THE reality of embarking on another pregnancy hit home the other day when I was faced with remembering the horror that was giving birth to Ben.

My sister-in-law had a gorgeous baby boy this week. I say baby, but at an eye watering 10lbs 8oz, it sounded more like she had produced a ready-made toddler.

The writing was on the wall as, by her own admission, she was rather big. And at 12 days overdue she was on the verge of despair.

In the end, a section was needed as, in the technical words of the consultant, “it got stuck”.

All was well in the end and both mum and baby are doing really well, but it did have us reflecting on how, after all these years of evolution, there has apparently been no progress on the birthing process.

No problem going from apes to upright humans, but no real improvement on the exit route for small person coming out of a decidedly smaller tunnel.

As a relatively fit and able woman I had envisaged a wonderfully emotionally moment as I gave birth in the serene environment of a birthing pool, listening to some calming music with maybe a candle or two knocking about.

The reality was a world away. From start to finish it was well over two days long and ended in an epidural that I really hadn’t wanted, before the old salad tongs were whipped out to finish as I was physically unable to push a petit pois out, never mind a 7lb 5oz baby.

To be serious for a moment, the whole birth experience did traumatise me for a bit afterwards. I hadn’t really realised just how much until, on a post-natal check, a midwife asked me how I felt about how the birth went and I simply dissolved into tears.

I think it was the fact I had no control over what was, or wasn’t, happening to my body and it was so completely different to how I had pictured it. It wasn’t the joyous occasion I had hoped for – that’ll teach me to write out a birthing plan!

Anyway, I am hoping for better things this time. At least I know what I am letting myself in for, and, at the end of the day, the last time might not have gone as I wanted it but I did have a beautiful baby boy to show for all the effort that both myself and several shifts at the Princess Anne had put in.