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Excerpt of Abigail's New Hope by Mary Ellis

Purchase


Wayne County #1
Harvest House
April 2011
On Sale: April 1, 2011
Featuring: Isaiah; Catherine; Abigail
286 pages
ISBN: 0736930094
EAN: 9780736930093
Paperback
Add to Wish List

Inspirational Amish

Also by Mary Ellis:

100 Proof Murder, August 2021
Hardcover / e-Book
One For the Road, January 2021
Hardcover / e-Book
Island of Last Resorts, November 2019
Hardcover / e-Book
Sweet Taste of Revenge, February 2019
Hardcover / e-Book
The Amish Sweet Shop, December 2018
Trade Size / e-Book
Hiding in Plain Sight, August 2018
Hardcover / e-Book
Sunset in Old Savannah, April 2017
Trade Size / e-Book
Magnolia Moonlight, August 2016
Paperback / e-Book
What Happened on Beale Street, April 2016
Paperback / e-Book
Amish Christmas Memories, September 2015
e-Book
Midnight on the Mississippi, August 2015
Paperback / e-Book
The Last Heiress, February 2015
Paperback / e-Book
The Lady and the Officer, August 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Romance on the River, April 2014
e-Book
A Plain Man, April 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Always in My Heart, February 2014
e-Book
The Quaker and the Rebel, January 2014
Paperback / e-Book
An Amish Miracle, December 2013
Paperback / e-Book
A Little Bit of Charm, September 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Love Comes To Paradise, February 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Living In Harmony, August 2012
Paperback / e-Book
An Amish Family Reunion, February 2012
Paperback / e-Book
A Marriage For Meghan, October 2011
Paperback / e-Book
Abigail's New Hope, April 2011
Paperback
Sarah's Christmas Miracle, August 2010
Paperback
The Way To A Man's Heart, July 2010
Paperback
Never Far From Home, January 2010
Paperback
A Widow's Hope, March 2009
Paperback

Excerpt of Abigail's New Hope by Mary Ellis

Abigail's New Hope By Mary Ellis

June "Come help us, mamm." The excited voice of her six-year- old floated across the lawn. Abby grinned, watching her daughter and four-year-old son chase lightening bugs through the grass with open jelly jars in hand. Despite the kinners' industrious efforts, the fireflies successfully evaded capture to blink and glow on another night. "Why are you two off the porch? You both were already washed for bed." Abby walked back from the barn with her palms perched on her hips. She glanced up as a squeak from the screen door signaled the arrival of the final Graber family member, her ehemann of seven years. "I thought you were reading them a story," she said with a sly smile. Daniel slicked a hand through his thick hair, his hat nowhere in sight; then braced calloused palms against the porch rail. "Relax, wife. That grass looks pretty clean from where I'm standing. You won't have to start from scratch. Didn't it just rain the other day?" His smile deepened the lines around his eyes. With the setting sun glinting off his sun-burnished nose, he looked as mischievous as one of their children. Abby watched the warm summer night unfold around her family with no desire to scold. The young ones would have the rest of their lives to have perfectly clean feet, but the summers of childhood were numbered. Besides, it was too nice an evening for anyone to go to bed on time. Walking up the porch steps, she stepped easily into Daniel's strong arms and rested her head against his shoulder. Within his embrace, with her two healthy offspring darting like honeybees in spring clover, she savored the almost-longest day of the year.

Swifts and swallows made their final canvass above the meadow before settling for the night in barn rafter nests or in the hollows of dead trees. Upon their exit, bats would take their place, swooping and soaring on wind currents, gobbling pesky mosquitoes by the thousands. The breeze scented with the last of the lilacs and the first of honeysuckle, felt cool on her overheated skin.

"Everything all charged up for the night?" he asked close to her ear.

Daniel's question, the same one he asked nearly every night since she'd become a midwife, broke the idyllic trance she had wandered into—that the all's-well-with-the- world feeling one gets after a satisfying day. "Jah," she murmured. "I ran the generator long enough to charge my battery packs. And I put a fresh battery in my cell phone for tonight, but I don't expect any middle-of-the-night calls. After yesterday's delivery, no babies are expected for several weeks."

"Harrumph," he concluded, nuzzling the top of her head. "We both know how well babies stick to doctor's timetables. I'm fixing a cup of tea and heading upstairs. Yours will be cooling on the table for whenever you're ready." He brushed his lips across the top of her kapp before going inside, the screen door slamming behind him.

The nice thing about being married for seven years is that a person gets to know someone very well. Daniel Graber knew she enjoyed her beverages at room temperature— not too hot and not too cold. And she knew he needed to take mental inventory before going to bed to make sure the family's ducks were all in a row. So she didn't mind being asked about her cell phone charger each evening.

