Tag Archives: Post Natal Visit

Midwifery, Monograms And Mishaps

Written In Red, Rocking Dog

Written In Red

It feels as if I have always loved monograms. Perhaps my earliest memories of monograms were my Dad’s monogramed handkerchiefs in the early sixties. This was an age before the advent of paper tissues. Boxed handkerchiefs were a somewhat boring Christmas present staple for both women and men.

Much later when I was training to be a midwife in Cardiff I had an introduction to Italian monogram’d linens. I was doing a community placement with an experienced midwife, Rina. In her fifties, she was a glamorous, vivacious and busty Italian. One lunch time she took me to see a little Italian family and that’s when I was taken to see drawerful’s of truly beautiful monogramed linens. I was told that all the Italian villagers had come together to embroider household linens and nightwear for the couple as they started their married life together.

In many countries a monogrammed trousseau represented a display of wealth. The intricacy and elaborateness of the stitching and cloth denoted a families standing in society. In the 14th century 7 year old Isabelle of France received a trousseau when she became betrothed to Richard II. In the 19th century a Parisian department store advocated a trousseau should include 6 pairs of sheets, 2 dozen pillowcases, 3 dozen napkins, 3 tablecloths, hand towels, dishcloths and aprons.

For a long time I have loved collecting the odd piece of monogram’d textile to add colour and texture to the kennel. Perugia market on a Saturday is a good place to feed my monogram habit. Some linens I reconfigure into cushions, whilst others I simply covet!

I am no embroiderer myself, but really appreciate the handiwork of others. My lovely friend Stephanie M does amazing work with needle and thread. She loves using historic alphabets, wonderful linens and threads. If there are items to be filled, she stuffs them with the most amazing aromatic concoctions. Moth’s be very afraid!

Now for the mishap bit of the post! Dear Rina and I went to do a post- natal visit at a house in central Cardiff. We knocked on the door and were let in by two very smiley Bangladeshi ladies. We set our bags down on the coffee table, took off our coats and put on our aprons. We washed our hands and were kindly provided with soap and towel. We then asked the ladies to fetch the baby. Presently we heard them come down the stairs and re-enter the room. The “baby” was a seven year old trousered boy. We were in the wrong house! Laughter crosses any language barrier.

I find it somewhat disconcerting that some of the babes I delivered will now be in their early thirties. Sorry couldn’t resist a George link, I remember playing it on my Sony Walkman as I walked between community visits.

Characterful Curls, Rocking Dog

Characterful Curls

Love This, Rocking Dog

Love This

Book Inspiration, Rocking Dog

Book Inspiration

Wooden Letters, Rocking Dog

Wooden Letters

All In White, Rocking Dog

All In White

Block Capitals, Rocking Dog

Block Capitals

Matrimonial Nightwear, Rocking Dog

Matrimonial Nightwear

Beautiful Embroidery, Rocking Dog

Beautiful Embroidery

M&S Monogram, Rocking Dog

M&S Monogram