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1. THREE WEEKS BEFORE TECHI'S DUE DATE, I visited my new doctor for the second time since we had recently changed locations. He checked me thoroughly, finding the baby very low but the cervix still tightly closed. After spending about 35 minutes with me he made the comment, "You're in great condition! I don't have to tell you to take it easy. You can continue those long daily walks as long as you want.

2. "I KNOW IN THE STATES, in the last weeks of pregnancy you must visit the doctor every week, but here we check you more thoroughly each time, & therefore you need less visits. So I won't have to see you again until I see you at the clinic when the baby is ready to be born, which should be anywhere from the 18th to the 25th of March. If it doesn't come by the 25th, come back to my office the 26th.

3. THEREFORE, OBVIOUSLY THE DOCTOR WASN'T WORRIED when didn't appear on the 280th day, which would have been the 16th of March. But Daddy couldn't understand why she wasn't exactly on time as Davidito had been four years before. By two days later, when she still hadn't come, he was taking the whole matter very personally,

4. "MAYBE SHE DOESN'T WANT TO COME. Maybe I've done something wrong." But after she was safely born & Daddy's faith restored he said, "God can do whatever He wants. He doesn't have to stick to the exact rules. If He wants three more days to put on the finishing touches to make her just what He wants her to be, well, He's the Artist, He's the Doctor.--Amen? Thank the Lord! Isn't it wonderful to trust the Lord!" I added that I thought perhaps it would help others not to be worried when their babies don't arrive exactly on schedule.

5. WELL, DADDY DIDN'T HAVE TO SUFFER TOO LONG, because on the morning of the 19th, at 7:15 AM, I felt what at first seemed like a little gas pain, but after the second or third of the same type, I was pretty sure what was happening. Sneaking out of the bedroom as quietly as possible, I began to prepare myself for the trip to the clinic. Since I was getting such an early start, I could prepare everything necessary, alert the rest of the family & then come back to bed.

6. DAVID WOKE AT 8:15, suspicious because I was up, & guessing that I was having contractions. "Well maybe they are just little gas pains," I told him, "but I'm not sure, so I'll prepare to go to the clinic." Nearly everything had been packed for some days, thanks to Sara, Sue & the rest of our Home's faithful help, so there wasn't too much left to do.

7. I HAD A LITTLE YELLOW SUITCASE--half of it filled with baby supplies & half with my own personal needs, to last five days if necessary, although it turned out I only had to stay two nights. Hospitals often provide some items, such as diapers for the baby, belly-band & changing supplies. Make sure what you'll need.

8. IT'S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO VISIT YOUR CLINIC BEFOREHAND as we did & discuss with someone on the staff what you should bring with you. We found them very friendly & helpful. We did not have to use everything we had brought, but it was better to have too much than too little. You can always have someone bring extra things to you if you discover you have forgotten something.

9. THE FOLLOWING LISTS WILL NOT NECESSARILY BE THE SAME FOR EVERYONE, but here is what we took: For Techi: Two sweaters, one bonnet, one pair of booties, four long-sleeved T shirts, two gowns, two pair of long socks, two sleepers, paper nappies & plastic tie-on panties (although the hospital supplied cloth diapers & we didn't have to use ours), soft facial tissues, cotton wool, sterile gauze cord pads, Vaseline, towel, face cloth, two small lightweight blankets.

10. FOR ME: Powdered milk, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, honey (all of these to supplement food & drinks. You can take a tablespoon of honey throughout labour for energy, & after the birth as well.), Laundry soap (for washing lingerie & baby's laundry); tape recorder & tapes of music & Scripture; camera; pen & paper; Bible & Daily Might; birth & babycare books to review, (all of the following five are highly recommended):

A.) Naturebirth, by Danae Brook, by Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England; or 625 Madison Ave., NY, NY 10022.

B.) The Experience of Childbirth, by Sheila Kitzinger, a Pelican Book by Penguin Books Ltd. at address above; or Ringwood, Victoria, Australia; & 41 Steelcase Road West, Markham, Ontario, Canada.

C.) Babylove, by Judy Wade & Val Hudson, a Coronet Book by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., Mill Road, Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, England.--Really radically natural!

D.) The New Childbirth, by Erna Wright, a Universal Book published by W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd., 44 Hill St., London WIX-8LB.

E.) The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by La Leche international, Illinois, USA, by Tandem Publishing Ltd., A. Howard & Wyndham Company, 123 King Street, London W6 9JG.

11. THERE ARE ALSO OTHER PAPERBACK ENGLISH LANGUAGE BOOKS that I have read containing good information on pregnancy & birth, among them:

A.) Preparation for Childbirth, a Lamaze Guide by Donna & Roger Ewy, by Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

B.) Six Practical Lessons for an Easier Childbirth, by Elizabeth Bing, Published by Bantam Books, Inc., 666 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10019, USA.

C.) {\ul \i Everywoman}, a Gynaecological Guide, by Derek Llewellyn-Jones, by Faber & Faber Limited, 3 Queen Square, London WC1.

D.) Moving Through Pregnancy, the Revolutionary Exercise Technique for Every Active Mother-To-Be, by Elizabeth Bing, by Bantam Books (see above address).

