Page 17 - A Visit with Janie Nicholson, Baddeck
ISSUE : Issue 31
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1
fe' Dy'. C. L. MacMillan & his snowmobile (sketch courtesy Mrs. C. L. MacMillan) X great big snowmobiles, you know, like a tractor. Oh well, that was an awful winter. That'd be about almost 40 years ago, I sup? pose. And it was an awful winter, that one. All the snow. That's why he got that snow? mobile, see, so he could go way out in the country. So he called me about midnight, and I was having my period at the time. And I was so warm in bed, and oh, my gosh. He said, "Janie, be ready in 10 minutes. I'll be down after you." Jack ((Jack Nicholson, Janie's second husband)) said, "Oh, ain't you foolish, going out tonight." "Oh well," I said, "I couldn't refuse"--in a case like that. So I got up and I got dressed and I got my little bag with what I wanted in it. He came down, and I was waiting for him. "My gosh," he said, "you got dressed quick!" And away we started, way out in the glen. And the house was up on a hill. And down below the house was a big river. -"Oh," I said, "you're not going to take this thing up to the house, are you, doc? tor?" "Well, how we going to get there? That's the only way we can. You going to crawl on your hands and feet," he said, "and your belly?" "Well," I said, "gee, I'm afraid the thing will upset going up that hill. We'll land down in the river." "Well," he said, "we'll both go together then. We'll all die together." "Well," I said, "I don't know, we may freeze to death before we die!" So I got out of the thing, and oh, it was high up. I started jumping, and I went up to there in the snow. Hooo! I got out of there and I crawled up to the house, to the back door, and I got in. And there was a girl having a baby--she wasn't married. The mother was in the kitchen with a big fire on--a wood stove--nursing one of the other babies that this girl had. And the one that was having the baby was in the bedroom off from the kitchen. I went in to see what was to be done. First, you see, I'd have to prepare them for birth. If they weren't right near their time, you see, I'd have to give them an enema and shave them and get them all ready for birth, for delivery. And I had lots of time--she wasn't too far advanced. I got her ready, and she started crying. "What a thing to do," she said, "my poor mother." "Well," I said, "it's too late crying for that now. Never mind. Think of what you're going through, and get this over. Then you can cry. And don't let it happen again." I got the bed all fixed up. I think I had rubber sheets then. So I got her all fixed up in the bed, and she wasn't too long be? fore she had her baby. Oh, I think we were there about 3 hours or so. A lovely baby. But she was in the same pickle not too long afterwards. Oh, I went in some funny places. I think of them sometimes and I wonder, my gosh, how'd I ever struggle through it. And I never charged one cent. I imagine Dr. Mac? Millan could tell you that if he wanted to. He could tell you that I did it all volun? tary. (You didn't take any money at all?) No, well, you couldn't. Some places, of course, they could pay--but I wouldn't take it. But when you see a lot of little children around, you couldn't have the heart. I didn't really need it, you know. I had plenty home myself. 'Cause I thought it'd be an awful sin for me to go and take anything from those people. Course, I sup? pose if I really needed it, and that was the way I was making my living, probably I'd have to get something, some little thing, a dollar or so. A dollar went a long ways then. What I'd have to do when I'd go to confine? ment cases, I'd have to get the woman ready--the doctor wouldn't have to do a thing. He'd just come and <0PPING CENTRE -- PORT HAWKESBURY WlOOlCO I I ALL OPEN 'TILL 10 PM DAILY P5J'J?!PIiIi2:?.5'P.g I (17)
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