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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday, October 3, 1981 - Part 2

These notes are about the day Cheyenne was born. Also, about the first months after she was born, and some things that happened to her.

It really began the day before, early in the evening, at a Chinese restaurant in Inamn Square, and whose name I can't remember at just this moment. Adele and I went there for something to eat. It was sort of a fast-food Chinese restaurant. Nothing special. It burned down a few years later. It's a little park now, right across from Rosie's, the bank, and a drugstore.

On the morning of June 6, 1972, Adele woke up feeling sick to her stomach. She was two weeks past her expected delivery time. A little vomiting, with something that looked like worms. But it was only some sprouts from the Chinese food. The contractions started. I made a little table of the time they started and how long they lasted. It looks like this:

6/6/72 Contractions: 9:02:45(am) 45(seconds) 9:09:30 7 45 (the 7 represents 7 minutes since the last contraction) 9:15:00 6Ω 45 9:21:30 6Ω 45 9:26:45 5 50


stronger 9:52:30 35 10:00:30 8 45 10:04:55 5 35 10:10:10 5 35

- - -

10:21:35 55 (Adele, or someone else, wrote these) 10:27:50 6 50 10:34:25 6 50 10:40:30 6 45 10:46:00 6 70 10:52:15 6 60

hospital trip

2:13:40 60 2:28:15 2:37:15

prep, enema labor room

3:09:30 75

4:30 delivery room 4:56 - baby Cheyenne is!

Oops! It seems I left out a bunch of contraction timings. So here they are continued from the previous page. These begin sometime after 10:52:15, so, here we go again:

11:14:35 60 11:21:15 7 65 11:27:25 6 85 - - - 11:55:20 65 12:03:40 8 65 12:14:05 10 55 12:18:05 4 55 12:24:35 6 60 12:30:35 6 55 12:35:05 4 55 12:41:40 6 55 12:47:40 6 65 12:54:40 7 70 1:02:30 8 1:08:30 6 60

and then back to the previous page and begin with the hospital trip. Only one thing came as a real surprise, in the sense that we didn't know it would happen. After expelling the placenta, Adele began to shake, almost violently. The doctor told us it was a completely normal reaction. It lasted for only a few moments. Near the end of the pregnancy Adele would do some funny things. One was to carry a bottle of water around. Something like mineral water. She was afraid that the sack holding the baby inside her would break and get water all over. Also, that it would occur in odd places, like supermarkets. So, before shopping, she would have me get a bottle of mineral water to carry around while we shopped. I remember we went to a supermarket, Star, no, Stop & Shop, on Beacon Street, near Porter Square. Groceries, then, cost us something like $5 to $10 a bag. That was a long time ago.

Adele was surprised at the episiotomy. She got a shot for it, but still an unpleasant thing. There were a number of other women in labor at the same time. But it was different for all of them. They were either hysterical or crying their hearts out. We had taken two courses to help with the delivery of a child. It seems the doctors of these women had kept them completely in the dark. They had no idea of what was happening. We were quite offended at these doctors for doing such a thing. Adele ended her relationship with a doctor in the beginning of the pregnancy because she found him insensitive. Another couple we knew, and who had a baby shortly before us, also took the Lamaze course, but found the same conditions in the hospital they used. The other women were either hysterical or crying.

It was difficult to restrain myself in the delivery room. I kept reaching over to help the doctor with the delivery, and holding Adele's hands with my other hand. It lasted about 30 minutes. She was born at 4:56 pm, 22 inches, 6lbs 10oz.

The doctor put her in a little box to keep her warm. She turned her head to one side and looked at me, or so I imagined. She cried for only a moment, then was quiet. She was perfect. Later, in Adele's room, I held her for the first time. The tiniest little hands and fingernails, and each one just perfect. She had a slight bit of yellow color for which the doctor did something. It seemed to be a common thing.

I started to write notes about things that happened to Cheyenne as she developed. Sometimes they would be things noticed by me, or by Adele, or some other person. Each thing was written on a 3 by 5 card with the date:

