Too Young? Too Old?

I doubt it!

Below are some examples of some "sort of" young and old moms that I have helped.

The Story of Dulce

One Saturday in January, I got a call from a women who wanted to meet me in a nearby shopping center. When I found the center, I located the women, and she got in my car, and began to explain the reason for her call. "I know that you took care of Jasmin (a young first time girl who lived in a canyon), and she said that she really liked your care, etc. My daughter is pregnant, very young, and was raped. I have IMSS (Mexican National) insurance, but I think that it would be very traumatic for her to have her baby in the hospital. I know how they treat young girls in there" she said. "How young is your daughter?" I asked. "12" she said. Wow I thought. "Well, I can guarantee nothing. It all depends on your daughter, and your support for her. Lets go and meet her, so I can see how she reacts to me". The mom showed me the way to her house, another in the riverbed, but a different section then where most of my moms live. Soon I met Dulce (Sweet in English), a tall, and very thin young girl. They told me that Dulce was raped the summer before during a summer vacation. I told Dulce that I would be very gentle with her, but still, Dulce trembled as I listened to the heartbeat of her unborn child in her little tummy. I asked Dulce, if she was scared to birth in her home. "Yes, but my mom said that it would be better here." "And Dulce, you are OK with me caring for you?" I said. "I know that you took care of Jasmin, and she was young too." "OK" I said. So I explained how I do a birth, showed them some photos of recent births, etc., and they seemed to be OK with all of this. Calculating her EDD, Dulce was 28 weeks. Normally, I would only see a mom once a month under 7 months, but I wanted to visit Dulce more often, to gain her trust and confidence.

One Sunday, a day after my third visit with Dulce, I got a call from Dulce's mother at 7 PM. She said that Dulce was having some pains, could I come and check her. "Yes" I said, "I will be there in 2 hours." I changed my clothes, and left for Tijuana. I was worried, because as I looked at my book, by dates Dulce was 32 weeks. If the dates are correct, this was too early for a home birth. At 8 PM, my cell phone rang. It was Dulce's mother saying "Please hurry, Dulce is having VERY hard pains" "Oh my god" I thought, how can this be. I had just seen Dulce the day before, and she wasn't complaining about anything. I told Dulce's mother that I would drive as fast as possible, but I still had almost one hour to go. "Please hurry" said Dulce's mother, and then she hung up. I could feel the stress building in my body. Although I had done more then 100 home births, I certainly did not feel like a pro with super young girls, although I had a 13 year old who had a beautiful home birth a few months before this. I pushed the gas pedal down hard, and looked in the rear view mirror, as I flew down the I15 freeway towards San Diego. As I passed through San Diego, my cell phone rang again. It was Dulce's mother saying "Dulce is PUSHING, what do I do?" "Go and help your daughter, I told her, "I will be there as soon as possible." My stress level just inched up a few notches. Soon I crossed the border, and I thought that it was a miracle that I had not attracted a CHP, because of my speed. As I drove through the Tijuana downtown area, my cell phone rang again. It was Dulce's mother saying "The head is out! What do I do?" I told her "When the body comes out, put the baby on her tummy, cover the baby, and don't do anything else." Then I heard a scream in the background "She's pushing again" and then they hung up. I looked at my watch, 8:45 PM. As I raced down the road, I came to the riverbed area, where the roads are dirt, so I had to slow down. Still I drove as fast as I dared, it was a balancing act to keep from damaging my car, and still maintain speed on this bumpy dirt road. Soon I was in front of Dulce's house. I grabbed my things, and ran for the house. The front door was open. In the middle of the room were 2 women, Dulce's mother and sister in law who were crying. They pointed to the corner, where I saw Dulce laying on a bed with her legs up, and covered. I removed the cover, and was greeted with the sight of a very small baby laying between Dulce's legs. He was covered with the membranes, and when I picked him up, I realized that he was totally IN the membranes. I looked at my watch, 8:54 PM, as I tried to tear the membranes. I have very strong hands, but still, it took me several tries, as I pulled, poked, and finally tore a hole in them, and freed the little boy inside. As I began to stimulated this little one. To my horror, I see that the placenta is UNDER the baby, and must have come out right after the baby! I rub, blow air, and do all of the tricks that I know, but this baby is totally floppy and unresponsive. I look back towards Dulce's mother who is crying, and I tell her, that things don't look good for the baby. Finally after 1½ minutes, he takes a gasp, and then another, and at 2 minutes, he is breathing. By this time, I have tears in my eyes, as I can't believe this little one has come through 9 minutes laying there in the sack, unable to breath, and with unknown support from the placenta. Dulce's mother now comes over, as the baby is becoming stable. By 5 minutes, he looks like nothing has happened. I cut and tie off the cord, and hand him to Dulce's mother. We weigh this now bright eyed little guy, 2.4 Kg. (5.28 Lbs.) Dulce had no tears, and had lost maybe just a couple tablespoons of blood. Dulce lay there quietly as I checked and cleaned her. VERY calm, she was. A few moments later, I motion Dulce's mother into another room. I quietly tell her that because this baby was showing no signs of breathing difficulties, I thought that he was most likely 8 months, not 7. Dulce's mother got a strange look on her face, turned, and pointed outside, where her brother in law was waiting in a new white van outside, and turned back to me, and very quietly said "It's HIM!". I never asked, but I assumed that they may have been sharing a house together 8 months ago, and Dulce's mother had remembered a suspicious event, but Dulce had told her mother that it happened during the summer vacation. I also believe that Dulce's mothers desires to have Dulce birth at home were also driven by her and her husband's desires to register Dulce's baby as her BROTHER. That is what Dulce's mother wanted. The birth Certificate states that Dulce's mother is the birth mother. Almost everything was bazaar about Dulce's birth. The last that I heard from some kids of another family that I did a birth for in the same area and went to school with Dulce, that Dulce was back in school and doing well.

Jerry

Another very small build mom to be, She is 12 and her boy friend is 15 and a rancher. When she went into labor, he was as cool and calm as you could imagine, as he had seen many animal births on the ranch. She birthed on her knees, on the bed, holding on to him, and her back to me. She is 14 now, and I still see her from time to time.

Above Left is Rafaela, 42, and her mother Estelle. Rafaela is in labor with her 12th. child. Estelle had 16 children, all at home and several SOLO. Estelle loves births. Whenever someone is pregnant in Estelle's family, and Estelle can talk them into a homebirth, in Estelle's home is where they give birth. I am soon to get a call "Jerry, I got another one for you!". Estelle did not need to talk her daughter Rafaela into trying a homebirth, because like her mother, Rafaela has only had homebirths. Rafaela was worried about this birth, because it had been 6 years since her last child, and more so, because a few days before she went into labor, she had visited a local female OB, who told Rafaela "Your baby is coming face up and it will be a very difficult birth, and I strongly recommend a cesarean". So when I arrived the night that these photos were taken, Rafaela asked me to check her baby. Everything seemed normal. Rafaela looked deeply in my eyes and said "Are you sure?" And then Rafaela told me about her recent encounter with the local OB, and what she had said. I carefully rechecked Rafaela, but I came to the same conclusion, that her baby was coming head down and face down. 3½ hours later, Rafaela gave birth normally to her 12th. child, a 3.4 Kg. Boy, Rafaela's biggest. A few minutes after the right photo was taken and less then one hour after this birth, Rafaela gets up, walks out to my car, and I drove her home. A fantastic women!

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