Thirty six tomorrow on the 11th /9/2010 - In Australia we call it 11/9/2010 not 9/11
So hard to believe that 36 years ago i had just gone into labour - but at 20 had no idea what it was so sat at home with Don and pretended all was a okay. Finally at nearly midnight we went to the hospital. It was 1974 and they put me in the ""unmarried mother's ward" which I only realised after i checked with all the other inhabitants who were all so coincidentally unmarried. Don didn't stay because dads weren't encouraged to do so in those days and he was although loving and cared what happened prepared to let nature take its course as my own dad and grandads had been.
They took her from me after birth and I wasn't allowed to hold her. It was Newcastle hospital and the policy was that unmarried mothers be encouraged to give up their babies for adoption. On and earlier visit (i had the flu really bad) I watched a young mum sign away her baby still high as a kite after the birth - but she told me later it was her wish anyway - the way it was done was criminal. After a few hours i wanted to feed my baby but they didn't seem to know where she was - so I got up and out and searched the wards - finally i was told she had been taken up to the humidicrib area ion the next floor - but no one would meet my eyes. I got in the lift and went up - of course Don and I were going to keep this wanted baby we had planned her..just not planned marriage - the bastards. I found Melissa up there with the lid off the humidicrib and the nurses curious as to why such a healthy baby had been sent to their section. She was hungry and I fed her - those nurses unlike downstairs were on my side. I took her with me down in the lift and told them i was keeping my baby. From then on they were helpful and treated me with respect - but had I been out of it - I wonder...given the reputation of Newcastle hospital in "adopting" out babies illegally - would I have been able to be with her if i hadn't tried so hard - as I did? I got the hospital notes a few years ago and they don't make sense but they are there for Melissa to see when she needs to see - I believe we came very close to being separated - told the baby had died or that someone elses less than healthy baby was mine...while the married couple got the healthy baby - this happened a lot.
Melissa (right) and Ali
Don with Melissa who was about 6 days old - the love was visible.
Melissa (right) at school with Alison on uniform free day when Melissa was six
Melissa and Alison in their 20's
Melissa vamping it up at about 20
Melissa the penitent in the timber town (wauchope) church being remonstrated by Father Alison...
So much fun we have had with Melissa in our lives -
A big happy 36 Melissa!!!!