Hattie’s View:Was it better back then?

By Ellen Coffey

Welcoming a new baby into the family?

How much do you know about how babies were welcomed into the world few generations ago?

Was it better back then?

How did they prepare for a new baby? What kind of support systems did they have back then?

Sounds like stupid questions, right? Think about it for a minute.

Has anyone ever told you who first held you after you were born?

Where did you go when you left the hospital?

You may ask, what does it matter?

Well, it does reveal how much things have changed over a few decades. But, was it better?

As I write this column, my Granddaughter, Maegan, who has lived in Atlanta since she was in middle school, is having their first baby. Though she and hubby Chris will have a huge support system, I still wanted to be there.

Maegan was an amazing and happy baby and, like those who preceded her, an important part of our world.

Soon Maegan will be a Mom. Her dad and Tammi are there. She has her mom, hubby and others in a nearby waiting room. Maegan has been in labor almost two days. I’m watching the clock.

While I wait, I pray. I have time to reflect  on how it used to be. My grandma Hattie had all of her dozen babies at home. In fact, in those days midwives delivered healthy babies at home even in an unsterile atmosphere.

Boy, that must have been tough.

My generation delivered the baby into a Medical doctors hands, in a sterile hospital. Most often, when the new infant and Mom were discharged, they went to grandma’s house for the first few weeks.

When I was born, my Aunt B, the only family member with a passenger car, chauffeured the new family to Grandma’s country home.

After being checked out by all anxious waiting family members present, I would be fed, wrapped and cuddled by my parents for a spell before being placed, warmly wrapped and snuggled into a dresser drawer (which had been pulled along-side the bed) for the night.

I would feel grandma Hattie’s lasting love from day one, as Mom gradually prepared to take me home.

That’s the way it was. Was it better back then?

So when it was my turn to be a first time mama, it was a blessing to go to my Mom and Dad’s house.

My four children were born at the hospital, but spent their first days of life being celebrated, loved and passed around at their Grandma’s House, in West Columbia.

Now, thank God, our new, beautiful, healthy, great granddaughter, Spencer Grey, who was finally delivered by C-Section, will soon go from the hospital to her new home and a well supplied, beautifully decorated, baby nursery. She will be loved, for sure, even though time spent with her will be shared among many.

She will join this (my) wonderful family of three living children, six grandchildren and be welcomed as the most recent great grandchild. Our love for each new arrival continues to expand.

I still wish the circumstances were different because I would have loved to have been there for Maegan.

Note: Baby Spencer Grey, You have a large family here in South Carolina who hope to see you soon.

Congratulations Maegan and Chris.

Welcome baby Spencer Grey.


God is good and life is great.

That’s how it is now, Y’all

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