Sometimes our mother got called to attend a home birth when my sister and I were just getting out of school. She would have to drive directly to the family’s house and because of the timing, we would go with her. I was a teen during this part of my mother’s career. My sister was several years younger than me. I was an introvert and shy around the expecting families. My sister, like my mother, liked being close to the birthing mother. My sister would help by massaging the mother-to-be’s feet. I preferred helping out with background things: washing up the dishes and tidying the kitchen and living areas, boiling water so my mother could sterilize equipment, bringing in mail and newspapers.
One time, a couple days after a birth we had gone to with our mother, she made a postpartum visit to check on the mom, new baby, and family. At one point the dad asked, “So who were your assistants? They were so helpful.”
We all had a good laugh when our mother got home and told us about this conversation. He’d had no clue we were the midwife’s daughters.