Friday, February 26, 2010

Having a Baby - Then and Now

My oldest daughter just had a birthday the other day.  My youngest daughter is having a baby in July.  I guess these two things combined to make me start remembering and thinking about having babies and how different it is today from what was way back in 1969 when my first child was born.

Remember?  They made you stay in the hospital for a minimum for 5 days!  Jeez!  What the heck for???  And it wasn't even any fun!  You did not have your child in the room with you.  Oh No!  The babies were all kept in the nursery behind glass.  You could walk down there and stare through the window at your child - but you could not touch!

The nurse would bring your baby to you at feeding time all wrapped up tightly in a receiving blanket and you got the priviledge of feeding your child during the day.  Not at night!  You needed your rest, you know.  And absolutely NO ONE could be in the room with you when you were feeding your child - not even the father!

Speaking of fathers - these poor guys never even got to touch their child the whole time they were in the hospital!  They only could gaze at them from behind that nasty glass partition.  They were not allowed in the delivery room and they were not allowed to touch their baby until the day you brought it home.  How crazy was that!?

I remember one time when the nurse brought my beautiful little girl in for feeding and I just could not help myself - I unwrapped her from that tightly wrapped blanket.  I wanted to count toes and touch her knees and just behold the wonder of it all.  When the nurse came in and discovered my sin you would have thought that I was dangling her out the window by her feet!  Man, did she scream at me!  Oh the horror of it all.  She snatched that child from me, wrapped her up and stormed out of the room leaving me feeling like the worst mother on the face of the earth!  What have I done!  I UNWRAPPED her!  I have ruined her before I even took her home.  Somebody shoot me!

Lots of other things have floated through my head about the differences between then and now.  Things like no such thing as disposable diapers, plastic pants that got all crinkly and hard in the dryer, sterilizing bottles, tee shirts with snaps (no onsies back then) diaper rash (remember Desitin?), no car seats.  Oh and this one - You absolutely  NEVER put your baby to bed laying in his/her back!  Heaven forbid.  You must ALWAYS put your child to bed on its stomach - to prevent choking.

Yes, lots of changes between then and now.  But one thing that has not and never will change -  The joy of having a child.  The wonder at watching him/her grow.  The miracle of gazing upon a sleeping face and knowing all is good with the world.

5 comments:

PumpkinGirl said...

Yeah, we modern mamas have a lot to be thankful for. The instant my first was born, I was instructed he and I both needed to be in close skin-to-skin contact. And I got plenty of toe-admiring time. Still had to sit in there for four days, though...

What did you do without a carseat?!

Granny said...

Well, I had something that was called an Infact Seat. You and your sister were about as safe in there as you would have been if I tied you to the hood of the car. But, you survived!

Granny said...

that was suppose to be Infant Seat, but it was Infact not very safe!

jen said...

Thank you Mom, for ruining me. While 41 years of good living and mud-squishing has made my toes much less worthy of admiration, my life is enriched always by the knowledge and beleif that at one time they were the source of your great joy. That kind of love isn't something that stops here, of course. I proudly continue the family tradition, ruining your grandchildren at every turn. Let's all hope and pray that they grow up to be free-thinkers with good sense and deep love like their Granny, and will feel the great joy of ruining your great-grand babies some day.

Thanks for the best birthday message ever. I love you. J.

BeckyKay said...

Ah yes! I sometimes wonder how I even survived to adulthood! :)