Marianne, Lyle and Joyce’s firstborn child, was old enough when Gordon, Sam and Matt were born (1958 – 1961) to be aware of and remember some of the details of their births. Here are some of the things she remembers about the arrival of these boys:
When Gordon came along, he was #4. I was about 8 at this time and was left in charge when Mother went to the hospital. I remember Dad waking me up and telling me that I had a brother. Gordon was a beautiful baby with long curly hair.
Sam was born during a transitional period in our family’s history. The original house was about to be torn down and remodeled when he came into the world. The workmen had stirred things up in the attic and one of the resident bats flew down and landed in Sam’s bassinet. A frantic Joyce got her broom and took care of the bat. The baby was not harmed. While the house was being built, Dad’s hunting tent was home for the 3 oldest children. A small trailer (loaned to us by neighbors, the Allens) housed Mother, Dad, Gordon, and Sam. Because Mother was busy with the house remodel, Marianne (age 10) assumed a lot of responsibility for Sam’s care. Because of this he was always called “Marianne’s baby”.
Matt made a dramatic entrance into the world, 1 month early. He was born “placenta previa”, often fatal for mother and/or baby at that time. At one point, Dad was told that they might not be able to save mother and baby. They also told him that they might only be able to save one of them and if it came to that, he would need to make the hard decision of who they should save. Fortunately, Dad did not have to make such a difficult decision. Because of the complications of the delivery, Mother was advised not to have any more children, as she probably would not survive another pregnancy. So she had to be content with only 6 of the 12 children she wanted.