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It is my daughter’s 8th Birthday today.

On 26th April 2002 I was called into hospital to be induced, 13 days over my due date with no signs of imminent labour. After trying EVERYTHING that had been suggested to kick start labour (including acupuncture which resulted in me fainting on the poor midwife but not one little twinge) I was ready, even eager to be induced.

I was given a pessary at midday and told to wander around the grounds of the hospital. My husband and I walked aimlessly up and down the corridors, into the garden, passing a lot of people who smiled and nodded. Incredible how friendly folk are to a pregnant woman in a hospital – perhaps they are just terrified and hoping to get away fast.

By 8pm things were starting to get more interesting, I was having pains that I had to breathe through. We were moved onto the labour ward and monitored to make sure the baby was fine. The midwife suggested a bath but I spent only 10 minutes in there before feeling dizzy.

In the early hours of the morning the midwife examined me. Expecting to be told that I was already 7 or 8cm dilated, I could have whalloped her when she said 3 cm. By this point I was on a drip. The doctor advised upping the dose and must have noticed me drawing breath to scream as she offered me an epidural in the same breath. By this point I was getting tired and disheartened by the lack of progress so agreed.

It took another hour to find someone in the hospital to do bloods and a free anaesthetist, but once it was in I was amazed at the difference. I was able to regroup and gather strength. I pootled along until around 11.30am when things started hotting up. I was fully dilated, and was told I could start to push.

Our daughter was born just after midday, a shock of jet black hair, a tiny wee person, a wail. My baby. OMG. We had made a baby!

It hit me then that our lives had changed forever. My husband and I were left alone with our daughter for a while and I gave him a present, a new wedding ring as he had lost his. With our newborn daughter between us I whispered the wedding vows as I slipped his ring on his fingers.

“Before God, and in the presence of our daughter, C F, I declare my love for you, promise to love you and cherish you, in good times and bad times, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”

And now I have to go and take my 8yo to school.