Monday, March 8, 2010

Isolated Birth

       On my last post I jokingly established my worth according to a doctor bill for my birth. After that I began thinking about the conditions surrounding my birth. I also began wondering how much people know about the experiences during a time of which they have no memory. We know about our birth from what stories our parents tell us and the odd bit of history which occurred at the same time.
       I have written previously about my isolated farm life.

      My mother was born and raised in a small Manitoba city. When she married my Dad and came to live on his small farm in Saskatchewan, she must have had some culture shock although she had been on farms occasionally. She only knew one person in the district and that happened to be an older cousin. My father's family were very German and they looked on him with some disappointment when he married an English woman! The house on Dad's farm was a somewhat primitive small wooden structure. It was probably 16'  by 30' and was completely uninsulated.

      Nevertheless, I made my debut into the world about 2 years later in 1939. I was born in the above descibed little house. It was a beautiful warm October day and the house became hot due to all the water which had to be boiled on the wood cookstove. My Mom had two friends with her who had given birth to several children and they set things up as the doctor requested. My mother was probably somewhat terrified as she was well aware of the risks in childbirth. However, the conditions of my birth were pretty well standard at that time. Hospitals were distant and transportation primitive. If someone had tried to travel to a hospital under those conditions they would likely not have made it successfully.

     So my birth took place in a fairly routine manner very fortunately for mother and child. Kind neighbors helped my Mom until she could resume normal duties. Those housewifely duties were challenging as the house was not only meagre but there were no facilities. Water had to be hauled and washing was done by hand. You can imagine what else was lacking in this situation. Everything!

    Under challenging circustances I survived and had two brothers and a sister in the same house. By the time I was eight another more substantial house with some facilities had been erected.

     When I tell my children about these conditions I stop and listen to myself and can hardly believe what I'm saying. It was a totally different age.

    Do you know of conditions pertaining to your birth?