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Who Gave Birth In The Hard Winter Of ‘78/‘79?

(32 Posts)
Ashcombe Fri 15-Jan-21 17:02:23

Yesterday was my DD's 42nd birthday and mentioning it on Good Morning Friday led to comments from others who became mothers around that time.

Following unsuccessful fertility treatments and adopting DD1, I eventually delivered DD2 by emergency section, after a long labour in which all other methods had failed. Hardly surprising as I was a petite 5ft 4ins and she weighed 10lbs 1oz!! Ouch! Only much later did I learn that her father had weighed 9lbs 8oz at birth.

As was common at the time, I had 10 days in hospital which I appreciated. Towards the end of my stay, I was helping the staff deliver meals to the other mothers. However being told as I went home not to lift anything heavy for six weeks was not realistic .....!

Peasblossom Fri 15-Jan-21 17:48:32

Maybe I was lucky but the 10 days in hospital were not just about the birth but daily sessions covered all the ins and outs of looking after a baby, practical and emotional.

I was very thankful, being pretty clueless😱

Greeneyedgirl Fri 15-Jan-21 17:53:56

I had my son at beginning of March ‘79 and had trouble getting to ante natal appointments because of thick snow. We were in Yorkshire and it was flipping freezing too. Snow continued well into March.

Riverwalk Fri 15-Jan-21 17:56:20

I gave birth in June '78 at Queen Charlotte's and yes it was a 10 day stay - those were the days!

I didn't really need it, being a paediatric nurse, but I do see how useful it was for most new mothers - such a stay is now long since gone, they're sent home after 6 hours!

ninathenana Fri 15-Jan-21 17:56:54

No but I did in the winter of 1990/1991. Had to stay in hospital for 3 wks prior to birth due to the hospital being 25miles away and on top of a steep hill. They didn't think they would get me there in the snow.

threexnanny Fri 15-Jan-21 18:03:28

Not giving birth but we had just moved into a new house. Snow was piled up against the back door so we couldn't use it and OH's car was under another pile on the drive. We just used my elderly mini as it was front wheel drive and his car wasn't, so we left his to thaw (eventually) by itself. All that in the 'balmy' south!

Ilovecheese Fri 15-Jan-21 18:06:30

I gave birth in October 1978, only two days in hospital, as was my second child. I dont remember it was particularly cold.

Ashcombe Fri 15-Jan-21 18:09:46

Yes, Greeneyedgirl, I think it was in March that the snow melted sufficiently to enable me to take DD2 out in her pram. We lived in Staffs at the time.

TrendyNannie6 Fri 15-Jan-21 18:18:28

I gave birth in sept 79, 7 day stay in hospital and to be honest I can’t remember it being cold, was too excited thinking about my new baby

chickkygran Fri 15-Jan-21 19:41:04

I gave birth to my son on New Year's Eve in 1979. Contractions had started and my husband drove me to the hospital at 3am - it was snowing and had settled. We always remember a man riding his bicycle in the heavy snow and freezing cold. I was in hospital for 7 days. It was very cold and the cast iron downpipe on our house cracked while I was in hospital. At that time we were told not to bring anything into hospital, clothes, blankets, nappies etc, for the baby as everything would be provided. However, there was a strike and there was nothing was provided for the babies, I had to wrap my son in a nappy and my mum was so upset to see her first grandson like this when she visited.

SueDonim Fri 15-Jan-21 19:56:26

I was pregnant during the winter of 78/79 and I remember being scared of slipping on ice and having a miscarriage. We also moved to the N of Scotland in February. We travelled by Motorail sleeper train overnight, finishing the journey the next evening. I remember getting out of the car at our new house wearing stilettos and plunging up to my knees in snow! grin

We went away on holiday in the May and there were still vestiges of snow in the places where the sun didn’t reach. They’d finally gone by the time we were home again in June. Yet Easter had been really warm.

I had my first baby in 1975 and never spent more than five days in hospital with any of mine. I hated it and wanted to go home.

Ashcombe Fri 15-Jan-21 20:05:54

Yes, chickkygran, the delivery drivers were on strike so petrol was in short supply. Every evening it was uncertain if my DH1 (ie ex!) would be able to make the 40 mile round trip to visit us.

Ohmother Fri 15-Jan-21 20:48:16

I gave birth really early morning, mid January ‘79. I watched the snow falling when i was wheeled to a ward afterwards. It was a bit magical; first baby, new direction in life. Fantastic daughter who I’m so proud of.

ginny Fri 15-Jan-21 21:43:46

I remember there was snow on my eldest First birthday in March ‘79.
I am amazed that some of you who had babies 78/79 were in hospital for 10 days. I was in for 2 days. By the time she was a week days old I was on my own at home with her and doing all the normal day to day jobs, shopping etc.

Lyndylou Fri 15-Jan-21 22:36:38

My daughter was due 22nd January 1979 but she decided it was too cold and was eventually induced 2 weeks later. I remember being scared of falling on the ice in the last few weeks. I was in hospital 7 days and the hot water system kept failing and the maintenance man was on strike. Then on the drive home the streets were full of rubbish waiting to be collected. We had a coal fire and the weather meant the coal man could not get through so my OH had to drive out in the snow to get some. Luckily he tracked down just enough to see us through.

