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"Special Delivery" video now available for the deaf.

Our thanks to everyone who so generously helped fund the project to put closed captions on the video Special Delivery for use by the hearing impaired. Lisa Roush, an IH/IBP instructor who is herself deaf, was the driving force behind this project and wrote to express her gratitude:

"Last month I received the video-tape Special Delivery with closed captions. I was very thrilled when I watched it. I finally understand what these people were talking about! I cried tears of happiness and joy. Very amazing! What a miracle!

"I really want to thank all of you for supporting and donating to this project, especially to Rahima Baldwin for organizing it and to Jackie LaRocco for doing the transcripts. Also very special thanks to childbirth educator Cordelia Hanna for helping me to find interpreters for the childbirth educator workshop I attended in February, 1991. My family and I really appreciate it!

"Fortunately, the tape arrived for the last lesson of one of the deaf couples. They really enjoyed it. Two weeks late they gave birth naturally to a beautiful baby boy, Josiah."

Lisa had her first baby in Utah with midwives. She went to doctors in Los Angeles with her second and ended up with a cesarean when her waters broke and pitocin didn't bring on strong enough labor. She writes, "My doctor's partner showed up, stood in front of me...he kept talking too fast and looking around, not even looking at me. I asked him to draw a picture of the membrane rupture. He picked up the paper, tore it up and threw it on the floor. He simply told me to have a cesarean. I was shocked and scared to death.

"Three months after my son's birth, I started to wonder why did I have a cesarean? I also found out that my four deaf friends had cesareans, too. We talked all about it. I bought some childbirth books and I did a lot of researching. I learned a lot and realized I had missed many things that were taught in my hearing childbirth class with an interpreter because she couldn't stop signing to listen to my questions since the teacher kept talking.

"I started to dream about becoming a certified childbirth educator someday to help deaf pregnant women. I now teach with American Sign Language, and when couples don't understand, I can stop and explain things. I also have many charts of birth and other displays because our deaf culture uses their eyes to understand the whole picture of a lesson or discussion.

"In February, 1991 I took the Informed Birth & Parenting training workshop with the help of ten interpreters over the three days! I was really excited! Now I am fully certified and have taught classes for deaf couples. Oh, boy, I really love it! I am so very happy!

"My husband Gary and I were born deaf because our mothers had rubella measles during their pregnancies. I do not speak or read lips very well. I use sign language and writing. Gary speaks and reads lips very well. We got married 11 years ago. My experience with the cesarean is described in Open Season (page 55) by Nancy Cohen. Our third child was born vaginally in water at the Upland Family Birthing Center.

"All three of our children are normal hearing. They talk through sign language communication with me and Gary, which they learned really young. I remember Shirley's first word in sign was 'milk.'

Steven's was 'mommy' and Nancy's was 'dog'.

Most hearing people still wonder how deaf mothers hear their babies cry in the middle of the night. Most deaf mothers have a special flashing light adaptor. It has a microphone inside and when it receives the crying sounds, it sends a flashing light on and off that wakes the mother and lets her know the baby is crying. (A few mothers don't have the adaptor, but use a hearing dog who wakes the mother up and points at the baby). It is the same way with the doorbell, phone, fire alarm and clock alarm--all have flashing lights.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:closed captioned version due to efforts of deaf childbirth educator Lisa Roush
Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Mar 22, 1992
Words:686
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