The birth of my first child was particularly memorable. I think it was rather unusual at the time for fathers to be present but I insisted. It was an old Victorian hospital about to be closed down. We were taken up to the delivery room in an ancient rattling goods lift with heavy concertina double doors because the passenger lift was out of action. It was during the major industrial action in 1970 and there was a power cut at the crucial time. The hospital's emergency generators didn't come on so I was holding a hurricane lamp throughout the birth. I viewed the whole thing in a sort of half-light. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and it was good to be usefully involved.
Number 2 was much more straightforward but no less moving for that. Number 3 seemed to be endless. The baby seemed not to want to emerge. The midwife got a bit stressed and talked to my wife in what I felt was a rather bullying way. Lots of shouting from her and screams from my wife - not a good experience but thankfully it ended happily. The birth took place in Rugby's old maternity unit in the village of Harborough Magna. It was December, snow was falling and newborn babies were taken from the delivery room in an old pram to another part of the building through the snow across a very large lawned quadrangle. This was the only one of the three births which left me feeling less than impressed by the care my wife and child received - and I didn't feel welcome in the delivery room.