Cai sleeping peacefully

Cai came into the world smiling although after the stressful time we’d had I couldn’t be sure why?  He is my oldest-23 years-strong as an Ox (which is Chinese sign) and a happy go lucky sort of man.

I went into labour one minute after midnight on Friday 13th September 1985-should have realised it was going to be tough! I’d spent the night walking the street of Belsize Park with my friend Eleri.  Everything was going smoothly and I felt ready to go into hospital at about 5am.  Another friend Bodhi picked me up and took me to the Royal Free in Hampstead.  Virtually as soon as I got there my contractions stopped and I was seen by a Midwife and then  sent home.  Back at home everything started up again and I was beginning to feel the contractions as they got more painful.  Once again off to hospital, once again walk through the door and everything grinds to a halt!  I had wanted a home birth but my Doctor at the time was against it and as I was young and inexperienced I conceded-big mistake!

The Doctors decided to keep me in. I was shut away in a room that was bleak and smelled of disinfectant, and conveniently forgotten about as I wasn’t being stroppy, occasionally someone popped a head in to make sure I was still alive but that was it  and to cut a long story short Cai was born 8.04 am on Saturday 14th September 32 hours after going into labour.  I am convinced if I’d been allowed to stay at home the delivery would have been much quicker and easier for me and him.  However as I said he was born smiling despite the stress and in my joy I forgot the horrible bits!

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