6/6/72 Cheyenne's entrance into the new world. She came out breathing, blinking and crying. What a beautiful kid! Weighed 6 lbs 10 oz and was 20 inches long. The following is not a regulation 3 by 5 card, but is a list, on 3 by 5 paper of who we sent birth notices to: Maggie Lettvin, Tom Savage, Dan Rubenstein, John Donovan, Dorothy Jones, Buddy Cohe, John Rosenfield, Sheila Hoffman, Gusty Trainor, The Breidenbachs, The Berensons, Carla Marceau, Liz Notarius, Jack & Ruth Rothman, Mitzi Haber, Billy & margot Rothman, Mark Habor, Louise Castellucio, G Pederson-Krag, Phyllis Newman, Laura & George Price, Annette & Hy, John Carley, Sam Mason, Karolyn Martin, Bob Rappaport, PInky Sinclair, Rosemary Xeron, The Gardners, Ted Gardner, Dave Burrmaster, Barbara Ackermann, Karl Linn, George Morrisey, Ed Mcquillan, Victor Oppenheimer, Al Solish, Rina Wald, Warren Brodey, Avery Johnson, Joseph Brenner, David Silva, Sylvan Bromberger, Bill Buffett, Mike Cheney, Earl Coleman, Martin Hurwitz, George Alves, Stepehn Arons

6/10/72 Cheyenne comes home for the first time and meets her new neighbors.

6/18/72 Cheyenne blinks her eyes at light and air pressure, but not motion.

7/6/72 Cheyenne's first visit to the doctor! Gained 3 lbs and 13/4 oz in 30 days. AMAZING!

7/17/72 Cheyenne 'talked' and said her first 'words' today. Her grandmother has been speaking to her a lot.

8/4/72 Cheyenne started blinking at motion today. Adele says she laughed for the first time.

8/5/72 Adele says Cheyenne turned over on her side for the first time today. We were at Fresh Pond.

8/16/72 Cheyenne took a whole bottle of milk this evening. 7-8 oz, went #2 twice during the operation.

8/17/72 Cheyenne's first diaper rash showed up today! My goodness! Look at those red wrinkles!

8/17/72 Cheyenne has started blowing bubbles and dripping at the mouth.

8/18/72 Cheyenne can now lift her head and look around while lying on her stomach. Her shoulders come up just a little.

8/19/72 Cheyenne has learned several new sounds/'words' today. We went to visit the Wyler's in Snowville New Hampshire.

8/20/72 Cheyenne has discovered fingers! She can put individual, as well as a collection of them, in her mouth, and sucks, making a lot of noise in the process.

8/20/72 Cheyenne has discovered Sam, and vice versa! She spent a long time watching him as we returned from New Hampshire. Sam had a good time smelling and licking her hands and face.

8/21/72 Adele says that Cheyenne responded to her voice for the first time today by looking in her direction. Cheyenne likes to be held high over my head.

8/23/72 Cheyenne's double chin is going away and her neck is getting longer. We held her upside down and there it was!

9/7/72 Cheyenne can lift herself up, the back part, by straightening her legs. She can almost turn over. She has started blowing lots of tiny, clear bubbles. Adele said Cheyenne laughed today when she was tickled around the neck.

9/17/72 Cheyenne spent her first night alone, in her new crib, in another room! Adele seems to be taking it ok. Cheyenne likes the extra room for moving and the spaces between wooden slats allow her to see more.

9/20/72 Cheyenne visited the doctor again. She has gained 22 ounces and continues to develop normally. A variety of reaction tests were conducted and she performed satisfactorily.

9/22/72 Cheyenne has learned to use tools! Today she grasped her rattle and manipulated it to her mouth, several times. She also laughed with us and ate some solid food, which she seemed to enjoy very much.

10/1/72 Cheyenne seems to be starting her teething. She bites her lower lip with her upper gum!

10/2/72 Cheyenne grabbed a toe earlier today, and, just now, about 10pm, turned from her stomach to her back!

10/8/72 Cheyenne discovered toes today and played with one for the first time.

10/13/72 Cheyenne is beginning to see and grab things like paper, her hanging clown toy, etc. She has lots of patience and tries to get hold of something over and over again.

10/16/72 Cheyenne fell asleep on her back today! Another first time event!

10/18/72 Three big things new happened to Cheyenne today: 1) held her own bottle, 2) played with Sam and got licked in return, 3) grabbed the beads hanging over her dressing table and played with them.

10/29/72 Cheyenne visited her grandparents this weekend, was her usual wonderful self and they got to feed her solid food for the first time. Her grandfather took care of her while Adele and Richard went to the movies, The French Connection.

11/5/72 Cheyenne bit Adele for the first time today! Boy, did that hurt! The reason is because of a tooth coming in on the middle of the lower gum. Her grasping and manipulating abilities have improved considerably. She really likes to play with pieces of paper and twirl them around.

11/7/72 Cheyenne spent about an hour in her Jolly Jumper, had a marvelous time jumping and talking and touching Sam who was very interested in smelling her.

