By Kathryn Dyer
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Meagan. She lived with her mommy and daddy, her big brother Corwin and her beautiful cat named Starweaver. Meagan's mother was pregnant. Meagan would soon be having a new sibling. Her parents had told her that 'sibling' meant 'brother' or 'sister'. Meagan's mother Elizabeth had an ultrasound done which showed that the new baby would probably be a boy. That would make him Meagan's brother. The new baby was inside Elizabeth's uterus. The baby was getting bigger and bigger every day and it would soon be time for him to be born.
Meagan knew that some babies were born in hospitals, some in birthing centers and some were born at home. Elizabeth and Michael had chosen the birthing center run by Elizabeth's midwife as just the right place for the new baby to be born. One day Meagan saw her mother packing a suitcase. "What are you doing, Momma?" asked Meagan. Elizabeth smiled, "I am packing the bag that I will take to the birthing center when it's time to have the baby. Would you like to help?" Meagan bounced into the room. "Sure!" she said, "What can I do? What are you putting in there?" Elizabeth folded a nightgown, "I am putting in an old nightgown and a robe to wear while I'm in labor, some clean clothes to wear home, and clothes for your baby brother to wear home. I will also want my nursing book and I'll want my pregnancy journal but I'll wait to put the journal in until right before we leave. Can you hand me that purple tube?" Meagan handed the tube to her mother. "What's that?" she asked. "This is a special cream that I can use on my nipples if they get sore when I nurse the baby." replied her mother, "It shouldn't hurt very long but sometimes a woman gets a little sore the first few days after the baby is born. I hurt a lot when your brother was born because he wasn't nursing right, but with the help of my midwife and a group called LaLeche League Corwin and I were able to learn together how to nurse so that he could get all the milk he needed. We'll also need to put in some clothes for you and Corwin and your father because you will stay with me until the baby is ready to come home."
Meagan helped her mother pack the suitcase. They decided to let Meagan put her clothes in the backpack she had gotten for her birthday. Meagan also put in some books to read and some toys to play with. When her mother wasn't looking she put in a card that she had made for her mother and the new baby. It was a few days later that Elizabeth came into the kitchen with a funny look on her face and holding her belly. Michael went to her and began rubbing her back while she took deep, deep breaths. "How many is this?" he asked. Elizabeth took one more deep breath and said, "This is the first one I've really noticed, but it was pretty intense. Corwin, would you get a piece of paper and write down the time? I didn't time the contraction itself but we can do that with the next one." Meagan helped her brother find a piece of paper, then she went to put on her watch so that she could help time too. She knew that a contraction was the muscles of the uterus working to help push the baby out into the world. Everyone seemed really excited, but Meagan felt funny and scared at the same time. She was worried about her mother. Even though she had taken classes at the birthing center so that she could be there when the baby was born it was different when it was her own mother in labor!
Elizabeth took several walks that day with Michael. She wandered around the house with that funny look on her face. She kept changing her mind about things. Finally, Elizabeth was having contractions every few minutes. She called her midwife while Michael put everyone's bags into the car. While Elizabeth was on the phone she cried out and suddenly the floor was all wet. Michael raced back into the house, "Well, we'd better hurry as safely as possible kids...your mother's water has broken." Meagan knew that meant the baby would probably come soon. She got into the car with Corwin and her parents and they drove quickly but safely to the birthing center.
At the birthing center they helped Elizabeth get settled into a pretty room that looked just like a regular bedroom. Soon Jeremy and Sybil arrived. Sybil would be Elizabeth's doula. "What's a doula?" Meagan asked Jeremy. "Well," said Jeremy, "A doula is someone who helps the woman who is in labor...in a way, I'm your and Corwin's doula because I'm here to help take care of you and explain things to you while your mommy is having the new baby. Sybil and Michael will be helping your mommy and she will be working very hard so none of them will have time to take care of you and Corwin until after the baby is born. So if you need anything, or if you just want to know something or have someone hold you, you can ask me because that's what I'm here for." Meagan felt good knowing that there was someone at the birthing center just for her. She didn't think that Corwin would really need anyone that much because he was older. Later Elizabeth was working very, very hard to have the new baby. She even screamed out loud sometimes. Corwin looked very pale and he held tightly to Jeremy's hand, just like Meagan!
It wasn't long after that that the new baby was born! The doctor had come by earlier to check but told everyone that things were going well and that the midwife would probably not need him at all. The midwife was telling Elizabeth to push as Sybil and Michael held her hands. "This is it!" she said. Meagan and Corwin came a little closer to see but did their best to stay out of everyone's way. Meagan squealed when she saw the baby's head starting to come out of her mother's body. As soon as the baby's head was out the midwife used a blue bulb syringe to help get out any fluid the baby might have inhaled while being born. She finished and told Elizabeth to push one more time. Elizabeth screwed up her face and the baby was born!! Everyone gathered around as the midwife laid the baby on Elizabeth's stomach. It was a baby boy! Meagan and Corwin got to touch their baby brother but he was crying a little bit so they laid a blanket over him and let him nurse. While he was nursing the placenta that held him safe inside the uterus came out of Elizabeth's body. Then the midwife put some clips on the cord that fed him inside of Elizabeth and Michael cut it.
"Welcome to the world, Jonathan Aelfraed!" said Elizabeth with tears in her eyes. After a while they helped clean Jonathnan up and got him ready to go home. The midwives had Elizabeth stay for awhile after Jonathan was born to make sure that they were both okay. One of them would come out to the house the next day to check on everyone. Michael dressed the baby while Elizabeth got dressed. As she was pulling out her clothes she found a card in her suitcase. "What's this?" she asked as she opened it. It was the card that Meagan had made. "Oh Meagan!" she exclaimed, "Thank-you so much!" She showed the card to everyone and they all said what a nice card and a sweet thought it was for Meagan to make it. That made Meagan feel very good. As her father finished dressing the baby he pulled out two packages from the suitcase, "Look! I've found a package for Meagan and one for Corwin!" Meagan's package said "to my new big sister" and inside was a new tape! Corwin's had a new book. It made them feel very good. When they left to go home, Corwin wore his 'big brother' shirt and Meagan wore her 'big sister' shirt. They felt very proud.
As soon as they got home, the baby wanted to nurse again. Meagan knew that babies nurse a lot when they are first born. When it was time to go to bed her mother was nursing the baby again! Meagan gave her mother a kiss and kissed the baby's arm. She knew that she couldn't touch the baby's face while he was nursing because it would confuse him. "Good night baby brother," said Meagan. Michael carried her up to bed and helped her put in her new tape. She was very tired, very happy and just a little sad. But as Starweaver jumped up onto her bed and began to purr she fell asleep. It had been a good day.
(Click here to go to the page that the story "Meagan's new sibling" was taken from).