Updated: May 11
My one and only child, Jeremy was born at Battle Hospital in Reading, England, founded in 1867 as a work house for the poor. In 1892 one hundred and eighty beds were added for vagrants. During WW I, it became Reading War Hospital. By the time I was admitted it was a stark, functional, and well staffed maternity hospital with a battalion of "sisters" as the nurses were called. My boy was a round and bonny eight pounder. A student doctor delivered him in less than half and hour (supervised by a midwife) and said my baby's timing had interrupted his lunch. He also commented that my little one had the hands of a baseball player. The next day I was transferred to a lying-in facility for a typical two week stay. My pregnancy and delivery took place at the same time and a mere forty miles from where the PBS series, Call the Midwife is set, so you just know, through it I relive those wonderful days of new motherhood. I love that show.
Even as a temporary resident I was covered under the National Health program and received maternity benefits including a decent sum of money to buy a pram or push-chair (stroller), given formula, and vitamins. Weekly doctor visits at a well-baby clinic were included. I soon began a job at the library of the private school where we lived and my former husband worked as an art master. I was eager to show off my son to family so we returned after two years via the Queen Mary arriving at New York harbor. Jeremy had his first birthday at sea, but was kicked out of the ship's nursery for being too gregarious and keeping the other babies from their naps. I strolled around the ship for seven days wearing wooden Dr. Scholls sandals packing a heavy baby, up and down metal staircases and balancing as the ship romped over the waves.
Memories are the best, especially on special days like today, Mother's Day. Journals by Bobbin' Olive Productions await your tender touch. Don't delay because details grow fuzzy and they are what makes your writing so wonderful and memorable.