Chapter 6 1953 - I

It was March, a new President was in office, and spring weather was chasing away the winter doldrums. New life was rampant on the hatchery, and everywhere you went, blossoms were beginning to emerge on the trees and flowers were starting to bloom.

Henry and Juliette enjoyed the springtime, and especially enjoyed walking in the evening. They liked to go into town, have some dinner and then go to a movie at the local theatre. Playing at the Bijou was “The Story of Three Loves.” Juliette loved romances, and persuaded Henry to take her. While Henry generally enjoyed Westerns, he was touched by the story, and when they returned home, the couple continued their romantic evening.

By June, it was becoming obvious that Henry and Juliette were expecting. The families were ecstatic. “It’s about time!” they would exclaim, and summer was busy with planning for a nursery and shopping for baby clothes.

“Do you want a boy or a girl?” curious inquirers would ask.

Henry always answered, “It’s a boy! No doubt about it!”

While Henry was so positive, Juliette wasn’t as sure. “It could be a boy, but there is definitely something special about the baby, I can feel it.”

While Juliette grew, it became harder for her to do her job at the grocery store, and she finally relented and quit. Everyone was sorry to see her go, but now that she was home much of the time, there was a never-ending stream of visitors to see that she was doing well. The radio was a constant companion, now that Henry had taken on a couple of extra shifts at the hatchery, and she was enjoying the new types of music that she was hearing. The baby was enjoying it as well, since it moved around every time the radio was on, almost as if it was dancing.

September and October passed quickly, and once again a return to the cool autumn evenings of November. As Henry and Juliette sat by the week’s trash burn, after their Thanksgiving meal, Juliette felt a strange pang.

“It’s not time yet!” she exclaimed.

Henry quickly got on the phone and called Dr. Orson. “I’ll be right over,” the doctor offered. “It’s probably nothing, but we’d better check just in case.”

When the doctor arrived, Juliette was not doing well. Her stomach was in pain, and the baby seemed agitated, moving about, kicking and generally causing her discomfort. Dr. Orson took out his stethoscope and listened to Juliette’s heart and also to the baby.

“Everything sounds OK, as far as I can tell,” he declared. “Maybe it’s just indigestion. Did you eat a lot today?”

“I did have two extra helpings. ‘Eating for two,’ they say.”

“Well, that’s it then, just a little overindulgence. It’s an easy mistake at this time of year. Take a couple of Alka-Seltzer and you should be fine. Before long, you’ll be feeling fine, and the little one will settle down as well,” the doctor advised.

The next morning, Juliette did feel better, but she was ready to have the baby. Each day was increasingly more difficult for her to get around, for her to get into the car, even for her to sleep at night. To comfort her, Henry stayed home in the evening, dropping his extra shifts. Just past midnight, on Thursday, December 3, the pain hit again, and this time Juliette knew the time was right. They got into the car, and headed to the hospital.

Dr. Orson met them as Henry pulled into the parking lot and helped Henry with Juliette to get her inside. The pains were increasing, almost to the point of her being unable to bear them, and then they would subside. This continued throughout the night, and Henry tried to comfort her as much as he could.

When Juliette let out a shout louder than any previous, Henry concernedly asked, “Honey, how do you feel?”

Juliette replied, “I feel that something special is about to happen.”

Henry continued, “Is that really what you feel?”

Juliette, exhausted, simply replied, “Yes, I feel that something is about to happen.”

With another great cry, the nurse rushed in and ordered Henry to the waiting room, while the nurse called for Dr. Orson and they proceeded to the delivery room.

Juliette was screaming, the nurse worked to calm her down, and Dr. Orson watched as the baby began to crown.

The doctor tried to keep Juliette calm, even though she was in great pain. He spoke to her calmly as the nurse swabbed he forehead with a damp cloth.

“OK, try to push,” he told her. “The baby’s coming.”

Juliette pushed, and pushed some more and suddenly it was over, the pain had ended, only to be replaced by more crying. But this time, it was not from Juliette.

“It’s a boy!” the doctor declared. “You have a little king!” Juliette burst into tears of joy and relief. She had a son.