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Ben Sauter, a character, in his own words

"Baby-Birthing-Southern-Style"

 
The birth took place in the back upstairs bedroom of a beautiful old farm house later known as 2802 N Rolling Rd. It was on Nov 16, 1926; the same year that electricity came to that part of Woodlawn-Hebbville. The house had 1st floor windows that came almost to the floor with shutters on the outside. They were used to keep out extreme sunlight or a shower and still have a breeze coming through.

My mother had Dr. Niblett in attendance as well as her housemaid, Butterfly.

I had started to emerge but then stopped. It was going to be a difficult delivery. After a while of no progress, Butterfly asked Dr. Nibblet if she could see him out in the hall. So they left the bedroom.

Butterfly told Dr. Nibblet that she had helped in many births. She said: I'm from a big plantation down in Georgia, named Tara. And when one of the hired help was giving birth, she would help out. I was there when Bonnie Blue was born to Scarlett and Rhett.

Dr. Niblett said: Butterfly, I can see that you've had a lot of experience. Something tells me that you would like to make a suggestion about the case.

Butterfly said: Yes I would. I'd like to tell you how we did it down south.

Dr. Niblett said: I would like to hear it. Tell away.

Butterfly said: I have the equipment right here. See this little saucer and this can of pepper?

Butterfly explained to Dr. Niblett just what to do.

Dr. Niblett said O.K. let's go back in the bedroom and give it a try.

So now they are back in the bedroom. Dr. Niblett said: Mrs. Sauter, I want you to close your eyes and keep them closed. Then he poured a nice helping of pepper in the saucer. Now Mrs. Sauter, when I tell you I want you to take a deep breath. He held the saucer right under my mother's nose. Now Mrs. Sauter he said: Take the deepest breath that you've ever taken. Mother did just what the Doctor had ordered. My mother let out a cough-sneeze that the neighbors on the next farm later said they heard it. I not only was born but went flying across the room and struck my head on the door. Here I am 2 seconds old and I have a concussion. The doctor sewed the wound and he said: Let the dog lick that a couple of times a day and it'll be better before you know it. Then Dr. Niblett said to Butterfly: But: Your method is excellent. Could you speak at the next AMA meeting and you can teach all those Drs. Your method will set birthing ahead 45-50 yrs. Butterfly said She could.

To this day I think my state of sanity, lack of self esteem, shyness, introvertness, feeling of worthlessness all can be traced to that head injury at birth or immediately after.

 


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Written Jan 2012.

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