The story of my birth in 1986
As part of the Thackray Birth Stories project, I'm going to tell the story of my own birth. The project encourages people of all ages to tell stories about their births, their children's births and to respond to the collections of the Thackray Medical Museum. So I've taken up the challenge myself!
The first challenge is telling a story that you don't remember. But I've heard lots of details about what happened when I was born, from my parents and other relatives. My parents were living in Amblecote, Stourbridge in the Black Country. I was their first child, and my mum dutifully recorded all the fetal movements leading up to the birth - though found this more unsettling than comforting, apparently...
As for the delivery itself, things were made more difficult because the umbilical cord was wrapped round my neck. My dad tells me he stood in front of the baby heart monitor screen to ensure my mum couldn't see my heart rate dipping because the cord was stopping me breathing. Forceps were needed - then I finally arrived at 3.59am.
I know two small details about what happened next. Firstly, when my mum tried to get out of bed to come and see me in my bed she went flying - the epidural was still in full force and removed all feeling from her legs. No one was (seriously) hurt!
Secondly, on repeated occasions my Aunty Cath proudly tells me about how she was first to come and visit me and my parents in hospital. The detail she - and so I - remember was that they all sat and ate marmalade on toast... It's funny the details that get passed down, and the moments that characterise such a big family moment.