My schoolfriends called the hospital from the 6th-form common room. That’s what I remember about the first time I gave birth. I wasn’t writhing in agony or anything — I had had an epidural. I was just waiting.
The midwife brought the phone through on a trolley with a long cable trailing behind it. (It was 1998). Familiar voices said “Have you had the baby yet?” and in the background, I could hear all the usual school sounds. It all felt so far away.
“The baby” was born five hours later. Yesterday she turned 22 years old and we walked together along a river with mini bottles of prosecco and a little picnic.
I kept thinking about that phone call, on that day exactly 22 years ago and my main thought was this: imagine if mobile phones had been a thing then? That memory would never have existed, would it?