Delivering joy, one baby at a time
Published: Thursday, May 9th, 2013
Janet Randall of Custer remembers the hottest day of the year in Battle Creek, Mich. It was Aug. 9, 2001, and her first granddaughter, Hannah, was about to be born.
“All of the lights went out in Melissa’s (Randall’s daughter) place and we had to get out of there,” she said. “She was not going to be born in a place with no power.”
The reason Randall remembers that day so clearly is because she delivered Hannah, as well as her first grandson, Bailey. She has also delivered over 70 other babies during her career as a midwife. She can remember nearly every delivery and each has a different story.
“It was always a passion of mine,” she said. “I knew I wanted to do that, I just didn’t know how to make that connection.”
That connection came in the early ’90s when Randall moved into a new home in Battle Creek. Her oldest son, Joe, made friends with a boy down the street whose mother was a midwife.
“We soon became acquaintances and I started going with her to births,” she said. “I never knew how I was going to be able to be a midwife, but I was fortunate that connection just came to me. It was supposed to be.”
In Michigan, people can become a lay midwife with proper education, training and certification. In South Dakota, however, it is illegal since it is considered practicing medicine without a license.
“I did a lot of home studying through the Michigan Midwives Assoc., I read a list of books and attended a number of births before I could assist in births,” Randall said. “There are a number of things you have to do before you can start assisting.”
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