We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

As the world celebrates the birth of Princess Kate’s baby girl…Queen Elizabeth must be musing, “Times sure have changed since I was having babies!”

Mother of eight, Maxine Pierron agrees.  At 95, Maxine is six years older than Queen Elizabeth, but they were both birthin’ babies in the 1940′s.
The process is the same. But everything else…entirely different.
Here are just a few of the biggies:
1) Maxine never had the option of discovering the sex of her babies.  No ultrasound. No idea. Many times mothers didn’t even know if they were having multiples until delivery day.
2) Maxine never remembers having a big baby shower for any of her tribe.  Co-ed baby showers and gender reveal parties were non-existent.
3) No dads allowed! Not anywhere near the painful bellows of the feminine kind.  Truth be told, Maxine remembers her husband, who was a physician, ducking in a few times during delivery.  But she says he wished he hadn’t!
4) Maxine and her fellow mid-20th century mamas recovered  in the hospital for at least a week.  The cost, even without insurance, was minimal.
5) Maxine didn’t know what a car seat was until she had grandchildren.  Babies were swaddled and sent home riding unsecured in the front seat.
Maxine’s hospital births with anesthesia  were considered modern for the time.  Maxine’s daughter became a self-proclaimed hippie who changed her last name to Sun Shower.  She delivered her daughter ala natural.  In a commune…with an unlicensed midwife.
Maxine Pierron and Joanne Sunshower
Great Grandmother’s like Maxine…and the Queen are national treasures.  Today we  choose between home births and hospitals and knowing baby’s sex and surprises.  But I love the old stories from baby-rich mamas.  This month, I join with 4 generations of the Pierron family in wishing the feisty, almost-centennial Maxine a wonderful 95th birthday and Mother’s Day this week.  Here’s to many more!


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