11/8/72 Cheyenne can almost stand and sit by herself now. She can stand when she is being held only by her hands.

11/127/2 Cheyenne's first tooth has broken completely through the gum today. She tried to grab her bottle by leaning forward and grasping with both hands just as I was about to feed her today. She recognized what it was quite clearly. Adele showed me how she has just learned how to lift herself to a standing position from a sitting position while being balanced only by holding her hands.

11/13/72 Cheyenne has started swimming! Well, almost. She and Adele were in the bathtub and Cheyenne went underwater three (3), count them, times! Only a bit of distress, with a quick recovery.

11/15/72 Complete extension of the fingers and repeated attempts to grasp anything in reach is beginning. Cheyenne can stand with only a little balancing with two or even one hand at a time. She is taking and holding her pacifier now for long periods of time, perhaps because other teeth are coming in. She sometimes sleeps on her side.

11/25/72 Another big week for Cheyenne! A visit with grandma and grandpa and the other Rothman's for Thanksgiving dinner. Acquired the ability to sit up vertically from a bent over position, resting on outstretched hands instead of forearms, reaching out with hands to be pulled up from a lying on the back position, ability to pull herself from a sitting to a standing position with only a little help with balance, reaching out to grasp my hands, very interested in Sammy and his movements, smiles and giggles for everyone, especially her grandparents.

12/4/72 Cheyenne put the toes of her left foot in her mouth this evening - for the first time!

12/6/72 Cheyenne said what sounded like DA-DA or GA-GA for the first time today!

12/10/72 Cheyenne is now saying MA-MA very clearly, mostly when she is somewhat distressed. Her ability to sit up and manipulate objects around her has improved. She can push up to a sitting position upon falling forward.

12/14/72 Cheyenne has learned to play a new game. We placed a blanket over her head. She didn't know what to do. It was slowly pulled away till we were visible. We placed the blanket over her head several times and she finally learned to pull it off.

12/16/72 Cheyenne had her first 'finger food' today! She picked up and ate a cracker.

12/19/72 Cheyenne is laughing more, especially at visual jokes, has learned to grimace, as though sucking on a lemon, and is very active in the jolly-jumper.

12/25/72 Cheyenne's first Christmas! We spend the day with lots of grandma's relatives. Cheyenne is her usual wonderful self. Looking around and smiling at everyone. She reached out to get me or Adele when someone else is holding her and will grab us even tighter if she thinks someone is going to pick her up. She is pulling herself up to her knees - starting to crawl, is holding and manipulating her pacifier. Sitting up and playing with toys for longer periods of time. Can almost turn from back to stomach.

12/29/72 Cheyenne went to the doctor in Monsey, has stomach virus, diarrhea and a cold, weighs 15 lbs 15 oz. Two miscellaneous sheets of paper from the doctor with a prescription and a list of foods to eat while she's sick.

1/19/73 Cheyenne turned from back to stomach for the first time! She was lying on the table and getting ready for a bath.

1/19/72 Cheyenne can move in specific directions with the stroller. She can chase Sam or move towards an object that interests her.

1/21/73 Cheyenne moved her arms alternately while in a crawling position. A telephone book was the object of her pursuit.

1/21/73 Cheyenne stood up in her crib by herself today and moved the car on the busy box back and forth!

1/17/73 Cheyenne seems to be getting four top teeth at once! She has been a bit cranky.

1/28/73 Cheyenne can now roll from back to stomach by twisting and arching her back. Also, started to clap hands, and seems to be mimicking others actions.

1/31/72 Cheyenne has learned how to crawl! She started about 6pm when Adele was playing with her on the kitchen table. Alternate movement of hands & feet was somewhat shaky but clearly evident.

2/1/72 Cheyenne used both feet to propel her stroller, also, alternated pushing with left & right.

2/14/73 Adele observed Cheyenne picking up a milk bottle and putting it in/near her mouth.

2/19/73. Cheyenne started clicking her tongue today.

2/23/73 Cheyenne now holds a full bottle all by herself and can finish most of it before it, or she, has to be tipped up.

2/28/73 Cheyenne's general flexibility is increasing and today she put a toe in her mouth. Adele found her lying on her stomach with legs pointing forward.

3/22/73 Cheyenne has learned a hand game! We put our hands on her high chair table. She puts her hands on ours. We pull our hands out from under hers and place them on top of hers. And so forth, with great relish!

3/29/73 Adele says that Cheyenne has learned to climb down from the front room couch, about 10 inches high, by going off feet first.

4/11/73 Cheyenne's swimming is improving. She no longer clings and cries but will reach for things with both hands, and is more relaxed.

