The lead up to Christmas is always fraught with many hours spent on deciding what and who to buy Christmas presents for, what to eat and whose place do we spend the day and or night to celebrate Christmas.
Mine back in 1969, at least where I was going to celebrate Christmas was decided by the early birth of my youngest daughter Roanne Kim Watson at the Mater Hospital Crows Nest at 7.35am on Christmas morning.
For weeks prior to going into hospital David, my former first husband had been pestering me about cutting into the leg ham, but I had persuaded David in alerting him away from an early taste test, which didn’t please him at all. He would constantly annoy me about cutting up the ham.
Back in the sixties, it wasn’t encouraged for the husband to be present at the delivery of their child, especially at a Catholic Hospital, which my specialist only delivered his births there.
11pm on the 24th December 1969 there were signs that the delivery was about to happen. David in his casual manner dropped me off at the Mater Hospital and drove straight back home to our house in Davidson, to which he delighted in opening up the fridge door, where he gazed at the tempting leg ham. He reached inside the fridge and took out the ham and proceeded to enjoy a ham sandwich, while I was laboring away for over eight hours to deliver his second daughter. No doubt his gastronomical delights of devouring the ham was his only priority on Christmas Eve.
Roanne wasn’t actually due on 25th December; the date calculated by my Dr was the end of February the following year 1970.
My specialist Dr wasn’t what one would say a good baby specialist, as he should have been alerted that there was something wrong in the weeks leading up to the birth. I had swelling ankles and untreated high blood pressure.
However two weeks before Christmas during my regular check-up, he did think that the baby was unusually large for a seven-month pregnancy and sent me off for an X-ray as he thought I may be having twins.
The X-ray results showed that the baby was drowning in fluid and I wasn’t in the best of health.
Christmas eve is not an ideal time to go into hospital and trying to locate the Dr and get a positive response from him was fruitless, as he was unable to drive due to being intoxicated. Being told by the nursing staff that they can’t locate the Dr is not very comforting when you know something is wrong and there could be an issue with the delivery.
Fortunately, luck was on our side, on duty that evening and early morning was Sister Devine, yes Sister Devine a Midwife. She delivered this tiny reddish delight that was perfectly cooked, but I wasn’t in the best of shape. It was apparent that I had toxemia and Sister Devine could not believe my Dr hadn’t picked up my warning signs earlier.
Thankfully this little bundle of joy Roanne Kim Watson gave me the best ever Christmas present back in 1969 and she still continues to give me happiness.