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The Day Before Yesterday: 89 - It's Not Mine

Gladys Schofield's husband was shocked when she told him that ahe was once again pregnant.

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John and Lena had waited many years to have their baby. Lena worked in a cake shop and was still working when six months pregnant. She was very large. Being a small person she looked to be carrying a lot of weight and still she worked even though her legs were swollen. The swelling didn't go even when she rested so she went to the doctor who immediately sent her to hospital. She had toxaemia. They had to induce her at this early stage. Her life was at risk.

Her twin daughters were bom alive, though tiny. They died within a day, the smaller one living the longest. Today they may have been saved with scans and prenatal care. It was very distressing. Lena loved children, she was told not to attempt to have another baby for two years.

This last Christmas had been a happy time with a little more money in the kitty but it wasn't a long holiday and work started again before the New Year. One of our chefs always made Easter eggs. We coated these with chocolate and he decorated them beautifully. He made birthday cakes in this manner too but not for the general public. Two bakers made mouth watering cakes and orders were taken at a local cinema. Any left over from the orders, we could buy cheaply. Fish cakes were made to order also. It was a busy little place. I also got to know a new brother-in-law better at work as my sister, Alma, had married and Alfred, her husband, helped with the baking of these goodies, that were ordered.

Early in February I started as usual buttering the mountain of sandwiches for breakfast time and I passed out once again. I thought I had done with that as a teenager. The boss and one of the women took me out in the freezing cold morning air where I came round and after a cup of tea was able to continue.

Thinking it was one of those things that happened to me every now and again, I didn't think much more about it, until I realised I was pregnant once more. I dreaded telling Cliff this time. We certainly had not tried to have a child. His thoughts on that had been definite. Fate had dealt me a deadly blow and he was furious. "You can get rid of it," he stormed. "It's not mine. It must be someone's where you work,.''

His appetite in this part of our married life had always been more than healthy and his crude methods of birth control were never adequate. As if I had the energy or inclination to go anywhere else after satisfying his needs. I was angry and said as much and told him "I bet this baby wiii look the most like you.''

It was a stormy time in our marriage and his mum moved out when I gave up my job at Easter.

One good thing came out of all this upset. Our son Rodney stopped the face twitching as soon as I was home full time again. My tall older boy had been favoured by Grandma, while it seemed Rodney who resembled me more, took most of the blame if anything had gone wrong.

Cliff seemed to go out more and on Saturday evenings he saw his friends and played snooker. He stayed out late and I did more crying with this baby than I had ever done before. I love babies and could never had done what he suggested, so I suppose he thought he was punishing me for something that was his fault entirely. I remember my mum coming to see me one Saturday evening. I was heavy with the child and was kneeling down beside the bath, bathing my sons.

"Where is Cliff?" she said, "You shouldn't be doing this in your condition."

I explained as easily as I could that he wasn't at home.


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