Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 31 > Page 21 - A Visit with Janie Nicholson, Baddeck

Page 21 - A Visit with Janie Nicholson, Baddeck

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1 (293 reads)

els are supposed to move. And urinate, shortly after its birth. And it never did. I watched that baby--I did everything to try and get it to urinate. No sir, it nev? er urinated. And a tiny little bit, the bowels moved--not much. And it wouldn't drink very much. So I said to myself, I wonder will this child live. Then this big August gale came that night, that awful, awful gale. And the house, on the shore-- it blew in the window, the kitchen window came in, smashed. And I stayed upstairs with the baby, and I was nursing the baby. I had it in my lap there, trying to do eve? rything for it, putting warm things on its stomach. Everything. And the father came in and he said, "Well, I'm going out to get the doctor to come down." "Well," I said, "it's not fit for the doctor to come down tonight." "Well," he said, "I'm going to get him." And it was Dr. Gillis, a nice little doctor. He was a Catholic doctor. So he came in. I don't know how in the world they ever got there, the storm was that bad. It was wicked. All the boats that were out on the water were in on the shore in the morning. So he came down, he looked at the baby, and he says, "Oh, I don't know." And he got down on his knees, and he prayed. He got up, and he said, "That's all I can do." So shortly after he went, the baby died. And look, there was about a bucket of water came from that child after it died • Wasn't that funny? Wasn't that strange? We could never figure that out, why that happened. A little boy. She had 3 girls after that. But it was too bad she lost the little boy, yes. (When you were working, did you consider yourself a nurse or a midwife?) Well, I don't know--a practical nurse, a practical nurse. Well, I got a lot of books, and I studied them, when I didn't get a chance to go in the hospital and train, see. I just kept up with the work. (Did the women ever come to you, if they didn't want any more children? Did they come to you for contraceptive advice?) Well, I'd do what I could for them. But at that time, they did very little work at anything like that. The only advice I could give them was to use a douche, with a poison pill in it. It was a little blue pill, they could put it in the water, you know, use the douche after their connec? tion. That was the only way they did in those days, that the women saved from not having their baby. It's the funniest thing--the little, lit? tle, small women, I found them having ba? bies much easier than the big, tall, stout women. That's right. I've been with little women, and they were laughing when their baby was coming. I said, "My gosh, you don't know about having babies," I said. "For land's sake, make some noise, let them know that you've got some pain!" (How many children did you have?) Seven. I only have one living. I had 3 miscarriages, one was full 9 months. I pretty near died with that one. Then I had a baby lived 3 months. Then I had 3 sons after that. They all lived. I lost one in the Second War, the air force, Ralph. And my other boy, when he was in his young 20s, he took men? ingitis, and he died. I have one boy liv? ing now, he's living down here on the main street. So that's all I got out of my sev? en children. But at the last of it, though--well, I stopped going out. My boys, they took over the old farm, see. My mother died and they took over the old farm, and they had saw? mills. Well, I had to look after them out on the farm, and I had to look after my home here in Baddeck. So, the boys were making hay this day, and the doctor came out after me at dinnertime. He said, "Come on, Janie, I've got a case. You've got to come with me." I said, "Doctor, I'm afraid I can't go today." "Well," he said, "who am I going to get?" "Well," I said, "you go and get that R.N. in Baddeck, she'll go with you." And I was glad I didn't go that time, because that baby died when it was born. I said, "Thank God I wasn't there." Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Harold MacNeil, Baddeck, for photograph from the late Janie Nicholson's scrapboqk. cmfoEft located 1/2 mile off the Cabot Trail at Neifs Harbour 336-2288 Enjoy jfour favorite Phone (902) 794-7251 Cable BRENNANS Telex 019-35149 Night & Holiday 736-8479 794-3178 Brennans Travel Agency 158 QUEEN STREET, NORTH SVDNEY STEAMSHIP AIRLINE -- RAIL AND HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS.
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