Our telephone was on the first floor so George hurried down the stairs. It hadn’t occurred to either of us that I could be in labor, but it surely did to the doctor and he said, “She isn’t in labor, is she?” George assured him that we didn’t think so but by the time he returned to me I was hard at it. The doctor had said he would come at once but he was clear across town above the river and he was a long time coming (he had stopped to take a bath).
The water broke soon after George got back and I hung onto him with all my might and tried to hold back the baby. When he wanted to leave for moment I begged him not to. I don’t think he knew when the baby was born. When I could hold on no longer it came with a rush, long before the doctor arrived.
Calmness had overtaken me with the end of effort and I lay there trying to figure out what had happened. George called his mother and she and the doctor arrived about the same time. It was early morning when the doctor walked into the sewing room, drew back the covering and saw that my baby had been born. “You know, don’t you," he said, “that your baby is dead?” I was too dazed to reply. Then he told me that my baby had been dead for several days and that I was fortunate that it had come out or I might have died too.
Dr. Pelton also said he could not touch me because he had a septic case and he told George to call Dr. Bridge at once. Mother Cook was infuriated that he had come to the house and she flew at him verbally in real fishwife style. How had he dared to come here when he had a case of childbed fever? Then she ordered him out and told me what she thought of him all over again.
Dr. Bridge finally arrived and took over. Dr. Ochsner sent out a nurse from Chicago and the household quieted down. It was all very shocking time. I never had liked Dr. Bridge and I wondered why people wouldn’t go away and let me face my own tragic situation.
Losing the baby had not only been a great shock and disappointment to me, but to all of the household. Now I became sure that it was a punishment from God because I had not wanted it at first, and I tortured myself with the thought. Dr. Pelton had explained to me that the baby had not been receiving sufficient nourishment; the placenta was too small and he wondered if it was not noticed that the baby had not moved for days. I hadn’t and that was that. On the same day Mother Cook and my friend Mrs. Chalmers dressed the baby and the two alone laid it away in the Cook family lot. Mother offered a prayer over her first grandchild and for a time felt softer toward me.