Monday, May 25, 2009

Mary: Pregnancy, November 1944

I am not posting these letters in chronological order. I haven't transcribed them that way. My daughters have been pregnant four times in the last two years. They loved my mom's day-by-day description of her pregnancy with me. Unfortunately, I only kept a journal when I was deciding to get pregnant with my first child. My mother announced her pregnacy earlier than anyone I have ever known. Of course she only got a few opportunities to make love with her true love.
November 1-- Darling I am quite convinced that we're going to be proud parents in July. Four days late and still no sign of my period. (Grandma, like me, was regular as clockwork.) I'm still waiting two weeks though before I'll be completely convinced. Oh hon, each day I feel more certain that Our Lady has given us another wonderful favor. This is the bestest favor of all--a child of our very own.

Joe, I am sure it's true. I certainly haven't been feeling exactly normal. I can't say that I've really been nauseous, but I seem to have something very close to it. Maybe that accounts for my steady tired feeling too. All in all though, I feel fine, and I'm sure I'll have a normal pregnancy. Hon, it seems funny to talk about my being pregnant. Isn't it super?
November 8 , 1942-- Today I''m feeling quite chipper 'cause I talked with my husband last night. Dear, it was so exciting to share our secret. I like being a future mother awfully much. I love Mary-Jo's future daddy just millions of billions of times. [Somehow they knew I was a girl. I have never had to worry they wished I were a boy.] I love you more than all the babies that were born this year. Just think hon, ours will be one of the babies who'll be born next year.
It's really too soon to tell anyone yet though [two days later Mary told her mother].I wonder how the doctor will figure. I understand that they estimate one week after the first day of your last period and then say it'll be nine months from then. Which means that he'd probably say sometime around July 8th. My guess is about the 15th though. I've decided I'll wait until the 26th of Nov., which would normally be my next period and then if nothing happens, I'll arrange to go to the doctor the following week. I think I'll call Dr. Schanno and ask him to recommend me to someone.

November 10, 1944-- I told my mother she's going to be a grandmother and she wasn't even the least bit surprised. She said that it's really not necessary to go to the doctors until the end of the second month because he couldn't tell my anything until then anyway. It's fun being able to talk about it to mom though.

November 14, 1944--I haven't starting eating crackers in bed because I really haven't been too nauseous in the early morning. I usually feel worse about 10 or 11 o'clock.

Our secret is still a three-way secret although I don't know how I held back last night. Ginnie and Peg apparently thought that nothing happened [on her last visit] because I didn't say anything. They were teasing me that I'd have my last chance to make good when you get your 5-day pass. Ha, Ha, little do they know that our baby is a month old already.

Thanks for the post. My daughter is pregnant and expecting her first, and I'll pass this on to her.
John, I was blessed that my mom gave me such an entirely positive view of childbirth. When they showed us a film in senior year of high school on natural childbirth, some girls fainted, and I simply could not understand their reaction. My mom has a similar "no big deal" attitude toward her labor and delivery.
More, more! These are fascinating on both a personal level and a historical one. It's so fun to read how the feelings and symptoms of pregnancy are so much the same across generations, even as the vernacular is different ("super" and "chipper" are so cute!). And love her relaxed, positive attitude. Can't wait to read more.
You mom was right about your sex and your name -- Was she right about your birthday? Can't wait to find out!
Well my then two year old daughter was right about her sister's sex and birthday. The day Michelle was born, Anne announced that she was coming today. Once upon a time, an exciting time, we didn't know the sex of the baby.

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