E.) Pregnancy--A guide to Pregnancy, Labour & Motherhood, by Gordon Bourne, by Pan Books Ltd., Cavaye Place, London SW109PG, England.--(A thick reference book, rather technical but possibly helpful.)

F.) Available from FCS are two helpful classes in Natural Childbirth by Deborah David--"Part 1--Education" & "Part 2--Understanding the Process of Labour." Write to Family Services, PF 241, 8021 Zurich, Switzerland.

12. AND OF COURSE, THERE ARE MANY BOOKS on the care of babies & children, some of the best of which are recommended in our Family Services publications. We hope you can find in your area the same books or ones similar to these which we have found most helpful & available in Europe:

A.) Dr. Turtle's Babies, by William John Turtle MD.--Helpful counsel on common problems of feeding, scheduling & care for baby in his first year; by Popular Library, 600 Third Ave., NY, NY 10019 USA.

B.) Babylove, by Wade & Hudson. (Above)

C.) The New Childhood, by Erna Wright, a Universal Book by Tandem Publishing Co. Lts, 123 King Street, London W6 9JG.

D.) Book of Child Care, by Hugh Jolly, by Sphere Books, Ltd, 30/32 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8JL, England.--A complete updated reference guide to child development.

13. FAMILY SERVICES HAS ITSELF PUBLISHED SOME VERY GOOD MATERIAL on this subject, & there is more coming. And as a guide to the spiritual development of children, the Bible, of course, is unsurpassed; as well as the MO Letters given by the Lord--interpretations & revelations of the Truths of the Bible for modern living; & the Davidito Letters, a handbook of specific examples of Godly training of a small child, a royal prince destined to be great in the Kingdom of God--based on the wisdom of God's Prophet & His Word.

14. ALSO PACKED WERE vitamins E & C; small container of cooking salt (soothing to add to a bath in early stage of labour before waterbag leaks or is broken & for baths after the birth if you don't have stitches. Best not to take baths or soak in water if you've had stitches, as this can dissolve them before you are healed).

15. THREE BRAS; breast pads; breast cream with lanolin; slippers; two dozen disposable baby diapers for post-natal flow; disposable panties; three plastic lined panties; four short nighties (front opening or those which can be slipped off the shoulders for nursing; short ones are more comfy in bed); robe; warm socks; hand towel & face cloth; small plastic food bags.

16. I ALSO TOOK A VANITY CASE with toiletries: Kleenex; perfumed towelettes; soft toilet paper (hospital paper is usually rough); brush; comb; perfume; toothbrush; toothpaste; nail clippers; tweezers; make-up; chapstick or vaseline (for moistening lips while in labour, which I used several times while in the delivery room); shampoo; hairdryer; powder; soap; shower cap or hair clips; deodorant; small mirror.

17. I ALSO ADDED TO MY THINGS A NATURAL SPONGE to place in water or ice on a small plate or in a bowl for moistening mouth during labour (I didn't need it, but it's nice, if you do. One time when my mouth was dry, the mid-wife sprayed water from a spray can into my mouth & over my face. You can buy these spray cans yourself in some places); another natural sponge for washing bottom (it's softer & cleans that area better then a wash cloth); clock.

18. ADDING TO MY PILE OF BAGGAGE WAS A PURSE with some small change; a passport--well, actually, it was only a Xeroxed copy of the photo & ID pages, as we found it worked very well for identity purposes & avoided the necessity of carrying around a passport that could get lost or stolen); a pillow--in case I needed further leverage on the delivery table; a blanket.

19. A LUNCH BAG WITH SNACKS of fresh fruit, milk & egg custard, nuts, cheese, raisins, natural yoghurts & small spoons, decaffinated coffee, carrot sticks--most of which are good roughage foods to aid in easier bowel movements--powdered milk, honey, brewer's yeast and wheat germ.

20. ABOUT 9 A.M. I GOT TO BED AGAIN for a little while, & Daddy & I had a nice loving little chat discussing the coming birth & trying up a few matters of business that needed to be taken care of. He told me he had had a dream that I was going to have Techi today. But then he said, "I've been so eager for her arrival that I could have dreamed that any day." But it certainly looked as though today his dream was going to be fulfilled!

21. MY CONTRACTIONS CONTINUED TO COME AT FIVE TO 20 MINUTE INTERVALS with varying intensity, but all of them quite light & never hard enough to have to use more than deep breathing. While I was having some of them, Daddy had his arm around me & would begin to pat my bottom comfortingly as I began to breathe deeply & as he timed the contractions for me. However, even on these light contractions, just the slightest pat or touching or movement on my body really bothered me & seemed to increase the discomfort, so I had to ask him to stop.

22. "PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME," I gasped in the middle of a contraction, & then afterwards was sorry because I felt I had hurt his sensitive feelings. I then hastened to explain that I guess I'm like some animals who go off by themselves & try to be along while they are having their young. We recalled that with Davidito, four years before, I had lain out on the living room couch all night by myself, not wanting the rest of the family to even know that I was in labour. I was very glad, however, that David was with me at this time, in spite of the fact that I couldn't stand the pats! We had some beautiful fellowship together praying & waiting for any change.

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family