Friday, February 15, 2013

Baby Blues

To say that Jackie Kennedy's journey to motherhood was difficult is an understatement. In the first couple years of her marriage, Jackie didn't become pregnant. This created tension among the Kennedys, as they expected Jackie to produce a child soon after her wedding. Joe Kennedy was intent on molding his son's image as the 'family man'. Things changed, briefly, in 1955 when Jackie finally became pregnant. Unfortunately, she miscarried three months later. In 1956, Jackie became pregnant again, but her baby girl was stillborn 8 months into the pregnancy. (By this time, Bobby and Ethel Kennedy had 4 or 5 children.) But in late 1957, the streak of tragedy was broken, and Jackie gave birth to Caroline. Three years later, John Jr. followed, a bit premature but healthy. Heartache returned in August of 1963 when Patrick Kennedy, born a month early, died of respiratory distress syndrome, just two days after he was born.

Today, some medical experts claim that Jackie's two-pack-a-day smoking habit affected her fertility and pregnancies. Other experts believe that many of the complications Jackie endured were the result of being infected with Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease that her husband had contracted in college, thanks to his rampant carnal adventures.

Despite the reason, Jackie Kennedy suffered such degrees of loss that no mother should ever have to face.

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