Happy Birthday Sarah

It is hard to believe to that my second baby is 27 today-- and that she will be having her second baby in May.  When each of my children were born my mother traveled to Alaska from New York to help me for two weeks. Sarah was due January 27 and she arrived Feb. 13. My mother assumed it was good planning to arrive two weeks after Sarah's due date. You do the math-- she was here a few days before the birth. That February it was bitter cold, zero and below, and very windy. The ferry Mom was on took 8 hours to steam up into the North gale from Juneau. When my labor finally began, I asked my mother if she wanted to come to the clinic for the birth. (In 1985 we still had babies in Haines.) She said she wasn't there for my birth so she didn't see any reason to be there for this one. (In 1959 in New York they still knocked laboring women out, and when they woke up the baby was there.)There was a huge blizzard the February 13th Sarah was born, and Dr. Feldman was on call at the clinic. He said to wait to leave our warm house until I had three contractions in 15 minutes, which meant most of my labor was at home. My mother did not like that. She thought it was way to Little House on the Prairie. At noon we left my mother with Sarah's older sister Eliza, and braved the storm. At about three the baby was born with Dr. Feldman attending in his snow boots.  Dr. Jones arrived too, and so did Dr. Foster. In those days everyone showed up for a baby and those not there paid attention to the progress. When they heard Sarah had arrive safely and I was well, the Fogcutter Bar sent over sandwiches and cold cranberry juice. The power went out in the clinic shortly after we had been cleaned up and fed, so they let us go home early, about three hours after the birth. Dr. Jones snowshoed from  his house up on the hill the next morning to check on us.  Roger and Nancy were the first visitors that day, and they arrived in a giant road grader, plowing the driveway. That impressed my mother more than the snowshoeing doctor. I think naming the baby Sarah, after her, made her feel better about it all, too. I'm sorry my mother did not live long enough to meet Sarah's daughter Caroline. I am so very grateful that I have been part of Sarah's baby's life every day, and am looking forward to the arrival of her next one in Juneau, and to my other daughter Stoli's first baby that she will have in Sitka. While I’m sorry babies can’t be born in the Haines clinic anymore, it does mean, that like my mother, I will get to play the part of a traveling grandma-- It also means that the more this big old wheel of life keeps turning, the less I take it all for granted.




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