The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mother's Day Is May 11th [1986]

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1986

Issue: May, 1986

My mother told me that when her younger brother was born, she was seven years old. She was roused out of bed in the middle of the night and was sent to her grandmother's house which was about a quarter of a mile down the road. She didn't know that a baby was expected, and was told only that her mother had a stomach ache and the Doctor was coming.

It was the first day of June, and early apples were just coming into season. My mother remembered thinking that her mother would be sick after eating all those green apples, and wasn't surprised that she had a stomach ache. She was surprised to return home the next morning and find a new baby.

From the many stories I have heard about what "the blessed event" of having a baby was like in days gone by, this story seems to combine all the elements of what a new birth was like in yesteryear.

Practically all births were at home. Some were able to get a doctor to come, some called on a midwife, some even delivered their own, getting up afterwards to look after their other children and their household.

This month's issue is dedicated in praise of Mountain Mothers.