Because I write mainly historical westerns, I'm quite familiar with the history of the pioneer and Indian woman, and it was fun to research a little deeper to provide today's post.
The picture shown here was "borrowed" from a Jane Austen site, demonstrating the modesty of the time. Boy, have things changed, or what? Although, I can't imagine living under the guidelines governing the era and having a strange man delve beneath my skirt, at least today, it's a common practice, but skirtless. I cringe at hearing"scoot to the end of the table and let your knees fall apart." I always laugh at the request to "relax." Easier said than done.
Over the years, the process has improved dramatically. Fathers are now invited and encouraged to participate in the birth of their child. Some even elect to attend "childbirth classes" with their wives. Rather than keeping the babies and mothers apart, many hospitals choose to house the newborn with the mother and encourage immediate interaction and feeding. Now if we could just find a way for Daddy to share some of the pain, but many believe that labor is God's way of punishing us for Eve's eating of the forbidden fruit. Dang her!
Here's a scene from one of my historical novels, Prairie Peace, which ties in nicely:
Cecile's labor intensified, and she pressed her fist against her mouth to stifle the scream rising in her throat. Another cramp wrenched through her, and she bit into her knuckles, praying that God would make the hurt go away. Her body bore down, trying to expel the baby, as pain after pain wracked her body.
Rain Woman stood ready to receive the child. "Push with all your might, my daughter. Your child is almost here."
Cecile wanted to scream--needed to scream. "Get it out, please, please get it out! If I push any harder I'm going to turn myself inside out."
While she crouched over the earthen pit in front of the labor stake, Little Dove massaged Cecile's abdomen in an attempt to move the baby. With each pain, she tightened her grip and strained with all her might. The hours seemed like an eternity and the pain never ending. "I can't go on...I'm too tired," she finally declared.
The pushing became involuntary, and groaning and grunting, she used what she thought was her last breath and thrust her baby into the world. All discomfort was forgotten when she heard its healthy cry.
Prairie Peace was my debut novel and received a four-star review from Romantic Times Magazine, which back in the day was quite shocking for me. I hope you'll be enticed to check out the story of Cecile Palmer, who in 1860 eventually becomes "Green Eyes" as she married the handsome brave who saves her from pending winter, no supplies, and a husband they both believed dead.
Thanks for stopping by today, and here's wishing you lots of Cowboy Kisses!