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Posted: 7/19/2001 11:37:51 AM EDT
Child birth coach Girl, 8, helps aunt through labor Michael Ging/The Arizona Republic By Karina Bland The Arizona Republic July 19, 2001 Lori Sheidler's childbirth coach had to be driven to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center by her mom. She brought Floppy the stuffed toy bunny, a box of Popsicles and her own blanket. Eight-year-old Bailey Bagwell coached her Aunt Lori through 11 hours of labor, using breathing techniques, massage and encouraging words she learned in a month's worth of childbirth classes. "A child childbirth coach, I have not seen that before," said John Elliot of Phoenix Perinatal Associates, who has delivered babies - his specialty is quadruplets - for 30 years. He delivered Sheidler's baby at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a healthy girl at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long. "She's so cute," Bailey said, an "It's a girl" pin on the front of her pink shirt. Bailey has talked and sung to her new cousin since she was conceived, whispering against Sheidler's ever-growing belly. The baby quiets quickly in her arms. Now that the baby's here, Bailey has offered to baby-sit for $1.25 a day. She has practiced diapering her baby dolls. "When she's 2," Bailey promised, "I'll teach her what 2 plus 2 equals and what 2 times 2 equals and how to look both ways before crossing the road." Bailey's uncle Jeff, Sheidler's husband and the new father, admitted months ago that he wasn't brave enough to be in the delivery room. So Sheidler's sisters, Lana Bass and Lyn Bailey, who is Bailey's mother, volunteered for duty. But it was Bailey who made it to every childbirth class, earning a certificate, and also took a baby care class with Sheidler. "I just like to see the babies being born because I like life science," Bailey said. Sheidler picks Bailey up every Friday, and they spend the afternoon together. Bailey will be in the third grade at Valley Cathedral Christian School. She wants to be a veterinarian. Bailey helped organize Sheidler's baby shower and chose the outfit the baby wore home from the hospital: a white sleeper trimmed with lavender stitching. Bailey doesn't know how a baby is conceived, but her mother, the principal at Palo Verde Middle School, explained how a baby is born before letting her daughter her attend the classes, where videos of births were shown. "I thought it came out of her tummy," Bailey says, giggling. Bailey carried a pager for months and slept in her clothes the last few days. Her mother gently shook her awake about 2:30 a.m. on Monday and told her it was time. Sheidler's mother, sisters and a family friend were there, along with a doctor, three residents and nurses. Bailey rubbed Sheidler's back and held onto one leg while her aunt pushed her cousin out. "She did a great job," Sheidler said Wednesday. She gave Bailey the "It's a girl" pin. While kids often witness childbirth, usually that of siblings, "I've never seen a birth coach who was this young," said Sheidler's doctor, Shirley Sawai, who also works at Phoenix Perinatal Associates. Sawai delivered Bailey eight years ago, also at Good Samaritan. She has been delivering babies for 17 years. In the end, Jeff Sheidler stayed in the birthing room and was the first to hold his new daughter. Bailey was third. After the delivery, Bailey cried, though not because she was scared. She explained: "I was just so happy. It was tears of love."
Link Posted: 7/19/2001 12:51:32 PM EDT
Now why dont people write more stories about stuff like this. And why do the find it so unusual that a eight year old could undertake a responsibility like this? Experiences like this are what build character in a child. Sheltering kids all their lives because "something might happen" is what produces 18year old goombas who cant do anything by themselves.
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