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The Virginia Apgar Papers

Letter from Mary Cawthon to Virginia Apgar pdf (86,261 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Mary Cawthon to Virginia Apgar
Number of Image Pages:
1 (86,261 Bytes)
1973-03-22 (March 22, 1973)
Cawthon, Mary
Apgar, Virginia
Original Repository: Mount Holyoke College. Archives and Special Collections. Virginia Apgar Papers [MS 0504]
Reproduced with permission of Mary Cawthon.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Congenital Abnormalities
Exhibit Category:
Second Career: The National Foundation-March of Dimes, 1959-1974
Metadata Record Letter from Virginia Apgar to Mary Cawthon (May 7, 1973) pdf (48,416 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 24
Folder Number: 9
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Radio/Television Appearances 1963-1974
Folder: Phil Donahue Show 1973
March 22, 1973
Dear Dr. Apgar:
I recently saw you on the Phil Donahue Show and I enjoyed you very much. I think your scoring system for an evaluation of a baby's condition when it is first born is excellent. You are an exceptionally brilliant woman.
I read with interest a chapter you wrote in the book The Expectant Mother entitled, "How Your Unborn Baby Is Nourished". This and the Phil Donahue Show prompted me to write to you.
I know you are a very busy person, but I hope you will take a few minutes to answer some questions which have been on my mind for some time.
I have a little boy who is almost four years old. Three and one half months ago I had a full term little girl who was stillborn. She was perfectly formed except that the umbilical cord was tied in a knot. It wasn't wrapped around her neck, it was just tied in a knot. It seems she had died about two days before I delivered. How did this happen? How and when did the cord tie in a knot, and why did my baby die just before delivery? Could my stretching, lifting, too much activity, or being very nervous case this to happen? These questions have been bothering me ever since I lost my baby. What are my chances of this happening again? In fact, what are my chances of having another stillborn whatever the reason? It seems there are so many stillbirths these days. WHY? I am twenty-four years old and both my children were delivered naturally and were full term. I had no complications with either pregnancy. I felt perfectly wonderful during both.
My doctor had no real answers for me so that is why I'm writing to you. Everything went normally with my second baby so what caused the cord to tie in a knot? Please help me as my husband and I are planning to have another child soon. This is upon the recommendation of our family physician who delivered our stillborn child.
I hope to get the book "Is My Baby Alright" which you helped write. In fact, I already have it ordered. I hope this will help me in future pregnancies.
Thank you for any help you can give me in answering these questions.
Mrs. Mary Cawthon
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