Libby was having difficulty with the apartment's 4 flight stair climb, as well as the commute to work.   She quit her job; together they started to plan for the baby.   They went to various Evanston stores and selected basic "baby things", having no idea what gender their child would be.  

With about 8 weeks to go, Libby was very big, and she had to stay at home.   Mike still had his Air National Guard obligation going, and his annual summer camp activity coming up in late July of 1966.   As a precaution, Libby went to stay with Mike's parents, since Mike was going away for 2 weeks.   This particular trip was to be in southern Illinois, in East St. Louis, and it was one where the squadron could drive personal cars and stay off base in motels if they chose.   Mike drove their car, in case he had to return for an emergency.

As luck would have it, after one week on duty Mike got a call from Libby about 2:00am in the morning, telling him that her water had broke and she was heading to the hospital with his mother.   Mike went onto the base where their camp was set up, found the officer on duty, signed out and started driving back to Evanston.   The drive took over 6 hours, and a tired and apprehensive husband rushed into the waiting room of Evanston Hospital.   Sitting there were Mike's mother and another man, and he went to her and asked if she knew anything.   She said she didn't, and Mike sat down.

Just then, a doctor walked in, looking for "Mr. Copeland".   Mike stood up, and the doctor announced, "You and your wife have a fine pair of baby girls - everything's good."   Dazed and shocked by this unexpected news, Mike said, "No, you've got the wrong guy!"   Mike's mother stepped in and said, "No, this is Libby's obstetrician, Dr. Zettleman - this is for real."   (Mike's mother knew this because he was her Ob/Gyn, as well...)

He was taken in to see Libby and the babies (!), and life got crazy real fast.   The baby girls were 5 weeks premature, so everyone had to stay in the hospital for several days beyond the then-normal 2 days stay following a birth.   Meanwhile, Mike notified the Air National Guard (who gave compassionate leave for the remaining week), and he and his mother rushed around to purchase duplicates of the baby materials and clothes they had bought: they now needed two of everything!   He visited the hospital frequently, and bought a "Name Your Baby" book, because they had to name both girls soon.   Prior to the birth(s), they had generally agreed to name a girl "Regan" (a name from "King Lear", which had some special meaning to them as they had seen his father perform that play), but they hadn't planned for a 2nd name.   Sitting in Libby's hospital room, they decided on "Rebecca", a name that seemed to go well with "Regan".

Libby and the babies came home after 5 days, and the family tried to settle in.   Adjusting to the change wasn't easy, because though twins, the babies were quite different in temperament and needs.   Both Mike and Libby had to be feeding the babies (Libby decided immediately not to nurse), and they had to deal with different sleep/nap schedules the babies had.   Diapers were another challenge, so the diaper service was doubled and there were 2 "pick up" bins outside their apartment door.   Food shopping was difficult, too.  [more]


Last Updated: October 5, 2020