I was brave when I fell pregnant for the second time (my first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage). I decided to take on nature and ‘be one with it’. I can so do a water birth(!), I figured. So I dragged the lucky husband to class, invested in a birthing ball, and selected the ‘best’ maternity clinic in Johannesburg. I dropped my doctor who was chief advocate for Caesarian sections, and enlisted the services of a wonderful midwife whom I had read about in a maternity magazine. The big day arrived and time to put everything into practice. We arrived at the clinic at about 5am, and after a quick examination the midwife declared that we could have baby out in about an hour. An hour? I repeated. There’s no ways I’m ready for a baby in an hour. And then my contractions started real bad. She offered to run the bath for me but there was no chance I was leaving the security of solid ground. I don’t want to see a bath. Or water, I told her. That’s fine, she replied, and left me to my contractions. There was nowhere to go, but on the floor and cling to the bed. The bed was on rollers, hospital style, so even that was not providing adequate anchor to my body that was about to explode into a million tiny pieces. Husband was hanging around, not knowing what to do. Just leave! I asked him. He’s not going anywhere. I eventually pleaded, take the birth ball and get it pumped up. He, of the male species that did this to me, the enemy. I wanted the ball as much as I wanted the bath, but if he didn’t leave the room and soon I was going to murder him. With my bare hands. The midwife returned and I begged of her. Please! Put a gun against my head, I would rather be dead. Kill me now! Cut the baby out, just make it stop! She called the anesthetist, who was stuck in peak hour traffic. He finally arrived and administered an epidural. After a couple of hours it was time to push. A few minutes before noon, my baby was born. I looked over and saw a tiny grey body, not making a sound. Is he alive? Yes, he was alive and I was Mother. And after that, I decided I will Never do that again. And I haven’t! Some things you do once, and learn your lesson. Caesarian section with my daughter, and a walk in the park.