She panted at times as if to give birth again — only this time to deliver herself from this life

By Gerald Grow

After the ultrasound and a visit to the birth center, Christl, who would be 41 at the time of the birth, turned to me and announced, “I’m going to have this baby at home without a midwife — and I hope you’ll be there.”

Her experience with our first son in 1977 soured her on a hospital birth. Even though she negotiated what she wanted, the new shifts ignored the agreement. And, sensitized by pregnancy, she did not like the…