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CHAPTER FIVE

Baby Number Four

I still had the large knitted set for Mary to come home from the hospital, but I wanted to make something especially for a girl, as I knew she would be a girl and it had been awhile since we had a newborn daughter. I thought I would try something really fancy, and "girly"; it was a light pink bonnet that was all loops and had pink, satin tie strings. It was really pretty and looked so nice on her.

Mary was born while we were still living on the second floor at Vaillette's house on Water Street (French Hill part of Leominster). I had picked out the name Mary for my Gramma Taylor, who had made such a great impact upon my life. The Ann came from St. Mary's mother (who was suppose to be Ann). I didn't know if we should spell it Ann or Anne, but finally decided on Ann, as that was the name on my favorite ginger cookie - and I thought that she would like to see her name on a cookie, someday.

I knew when Mary would be born, as all our children were from induced labors, by this time. So, I got all the house cleaned up, and even washed and rinsed the sheets in the bathtub - which was no easy task, being 9 months pregnant; I did it on a sunny day (the end of January), so they would dry. Well, Aunt Patty (Joe's sister), thought she would do something to help me out and came over. She stripped the beds and washed the sheets, hanging them on the clothesline to dry, someday - as it had gotten very cold and they immediately froze. (We didn't have any extra sheets, so had to sleep on bare mattresses.) I told her that I had just washed them but she insisted they should be done right before I went to the hospital. So, then she went home and we waited about 3 days before they dried.

Mary Ann was born on February 2, 1961 (a Thursday), at 3:26 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz., and was 19 inches long. She was born head first - induced labor. It was Groundhog Day, and there was a blizzard outside. Joe had to really take his time getting to the hospital. Later, we had a joke about how glad we were that she didn't peak her head outside and decide to go back in, like the groundhog.

When I was getting Mary dressed, to take her home from the hospital, I noticed that the ID bracelet on her wrist said: DOR GIROUARD…instead of: LOR GIROUARD. I spoke to the nurse about it. I was especially concerned because a woman who was in labor, just alittle ahead of me, was named Doris (or Dora) Girouard.

Now, I was too knocked-out to know if I had a girl or a boy…but the nurse told me that I had had a girl: the other woman had a boy. That was still questionable, to me…except that I was anemic when I was carrying this baby – and was only anemic when pregnant for my girls. I knew for sure that I was expecting a girl (Mary); and named her way before she was born. So, Mary is really our daughter.

She never knew anything about this: but I wanted her to know the true story, should anything be questioned, later on. Besides, her blood type is A- (I asked her, once)…that is a combination of both our bloods – me, with type A+ and Joe, with O-. Not to worry, Mary, you are ours!

Mary slept all night from the time she was 5 days old, which is when we took her home; she may have slept from the very first day... She was a very contented baby, always smiled. She had a lot of brown hair when she was born and it was quite long. Her nick-name was "Bug" and "Kissing Bug", because she was as cute as a bug and also very "kissy".

Mary was baptized in the Catholic Church when she was just a few days old. She wore the same baptismal outfit that we had bought for Rose, back in Washington State. I don't remember who her godparents were.

When Al Lee moved out of the downstairs, we moved in. We had 2 bedrooms on the main floor, as we had upstairs, but the large bedroom was long like an army barracks - we lined the cribs up in it - Rose, Joey, Mike, and now Mary (I guess we had one single bed for Rose and the three cribs).

Mr. and Mrs. Vaillette took a real liking to us; they had begun caretaking a home for retired people and so had to cut back on their furniture. They gave us a beautiful hall table that had the bust of a woman carved in the legs of the table - it was a real antique; they also gave us two rockers; one of them was antiqued in black, with gold trim - it was a platform rocker, very pretty. They never had any children and were a middle-age couple. They took care of his Mom until she died of cancer in the house.

The people who lived next door had a daughter who just got married; they moved upstairs from us. They were very young and wild - they got a female dog "Ring", who promptly went into "heat"; every dog in town was in our back yard. Joe finally got a BB gun and shot at the male dogs, but it didn't help much. We had to keep the children in the house for a couple of weeks. We had the whole basement, so it was a good place where they could play when it was raining outside. I could also hang my laundry down there.


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Mom Lorraine & Mary Ann "kissing bug".


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