GIVING BIRTH TO KATIE!

As told to Rosemary Rossi

Soap Opera Update, June 18, 1990

Photos by Jonathan Exley

March 9, 1990.  1:17 a.m.  On that date, at exactly that time, the world welcomed little Katherine Elizabeth Schwartz into the world.  Proud mama, DAYS’ Mary Beth Evans, flashes family photos.  They show daddy Michael sitting in the kitchen holding ‘baby Schwartz” in one arm with their son Danny on his knee.

Mary Beth sets the scene:

“She (Katie) was due on my birthday, the 7th (of March).  On the 8th, the next morning, I was so depressed.  I had already been home from work for three weeks because Danny was five days early.  But we had dinner out the night before.  I had escargot.  I think that’s what pushed her out—the snails.  No, I’m kidding.  I woke up the next morning feeling yucky and crampy.  By 8 in the morning, I was having contractions 10, 15 minutes apart, and they were like that for 10 hours.  My waiter came over and said, ‘May I take your order?’ I’m like this (breathing heavily, doubled over).  My girlfriend said. ‘Can you come back?  She’s not ready to order.’ ”

“We got to the hospital and they gave me an epidural. Forty minutes later, it was great.  I was relaxed. My mom, my girlfriend and her husband were there.  You hear the talk about, ‘Let’s have our kids naturally.’ What is the point?  It’s so painful, and they say it doesn’t do anything to the baby.  I went from this intense ‘I don’t want anybody touching me’ mood to relaxed and enjoying the experience.  Michael was in there with me.  He was saying, ‘oh, here she comes.  Oh, wow, look.’ ”

“At first, the first week especially, I got terrible post-partum craziness.  I would just start sobbing for no apparent reason.  Like, ‘Who’s idea was it to have two babies? It’s way too many’ and ‘How would I manage?’  Also, my little boy started to flip out a little bit.  You know, starting to have tantrums and wanting to use the pacifier—things he had never done.  Wanting to sleep in the crib and wanting to put on baby clothes.  I just completely thought, ‘I’ve ruined his life.  I’ve ruined my life.’ ”

“My girlfriend called me and she said she had read an article on post-partum depression that said that it peaks at five days and end.  And I said, ‘Good, good, good.  This is the fifth day, then that’s it.’  And it did.  I was fine.  Every day since then, it’s gotten better.  My little boy has adjusted.  For the most part, he really likes the baby.  People will offer to take the baby to their house and he says, ‘No.  That’s my baby.  You can’t take her.’ He’s very sweet about her.  He always wants to hold her.  Our pediatrician had told us in the beginning to let him kind of do ‘whatever.’  Don’t let him kill her, but don’t let the baby be the one getting him into trouble.  It’s funny—our parents will come over and Danny will be sort of throwing her around and they’re all so nervous about it.  He really has come a long way.”

“Easter morning we went to the market.  It was eight o’clock.  They were both in the basket.  She was screaming and he was wanting everything in the store and I was grabbing things off the shelves.  And I said, ‘This is my life now.’ ”

“I thought the ultimate in nightmares would be that on-screen delivery.  And then in the dress rehearsal we did it will the gown down.  Then they said, ‘As long as we have this belly, what do you think about us showing it?’  I said I’d be game enough.  After it aired, someone said, ‘Oh, that was tacky.’  The ultrasound on camera was my real ultrasound from my baby that we showed.  They videotape it now-a-days.  They want to hear the heartbeat with a stethoscope. I said, ‘No, that’s not how it’s done.  They use like a little transistor radio thing.’ So our producer sent out for one and we went into the sound booth and recorded the heartbeat.  Then they played it during the scene.  A lot of people don’t have any idea what all these things are, so we tried to make it as real as possible.  I think it went pretty well.  The producers were afraid I was going to really push.  I pulled up on the sides of the bed.  I didn’t really push.”

“Stephen has delivered his kids, and I just kept thinking, ‘If I have the baby here and he has to deliver this kid, my husband will kill me.’  I can see it on the cover of a magazine, ‘PATCH DELIEVERS BABY IN AUTOMOBILE ON FREEWAY!’ ”