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History of Hazel Johnson Christensen

Mother and Lou’s Birth

When Mother had Lou, she had some trouble that she told me about later.  They had a midwife in Preston but when she took sick her sisters were there.  The sisters had moved to Preston as a group.  Four sisters went and lived all on one block.  Two lived on one side and two on the other.  Her sister Olive married my father’s brother Joe so those two were married to brothers.

Anyway when she had Lou the afterbirth wouldn’t come.  So Uncle Joe, my father’s brother, went up for Sister Swan, the midwife.  She was gone up to Mapleton, a little town about twelve miles away, but of course that was by horse and buggy.  So he went to another midwife there in Preston.  She said, “I have a sick baby, and I won’t come.  I won’t leave it.”

He said, “I’ll get Olive and she’ll sit right by your baby, and won’t leave if you’ll just come.  The baby’s born but the afterbirth won’t come.”

But she said, “No, you have her get up on her knees and when she has a pain, pull on the cord.”  But it still wouldn’t come, so Uncle Joe went up to Mapleton to get Sister Swan.  (I think it was Sister Swan, but I’m not sure.)

She said, “Well, I have just delivered this baby so I can come now.  What did they do for her?”  Uncle Joe told her and then she went with him and got the afterbirth.

After they were through she said, “Now you girls, listen to me.  Don’t ever do that again (pull on the cord).  If that had broken loose you could never have stopped the bleeding.  So don’t ever do that again.”  They were just her sisters who didn’t know much about it.