Pear (default)

queerlyobscure


Not Down the Rabbit Hole

rabbits are harmless


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
History Thing 008 - Doctor in The House
Pear (default)
queerlyobscure
Hello and welcome to another edition of: History Things! This time, we're going straight-up anecdote from my very own personal grandma, who, for context, was born in 1927. This particular story takes place on the 20th of December, 1946. I know the exact date, because that is my dad's birth date.

So, basically, grandma booked into the Royal Women's hospital to give birth to dad so that she'd be looked after by female medical people (according to her, you basically got a midwife when you were giving birth at the time unless you were actually dying, which she wasn't). Anyway, you may have noticed that the year in question here is 1946. As in, one year after the end of WWII.

So what was happening in hospitals all over the country is that people who signed up as army doctors and general medical staff were having additional training to make them ready for civilian service if that was what they wanted.

Remember here that grandma had specifically booked herself into a hospital so she'd only have women around her? Well, given that these nice ex-army doctors were all just hanging out with fuck all to do and very little baby-delivering training because this doesn't tend to come up in the middle of a war all that often, grandma managed to have three attending physicians, all male.

She laughed about it when she told me, so I figure she's gotten over it.

  • 1
I love hearing people's historically tales from their own family. One of my own favourites from my family was about my grandfather, who was in the Home Guard during the war. Apparently he nearly set off an invasion scare once when on patrol, because he tripped over his own shoelaces and set his rifle off. The whole platoon came rushing out, guns at the ready, trigger fingers itching, and nearly shot a local butcher. It all ended well though.

I love that story, it's so Dad's Army. And it's nice to know where I inherited my own klutziness from!

That could so easily have been an episode of Dad's Army. I love family stories like that as well and yours is incredibly entertaining :D

Geesh... well I'm glad she had nice male doctors. My mom had an army doctor too, during the Vietnam War, since my dad was military and the doctor, according to my mom, looked and talked like he lived through World War II and she hated him. He messed her up so badly too, performing a C-section top to bottom of her abdomen rather than sideways which is safer and less scarring.

Edited at 2012-06-19 01:16 pm (UTC)

:O - that is awful. I'm so glad your mum survived but... it really shows both sides of the coin, huh? :/

given that these nice ex-army doctors were all just hanging out with fuck all to do and very little baby-delivering training because this doesn't tend to come up in the middle of a war all that often

I don't know why I laughed so hard at that, but I just got stares from co-workers. Well done. I also love hearing tales about people's families; usually fiction has nothing on these stories. You just can't make some shit up.

:D - I did mean to phrase it amusingly so I'm glad it worked on someone! I have to admit that I kind of find the image of three bewildered army doctors hilarious myself.

LOL. That's hilarious, and I'm glad your grandmother had a sense of humo(u)r about it!


Grandma is surprisingly cool about a lot of things. She talks a good game in terms of Old-Fashioned Sensibilities on the surface, but when you actually talk to her she's pretty enlightened in a way I think a lot of people probably *were*, but just didn't talk too much about it. She's not so bad at all.

i'm kind of imagining a bunch of former army docs hanging around the hospital, drinking tea and chatting and taking the occasional smoke break, and your grandma goes into labor and they're all OH THANK GOD SOMETHING TO DO AND HEY, WE NEED SOME BABY DELIVERY EXPERIENCE and they rush over to the delivery room, scrub up, and get in line to assist in your dad's birth. i admit i feel kind of bad for your grandma, making a point to have her baby somewhere she'll get assistance from female medical personnel and suffering a bunch of male army docs instead, but it makes a great story.

(and "given that these nice ex-army doctors were all just hanging out with fuck all to do and very little baby-delivering training because this doesn't tend to come up in the middle of a war all that often" made me giggle too.)

It does make a great story. And I don't think your mental image is terribly far off, either!

(I aim to entertain :D)

Oh, man, nothing makes childbirth more fun than having a lot of extra people hanging around watching and/or hanging around trying to help.

Being someone who hates having people around me both when I'm in pain and trying to do something, I can only imagine that it would be seriously unpleasant D:

*snort* "The best-laid plans of mice and men..."

That could *easily* be our family motto, you know. But yeah, in this case, the irony burns.

Hahaha love the part about Well, given that these nice ex-army doctors were all just hanging out with fuck all to do and very little baby-delivering training because this doesn't tend to come up in the middle of a war all that often, grandma managed to have three attending physicians, all male.

I really can so see that happening in front of me. :D Love the anecdote.

Glad to have entertained! I could see it happening when she told it, as well :D

Hi, found you through a fic post at cap_ironman and these history tidbits you're doing are awesome! This anecdote especially made me giggle. *g* Hope you don't mind that I've friended you!

I'm always happy to make a new friend and pleased to have been entertaining :D

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account