4/13/73 Cheyenne stood up by herself twice this evening! Another first.

6/2/73 Cheyenne visits her grandparents today. Says 'hi', seems to recognize them, is held by them. Also, learns a new word, 'see', and points at things.

6/6/73 Cheyenne is working very hard at standing, tries to throw herself into a standing position, momentarily does so, then plops down.

6/16/73 At last, Cheyenne is kicking during swimming, and for the very first time, is reaching out for objects and no longer clings.

6/18/73 Cheyenne has been a real terror these last two days. The reason: first molar, bottom left side.

6/24/73 Cheyenne took her first independent steps today, while visiting M. Fay in Worcester MA.

7/14/73 HCHP doctor says Cheyenne has Roseola. Loss of appetite, fever, up to 104 degrees at one point, but mostly about 101.5 or so, with the rectal temperature about 1 degree higher than the oral.

7/21/73 Cheyenne recovered from Roseola, after the 4th rash. She sleeps more now but should return to her regular schedule. Activity has increased considerably in the last few days. She doesn't want to be carried in the sling unless moving, trying to stand up and is more steady than a week ago. Two cards with the schedule for taking care of Matt. He's about Cheyenne's age. We made an arrangement with his parents to trade childcare. We would trade on the basis of hours.

And so ends the notes about the first year or so of Cheyenne's life. A Lot of other things were happening, both in the world outside and around us. The 1972 Olympics were going on, and the Munich massacre. George McGovern was claiming that Richard Nixon was the crookedest guy to ever be President. A year later he was to be on TV every day. Another short war in the Mideast, and lots of other things. There was some competition between Adele and I over discovering new things in Cheyenne's development. We were always excited to tell the other of what we had noticed. It seemed to me that she always discovered the biggest new developments first. But reading it over again makes that seem not so likely. We were very excited about her and pleased with her. In many ways she seemed to be a perfect baby. I remember staying up all night a few times, but never after that. It happened only at the beginning. She would always eat and shit regularly. She was a good sleeper. We loved her very much. She paid us back many times over. I remember once when Adele and I slept late. We went to her and found her covered with the stuff she normally left quite neatly in her diaper. She was unable to keep it organized will we got to her. But she didn't complain. She just talked to us with her cooing voice and held out one of her toys for us. For awhile she made a noise that sounded just like and old creaky door being opened. The sort that one sees, or hears, in a horror movie. I remember being scared out of my pants by it, and looking frantically around the apartment for the source, only to realize that Cheyenne was the source. She really liked this little orange sling that went around my shoulder and made a pouch at about my hip. Putting it on was enough to send her into an ecstatic fit. Or saying, wanna go for a ride. That would do it. When she was really small I'd carry her around in a little gizmo on my chest. Wearing my parka, and her, made it seem as though I had an enormous stomach. People would often be surprised to see me come in and hear this squeeking sound from inside my coat. She was very careful with her position relative to real objects. Once when she got herself under the kitchen table, I noticed her placing a hand over her head to keep from bumping the sharp wood and metal objects located there. Matt, on the other hand, would jump up, practically get himself knocked out, fall down, lurch forward, and jump up again, only to bash his head once more. At a very early age he would scramble in and out of his crib. Very athletic kid. Cheyenne was just the opposite. Sometime before her first birthday we invented some games. One was for her to jump from the kitchen table into my arms. Another was for me to grab her around the waist and hold her over my head, sometimes tossing her even higher into the air. I try to think about more incidents from that time. A lot of little pictures come to mind. Sitting up late at night right after she was born. She would cry and cry. We didn't know why. Holding her didn't help. Feeding her didn't help. Changing her diaper didn't help. Making her warmer or cooler didn't help. So I would stay up, put on my old motorcycle crash helmet, and read the paper. From time to time I'd talk to her, or try to give her a bottle, or hold her. But it didn't help. So I'd go back to the crash helmet and newspaper. She would finally fall asleep. It was all over within the first two weeks or so. Just a thousand little things about the sound of her voice, the looks she gave me, the things she pointed to, how she was so happy most of the time. And now, in this moment, how I completely miss her. I can't help but cry. I can't see from the tears. A sharp pain in my throat. This has got to stop. Enough. Dry the eyes. Clear the throat. Blow the nose. Crying doesn't help anything. It has to stop before one can go on to do something real besides crawl around in misery.

Sometimes I wonder about her deep down health considering the battles for her mother and I were going through at the time. But we did not blame her or take it out directly on her. It makes me very wary of being a father in that way again.

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