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"I missed the birth of my first child."

This mum was there at the birth, but not really.

I don’t have any memories of my first child coming into the world.

It was a bit of a crazy night. I didn’t have a real birth plan, but I was hoping to get through it as naturally as possible. I had my husband and sister with me. The first few hours of labour were fine, but as soon as I got to the hospital, things got scary.

The doctor was worried by my baby’s heart rate. She thought the cord was wrapped around my baby’s neck, and I would need a caesarean. Someone did a spinal block on me but it didn’t work, so I was given a general anaesthetic.

My husband and sister were told to wait outside, and my baby was delivered, witnessed only by an anonymous surgical team.

The next thing I knew I was lying on a trolley somewhere. I asked a man walking by if I’d had a boy or a girl, and he checked a note, and said I’d had a girl.

The next few hours are a bit blurry. I vaguely remember being on a hospital bed, and a midwife trying to put my nipple in my baby’s mouth.

I have no memories of the birth. I can't remember what it was like to see my daughter for the first time. I don't know what she was like in those first few hours. But at the time I didn't care.

A close friend had recently lost a baby, and throughout my pregnancy, I was thinking of her little boy. I felt lucky just to have a healthy baby.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I had the thought, once again, that it would be nice for labour to be as natural as possible. But that wasn't really my priority. I wanted to see my baby come into the world. I knew I wouldn't be having any more children, and this would be my last chance.

Well, it wasn't entirely natural. The labour dragged on, and on, and on. I had an epidural, and I'm massively grateful I had that option. Eventually, an obstetrician walked in, took a ventouse and sucked my baby out. And there he was.

The first thing my son did was poo on the obstetrician, a story he loves to hear over and over. He was quickly cleaned up, checked over and put in my arms. I looked down into his brown eyes, which immediately reminded me of my father's and brother's eyes. He was so laidback, content to just lie there and take his first look at the world.

I know everyone has different views, but to me, my daughter's birth was a good birth, because I got to bring her home afterwards. My son's birth was a great birth, because I got to see it. Caesarean vs vaginal, drug-free vs epidural, hospital vs home... I'll leave those arguments up to other people.

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When I told my doctors how I wanted to give birth, they laughed at me...

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