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Autobiographical Essays

Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD (1910 - 1995)


Birthday

Although I was the focal point of this exciting event, I have no recall about it whatsoever. According to Dr. Freud, the experience of being born has a permanent subconscious effect on the mind. That may be so, but I doubt it. My appearance was eagerly awaited. Many years later I was told that during my mother’s pregnancy and months before I was born, my father would energetically push the baby carriage through the apartment, lustily singing a marching song. Three physicians, my father and two uncles, and a wet-nurse were present when I first saw the light of day. The birth occurred in my parent's bedroom, since at that time [1910] hospitals were avoided for fear of contracting a disease. Naturally, all I know is from hearsay. After a few contractions, I was thrust into the world with one mighty exertion. A few days later my birth was celebrated with a big dinner. The table was set with the finest dishes, the shiniest silverware, and lovely sparkling glasses. The first course arrived. On a silver platter I made my debut fast asleep. The tray was passed from guest to guest. Is it not a pity that I cannot remember a thing?

 


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