Living in Spain at the time, I was going to give birth there and needed a birthing partner; a friend from work volunteered.

Great!

Or so I thought, until I received a letter from the hospital in which they wanted to induce me on a date she had arranged to go away…

It being a bit of a big ask and last minute, I set about WhatsApping my close friends asking for help of a couple of hours each. Mum was over, but being old, I didn’t want to expect her to stay away what could potentially be all day and all night. Besides, she would need to eat! Everyone was great. A friend’s (male) partner even offered to come in case of emergency…

The big day:

Feeling relieved, I made sure my hospital bag was prepared and off I set with Mum. All was fine, until friend number 2 needed to go. The matron of the ward effectively told her it was like Piccadilly circus in there and that she couldn’t go! My Mum had gone back to the flat for a rest and another friend was there. I asked her to tell me why she needed to go so I could help her with her Spanish and she was ‘released’.

I have to say I was relieved I didn’t need the male friend as the nurses came along at various intervals and lifted up my gown to have a look at how things were going without warning!

Expect the unexpected!

I thought it was going to be hours to giving birth. I snacked on sweets and ate the lunch they brought. But before I knew it, they decided I needed a cesarean (I found out after this is quite common there) and I got whisked into surgery.

I had been going to ante-natal classes and felt fully prepared for pushing and breathing but totally unprepared for this! I mean we were talking some kind of surgery. Mum had gone for a bit and my friend wasn’t allowed in. Help! I was trying to discuss my concerns with the guy wheeling me into theatre only to be told off by the head surgeon

“If you need to tell anyone anything, it is me you should be talking to.”

This stressed me right out and I promptly threw up!

“In all my years here I’ve never had anyone throw up in my theatre!” scowled the surgeon and he turned his back to me in what seemed to be a huff.

What a start!

“Are you ready now?” he asked me after a short while.

“Yes.”

I was told to bend forward for an epidural. I did. Then after a little wait, they started cutting.

“Ouch!” I said.

“Can you feel it?” someone asked.

“Yes!” (That’s’ why I said ouch!) “I felt it here” and I pointed towards the spot.”

“Ok. We need to give you another epidural.”

Thankfully that sorted it. Meanwhile Mum came home and my friend told her Daisy was here. Apparently, she said ‘She can’t be’ as it was pretty soon after I’d arrived. Besides, I hadn’t had any major contractions when she was there.

But all was well in the end. I had given birth under slightly unusual circumstances to a beautiful, healthy daughter and I couldn’t have been happier.