After all, a midwife, even an Amish midwife, needed to be accessible twenty-four hours a day. The Ordnung, or rules that govern their Old Order district, didn't stipulate how Amish wives had their babies. A woman could have an obstetrician deliver at an English hospital, or she could go to a birthing center where a specially trained, certified nurse midwife would bring her baby into the world. But many Old Order Amish preferred to have their babies at home, the center of their rural lives. Unlike their English counterparts, they usually continued to work during labor—washing dishes, picking beans in the garden, even giving the porch rocker a fresh coat of paint— until the baby made its grand entrance.

At twenty-seven, Abigail Graber was an experienced midwife, having assisted the local physician or the nurse midwife in hundreds of deliveries. Even though she'd received training and apprenticed with a nurse midwife for several years, she'd never set foot in college since she was Amish like her patients. She understood how quickly things could go wrong for either mother or child or both, yet her time-honored vocation allowed Abigail to witness the miracle of creation firsthand.

Ohio and Pennsylvania, the two states with the highest population of Amish families, didn't license midwives who weren't registered nurses under current guidelines. Therefore her duties generally involved preparing the mother…and father for the baby's arrival. She would give the women back massages to loosen tight muscles or have them soak in warm tubs to speed the delivery. Since rural doctors refused to sit around people's kitchens waiting for babies to be born, Abigail would monitor the mother's contractions to keep him informed. Abby, however, loved the waiting time while fathers debated possible names and mothers crocheted last minute socks. Dr. Weller would usually arrive just in time to deliver the infant, and then return to his office patients or his own warm bed. Abby would remain to wash the new mother, bathe the infant in the kitchen sink, and finish paperwork at the table. She never left a home until the newborn was comfortably nursing at the mother's breast.

Home births were solely for healthy women with low-risk pregnancies, not for women with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or if a previous birth had been difficult. Patients were to receive regular prenatal care in the doctor's office to monitor their medical condition and the baby's development. For that reason, Abby knew none of the doctor's patients was due any time soon. But as Daniel aptly pointed out, babies didn't listen very well.

And God often had other plans when a woman grew too comfortable, too placid in the sheer flawlessness of her life. On that June evening, as her own two healthy children scrambled up the steps to bed—their feet surprisingly clean—Abby almost felt smug in her contentment. She rocked in the porch swing, sipping tea and contemplating the planet Venus, sitting low and bright on the horizon.

The ring of her cell phone jarred her senses. "Hello? Graber residence," she said into the receiver; then sipped lukewarm licorice tea.

"Abigail Graber?" asked an unfamiliar voice. "This is Nathan Fisher. My wife Ruth and I rented the Levi Yoder place here in Shreve after the elder Mr. Yoder passed on. I'm calling you from the neighbor's house."

Silence ensued, as Abby wracked her brain. Fisher was a very common name, but she didn't recall meeting someone named Ruth Fisher in Dr. Weller's office. "What can I do for you, Mr. Fisher?" She finished her drink in one long swallow.

"My wife wants you to come see her. She said that I should call you and nobody else. She got your number from one of the gals in our district."

Abby frowned, feeling annoyance snake up her spine. Her Plain brethren maintained the old-fashioned habit of never referring to a pregnancy directly, as though babies arrived under blessed, but unknown circumstances. "I take it your wife is expecting a boppli? She needs to contact the doctor's office for an appointment, and then be examined by him before—"

"No, you need to come over right now. She's crying out and is in a lot of pain."

Abby's annoyance changed to fear. "Are you saying your wife is in labor right now?" She tried unsuccessfully to keep her voice calm as she stepped onto the back porch. No sense in waking the rest of the family, since her kinner had probably just fallen asleep.

"Jah, she is." His three succinct words conveyed none of the same apprehension that tightened her stomach into a knot.

"Who has she been seeing? Who is her doctor?" asked Abby.

"Nobody, she saw a lady doctor back in Indiana, but then we moved here so I could find work. She heard at Preaching service that the doctor who makes house calls in these parts was a man." Nathan Fisher stated these facts conversationally.

Abby's knuckles bleached white from gripping the porch rail. "There are plenty of lady doctors at the clinic in Wooster, plus they have a van that would pick your wife up and bring her home afterward for a nominal charge." Daniel slipped out the door behind her and put his reassuring arm around her shoulders.

"I'll debate what my wife should or shouldn't have done with you another day, Mrs. Graber, but right now my wife's having a baby." Nathan spoke in a calm voice.

Excerpt from Abigail's New Hope by Mary Ellis
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