The following was written by my late wife Elaine. She wrote a long book, a diary really, from which this is one passage:
November 27, 1957: Carolyn’s DUE DATE. (She was born 8 days later, December 5.) Labor began around suppertime on the evening of December 4. By the time we thought we should leave for the hospital in Washington, DC, a severe snowstorm struck. Dave went out to warm up the car and was unable to get it out of the snowdrift which had blown around it. Plan 2 was to call a taxi, and it arrived within a few minutes and took us to the hospital. I have a yellowed newspaper clipping written on December 5, 1958 – a year later – about “last year’s Washington blizzard, beginning on the evening of December 4 (1957), which set records for snow depth, 11.5 inches!”
During labor, I used the breathing principles we had studied and practiced, and “Coach” Dave was allowed to remain in the labor room and delivery room because he had been with me in the natural childbirth class. No “unprepared husbands” were allowed in the labor or delivery rooms in those days. He was very helpful, reminding me to breathe right, at times when my inclination was to hold my breath, and rubbing my back during contractions.
Carolyn Denise Blakeslee was born December 5, 1957, 8 lbs. 2 ozs., at the old Garfield Memorial Hospital at 12:30 pm. She was probably one of the last babies born there because the new Washington Hospital Center was almost ready for its grand opening. I struggled with nursing, which takes a while to get going right, but the nurses at the hospital were very encouraging, and we got it all figured out by the time we went home.
There are many pictures of Carolyn, probably taken every few minutes for the first 6 months, including pictures of my young mom holding Carolyn, the sweet thing all dressed up in a little dress, with my mom holding her when she came for a visit at Christmas. Carolyn’s arrival was a wonderful beginning for the most eventful part of our lives, raising our children, seeing them become adults who we respect and love and are proud of, and the amazing experience of having nine grandchildren, all different, all delightful. We are blessed.
To be continued…
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is a nonagenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family