You've got to hand it to the NHS: they give you good drugs.
"How tall are you?" the anaesthetist asked, as I was about to be taken into surgery. I presumed he was checking the dose for the epidural. "5ft 5in," I told him, starting to feel a little spaced out from the injection. One of the nurses pumped the foot pedal to raise my trolley bed a little lower. I frowned, concentrating hard. "No, wait, I'm only about 5ft now."
My husband arrived wearing scrubs. "You're not effing doing it," I told him.
The consultant about to perform the emergency caesarian looked like Geoffrey Palmer, with those puffed-out, pompous jowls. There were about a dozen other people in the theatre, all scurrying about at his command. He wasn't happy. "This baby is breach. You must have seen your consultant last week. They really should have picked this up," he said. "Who was it?"
"You," I replied, causing a mass outbreak of coughing from behind his junior colleagues' masks.
I was shielded from the gory details by a green curtain. The top of me was shaken around by violent rummaging I couldn't feel. A cry. Then my husband was handed something. He passed it to me. A slimy, sleepy, beautiful wrinkled girl.
For a day, that's what we thought.
"Eight miles high, and when you touch down
You'll find that it's stranger than known
Signs in the street that say where you're going
Are somewhere just being their own"
(The Byrds - Eight Miles High)