Friday, February 2, 1945
Awakened at 5:10 by aide with bed pan. Fell like I really had a pretty good night’s sleep. Wash water then – first since this time yesterday as no aides showed up on afternoon shioft yesterday so we didn’t get anything. I stretched that pace of water too because 3 women delivered since 2 P.M. yesterday & 4 more are in labor room. David in at 6:05 & Kelly said he is avery good baby – she hopes he’s as good when we get him home. I went to sleep again about 6:35 after they took him back & hardly woke even when Middlemiss gave Mrs. Issler a bath. She delivered about 7:15 last night & the aide had just finished makeing Vonnie’s bed about 6:45. Vonnie & Pamela left at 3:45 & it sure was lonesome in here until someone came in again. No Private Room for me! As long as you have a roommate as much fun as Vonnie anyway.
I also was barely awake when Alice (aide) took my temperature & pulse, but did come to when breakfast came in at 8:00. It was snowing out some some then sun came out later in the morning. Has shone nearly every day I’ve been here although the temperature high has been 15 and the low 4.
Brushed my hair & did it in 2 braids. Have found that easier than one because I can [illegible] from the sides. Then an enema & I really cleaned out. Feel much better. And wonder of wonders Middlemiss brought me wash water & even did my back for me. And the clean linens felt grand. Then David in for his snack all clean from a bath – & filled his pants after he finished eating!
Just got my bed jacket on and started on my face when Dr. Morgan came in. Told him I felt swell. He said I could get up for a while a week from today & could stay up all day a week from Sunday. No steps for two more weeks.
Finished my makeup & put on nail polish & it was lunchtime. Caught up on this then & am wondering if Wally will be down – he has short lunch hour & whether he or the bed pan will make it first.
Wally, Alice Haldeman, Mr. Hoch, Mother, Ruth
at home: Daddy, Lewis, Grandma Sheneman
Monday, January 29, 1945
Marion City Hospital
Awakened at 5:30 by aide who put us on bed pans. no results but then brought wash water & that was refreshing. Brought the babies in at 6:00. David is nursing fine & my breasts are quite full. He nurses about 10 pulls & then rests about 10 seconds & usually burps himself after nursing about 15 minutes. He like to nurse 25 minutes & then he’s through!
Slept until breakfast was brought in around 8. Then enemas – my first sicne the baby was born. Didn’t feel that the results were very good.
We rated baths today – only get them every other day to conserve labor & linens. Had to take them ourselves though. But the clean hinders & clean bedding sure make you feel like a different person. Was just getting ready to make myself presentable for my son when he was brought in. But he’ll probably see me look worse in my lifetime & his.
After the feeding I tackled my hair. That’s the day’s biggest job. Got made up & nails done and rested a little before lunch. Brought mail just as we got our trays & I couldn’t resist opening the one from the Romines immediately. It looked like a diaper hung on a real line with hand whittled clothes pins & was decorated at the top with what I suppose is Ray’s idea of how David looks (he’s really much cuter). The verses were very clever.
Finished lunch & Dr. Morgan was in & punched around on my stomach. Asked if I got my laxative last night and if it worked. Told me “Yes, after an enema.” He promised regular diet starting today & that’s what I had at lunch. Thank goodness. Soup & baked potatoes gets very monotonous.
Wrote letter to Mary & one to Kathy.
Felt urge for a bed pan so the room was nice and smelly when Wally came in about 12:25. We finished opening the cards & had a piece of candy from the box he brought last night.
David went to sleep during his 2:00 feeding. First time.
Vonnie’s sister – Mrs. Sayre from on Greenwood St. was in right after they took babies back to nursery until about 4:30. I made out seed order. Wally came in around 3:15 & then came back later in his work clothes with mail. A letter from BBB [Bernard Brooks] written at sea – our first since he sailed. Also one from Aunt Sylvia [Shuster]& one from Lowell [Haldeman – Walter’s brother]. Several cards – who is Dorothy Bridges?
They always bring wash water during visiting hours and then you look like heck until you get more make up on. Also brought bed pan and I couldn’t do any good until I knocked my glasses case off & it scared me. – Oh what a relief. Since 8:30 last night is a long time.
Supper and then the babies. Told the nurse my nipples were cracked on top & she said she’d bring something for them. I’ve had to start using pads on them to take up the excess of one while David nurses the other.
Mother & Daddy came in shortly after. Says Kathy at Margaret’s. Been playing train all day. Weather terrible – car windows freeze over. They left early.
I got Wally’s Masonic Bible out – given to him last Friday night – & studied the accounts of Solomon’s Temple. The pictures are beautiful. And read the rituals. Bed pan, babies to nurse & then to sleep about 10:30.
Thursday, January 25, 1945
Kathy in at 8 with her usual “Better get up, mummy.” She crawled in bed with me a minute but that never lasts long. Wally had already gone to work. Got dressed in my newly washed corduroy maternity slacks & Kathy & I had our usual breakfast of cereal and oranges. Me coffee and rolls, also, but I felf rather loggy. Couldn’t seem to get at my mornings work but did dishes & made beds & then cut out a slip for Kathy & did the machine work on it. Got a lazy lunch of canned beef noodle soup & didn’t get at the dishes right away but read the new Woman’s Home Companion after Wally went back to work.
