Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Book of Me Written by You - Prompt 2

Barbara and Alex in Manuka

Today is week two of what is going to be a 15 month project. The Book of Me, Written by You is a real opportunity to explore your memories, thoughts, information from your life, things that you can remember, and perhaps the passing on of oral history.  Thanks to Julie Groucher at Angler's Rest for this meme.

Do you have any baby photos?

Yes, lots.  See above.

Where were you born?

King George V Memorial Hospital for Mothers and Babies, Sydney, Australia.
There's a lovely Frank Hurley photograph of the entrance to the hospital here.  And if you want to see what the nurses probably looked like at the time go here or here.

Who was present at your birth?

Just my mother I think and maybe a midwife.  I'm not sure if Dr Holman made it in time.  And I think I was almost born in a broom or supplies cupboard.  It was a busy night apparently and my mother seemed to be doing well so was left largely to her own devices.  She remembers doing her nails while waiting and her father, my grandfather, coming to visit the next morning saying something funny like "Did you have a good night then?", completely blissfully ignorant of the labour she endured...although she always asserted it was not the awful or painful process that some women seem to go through. Just a lot of hard work.  She was alarmed by the some of the screams in the labour ward to begin with but the nurses assured her that the women were from a particular culture where if you screamed a lot you got more presents or some such nonsense.


21 inches
7lb 15 3/4 oz

What day was it? Time?

Thursday.  Ten past six in the morning.

From Hilda Boswell's Treasury of Nursery Rhymes

Did you have hair? Eye colours.

I'm assuming yes and blue.

Zodiac sign of Gemini in 15th century manuscript

Are you a twin?

No but I'm a Gemini - does that count?

Two weeks after I was born my mother wrote to her father Tom as follows:

"Dear Dad, Well, our house is our own once more.  I suppose now things will resume a sense of reality - the last couple of weeks haven't seemed very real now  that I come to think of it; quite a big change in our lives, I expect & the throwing out of our daily routine.....I'm not frightened of the baby, & although of course there's plenty to do, it isn't anywhere near as harrowing as I had expected."    

She concludes her letter with:

"I must dash; it's after five & I must feed Alex.  We're both fighting fit now, & joy of joys I'm losing weight like mad: I'm less that I was before I started with her.  It's feeding a baby of course, everyone loses weight.  But it means you can eat like a horse and nothing happens.  The miracle of childbirth never ceases to amaze me, of course.  Jim & I just can't associate what I looked like three weeks ago with what I am today!"


Kim said...

I'm glad Mum wasn't "frightened" of you! :) How wonderful to have those letters. That's a real family treasure trove.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Kim - It is a bit of a treasure trove. Thanks for dropping by :)

Kristin said...

My mother always assured me it wasn't what the movies showed and to not pay any attention to women that talked about the horrors of childbirth. Those letters you have are wonderful.