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Mother of two (born 1990s), from South-East England

I remember more about my first daughter's birth, than my second, probably because the second was much swifter and less problematic. My memories of my eldest daughter's birth began with my waters breaking in the middle of the night, the day before her official due date. After several changes of clothes - there's a lot more water than you think - my husband and I set off for the hospital, which was only five minutes down the road. Cut to several hours later when my contractions were in full swing and I was escorted down in a lift to the birthing rooms and was doubled-up in pain as the lift doors opened in front of a visiting group of somebodies, possibly expectant mums. Several more hours later, and onto about my third midwife, I think, and I was getting pretty tired. I was surviving on gas and air and a very brief dip in the birthing pool, which I didn't enjoy. After hours of contractions, I was given some pethidine but I think it was too late for an epidural. Then suddenly everything happened at once. From one midwife and my husband in the room, we had an entire team of people...I can't remember now whether they arrived before or after the birth. But baby Jo arrived very blue with the cord around her neck and I think it was probably only thanks to the very experienced midwife that she arrived in the world a healthy baby. My husband was ready to punch someone and I was aware of trying to calm him down although only through some kind of fug...I think I was so exhausted. I remember asking if Jo was ok..and I think I heard a cry and then they gave her to me, a beautiful pink baby. My husband's memories are probably very different, he found the whole process extremely upsetting and was absolutely convinced I had died and so had our baby girl. Happily he was wrong and we now have a very loud and extrovert 15-year-old daughter!