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Vn118.1 Introducing Peggy 1/26/78

The calculated arrival date for Peggy, our new daughter, was
January 24th. Gretchen, because of her past experience with Robby and
Miriam who were both late, did not expect the birth until the very end
of January. This expectation was a source of some comfort over the
past weekend (Jan. 20-22) during which Boston was subject to a storm
which dumped 26 inches of snow in our area. This was the most snow
from a single storm in the city’s history. Had the baby come Friday
the 20th, a police escort to the hospital would have been our only
hope of getting there. I discussed with our landlord in more or less
serious jest a home delivery. (A psychiatrist, he offered to help as
much as he could but warned me he would not be especially useful.)

Two days passed; the roads were again usable though their
sides were piled high with snow. Gretchen woke me at 4:30 a.m. on
the 23rd, two hours after entering labor, and we proceeded to the
hospital with cautious haste. Arriving at 6 a.m., the obstetrician
predicted an 8:30 delivery. After a short time, he predicted an imminent
delivery. Peggy was born 10 minutes later at 6:46 a.m. This 4
hour labor was very short in contrast to 14 hours with Robby and 8 with
Miriam. Ninety minutes after delivery, with Peggy in her arms, Gretchen
was able to talk to Robby on the phone and tell him she and the baby
were well and feeling pretty good.

With the Monday morning arrival, our plan to take care of
Robby and Miriam had been straightforward. Our landlady would wake
the children and be available to help as they got dressed in preparation
for school. Should they return from school before I returned from
the hospital, she would be available then also, but the children were
to amuse themselves in our house. (The rare permission to watch after-
noon cartoons I expected to keep them out of mischief.) School was
canceled because of Friday’s snow. Robby and Miriam took care of
themselves quite well. They escaped any major mishaps during the day,
though infringing a few rules, i.e. they bounced on my bed as if it
were a trampoline. I met them at home after noon. Subsequently I
prepared an early supper and left them with permission to watch more
TV (a Charlie Brown special and “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”) while I returned
to the hospital.

The next day each child took a picture of Gretchen and Peggy
(made with Robby’s new Polaroid One-Step) and the good news to share
with their classmates. They visited the hospital late in the afternoon.
As Peggy was wheeled away from the viewing window, she flipped her arm
about. The children claimed she had waved good-bye and began squabbling
over whom Peggy had waved at.

I expected the children to be in school Thursday as I brought
Gretchen and Peggy home. School in Brookline was canceled again that
day, today. The children preferred being on their own this morning to
an indefinite wait in the hospital lobby. We are now 5 at home.

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