Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday 48 years ago~

I was looking at the calendar a while ago and my mind drifted back to 48 years ago this week. I was only 20 years old and I was waiting to deliver my first baby. And when I say I was 20 years old, I mean a very YOUNG 20 year old:) I knew nothin about "birthin no babies!". But I was so excited and miserable but I could not wait to have my very own baby!

All my life I always wanted a baby to WANT me.. I loved babies so much and they loved me except when they saw their Mama's and then they didn't want me! I wanted to have that feeling that this baby was going to want me more then anyone else in the world!

I had every detail of this baby's room fixed up. It was freshly wall papered with Kitties all over it. I had a "Bathinet" and a "Bassinet" and a freshly painted chest with drawers and a little shelf with all sorts of wonderful potions that I was going to apply to this tiny baby that was going to only want me! The bassinet had a beautiful cover around it.. It was small kittens on a cotton print underneath and the top was mounds of beautiful soft yellow tulle that my mother had so carefully hand made and brought to me when she came from Arizona to help with the baby.

During that same week about 3,000 miles away a little boy was celebrating his first Birthday in Tennessee. This little boy was Lindsey and 18 years later these two babies met and got married. I can remember wondering when I grew up where my future husband was and how I was going to meet him and I can remember looking at all my three babies and wondering the same thing, and praying the perfect person was out there waiting.

At that time, in 1961 I was still living in Parkland Washington. In the home that my Mom had purchased after my Dad had passed away in 1955. I loved that big house and it was going to be the house that I brought that sparkling new baby home to.

My dear sister lived in Tacoma at that time and had two little boys of her own.. Stevie and Scottie. Now I loved and love them both dearly but Scottie was the closest time I'd ever come to having a baby really want ME.. We loved each other every day of his life.

This baby's Daddy was far more experienced with babies then I was because he was the oldest of 7, but this was going to be his first baby and he was very excited to. I kept teasing him about needing to learn how to deliver a baby since I might now make it to the hospital. Even now he blanches at the thought!

Every time I see this picture I hurt inside because all Scotty wanted to do was to touch that baby girl! She was less then a week old in this photo and we all screamed at him NOT TO TOUCH THE BABY! I wish I could take that back. I wish I could say, oh Scotty you can pet her head, you can kiss her face you can love on her all you want. I can see him holding his little hands in his lap as he had be hatefully told to :( I'm sorry Scotty :(

But to back track during this week in 1961, my dear darling sister would telephone me EVERY morning at the crack of dawn and several times through out the day.. She drove me CRAZY! It's funny now, so funny because she was just so worried and so excited and she just KNEW it was going to be a girl and she could not WAIT to fiddle with a girl and dress her up and do all things girly. And besides that I was her baby sister and until just a very few days before I gave birth my Mother was still in AZ. and Lea was worried that I was just going to have that baby and not know what to do with it!(she was right)

Also during that week, on Nov 2nd to be exact, my very best girl friend in the whole world, Kay, was getting married. Ever since we were in the 4th grade we had promised that we would be each other's maid's of honor at our weddings. Now she asked me if I could be in her wedding and it broke my heart but I had to decline. Not only did I not look the part :) I was afraid I would foul up her wedding and deliver a baby the night before or something. My due date was actually Nov. 2, so it was just not a good idea. I do remember going to her wedding and even what a wore, a blue checkered top and skirt..and my Mother took me. It was a lovely Church wedding.

So just 4 days after Kay's wedding I awoke with startling pain. I remember being worried that I would not know if I were in labor.. Oh you know, you really know! I awoke with this pain about 2 in the morning and a little more then 12 hours later I had my beautiful baby girl. She was born at Ft Lewis Washington during the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I know this because the National Guard had been called up and everyone decided to have a baby on the Army! At that time there were over 1,500 babies a month being born in Madigan hospital.

Having a baby in those days was no picnic~ It's not in these days either, but back then, your pain and your "birth experience" was of little or no concern to those Soldiers! Just wheel them in here and we'll get em out! She was born chin out with the assistants of forceps.. I know OUCH.. but that's how it was done. By the time the 3 doctors got her out she looked like she had been in a prize fight!

Before they would allow me to leave the delivery room I had to lay there in utter misery, with no baby in site while they ran blood tests. I was RH Negative and so was she so eventually they let me go to the recovery room. I will never forget the mean hateful Intern or doctor or maybe just a male nurse but he was so mean and I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep, I was exhausted, I was in pain and I hadn't even seen my baby!(except for the briefest of glance when she was born). I do remember her Daddy coming in and kissing me and he was so proud. My Mother was not allowed to come in but she peaked around the door to wave at me and I just burst in to tears! Nobody told me it was going to "HURT" hurt.. I mean really HURT and I could not have been less prepared.

Then a couple of hours passed and they wheeled me in to this enormous ward with about 30 other women, all of whom had babies in the foot of their beds! Do you think anyone slept?? But within a few minutes they wheeled my baby in and her Daddy was hot footing right along behind her. I wanted to tell him all about the horrible experience and he just wanted to get his hands on that baby!!!!!!!!

I think it was during this time that we decided on a name.. I always knew her middle name would be "Kay" but the Suzanne was decided after we saw her.. She looked like a Suzy and still does:)

Than something unbelievable happened! They left me to take care of that baby by myself!!! I was so scared I was shaking all over. I held her, I examined every part of her, I rubbed my cheek against hers, I petted her hair(heads were not covered then) Then I laid her on the bed and we had a conversation. I can't tell you word for word what the conversation ways, but it was to the affect that, I had her and she had me and we were off on an adventure. And I knew I was going to make mistakes and I knew I didn't know how to be a mother, but together we would make it! and we did.

This is Suzy about 6 years ago. She has not changed one bit since she graduated from high school except to get more beautiful.

So that's what I am thinking about this thoughtful Thursday.. This week 48 years ago I became a mother. What a wonderful week.


  1. I love this blog. So many details that I'd never heard before. And I love our beautiful Suzy. Thank you so much for writing this!

  2. I too had a baby at Madigan Army Hospital in Fort Lewis. You were young? I was only 16! It was 1955 and I remember that house of horrors like it was yesterday.
    Thanks (I think) for the memories LOL!

  3. It wasn't a "fun place" was it Joy ! When I hear about mom's and all the planning of the hospital and the room and what they are going to wear and who's going to be there, I'm just amazed! But we some how made it! The nurses in that huge ward were very sweet.

  4. Sharon this is a wonderful blog. You should have been a writer. It made me cry. I remember every bit of it. I love you

  5. I love U, thank U for writing this down~ & we are on a wonderful adventure

  6. What a beautiful post to your daughter! Thank you for sharing!