[I am participating in a series of weekly prompts called the Book of Me, Written by You. Each week Julie Goucher will post a new blog prompt in this series. I hope you enjoy my response!]
I was impatient to enter this world.
My family was planning a trip to the snow that January, something I am sure my siblings anticipated since it never snowed where we lived. My Mom was very pregnant with me, 8 months pregnant to be exact, but that wasn’t anything for a women getting ready to have her fifth baby in seven years.
I must have been feeling left out. About four weeks before my Mom’s due date, she sensed things were going quicker than they should and that something might be wrong. My Dad took her to the hospital while my Grandma came to stay with my siblings. The doctor had to do an an emergency delivery. I’m not really sure what went wrong, but there was a good chance the doctor would lose us both. I stopped breathing at one point and my Mom lost a lot of blood from what I remember of the story.
It all worked out in the end. I was officially born at 11:15 am on a Tuesday at Providence Hospital. I weighed 5 lbs. 6 oz. and was 18 inches long. We were both a bit battered for the effort, but alive and that’s what counts. My Mom made the doctor release her after two days in the hospital as she needed to be home with the kids. I came home a few days later.
No one was with my Mom except the medical staff. In 1964, Dad’s were not allowed anywhere near the delivery room. The whole concept of having a coach was still a few years away. I suspect given the emergency nature of the delivery no one would have been allowed in anyway.
An ugly baby if there ever was one.
This is my photo from the hospital. I’m one day old. When I showed this to my Mom a few months ago, she said that I really was an ugly baby, with a face only a Mother could love. We laughed. I mean, really, isn’t that true about most 1 days olds? But, heck! Considering what I had to go through to get here, I’m surprised I looked this good. You can see that I had a tiny bit of brown hair. I think my eyes were blue at birth but changed to green.
She wanted 13 kids.
My Mom always wanted a big family. I was supposed to be number five in a baker’s dozen. But, my delivery ended that dream. Suffice it to say, they were satified having “only” 5 kids.
As the 5th and last child, there are very few photos of me. It seems that in larger families the thrill of photographing every moment wears off by the 3rd child. There are probably less than 10 photos of me under the age of two.
This is the only baby photo I know of showing me with my maternal grandmother, Anna (Mazeres) Lassalle. I was a festive 11 month old in December of 1964, wasn’t I? Though that sour “I’m tired of taking pictures!” face appears in many photos after.
There was a lot going on in the world the day that I was born.
Though we tend to look on our childhood and the world around us through rose colored glasses, the world was just as fraught with danger and controversy and filled with as much hope and progress as it is today. Take a look at these headlines from the Oakland Tribune newspaper on the day I was born…
PEKING PUTS PARIS ON SPOT OVER TAIPEI – France’s recognition of the government in Formosa caused tension.
ANOTHER ATTACK BY STRANGLER: Latest assault checked for link to three murders – the fourth attempt happened in Oakland, CA
DESTROY BOMBERS, SOVIETS URGE: Russians submit 9-Point Disarm Plan at Geneva
HEARINGS VOTED FOR BIRTH PLAN: Birth control for Welfare recipients was under debate by the county board of supervisors.
SON OF HOFFA JUROR TELLS OF BRIBE TRY – an investigation into jury tampering in 1962 gets under way
U.S. JET MISSING, SHOT DOWN? – a U.S. jet went missing over Germany
SCHLESINGER QUITS WHITE HOUSE JOB – Kennedy’s second White House official resigns after his assassination
STORM HITS U.S., STATE FAMILY AID – aid to families with children is debated as an “un-Christian giveaway” and a necessity in the “war on poverty”
Sure was a busy day, wasn’t it?
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com