Wednesday, April 27, 2011


One of my granddaughters has a birthday coming up soon.  Birthdays always cause contemplation of the birth of that person.  I remember the birth of my last child.  I was two weeks late, my husband was away for the evening attending a volleyball game, (pre-cell phones).  He left me in the capable hands of my favorite cousin, Mark.  

Mark had called before his six hour journey to our farm and asked if there was anything special I'd like to have.  I suggested a French Silk pie.  The two of us shared one piece, and then I had a second.  Part way through my second piece, I had a strong labor pain.  Mark panicked until I told him there was nothing to be concerned about, I'd been having contractions off and on for weeks.  

The pains increased.  The school where my husband attended the game was only 7 miles away and he was due home in two hours.  Mark, called the school.  With no one in the small school's office after hours, the call went unnoticed.  Mark paced.  The minutes ticked by.  More contractions.  Mark paced.  Finally, my husband returned home and Mark relaxed.  My water broke and we were off to the hospital to have our son.

Six months later, while visiting family in Omaha, my sister-in-law was due to have her baby.  Mark, brought her a French Silk pie.  Halfway through her first slice, she experienced a wave of contractions, her water broke and off to the hospital to have her son.

One of my daughters was just past her due date, so we laughed and suggested Mark's labor inducing French Silk pie.  She had not one, but three slices, and her water broke and off to the hospital to give birth to my grandson.  

Pregnant women and Mark with his French Silk pie became a family story.  Several years ago, Mark was back for another visit. My friend was at our house and she was due to have her baby.  So, Mark and my husband drove 75 miles to a Village Inn Restaurant to purchase a French Silk pie.  

My friend ate her slice of pie, Mark watched in anticipation--nothing.  We watched her eat her second piece--nothing.  My husband and I left Mark in charge while we went out to finish chores.

No sooner had we made it across the farmyard than my friend grabbed her belly and doubled over in pain.  Mark graciously helped her to the sofa then called us.  We explained babies don't happen that quickly, so we'll finish our chores and be up to the house shortly.

Mark returned to his patient, who now moaned her way through her next contraction.  "Time them," she suggested.  "Wait a minute," said Mark.  He rushed to the phone and called us again.  We once more assured him babies don't happen that quickly.  

When he returned to my friend she informed him the contractions were coming every two minutes.  
"What's that mean?" asked Mark.
"I had my last baby thirty minutes after my contractions were this close," she said. 
"Oh, man.  Let's call the hospital," he said. 
"No, I'm planning a home birth," she said.
"Okay, okay, let's call your husband."
"Can't, he's out of town."
Panicked he called us once more.  

We told him we'd be up to the house as soon as we finished chores.

He said, "Chores!  I have a pregnant woman up here and she's about to give birth!!!"
My husband responded, "In the bottom drawer you'll find a birthing kit complete with episiotomy scissors.  Just listen to what she tells you and you'll do fine.  Birthing is a natural process."
"WHAT!!!  "You'd better get up here and fast!"
My friend called out to him, "Get off the phone and help me I think its coming."
"Let me run outside and get them," he begged.
"No time," she said.
He held her hand while she moaned through the next couple contractions then he raced to the window.
"They're coming!  They're coming!  Can you hang on?"
"No!," she cried.
Mark ran to the door, opened it and yelled to us, "Hurry up, hurry up, its coming!!!"
We casually walked toward the house.  He was holding her hand, sweat beaded on his brow, his heart racing when we entered the living room.
I sat on one chair while my husband sat on another.  A confused Mark looked pleadingly from me to my husband.  "Aren't you going to do something?" he asked.
"How'd he do?" I asked.
She sat up and said, "Pretty good.  He was very attentive."
Mark, still frazzled, look at each of us, waiting for someone to step in and catch the baby, which was not really due yet for three more weeks.  
I could no longer control the giggles.  The three of us burst into hysterical laughter.  
"Oh man, this was a joke, " said Mark.
Later he sent her a trophy for best actress.  He still continues to deliver his French Silk pies, but not the babies.


  1. OH SURE ..... I can laugh about it now ..... but it wasn't so funny when I was sure I'd be performing my first episiotomy and delivering her baby all by myself !
    Your favorite cousin, Mark
    P.S. That's probably what caused my heart condition

  2. It is a funny experience, indeed. You were lucky your cousin Mark has found herbal remedies. Congratulations!