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Trella Hemmerly – 1945-01-25

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]