Anna Marcet Haldeman-Julius to Jane Addams, ca. November 1, 1919 (fragment)


Dearest Autntie

Here is the further tale of me:

You remember when I wrote you Friday morning I had that packing in me. Well, that evening it was removed and I spent a very uncomfortable night, though I wouldn't let any one stay [up] 6 feet both my nurse and Manuel might have to be up the next night.

I was up & down getting [eat] naps between pains reading etc. Alice slept with us and whenever I'd feel worn out I'd take a look at her and think how and worthwhile it all was. Now and then I would [think] I really [page 2] should have to tell Miss Stoop I needed that hypodermic and then I would think: "oh shucks, I can stand it all night!"

And so morning came & found me with a splitting headache & the curious sensation that everything was tipping a little as when you have been [illegible] whirling around and around and suddenly stand still.

I told Manuel this and then wished I hadn't he began to look so worried I told him it was probably simply because I had been losing so much sleep.

We went down to breakfast and Manuel said to [page 3] Miss Stoop "I want the doctor to see Marcet this morning. When he calls up you tell him so."

I said "There's no new development, -- why drag him here?"

After Manuel left Miss Stoop and she thought I was right and we decided to tell him that except that I had a headache then I got to thinking maybe I wasn't fair to Manuel and if anything should go wrong he would feel I had gone over his wishes, so we told him (when he called) that everything was about the same except I had a headache & that we thought it hardly [page 4] worthwhile for him to come up, but that Manuel wanted him to, and then telephoned that to Manuel, who met him downtown (the roads between Pittsburg & here were impassable by auto) and brought him out.

I was dressed as usual and [around?]. But when he took my blood pressure he found (my normal count is 120) that it had jumped from 180 (my last test) to over 200 and he made a test [illegible] & said that my headache was due to toxemia. I had temperature and a racing pulse.

He said in his gentle, sweet way that we musn't wait any longer. I must catch the 120 train (it was then 15 to twelve [page 5] o'clock) to Pittsburg to the hospital and let him operate at once. I suggested Kansas City, but he said we didn't have time to go there. Every hour increased the danger -- that he would impress the Sisters with the need for [privacy] & see that [there?] were no [pupil?] nurses about a doctor he could depend on for the anesthetic.

Of course Dr. Owensby's word is law with us.

Manuel took him in the auto to catch the twelve o'clock street car and they decided as to minor arrangements etc.

At one twenty, Miss Stoop and Manuel and I went to the station [page 6] with our bags. A long bunch of Girard people were going down to shop. They asked me where I was going, so I just took the bull by the horns & said: "Well I'll tell you girls. You know what a bunch there is out at our house. I just decided [illegible] rather have the baby at [the] hospital, after all. It'll be rather tedious waiting down at Pittsburg, but I can shop and I know lots of people. You know how the roads are and I'm having Dr. Owensby. If the baby should come in the night after the last car I'd be in a nice fix."

They all said how sensible [page 7] I was etc., etc. And asked when I expected it, I said "oh, some time this next week, that in fact was a it was a few days past due."

I had on my lovely coat & a smart, little hat & pretty veil and they all said how well I looked. I told them I sure felt well.

It was funny standing there chatting with those nonsense with those girls, with my body in pain, everything tipping and my head feeling as if it would fly to bits. Miss Stoops told me she had seen women brought to the [page 8] Presbyterian hospital in ambulences when they were in exactly my condition, but she said to look at me she would hardly believe it herself.

I told Manuel I had promised to wire you and he [wrote?] it out on the train. We waited until everyone was off the car & then got off. Doctor Owensby met us and brought us out in his car.

He had engaged two pleasant ajoining rooms & bath & [some] parlor for us -- a little suite.

When Sister [Benigna?] saw me & was told I was the patient [page 9] she said in genuine surprise "Why, dearie, we expected you to be carried in. We understood it was an emergency case."

I forgot to tell you the train was nearly half an hour late getting into Girard (all of which time I stood on the platform) and by the time we got out here it was nearly three o'clock.

The doctor gave me or had Miss Stoops give me a hypodermic and at four, in my pretty boudoir cap & lively neglige, I walked up stairs with Manuel & Miss Stoops & got on to the table. Only the sister [-- nurse] all in white (the head of the training school) and the sister [nurse] (also all in white) who has charge of the surgical room -- is the head surgical nurse and my own nurse & two doctors were there. And [page 10] Manuel, of course, who stood right beside me and held my hand very tight with all his heart in his eyes, poor dear (He never left me). The doctor had told the sister that it must never leak out that it was not a perfectly normal delivery as we were people who simply could not & would not be discussed.

When I came out from the anesthesia at two (I was still on the table) I was conscious of a terrible but quiet commotion at the other end of the room and an ominous kind of [illegible] silence. Manuel saw my eyes were open & came to me at once. His hand was like ice and in his eyes was such as looks of being just ready to be happy & get a look of [illegible words] live to be a [pages possibly missing] [page 11] impossible not to tear the cervix and he wanted to repair it right away and leave me in perfect shape. Which he did.

Would you believe it, Auntie, I was so happy to have my baby & had had such confidence in Dr. Owensby that with all that [chloroform], I shouldn't have the least bit of nausea?

Henry isn't twenty four hours old and I feel just fine! Honest and true. The nurse & baby sleep in the adjoining room & Manuel (there are two beds) shares this one with me. He went home this morning about ten & will be back at four & stay the night. He will go home to Girard every morning & come back every evening in time to have dinner [page 12] in my room with me & stay the night.

Miss Stoops says she has seen some of the biggest obstetrician in Chicago do this "High Forceps delivery" (with artificial dilitation of the cervix) and she has never seen it done more skillfully.

She says most doctors would have given up with the baby. She and Manuel both say he had turned [illegible] then blue, he was purple & Manuel says he looked actually dead.

He is anything but that now, and yells like a good [illeigble] when he [illegible]. He [end of fragment]