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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #5

Sun, 01/18/2009 - 08:56 -- Carol Leonard

My First Breech Birth

It is amazing to me that just when I think I’ve learned all the
lessons I am supposed to get about a particular situation, more
come. This definitely keeps me humble. Grace is a willowy blonde
with piercing blue eyes and has that old money, WASP-prepschool
look about her. She is pregnant with her second baby
and has been having her prenatal care with me, in conjunction
with Dr. Faith up north, as they live out in the country. I’d like
to blame Dr. Faith for misdiagnosing this one, but I can’t. I am

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #4

Sat, 01/17/2009 - 08:34 -- Carol Leonard

A WATER BIRTH

A water birth that later always makes me smile is with a client
who is a registered nurse, living in an apartment complex toward
the Seacoast. Gloria is tall and outspoken and very funny, so it
comes as no surprise that she is directive and bossy in labor.
What works best for her, during the throes of transition, is
standing up in her shower with the massage showerhead set
on “pulse,” directing the stream of water on her clitoris. This
gives her tremendous pain relief, and it looks like it might be
a familiar habit. This is fine and dandy with me, until she is in

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #3

Mon, 01/12/2009 - 07:13 -- Carol Leonard

The Most Dangerous Birth

Of all the births, there is only one where I am concerned for my
own personal safety. The goddess in charge of protecting her
midwives certainly worked overtime on this one.
In 1981, there was a lot of media coverage about a militia
man, Bo Haggett, who has stormed into my former place of
employment, now renamed the Feminist Health Center, and has
threatened the health workers at gun point. He claimed he was
there to “liberate” his teenage daughter. He was going to prevent
her from having an abortion, which was scheduled for that

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~ #2

Mon, 01/05/2009 - 08:25 -- Carol Leonard

The Stork Story
Many times, the gravity and enormity of birth is balanced by
sheer silliness. The following story always sounds impossibly
silly, even to me, but I have the pictures to prove it.
It is Halloween night 1985. Susie is on call, so I am on my way
to a friend’s costume party, dressed in a great costume that I put
together at the last minute. I think it is hilariously funny. I think
it will be a grand entrance, arriving dressed as a stork (even
though Susie is the one whose license plate reads STORK).
I have found a saucy, trashy, white silk teddy that is trimmed

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Excerpt from Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga ~

Tue, 12/30/2008 - 03:12 -- Carol Leonard

A Beautiful Birth
A vast majority of the births are sweet, sensual, powerful, and
completely uncomplicated. Sondra’s birth story is perhaps the
most poignant and touching.
Sondra is a wonderful, strong African-American woman with
a very large smile, close-cropped hair, and gorgeous dark skin.
She calls me late in her pregnancy and asks if I will attend her
at home, even though her baby is going to die. She explains
that she had an ultrasound done in her first trimester, and her
obstetricians told her that her baby is anencephalic. They have

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