ALISON & WILLIAM
1963 - the coldest and longest winter since 1947, and we were expecting our first baby in mid-March. Rob and I were incredibly ignorant in medical matters, but with regular visits to our doctor and the midwives at the clinic we knew that all was progressing well.....and I was certainly getting big!
I was due to have a home birth. At the end of February I fell over a chair at home and when the doctor came he explained that the baby was fine, well protected by the water around it. At this point Rob (always squeamish about discussion of medical problems!) passed out on the floor, so there was no chance of him holding my hand or mopping my fevered brow when the time came. In the event my blood pressure shot up and I was admitted to hospital for bed rest. After a week, the BP having failed to come down it was decided to induce the labour by breaking the waters.
I should say that visiting in hospital was limited to husbands, and to half an hour each evening, so when Rob came to see me that evening I told him that the baby might be born during the night. I may add that he seemed far more excited about passing his driving test that morning!
By around midnight I was taken to the delivery room where William was born at 1.45am on March 8th, weighing 6lb 6oz. He was immediately taken to the nursery. I had no means of telling Rob the news as we had no phone at home. It was only the fact that Rob's father rang the hospital to ask how I was that the nurse told him we had a son. So he rang Rob at work and his boss brought him up to see me and the baby. I was surprised to see him, thinking the news would have to wait until the evening visit. However it was only that evening that we were together as a new family. After the brief visit William was returned to the nursery for the night.
Another thing we hadn't got at the time was a car, but having passed his test Rob persuaded a friend to lend him her car to bring us home two days after the birth. The beginning of a whole new life!