Monday, May 25, 2015

(ROBERTS) Diana, "a beautiful baby"

Diana, Dolores, and John Roberts, about 1945
Dolores Mae Peters married John Curtis Roberts when she was 16. At 17, she had her first baby, Diana Gale Roberts. John was in the army, so Diana was born in Savannah, Georgia, where he was stationed, rather than in Missouri or Kansas, where John's and Dolores's families lived. 

While recovering in the hospital, Dolores wrote a letter to her mother, Eva Irene Laws Peters. In her letter, Dolores mentions that she was awake for the entire process. At the time, women were routinely put under for childbirth, awaking with a new baby and no memory of the delivery. Dolores's experience was somewhat unique.

Below is a full transcription of Dolores's letter, followed by scans of the letter itself.

140 Dunrobin Drive
Cherokee Homes
Pt. Wentworth, Ga.
September 11, 1944

My dearest Mother,
Well, here I am in the hospital, Diana was born on September 10 at 6:00 a.m. I am at Hunter Field. It is the other air base in Savannah. My labor pains started at 2:30 a.m. Sunday and at 6:00 a.m. Sunday she was born. They didn’t have time to get me to sleep. I was awake during the whole time. The doctor and nurses told me I was an excellent patient as I didn’t make a bit of noise. It certainly hurt though when she was coming out and when they were sewing me inside. They think she is a beautiful baby. She has dark brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, round face, and a dimple in her chin. She weighed 6 lbs and 11 oz. John is certainly proud. Right after they brought me to my room he came in to see me and he was smiling from ear to ear. I have a very nice room-mate. Her name is Mrs. Braasch. She has a baby boy born on Sept. 7. He weighed
the same as Diana. He is longer than she, but not as fat. John was so excited that he put she was born at 5:15 a.m. instead of 6:00. I feel fine. I hope it does not turn hot while I am here. It was cool yesterday and is so far today. After I get out I will tell you what our meals consisted of. All we have to pay for is diaper service. The rest is all free.
I’ll close for now. I wish you could see Diana. Tell Betty & Pat hello. I’ll
probably not write them until after I get out of the hospital.
With lots & lots of love & kisses,
Dolores, John, and Diana