Support from Family & Friends 1 - Coping with birth of daughter when husband away at sea

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Jo HodsonJo Hodson

Jo Hodson married her husband George in 1964 when he had been in the Royal Navy for eight years. During his service, he spent most of his time on submarines and throughout the Cold War Jo had little idea of where he might be from day to day. They have two children, the first of which George did not see until several days after she was born. They spent a short period in married quarters until l deciding to buy their own home. George retired in 1980.

Jo recalls her isolation and the help she received when her husband had to go to sea shortly before the birth of her daughter.

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Extract Text (Duration 1.34)

J Hodson:  Although it is... I mean although you're on an estate with loads of, you know, wives in a similar position, I must admit, especially... you know, I was pregnant at the time, I did feel rather isolated.  And I suppose really made quite a few journeys back home.  But also it was the fact that, hmmm, you know, being there, no phone... well a public phone box a couple of hundred yards away, no car, and George not being around, because you know my first baby was overdue and he had to go back to sea, and just knowing quite how to handle that situation.  But fortunately, a friend stepped in and I was taken off to her house, which was very good and she was able to drive me to Blake when, you know, Deborah's birth was imminent.

Interviewer:  Was that a naval wife?  Was that about the support of naval wives?

J Hodson:  Yes she was.  Yes, she... I worked with her in the Planning Office and she was quite... well she would have been sort of old enough to have been a gran... well she was a grandmother actually.  And, hmmm, she was a very kind person, she was an ex-midwife, which was bonus, and, you know, she lived over in Portsmouth and also drove, so I went to her house and stayed there and stayed there for the first few days after I came out of Blake, you know, having had Deborah, so...

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1.01 mins - mp3 File

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Homecoming from the Falklands, 1982

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Importance of parents support

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Help from parents

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"Is this your husband Jo?"

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Coping with breakdown of car

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Coping with birth of daughter when husband away at sea

1.34 mins - mp3 File