The Fifth Child
The word "monster" has many definitions. Some define it as a creature
having a frightening or strange appearance. It is also defined as one that
inspires horror or disgust. Ben certainly fits into all of these categories.
He was different right from pregnancy. He looks extremely frightening, almost
like a Neanderthal. Ben is an outcast even in an institution for "nature's
From the moment Harriet became pregnant it was apparent to her that
something was obviously wrong. She loved having children and had planned on a
total of eight or perhaps even ten. However, something was different this time.
Early in the pregnancy, she began feeling ill. She had been keeping herself
very busy in order not to feel the "demands" from the new being. It was unlike
anything she had known before. At five months the pain was so intense that
Harriet began taking tranquilizers. Even during her pregnancy, Harriet began
referring to Ben as the "monster." During a conversation with Dr. Brett after
he refused to induce the baby, she is quoted as saying, "It's because you don't
want to. It's not you who is carrying this" (She cut off monster afraid of
antagonizing him.) (p. 47) At eight months she went into labor. Although she
had never gone to the hospital before for her other deliveries, this time she
insisted. This shocked everyone, especially her husband David.
Ben was not your typical baby. "A real little wrestler," said Dr. Brett.
"He came out fighting the whole world." (p. 48) Ben was eleven pounds...