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Hippies, Homebirth, and Homeschool

I went back to college in my mid forties; one of my required classes was public speaking. Our assignment was to find three words all beginning with the same letter that had an impact on our lives. Here are mine:

Hippies, Home birth and Homeschooling 

It was around 1972 when I was twelve that I met my first hippies. They came driving into our conservative little Northern Maine town in their V W bus looking to live off the land and get away from it all. My father sold real estate so they often stayed with us, parking their campers and tents in our yard.  They would sit around our old farm house nursing their babies and talking about their wonderful home births, what a miracle birth was. We thought the way they dressed and their ideas were a little crazy. Birth was not such a miracle around our house, I have seven brothers and three sisters, all born in the hospital with the just the right amount of drugs. Little did I ever imagine that their ideas would not seem so crazy to me in the future.

Many years later, I was working as a private secretary for an author writing a book on midwives, birth centers and home births.  Now instead of sounding crazy, it sounded interesting. Maybe if I ever have children I would consider a birth center with a midwife assisting.  Forward to 1992, when I found out I was pregnant after ten years of marriage we were thrilled. I called the birth center only to find out it was closed and that they only do home births. I was very disappointed thinking my husband would never agree to something that radical. I did more research, met with the midwife, felt so comfortable with her we decided to give it a try. We had a back up doctor and lived within two miles of the hospital. To be extra safe, we decided not to tell anyone, including our parents. We didn’t want people to think we were hippies or anything. After a great pregnancy, I prepared my husband with the idea that the labor would be long but we would get through it with no pain medication. I had plans to watch movies, make cookies while in labor. Amazingly, I had my son in less than one hour from the time the midwife arrived. Great birth shocked everyone when they learned we had him at home. 

I was so attached to my son that I started considering home schooling. Again did lots of research while he was still young. I decided to give it a try. We loved it, such a nice relaxed way to learn, no stressful mornings rushing out the door to school. We joined home school groups, did lots of fun field trips, art shows, science and history fairs, musical recitals, piano and guitar. Plenty of socializing without much peer pressure.  We home schooled my son all the way through school and my daughter will graduate next year. They are wonderful well rounded kids who continue to enjoy learning new things, right now we are all learning ASL to do volunteer work.  It was not easy financially but the experience was priceless. 

So now you all know I had home births, I home schooled my children but I am not a hippie, although for a while I did drive a V W. PEACE. 

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