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The Day Before Yesterday: 109 - The Arrival Of Pauline

Gladys Schofield gives birth to another daughter.

Our new little house fitted us like peas in a pod, Alan still sharing the bedroom with his two brothers. Linda was a chubby baby and as quick at talking and walking as the rest had been.

On Sundays we couid have little trips in the car, although Cliff had failed his first driving test, on a technicality. He didn't make an emergency stop quick enough, so we still displayed the L plates, front and back.

As Autumn came around again, a bad flu epidemic hit England in 1957. With hospitals overcrowded and schools struggling to keep open, it swept through every family. My two little girls got it and so did I. This wasn't so good as I was about eight months pregnant but we all got well again.

Alan had taken his exam once more and had received his results. He had pass marks in all his subjects. We felt very proud of him. He had finished school and had started work at a large engineering firm, as an apprentice. His apprenticeship would take five years to complete. It was very thorough. The firm paid his day at a Technical College and two nights also, so he would be a very busy lad from now on.

Rod was now fourteen and still attending the school just across from us and David was an average scholar in the Junior School.

The baby according to the Doctor's calculations was due the last week of October and like before, when we reached Halloween, the pains began to get stronger once more. This time I got through the night, even though a gale was blowing. It was Friday and Cliff stayed home and got the children to school for me.

About nine o'clock Sister Popleton called on a routine visit to see how I was progressing, as they were quite used to the way I had my babies by this time. On seeing the strength of my pains, she examined me and said "I can't leave you Love, your baby will be here before dinner. Can you manage without anything to ease the pain?"

My bed was in a warmer corner of the room this time, well away from any drafts and the gale force winds scattered every leaf that had dared to stay so long on the bushes outside.

Cliff was caring for Linda in the dining room. I was pleased we had a warm fire in both rooms this day. Susan was also at home, not yet fit enough to go back to school after the flu. I won't dwell on the birth, only to say thank God there's an easier way for women these days. Another little girl was born at eleven thirty. We called her Pauline and almost called her Gail.

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To read earlier chapters of Gladys's story please click on
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

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