I want soft lights and music, perhaps a birthing pool,
I want massages and foot rubs, I want a fan to keep me cool.
I only want one midwife, no drugs just gas and air –
perhaps, if I think I need it, and I’d like my husband there.
I want active, to walk around, between early contractions,
I want a compilation C.D. and as little interaction
as possible. I want tea, toast, organic nuts, a doula and a mentor,
I want a T.E.N.S machine, a hypnotist, my own refrigerator.
I want the baby wrapped up in a blanket of angora,
I want a private room filled with flowers from Interflora.
I want, white noise, whale noise, recorded by Friends of the Earth.
What I really, really want, is a truly natural birth…
I got florescence trial of labour, I got an oxytocin drip,
I got, stay in bed and nil by mouth I got the bip, bip, bip bip, bip,
of a monitor. I got sweaty hair, I got gas and air
and mind-blowing drugs that made me swear,
I got pethidine, and morphine, I got my own anaesthetist
I got panicky, hysterical, I got hot, felt cold, acted pissed.
I got teams of consultants, discussing each contraction,
I got nurses telling me that soon there’d be more action.
I got cannulas, speculums, a doctor with a torch
I got my legs raised, my brow mopped, (yes, really, a torch.)
I got blood taken, meds given, data in plural
and when the pain got really bad, I got an epidural.
I got white lights, bright lights; I got a spinal block,
I got a junior doctor, nervously looking at the clock.
I got surgery and stitches, a scarred bikini line,
a really fit surgeon who told me it’ll all be fine.
And it was fine, it really was,
what they said was true,
I got what I wanted in the end,
what I got was you.
Gill Lambert is a poet, mum, granny and teacher from Keighley, Yorkshire. She’s a recent graduate of the Creative Writing MA at Leeds Trinity and has been published in The Interpreter’s House , by Indigo Dreams, Beautiful Dragons, Paper Swans Press and Otley Word Feast Press; and on-line by The Fat Damsel, Clear Poetry , I Am Not a Silent Poet and Poetry Space. Gill is working on her first collection.