Viridian Sat 16-Jan-21 07:55:36

I spent January and February '79 in hospital trying to prevent my daughter being born. Held on till March when she was born weighing 2lbs. Don't recall the weather being awful, but then this is Cornwall, so maybe it was milder here.

Lucca Sat 16-Jan-21 08:01:31

My son was born December 78 but no snow around ? We were in Edinburgh too.

Georgesgran Sat 16-Jan-21 08:18:23

DD1 was born at the end of February ‘79 and I stayed 7 days in hospital afterwards in Durham. Snowed in at home and couldn’t get her to the Baby Clinic for her 2 week check up in March.
We locals just hunkered down, but I remember a new chap over the road attempting to get to work in his Reliant robin. Obviously he got stuck and it was something for everyone to do, digging him out.

LullyDully Sat 16-Jan-21 08:24:49

My son was born in Mandeville Jamaica. There was a revival tent near by so I have birth to the sounds of gospel singing. It was very inspiring. Hallelujah.

Granarchist Sat 16-Jan-21 08:34:05

1979 - March St Marys, Manchester because we lived up in the Peaks and too far from a hospital. However, she arrived a month early during an ante natal appointment! I think because the day before I had walked up one of the bigger peaks and she decided she was safer out than in. One week in hospital due to breathing difficulties at birth (eg she didn't) and then jaundice. First baby 1977 St Mary's Paddington - 10 days in hospital due to multiple conditions - all resolved but scary at the time. Thank God for modern medicine.

cornergran Sat 16-Jan-21 08:35:26

A bit earlier I know. Our first was born at home in 1975 in the morning after a snowy night. The midwives (one qualified and a student) were fortunately unfazed by travelling in snow. Settling me with Mr C they settled downstairs checking regularly I was OK, one had brought a bridesmaids dress to sew ready for her wedding. My parents arrived at some point, Dad was tea maker, Mum organised food and settled our dog who was anxious because he thought I was ill. We eventually looked out on a calm, white world with our new baby and felt we could accomplish. anything. That baby always loved and still loves snow.

David0205 Sat 16-Jan-21 08:58:43

Our first was born February 72 we had a mobile home then, snow and very cold, that was hard, we lived, ate and slept in the lounge with a solid fuel stove, baby in the carry cot. Frozen pipes, no washing machine, terry nappies, we got through it but it was not fun!.

JackyB Sat 16-Jan-21 11:07:27

My DS1 was due on 3 Jan 1982. The snow had fallen and melted and there was ice nearly 18" thick on some pavements. We lived walking distance from the hospital but I was a bit apprehensive about walking there if I went into labour during the day and would have to get myself there.

By the 15th Jan I still hadn't started and had an appointment for another checkup. DH took the day off school and we drove in. So fortunately I didn't have to wadę through snow and ice.

I was kept in, induced, and finally they put me under general anaesthetic and delivered by forceps.

I was also in hospital for 10 days because of the GA. I'm not sure but I think there was still snow when I went home.

He was 39 yesterday.

BlueSapphire Sat 16-Jan-21 11:34:13

DS was born February 1979, and it was snowing the day I brought him home!

Remember walking down to the surgery for a check up in the January, slipping on the icy and snowy pavement, and falling onto my back. Told the GP who said he was more worried about me than the baby, who was well protected!

Also washed the nappies before first use and having to dry them all indoors in front of the warm air vents.

I was in hospital for 8 days after a long trial of labour, and an emergency section. DS was 8lbs, which doesn't sound much, but I was only 5 foot nothing, and DH was over 6ft! Found out later that DH was over 11lbs at birth!

Some funny things I remember from my stay in hospital - at breakfast time if you chose a boiled egg you couldn't have a fresh hot bread roll, and vice versa!
Also, coffee was served mid-morning in the day room, the furthest room from the ward - those of us who had sections were expected to walk down, trailing our drips behind us, and by the time we got there all the coffee was gone. We could hardly walk anyway, as we were all clutching our stisches!
Very little help in those days with feeding - I struggled for weeks until my doctor told me to put him on the bottle. I was devastated at the time but it was the right thing to do.

Our second baby, DD, was born in January 4 years later, but in sunny Cyprus - from my hospital bed I could see the blue Mediterranean through one window, and snow on the mountains from the other. Another section, but elective this time which was lucky as DD was over 9lbs! And this time I didn't even try feeding; she went on the bottle straight away, and I didn't feel guilty at all.

Marmight Sat 16-Jan-21 11:41:27

All my children were born in snowy months. April 1975, January 1978 & November 1981. 1978 was the worst. I was 10 days overdue and heard that in the next village an ambulance taking a labouring Mum to hospital became stuck in a drift & she had to be flown out by helicopter. I became quite panicky but luckily DH managed to get me to the hospital without any mishap. I don’t remember 78/79 winter being bad 🤔but I do remember struggling to push the pram through thick snow up to the end of February 78 (in West Sussex!). As the Mat unit was nearly empty I was allowed to stay longer - a whole week. Bliss. Thank heavens for my Mum taking over the 2 year old