Mama as Midwife
My mother was energetic and thoughtful.
After my Father's death, in addition to holding down a responsible job (as a weaver in the Cord Weave Shop, weaving heavy cloth for tents and other such material on massive looms ) in the large Osprey Mill near our home, Mama also did cooking, cleaning and looking after her family and was always ready to assist neighbors during sickness or childbirth
In the 1930's, babies were born at home in small town Georgia. Our neighbors would send for the doctor and often for Mama. I am told Mama was respectful and good at helping the young mother to rest and stay calm between contractions during labor.
Then a new doctor with new methods came to town. One day our neighbor, Mrs. Geneva Johnson had her eighth baby with the help of Mama and the new doctor. It was a boy.
Mrs Johnson, thrilled with her fifth son and eight child said, "I'm going to name him after Dr. William Baxter and Mrs. Baird." The baby was named William Baird Johnson. One reason Mrs. Johnson was so delighted with the baby and the people who delivered him was the "new" birth technique.
Dr. Baxley actually was able to "put Mrs. Johnson to sleep" before he delivered the baby.
Prior to Dr. Baxley's arrival in town, Mrs Johnson and other women in our area had their babies the old fashioned way...work (long and hard labor.) In other words "natural childbirth" without so much as a aspirin and without a coach. Well, the mid-wife was the coach. The husband-father had been banished from the room.
When Mrs. Johnson woke up and realized her baby had been born "while she was asleep", she was incredulous. Mama said Geneva kept saying over and over (still giddy from anesthesia,) "I don't plan on having any more young'uns (short for young ones), but if I do, I'm sure going to have Dr. Baxley here... and you, too, Mrs. Baird."