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The Day Before Yesterday: 71 - Life On The Homefront

Gladys Schofield's husband Cliff also suffers pains on the day his son Rodney is born.

Post ladies had taken the place of men. Our houses being the end of her round, she came into view as Mum stood at the door this morning. She chattered as usual and was told about the baby, Mum said she would "have to take the telegram to the Post Office to inform Cliff of the new arrival." "I'll take it for you" the kind lady said "and save you a journey.'' We had the telegram already made out and only needing the name and sex of the child.

After getting me settled and the baby bathed, the weary lady said, she must go and take a look at the other new mother, next door to Mum, as the baby was long overdue for her bath and would be wondering what was keeping her and off she went, down the lane that separated our houses. She popped her face around the door on her way back again saying "Is everything alright, dear?" "Well" I replied, "I think I'm loosing more biood than I should," and sure enough, I was haemorrhaging.

She made me lie flat and worked on me for a while and I stabilised. Telling me to stay in that position until she saw me again that same afternoon, she set off home to get an hour or two's sleep. Had I lived in a more convenient place, I should have had hospital treatment but no one could have been so kind and caring as the midwife who cared for me.

Through the night of my confinement, my husband was finding it hard to sleep and was complaining of awful stomach pains he kept getting. "It's something I've eaten," he kept complaining but as everyone else was feeling just fine, he couldn't understand why he was the one to suffer and it went as quickly as it arrived the next morning, so off he went to service his engines. It wasn't until the telegram arrived a few hours later, that he got the teasing from his friends, he must have been suffering in sympathy and him so far away. He arrived home just before midnight to relieve Mum from her duties.

I don't think Cliff realised what he had let himself in for and soon found it wasn't so easy on the home front and was glad of a little relief from Mum and my friend at times. After all, he had only to make his own bed and put a crease in his pants by laying them under the mattress each night and also learn to darn his own socks in the Air Force, so this came as rather a shock to him.

John's wife, Lena, was one of my visitors and asked if she could come to take care of us, when Cliff had to return as he only had seven days and this baby had weakened me more than Alan had done, so we were grateful for her help.

She came first thing each morning and did anything that needed to be done and adored the children. As John was somewhere on the high seas, she had plenty of spare time and Alan accompanied her on her shopping trips and I was feeling stronger. Although the midwife still came, we were able to get up a little after ten days in bed but she still visited for fourteen days.

Cliff had a shock when he returned to camp, ail his unit had moved overseas in his absence and he was separated from the men he had been friends with so long and now had to attach himself to another squadron. Had he not been on compassionate leave at the time, he would have gone too.

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