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Mother of two (born 1960s/1970s), from North-East England

When my daughter was born, I was unmarried and had been deserted by the father. I had intended to have her adopted as there was not much support for unmarried mothers. However, my mother agreed to look after her and I lived at home with my parents and resumed my career as a teacher. I wore a curtain ring in hospital and responded to being called by 'Mrs' and my maiden name. I was in hospital for 10 days before being discharged and I felt isolated without the baby's father being there as all the other mothers had.

I later married and when my son was born I went into the local maternity hospital. My husband came with me; the hospital was just up the road from where I lived and we walked there. We were severely reprimanded for not telephoning first. We didn't have a phone at home and the phone box was on the way to the hospital! My husband stayed with me as my neighbour had agreed to look after our little girl (whom he had adoped after we got married). I had a fifteen hour labour and my husband was there to see our son being born.