(Mrs. Walter Scott - Guston, Ky) Manuscript: page 1; page 2; page 3
Dear Fanny -
In an article recently in a well known Womans Magazine the high price of babies was discussed and it took me back so to the advent of our third baby - that I cant resist telling you of it -
With our first two we had had our mothers with us but we were new away from them, living on a river bottom farm seven miles from town and the Doctor. We had tried to get help but couldnt and couldnt afford a trained nurse. The little miss chose to make her appearance one rainy night in the fall and the roads were so muddy that it took the Doctor two and half hours to get here and she was already an hour old.
We were in the cotton country and I had hooted at the idea of having any of the "native" women with me, never-the-less I was quite glad to get one at the time - and when the old lady arrived and saw how the land lay she remarked "Mis Scott youll have to put your trust in the Lord and mind me" and I was more than willing to do so.
I had told my husband before hand to be sure and remember the babys eyes, so when he prepared the boric-acid solution she remarked "Lord shed had thirteen and some lived and some didnt but shed never done nothing like that."
That night, when baby was about twelve hours old and my kind friends had gone home, I had my brother hold me up and my husband hold baby while I gave it a general inspection as didnt have the greatest confidence in the world in the Doctor.
After the third day my husband rolled the washstand to the bed and I bathed baby myself tho am not advising other mothers to do this.
By two weeks we secured a cook so I really took care of myself tho the women all thought I was lazy. I asked one woman how long she generally rested and she said "Well with my last one I didnt get along so well so had to stay in bed til baby was three days old." But then to we country mothers each babys advent has a story of its own.
(It was a custom of Ruth to address notes for the record in this manner. Dear Fanny is like "Dear Diary" according to Alice Bondurant Scott, January 2000. jbs)