Kathy went to bed but took her baby with her & told it stories. I lay down for a nap about 2:30 & woke up at 2:45 with a pain. They kept waking me up every 15 to 20 minutes thereafter. Not hard ones but fairly regular. When Wally came in at 4:00 he had meat as I had told him to bring some home. Smoked ham – a lovely round steak & liver. He could tell I was having pains & wanted to know right away whether he should go to work at Fairfield. I told him I thought not. Margaret came down bringing ironing and for something to read & guessed what was up right away. Kathy was all thrilled about Mummy going to the hospital finally, & Wally got a box & she helped pack her things in it to go to Grandma’s. I called the Dr. at office & they said to leave a message at home as he was at the hospital. Did so – about 5:15. Wally kept insisting I quit fooling around & get supper. I put clothes away, shut up sewing machine, straightened Kathy’s room & little odd jobs I’d put off all day. Finally fixed the ham with dabs of mashed sweet potatoes I had left over. Wally brought up some peaches & a lettuce salad completed the outlay. He cleaned up the table & then took Kathy’s bed apart while I cleaned her up. Got the car loaded with her things & took her on over to Mother’s. My pains were getting very regular every 15 minutes by 6:00 P.M. Took a sponge bath and weighed in at 145. My hip measurement across navel was 40″. Dr. hadn’t called at 7:30 so at Walt & Margaret’s insistence I called the office again.
Dr. answered all perturbed. His wife had the name Haberman [instead of Haldeman] & number backwards & he couldn’t get me, naturally. My pains were closer to 10 minutes by then so he told me I’d better go to hospital right away. I was still in my robe but had made up & Margaret had braided my hair tight in two braids & I pinned it carefully around my head. Wally called Mary J. around 8:00 & told her he was trying to get me started. Finally put on my newly cleaned maternity dress & Mary’s tweed coat that I’ve nearly worn out this winter & pink head shawl. We went over to Mother’s to say goodbye to Kathy. Aunt Lillie & Uncle John [Fetter] were there & they all wished me luck – so Kathy’s last words to me were “Goodbye Mummy, Good Wuk”.
Pains began coming pretty fast while were in there & kept up nearly steady over the bumpy, icy streets to hospital. Was so thankful I had Wally with me to walk up those front steps. He told the desk girl our name & she said she would get other information from Wallly & rushed us on to the elevator. Was surprised to find the hospital now has a “Labor Room” instead of going through all that in your room. Wally put my bags down & disappeared until after the big event – even though I knew he was keeping vigil in the hall.
Was told to undress (by Foster – I learned later) she reminded me of Aunt May) & I got into hospital gown & into bed. Shaving came next & then that enema I’d been dreading – not so bad but after that the pains were. Another girl came into the other bed shortly after. They asked me to time my pains & they were every 5 minutes but soon began being so long I couldn’t keep track. Dr. Morgan came in at 10:00 & made a vaginal examination & ordered a hypo for me. Wally said later he started in with a big white pill & dropped it & there were no more so I’ll never know what that was for.
Pains were hard from then on but Foster helped me grunt them out & I managed to keep my mouth shut fairly good. She kept assuring me she didn’t think it would take very long but all I could think of was those 20 hours I put in with Kathy. At 11:00 she said “Well, I guess you’re not going to have this baby for me.” But Hazel Price came on duty & it was good to see someone I know. She was grand in telling me how to work my pains & encouraged me when I did it right. Pretty soon I could feel that I was accomplishing something. Finally a differed shart pain nearly split me in two. I yelled for Wally but it didn’t do any good but I was very surprised when they brought the delivery room card in & took me across the hall. I at least knew enough this time I could look around. A clock on the wall said exactly 12:00. A round circle of lights was suspended above my feet. A small metal crib against the wall awaited the baby & one cupboard held bundles of rubber gloves & another held instruments. That’s about all I could take in along with the pains. I worked about 4 pains & (from here on I wouldn’t swear to anything) the waters broke. They straightened my legs out then (Kelly & Hazel) & started giving me a little ether. I heard them say “It takes him a little while to get here.” He stuck his head in the door & I said to give me more ether – he’d be right in. When they wouldn’t let me work my pains anymore I had to yell so I gues he was glad to get me out. I could feel my hands go limp as they told me to breathedeep instead of yelling. And then I had all sorts of dreams I can’t remember. Sometimes nice things & sometimes I think I even yelled them. Before I went under Kelly said “She’s the worst screamer we’ve had in a while.” & Hazel reminded her of some others – bless her heart.
Then I hear Hazel say “Wake up Trella” & I didn’t want to but then Wally kissed me & I opened my eyes & saw draperies & rose wall instead of blue light & instruments & I realized it was over. They told me it was a boy and I said “I don’t want a boy” (Little realizing I did.) I kept asking how much he weighed & what time it was. Must have been about 1:30 when I first awoke. Hazel brought David Joseph Haldeman in to meet his Mother & Dad but I don’t remember him much. I didn’t want Wally to leave but he was anxious to spread the news and left about 2:00 A.M. I expect I slept but it was fitful & I was so thirsty. I was surprised when it was 5:00 & the aide brought the bed pan to my unknown room mate. They gave me a drink that tasted so good, and I found I was [ends here]