My youngest daughter Abi was born at home, in a birthing pool, on Saturday, 21st April 2007, at 7.48 a.m. By then, the long night had dawned into a crisp, bright spring morning. The beautiful start to the day seemed entirely appropriate for Abi’s magical entry into the world.
My wife Sarah managed the eight-hour labour without any pain medication whatsoever, relying instead on one or two firm words from both the midwife and I. I was thoroughly mesmerised by the surreal quality of the birth. First there was the panic as Sarah pushed hard in an effort to bring Abi into the world. Then there was the calm, undramatic way she drifted out of her mother’s womb and into the pool. The midwife was gently lifting her out of the water before I could properly gather my senses. Then reality came crashing in with the sound of Abi exercising her lungs.
Kara, Abi’s elder sister, was two and a half years old by then. A first-born child is such an incredible experience and like most new parents, I was besotted by the entry into my world of my beautiful angel. I was at home a lot during that time, and I have lovely memories of Kara surrendering unconditionally, sleeping peacefully on my chest. Abi’s enchanting entry into the world made her arrival just as special.
Those were probably the happiest times of my life.