What a Miracle!


With a newly minted Registered Nurse degree in 1937, my mother 

donned a crisp white uniform, nursing cap, stockings. A navy-blue

wool cape was worn on house calls as a public health nurse.  She

worked until she married in 1941.  I was awestruck by her stories.


On the back seat of a taxi, my mother assisted a woman who

gave birth on the way to the hospital.  Things had progressed

rapidly.  Without a blanket, she wrapped the newborn in

an unread newspaper which the cab driver provided.  When


I asked my mother about the newspaper, she informed me

it was considered sterile.  I imagine the hospital bathed the

child and swaddled it in a soft blanket.  I nearly gave birth

in our car.  We made it to the hospital with 15 minutes to spare.


Our daughter has inherited her grandmother’s nursing

cape and cap. Today she is a NP and began her career as

an RN.  Much has changed with the profession these

days.  One snowy December evening my mother


received a phone call from a frantic husband.

His wife was screaming in pain and thought it

might be her stomach.  My mother quickly assessed the

situation at hand.  The woman was 44.  Had she


consumed something to cause her severe

stomach pains?  Since her husband was not ill, my

mother examined the woman and asked a few questions.

Had the woman gained weight recently?  She had,


but chalked the weight gain to the middle age

spread.  During the examination of the woman, my

mother learned that this couple had tried for years to conceive

but had resigned themselves to a childless marriage.


My mother said there was nothing wrong with the woman’s

stomach and informed her she was in labor and going

to have a child!  Imagine their surprise and shock!  Then

joy at the prospect!  My mother assisted the woman and


remained with her after determining the birth was

imminent!  She instructed the husband to gather a

blanket and supplies.  Soon the kitchen table was

readied for the birth.  The husband was told to


turn the oven on to its lowest temperature.  After a few more

pushes, the kitchen was filled with the cry of the newborn.  It

was a girl.  She was kept warm and could be observed through the

open oven door.  The ecstatic parents marveled at the early


Christmas gift they had received.  Laughter followed

as the woman kept saying she had gained weight but

never thought much about it thinking she was a

middle aged woman.  What a blessing and a miracle!


This entry was posted in giving birth, nurse's cape of navy wool, public health nurse, Registered Nurse and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to What a Miracle!

  1. That’s a marvelous Christmas story. I always enjoy reading about your family and seeing your great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, what a joy-filled comment! Thank you. It is hard to fathom that nurses in my mother’s day had no cell phones or cars. They relied on taxis and the bus for transportation. The occasional car owner might help out in a pinch. I didn’t know that newsprint was considered sterile if no one had read the newspaper. It makes sense. Common sense and problem solving took place more often then as well. I often wonder about that Christmas miracle baby who was a complete surprise to the parent. Alive and living where? Enjoy your weekend. Happy Advent and December. Be well. oxox


      • John’s mother was a nurse in Brooklyn.

        Newspapers — when we lived in England 40 years ago, fish and chips were wrapped in newspaper sheets

        We are catching up on Advent, since daughter Lise went back to Denmark Tuesday. We are behind in decorating the house, and I have missed several devotional readings.

        I hope your December is going smoothly. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, how great that you have a nurse in the family too. Kudos to John’s mother! I woke up this morning remembering fish and chips on street corners in England and roasted chestnuts in Paris. Your daughter travels a lot. How are things in Denmark for her? Our decoratiions are simple, few and done. We just have to worry about high winds and our nativity scene. Enjoy the weekend and Advent season. oxox


      • Lise couldn’t travel except to come here, so we were fortunate to get two visits this year. She has an invitation to go to Italy for Christmas. Waiting for restrictions to be lifted is testing her patience. She likes working from home, although she doesn’t mind going to the office. Danes had quite a bit of freedom until COVID numbers rose recently. Now they are masking again and testing for the virus incessantly.

        We’ve had high winds today. One old dead tree fell near the road, but only small top branches extended into the road. Mary and Joseph are hanging on for dear life in our yard. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary and Joseph are in our garage until tomorrow. We have done this three times now. Haha. Where in Italy? It should be lovely at Christmas. Be well. We too have high winds. oxox


      • Lise named several cities, but I don’t remember which one he friend lives in. I’ll see if she mentions it again. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lago Garda is a beautiful like in the north of Italy. I have stayed there and loved it. Rome is awesome and Venice too. The pace of life is so different. Shops used to close for about 4 hours in the afternoon so owners and workers could take a nap. Dinner was about 10:30 PM to which most Americans are unaccustomed. Whenever I traveled to a new place, I tried to keep pace with the natives. oxox


      • I’m sure you are good at keeping pace with the natives. We relaxed in Venice and were scared silly by the wild drivers on the streets of Rome. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • I read a German travel guide which suggested not to be the first to cross the street when the light changed but let others start and then join them. Good advice especially since drivers drove through many a red light. Venice in the gondola was a fright for me when the “driver” started an oar fight with a gondola next to us. I just didn’t like the thought of falling in that murky water. Lots of honking horns in Italy and in tunnels where there were signs NOT to honk horns. Hahaha. We both had our “fun” in Italy. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • We were driving on a highway with five lanes. Italians drove eight abreast. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Typical there and in France when they all converge to make a left turn! I frequently closed my eyes and never drove in either country. Definitely not our style in this country! oxox

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, the wonder of it all… 💞 Beautiful story and photos, Mary Ann! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Darlene says:

    What a wonderful Christmas story. I’m sure that baby was well-loved and cared for. I think it is so great that your daughter has your mother’s nursing cape and cap. She looks perfect in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jmankowsky says:

    Wow! That’s just a wonderful story! If I saw his as a movie on the Hallmark Channel, I would’ve said, “No way! So unrealistic! ”
    Happy Holidays from Central Mass. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie, I am humbled by your beautiful words about the story. I think it is accurate about the story line and a movie too. There are so many surprises in life. These just happen to be true. Enjoy the weekend and your December. Advent Season and then Christmas. How time flies! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A wonderful story about your mother and for the season. Cheers to your daughter for joining a worthy profession.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emily says:

    Lovely blog! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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