Of course, in those days, the father-to-be was left in the hospital waiting room while the doctor, nurses and mother-to-be performed this intense dance of birth called delivery. When it was all over, the father was notified and able to meet the little one before the newborn was off to the nursery to sleep. Staying in the hospital for a few days to recuperate was the norm for the exhausted new mother, but in pioneer days the new mom was prescribed two weeks bed rest after a home delivery. Sounds good to me.(Photo-4 generations of Franks.)
Many modern day moms, give birth and return home sometimes the same or next day to get back to their busy lives. Any career that a new mother ever had fades in comparison to her new 24/7 career as caretaker to a newborn that wakes up at all hours demanding feeding and changing. Your life as newlyweds is over and everything is focused on keeping the baby satisfied and not crying. If the baby has colic, which causes stomach pains then, you rock or walk the baby till he falls asleep before you can rest or live a “normal life,” which by the way-will never return again.
I taught dance until the night before my baby was born and then returned within two weeks to teaching part time as my husband was still a graduate student. The only problem was now I had this dependent little creature that I was trying to nurse day and night. After two weeks of my firstborn waking every two hours for nourishment, my doctor suggested I start feeding him cereal. That’s probably why my son is 6 ft 5 inches today.
No one can prepare you for the shock of on call duty as a mother when all you want to do is sleep but instead you get up in the middle of the night, change the baby’s diaper, try to feed him and rock him back to sleep. Unfortunately, our first son was very colicky so the nighttime hours were as busy as the daytime hours. After a few months of trying to be a fulltime mother and a part time dance teacher, I knew something had to give. So I gave notice at my job and became a full time mother, although I tried to keep my hand in dancing by teaching children’s dance in the basement of our rental apartment.