I was a first born Baby and I grew to be independent and in control and wanted my own way, though that was because I was always able to have my own way when I wanted it. I was born during Wartime. My mother was living with her in-laws as her husband, my father, was away being a Captain with the British Army. I am sure he was not there for the birth though he did arrive with roses after I was born. My mother liked to be spoilt and special and I remember her telling me this because roses were not easy to get in the Colonial tropics.
My baby I too had alone, as her father was in the Army training to be an officer, and I was alone. He could not come to see me until the day after she was born, and then it was to tell me he was being transferred to Melbourne and I could come with him, or stay here. I chose to pack and leave that very instant and we drove to Melbourne and the baby was 2 days old. I did not get any flowers at all but in those days I did not expect them.
Here is the story of the birth…
I had been pregnant for nearly 9 months and now I was starting to show. I also knew I needed a hospital for the birth of my child.
I went to the local Hospital and waited in outpatients.
Eventually I was shown into an Office where a tall and very competent looking blonde glared at me.
‘What do you mean you have never been to a doctor” she said, “You tell me you are due to give birth”.
“We had no money, “I replied, “I also did not want to have the baby, but it must want me as it’s still here”.
“Well, I cannot look after you,” she said, ‘You will have to go elsewhere.”
Wearily I stood up. “OK, I said,” I will go home and have it there alone.”
Something must have touched her, as she relented, and said, ‘Bring your things in tomorrow and we will induce you.
I went home, and called my husband who was in Army Reserve. He said he was too busy to come with me and that I should go alone in the bus. That is what I did.
Next morning, at 9 I filled my little bottle with the required specimen which I lost on the way somewhere, and wearing my pink shift with a pink ribbon in my hair, I sat on the bus clutching my small bag of a nightgown and fresh underwear, and went to the Hospital to have my baby.
They took me to a waiting room, and left me. I sat there feeling very sad, very alone and also very frightened.
I must have looked as sad as I felt, as an Italian lady sweeping the floor came along and said, ‘Dear!! Dear!! Don’t look so sad. I will bring you a nice cup of tea to cheer you up” and she did.
Finally the nurses collected me and I was placed in a ward.
The next morning the pains started. I screamed and wept for 22 hours. They left me on a bed alone in a large public ward because I was making so much noise. Every time the pains came, I screamed out. I remember a nurse coming and telling me to be quiet, and I said, “I am having a baby alone, and if I want to scream I will scream”
They left me alone then, and I screamed and screamed each time the pains came.
Then suddenly there was a change.
The pain was a different type.
I realized the baby was coming.
My interest was aroused, and I started to concentrate and focus on what I was feeling and experiencing.
It was like being squeezed hard, and I realized, if I concentrated, I could push it out, and I realized the baby was on the way.
I pushed and pushed.
I found that if I arched my back, I could control the pushing more, and I did this.
The slow movement outwards continued, and there was a steady rhythm that I felt. I breathed, pushed and felt the moving.
Then suddenly, there was a slide and a fall of soft, warm water. It was healing and relaxing. I felt the warmth fall down out of me…bent down and looked and there was my baby between my legs moving her legs and head.
I felt excited and delighted, and a huge pouring of love came out of me and folded over my first born.
Suddenly the beauty was shattered by a harsh voice, ‘What the heck are you doing now…??? My God!! She’s had the Baby…..”
I looked up and smiled beautifully but no-one saw me.
There was a flurry as hands were everywhere and there were people everywhere.
I closed my eyes and smiled.
They eventually put the baby into my arms, but I had already seen her, felt her and loved her.
Marguerite Carstairs 2008