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CHAPTER THREE

Second Baby And Miscarriage

We asked Uncle Richy (my friend and neighbor, when both of us were growing up) to be on call, when I had to go to the hospital to have our second child. He lived about a 5 minute walk away. He came running about 4 a.m., when I went into labor for Joey. He stayed with Rose until Joe made it back home. Joey was born July 7, l958 (a Monday) at 5:38 a.m., at Leominster Hospital. The Obstetrician was Dr. William B. Havey - Pediatrician was Dr. John M. Cummings. It was a long labor and Joey was also born breech; bottom first (not feet first, as Rose was). He was 19 days early and weighed 6 lbs. 12 1/2 ounces - he was 19 1/2 inches long. He looked just like his Great-grandfather Girouard; we called him "Little Pepee" (Grandfather, in French).

Joey was named after his Dad, Joseph Norman Girouard, Jr. We were so happy to have a son and a daughter (one of each kind!). I wanted him to be a Junior. He had almost no hair, very light blond, though. They checked his hips to be sure he didn't have an inherited congenital hip problem. The bone specialist, Dr. Heimberg said that Joey had very soft bones, no hip problem, and probably wouldn't be an early walker. Well, Joey proved him wrong, he walked one day before he turned 9 months old.

Once, when we were taking a picture of the two children, we put Joey on the little countertop Joe had added to the carriage (so Rose could play with toys on it). There was a slide lock on the countertop, but we had neglected to lock it down and Rose flipped Joey up and onto the floor. Not too good for a month old infant. He wasn't hurt.

Joey was baptized when he was about 10 days old, as was the custom. I don't remember who his godparents were.

Rose stayed in the body cast - I had to continue to turn her during the day and was stuck in the house through the hot summer. Joe would take the whole family outside when he got home in the evening. We went everywhere with Rose in the cast and the carriage; answered a lot of questions from people who stared. From time to time we had to bring her to Boston, to have the cast checked; to be sure she wasn't outgrowing it.

Now, they put Rose in a bi-valved cast, it was cut in half and strapped together in two places. That way we could remove the front side and take her out, being very careful not to put any pressure on her legs. They stuck straight out, to the sides. We would leave her out of the cast for longer and longer periods of time - sitting on the couch, next to her Dad, while both of them played with Joey, who was by now, a fat little bundle.

During one of the cast changes, they left Rose's left leg free from the knee down. The right leg had to have the cast right down to the toes, to keep the hip in place, so the socket could form around it.

Every time we removed Rose from the cast, we were to slowly pull her legs down, about an inch more every week. That way, eventually her legs would be together as they should be. It was a very long process - taking months. Finally, they told us that she could stay out of the cast; they threw it away. I remember going into the ladies room at the hospital and just crying; it was such a relief.

Through the 7 months that she was in the cast, we always prayed for her. There were times when I woke up in the middle of the night and felt to pray for her and did. Someone had given us a small bottle of water from Lordes, France (where Bernadette had seen the virgin Mary); I put the water on Rose and prayed. I know it was the obedience of those times, that God blessed. When she was out of the cast and learning how to walk, at 2 years old, she didn't even have a limp and our pediatrician couldn't get over that - he was so thrilled. She ran straight into his arms.

Many years later, when Rose was an adult, she began having trouble with her hip. I asked the Lord why, because He had healed her. I felt He said that it was, indeed, a miracle - because she walked all those years without a limp.

Joe had nick-named Rose "Guanga-Din". I nick-named her "Mit-Mot-Da-Pot", because she used to say that a lot. We finally discovered what it meant; Rose used to say it all the time when we saw a "Beany & Cecil" cartoon show on TV. It meant "X marks the spot" (on a treasure map they were always looking at, while they sailed around the world).

When Joey was 2 weeks old, I got pregnant. It certainly wasn't anything that was planned and was really a disaster. I was sick a lot, dizzy and weak. The doctor knew I would miscarry - there wasn't anything else that could happen (he never told me, though). I miscarried when Joey was about 4 months old. I had not had any morning sickness with this baby - the baby didn't actually grow for very long. On November 15th, 1958 (on a Thursday), I went into the hospital and had a D&C (dilate and curate), they cleaned away the rest of what was left in me. Couldn't tell if the baby was a boy or a girl, hadn't developed enough to tell. As was the custom, someone in the operating room baptized the baby. We named the baby -- Aimee Faith or William Joseph.

We had moved to a 2 bedroom house right before the miscarriage. The landlord was a Christian, had his own church. He came on really strong and we didn't think too much of him. He was always trying to get us to go to his church. Mr. Al Lee - he told us about how the Lord had healed cancer in his leg and showed us the leg.

We were Catholic and believed God answered prayers, but I usually prayed to St. Gerard (who was the saint for unborn babies, and safe deliveries), and also to Mary. God always heard us, and we were happy in the Catholic Church. We wanted, more than anything else to go to heaven and we believed what the Catholic Church said, about how to get there. We were really practicing Catholics.

We moved back to Pleasant Street; to the second floor apartment, because there were 2 bedrooms there. The landlady was happy to have us back - Mrs. Piano. She was really good to us; her children had really expensive clothes and she always passed them down to us.

Joey was just starting to walk and he had toppled over with his baby bottle in his hand; it broke and Joey cut his finger. I couldn't get it to stop bleeding; I called Dr. Cummings at his office and he said to apply direct-pressure to the wound and it should stop. I did it for 5 minutes and still it continued to bleed. I called Dr. Cummings at his office again and he said to bring Joey into his office. I had to keep direct pressure to his finger, and try to get dressed (I had my bathing suit on and tried to slip out of it and into something else) holding his hand, all that time. And, I got Mrs. Piano to babysit for a few minutes, while I brought Joey in. I must have had to get a taxi, as Joe always had the car to get to work. When we got to the doctor's office, it had stopped bleeding. Dr. Cummings was good enough to drive us back home in his VW car, as he had to go out to the hospital, anyhow (but the hospital was on the other side of town).

Joey was always into everything; he didn't seem to mind the danger or the "consequences", he liked to have fun. His favorite toys were lights and tools. His Dad made him a box with lights that blinked off and on; he loved it and it went everywhere with him, until he put it in a pail of water - it was supposed to be indestructible, but he had found a way to break it.


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Pen Name: Aimee Love
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~~OUR PHOTO~~

Joseph Norman, Jr. - our "earliest walker".


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