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Cymric Strain - Book 2
By Una Howell (USA - circa 1893)
Chapter 36 - Stillborn!
Copyright Scott Dunbar 2010
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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.
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. One 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.
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.
Chapter 1 - Evanston
Chapter 2 - The Department of Music
Chapter 3 - Northwestern University
Chapter 4 - Beaued
Chapter 5 - Late for the 1am Train!
Chapter 6 - A Visit from Home
Chapter 7 - Bill Declares Himself
Chapter 8 - Engaged to be Married
Chapter 9 - A Grand Piano for Me?
Chapter 10 - Apartment Life in Evanston
Chapter 11 - On the Train with a Pass
Chapter 12 - Eric’s Decline
Chapter 13 - The Organist
Chapter 14 - Lilly Dies
Chapter 15 - An Unprincipled Woman
Chapter 16 - Music Critic
Chapter 17 - A Rich Young Man
Chapter 18 - Helping the World
Chapter 19 - On a Bicycle Built for Two
Chapter 20 - Mendelssohn Concerto in E Major
Chapter 21 - The Meister Way
Chapter 22 - An Admirer
Chapter 23 - Gentlemen Callers
Chapter 24 - The Scotchman
Chapter 25 - Checking on Maynard
Chapter 26 - Rich Young Man - Not so Much
Chapter 27 - A Page Removed!
Chapter 28 - The Marriage
Chapter 29 - Plans for a New Marriage
Chapter 30 - Honeymoon
Chapter 31 - A New Home
Chapter 32 - Getting to Know Elgin -1901
Chapter 33 - Our First Mobile (Auto)
Chapter 34 - Life in Elgin
Chapter 35 - Preparing for Birth
Chapter 36 - Stillborn!
Chapter 37 - Leave Leeches to Treat an Ear Ache
Chapter 38 - Winfield Illinois Sanatorium