibly be the best.

24. I WAS HEALTHY, the baby looked good, the doctor said that everything seemed to be going normally & it should be an easy delivery, which, thank God it was, but I was certainly very thankful to be in the doctor's care at a hospital where I had skilled medical assistance in some situations which required their expertise.

25. YOU MAY SUFFER SOME INCONVENIENCES & EVEN ACCIDENTS at the hand of the physicians & in the confines of the clinic as even I & others have, but in general, in the matter of delivering babies, their help in many cases can be invaluable. Even a skilled midwife at home would not have had the facilities nor the authority nor the knowledge to administer a general anesthetic such as was necessary in my case of the delivery of the placenta. Neither are midwives usually authorized to conduct forceps or cesarean or breech deliveries—all very common complications that can arise suddenly & need emergency help.

26. SO WE DO RECOMMEND THAT, although you should try to know something about home delivery in case of a real emergency, most of you will want to make preparation to have your child in an established hospital or clinic under care of an obstetrician, who hopefully you have been able to visit for at least a few months previous to the birth.

27. IF YOU ARE IN A SITUATION where a trained friendly midwife is available & in whose care you have been throughout your pregnancy, then a home delivery might be a suitable alternative in some cases. Many of you have given marvellous testimonies of your beautiful home deliveries & we would not want to discourage you nor your faith.

28. SO, ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH BE IT DONE UNTO YOU. You can't put your faith in the doctors & hospitals, but neither can you be absolutely certain of a home delivery. You must place your faith in the Lord & do as He leads in your particular situation. It cannot unreservedly be said that one is better than another.

29. WE WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT IF YOU DO DESIRE A HOME DELIVERY, it would probably be a very good idea to check into the legal regulations governing such deliveries in your area or your country, so that you will know what is required. You are almost always required, by the way, to have an authorised midwife in attendance.

30. WE SUGGEST THAT ALSO IN THIS CASE YOU WOULD NEED TO HAVE SOME KIND OF TRANSPORTATION available as well as a driver, in the event that you would need to be rushed immediately to the hospital & would not for some reason be able to obtain an ambulance.

31. YOU SHOULD ALSO HAVE A TELEPHONE at your Home where the delivery will take place, as well as being within easy driving distance of a hospital or a clinic which you have already visited & therefore know the route & could easily & quickly find your way there even late at night or in the wee hours of the morning.

32. WE OF COURSE TRUST THE LORD & He always brings us through, but sometimes for the sake of a testimony to others or as a test of our own faith, there might be situations which would require more advanced medical help than you could receive at your Home.

33. PETER OUR DRIVER WAS VERY HAPPY THAT DAD had made sure that we all knew the way to the clinic & had been on several practise drives to the clinic from our Home—once in busy traffic, once at night-time & once again for timing the entire drive. We therefore were well acquainted with the route & had no worries over losing our way there when it was time to go quickly

34. SO WHEN THE TIME CAME, OFF WE ALL WENT TO THE HOSPITAL!—Except poor Daddy, of course, who had to stay at home. But we didn't leave him comfortless, because dear sweet Dora remained to care for him while we were gone,

35. NOW DORA, a hard-working former German schoolteacher who was being trained to help with Techi‚ had had no previous experience with babies herself, as she had admitted a little worriedly to me: "I really know nothing about babies. My experience has all been with older children in the Family, & teaching many years in the System."

36. YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED to know that experience is not a prerequisite in an infant's care. In fact, thousands of women all over the world who have not had the slightest bit of experience have babies every day! So I replied to Dora, "Don't worry.—I don't have much experience either‚ but all that's required is a lot of love & the enormous dedication it takes to learn."

37. I HAD FIRST APPROACHED HER about the idea of helping to care for Techi when I was six calendar months along. She had accepted the idea as a real privilege & honour, & in fact had recounted a dream to me that she had had just two nights before‚ wherein a baby that was not of her own body had been placed in her arms, & she had put it to her own breast to suck!

38. SO FROM THAT TIME ON, she along with Sara had spent much time going through many books on the care of newborns & learning everything they could on the subject, not only for our one little girl soon to be born‚ but also for the profit of all of our precious babies around the world. She was certainly very dedicated & determined to do her best & really looking forward with eagerness to helping with Techi. We liked her very much, & Sara—who at the time was working even closer with her than we—declared: "I think she's one of the best in the Family! She is a real jewel!" She reminded me a little bit of another Capricorn, Lucy, who had cared so well for Davidito during his first months & had been such a blessing to him & to us—but Dora was older & more mature & even more dedicated.

(Continued in Chap.4.)