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Mother of two (born 1970s/1980s), from Midlands

My husband was keen to be involved through out the process and attended ante natal classes during my first pregnancy. The community preparation and support programme was part of an OU research project.

Both children were born in a large teaching hospital because I was considered to be "old " (at 29 years) and at higher risk The first one arrived on New Year's Eve. My blood pressure was high and the midwife who visited me at home the day before said immediate admission to hospital was essential . This was at 38 weeks. We drove the 25 miles to hospital through a heavy snow fall. I was induced, and given an epidural. It being New Years Eve the anesthetist was in good spirits so blew up his rubber gloves and played football with them along the corridor! My husband was there the whole time including the forceps delivery, apart from when the epidural was administered. It was suggested to him he may wish to have his lunch in the nurses canteen at that point. The same hospital midwife stayed with me throughout. I remained in hospital for 8 days which was the norm. Considerable emphasis was placed on establishing breast feeding, It was generally a positive experience.

With my 2nd child I went for a scheduled check at hospital at 34 weeks. and was told that I needed to be admitted immediately as my blood pressure was too high. I remained there for 4 weeks on bed rest in my own room before being induced. The consultant wished to induce me at 36 weeks. I learned this as he addressed his team and students over my bed. He talked about me but not to me. I was not happy with this and later negotiated with the registrar to continue the pregnancy to 38 weeks. This time I gave birth with no pain relief. My son was delivered by a final year student who was ecstatic because he had just passed some exams but a little panicky when it came to the delivery. I returned home 2 days later.

The staff were always welcoming of husbands and partners. My 2 year old was also made welcome when she came to visit daily during the month I was there.

Apart from the consultant's attitude this was also a good experience in difficult circumstances.