Saturday, 7 September 2013

Book of Me, Prompt 2 -Your Birth

Prompt 2 went live earlier today. You can read the details HERE.

I am keeping my Book of Me as a private blog, but each week I will share some of my details within this blog.

Here is part of my responses for prompt 2.

This is one of two baby photos that I have. This is me, taken aged 9 months old, which puts the photo in July 1970. I had been born in the October of the previous year, although my due date was 27th September, so I was about 2 weeks late. A trend that continues, I hasten to add.

The photograph when Mum and I discussed it earlier in the year I think gave rise to some memories for her. I think my birth was a bit of an ordeal. 

Mum had been in hospital, at Guildford Surrey for two days prior to my birth. This is confirmed by, what is described as a "Co-Operation Card for Maternity Patients" record.

I arrived in the early hours of a Friday morning, and rather thoughtfully I received that as a reminder within my second forename. My name was selected by my maternal Grandmother. I was born with jet black hair, a legacy of my Italian heritage, although it gradually dropped out to be replaced with dark brown hair, although now tinged with grey.

Apparently I had been sat initially wearing blue shoes. I was given the ball and was unimpressed. Mum said to me that I displayed that look that I still use now, of when I am less than impressed.

The shoes were taken off and Mum said this look is classic, to her it says " I supposed to be impressed?....."

I sat and obliged and when I had, had enough I cried. The whole event apparently took several hours as I was not overly helpful. I have to say, even now that brings a faint smile to my face!

I have in my study an old suitcase that had been my Grandfathers. Inside in tissue paper is a really soft and smooth wool blanket given to me by my Great Grandmother, my maternal Grandfather's mother.  At the time I was born I was not her only Great Grandchild, and wonder if she purchased a similar blanket for my cousins. I must ask them. I have kept the blanket in the hope that I might one day use it for my own family. This has not been the case and I shall pass this on to my Cousin's daughter who is currently only 11 and that way it will hopefully provide a link between the past and future.

Over the years I have periodically looked at this photo. It has appeared once on this blog previous, as part of the February Photo Collage Festival. When I was typing this up yesterday in order to post for today I looked at the blanket. I suddenly realised that I still have this blanket. It is not the one my Great Grandmother gave me, but another apparently, purchased especially for the photograph ordeal event.

A little detail about the Co-Operation Card for Maternity Patients. This details my Mum's age, name and address. It shows her doctor and details of past illnesses. It shows her blood group and the responses of the various checks that were done; blood pressure, weight, tests for sugar in the urine and the position that I, as an unborn baby was in. It then gives some detail of the post natal care and Mum's condition on discharge. It also confirms that I was female, satisfactory and weight at birth was 6lb1oz and that I was being fed Cow and Gate every four hours.

Another little fact. My Mum's first cousin was on the same ward, having given birth to her third child, and first son at the beginning of the month.

The last line on the reverse of the card in small print reads "This card when completed should be returned to the family doctor". Mum was a rebel, which explains lots!


  1. I love this photo. It's nice to see it again after our photo collage festival earlier this year. Cow and Gate - gosh - that takes me back !

    1. Thanks Alex. We still sell Cow and Gate over here. What is even more ironic is that a branch of my family owned the Cow and Gate shop in Guildford at one time. Genealogy is just full of happy coincidences!

  2. I think we foreigners need a post on "Cow and Gate". In the interim this impatient old girl will ask Mr Google.

    1. Will see what I can do Jill, as there are two family coincidents to the name Cow & Gate.

  3. I'll second that request. I have never heard of that before, but being a bovine-fan, I like the name!

    Are you still not easily impressed?

    You were late, and I was early - only 9 years apart.



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