“Oh.” My grandma smiled at the question, thinking of happier times. “My mama had us all at home in the same bed with the same midwife. There were ten of us and I was the last baby. We knew that midwife all our lives. She was a great big lady and she had a good sense a humor, always laughin’. When I got married, she told your grandpa, ‘You treat my girl right. Gladys is my baby too, and if I hear a you mistreatin’ my baby, I’m gonna come afta you.’” My grandma laughed aloud at this memory, her wrinkled face beaming. “My mama nursed us all, too, for a long time. My oldest brother, Louis, the one who died of rheumatic fever at nineteen, I heard she nursed him all the way to five years old. He would go to school and when he came home, mama would nurse him.” My grandmother laughed some more and so did I, thinking of a boy that age still on the tit. I added home birth to my ideal of what sort of mother I wanted to be.
–Synanon Kid Grows Up by C.A. Wittman