Beautiful Trials

I was trying to clean up the mark on Jeannie’s face. It was not there normally – it is age I guess the back of the picture must have had some acid exposure. But she is still beautiful. Everything I tried made her look worse. So I will leave it as is.
Jean Marie is number 3 in the line up. Three children under 3years. I guess I really bit off more than I could chew. Kerry joined the military and left in February. Jean was due in August. He spent most of my pregnancy in Kentucky and I was on my own with help from our mothers and my siblings.

We joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in July 76. Kerry got laid off. I did some babysitting but not enough to make ends meet. I had two children under 2 and did not want to leave them with a sitter, no not even our mothers – I was and still am very possessive. He joined the military, we were on our own in our little house at 83 Swatara Ave, Tremont.

One night because of a Relief Society meeting we all slept at my mothers. The next morning we went home. Late that night someone found the body of an elderly woman in our “safe” little town. She had been brutally raped, molested and died from the ugly experience. The following morning the phone lines were tied up with all the tales being told. I panicked and packed up my boys and walked/ran the mile and a half to Mom & Dads and refused to move home because I was so frightened. I never did hear if they found out who did it.

Jean was a week overdue and one morning I was laying in bed (a sofa hide a bed) timing some irregular contractions. They were very mild and had no real pain to them. My mother noticed and panicked and got me moving to go to the Dr. I was annoyed. I did not believe it was time yet. But she was my mom so I got ready to go and then as we started out of the door I had one really bad contraction and it felt like she was going to land on the porch! I held onto the door frame and waited it out. Then I was in a hurry to get there. But for the half hour ride no more contractions. Then when I got there they decided to watch me for a while. So I got to roam around and do what I wanted to. My Dr went to the other hospital to do a scheduled surgery. At some point I got up to go to the bathroom. Half way across the open floor I had my second serious contraction. I froze and I could not go up or down or move! The nurse on duty came up behind me and wrapped her arms around me and held on. When the contraction was over I again was surprised she did not land on the floor. The nurse wanted me to get back into bed but I insisted on using the toilet. She went with me because she was worried I would deliver her into the toilet. I did not. But with an empty bladder the contractions started up but they were still irregular and mild. When I got back to the bed she checked me and I was fully dilated. She told me whatever I do don’t push and even suggested I hold my legs together really tight. I thought she was nuts!!! She tried to reach my Dr and of course couldn’t. Then she contacted the Dr on call and he came and checked me. As he checked me my water broke and with the third serious contraction she was on her way. They tried to slow her down till they got me ready but she was tired of waiting and I did not try to slow her down. By the time they got her breathing ok and cut the umbilical cord my Dr walked in. He got to help me push out the afterbirth and stitched up my bottom. Jean was my smallest baby and the easiest to birth. The stitches I got were situated right between the scars from the first two births and I had no pain, itching or discomfort. She had a lot of hair and at first I worried about it because it was on her ears, arms, hands feet back all over. But she was so beautiful I got used to it really fast. She was great about nursing and I felt a special bond grow between us. I had such a fierce desire to protect her and it never went away to this day. It was really hard when I found out how bad I actually was at protecting her. She nursed for 11 months. She stopped when she got hoof and mouth from her brothers who would play in the sand box and then come play with her. They had it and I did not even know it until she was diagnosed. It did not bother them as much as it did her. Her brothers nursed less than three months.

Kerry was on leave and climbing around caves when I tried to reach him to tell him of her birth. I still sometimes tease him about that.

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