I'm not sure what my Mom's DR told her when she was expecting me.  I'm sure back then women saw the doctor every couple of months.  They probably just listened to Mom's heartbeat, took her blood pressure and stuck a thermometer in her mouth.  The only way to hear the baby's heartbeat was to stick a stethoscope on her growing belly.  He probably just told her to rest and eat from the four food groups.  He didn't care if the Mom smoked or drank.  Drinking a pot of coffee a day was fine.

Almost thirty years ago when I had my second child as well as with my first, smoking was taboo, drinking was fine if you only had one a week.  Thank goodness my second child was born right before caffeine was banned.  I couldn't have done without Diet Coke.  I too was told to eat well.  However we weren't told to rest, we were encouraged to find an exercise regimen even if we had lived our prior lives as couch potatoes.  Back then we were told that after our baby got there a glass of wine while breastfeeding was good for both mother and child.

As my second Grandchild makes her way into the world her Mom is supposed to exercise, forego any vice and the list of things she is not supposed to eat could fill a page.  The restrictions were pretty much the same just three years ago since her first child was born.  I'm totally in favor of doing anything the experts tell you to get that happy healthy baby but, as each one comes along there seems to be something else to sacrifice and scientific data as why Mom should.

It is a wonder that my Baby Boomer generation still functions with all the horrible things our Moms did to get us here.  I bet they even ate deli meat.  I went home from the hospital in my Mother's arms while she wasn't wearing a seatbelt and neither was my Dad.  When their second child was born I probably walked around in the backseat or sat in between them also without a belt.  Not that they were negligent, seatbelts just weren't invented then.

My second child came home in a car seat that her brother had used only to be kicked out of it to go to a booster and a seatbelt which was not completely stable on the car's seat.  We wore ours most of the time then.  Funny thing is now I put on my seatbelt to pull the car out of the garage to park in our driveway.  Anyway, it is much different with my first and second Grandchild.

I still have not mastered my first Granddaughter's car seat, the one in my car.  Heaven forbid that I would have to strap her in to one of her others.  I am confident that I can strap her in properly but it is a feat.  If I had to take the seat out of my car and install it again, well, that's just not possible.  My own children's safety seat, we only had one, was easy to switch from car to car.  Even I could do it.

Now I am going to have to learn another car seat before I mastered the first one.  For those of you who haven't strapped a child in a car seat in the past five years, you need to have a boat load of knowledge of engineering, mechanical skills and the ability to read yet another complicated manual.  It's not easy as there are classes offered to help you learn the operation of a car seat.

I suppose my Mom probably put a pillow and a blanket on the seat for me as she did with my brother.  I remember how I couldn't wait for both of my children to weigh 30 pounds and have the ability to put them in the car with just a seatbelt.  As it looks now my Granddaughters will ride in some kind of seat until they reach 80 pounds.  Better safe than sorry.

I wonder how it will be when these girls have children.  What will they be allowed to eat?  Will it be discovered by then that vegetables can harm a fetus?  Will it be possible for them to conceive and know at that moment if they had?  Will they know the sex of their child within hours?  Will someone be able to accurately predict the exact DOB?  Will their children have to be strapped into climate controlled chambers before they can be driven to the park?

It seems far-fetched but, think about when my Mom was born.  She probably was in her parent's bed while people gathered towels and boiled water.  She might have ridden in a car early on but, it would have been in a basket in whatever cars offered in 1935.  There was no trip to the hospital and if a DR was present he came to their home.  My Grandmother probably plucked a chicken from the yard, wrung its neck and fried it up for dinner just hours before my Mom was born.

After all my Mom was her third child so my Nana probably worked in the tobacco fields that day as my Mom was born in August.  She might have gotten a day off after she gave birth but, within a few days she was probably back in the fields, chasing chickens with a baby in a basket with two small children running around.  She probably never got a card, flowers or a balloon for a job well done.

When this baby of hers gave birth just twenty years later things were much different.  Babies were born in hospitals and Mom stayed there for five days even for a totally uncomplicated birth.  She got lots of cards, flowers and balloons and used her little vacation filling out her baby book.  Her baby, me, was brought in from time to time for bonding but, when lights went out Mom got to sleep.  My Dad didn't witness my birth as the father's sat in the smoky waiting room waiting for when the DR came out and told him he could start passing out cigars.

Thirty years later when I gave birth I knew I would have a two night hospital stay and possibly three if there was the slightest problem such as jaundice.  Unless there were major complications mom and baby went home at the same time.  Dad was not in the waiting room which by that time had a No Smoking sign, he was with me every step of the way.  After all we had taken Lamaze classes for weeks to teach him the precise way to feed me ice chips and me, how to perfect saying He He Who.

Our babies spent these first two nights after their births in the room where all the other babies were supposedly so Mom and Dad could get a couple of good night's sleep before the time they wouldn't sleep soundly for the next eighteen years.  It didn't happen that way.  Every hour a nurse or a doctor were in checking vitals for even the woman who had had a cut and dry birth experience.  You wanted to go home for a better chance of rest.

When our first and second Grandchildren were born almost thirty years later two nights were still the norm but they were ready to kick their Mom out after one. By this time smoking was prohibited within a mile of the hospital, Lamaze classes were passe and the new baby spent the night in the room where they too were subject to poking and prodding.  No one got sleep.

It seems it has gone back to my Grandmother's time as the new Mom these days is expected to get on with it as quickly as possible.  Just like in my Grandmother's time anyone she chose to have in the room when she gave birth could be there, up to three.   One of the greatest gifts of my life is that I got to see my Granddaughters be born.  My Grandmother didn't have that, my Mom didn't and I suppose only my Great-Grandmother had that pleasure.  How things change

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