Husbands were not allowed in those days

Where did you give birth or where was the birth you witnessed?

First Birth in Herts and Essex Hospital Second Birth in Easter General Hospital

Can you describe where your/the birth was?

First Birth 1975: After making me so comfortable for the night – husbands were not allowed in those days – the Sister fell asleep on my bump – I was left alone having painless contractions before my bed was moved through to the delivery room with two or three medical staff.

Second Birth 1984: I was told to walk the corridor to speed labour. After over-monitoring against my written wishes, my back gave way. My husband (now allowed in) was sent out and thinking there was something going wrong with the birth, they speedily whirled me screaming in a wheelchair to the delivery room. Who was present at your/the birth?

Can you describe the experience of giving birth or watching the birth?

I was fortunate to have delivered my two daughters naturally. During the labour of my first baby I had an extraordinary religious experience. Un-thought-of and un-sought, this in itself initiated awareness of my own spiritual life. I vowed I would never forget it and this launched me on what has turned out to be a life-long quest to follow through my own experience, trusting it to guide me. It gradually became an established reference point for searching out meaning. During the labour of my second baby, nine years later, I was given an untimely and unnecessary internal examination to monitor progress causing a back injury. Although both birthing experiences were equally fulfilling (I felt I had been reborn) giving me some inner wisdom, the first left me with an enduring spiritual impression in my memory while the second left me with an increasingly painful reminder for thirty-two years. Within our culture the birthing experience of most mothers falls somewhere between these extremes.