TEN BABIES IN TEN MINUTES
The sounds of agony coming from the labor room were more than I could handle, so I tried to stay as near the delivery room as possible, which was at the other end of the building, thank God. The husband, a second lieutenant, was pacing the waiting room floor like a wild animal in a small cage, just walking back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth. I tried to talk with him so it would calm him down, but he just could not concentrate on anything that I tried to say to him.
All I knew was that this was their first child and this man was more nervous than any of the other fathers that I had ever seen come into the Bassett Army Hospital delivery ward.
Finally it was time, so his wife was wheeled out of the labor room and brought past the waiting room, where he leaned over and kissed her, before being taken into the delivery room. I understood the look of love on his face, because he was about to become a father. However, the wife almost had a look of hatred when she looked upon the man who had done this to her, which I found quite puzzling at 16. I thought this was a time of love for both the parents. Even after we set up in the labor room and had her up in the stirrups, it took some time for the doctor to arrive. So I kept coming out to the waiting room to let him know that everything was all right and that there was nothing to worry about.
The doctor finally arrived and the delivery went off without complication. I could hardly wait to walk out and tell him that he was the father of a healthy baby boy. I gave the baby a shot of vitamin K and a few drops of nitrate in his eyes then cleaned him up a bit, wrapped him tightly in a white blanket and rushed out to show the father his son before hurrying the new born baby off to the nurses waiting at the nursery door.
I dropped off the baby to the nurses and was in a hurry to get the delivery room to clean up and dispose of the afterbirth in the hospital basement. I walked rather quickly back toward the delivery room and the lieutenant appeared to be concerned why I was walking so fast to get back to the delivery room, before his wife came out.
It appeared that the doctor had to put in additional stitches and she would not be taken to the ward for another 15 minutes or so. I do not know what came over me, but I walked back into the delivery room and immediately wrapped up several blankets to make them look like another baby. I walked as fast as I could out of the delivery room and past the waiting room telling the lieutenant that everything was fine, and walked as fast as I could to the nursery. I put the blankets in the dirty clothes hamper and returned as fast as I could to the delivery room.
About the fifth or sixth time I did this, the lieutenant was about to go crazy, but was smiling from ear to ear. When I returned from the nursery, he asked me if there were other women in the delivery room.
I told him, "No, that his wife was the only one" and I hurried off through the delivery room door, closing it behind me, mumbling that I had never seen anything like this in all my life. I smiled to myself and thought about some of the other soldiers who were saying "some of the officers on this base were not real smart cookies."
Later that day, I was standing in the main office. The general was not at all happy about word spreading throughout the hospital, as well as the Fairbanks newspaper, that this one woman had had 10 babies in 10 minutes.
"I did not tell this story to anyone and am totally innocent,” I said. "In fact, this is the first that I have heard of it. All I did was my job. I delivered the new born baby to the nursery and took ALL the dirty linens to the laundry drop."
SOME PEOPLE and their darn imagination!